Thursday, May 31, 2012
Over this past weekend I went to a cattle round up on a local ranch near Ukiah, California. It was really exciting to watch the Border Collies, cowboys and one cowgirl work together to bring the cattle down off of the mountain and into the main corral. The cattle were then sorted into smaller corrals. The cows and their calves went into one corral. The yearlings went into another and the steers into the last one. The cutting was pretty interesting to watch as they were trying at times to get one steer from the whole herd. A good horse with cutting skills was a real asset here. It was noisy with a lot of commotion. After the sorting the yearlings, cows and calves were shipped to another ranch in Wiilits, Ca. We followed the cows up to Willits where the second part of the day was spent on the Benbow/Coleman ranch on the edge of Willits. I was saddened to find out that this old historic ranch may soon be gone to make way for the new freeway bypass. I have always admired this ranch when I would drive by. A little bit of history may soon be gone. Here the cows and yearlings were dewormed and the calves were cut,dehorned and branded. It was a pretty eventful day. I'm already looking forward to going on another round up soon. It took hours to edit these round up images. Take your time and linger a little over them.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
This morning I headed out to the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley in Northern California for some bird photography again. Who would have thought I might do that again? I got into the photoblind pretty early after restocking the feeders and setting up some perches.I saw a lot of House Finches and even photographed a Brown Headed Cowbird. It wasn't my favorite image though
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
This last weekend I photographed a spring round up on local ranch near Ukiah California. It is taking me days to edit all of the images. The lighting was poor which makes editing all that much difficult as I have to process individual images. This morning I took a much needed a break and did some bird photography on the Burris Ranch out in the Little Lake valley. The birds were pretty active even though there weren't a lot of species to photograph.When I climbed out of the photoblind at the end of the morning there was a Blacktail Deer feeding at the edge of the pasture and I couldn't resist taking his portrait as well. Here are a few images from the day.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
This weekend marks the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. In honor of that I am posting an image from my own family's heritage.It is a photograph from my Grandfather's collection taken of my mother and her sister in front of the Golden Gate Bridge during its construction. William Schwerin was quite the accomplished photographer and his photography spans the decades from the 1920s through the 1970s. Pictured are my mother Betty Schwerin and her sister Maryanne Schwerin. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Friday, May 25, 2012
Sometimes persistence and patience pay off. I have been working on a vision of an image that I had in mind for several days now. I wanted to photograph a Bandtail Pigeon on a lichen covered branch with ferns in the background. The squirrels kept defeating me.This morning I tried a new tactic. I moved the bird feeder and perch closer to the photoblind. I also loaded up my squirt bottle again. I squirted the first squirrel that attempted to climb up onto the feeder and it scurried away. Being blasted at closer range is obviously more effective! Then I politely told the other ones that tried to climb up onto the bird feeder to go away in a loud voice.Can you imagine what anyone watching this would be thinking? Why is that green box yelling at a squirrel? After a long, long wait the Steller's Jays began landing at the feeder. This gave the Bandtails enough confidence to come in and start feeding. Soon one pigeon moved into the sweet spot on the branch and I had my image. It was fun battling the squirrels for my image.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I'm still working on getting that Bandtail Pigeon image I had in mind with the lichen covered branch and the ferns.. After my last defeat to the squirrels I thought I was ready. This morning I got up early and took Jay to school. When I got back I restocked the bird feeder and got everything set up for my image. I also brought my secret weapon. I climbed into my blind secured the door and I waited. After about five minutes the first squirrel appeared and I let him have it with my spray bottle full of water. He scurried off into the woods unharmed and I was elated. A Steller's Jay appeared and went to the feeder and I took a few images of it. Then another squirrel appeared and I let the water fly again. The squirrel scrunched down and kept feeding. Then it relaxed and just ignored the spray of water directed its way. I was shaken by this unexpected turn of events. I climbed out of the photoblind and shooed the squirrel away only to have it return five minutes later. This went on for at least half an hour before I gave up in defeat because every time I got out of the blind the Bandtails would fly away too. Now I am faced with what many people with bird feeders all over the world suffer with. Squirrels! Which is too bad because I really like squirrels. I'll have to set up an extra feeder down the road for them to use while I attempt to photgraph the birds here. Sometimes that works and sometimes the birds go there instead. In any case it will be fun and challenging to try and outwit the squirrels. God's love and blessings to all, chris
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Yesterday evening I went out to Burris Ranch to restock my bird feeders. While I was there I noticed a flurry of activity around the Bluebird's nest box. From all the comings and goings I figured out that the babies must have hatched. This morning I set up a photoblind close by and watched the parents come and go. They were bringing their babies all sorts of delicious foods like spiders, moths, caterpillars and grubs. MMMMnnn good don't you think? I hope you all had a good breakfast this morning.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
A few days ago I was doing some yard work and I ran across this beautiful oak branch that was all covered with lichen. Immediately it came to mind what I wanted to do with it. I was going to photograph a Bandtailed Pigeon on it. I would add some ferns behind it to create a really nice background for it. I carefully planned it all out and this morning put into motion my plan to make it all happen. I set up the bird feeders and got some bracken ferns to put behind the branch for that green look that I wanted. I checked everything out through my camera lens and it looked good. I settled into the photoblind and almost immediately a Bandtailed Pigeon came down from the trees and landed on the edge of the branch.I slowly moved my camera to focus in on it only to see a gray blur and hear the sound of flapping wings. I looked again only to see a Western Gray Squirrel on the branch instead. Soon two more squirrels arrived. I waited and waited but they wouldn't leave. After all who wants to give up all this free food? After awhile I
Monday, May 21, 2012
Today there were a lot of birds coming into the feeders out on the Burris Ranch. I made some changes after I finished my last session and it really paid off. Either that or the incoming light rainfall spurred them into feeding. I made a ramp up to the feeder so the quail could come up and I had California Valley Quail coming off and on all morning long. Even a California Ground Squirrel came by. The neatest sight of all were a pair of Western Flycatchers that stopped by for some nesting material in the form of some sheep's wool that I put on the fence.(thanks Becky Bowlds)There were also the usual House Finches and an few Acorn Woodpeckers and Spotted Towhees