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on May 25, 2007 in Wildlife Photography

Sap is Running – 05.25.07

It’s a real dry spring in the Eastern Sierra, nesting birds are well into it with most feeding newly hatched young. Jake & I started to work our favorite area this past week with a couple Red-shafted Flicker, Pygmy Nuthatch, Western Wood Pewee, Tree & Violet-green Swallow and Red-breasted Sapsucker (RBS) nests to photograph. This particular RBS nest was great fun with the male perching on a trunk just inches from my head whenever there was a nest exchange (the Nuthatches Jake was photographing, one of his birds perched on my 600mm). Neither of us are in a blind, the birds are quite use to our presence so we get to see all the action. While I had a flash on a Wimberley Flash Arm, there were times the sun would come through the canopy so I could turn off the flash and work the great light. I always keep a log when working a nest of times the parents are in & out & the basic biology. By...

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on May 22, 2007 in Camera Gear Posts

Precision – 05.23.07

“What do I need in a computer?” This is a question I receive everyday. It’s a very valid question and one you’ll get a different opinion from every person you ask and for good reason. Everyone has their bias and that’s cool. Here’s my bias, Dell and in particular, the Precision line. I’ve been running Precisions since they first came out. They’ve been with me in trucks bouncing across the nastiest of roads. They been vibrated to pieces flying in Bush Planes across Alaska. Heck, took one on a two week float trip through the Arctic. And after all that abuse, they have never let me down and that’s what’s important to me. Currently, my main computers are the two pictured here, the desktop Precision 390 (office digital darkroom machine) and notebook Precision M65 (my road warrior). Here’s what I look for in my computers. Speed, speed and more speed which comes from a combo of Ram, Hard Drive speed and video board memory. For that reason, both of...

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on May 17, 2007 in Wildlife Photography

New Visitor – 05.17.07

We don’t have a normal front yard, we have a meadow. We’ve planted over the years and have growing over 30 native plants. For a short 30 day window each summer, it’s a rainbow of colors that just cool to watch. Well, you could say we’re a little protective of our plants so when the snow melts, we’re on guard for natural predators of our earthly delights. The main villain are voles. We have lots of Sage Brush Voles but when this guy got in our trap, it caught my attention (I have a permit to live trap so critters we catch, we translocate to our neighbor’s yard). This is a Montane Vole (also called meadow mice by some), it’s not rare but just rare to our yard. He instantly had a new temporary home in a very large tank sitting in our office. Now we think that he is a she because its getting a big belly. So we’ve been providing it lots of fresh grasses, some it...

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on May 15, 2007 in Great Stuff, Random Thoughts

And than there was this – 05.15.07

During my Attwater’s Prairie Chicken project I went out 1 afternoon to shoot some B Roll. While out looking, I came across this crop duster working a field so I stopped to grab some shots while getting in some panning practice. Well, he made a number of passes on the field (frame#1) and than went off to refuel. He came back and made a couple more passes when he spotted me. Well, than the show began. He made these huge banks (frame#2) up into the forming thunderheads between runs and started to make runs closer and closer to me. The last couple of passes were right down the lens barrel, very cool. He went overhead and I waved thanks, he waved his wings and than went right down the hwy on the deck. I turned around to get this shot which still makes me chuckle. Life is good when there’s a camera in your hand! Photo captured by D2Hs, 200f2VR on Lexar digital...

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on May 11, 2007 in Wildlife Photography

Attwater’s Prairie Chicken – 05.11.07

On my orientation Wednesday morning at the Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, we saw 8 males (pictured here). That’s more than 10% of the wild population! One of the most endangered birds in No America, the wild population is 40-60 birds. Why the range? During my visit, 9 chicks hatched and 4 chicks & 1 hen died. The APC’s story is incredibly complex (much greater than can be blogged) but its status is pretty clear cut. They are on the edge! The staff at the refuge is doing one hell of a remarkable job that literally is 24/7. I’m doing what I can by photographing and telling their story in upcoming articles like that in the next issue of the BT Journal. You can help by Adopt-a-Prairie-Chicken. The captive population needs your funds to continue on with their vital mission, making babies! Twenty-five dollars can feed a chick for a year. If you want to help, send your contribution to: Adopt-a-Prairie-Chicken Wildlife Diversity Branch Texas Parks and Wildlife 4200 Smith...

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