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on Oct 14, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

The Alaskan Moose

If you look closely at his antlers, you’ll see they look like weathered wood and in some spots, he still has his velvet. CWD affects very few and is only the second time I’ve seen it all these years which is why I focused in on this bull for five hours. I shot with the D4s / 200-400VR2 with the TC-14eIII at times depending on where he was and what he was doing. Where I stood in relation to the bull all depended on the light since the story is the disease. My goal was to show off that CWD by using the light to bring to life the “deformity.” Now this particular bull we only saw this one afternoon, never saw again during the week. That’s in part because he is not part of the breeding pool. Those antlers couldn’t withstand the impacts of the rut. Will he be around next year? The last bull I saw like this I was with a noted Moose biologist who said...

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on Oct 5, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

We Call Him Lewis

Well our new buddy, the Lewis’s Woodpecker has spent a week with us now, so we just call him Lewis. This immature male is a first for our property and getting to know him and his biology has been great fun. It would seem he is getting use to us as well because we can move about the inside of our house and he know ignores us. That’s great! This weekend, I worked with him more to the point where I could venture outside with the camera and photograph him. No more shooting through the windows and that vastly improved image quality. I have to sneak out the door with the D4s / 800 / Zenili rig but he does permit me to come and and play. His general pattern is to fly into the Aspen in the front (top photo) and get warm in the sun and watch the activity at the feeders. Then he flies up to the perch next to the feeder (bottom photo) and suns...

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on Oct 5, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Mule Deer Munching

Saturday was a great day on the property. The morning had the Lewis’s Woodpecker and then in the afternoon, these guys wondered in. Now we have had deer on our property in the past, but normally we only know about it when our beagle’s nose tells us. We rarely see them. So to have a 6 & 4pt buck and doe come in and make themselves at home, that floored us. For the first 30-45min we just watched them as they went through and munched on the greenest plants they could find. Why were they there in the first place? There is a semi annual migration of the Mule deer through the area. Normally it’s on the other side of the valley but with the drought, I think they game through the area with all the green plants from folks watering (had a doe and fawn come through on Sunday). After that time, I decided I’d go outside and see if there were any photo opps to be had....

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on Oct 1, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Big Day out the Window!

It started on Tuesday when Sharon called me into the office and pointed out the window at the bird bath. “What’s that bird at the bath?!” She was pointing at a big, dark bird and all we could see was its head, but that was enough. I said, “that’s a Lewis’s Woodpecker!!!” We’ve seen them in the Sierra before, rarely, they prefer the higher altitudes. We’ve seen them on the ridge above our home but never on our property. We watched it drink for a while, then it flew off behind Tree 1 and disappeared. Great bird and thought that would be the end of him as we’ve had a lot of birds come through for a quick sighting not to be seen again. But we were looking!!! Then today it reappeared! This time, in the front at Tree 3. Being that I’d only gotten a couple of clicks of one decades ago in Montana, I wanted to very much photograph him (it’s a male). So we stayed inside...

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on Sep 2, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

Breaking the Mold

We had landed just a couple of hours before after an interesting 28hrs of travel. Settled in our tents, had a meal and assigned a vehicle, out on our first drive we went. Eyes wide open, minds still spinning, I know I wasn’t exactly in a photographic state of mind. All I can assume habits took over because some of it is still a blur. We emerge from the brush to Topi, Zerba, Elephants and the roar of a lion welcoming us to the Mara. We’re literally hitting the ground running! With no clue what we’re heading for, I didn’t even have a camera out yet. I was just along for the ride. Then I hear we’re heading to a Spotted Hyena den. I’d only seen them briefly on my last visit to Africa but being selected as the first critter we were to focus in on now we’re at the famous Mara had me scratching my head. But like I said, at the moment I was just along...

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on Sep 1, 2015 in Wildlife Photography

The Egyptian Goose

One of the first birds you see in Africa are the Egyptian Goose. We’d call them a dirt bird in the US. That’s because they are so common, so very bloody common, as common as dirt. In the case of Africa, you can call them a dirt bird because they are not only so common as well as you most often see them, in the dirt. They are a big bird, about the same size as a Canada Goose. So after the first record shot to show you saw them, the Egyptian Goose receives no photographic love. It’s just that common. With that knowledge, it leaves the door wide open to make a special photo, making the uncommon from the common. The first example of this is the top photo where the geese are in running water. This is the only time I’ve seen them in such. This is a quick grab shot taken with the Df / 300PF. We can do better thinking those magical words, Light, Gesture...

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