Landscape with A Twist

Wright Flyer replica, Kitty Hawk Memorial captured by Z 8 / Z24-70f2.8

Had an excellent morning photographing flight! First, a nesting pair of Osprey building their nest and then at the Wright Brother Memorial in Kitty Hawk, NC. The location where first powered flight occurred is where the brothers proved their “wing warping” principle actually worked for sustained flight. Wing Warping is something the Wright Brothers received a patented for in 1906. What is wing warping you ask? That’s where the wing tip are “warped” or perhaps better understood as “twisted” to change the direction of flight. With few folks around today, I was able to shoot through the Wright Flyer to the Memorial erected on the dune they used for their glider experiments prior to powered flight (though the wind moved the dune to where it is today) in the background. Looking through the wings that they “warped”, it occurred to me that I was taking a landscape with a twist!

The Valley is Calling!

Upper Yosemite Falls captured by D3x / 70-200f2.8

The Sierra has a good snow pack, the spring rains are bringing green and the sun is kissing it all creating a gorgeous May in Yosemite. May tends to have the greatest amount of water in the falls, one of Yosemite’s magical elements and it’s calling all photographers. May is the last month before summer when the park swells with people coming to soak in its beauty as well. Now is the time to plan your trip. You want to hit the falls of course, but there are lots of trails in The Valley and upper reaches of the park with great treasures. Hitting the trail is a great way to leave the public behind and have the park all to yourself. Focus in on the trails along any water way will reward you with critters, high sierra wildflowers and the creeks themselves. As Muir would say over and over again, The Valley is calling!

Bolivar Flats Doesn’t Disappoint

Bolivar Flats captured by Z 8 / Z24-120

The Ferry ride means you never reach the beach the same time each day. At the same time the morning cloud cover we want for our shorebird photography might always cooperate. In those cases, we do or don’t get a sunrise. On this morning, we reached our spot a little after sunrise and after getting the Z 9 / Z600f4 TC ready to go, I took a moment to make a simple click of our greeting. And while brilliant for a heartbeat, I was happy to see the sun tuck itself back behind a cloud for what turned out to be a killer day of shorebird photography!

Makes It Hard to Concentrate on the Fly!

The Bitterroot River and Mountains captured by Z 8 / Z24-120

There are certain things that are a must when you go out fly fishing, rod, flies, net, license and for Jake and I, the camera. The main goal of the camera is to get shot of the other as they are playing and landing that great fish. Then there is that other thing, photography in general. I have no doubt that other fisherman saw me out in the water fishing with a camera on my back thinking I was nuts. I’m sure I am but when you’re offered up views like this, well, I just gotta click. For me, views like this make it hard to concentrate on the fly!

It Can’t Make up Its Mind

The Bitterroots captured by Z 9 / Z70-200f2.8

Whenever Sharon & I are out running errands, we always take time to swing through Lee Metcalf NWR. The gear is in the car and the bins are in hand looking and this time of year, we’re keeping an eye out on the Sandhill Cranes as they nest on the refuge. The wx was on the gray side at first and then broke for a short time and then the rain came, again. The snow line is high on the Bitterroots giving them a white cap which is gorgeous! With the clouds dancing around, the sun playing hide & seek, can’t help but to look up and take in the beauty. While we didn’t find the cranes this field trip, we did have a gorgeous view to reward us for cruising. As the rain started up again on us, snow up on the peaks, the wx told us it was time to head back towards home. But we had to wonder if, it can make up its mind.

The Bitterroots captured by Z 9 / Z70-200f2.8

The Survivor

Costa Rican rainforest survivor captured by Z 9 / Z600f4 TC

Greeting the sun brings with it moments of warmth rewarding the early riser. I had a routine in Costa Rica, being out on the birding deck at Rancho Naturalista by 05:10 with my cup of coffee perched at the railing. High up on a hillside, the view sweeps all the way to the distant volcano. Cane fields and homes fill the valley below. The mountain side where the Rancho hides still has its rain forest habitat, something the view misses. It’s about at this moment that the chorus bursts out taking my mind away from the missing forest. Brown Jay and Rufous-tailed Hummingbird are the first out and heard, soon joined by the Clay-colored Thrust and Red-throated Ant-Tanager. Then the Lesson’s Motmot, Bright-rumped Attila, Montezuma Oropendola, Golden-crowned Warbler and Cocoa Woodcreeper add their voice to the deafeaning chorus. One morning a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl adds its voice, another morning a Tropical Parula, it’s volume is stagering and then at 05:25 everyday like clock work, the White-necked Jacobin arrive at the feeders just inches away keeping me company in the early morning twilight. As the light comes up, the chorus quiets down and as it does, more folks come to the birding deck to see what birds can be seen. The morning fog slowly burns off and by 06:00 birds are silent, busy filling up after the night of fasting. Across away the sugar cane fields fill with workers and appearing are two lone trees, the last survivors of the once vast forest. I wonder what the volume of the morning chorus was like when all one saw was forest? I wonder how long it would have lasted then? I watched those trees to see if any birds visit them. I see none.

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