Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Niñas de la Tierra

While digging in the garden I ran across a Potato Bug or Jerusalem Cricket.In Spanish they are called Niñas de la Tierra "Children of the Earth". This is because because you usually find them in dirt while digging or under rubbish piles. They love moist places where they can eat their favorite foods of roots and tubers. They will also eat other insects as they are omnivorous.Many people find them to be rather scary for they make a hissing noise similar to sandpaper being rubbed together. The other reason they can be frightening is that they do have rather strong jaws and will bite if they are mishandled or squeezed too hard if you are brave enough to pick one up. Here are a few images of Niñas de la Tierra. God's light and love to all, chris

Monday, April 29, 2013

Leftover Outakes

Today I was catching up on some much needed yard work before the weeds mass attack took over the back yard. As a result of that here are a few images from yesterdays journey to Arcata. The waterfall is from Dora Creek and the shorebirds in flight are from Humboldt Bay. God bless, chris

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quick Stop at the Waterfall

This morning I drove up to Arcata, California with Jay. Along the way we stopped at the Frank and Bessie Smith Redwood Grove for a short hike to the Dora Creek Waterfall. On my return I stopped at the Arcata Marsh and was simply astonished at the massive shorebird migration that was underway.Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds. Parts of the bay looked like they were moving due to the masses of birds feeding. Then I drove southward towards home through the Avenue of the Redwoods and was humbled by God's creation. Grove after grove of tall dark mysterious Redwood trees. Now I'm totally bushed. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Angel's Breath on the Ridge Tops

On Thursday morning tendrils of fog drifted in from the coast on a light breeze. The rays of the rising sun poked through a forest of tree trunks along the ridge top. It made for a perfect stroll along the dirt logging road that wanders past my house. God's love to all, chris

Friday, April 26, 2013


I just love it when I can capture an image of a pair of animals or birds. It's so much harder to do than photographing a single creature. There are so many more things that have to happen to make it work just right. Both critters need to be in a good position and light. There has to be a good head angle for both of them and you have to have more than one catchlight in the eyes. Earlier this week when I was photographing a Wren two House Finches landed on the perch while I was waiting for the Wren to come back. At first I was annoyed because I really wanted to photograph a Wren! Suddenly it popped into my brain.Wait a minute. They are perfectly placed on both sides of the fence post.I quickly readjusted my camera and created three images of the that looked fantastic. Feeling kind of lowly this morning with a sore throat and a springtime cold. Hopefully I can push through it to enjoy this beautiful day! God's precious love and blessings to all, chris

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm So Handsome

Earlier this week I photographed out at the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley below where I live in Northern California. It's great place to photograph birds as it is at the junction of three types of habitat.There is pasture land/valley floor, oak woodland and the riparian habitat of a small creek that flows through the property.Just a marvelous place for photography. When I first walked up the pasture to my photoblind a covey of California Valley Quail took off from the apple tree close to the blind. I hoped that they would come back. As it is often typical for me just about when I was ready to call it quits for the day I heard the feeding call of the quail. I heard them started working there way back down the mountain towards the blind. After a short five minute wait they were up on the bird feeder. Here is a close up image of one of the males. He is pretty handsome. May God bless you, chris

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hot One!

It's truly amazing how fast the temperature has changed. Just recently I had to wear a jacket and long pants in the photo blind.On April 15th it snowed for a short time in the afternoon at my house. This morning I spent about an hour in the backyard photoblind.I was just cooking in the photoblind wearing a T shirt and shorts. Today it is already 76 degrees at one o'clock! Just a gorgeous day out. Not too many birds visited the feeder. I'm guessing it's because I cleaned up the backyard and set up a new feeder. It takes awhile for them to adjust to a new setting. The squirrels on the other hand seemed to have adapted quite readily. There were five Western Gray Squirrels vying for feeder rights. Here are my favorites of a Steller's Jay and a Western Gray Squirrel from this morning. God bless, chris

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

House Wren

This morning I was once again trying to capture a Goldfinch image. I had a beautiful flowering perch for them to land on. It was a long wait and a few goldfinches came by but they weren't using my perch. I kept hearing a Wren calling and with the limited view from the photoblind I couldn't locate it. I started imitating it and it got closer. I saw it land on one of the old fence posts next to my blind. It stayed for awhile and then it left. I knew it would be back so I shifted my camera over to that side of the blind and and started calling again. Within about three minutes it was back on the post displaying and calling. I was able to make six images of it before it flew off again. This one was my favorite. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Monday, April 22, 2013

Catching Up on Yardwork

I almost didn't pick up my camera all day. I worked out in the backyard cleaning up all of my bird photography mess from this winter and in general tried to make the yard habitable again. This evening I was out doing the last of it (you are never really done) when I spotted a movement down near my left foot as a Pacific Tree Frog tried to hop away.It was a little too slow and I grabbed it.I took it up to the house and photographed it on a stone and the brought it back to where I caught it and let it go. Ah, freedom at last! May God bless you and keep you, chris

Saturday, April 20, 2013

In Another Place and Time

This morning I noticed that the first crop of Dandelions is well under way. Many have bloomed their brilliant yellow blossoms and gone to seed for the people willing to pluck them and blow off the seed heads to make wishes. This evening I photographed one in blue. For some reason it just fit. I'm not sure why, but I just wanted to do it in blue. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Friday, April 19, 2013

Starting to Bloom

This morning when I walked into the backyard the first thing I noticed is that the flowers are really starting to bloom. I could hear the bees and a quick look around the yard started to yield some color. I picked one of the Osteospermums(fancy name for African Daisies) to take back inside for a little photography.I had a couple of lighting ideas that I wanted to try out to see what kind of effects I could create. I had a great time and the dogs loved being involved by just lying in the way and being told to move. They make lousy assistants. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy and God bless, chris

Here's Jack!

Actually his name was Noochie but that doesn't sound as good for a title. Yesterday when I was watching Annika play tennis there was this cute Rough Coated Jack Russel Terrier fetching balls that the tennis players would hit out into a field next to the tennis courts. Like all terriers Noochie seemed to possess boundless energy. One of the players remarked that he has seen him do this all day and never seem to get tired from it.Noochie had one major drawback to his cuteness. He had a high pitched bark that sounded like two pieces of metal being grated together. May God bless you today with his love, chris

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Today was a glorious Spring day. I spent the morning attempting to photograph finches with pretty poor results. On my walk back to my pick up I spotted a Monarch Butterfly that landed three feet in front of me with my arms full of camera equipment and my dog on a leash. I attempted a few images but they were too hurried and came out blurry. I'm a photographer right? We do have our bad moments too! It was just amazing to see a Monarch this early in the spring. I then went and worked out at the gym. I came home and had a great lunch with Lenore and she and I went on a beautiful hike down our road. This afternoon I drove over to Anderson Valley to watch Annika play on her high school tennis team.It was the teams last league match. It was really exciting to watch her on the court. Between games I took a few breaks. The parking lot next to the courts was scattered with daisies. I just had to stop and smell the daisies. When I dropped down onto the grass to photograph them the scent was just heavenly. With a macro lens the possibilities were endless. Here are a few of the ones I liked. What a way to spend a spring time day. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Impromptu Smoke

I was looking through some images this morning and I ran across some smoke photography. Hmmnn... I haven't had a good smoke in awhile. I quickly set up a backdrop and a flash and made a wide selection of smoke images of some incense burning. These are a few of my favorites. Have a blessed day, chris If you are interested in how to do this please check out my tutorial at http://diyphotocheapodepot.blogspot.com/2012/02/diy-smoke-photography.html

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Miscellaneous Morning 'er Afternoon

This morning after I fulfilled all of my domestic obligations and chores it was almost noon.I headed out to the Burris Ranch to restock the bird feeders and put out some oranges for the Orioles. While I was there it nice to see some signs of spring especially considering it snowed yesterday at my house for awhile in the afternoon! The Western Fence Lizards were out sunning themselves and I photographed my first butterfly of the year. As usual there were a few Juncos about and I photographed one on a piece of old farm equipment. Thank you Lord for a beautiful day! God's light and love to all, chris

Monday, April 15, 2013

House Finch and A Junco

Today was a tough day for photography.I went to my photoblind out on the Burris Ranch in hopes of capturing an image of on of the Gold Finches I spotted last week. It was windy and the light kept shifting between shadows and light from the clouds. It even rained! Today was not to be the day. There were a lot of House Finches that took over the feeders a long with a smattering of Dark Eyed Juncos.All my thoughts of bird photography were quickly overshadowed by the worst news when I got home. I was shocked and saddened to learn that there were bombings at the Boston Marathon. My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families. May God comfort them in this time of need. chris

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Inspiration for Steven Kings "The Shining"

While in Colorado a must visit location is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The hotel was built by (Freelan Oscar) F.O. Stanley the inventor of the famed Stanley Steamer and it and opened on July 4, 1909. The Stanley Hotel was built in neo-Georgian style and has 140-rooms. The Stanley offers panoramic views of the Rockies. In its past it has catered to some rich and famous guests.The RMS Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan,and a number of Hollywood actors and actresses. Among locals and movie fans alike the Stanley Hotel is known for inspiring horror novelist Stephen King,to write "The Shining". God's blessings to all, chris

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I Wish Someone Else Had a Camera

This is photblog #2 for today. But I had such a good time I had to post it. This morning I motored on out to the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley to restock my bird feeders. Just before I turned into the ranch I noticed something in the road ahead. "What in the world is that?" I thought to myself. As I got closer I realized it was five Turkey vultures gathered around a dead raccoon. After restocking the bird feeders I went back to my to pick up and grabbed my camera. I figured I would make a slow approach through the pasture close enough to get some nice close up images of the vultures. As I picked my way downhill I observed that I had gathered an entourage of three horses. I would walk slowly and the stop, at which point one of the horses would move forward and nudge me in the back. I kept telling them to go away but they doggedly kept following me. Once I stopped and turned around and they flared. Not a good idea because all of the vultures flew off except one. Begrudgingly I accepting my observers as I carefully made my way to the fence at the edge of the road and braced my camera against a convenient fence post for support. Every time I would lean forward to look into the viewfinder to take an image I had three horse breathing on my neck and nudging me in the back.It was pretty humorous. I really wish there had been someone there to photograph the horses with me. I hope you are having a glorious weekend with lot's of joy and laughter. God's blessings to you, chris

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feather Still Life

If you have been following my photoblog and are really sharp or are an experienced birder you probably already know what kind of feather is up above. Yesterday morning I spent some more time photographing the Band Tailed Pigeons.They were more skittish than they normally are and didn't come down to the feeders until past ten when the lighting is way to harsh for photography.I still watched them and attempted a few images but it wasn't worth it.I was thinking about packing it up when a hawk came swooping down and pigeons went scattering in all directions with a roar of wings. A tail feather came floating down and this afternoon I decided to photograph the feather with the Band Tails favorite food in the fall, an Acorn! You can now see how the bird got its name from the banded tail feather up above. I hope you are having a glorious weekend, God bless, chris