Thursday, March 31, 2016
This morning Lenore and I were both up early. We had one of our cars serviced yesterday so we rode down together this morning to pick one of the vehicles up. I thought it would be a great opportunity to do some bird photography out in the Little Lake Valley on the ranch. When I arrived at the ranch the first thing I noticed was that all of the bird feeders were empty save one and it had four birds crowded around it with just a little bit of seed left. So the first job was to restock all of bird feeders. When I was done filling the feeders there wasn't a bird to be seen. I sat in the blind and waited and waited. All the while the good light was disappearing fast. I was almost to the point of nodding off when the birds started coming in. It started with a trickle and soon they were competing for spots at the feeder. Away from the feeder I spotted a White Breasted Nuthatch on the edge of a mossy log. I immediately swung the lens over to it. It caught the motion of the lens and looked back towards the blind over its shoulder. I was able to squeeze in two quick frames before it was gone in a flash. It ended up being my favorite image of the morning. I love that over the shoulder look. It really shows off a birds plumage. May you have a great evening. God bless, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM at 320mm on a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Heavy Duty Ballhead. My camera settings were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/2500 of a sec.#TeamCanon
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Yesterday I spent some time in the backyard with the Juncos and the Daffodils. I'm looking forward to when some migrants start coming through. As much as I like Juncos I am looking forward to photographing something else. The hummingbirds are starting to show up there were a couple of Rufous Hummingbirds battling with my resident Anna's for control of the feeders. It's a losing battle for the Annas as I have six feeders that are spaced pretty far apart. This is the best one of the Dark Eyed Junco images. The image was created with my Canon 7D and the older version of the Canon 100-400 IS lens. As I needed depth of field control for the soft yellow background this was photographed in AV mode. The camera settings used were ISO 800, f 8.0 at 1/400th of a sec. God bless, chris
Monday, March 28, 2016
Lenore's Lilac is starting to bloom in the backyard. Yesterday afternoon and this morning I put it to use for some bird photography. It's a beautiful bush with a range of colors in the blossoms from pink to purple. I wanted to capture an image of a Chestnut Backed Chickadee but they were uncooperative so I settled for the Steller's Jays, Dark Eyed Juncos and a Red Breasted Nuthatch instead. There were very few clouds in the sky this morning so my time for photography was very limited before it got too bright. I hope that you had a blessed Easter, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. The camera was on our bedroom window sill supported with a ground pod and a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 . Shutter speeds varied.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
This morning when I went to get something from my pick up I found a native Shoulderband Snail crossing the driveway. It was probably on its way to find a mate somewhere in the forest. Not wanting it to get the same fate as the poor smushed Banana Slug from yesterday I picked it up. I placed it on some moss and photographed it before letting it go out in the forest. I love the beautiful intricate spiral of its shell. God's creations are marvelous. May you have a great weekend, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. ISO 800, AV mode, F 16.0 at .5 sec. Camera was supported with a tripod.
Friday, March 25, 2016
This morning I drove out to the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley to do some bird photography. It was such a beautiful morning. When I pulled into the ranch I noticed that the apple tree above my photoblind was blooming. After parking I walked up to my blind and I could smell the sweet scent of the blossoms on the breeze. I set about refilling the bird feeders. When I went to get the furthest feeder I heard a humming buzzing sound down close to my feet. I instantly froze and thought, "This can't be good." I looked all around my feet for movement as the sound continued and my eyes zoomed in onto where the sound was coming from. At first I freaked out because I thought I was standing on top of a ground wasps nest. But soon I figured out that I was right next to a Bumble Bees nest and there were about a dozen of them buzzing about. I made a happy, slow, safe retreat. I rarely find Bumble Bee nests so this is a pretty cool find. Bumble Bees are communal like Honey Bees but honey bees are far greater in both numbers and the amount of honey they store up. Bumble Bees live in a small community of roughly a dozen or so and up to 300 and they only keep a couple of small wax cups of honey that are often the size of a small tablespoon. I once got a sampling of their honey when I was much younger and it was the lightest most delicious honey I have ever tasted. After my discovery I settled into the photoblind and photographed House Finches. here is my favorite image from the morning. God's love and blessings upon your weekend, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 450mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/1,600th of a sec. The camera was supported with a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
This morning I was off early to the big city of Ukiah. I had to meet with the tax man and run a bunch of errands. By the time I got home it was too late to do much photography. After working around the house for awhile I decided to check the bird feeders in the back yard. The Western Gray Squirrels had taken over and it looked like they weren't going to leave any time soon unless of course I went out and scared them off. I took pity on the poor little guys and just let them be and photographed them instead. I know I'm a sucker for for small mammals. They are fun to photograph as they are quite expressive. God's light and love to all, chris All images creted with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. Camera was supported by a ground pod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Looking outside today you can tell spring has arrived. (I don't think people in Colorado have the same view as they got a big snowstorm) Our Lilac bush is just starting to bloom and the Daffodils are finishing up. A little beauty in the imperfect or wabi-sabi as the petals are starting to dry up on the ends. Last night was the Worm Moon. Some Native American cultures called it that because the soil was beginning to unfreeze and they could see signs of worms in the top of the ground as they became active in the thaw. I did spend a brief time photographing the birds this morning and I have one image of a Chestnut Backed Chickadee on the old Redwood top. May you have a blessed day, chris
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Today there have been rain showers off and on all day with little breaks in between where the sun is shining and I can see snow on the Mendocino Mountain Range to the east. Thank you Lord for this gift of rain! Right now as I am typing it is hailing out. Luckily my pick up is parked under the trees. This afternoon I set up a feeder next to the old Redwood top and the birds started coming to the feeder before I even made it indoors. I ended up photographing Dark Eyed Juncos for about twenty minutes but it gave me plenty of images to work with. Here are my three favorites. All images were created with a Canon EOS 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, at F 8.0 shutter speeds varied. The camera was supported by a Bogen 3055 Heavy duty ballhead with a ground pod on our bedroom window sill.
Monday, March 21, 2016
It felt great to be photographing at the ranch last week. From the blind I could hear the small waterfalls on the creek below me. The call of a Mallard duck as it flew overhead and the muffled sounds of the horses hooves in the pasture behind the blind. I have a piece of bleached weathered wood that I have had for years. It has some really unique grain patterns in the wood. I can't image what the tree it came from must have looked like. I set up the wood next to the feeder and I had a parade of birds coming by to use the feeder. The majority of them were House Finches and Lesser Goldfinches. All were photographed with my Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. May you have a blessed week, chris
Saturday, March 19, 2016
The House Finches are coming into their breeding colors right now. I took advantage of their beautiful red color and photographed them on some red blossoms placed next to the bird feeder. This image in early morning light was my absolute favorite. The red colors blended together just right. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/640th of a sec. Camera was supported by a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.
Friday, March 18, 2016
With spring just around the corner I went out to the Burris Ranch earlier this week and filled up all of my bird feeders in the old garden area on the ranch. My blind there is looking pretty tattered though it is still usable as attested by the images I created with it this morning. When I pulled up to the ranch the birds were flying in and out of the garden giving me great promise of a good session to come. Sure enough there were birds using the feeder within minutes after I settled into the photoblind. Here are some more images from the garden fence. I had a wonderful time with all of the birds starting to put on there spring time colors. I was able to photograph one male Goldfinch and several House Finches, two males and one female. God's light and love to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0. shutter speeds varied. The camera was supported with a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. #TeamCanon
Thursday, March 17, 2016
We cleaned out the ice machine in the fridge today. Now just waiting and watching the ice melt. We are waiting for spring with it's renewal of life. Yesterday I heard my first bird calling to defend its nesting territory. It was music to my ears. I know there will probably many rains yet to come but it was the first bird song of spring that I have heard. I put my trust in other signs I have been given as well in the new life I have that is yet to come. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a handheld Canon 50D and a Canon 18-135mm IS lens.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Earlier this week we made a quick trip out to the coast. We went during the middle of the afternoon so naturally the lighting wasn't the best. But the great thing was when we walked down onto the beach there was a small flock of Black Oystercatchers probing for crabs in sand. When bigger waves would come in they would fly up to the rocks that were fairly close to us. I had a merry old time photographing them. They are my favorite bird to photograph whenever I go out to the coast. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
After I refilled the bird feeder this morning the birds started pouring in. I only spent about fifteen minutes photographing them. A fun quick little session. Have a blessed day, chrisAll images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. AV mode, ISO 166 at F 8.0. Shutter speeds varied. #TeamCanon
Monday, March 14, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Last night I set up an old mossy Redwood top near the bird feeder. Several years back I left it in a shady area on our property so the moss on it would start growing. It was looking pretty good so I decided to put it up. As it turned out conditions for photography this morning weren't all that great. The wind was positively howling and stuff from the trees was flying into the house. After the wind had settled down a bit I noticed one lone Western Gray Squirrel climbing up to get to the bird feeder in the pouring rain. I quietly set up my camera through the window. At the sound of the shutter it turned and looked back at me as if to say, "What are you doing back there?" Seconds later it dove off the tree and took off into the woods. May you have a blessed weekend, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. AV mode, ISO 1600 (It was raining), F 10.0 at 1/30th of a sec.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
On my way to the gym this morning I made a trip around the Little Lake Valley. I stopped on the north end of the valley to photograph the lake that forms what many believe to be the namesake of this valley. Way back in time the lake used to be even bigger until the settlers blew up a natural rock dam that used to block off the end of the valley. Next stop was to photograph a section of Reynolds Highway. It's a funny name because it's not really a highway, it's just a narrow two lane road that goes around the north end of the valley. My last stop was to photograph the small town morning rush hour going by on Highway 101. A much different view than I would get on the southern end of 101 in Los Angeles! The drive was rainy, wet and wonderful. From the weather forecast we are going to get two more days of this. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D anda Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. Exposures varied.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
I guess I can't wait for the flowers of spring and summer. Yesterday morning I set up some beautiful yellow flowers next to the bird feeder. At first all I got were the Steller's Jays but my persistence paid off and a little later I was able to photograph some Dark Eyed Juncos and some Chestnut Backed Chickadees. The results are gorgeous and I hope that you agree. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400IS lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0. Shutter speeds varied. The camera was supported by a Bogen ballhead on a ground pod on our bedroom window sill.
Monday, March 7, 2016
This morning I was set up with yellow flowers for photographing small birds. As luck would have it the Steller's Jays came to visit the bird feeders first. Because they are so much larger than the small birds I was set up for couldn't fit them in to the frame of the image. I made the best of the situation. I tightened up nice and close for some portraits. This one was my favorite from the six I made. I love the contrast between the blue and yellow. As noisy and pushy Steller's can be they are a beautiful bird. God's precious love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 400mm. Camera setting used were AVmode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/125th of a sec.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
It's been pouring rain off and on all morning. There has been one Western Gay Squirrel doing acrobatics off of the bird feeder support pole to get at the black sunflower seeds. It swings upside down and then it reaches out to pull the feeder to its mouth. About half the time it gets a few seeds, the other half it loses its balance and drops sliding down the pole. I captured an image of it resting on the fence between tries. I hope you are having a great weekend. God bless, chris Image created with a handheld Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F5.6 at 1/800th of a sec. #TeamCanon
Friday, March 4, 2016
Thank you Lord for the rain! The storms are still coming through California for some much needed rain. Some of you may know an old song that has the line "It never rains in California ..." which is close to being true. Most of the state only gets rare rains during the summer so we are extremely dependent upon winter moisture. It was really weird for me when I moved here as a teenager to have no rain in the summer. I was used to Colorado where thunderstorms would come through a couple of times a week. What a change! So it's great to see the clouds this morning. I photographed our view to the east and then I set up my camera in our back bedroom and photographed Dark Eyed Juncos in the backyard. This one junco image was the best. God's love and blessings upon your weekend. The junco image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400IS lens at 330mm. Camera settings used were ,AV mode, ISO 800, f 8.0 at 1.400th of a sec. The view of the Little Lake Valley was made with Lenore's Canon T5i and a Canon EF-S18-135mm lens at 74mm. AV mode, ISO 1600, F 5.6 at 1/4,000 of a sec.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
I painted the fence picket white. This morning I set it up for the birds to land on when they came to visit the bird feeder. After photographing them with just the white picket I put some flowers up in the background. I'm really happy with how they came out. I reversed the last image because I like the bird better looking to the right. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. Camera settings used, AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0, Shutter speeds varied. Camera was supported with a Bogen Heavy duty ballhead on our bedroom widow sill.