Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hidden Treasure

Every once in a while you need to clean behind the kitchen fridge. Well in our case we have a leak in the icemaker that has been driving us crazy by filling the bottom of the refrigerator with about a half inch of water. So today fed up with drying out the water we decided to turn off the water to the ice maker. So we dragged the fridge out from the wall.

In the process of cleaning the built up debris we found some old Black and White 35mm negatives that had fallen from the counter. They were pretty trashed so I set about cleaning them up to see what they were. I discovered that they were from the year 1987. One set was of students in a class room where I did my student teaching and the other was of a steam train from the Sierra Railroad Company near Jamestown California. A pretty historic find.

Sincerely and God bless,


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Farmer's Market

I love Thursdays in Willits. From mid spring to late fall they hold a farmers market at the city park in downtown afternoon from three to six p.m. you can buy everything from fresh fruits and veggies to grass fed beef,goat or lamb. You can even get your kitchen knives sharpened every month.
Today when Lenore,Annika and I went to the market we purchased nearly all the ingredients we needed for a lamb veggie stir fry. All of it locally grown and raised. It was delicious. we also managed to capture some really nice images as we shopped. They also have a pretty cool band that plays everything from Folk to Rock to Jazz and Blues. It makes for a great place to spend part of an afternnon.

God bless,


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Girl and the Cat or Lenore at the Controls

Today I was on hiatus from the camera as I was too busy to pick it up between Vacation Bible School at our church and taking Jay to the big city of Ukiah for his ortho appointment. I think the highlight of my day was going to Planet Smoothie with him afterwards and getting a "Chocolate Chimp" !

This evening Lenore caught Annika in a beautiful moment with her cat Mango out on our side deck. What a wonderful image.

God's blessings to all,


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Afternoon in the Blind

I spent a few hours in the blind this afternoon and got to see a couple of cool birds along with the run of the mill Jays and squirrels. The first visitor to the blind when I just started dozing off was a Black Headed Grosbeak. That was later followed by a young Jake Wild Turkey. Two pretty cool birds to see so close up.

God's light and love to all,



This morning when I got up there was a single white cloud out into the valley that caught my eye. It looked pretty cool sitting all by itself with the layered mountains as a backdrop behind it. I created a couple of images in both horizontal and in vertical.

God bless,


Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Mob

This morning I got up before the sun rose to take some Bandtail Pigeon images. Wild Bandtails are unlike city pigeons in that they are extremely wary and don't like to be around people. They are also a beautiful bird with bright yellow orange feet and a irridescent purple patch up along their neck along with a striking white neck band that gives them their name.

They are also part of the mob. They together with the Stellars Jays and Gray Squirrels control the bird feeders at my house. If they are on the feeder it is rare to see any other bird great enough to be on the feeder at the same time.There is a distinct pecking order to who gets to be on the feeder. The squirrels are at the top of the heap followed by the Bandtails and then the Stellars Jays.

I sat in my rolling blind ( for about an hour before the Bandtails finally overcame their wariness to come in to the feeder. When they did it was with a lot of pushing,shoving and squabbling. I'm always amazed at how many pigeons can squeeze onto the feeder. I finally quit when the lighting got too harsh for photography. It was a nice morning for photography.

God's blessings to all,


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Going to the Dogs or Not Chasing Chipmunks

Today was supposed to be chasing chipmunks. That's what I had planned in my head for the morning. It just didn't work out that way. One of the key things in digital photography is to always have fresh batteries and have a spare battery on hand. Last night I left my camera on and I didn't notice it. So when I headed out to photograph chipmunks I didn't have any power to the camera.

You can see where this ended up. By the time I got back home and picked up fresh batteries the chipmunks were in less than desirable lighting conditions. So I picked up and headed back home. Through the course of the morning I took a few images of Lance our yellow Lab and Badger our marvelous mutt. Going to the dogs was the next best thing.

Now back to power washing the deck..

God bless,


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Ever Changing View

This morning I didn't have to travel very far for a photographic opportunity. Lenore woke me up and simply stated you've gotta get up and look at this unusual sunrise. We don't get too many clouds in the area of California where I live in the summertime so this was a real treat to roll out of bed and see. So this image was taken from the sill of my bedroom window. Sometimes the best images are right in your own backyard.

God's blessings to all,


Playing With Fire

Yesterday evening my daughter Annika came to help me move my photo blind and feeder out at Ruth Burris' Ranch. When we finished moving the feeder and the blind we sat down next to the pond for a while. I photographed an Eight Spotted Skimmer and a Common Whitetail, both are really cool dragonflies.

Afterwards we drove slowly on the road home checking out the lizards sunning themselves in the fading evening light while looking for birds that we might photograph. We saw quail, bluebirds and even a couple of Western Kingbirds. But all of them were too far off of the road to photograph. Suddenly Annika said. " I saw a paper wasp nest!" I backed the car up and sure enough there was a nest in a Manzanita bush right beside the road.

Annika then told me she always wanted to tap the sides of a nest and run. Being the insane irresponsable parent that I am I said."Ok". She tapped the nest and I got the resulting photo of the wasps pouring out of the nest looking for Annika who by then was safely in the car. Ah the adrenaline rush of youth!

God's Blessings to all,


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Islands in the Fog

I set out this morning in hopes of photographing some deer as I finally got up early enough to catch some late browsers. God had a different plan for me as I didn't see a single buck . What I did see was some beautiful redwood islands in the fog off of the ridge top where I live. On the drive homeward I spotted a friendly doe bedded down in the shade and further on a group of friendly chipmunks.

It was a delight to see the chipmunks as I used to commonly see them up until about five years ago. That was when the population crashed and I have only seen four total over the last three years up until today when I saw a group of about seven of them. Maybe it's a sign that the population is on the rebound. It will be good for the predators like hawks and weasels and not so much for me as they tend to get into our cars and chew things.

God's light and love to all,


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Waiting Game

Today I noticed butterflies landing on a dandelion plant out in the front yard as I was coming into the house. So I went into the house and got my tripod and camera with a macro lens mounted on it. I plopped myself down on the ground next to the little flower. Then it was just a matter of playing the waiting game. I prefocused the camera on the dandelion and just waited. After about five minutes the butterfly came by for a sip of nectar and I got my image. I played the game a few more times setting the camera at different angles until I created the one I like. The game had a satisfactory outcome in my opinion.

God's blessings to all,


Monday, July 5, 2010

Fallen Warrior

Today it was hot. After sleeping in by the time I crawled out of bed around eight thirty or so it was already in the mid seventies. Lenore and I had great breakfast out on the patio before we went and worked out together at the gym. Then we just puttered around the house until I went out and photographed some dragonflies late in the evening out on the Burris Ranch pond.

Did you know dragonflies are fierce? If you sit and watch them they are constantly battling for territories and mates. It seems like it never ends. Today I watched two dragonflies grapple in mid air. The smaller one was beaten rather badly. It had its wing ripped off and it was tossed downward onto its back into the pond. Where it struggled to rise its wings holding it to the waters surface like a suction cup.

I stretched out my tripod legs and rescued it from the water and then I placed it on a plant beside the pond to dry off. While its wings were drying I took the opportunity to photograph it from a variety of different angles. Its wings were battered and you could see a stub of what was left from the one that was torn off.

After about five minutes or so it took off and within less than a minute it got into the thick of battle and was tossed downward onto the surface of the pond clear out near the middle of the pond. Not long after a swallow came swooping through and plucked it from the pond never missing a beat in its flight. It was a fitting death for the battered warrior.

God bless,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Small town 4th of July

A selection of images from todays small town Fourth of July Parade.

God bless America!