Friday, June 29, 2012

Pass Me Another Tequila Sunrise

Photographing hummingbirds can be quite addictive.They are so bright, colorful and interesting. Yesterday afternoon I decided to add a few more images to my Tequila Sunrise collection of hummingbird images. I dragged all the equipment out to the backyard and I photographed some more Anna's hummers. The background reminds me of a Tequila Sunrise. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Thursday, June 28, 2012


This morning I went out to the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley in Northern California to try and get some quail images. I also needed to restock my bird feeders there as I haven't been out there in a few days. When I arrived the feeders were picked clean (hungry little birds) so I restocked them. Then I worked on a new set up for quail by placing an oak log by the feeders for the quail to walk up on. After that I climbed into the photoblind and I sat and waited. I waited and waited. I could hear quail off in the distance but they stayed in the distance. Sound familiar? An Oak Titmouse began landing on a little stub of a branch when it came into the feeders. A couple of times it landed in a different spot. I focused on the little stub of a branch and waited. I had to be patient and wait for it to land on that little stub. I was really tempted to photograph some of the other birds that started coming in. But I knew if I waited long enough the Titmouse would land where I wanted it to.Finally after about fifteen minutes it finally did. I had a pretty nice image! The quail never came today. Tomorrow or another day I'll try again. I was happy with the little Titmouse image as they are one of my favorites to photograph. God's light and love to all, chris

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Almost Like Going Camping

This morning the weather was calm and warm. It was perfect for photographing humming birds in the backyard. As I was setting all the equipment up this morning the thought occurred to me that photographing hummingbirds is a lot like going camping. You have to dig out all the equipment that you haven't used in awhile and get it all organized and ready to go.You go camping and have a great time. Then when you are finished camping you have to pack it all up and put it away when you get home. Today was like that. I gathered up all my equipment got it organized and set it up. Flashes and light stands, flowers,feeders,tripods etc. Then I had a great time photographing hummingbirds. When I was done I had to take it down and pack it all up again. Mainly so the dogs don't knock anything over and smash up one of my flashes. Here are two Anna's hummingbirds from today's backyard outing It was lot's of fun and I want to do it again as photographing hummingbirds can be quite addictive. If you are a photographer interested in learning the basics check out my tutorial on hummingbird photography here. God's love and blessings to everyone, chris

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Substitute the Snake

Some days in nature photography things do not go as planned. This afternoon I planned on doing some hummingbird photography one of my favorite things to do. Alas, the weather changed and it got cold and windy. Not the best of conditions for this type of photography. Later on when I was passing by the pond I saw one of my backyard Garter Snakes sunning himself by the pond. Here is an image of it. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Monday, June 25, 2012

Itsy Bitsy Spider

I visualized a spider in the sun image so today I set it up. I had a lot of fun playing around a bit with a Black Widow Spider. I finally got it into position with a wooden spoon. Those little buggers can crawl pretty fast! I know I probably wouldn't die from the bite from one but none the less I wouldn't want to get bitten in he first place. Hence the wooden spoon. I wasn't taking any chances. God's light and precious love to all, chris

Back in the Day

My Grandfather William Schwerin was a bit of adventurer in his youth. He loved to fish in the ocean, go camping and boating. He was also a pretty good photographer. I have been slowly scanning his collection of negatives. My Mom (you can always blame it on your mother) kept putting his negatives in the garage. I would bring them back into the house and when I would come home from college they would be back in the garage again. Today I ran across two of the oldest negatives in the collection. One is of he or one of his friends sitting on the end of the famous "Diving Board" in Yosemite National Park and the other is of Ocean beach and the Great Highway on the western edge of San Francisco,Ca. Age wise both images are probably in the 1920s. Enjoy and God bless, chris

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Toy Truck for Fun

This weekend I went to a friend's daughter's graduation party. I took my camera along in case anything inspired me.Mostly I photographed my kid's friends playing frisbee and having fun. My favorite picture of the day though was of an old metal toy truck sitting there waiting for someone to come play with it. It was old and beat up and for some reason it looked really lonely. This evening I applied some texture to it and added a frame around the outside. I really like how it came out. Go d's light and love to all, chris

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Learned Something New

I love to learn new things. Today Jay and I were digging for some new steps in the backyard. He found an earthworm all twisted and tangled up into a tight ball. I immediately told my son Jay,"I've got to photograph this. This is just too cool". While I was photographing it Jay Googled "twisted worms". What he found out was that during the dry season worms ball up to conserve moisture. It's like a form of hybernation to make it through the dry rainless period of summer in California it is called aestivating. Some more interesting information for my brain to know and forget. Very cool. God's light and love to all, chris

Birdies and a Lizard

This morning was an early kind of day. I got up early and finished early. I went out to my photoblind on the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley and photographed some birds. I photographed a California Brown Towhee,House Finch and an Oak Titmouse. Walking back to the truck I spotted a Western Fence Lizard on some fence rails that was really cooperative so I photographed him too. A pretty nice way to start a Saturday.Thank you God for such a marvelous world to live in. God's light and precious love to all, chris

Friday, June 22, 2012

Moth or Butterfly?

Today it is raining outside. I was going to go photograph birds out at the ranch but I was undecided.I ended up at home just hanging out. This morning I photographed a moth on our back window. How did I know it was a moth? Some of you already know the answer to this. The majority of moths have unclubbed antenna. Moth's antenna tend to be feathered and unclubbed.Moths tend to be more drab in color whereas butterflys are more colorful. Butterflys fly mostly during the day and moths typically at night. As always there are a few exceptions to the rule and this is just an overall general statement. Here is a Painted Lady Butterfly so you can see the difference in the antennae. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Beetles

Living in the forest I just never know what is going to show up next in my yard, woodpile or house. Randy Dorn the contractor that built our house said, "You have got the weirdest bugs up here!" It's true too, we are always finding the strangest insects around here. My insect field guide is pretty well thumbed through from me trying to ID some bug we have found. Jay left his door open at night allowing a multitude of moths and beetles to come flying in. I had some sort of a borer beetle. (that's the closest ID I can get) come visit my computer screen. Here it is. If you have a solid ID please let me know. God's loving blesings to you, chris

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Today was almost a repeat performance of yesterday. It was really hot out today. I photographed a Western Gray Squirrel coming to the little water set up and feeder next to my photoblind out in the front yard.Then I photographed a California Sister Butterfly getting a drink out of the backyard garden pond. A very enjoyable way to spend the morning. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mylitta Crescent

This morning I awoke a little later than normal. Most likely because all the activity of late has finally caught up with me. I photographed Bandtail Pigeons and Western Gray Squirrels in the front yard photoblind. Nothing really worthy or exceptional came out of it. I wasn't to happy with how busy the images looked with the set up I was using. I'll have to make a few changes to make it work. This afternoon I photographed some of the Mylitta Crescent Butterflies in the backyard. There sure wasn't a lack of subjects that's for sure.They were flying all over the place. It's been a great spring for butterflies. God's light and love to all, chris

Monday, June 18, 2012

Often Overlooked

Steller's Jays are often overlooked for their beauty because they have such an obnoxious voice. They do have one of the most beautiful plumages of the medium sized perching birds in North America. That iridescent blue is just incredible. Here is one from my photoblind in the front yard yesterday. It was perched in front of some shadowed Douglas Fir Trees which really makes it stand out. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Long Tail

I have been unbelievably busy with Jay's graduation, and friends and relatives visiting. Today they were all gone and the quiet and peace returned to our ridgetop home. I miss the fun and activity but I relish the quiet time as well.This morning before church I arose early and went out to the photoblind in the front yard to try and get some Bandtail Pigeon images. The lighting was mixed and difficult to photograph in. I managed to create a few squirrel images. My favorite though was a close up a western gray Squirrels tail. God's light and precious love to all, chris

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Spent most of the day working on getting ready for Jay's graduation tomorrow. Cleaning stuff up, buying him a present etc. This afternoon I took a break and photographed my unwanted visitors again the Garter Snakes. As much as I dislike them eating the fish out of my garden pond I have to admit they are pretty cool to watch and photograph. Some have the patience of Job sitting and waiting to ambush an unsuspecting fish. Others try the more active approach and just swim like crazy after one fish in a whirl of colors through the little pond. While I was waiting for a snake to appear today a Pale Swallowtail Butterfly floated by and started feeding on my flowers. Naturally I couldn't resist taking its portrait. It stuck around the yard for about fifteen minutes before it drifted off towards the valley below. It made for a nice distraction from the snakes and something beautiful to photograph. God's light and love to all, chris

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just Call Me Skipper!

Not much time for photography today. Spending most of the day doing chores like cleaning my office (long overdue). Going to the dump, ordering food for Jay's graduation night etc. Hard to believe my son is going to graduate from high school this week. Wow! I am very,very proud of him. He has been accepted at Humboldt State University for the coming fall semester where he plans on majoring in Biology. Here is a Fiery Skipper Butterfly from yesterday afternoon in the back yard. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Monday, June 11, 2012

Garter Snakes

With the arrival of the warm spring weather there has come the arrival of snakes in my backyard. Luckily so far it has only been Garter Snakes foraging for goldfish and polly wogs in my small garden pond. Last year they all but wiped out my goldfish. It's amazing how such a small snake can swallow a four inch goldfish! God's blessings to all, chris

Redwood Run 2012

This last weekend (Friday, June 8, 2012 - Sunday, June 10, 2012) the Kiwanis Club in Piercy, California put on a fundraiser called the Redwood Run. It was a motorcycle rally mostly comprised of Harley Davidson Motorcycles. There were Bands All Weekend Long, Bike Games, Contests, Wet T-Shirt Contest, Vendors, Food, Beer and apparently a whole lot more. In all honesty I haven't got a clue as I have never attended not being a motorcycle rider. However the town I live in (Willits, CA) is along Highway 101 leading to the event so starting late Thursday and through the weekend the rumble of Harleys coming through town could be be heard echoing all through the Little Lake Valley.Masses of Harleys could be found bunched up at local eateries, bars and gas stations on Friday and Sunday. There were a wide mix of bikers from weekend warriors to serious bikers of all types. There were Bikers for Christ and biker gangs. It was amazing to see all the different types of motorcycles as well. Eye candy for the photographer. God bless and ride safe, chris

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pacific Tree Frog

This morning I was cleaning up in the back yard and I ran across this Pacific Tree frog on the table behind my garage. I had just broomed the table off when the frog jumped onto the top of the table from the side of the table. I captured the little frog and transferred it to this fern for a more aesthetically pleasing image before I had Jay return it to the wild. God's blessings, chris

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Image of the Week or Just Rambling

This morning I went and worked out after I dropped off Jay to school.When I left the gym I had no definite plans for today other than domestic chores at home. I finally made the decision to restock my bird feeders out on the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley. After restocking them I sat in the photoblind for a short time not creating anything significant with the birds. I decided a short visit to the pond was overdue to check on the local dragonfly population. Upon arrival not to many were flying and none were using the perches I had put up and that usually works. On the trip downhill to the pick up a wildflower a Mariposa Lily caught my eye. I immediately thought, "That would be great to photograph!" Lying flat on the ground I started to photograph it. Then I noticed the shadow of the beetle going up the side of the flower on the inside. It looked really cool. What a nice image to end the morning with. God's blessings and love to all, chris

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Back to Backyard Bugs

I spent about an hour today trying to capture an image of a Bumble Bee Clear Winged Sphinx Moth. I saw just one but it was too far away from me to get anything decent. While I was waiting and looking it gave me plenty of time to capture some of the other denizens of the backyard. God's light and love to all, chris

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Joining the Sheep

Today like probably millions of people on earth I am watching the transit of the planet Venus between earth and the sun. Here is one image from that transit. God of the heavens and earth bless us, chris I added one taken at sunset.