Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Serendipitous Squirrel

I spent a couple of hours in the photoblind this morning trying to capture another image of the chickadee with "Phaeomelaninistic Melanism" apparently it's pretty rare.A couple of Western Gray Squirrels came by and I shooed them away from the bird feeders. After awhile one of the Grays came back and I just decided to watch it and see what it would do. I'm glad I did because it decided to pose for me. Great squirrel! "Will work for bird seed!"Must be a member of the S.A.G. Squirrel Actors Guild. God's love, chris

Now Turn to the Right (Mug Shot)

Yesterday this Western Gray Squirrrel came to visit my bird feeders in the back yard. I loved the background so I pulled in tight for a nice close up mug shot. God's love and blessings to all, chris Here is a more natural image taken a little later.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Last night the moon rose large and full. I took a few images of the moon rising above Mount San Hedrin to the east of us in the Mendocino Range. About four a.m. I myself arose and created a long eight minute exposure of the Little Lake Valley below us. The valley was illuminated by the light of the moon. In the full moon image you can see the silhouette of a building on top of the mountain. I have been told that it is the fire lookout. In the moon lit landscape there is the light from a ranch house on the left just at the fog line. God's love and blessings, chris

Monday, October 29, 2012

For ID Purposes Only (ID Needed)

Sometimes when I am photographing out in the field or in my photoblind I will spot an animal or a bird that is unfamiliar to me.Rather than trying to remember all the details of it I will just shoot a quick documentary image of it. Then I'll to look up later in one of my field guides or try and ID it online. This image is one of those images.I spotted this dark Chickadee coming in to feed with the Chestnut Backed Chickadees at my backyard feeders. It kept landing on the end of a sawn branch before it went to feed. Not a very photogenic perch but at least it would give me some way to ID it. I have checked all of my field guides and numerous places online and so far I have no ID on it. Any thoughts out there ornithologists? Is this a Dark Phase Chestnut Backed Chickadee or something else? Habitat was Mixed Coniferous Forest 2,500 ft. Elev. Coastal Range. Mendocino County, Northern California. God's love and blessings, chris

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Semi Annual Migration or Snake in the Road

One of the interesting observations that I have made over the years has to do with the snake populations where I live. Whenever I find a snake on our dirt road it the fall it is crawling to the west.Whenever I find a snake in the springtime it is crawling over the road to the east. My conclusion is that they are migrating to the warmer side of the ridge. Our ridge top is one of the dividing lines between the interior weather and the coastal weather. On rare occasions it can be foggy in our front yard and sunny in the back.In fall and through out the winter it is much warmer on average on the coastal side of our ridge than the inland side. Today I was walking along our road and my subconscious mind jolted me into instant alert. Lying motionless on the road ahead of me was a Northern Rubber Boa. It was stretched out facing to the west. It was barely moving as it was rather cool and shady. I picked it up and carried it to a mossy location off of the road and photographed it.Then I moved it to a sunny spot where it could warm up and crawl away. What a beautiful snake. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back to Bathing

You have got to stay clean you know! Yesterday as I was getting ready to exit the blind I heard some splashing from the garden pond. This junco was having a blast all by its lonesome. These are a few images from that event. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just Flehmen!

While driving home yesterday I noticed this Blacktail Buck with a very unusual set of antlers. The beam instead of being broad came up at a sharp angle. The eyeguards were almost as large as antler tines. The tines themselves were rather small. The main beam after coming up leaned in almost giving his antlers a diamond shape. When I spotted him he was following a doe and he was flehming. Curling his lip back and breathing in the doe's pheromones to see if she was ready to breed. Flehming draws air molecules to a bucks Jacobson Organ(vomeronasal organ).In deer, the Jacobson's organ is located in the roof of the mouth and consists of two fluid-filled sacs that are attached to the nasal cavity. This organ can sense when a doe is in estrus. There is your short science lesson for today with a photo to illustrate it. God bless, chris

Light in the Forest

This morning on my way home from dropping Annika off at school the fog began pouring out of the valley up over the ridge top where we live. This made for some fantastic lighting in the forest.It was a beautiful interplay of shadows and light that shifted as the breeze pushed the fog along. The fancy ten dollar word for the rays of light is"Crepuscular Rays". In our family we just call it "Angels Breath". I feel it is a much more fitting name for something so beautiful that God created. Have a wondeful day, chris

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Opened Up My Little Eye

This morning when I popped out of bed this is the sight that greeted me from our bedroom window. We have been experiencing our first winters storm over the past few days and here was a short break in the storm. The view is to the east of where I live over the Mendocino Mountain Range.I love all the layers and banks of puffy clouds. God's light and love to all, chris

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beautiful Bounty

Last weekend I traveled up to Arcata,CA to visit my son who is attending Humboldt State University.(He is doing great!) It was homecoming weekend so it offered an opportunity for me to visit him when there was a lot of social activities going on around campus.It also didn't give me many opportunities or much time for photography.One particular event did stand out though. Lenore and I went to the Farmer's Market in downtown Arcata on the square. They had an outstanding market. The market went all the way around the square.In the center of the square they had a good band playing music and numerous vendors selling delicious food.After Lenore and I went around photographing the market we stopped and listened to the band and then we purchased two Mashed Potato Cones to die for. One had cheese and the other had everything. They were perfectly wonderful. God's precious love and blessings to all, chris To all of my followers: Please note that for the next several months my photoblog is going to be coming out far less often than normal as I have a book project I'm working on and it is going to be taking up a lot of my time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Squirrel Filler Image

Friday morning I made a trip up to Arcata, California for the weekend. So I wasn't able to make any blog entries due to lack of access to a computer. Here is filler image of a Douglas Tree Squirrel I created Friday before I left.I really like how the fall colors framed the squirrel! God bless, chris

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Today It Was a Squirrel

Yesterday a Steller's Jay messed up the image I wanted to create. Today it was a Western Gray Squirrel. The situation was exactly the same as yesterday. A Mountain Quail was just about to step out onto the perch I had set up when a big Western gray Squirrel charged up onto the bird feeder and scared the quail away. It took off into the woods with all the rest of the quail behind it. I waited for over an hour after they left and they never came back. Of course I photographed the Western Gray Squirrel,a Dark Eyed Junco,Crowned Sparrow,Douglas Tree Squirrel, Chipmunk and the aforementioned Steller's jay again. It was still a pretty nice day! God's love and blessings to you all, chris