Friday, May 31, 2013

My How To Manuscript on Backyard Bird Photography

For those of you that have been following my photoblog for a long time you know that I have been writing a book. Today I am pleased to announce that my manuscript, "How to Do Backyard Bird Photography" is complete and I am looking for a publisher. The book is a comprehensive guide that takes anyone wanting to learn backyard bird photography on a step by step process on how to accomplish it. In this book you will learn about the techniques for creating professional-quality images, the necessary gear, and the construction and use of feeders,perches,backgrounds and blinds. The book includes detailed images and diagrams that assist you in this purpose. I am looking forward to working with a publisher on this project. If you are a publisher or know of a publisher interested in publishing a How To book on Backyard Bird Photography please get in touch with me. At this time I want to thank my family and many of my followers for your support, prayers and encouragement in the writing of this manuscript.You have been a blessing to me. Sincerely and God bless, chris

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm Waiting for You

For the past three days every time I have turned on the light in the garage there has been a spider hanging out by the switch. A pretty good sized one too. He or she has never made a grab for my hand. Instead they have retreated into a little ball by the door sill. Today I decided it was time the spider and I had a little one on one photo session before I released it out into the forest where it belongs. Right now it is probably pretty ticked off about being evicted from its cozy garage digs. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Young Scipio

They have named the new colt Scipio. Over the past few days I have been able to get much closer now that the mare is feeling a bit more comfortable having people around her young one. Here are some images taken of him over the last several days. God's light and love to all, chris

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beautiful Birds

These are some birds from last Thursday and Friday. Friday in particular. The birds just wouldn't stop coming in. It was almost non stop through out the morning. The majority were House Finches with a few other birds like Steller's Jays, Oak Titmouses and Lazuli Buntings thrown in. Even a California Ground Squirrel came by for a visit to the bird feeders. God's light and love to all, chris

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Buzzing Cicada

I was driving with Jay in the car when there was this buzzing next to my shoulder that startled me. Jay questioned, "What the heck was that?" I slowed the car and looked onto the window sill of the car to see a Cicada trying to escape. I plucked it up with my fingers and made a feeble attempt to toss it out the half rolled up window and missed. I couldn't see where it landed and besides I was driving a car and needed to pay attention to the road right? We continued our drive and about five minutes later I noticed that it was on my upper arm. I had Jay put it into a plastic cup and I photographed it later and the set it free in the woods. They are such an amazing creature. Living underground on roots. Some of them for years and then popping up out of the ground to breed and then die. Very cool. View the image large to see all of the detail in the Cicada. God's light and love to all, chris

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Outsmarting the Ravens

One of the most difficult birds to photograph up close where I live are the Ravens. Some people seem to have Ravens that are almost pets. Not me! All the ones around my house are as skittish as can be. If you even show your face in the window they are gone in a wing beat. Yesterday when I was in the photoblind I could hear the Ravens circling the blind in the trees. A pair of them were chortling and gurgling and talking back and forth. You could almost hear them thinking, "Is it safe to go down there and feed?" Finally after what seemed an eternity with a whoosh of wing beats one of them crashed down onto one of the perches I had set up for a much, much smaller bird. The perch collapsed and the raven took off again and circled and floated down on top of the platform feeder. A much sturdier landing place. It looked around suspiciously for several minutes before taking a small tentative peck at some seed. It would then lift its head and swallow then, look around some more and take another small bite. Each time it lowered its head I would slowly move my camera into position and focus a little bit at a time. The main problem I had was that I was set up for photographing small birds at close range. I had a huge Raven less than eight feet away. The only thing I could photograph was its' head.Beggars can't be choosers so that is what I photographed.Here are my Raven mug shots. They really do have a pretty cool looking head. God's precious love and blessings to all, chris

Friday, May 24, 2013

Those Lovely Quail

This morning I had much better luck with the California Valley Quail. When I arrived at my photoblind they were already there. I could hear their feeding calls as I walked up the pasture. They flew off when I got close but I was pretty sure they would be back. About a half an hour later I could hear them working there way up the hill. Soon they were in the fence line surrounding my blind. Cautiously they made their way out into the open and began feeding on the ground below my bird feeders. They made three visits to the feeders while I was there but only one time did one of them go up onto the perch I had set up. It was a great morning with a lot of birds. God's light and love to all, chris

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Those Flying Clowns

This morning I went out to the Burris Ranch in an attempt to photograph some California Valley Quail. You can see from my image for today I failed in that regard. The quail didn't make an appearance. I'm glad that the Acorn Woodpeckers chose to take their place instead because they are a cool bird. Some people call them clown woodpeckers because their face is so strikingly marked it resembles a clown face. I can always hear them several minutes before they come to the feeders. I can hear them calling from the oaks behind the pasture calling "wheka, wheka,wheka!"getting closer and closer. When they finally land on one of the posts near the feeder they will call out Dadadadadarrrrrent! They are such a gregarious social bird living in colonies within a territory. If you find one there is almost bound to be others nearby. They store up acorns and other seed in central locations for the winter within there own territory. Many times they will choose an oak tree and turn it into an acorn tree with hundreds to thousands of acorns pushed into acorn sized holes that they have hammered into the sides of the tree.They are a really fun bird to watch. God's tender blessings to all, chris

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Woman in a Long White Dress

Woman in a long white dress. That's what the steam looked like to me anyway. What do you see? This morning I saw the steam rising from my tea in the sunlight and I thought I would make some images of it. With some imagination I could picture all kinds of things rising up from my cup. Is that stuff safe to drink? In any case it was a great way to start the day. God's blessings to all, What have you done to seek him today? chris

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Garden Rose

Lenore's roses in the backyard are coming into bloom. They are really budding out. Here is one of the early ones. Though I can't really say early ones due to the fact that it never really stopped blooming all winter long even when it snowed. There were always a couple of blooms on it. Pretty amazing. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Monday, May 20, 2013

Douglas Iris

The most prolific wildflower around my house at this time of year are the Douglas Iris.I look forward to them blooming every year. Right now they are in bloom in small scattered patches over the ridgetop where I live. They and hundreds of other plants across western North America are named after a Scottish botanist David Douglas (1798-1834) He was a remarkable adventurer who explored from Hudson Bay,the Pacific northwest and down into California collecting plants and seeds for Royal Horticultural Society in England. His name is now associated with hundreds of western plants and trees. His name may be found as the place name on mountains, rivers, counties, schools and even on city streets in many locations in the west. Sadly his life ended in Hawaii in a pit trap set for cows. He fell into it and was mauled to death by a bull. It is unclear whether he or the bull fell into the pit first. God bless and safe journeys, chris

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kickin' Up Their Heels!

A sure sign of spring is the colt that was born last week on the ranch in the pasture below my photoblind. It's amazing how fast colts are up and around. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Friday, May 17, 2013

Yearning to Break the Bonds of Earth

Earlier this week I went down to the Ukiah airport to photograph the B-17 Bomber that was on tour. While it garnered most of my attention I was also drawn to a nondescript, weather beaten old aircraft that was parked not far away on the tarmac. You could truly see it had been a beauty in its day. It looked as though it once again wanted to break the bonds of earth and fly again. Maybe with a lot of work and care it will again. God bless, chris I'm not sure what model of aircaft this is. Any aviation experts out there feel free to chime in. Thanks

Thursday, May 16, 2013

B17 Flying Fortress

Yesterday was a banner day for photography between birds and bombers. I left the house well before six so I could go down to the airport in Ukiah to photograph EAA's restored B17 World War Two Bomber "Aluminum Overcast". The B17 was the first mass produced four engine heavy bomber used during WWII. It got the name from a Seattle newspaper reporter who when seeing all its machine guns deemed it a "Flying Fortress". The aircraft is currently on tour of the US with an all volunteer crew and support staff. The aircraft is only one of fourteen left flying in the world today from the thousands built during the war.Over a third were lost after being shot down during the war. Another third were lost due to accidents and crashes. After the war most of the rest were scrapped. Aluminum Overcast never saw combat as it was manufactured close to the end of the war and was never put into a combat role. After seeing the aircraft it was hard to imagine the feelings of all of the young flight crews that flew these aircraft into combat. Holding your position among other aircraft while under fire from flak and fighters must have been a terrifying experience.Even though it was well armed each .50 machine gun on the aircraft only carried roughly a minutes worth of ammunition.The ammunition was stored on a belt next to the gun that was roughly nine yards long. That's where the saying giving them the whole nine yards comes from. What an incredible piece of history and a living monument to those brave men and women of the "Greatest Generation" that served during world War Two and many wars and conflicts after. A Special thank you to them and to the EAA for bringing it to Ukiah,CA. God bless, chris

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When Everything Falls Into Place

Some days just seem to work out perfectly. Today was one of those days with my bird photography. The weather and lighting were superb. It was sunny with an overcast layer of clouds. Just perfect for bird photography.I was able to photograph from just a little past eight in the morning until just past eleven thirty before it got too bright to photograph anymore.The birds were cooperative too with California Valley Quail,Goldfinches,House Finches,Wrens,California Towhee and Acorn Woodpeckers all making showings at my photoblind. Badger and I had a wonderful morning in the blind.Thank you Lord for such a beautiful day capturing just a glimpse of the beauty you have provided for us. God's love and blessings to all, chris