Monday, August 31, 2015

One Hummingbird

Early this morning I went out to the Burris Ranch in the Little Lake Valley to do some bird photography. I haven't been out there in a long time so at the end of last week I set up a new feeder to hopefully bring back in some birds. When I arrived there wasn't a bird in sight. I settled into the blind and waited. After about fifteen minutes or so I started hearing sounds of some birds on the edge of the pasture. That was soon replaced by the sound of a couple of large trucks pulling up and doors slamming. I unzipped the blind to find that a tree trimming crew had arrived to trim the branches from around the power lines. No birds for me! I decided to head home and do some hummingbird photography. When I got home I looked for the blasted cat but I couldn't find her. I settled into the backyard photoblind and waited for some hummingbirds to land on a perch I set up by one of the feeders. After a short wait one male Anna's hummingbird started using it. Then the blasted cat showed up and wanted to be petted. She went in and out of the photoblind. The hummingbird stopped using the perch. I grabbed the now squirming cat and put her in the house. The hummingbird didn't come back so I gave up. At least I got some really nice images. God's love and blessings upon your day, chris

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Rainy Day Jay

We awoke this morning to the soft patter of rain on the roof. Thank you Lord for the rain! When I finally crawled out of bed the rain had stopped and the sun was just starting to poke through for some really beautiful light. I grabbed my camera and went out to my backyard photoblind and sat in the blind for about forty five minutes. The Steller's Jays that visited the bird feeder were all suffering from bad hair days from the rain. I loved the mussed up look. This one was my favorite. This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 275mm. camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/160th of a sec. Camera was supported on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty Ballhead. God's precious light and love to all, chris

Friday, August 28, 2015

Front and Back

Yesterday I spent about three hours in the backyard photoblind getting some Band-tailed Pigeon images. After getting into the blind I had a long, long wait before any bandies would come down to feed. I waited for over an hour and for good reason. There has been a hawk hanging around lately and the bandies were a bit nervous. They are quite the suspicious lot and won't come down out of the trees until they are absolutely sure it is safe. They will watch and wait until numerous other birds have fed before they feel it is safe. The only pickier birds that come to my feeder are the Mountain Quail. They will take off and leave at any motion or noise whatsoever. Here are two of my favorite images from my time spent with them one from the front and one from the back. God's love and blessings upon all of your sorrows, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Manfrotto Tripod

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'm Feeling Crabby!

I really like photographing smaller critters. It's not to say that I don't like photographing bison or elk because I do. It seems that I'm often drawn to photographing much smaller wildlife. It also gives the viewers a better image of more of the wildlife found in the environment. While in Costa Rica I had a great time trying to get images of the sand and land crabs. This meant that I often times stood for good lengths of time waiting for them to come out of their burrows. Other than the sand crabs two of the coolest crabs that I encountered were a female land crab with eggs at our hotel in Tamarindo. She was on the walkway just outside of our room. She raised her claws up in defiance when I stepped out of our room and then slowly backed away. Her lower carapace was just loaded with eggs as you can see in the last image. The other encounter was getting to see part of the crab migration. I was driving a dirt road near Langosta beach and I kept seeing flashes of red as I was driving along. It dawned on me that there were hundreds of crabs crossing the road towards the coast. The little red and black crabs migrate at the beginning of the rainy season to mate along the coast. They travel sideways in fairly straight lines only making turnes to go around objects they can't climb. It was a pretty amazing sight to see so many crabs at one time. God's light and love to you, chris

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

National Dog Day

Apparently it is "National Dog Day" I'm not even sure for what country is celebrating national dog day. In celebration of it I grabbed a piece of brown craft paper and threw it over a chair on our kitchen table to use as a background. Then I placed a rather reluctant Badger the Wonder Dog on it and photographed him. He really wanted to bail but the dog biscuit in my pocket kept his interest up. God bless, chris Image created with a handheld Canon 7D and a Canon 28-105 lens at 43mm. Settings used were AV mode, ISO 400, F 4.0 at 1/800th of a sec.

Beautiful Butterflies

I'm still slowly making my way through our images from our trip to Costa Rica. One of the more common sights to see while driving were yellow butterflies. We always saw them fluttering across the road while driving. The villa we rented in Hacienda Pinilla had these flowering trees that were a great place to spot them. Several times I staked out a spot and just waited for them to fly in and feed on the flowers. It was really cool to photograph something new that I had never seen before. God's tender love and blessings to all, chris

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Oh My Cows! CanYou Believe It?

On our last full day in Costa Rica my daughter Annika and I set out close to mid day in search of cows. Yes, that's right we went driving out into the countryside looking for cows. The reason was mostly because they are pretty cool looking and they form a big part of the scenery in the Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica. You can't very well show the country with out including some of the cattle can you? This area is ranching country and the Brahma cows played a pretty big role in the development of this part of the country. Brahmas were imported from India because they are well suited to the hot tropical climate and they can survive with much less feed than other breeds of cattle. I had two beef meals when I was in Costa Rica and I must admit that they were some of the most tender and tasty cuts of beef that I have ever eaten. God's love and blessings to you, chris

Monday, August 24, 2015

Love Those Flying Jewels

The addiction continues. Yesterday afternoon I spent about half an hour photographing hummingbirds. They are flying jewels! This close up of a male Anna's Hummingbird guarding the feeder was my favorite. May you have a blessed day, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/125th of a sec. Camera was supported on a Manfrotto tripod with a Bogen ballhead.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Do You Know Where Your Pot Came From?

There is an ever increasing movement for consumers to know where there food came from and how it was raised and grown. They have a social conscience that wants to make sure they aren't harming themselves or the earths environment which can be a good thing for everyone. If you smoke or use marijuana do you know where it came from? Did the grower that grew it practice water saving techniques and sound environmental practices? If you don't know you may be contributing to a major ecological disaster unfolding on the North Coast of California which is sometimes called the Emerald Triangle. The Emerald Triangle is one of the biggest marijuana growing areas in the United States. It is also home to Redwood forests and once sparkling streams of Salmon and Steelhead that now share the forest with tens of thousands of illegal marijuana plants as well as many legal ones. With the drought the illegal marijuana grows and their accompanying water use are drying up rivers, creeks and streams. Growers there are using water from and diverting streams. They are also polluting watersheds with fertilizers and insecticides that they use on their gardens which are causing major algae blooms in the streams. Large marijuana plants can use well over six gallons of water per day. When you multiply that usage by thousands of plants it takes away a significant portion of water from the areas rivers creeks and streams. In addition to stealing water they are damaging streams with silt caused by improper grading and clear cuts for plants to grow in. We are in the midst of losing the Eel River and other streams as a home to runs of our Salmon and Steelhead. Last year for the first time in history the Eel River one of the largest watersheds in the Emerald Triangle went dry. This means that it was no longer one continuos river. It had breaks in between the pools in which it was dry. This leads to higher water temperatures, algae blooms and a lack of oxygen which kills Steelhead and Salmon. Public warnings went out last year and this year to dog owners not to allow their dogs to swim in the Eel River for fear of them drinking and ingesting blue green algae which last year killed two dogs. Those two made the papers. Who knows how many other animals died that didn't make the papers? This morning as I drove home along U. S. Highway 101 paralleling the Eel River I was dismayed to see that the river is a mere trickle compared to its normal summer flow. It appears to be headed into going dry once again. There were huge algae blooms and very little flow between pools. It wasn't looking very promising. If you are a marijuana grower please look into how to grow your crop responsibly by contacting your local county Ag department and HIMR at Humboldt State University. If you are a user find out where your pot is from. Please share this photoblog with all the pot users you know. Please check out the following article as well. It visually shows how big this problem has become. We have a stewardship from God to protect our planet. Let's honor it. God's blessings to all, chris

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Leapin' Lizards

Coming from a place in Northern California where the biggest lizards are typically eight to ten inches long I was fascinated with the iguanas of Costa Rica which can be quite large. They have adapted well to their environment and can be found in parking lots, at the beach and on roof tops. They can also frequently can be seen sunning or running across the roads. Most of the time they appear to be slow and sluggish but that is quite deceiving as they can move like lightning when they want to. I discovered this numerous times when I tried to get close to the local resident iguana at the villa we rented. It would sit on the driveway next to a drain. Any time I made a move to get closer it would dive down into the drain in a flash. Some of the smaller green iguanas were quite approachable and I captured some pretty nice images of them. I got a great close up portrait of one of the bigger ones by crawling on my belly across a parking lot. I did photograph one red faced lizard that I'm working on getting an ID for. Enjoy the images and God bless, chris

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Tamarindo in the Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica is a surfing mecca and a delight. It boasts warm waters, sandy beaches and best of all a steady swell coming off the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. There are beautiful beach breaks to be found everywhere. The town of Tamrindo caters to surfers with plenty of surf shops, lessons and easy access to the beach as the town fronts the playa. Walking around town we saw plenty of surfers carrying their boards to and from the beach. For a photographer even though I am not a surf photographer I was immediately drawn into capturing the action and beauty of surfing. It is quite addictive and harder than I expected to get a great image. You really have to work to keep the surfers composed in the right spot in the frame and make sure the horizon in the background is straight. It is quite challenging and fun. Enjoy the images and have a blessed evening, chris