Sunday, November 29, 2015


For where I live it has been pretty chilly. Yesterday morning in the Little Lake Valley it was 17 degrees F and this morning it was 26. Earlier today I grabbed my camera, tripod and a macro lens for a walk along the banks of Willits Creek where I photographed frosty Big Leaf Maple leaves. It was definitely a hat and gloves required kind of morning. The beautiful leaves made it all worth it. God's love and blessings to all, chris Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. AV mode ISO 200, Exposures varied.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Feeling Like a Kid Again

Last night the whole family piled into the car and we drove out to the coast to see the "Festival of Lights". It is a coastal family tradition put on by the Mendocino Botanical Gardens. Through out the upper garden loop they put on an incredible display of lights. It made you feel like a kid again with discoveries to be made around every corner. My two favorites had to be the red volcano and the jellyfish. Most of the displays were static but there were a couple that were moving and flashing. Part way around they had a tent set up with hot drinks and food. We all opted for hot cider which was just perfect because it was freezing out. One of the best spots of all was the fire pit with marshmallows to roast and the kerosene heater at the very end of loop which was very popular for warming up our hands. It was a great evening topped off with clam chowder and seafood dinners at the wharf down in the harbor in Fort Bragg. The "Festival of Lights" was ten dollars for adults and free to children under sixteen. It is running through Dec. 20th on Fri,Sat and Sunday nights from 5 til 7:30 p.m. God's blessings upon your day, chris

Friday, November 27, 2015

Portrait of a Jay

I spent some time with the Steller's Jay this morning. It was a bit chilly this morning with the temperatures just hovering above thirty. Luckily the sun was out so inside the photoblind it warmed up to be comfortable. The Steller's Jays were coming and going competing with a Douglas Tree Squirrel for the feeder. I set up a squirrel feeder off to the side but for some reason the squirrel wasn't interested in it. After about an hour in the blind I edited my images and these were my favorite ones. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D anda Canon 100-400 IS lens.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Thank you Lord for everything.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Little Lady Squirrel

This morning I photographed Steller's Jays, Dark eyed Juncos and one little lady Douglas Tree Squirrel. I also had a short run in with the blasted cat. She had to be brought squirming to the back door and deposited inside. She really wanted to get those birds! When I finished my time in the blind and was editing my images I discovered that my compositions were too tight on the Steller's Jays. Almost all of them had the tip of the tail going out of the frame. There were a couple that were in frame but then the head angle was wrong or the Jay had moved its head causing motion blur. the Junco pictures weren't to my liking either. None of the compositions really appealed to me. Of the ones of the Douglas Tree Squirrel there were quite a few that looked really nice. I narrowed it down to this one. God's love and blessings to all, chris Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 260mm. Settings used, AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/50th of a sec. Camera and lens were supported by a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod with a heavy duty Bogen ballhead. #TeamCanon,#CanonBringIt

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inside Day

I awoke this morning to the sound of rain. In drought stricken northern California it is sweet music to our ears. Perhaps I'll sneak in some photography during some breaks in the rain today? Otherwise I've got some doors I'm still working on refinishing. They have been sanded and stained out of doors and now all they need is some varnish. What a great inDOOR project! Such a great play on words. To all of my viewers you will have to make due with a Douglas Tree Squirrel from yesterday. Here it is peering out from the knothole feeder claiming the feeder as its own.May you have a blessed day, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM at 400mm. AV mode,ISO 800, F 5.6 at 1/30th of a sec. Supported on my old venerable Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a heavy duty Bogen ballhead.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Little Birdie

Last night I set up an old knothole feeder in the back yard. This morning I sat in the photolind to wait for whatever would come. One little Junco came and went to get seeds from it. This image was my favorite from the series of images I made. May you have a wonderful week. God bless, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400IS lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F 5.6 at 1/15th of a sec.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Couple of Images from the Backyard

After a couple of days of letting the birds and squirrels use the new bird feeder I set out to photograph them this morning. A bear had knocked over my squirrel feeder so I didn't even bother resetting it back up again. Because of that the birds and squirrels were using the same feeder. There was a fun stand off between the Steller's Jays and a Douglas Tree Squirrel both wanting to use the feeder. The squirrel had posession and wasn't planning on giving up that feeder for anything. That was until it heard the roar of a big truck coming up our driveway. The squirrel, jays and everything else in the area headed for the hills at the sound of the propane truck making its delivery. Afterward the Jays returned first and kept the feeder for some time before the squirrel returned. It gave me plenty of time to get some good jay images. Here are my two favorites from the morning. May you have a blessed weekend, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 Is lens. Camera settings were AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 at 1/80th of a sec. #TeamCanon, #CanonBringIt

Friday, November 20, 2015

Country Roads

One of the things that I really love about living in a rural area is that photographic opportunities abound. Anywhere outside of the city limits of the town of Willits is in the country. Yesterday I drove down into town and headed north and within minutes I was out in the country. Of course you have to take into account Willits isn't very big. Mention it to most anyone outside of the area and they haven't got a clue as to where it is. Either that or they will mix it up with Willows over in the Central Valley of California. I had a really nice drive. I missed the peak of the fall colors but I still found patches of color here and there. I did a nice loop of country roads that took me in a big circle back to where I started. Enjoy the images and have a blessed day, chris All images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF-s-10-22mm lens or a Tamron 150-600mm lens. #TeamCanon

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fiery Sunset

I knew that we might have a really nice sunset with the fog rolling in all day yesterday. So when I was in the kitchen cooking dinner I was watching the sun go down with anticipation. As the sun got lower and lower I could see streaks of pink staring to appear. When my dish of Cajun Spiced Cabbage was done cooking I turned off the burner and tossed on a lid to keep it warm then I grabbed my camera and made a quick walk down our road. The sun was almost down and I could see a really cool redwood branch that would look great silhouetted in the sunset. I stepped downhill off the road so that I could include the branch into my composition. Checking the back of the camera I repositioned myself and tried again until I had what I wanted. What a gorgeous sunset. It was like the sky was on fire. This image was created with a handheld Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens at 130mm. The camera was set in AV mode for more control. I used an ISO of 200, F 11.0 for good depth of field to keep both the branch and the distant sunset in focus. A shutter speed of 1/125th of a sec. May you have a blessed day, chris

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

No Bird Day

Last night I created a new set up for the birds in the backyard. This morning after sitting in the photoblind for a long time there were very few birds to be seen. Even the hummingbirds were reluctant to use their feeders. First thing I did was to capture the blasted cat when I saw her and put her into the house. That resulted in the minor improvement of one bird coming to the bird feeder but not to the nice perch I had set up for it. After that nothing. Then the fog rolled in which is usually a good thing. Still no birds. Possibly there is a hawk hanging around up in the trees? I went over to my Mom's house and stacked some wood for her and on the return trip I stopped and photographed a young first year Blacktail Deer in nice light on the forests edge. Then I took a walk down our road photographing the forest and later on a leaf. It's still foggy and there aren't any birds calling. It's a good day to sit by the fire and read a book. God's love and blessings to all of you, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens. #TeamCanon,#CanonBringIt

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Bright Eyes"

Chestnut Backed Chickadees are both fun to watch and photograph. They are a bright, brave little bird. They are quite bold and will often get quite close to me when I am in the backyard. They think nothing of stealing sunflower seeds right out from under a Steller's Jay when it isn't looking. This morning I photographed them for about forty five minutes or so in the backyard photoblind using a white studio backdrop to emulate a snowy background. I loved the end result with its bright eye clearly standing out in the image. God's love and blessings to all, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens at 320mm on a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. Camera settings used were +1 Exp. AV mode, ISO 400, F 8.0 at 1/60th of a sec.#TeamCanon,

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fall Favorites

Fall brings out some of the most incredible colors in all of God's creation. Bright reds, soft pinks, brilliant oranges and golden yellows all on brilliant display. My all time favorite has to be the Quaking Aspens. That's probably because I grew up in Colorado and I'm rather partial to them. Living for a long, long time now in Northern California I've come to appreciate the Big Leafed Maples and the Black Oaks. Surprisingly though one of my all time fall favorites is the often overlooked Bracken Fern. They have such a delicate form which when it is backlit reveals some beautiful color on the forest floor. There is a patch of them in our front yard that when the light hits them just right at sunset is just spectacular. May you have a blessed and wonderful week ahead, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens on a Manfrotto tripod. AV mode, ISO 400, F 8.0 at 1/25th of a sec.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Beauty of Fall

This morning one of the flower heads in the yard caught my attention. It was so beautiful in the soft morning light. It had the perfection of beauty that is not perfect, not permanent, and is incomplete. Yet it was still very beautiful. So similar to the way God loves us. We are imperfect in our beauty and yet he loves us anyway. He is what makes us complete. Have a great Saturday, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. On a Manfrotto 055 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 400, F 22.0 at 1/6 th of a sec.

Friday, November 13, 2015

"I'll Be Waiting..."

With the start of the rains we are using the wood stove a lot more to heat up the house when it gets chilly. Earlier this week when I went to grab a piece of firewood for the woodstove I was shocked to see a scorpion sitting where my hand had been headed. I'm so glad that I looked before I grabbed. Funny thing is I had handled that piece of wood a couple of times in getting it into the house. I'm sure that there will be more waiting to surprise me in the woodpile. This afternoon I photographed the wee beastie with my macro lens and a table lamp on a piece of tagboard. May you have a fun and blessed weekend, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. AV mode,ISO 400,F 22.0,1/6th of a sec.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Couple of Chickadees

I spent about an hour in the photoblind this morning. The only birds coming to my feeder were the Chestnut Backed Chickadees. When God gives you chickadees you photograph chickadees. Thank you Lord for the chickadees! They are awfully cute with their beautiful feathers, bright eyes and gregarious attitudes. Here were two of my favorites. May you have a blessed day, chris Both images created with a Canon 7D and a a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Manfrotto Tripod. AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What a Great Start to the Day

Last night I decided to take a quick trip to the coast to break my case of cabin fever. On the drive out while it was just about light a beautiful Black Bear ran across the road in front of my pick up. It was close enough so that my headlights lit it up rather nicely.Whoo Hoo! When I arrived at the coast the sun was climbing rapidly into the sky with hardly a cloud to be seen. Not the conditions that you want for photography. I made the best of it as the wave action was quite beautiful. After photographing the waves and rock for awhile I stopped off at the beach off at Ward Ave and then later McKerricher State Park to see if I could find any shorebirds. I found a Whimbrel and a Plover. Not bad for a quick little trip. May you have a marvelous day, chris All images created with a Canon 7D

Monday, November 9, 2015

Yummy Berries

The birds and squirrels have been enjoying the Pyracantha berries I have been putting up for them. On Saturday I wanted to capture one of the Hermit Thrushes I have seen coming and going. I have only seen them in early morning and rarely after that so I knew I had to get out there early. Some of you know from my last posting I was up and at'em before the sunrise. It was lucky that I was up early because I only got two chances to photograph the Thrush as it came and went. It sat off to the side and then suddenly it would dart in and grab a berry gobble it up before it took off. On the first try I captured it just after it had swallowed the berry. On the second try I got it with the berry in its beak and I was happy. Both images were captured with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens.Enjoy your day and God's blessings to you, chris

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cabin Fever

I think I'm going to be in trouble this winter. I've had a strong bout of cabin fever the past couple of weeks and it's not even winter time yet. I have been looking at all of the cheap flights lately and day dreaming. We are redoing most of the flooring in our house so it isn't a very good time to go off gallivanting to parts unknown. I need to be content. Today I was looking over more images from the archives and I ran across two of these images from Humboldt county to the north of us. Maybe a trip to the coast in a couple of weeks will satisfy my need for travel? Be content and God bless, chris Images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon Ef-s 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM‎ lens

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Big Prize

This morning I was up before sunrise creating a new set up to photograph the birds. I moved the knothole feeder off to the side to lure the squirrels away from my bird feeder. I threw a walnut into the knothole feeder as further enticement for the squirrels. I'm always amazed at their ability to sniff things out! After completing the set up I climbed into the photoblind for my usual wait. A short time later a Douglas Tree Squirrel came by and checked out the bird feeder and then quickly moved on to the knothole feeder because it is much easier pickings than trying to hang upside down to get into the bird feeder. I got a great portrait of it sitting on top of the knotholefeeder and later got a really nice one of it getting ready to carry off the prize walnut. I had a great time doing photography and hope that you have a great weekend as well. God bless, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D anda Canon 100-400 IS lens. AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0 The camera was supported by a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 Heavy Duty ballhead.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Breakfast is Served

Today was a non photography day for me. Between picking up supplies for our new flooring and doing a lot of computer work on images I didn't have the time to do any photography. This evening when we were picking up some groceries I remembered that earlier this week I had photographed some raspberries that I had a had for breakfast. So I am serving up an image of raspberries. Enjoy your weekend and God bless, chris Image created with a hanndheld Canon 7D and a Canon 17-85mm IS lens.