Saturday, April 30, 2016

One More Silhouette

What is it about Dandelion heads that photographers love to photograph them? I must admit that I too am not immune to their irresistible pull. There is just something about those repeating patterns that draws me in. Such a soft and delicate spherical shape as well. God's design there is no doubt. Yesterday when I was photographing the scorpion I also photographed a Dandelion seed head in silhouette as well. May you have a blessed weekend, chris Image created with a 100mm lens and a Canon EOS 7D camera. Camera was supported on a ground pod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead. Camera setting used were AV mode, ISO 400, F 16.0 at 1/10th of a sec.

Friday, April 29, 2016


There is nothing that compares to sitting by a warm wood stove in the morning and reading a good book. However to reach that level of comfort there is a lot of work that goes into getting the wood stove going unless of course you are staying at a Swiss chalet and the staff was already up early getting the fire going for you. Yesterday morning when I was loading up the wood stove I noticed a hitchiker on one of the pieces of firewood that I was bringing into the house. Luckily I spotted the little critter or it might have made a quick trip to Hades. There was a Wood Scorpion hiding on the end of the log in plain sight. It was trying to look invisible by not moving. I slid it off into a a jar and this morning I photographed it on a rock before setting it free off in the woods far away from the house. May you have a blessed day and a glorious weekend, chris Image created with a Cann 7D anda 100mm macro lens. AV mode, ISO 400, F 16.0 at 1/6th of a sec. Camera was supported with a Bogen Ballhead anda ground pod.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Settled For a Nervous Band-tail

I got up at four a.m. to go to the coast but it was was way too windy so I went back to bed. Later on I photographed a very nervous Band-tailed pigeon in the backyard. I did go to the coast later in the afternoon and yes it was too windy. Most of my images were shaky from the wind! God bless, chris Caon 7D anda Canon 100-400 IS lens

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Beetle in Silhouette

This morning I was working on photographing a Bark Beetle in silhouette climbing up a rock. I was having troubles. I needed to have Jay or Annika for my beetle wrangler. Right now it is a work in progress. When I get there I will know it. For now accept my simple image of a beetle in silhouette. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens supported on a Gorilla Pod. AV mode, ISO 800, F 11.0 at 1/50th of a sec. #TeamCanon

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Adding Some Bling

I ran across the coolest hood ornament on an old pick up today. The pick up reminded me of my first car. It was functional but its days of that young beautiful car look were long past. It was still functional and reliable as it got me from place to place but it never turned any heads unless I did something really stupid while driving it. This hood ornament not only added some bling but it served an important purpose as it kept the front hood tied down. Kudos to the owner and may it travel another couple of hundred thousand miles. God's light and love to all, chris Image created with a handheld Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Remains of the Rain

Yesterday morning I went out to restock the bird feeder in the back yard. A flock of Band-tailed Pigeons took off from a fir tree into the grey cloudy skies as I turned the corner into the backyard. They were a beautiful sight to see. After restocking the feeder I turned and went back to the house. Whle I was stepping in the door I looked down to see a single Madrone leaf with one drop of water sitting on it from last nights rain. That looks pretty cool I thought to myself. I went inside and grabbed my camera and a macro lens. I dragged a nearby bench and used it to brace myself as I focused and photographed the leaf. I tried a variety of compositions but this is the one that I liked the best. May you have a blessed week, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a 100mm macro lens. Handheld and braced on a bench. AV mode, ISO 400, F 11.0 at 1/13th of a sec.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Guest Photographer

This morning Lenore and I went to the Ukiah Farmers Market and then had a great lunch at Ellie's Mutt Hut. Afterwards we stopped by the Ukiah rail trail that goes through the center of Ukiah. There were a lot of people out walking and a lot of California Poppies. It didn't take us long to flop down on the ground and begin photographing those bright orange blooms. It was really cool to see so many white poppies mixed in. Lenore was using a wide angle lens and was getting some really nice images. Tonight when we got home we went through them together. This image was our favorite of the ones that she created. We loved the forbidding clouds and the angle of the white poppies. Image created with a handheld Canon T5i and a Canon EF-S 10-22 lens at 22mm. AV mode, ISO 400, F 16.0 at 1/ 1250th of a sec.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Couple of More From the Old Garden Gate Series

This morning we awoke to the sound of rain pouring down. Lenore remarked that it was, "A boots, jeans and sweater kind of a day." Since then it has been raining off and on all morning with the sun making feeble attempts to break through. I decided to look back through images from the Old Garden Gate series. Here are two images that I really liked. A Steller's Jay and a Band-tailed Pigeon as well as a view of the Little Lake Valley from our bedroom window. Have a great weekend and God's love and blessings to all, chris
All images created with a Canon 7D. Scenic view was made with a Canon EF-S 17-85. The Old Garden Gate images were created with a Canon 100-400 IS lens.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Taken Over by House Finches"

This morning I sat in my photoblind out in the Little Lake Valley. It was cloudy with little bits of sunshine poking through. Badger the Wonder Dog fell asleep in the corner of the blind. There weren't any wasps as I knocked down thier little starter home from the roof of the blind yesterday. I must say it was a bit unnerving trying to do photography with them buzzing six inches above my head yesterday and Badger wasn't too happy about it either! Back to today. There were a lot of House finches and very little else. An Oak Titmouse made a few cameo appearances as well as a pair of White Breasted Nuthatches. I ended my morning a little early as they started weed eating around the ranch house and all the birds left. Here are a few House Finch images from this morning. God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens on a Manfrotto Tripod with a Bogen ballhead. AV mode, ISO 800, f 8.0, shutter speeds varied.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Band-tails are Back

Since the end of last week there have been some small flocks of Band-tailed Pigeons coming into the backyard bird bird feeders. This is a good sign because as of last winter a serious disease, T avian trichomonosis or, more specifically, Trichomonas gallinae was killing many of them. It is believed that non-native rock pigeons, the common pigeon you see in cities, were spreading the disease. Scientists believe the parasite evolved with the rock pigeons in Europe, and they are immune to the disease but can still carry it. The parasite was first found in Band-tailed Pigeons in the 1940s, but it has become more prevalent in the last 10 years. It thrives in the mouth and throat of the diseased birds, causing sores in the mouth or esophagus that eventually block the passage of food. The infected birds eventually die from starvation or suffocation. I have noticed a serious decline in the numbers of Band-tails in our area. Fifteen years ago it was very common for us to see flocks of thirty or more landing in the trees around our yard. Now the biggest flocks I ever see are usually less than a dozen. Here is an image of one from yesterday morning in our backyard. Canon 7D with a Canon 100-400 IS lens. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 800, f 8.0 at 1/250th of a sec. God bless, chris

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Old Garden Gate Goes Furry

Yesterday morning I created a few more images for the old "Garden Gate Series". I was very surprised to see that my first visitor for the day was a chipmunk. They are one of the more difficult critters to photograph around here as they rarely stay in the open long enough to be photographed. I would guess that is because most everything that they run into in their daily lives wants to eat them. Following the chipmunk the birds started coming in but they were scared off by the arrival of a a Western Gray Squirrel. They are pretty much the kings and queens of the feeders. No one gets to use the feeders when they arrive. All of these images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens the older push pull version. Camera settings used were, AV mode, ISO 800, F 8.0. shutter speeds varied. This morning after writing this blog I photographed a Douglas tree Squirrel there too!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Eurasian Collared Dove for the Old Garden Gate Series

Saturday morning found me in my garden blind out in the Little Lake Valley of Northern California. The finches kept me busy photographing them all morning long. As I was photographing I kept hearing Eurasian Collared Doves calling from the nearby trees. A couple of times they even buzzed the feeder but didn't land. I now see more Collared Doves than Mourning Doves. Collared doves are an introduced species.I was just starting to clean and pack up when a pair of Collared Doves came in to feed. I quickly restarted and recomposed my camera and got quite a series of images of one of them. This one was my favorite. One that I'm adding to my "Old Garden Gate Series." May you have a blessed week, chris This image was created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 250mm. Camera settings used were AV mode for more control of the depth of field. ISO 800 because it is fairly low light where I photograph. F 8.0 at 1/500th of a sec. The camera was on my workhorse 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 ballhead for support.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Low Tide

On Monday my brother Eric and I headed out to the coast. We did a big loop starting in the north at Westport and headed south down the coast to Mendocino. For lunch we had some delicious pulled pork sandwiches at the "Q" next to the Noyo Harbor bridge. The tide was way, wayyyy out and we saw plenty of urchins, mussels and Giant Green Sea Anemones. There were many beautiful wildflowers and we did a bunch of walking. When we walked down to the rocks at Ten Mile SMR you could see the ruts from the wagon wheels on the California Coastal Trail as well as lots of broken mussel shells in the dirt left over from the middens from when the Pomo used to gather mussels there. It was such a beautiful day. Enjoy the images and may you have a blessed weekend, chris All images created with a Canon 7D at a variety of settings and lenses.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Orange Variant

Yesterday afternoon I drove out into the Little Lake Valley to restock my bird feeders. When I arrived the rains cleared for a bit and I thought to myself, "Hmnn... the lighting is pretty good right now. Maybe I should do some photography". So I did. After I settled into the photoblind the birds started coming in. There were mostly House Finches and occasionally a White Breasted Nuthatch would drop in as well. What caught my attention the most were the flashes of orange from an orange variant House Finch. I took as many images of it as I could and these were my two favorite. God's tender love and blessings to all, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. AV mode, ISO 400, F 8.0 . The camera was supported with a Manfrotto 190 XPROB tripod with a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Along the Way

Last week Lenore, my brother Eric and I went up north up into Humboldt County. We were planning on visiting Fern Canyon but we never made it that far north. We walked one of the trails at the Arcata Marsh . The tide was out so there wasn't much bird life to photograph. Though I did manage to photograph some Lupine, a preening gull and a sparrow along the edge of the trail. Afterwards we had an excellent lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with our son Jay. Next we drove up to Moonstone Beach. The sun was out and we played Frisbee on the beach and watched some climbers from Humboldt State University practicing their rock climbing skills on a rock on the beach.Here are some images from along the way of our adventure. You couldn't ask for a more beautiful day. chris All images created with a Canon 7D at a variety of settings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Little Lake Valley

This afternoon after what seemed to be endless errands in the big city of Ukiah (DMV you were great!) I headed out into the Little Lake Valley to restock my bird feeders. Along the way I looked for a good spot to photograph the California Poppies as there were some decent puffy white clouds in the sky. Passing the Persico Ranch I noticed a pretty good spot next to the road above their pond. I pulled off the edge of the road to park and then I looked for cars to prevent myself from being run over. I laid down on the pavement to get a nice low angle so I could photograph over the fence. I love the resulting image. God's love and blessings to all, chris Image created with a Canon 7D and a Canon EFS 17-85mm lens at 30mm. Camera settings used were AV mode, ISO 400, F 16.0 at 1/200th of a sec. #TeamCanon

Saturday, April 9, 2016


This morning my brother Eric and I did some bird photography out in the little Lake Valley. The House Finches were coming into the bird feeders like crazy. Afterwards we decided to go look for some wild turkeys on the way home. We spotted two young toms on one of the roads in Brooktrails. When they trotted down one of the side streets and we decided to follow them. At the edge of a clearing we stepped out of the pick up to photograph them. Suddenly they stopped in their tracks. Off to our left a group of eight large toms came rushing off a hillside at a full run towards them. They surrounded the young turkeys and began kicking and battering them with their wings and bodies. It all happened very quickly. Eventually the young tom broke away with the large group of toms in pursuit. They chased them downhill away from the clearing. When they were satisfied that they had chased the young interlopers from their territory the big toms came back up the hill. By then I had regained my senses and got in a good position myself to photograph a couple of them as they came by me. What an exciting event! May you have a blessed day, chris all images created with a Canon 7D and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. #TeamCanon

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Back From a Mini Vacation

I took some days off for a mini vacation and now my brother Eric who is a wildlife photographer is visiting from Colorado. Yesterday we went out to the Little Lake Valley to do some bird photography. He got a few images of birds that he hadn't photographed before. There wasn't anything new for me but I had a great time spending time with my brother. This was my favorite image from the morning. Here is a White Breasted Nuthatch in a classic pose. God's love and blessings to all, chris

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Selective Isolation

Yesterday afternoon I had to run to the big city of Ukiah for an errand. That's one of the disadvantages of living in a smaller town. Sometimes there are just some things you can't get here unless you want to go online and wait for them. I threw my camera in the car just in case I spotted something that I wanted to photograph. On the return trip I spotted a small field of California Poppies that were easily accessible from the frontage road and just begging to be photographed! I knew exactly what I wanted to do as I had brought my camera with a 400mm telephoto lens mounted on it. I walked around the edge of the poppies looking for the tallest ones that stood far and above the rest of them. That way I could selectively isolate them from the ones around them and allow the ones further back to blur out into orange blobs of color. If you photograph with the lens wide open and from fairly close up that is the effect that you will get. It can be quite dramatic and beautiful. Here are a few samples. I included one group just because i love the composition. May you have a blessed weekend, chris All images created with a handheld Canon 7D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens. AV mode, ISO 200, F 5.6, shutter speeds varied.