Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plain Jane!

What a loaded phrase!  Plain Jane! My goddaughter Jane is one of the most beautiful women that I know! Yet the phrase persists.
A house finch, female, looks like a plain jane next to a goldfinch.  But she does the work of having and caring for the young, which is why she is not so colorful (as I understand it) cause the lack of color provides a degree of safety from predators. Intriguing.
Then the Canna Lily comes by and catches the setting sun in such beauty and glory and all the plainness of the world is forgotten for a moment.  Breathtaking.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Never enough

Seems like I can never get enough of a) neighborhood kids, b) backyard birds, and c) Kitty and Murphy!  So here we go - caught the Ninja's out front playing some kind of game that adults would not understand!
This rufous is incredible - the colors, the watchful attitude!

Eight place settings and 6 birds - often there are eight birds with a waiting list! They come and go - somedays there are a lot of lesser goldfinches and somedays none!

Fuzzy very much wants to be friends with Murphy - despite his proclivity to attack Murphy's nose! Murph is long-suffering and so easy and patient. Every opportunity that fuzzy gets he gets close to Murphy. Today the three boys were napping on the bed!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From the angelic to the sublime

Fuzzy Franky kitty is constantly showing us an incredible wide variety of ways to be in life.  One moment angelic, beauty and innocence combined; the next he is a rascally devil climbing garden arbors and waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting gardener below.  Incredible fun with him.  No TV needed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Boys.

No coffee yet and 6:30am this morning, still dark outside, and these two monkeys are already hard at a day's play together!  Fuzzy Frankie is growing, but still a ways to go to top Leo, at 15 pounds.  They play hard, then Leo sits and Fuzzy goes on and plays by himself for an hour or so, then naptime!

Because of the time of day and immediacy of the picture, I shot this through the living room window at an ISO of 4000.  Not bad quality for having to push it that far.


It seems like I don't get out of the backyard much for pictures lately, other than the Uinta trips.  And for some good reasons, as there is more than enough beauty and excitement in the backyard.  The hummers are a-humming, with the rufous ones chasing everything in sight, including the larger sparrows!  And little Franky fuzzy is growing and changing - but still as soft and loving as he was as a baby.

Monday, August 23, 2010

East meets West

Where else but on the bird feeder?  At least for this guy.  Here's an American goldfinch (east) with the Lesser goldfinches from the west.  I'm always struck by the dramatic difference in the yellow on the birds - it reminds me of the Mountain bluebirds and their dramatic blue!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I thought that I might have a lot of Fuzzy-Frankie pictures, but alas, only one!  He is so soft and loving, when you have him you have no thought of going or doing anything else!
If you wonder what the word 'besotted' means, hold this guy for a little while and let him love you.  You will know.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Messing around

Murph and I went to the Uintas (Mill Hollow) this morning.  Not too early, and we saw two sandhill cranes as we drove into Kamas!  The day was a clear sky day to start with, clouds starting just after 12noon.  A few deer, a few flowers, a redtail and a sandhill crane on the way home in Woodlands.  Really an incredible day of letting the smells of the forest and the willows and the sage just permeate my brain and being.  Murph, being somewhat less concerned with philosophy, just loved running and smelling and getting in the water!
My faithful and wonderful companion on my trips!

The wildflowers have really faded out, and the willows are changing their color already!  It smells like fall in the mountains!  The beauty continues if you are willing to look for it!
We only saw does, the bucks must be hanging out together somewhere else!  This one was in a hurry to get to some cover, so she moved pretty fast across the open area.
I believe this is a white Indian paintbrush - whatever they are, they come out later and stay longer than most of the wildflowers.  Subtle but beautiful.

So - can you find the redtailed hawk in the picture above?  Not so obvious, and the camera was a bit challenged to focus on it.  I heard the well-known scream - the one that you hear in every Western movie - and that alerted me to look for the bird.

Finally, driving home, I saw two sandhill cranes in a field.  I had to turn around and pullover, get out and take pictures.  Watching them it looks like they eat some grains as well as small creatures - grasshoppers, voles, etc. 
As I said in the beginning, an incredible day - just to be alive and see all this and more and smell the wonderful pines and the willows and the sage, to have Murphy run down the trail in front of you and turn and check to see that you are coming, the sun on your face and the wind cooling you off - life is good!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Backyard fun

For all his fans, Frankie, a.k.a. Fuzzy, is doing incredibly well.  He's gained over a pound since his last visit to the vet, still as soft and fuzzy as ever, and just as filled with energy as ever. Here he is in the backyard watching Murphy carefully before deciding whether to attack or not!

Also in the backyard were a plethora of hummingbirds.  I believe that the ones with the bright red spot on the throat are rufous hummingbirds, and the other one is a black-chinned hummingbird (very similar to a ruby-throated hummingbird). The color appears to come and goes - as you can see.  I think the color comes out when on attack or alert, and is subdued or very dark when not.
The rufous are fierce!  They hide out and attack any other hummer that tries to use the feeder.  During one chase they came about 3 inches from my face - I do not believe they are afraid of anything (or maybe it is the testosterone!!).

The black-chinned below snuck into the feeder while the rufous was gone.  He is on high alert as you can see by the color.

Hiding out in the willow tree!

Hummer leaving the willow tree in attack mode! See how bright the color is now!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Diana and I went to a fund raiser for a group called Utopia - early music singers - last night. Great singing and instrumental talent, lots of fun, good food and (hopefully) they made some money.  It was a fundraiser.
Out of the pictures that I took, I liked these the best.  This is an early viola - it has a fancier name - and was handmade for the lady by an artisan in Long Island.  She had him do the carvings, and, since they remind her of the young lady in Harry Potter, she named the instrument - Hermiane. 
On a technical note - I shot (D300 Nikon) at 2500 to 3200 ISO all night. The quality of the photos was incredible!  A slight amount of noise reduction applied and a bit of sharpening.  The technology is astounding.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Uintas again

Another wonderful morning in the Uintas, with a lot of other folks out enjoying the incredible scenery and weather. Warm in the sun and cool in the shade, the breeze starts up about 10am.  Then you are glad you have a long-sleeved shirt!
This hawk flew up next to us and perched in the tree - I haven't taken the time to determine what we call him, but he was both beautiful and ferocious! (Experts say a juvenile red tail hawk).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Albion basin morning

A friend picked me up at 6am this morning and we drove up to Albion basin above Alta ski area.  Two purposes - see moose and see wildflowers.  We did both - in spades!
The mother moose and her two little ones delighted us for 30 to 45 minutes before moving back into the willows.  The kids even came and suckled mom! In the distance, two large bulls ambled up the side of the mountain.  Friends for the moment, in another month they will be competitors.
The wildflowers, while slightly past peak, were incredible - colors and shapes and all of this mixed together in a potpourri that is fascinating to just sit and look at.

Here's some photos from today!

And I could not resist the play of light on the chairs!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Catching up

I've two diverse subjects today as I got lazy and haven't posted for a couple of days.

First, last Saturday I shot pictures of a client's dogs out in a field.  The dogs were wonderful (people too), and here's a favorite of mine from the shoot!

Vegas and Cassius looking at a goofy photographer!

Early this week, Diana called to me to come see something - and here's what it was!

I'm not sure who is purring more - Diana or the kittens!
On a technical note, I cannot remove the 'green-eye' from the flash with my red-eye removal tool; guess it only recognizes the color red!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Nikonian in the works!

Caught fuzzy hanging out around the D300 today - I think he was saying that he wants to be a photographer like his dad when he grows up!  Sure is fun making things up!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time for a mish-mash

Life is rarely neat!  An acquaintance of ours from church died yesterday after eating breakfast at a local restaurant - he stood up, fell over and was dead.  66 years old.
So here's some not so neat stuff but I like it anyway. Not sure we ever planted this sunflower but it is sure about living!

The water lily is a fascinating study in light and color.  Here's one interpretation.  Very liquid.

The honey bee was incredibly cooperative - amazing since I never saw him there!!  Isn't life wonderful!

Finally, our two buddies.  Fuzzy really loves being around Murphy - we're not certain that is reciprocated! But there are times like this when who cares - they just hang together.