Monday, February 27, 2012

Standing in one place

Sunday when Murph and I visited the refuge, after a nice long walk, we picked one place to set up and stay.  It was on a dike across from the heron rookery and with two open bodies of water between us and the rookery. After an initial scolding by the Canucks, things settled down and we were pretty much ignored.
So much so that this muskrat swam pretty much up to us before realizing that we might not be friendlies; plus the light changed and I could isolate different views that you only see after you are silent for a time.
Try it - you'll like it!

Note the American Kestrel communing with the Great Blue Heron!

Blue hour

As the sun sets, the hour of blue begins, and can lead to some fascinating colors and photo effects. Yesterday at the wildlife refuge, I was photographing herons on their rookery and then turning around to capture the sun on the buildings and fence behind me.
Much of these two photos break the rules - the horizon line is pretty much in the center and the highlighted fence is pretty much in the center - but I like it!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fuzzy - another view

I have been experimenting with different ways to present subjects - trying to break out of my mold. Here's another view of Fuzzy that appealed to me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Feedback from friends who have gone to Alpine says that they are no longer running the contest - informal word is I might have won, but will wait for official word! Thanks for everyone's support!

These spring days bring wonderful light into the backyard - the grasses are a constant source of beauty and change; and Fuzzy was feeling springy himself and climbed up the trellis and posed!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A little help from my Friends

Just before we left for our Hawaii trip last December, I was invited to participate in a photo exhibit - by choosing an hour slot during January 1, 2012, to take photos and submit one for the exhibit.  Alpine Art at 430 S. Temple here in SLC organized this - a very neat idea!
I had the 6am-7am time slot and Rick and I went to Punaluu Black Sand Beach on the big island - left the house about 4:45am to get there in time. I shot maybe 300 shots (Rick took a lot also); and of those shots chose this photo to submit.
The help I'm requesting is this: Alpine has a little contest going to pick the most popular of the photos, and the winner gets the framing free. So, IF you happen to be going downtown, and want to see some very neat photos, AND if you like mine, please vote for it! Thank you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Antelope Island Landscapes

The other part of visiting Antelope Island are the landscape possibilities; they are never-ending! Big-sky, water, grasslands, whatever you want can usually be found out there. Here's a few from our trip yesterday that I liked.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Buffalo and Antelope!

Monday was a beautiful day, so we wandered out to Antelope Island - I had heard meadowlarks out west of the airport and thought perhaps there might be a few singing on the island.  There were!
But the big hits of the day were the buffalo and their companions, the cowbirds; the young antelope and Murphy.
No shots of Murphy today, but to watch him as he trolls through the sagebrush using his nose to guide him is an incredible treat! Often we can see rabbits quite a ways in front of him that he does not see; but he eventually scents them and gallops off!  A couple of chukar partridge were out today and messed him up by running across the rabbit path!

Buffalo were everywhere - and, when you are that big, you always have the right-of-way! They were fun to watch, ambling along somewhat purposefully. The birds came and went in clouds - whether it was play or food gathering or a mating rite, I don't know.
Then the young antelope showed up, very wary. (Actually, he was there all the time, and when he "showed up" that means I just saw him for the first time).  There is a gate in the fence that allows the animals to move from one part of the island to the other (yes, Sandy, same gate) and when the antelope got just across the road from the gate, he paused, looked hard at us, then - in a burst of speed - ran through the gate. Once inside the fence he just ambled along!
Love the openness also - some of those shots perhaps tomorrow.

But first, a kestrel greeted us along the causeway over to the island!

Then the buffalo!

Now the goofy antelope!

Finally, everyone was through the gate and at peace again - no more humans bothering them!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Today's about sharing a number of eclectic shots from the last couple of days. No real category fits all so ramblings is what is is about.

First - after attending a birthday party at St. Mark's Cathedral I walked into the back parking lot and looked down the street and saw this sight.  City Creek is what the new downtown renovation is called and it promises to be exciting:

Later that day, Murph and I visited the Farmington Bay wildlife refuge - and it was a time when there were no birds around - kestrels, harriers, were non-existent; we saw 3 bald eagles fly over but mostly barren.  Even the blackbirds were MIA. So we checked out the Heron rookery and found some Great Blue Herons rebuilding their nests - the horrendous winds we had late last year had cleaned out the sticks that they use for nests. You tell me which is male and which is female!

After a Skype session with Mom and the girls today, Murph and I visited the country west of the airport and found some images that intrigued us!

And finally, the cat with the electric eyes! Here's Fuzzy sitting out on the path in the setting sunshine.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A question for you

In the photo below - what are the unanswered questions? What does it prompt you to think? What might be the story(ies) that are not told but possible?

Friday, February 17, 2012


Sometimes a photo just grabs you - like this one did for me.  I shot it with my D50 and my 50mm f/1.8 lens - it was a rose in the last stages of its beauty when I took this. And something about it - the 'gnarliness' of it or what just grabs me.
Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Grabbing the light

Light comes and goes quickly and the shot is never the same again. Monday this orchid flower bud opened mid-afternoon; it was at an angle to get backlit by the window light. I grabbed the moment to get this shot, lying down and looking upward against the darkness below the window. I chose the 70-300mm lens to use it's telephoto compression.
5 minutes later the flower had opened more and it's angle had changed so that a shot like this was no longer possible. Keep your camera with you and take the shot!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prowling Lion

Fuzzy walked the fence several times tonight, and I was able to capture a bit of backlighting on one shot! He is intrepid - goes anywhere and does anything he wants!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back among the living!

I've been under the weather for the past few days, so today, when I woke up feeling human it felt like a miracle. Murphy had been sick during that time also, a stomach virus I think, and he is well again also.  So to celebrate we went out to the wildlife refuge for a few hours.
This past weekend was Eagle Day, when the DWR sets up and people come out to see Bald Eagles.  I hope they saw some, because there just are not a lot around.  When I see the stream filled with dead carp and neither the eagles nor the seagulls are eating them, and there are no eagles sitting around, there just aren't eagles this year!
What do I see instead?  Well, there is so much beauty that eagles soon become an afterthought. It is spring and for the male tri-color blackbirds, it is time to strut their stuff!  And they do - I sat and watched one display his colors and feathers and ruff of the neck - who knows what else was important!  Canadian geese are setting nests, kestrels are getting together - it is a great time of year!

Here's a few of the ones I liked from today!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Around the house

I find a lot of beauty in and around the house.  These three shots were all taken within 5 feet of each other, different times of day and different lighting.

Diana's photo is meaningful to us as she is now back studying!  To be a Master Gardner! For the 3 years that she want to the Episcopal seminary this was how I saw her much of the time - reading with a highlighter in her hand.

Leo, our Tuxedo cat, is always elegant to capture; and the steam from hot water as it drips through coffee grounds for my morning coffee makes a nice abstract.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Morning has Broken, part 2

When we were in Hawaii over Christmas, I posted a morning has broken pot with a wonderful sunrise. In reality, there were wonderful sunrises there 7 out of the 8 days we were there. Here is one morning when I took photos from a few different spots to see what it all looked like.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Looking for Treats!

Here is the well-known Labrador stare that attempts to hypnotize the subject into giving the Lab more treats!  He used it on his Grandma today and she started to give him a piece of her bagel!!
Warning - don't look directly into his eyes or you will be assimilated!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

And one more time!

The Farmington Bay refuge again today - no eagles this morning, just herons, kestrels and harriers along with a big black labrador dog!  We took a long hike, startled the GBH and he made three circles around us squawking all the time!  A beautiful day, and surprisingly calm compared to the wind in SLC.

You think you have problems walking on ice - try it with 4 legs!!

The wonders of telephoto make it look like the heron is flying through the trees.

Old animal tracks in the ice.

The ice breaks upon itself in very interesting patterns.

A young harrier.