Thursday, March 30, 2017

West Desert

And the land stretched before him as far as he could see......

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

White Hawk

We stopped out at Tooele Valley Nursery to see our friends and buy some trees and shrubs. Molly loved it because she got to meet and play with Sierra's dog Ramsey, a yellow lab.  Older and not quite as fast, but smarter - after chasing Molly around a large bunch of trees several times, he stopped and waited until she came around again and got her!  Old age and trickery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm.

Wade said he thought he had seen the white hawk out in the field - the one from last year. So after lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant in Tooele we drove out to see.  Sure enough, it was waiting for us by the old nest!
Here's a couple of shots...Beautiful bird.

Monday, March 27, 2017


I was at church Sunday to record several events, the vestry installation and the installation of Leroy Carter as a Canon of the cathedral. I got a lot of good shots, however my favorite was this...a rose laid on the altar, perhaps an afterthought or perhaps intentional. Whatever the reason for it being there it was my favorite!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Competition Entries

The Bountiful-Davis Art Center has an annual competition that includes all types of art. I've entered before and occasionally won a prize. This year is a bit different, with digital submissions for judging, then physical submissions if you are accepted.
For me, trying to discern which of my photos might be considered art is quite challenging. Lately I've been using the criteria of - if it documents the reality of something, no matter how beautiful it is, I don't call it art. Following that criteria as close as I can (who knows if it works) I submitted these three photos. Guess we'll see!

Ice Dancers

The Reader

Eye of the Stone

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Great walk at the refuge

The main refuge road is closed from Goose Egg Hill on, so to get down to the bridges one either walks or rides a bike. Bill and I walked, his first time at the refuge, and we saw a number of birds, several herons. But we did prove that birds are allergic to moving human beings as they all flew well in advance of us.
Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable walk down to the second bridge, under a cloudy day that didn't turn warm until much later. We did see a number of birds while in the truck on the initial section of the refuge road.

Yellow-headed blackbirds are back!

Ducks everywhere!

Grey ghost hunting.

While pelicans hanging out.

Unusual for three herons to be flying together.

Run, baby, run!

Red-tailed hawk flew from pole to pole to entertain us until I had sufficient photos, then off it went.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Favorite Place!

I recently found out about the #VantagePoint project by is developing the L16, a compact camera that uses 16 lenses to shoot photos simultaneously, then blends them into one image of DSLR quality.  The #VantagePoint projects aims to finds out more about photographers’ favorite places to shoot and their favorite photos from those locations.

While I love to visit many places, my favorite is the Farmington Bay Wildlife Refuge in Farmington, Utah. My trips out there, often two or three times a week, over the past ten years have yielded a number of prize-winning photographs of both wildlife and landscapes; plus any number of wildlife photographs that have helped to educate friends and family.

Wildlife photography in the refuge is different than many other types of photography. The birds and animals are conditioned to not fear a vehicle but will immediately flee when a person presents themselves. So we photographers go to great lengths to get the best vantage point to capture the shot. Often this will mean parking and waiting, sometimes for hours, for the raptors or herons or geese to present themselves in a way that I want to photograph.

Patience is a big requirement for this type of photography. However, while waiting, there is so much that the refuge will teach you if you are willing to look and listen. You learn that Great Blue Herons, normally seen hunting fish or frogs in shallow water, will hunt field mice and voles in a field when the ice is too thick - or just for a change sometimes. You learn that the Northern Harriers often fly the same routes while hunting, so you can position yourself to get the picture you want more easily.
You also learn that the wildlife can be anywhere and often you do not see them until they move. I've taken photos of a Great Blue Heron only to see later that there were three more herons hiding in the brush behind it! Or the young (first year) herons that will fly right up to your vehicle out of curiosity!

Farmington Bay Wildlife Refuge is managed by the State of Utah with considerable assistance from the various duck and goose hunters that enjoy the hunting there. Airboats are common during hunting season and the wildlife soon become acclimated to them and their noise. The hunters help refresh the raised nests, raise money to put in bathrooms and do various other chores to assist the set workers. All in all it seems to be a great partnership.

While my favorite place was easy to pick, picking a favorite shot from the thousands of shots was hard. I finally chose this one of a female Northern Harrier. To me, she represents the spirit of the refuge - fierce, independent, beautiful, and wild. Sometimes it is hard to imagine these wild beings just a short distance from a heavily traveled freeway and lots of housing.

She was captured using my Nikon D50 (now traded in for a Nikon D7200) using the Nikkor 70 - 300mm f4.5-5.6 at 300mm, ISO 200, f5.6 at 1/1250 sec.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Backyard Birds

Here's a few of the birds that visit our backyard enjoying the feed that we provide.

As much of a nuisance as the flock of starlings are, we often overlook the beauty of the individuals.

Northern Flicker keeps coming back.

Downy female

Birds of the refuge

Here's some of the birds of the refuge...the cormorant is not as common but the Northern Harrier and the Pied Bill Grebe are ubiquitous!

Thursday, March 16, 2017


A couple of shots from the past, one from Zion NP of the Virgin River and one from the Farmington Bay wildlife refuge.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Heading West!

Train headed west, Oquirrh Mountains up close, Kennecott smokestack in view, Stansbury Mountains in the background. Beautiful day.

Running the dog!

Young dogs need running, whether it is you running them, them running themselves or what. Exercise and a lot of it is essential to theirs and your well being!
So I took Molly out to a place where she could run off leash and she really didn't 't stop running for over an hour. Lots of water, lots of mud and lots of different smells for her to discover!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Leaving Zion NP

We took the tunnel out of Zion NP so we could visit the Maynard Dixon gallery on Hwy 89 in Carmel.
As we waited in line to get into the park, this sweet house finch was sitting about 6 feet away singing it's heart out to us and everyone around.
Then just after the second tunnel I spied some white in the rocks and parked and walked back to have a wonderful time photographing Mountain Goats. And about 2 miles further on two goats were on the side of the road and not at all nervous about some idiot with 3 eyes!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Morning in the Canyon

Molly and I drove up Zions Canyon before 8am yesterday to beat the rush - all the hikers that want to get to Angel's Landing or wherever early. Fortunately we did, mostly. There were a few hardy souls up there with the temp about 38 and a good breeze blowing down canyon.
Lot of deer and lots of sun on the rocks. To do this canyon properly requires time and planning and experimentation. But here's a couple of initial tries.

Deer look a bit worn but healthy. No fear, this little one walked right by me.

Grasses and rock.

Reflections on the Virgin.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A wonderful day in Zion!

Actually any day here is a wonderful day! There's a quietness despite all the people and the beauty and majesty surrounds and encompasses you. We took a walk with Molly along the Pa'rus trail. Still training her and us.
Shots from yesterday.

A red-tailed hawk hunting in the morning light.

Beautiful little butterfly flew closer to get her photo.

Moonrise over the mountains.

Still wintry looking here, some small signs of spring but trees are still leafless.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Zion sunrise beauty!

We're spending a few days at Zion National Park, Diana, Molly and I. Got in last night after dark so I was out this morning enjoying the clear skies and colors of the cliffs. A few morning shots..

Monday, March 6, 2017

Molly's new Best Friend!

Friend Steve came over to meet Molly Sunday and Molly fell in love with him!  Instead of jumping up she laid down and rolled over! Of course, Steve enjoyed her also!

Enough Episcopal Church stuff on here to avoid any accident!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fun with Molly!

Molly and I went out west of the airport to an area where she could run off leash - and she loved it! The ground is pretty wet and the wind, despite being from the south, was a bit we had an abbreviated hike. Mostly I wanted to see how she would respond to being off leash in a wide open area.
She did very well, running out and circling back, sometimes looking for me. She came when called. Just about all I would want.
Some shots fro this walk..

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Ancient sounds

The Sandhill Crane has one of the weirdest calls I've ever heard; sounding as if it is an ancient being coming to visit us. That and their sometimes graceful, sometimes awkward movements creates a sense of antiquity in the watcher.
I love to see and hear them..