Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Beautiful Sunset!

Lots of people go to the beach to watch the sunset. I'm not close to the ocean so I go to the nearest wildlife refuge. I have discovered the best light sometimes happens many minutes after the sun has set, especially if there are clouds. In this particular shot it was about 10 minutes after the sun had set and the clouds in the foreground were almost as dark as the tree in the immediate foreground. But behind it were these lucious hot pink clouds still being illuminated buy the last rays of the setting sun and in the fold of the clouds the purple blues of shadows.
Storms are great for spectacular cloud displays and tonight was no exception. I love it when the tops of the clouds are pink and the bottoms a lovely azure blue. Reminds me of this ice cream they used to serve at a local ice cream was Cotton Candy and it was pink and blue and tasted just like Cotton Candy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Beauty All Around Us

About a year and a half ago I had a bad auto accident. My little Toyota RAV4 flipped over 4 times with me in it. My arm somehow got smashed between the car and the pavement and I lost part of the skin on my forearm. But amazingly my arm was the only thing that got damaged...besides my car...which was a total loss. I spent almost two months in the hospital getting fixed up...I had to have a skin graft but before that they put his pump thing on it which had to be changed every other day...that was the worst pain...that and the skin graft from my leg afterwords which hurt like nothing I've ever felt before. They told me it would feel like a really bad sunburn...well it's much worse than But I survived and now I have a little bit newer Toyota RAV4 which is essential to get me out into the wildlands to do my photography. The only real problem I have is focusing...see it was my left arm that got mangled and for some reason my thumb will not bend at the joint like it used to. You never realize how important your thumb is for picking things up or turning and gripping until it won't do what you want it to. Now, I have been doing okay, but sometimes when I try to focus quickly my left hand goes weak and just won't turn the focusing's very frustrating sometimes...but considering what could have happened...I am not complaining. Because I can still get pics like the ones I've posted here....sooooo...I am very fortunate...I know this. I always think there is a reason why things happen, and at the time I had the accident things were very unsure for me and I guess I felt sort of worried about what the future was going to hold. When stuff like that happens you can't really worry about anything else but getting better. Maybe that was just what I needed to do...check out of the world so to speak....and get better. So that's what I did...and continue to do. But being able to take pictures and just getting out and being in nature does me a world of good. I feel sorry for people who don't understand the healing force of nature. Anyone who goes out in it and stays for a while knows what I am talking about. It puts everything in perspective and just brings such peace. I know people who love concrete and steel and hardly ever step foot on grass. I don't think I could live such a life. I'd go crazy. Maybe those people do but it's hard to distinguish them from all the other crazy people. I'd rather run in fields of green and trees and play in rivers and creeks and relish every bit of it. I love seeing animals in their native habitats doing what they should be doing. I watch the ducks fly and land in the water and paddle all around preening and looking very beautiful and I just give thanks. I get to see that and share other people the beauty that is nature!

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's about 10:30pm on Friday night. I am sitting hear listening to the rain. Last night was a beautiful sunset...It seriously looked like the sky was on matter how many sunsets I see...they are all spectacular. Now I would've preferred to have been at the refuge during a sunset like that...have some water in the foreground...and some ducks was a nice thing to see after a long day at work!

Tonight after work it was, very dark and cloudy, then the rain started right about the time I headed home. Been raining ever since. I'm sure there is a lot of snow falling in the mountains.
There is something so peaceful about listing to the rain. Makes me think of that song.

"Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
telling me just what a fool I've been.
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
and let me be alone again. "

I love it when it rains. More rain means more water in the ponds and that means more ducks! More photo ops!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Fisher King

So I was watching this Great Blue Heron for a while and these birds are so patient waiting and waiting for just the right moment until the fish comes close to the surface and then whammo...grabs it up! Click on the pic for a supersized view.

It's amazing how good these guys are at catching things!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Using Your Car as a Blind

So I have realized after years of shooting pictures, that unless I am able to become invisible and levitate...hiding from animals and trying to get good photos of them is hard work. Trying to focus with my bad arm is even harder now...I am working on making it stronger (still weak) but it's frustrating, especially photographing birds in flight.

But I have discovered that if I stay in my car, I get better shots than if I get out and walk around. I remember reading somewhere long ago a photographer said "Use your car as a blind, if you pull over in one spot, pretty soon the birds get used to it and treat it like part of the landscape". This is very true...not always...but most of the time. The birds will intially swim or fly away from an approaching car, but if you park and wait they sometimes come back...and come back quite close. When I was up at the Lower Klamath Refuge a couple of years ago I had pull over to eat a banana and drink some water...I was just chillin when this Rough Legged Hawk came and landed on the sign almost right next to me....I got so excited I had to ditch the banana and get some is posted above.

Since then I have aquired this new lens, a Sigma 50-100 APO zoom that does me proud. But is heavy...and with my bad arm I cannot hand hold the rest of the following guessed it...from my car...perty cool!