Saturday, February 28, 2009

Camera Critters Meme #47

Birds often amaze me up. When a flock of geese or even sparrows, suddenly take off all at the same time, I smile and wonder just how they do it. Watching a finch dig for seeds in a late summer flower can produce an acrobatic show that brings more than a smile.

But when a bird stares at me, I have to wonder, "What is he thinking?" When I am shooting a bird, I try to get a shot of it looking directly at me. Generally it happens after the first image is taken. But sometimes the critter ignores me.

Below, are those birds who didn't ignore me. I hope these shots bring a smile to you also.

Western Scrub Jay

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Lesser Goldfinch

Mourning Dove

Chipping Sparrow

Red-tailed Hawk

Song Sparrow

Great Horned Owls Chicks

Great Horned Owl

Cedar Waxwing

These photos were all taken in 2004 and 2005. I'll get to the next two years in a future post, maybe next week. But for now, here's looking at you!

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is family fun for everyone. If you're interested in more fun, go there and check out the rest of the players. And then, join the fun!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Camera Critter #46

During my Air Force career, I was asked if I wanted to go on an adventure. I said yes, and in early 1989, I found myself somewhere in Honduras. My first impression of the area was that it looked a lot like the High Lava Desert of central Oregon.

However, a week after I arrived, I realized it really wasn't anything like central Oregon. In the hootch I lived in, we had an iguana which lived under one of the common room couches. We called him George and he would come out and gobble up the massive number of dead flies we left lying on the floor after a good swat. I kept trying to get a photo of him, but any movement around and he darted back to his hiding place.

However, there were a couple of creatures of the Honduran jungle which weren't as shy.

Early one morning, I was awakened by a loud screeching sound. Puzzled by the sound and realizing it was close to my set wake-up time, I got up and headed to the showers. On the way, I found out what made the screeching sound. It was a Scarlet Macaw. I stood there watching bird for a few minutes, admiring its beauty and then continued on my way to the showers.

A couple of days later, I was returning from the chow hall, eating an apple and the Macaw landed on a rail near me. In a chair nearby, sat our First Sergeant and he fed the bird something. I walked over and was about to ask the First Sergeant about the bird, when it reached down and took what was left of the apple out of my hand. Surprised, I stepped back and the sergeant began laughing. "Paco loves apples," he said.

He then explained to me that Paco was a wild bird who only liked a few a people...and it appeared I was one of them since he didn't fly off when I approached. After that, I would regularly see Paco and would always have an apple and knife with me so we could share the treat. One day, Paco let me take his photo. He was, and probably still is, a majestic bird as you can see.

After a while, I would find Paco waiting for me on the perch above ( the First Sergeant's hootch). And every day, we shared an apple. My only regret was I left Honduras without saying goodbye to Paco.

Then, a couple of weeks before I was due to leave Honduras, I was sitting outside, talking with some friends. The sun was setting and the bugs were out in force. There were several crawling on me and as I would swipe one away, another would take its place somewhere else on my body. As I prepared to swipe a new bug away from my neck area, a Green Parrot appeared out of nowhere, landed on my chest and grabbed the insect. Needless to say, I was a bit startled and a friend of mine was able to snap this image of me as I recovered.

The parrot perched on my chest for a few moments, looking around, spotted another bug on my right arm, walked across my chest and grabbed it also. The bird then looked me over again, and seeing nothing, flew back to where it came from...a nearby tree.

Needless to say, the other three friends of mine were rolling across the ground laughing so hard, I thought they would never stop. After that, I was butt of a lot of jokes.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is family fun for everyone. If you're interested in more fun, go there and check out the rest of the players. And then, join the fun!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Camera Critter #45

A couple of days ago, our wonderful owner of this meme, tagged me for something someone tagged her for. It was a Photo Meme and my entry can be seen here.

In the post, I mentioned it wasn't the best image of that series, so I decided I would post the best one from that particular series and the best shots of that day's shoot. The images were all shot on April 17, 2008 at one of my favorite areas in Redmond, Oregon -- Fireman's Pond. So, here they are.

This first image was the best one from that series which provided the photo I was tagged for. I managed to get the warbler in a good pose.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The next shot was taken about 100 feet from the shot above, off the side of a small man-made peninsula at the pond.

Song Sparrow

Another tree near the parking lot at the pond, was the site where the warbler image below was taken. In my opinion, a much better shot than the first image, what with fewer distraction of tree branches.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

In a tree in the picnic area of the pond, I located the sparrow below. There were also some Dark-eyed Juncos in the area, but I wasn't able to get any decent images of them.

White-crowned Sparrow

The sparrow below was an exciting find for me, as it was the first time I had seen one of these sparrows in the area. It was also found near the picnic area.

Savannah Sparrow

Although there were a lot of birds in the area, the major species are (except as noted) seen here. It was a good day of shooting for me, and I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I enjoyed shooting the photos.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is family fun for everyone. If you're interested in more fun, go there and check out the rest of the players. And then, join the fun!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Photo Meme

It appears that someone has tagged me for a Photo Meme.   So, after seeing Misty Dawn's photo, I decided I would play also.

Rules are simple (according the originator of the game)...go to your photo folder, selected the sixth folder and the sixth photo in the folder.  Sounds interesting...I wonder what is in my Sixth and Sixth...

Ahh...yes...a singing Yellow-rump Warbler.  The photo was taken on April 14, 2008 at one of my favorite places in Redmond, Oregon -- Fireman's Pond.

I fired off maybe a dozen shots of this guy.  However, this was not one of the better shots.  8v)

Photo was originally shot in Canon RAW, converted to JPG and resized to 1000 pixel width.  Otherwise, it is as shot.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Camera Critters #44

The other day, I noticed a number of American Goldfinches fighting over the Niger Seed in one of the feeders in the Apple Tree out back.  So I decided I would try to get a few photos before they turned completely yellow.

Well, the Amercian Goldfinches were a bit on the shy side and for the most part, stayed in a nearby Ponderosa Pine.  I guess they didn't like me sitting on the bench next to my door, pointing a big black, Canon at them.  But a nearby House Finch decided he would test the waters and landed in the tree.

After I snapped the photo below, the finch turned around and looked straight at me with one of those "What the..." looks.  As I attempted to calm down from the laughter I was trying suppress, the bird took a couple of steps to his left and just as I was pressing the shutter for another of his portraits... 

He took off...

Last time I saw him, he was high-tailing it to a nearby Ponderosa Pine, joining the rest of the cowardly birds there.  

I bet he told them all about me and my Canon.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is family fun for everyone.  If you're interested in more fun, go there and check out the rest of the players.  And then, join the fun!