Saturday, March 27, 2010

Camera Critter #103

Spring is definitely on the way to the high desert of central Oregon...I think. I woke this morning and looked out my window and saw this.

However, last Saturday and again on Wednesday, the temperatures in the area soared to well over 60...and I was out with camera in hand.

I decided to go to the dry canyon and follow the trail until I saw something cool to image. Along the way, I saw a number of butterflies go by...but they were late for something as they didn't stop and pose...just kept going.

However, I got to the rocks, and after scanning the larger ones, noticed some movement. I smiled and rushed over and found some of my favorite subject lounging in the hot sun...lizards!

This week, I present the Common Side-blotched Lizard of the northwest.

Next week, if nothing better shows up, I'll present the other species of lizard I came across during my photo safaris.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critters is a great to see critters of all kinds. Go to the homepage here and check out more. Then, join the fun and post your own Camera Critter.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Camera Critter #102

A while back, I mentioned that I knew winter had arrived in the northern reaches of the high desert by the arrival of the Dark-eyed Juncos. They spend the summers in the higher elevations and move into the lower elevations for colder weather.

But it is warming in central Oregon, and the breeding season is coming soon and with all that, the juncos will be moving back into the mountains, to once again await the next winter.

And when that happens, I'll miss the little guys and gals.

Female Dark-eyed Junco or Oregon Junco

Misty Dawn's Camera Critters Meme is a great way to see critters of all kinds. Go to the meme homepage here and check out more. Then join the fun with your own critter.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Camera Critter #101

Around five years ago, I traveled to the northwestern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan to visit my brother. Of course, I took my camera and throughout the four days I was there, spent a lot of time photographing the local fauna of all sizes.

The evening before I left, I was checking out his garden when I noticed a moving branch. Curiosity got the best of me and I took a closer look. To my surprise, that branch turned into a caterpillar. As I looked around, there were more and more. As I began pointing them out, he began removing them.

However, before he could eliminate all of them from the garden, I was able to get portraits of a couple of the invaders.

Carolina Sphinx Hornworm

Blinded Sphinx Caterpillar

Misty Dawn's Camera Critters Meme is a great way to see critters of all kinds. Go to the meme homepage here and check out more. Then join the fun with your own critter.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Camera Critter #100

First of all...what a milestone! One hundred editions of Camera Critters and going strong. Congratulations've done a wonderful thing here.

And now, on with the 100th Camera Critter.

Last weekend was an annual event for central Oregon, called, Eagle Watch. The event is held the last weekend in February at Lake Billy Chinook, and features speakers and presentations regarding the Bald Eagle and other critters of the area. There are also numerous viewing areas overlooking the lake for visitors to view eagles. Organizers hope to schedule the event to coincide with the return of the eagles to the High Desert.

This year was a more or less bust for those who went to see Bald Eagles. It's been that way the last three years. However, when I went to my first one five years ago, there were plenty of eagles to see. I was also working with a lens I had gotten the day before and learned how to use it.

Of the 120 or so images I recorded, I was able to say some were good. The rest found the delete button. Below are two of my favorite shots from the day.

One of the more interesting things which happened that day was the arrival of a Native American Shaman. He asked if we had seen any eagles and I gladly told of the few that had made an appearance. He then said, "Make sure your camera is ready."

He went to his vehicle and pulled out a drum and after walking to the edge of viewing area we were at, began beating on the drum and singing in his Native language. It wasn't more than two minutes later, there were three Bald Eagles flying in a circle above us. The eagles came lower and lower and at one point were less than a 100 feet above us. This went on for about 15 minutes with more and more eagles showing up.

While all this was happening, I was happily shooting away. It wasn't later when I looked at my images, I realized I had a lot to learn about shooting moving objects with an image stabilized lens.

These days, I have mastered the art and can produce very nice images using stabilization of moving objects.

I just wish the eagles would show up so I can practice on them. Maybe next year. 8v)

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is a great way to see critters of all types. Go to the Meme homepage here, and check out more entries. Then join the fun and let the world see your critter!