The fog lifted around noon today, the Sun came out with a bit of a breeze. During a fog there is no need to take out the binoculars or the long lens. When viewing distances all there is to see is a dense gray wall. The backdrops are drab as well, many birds in flight blend into the grayness. I get tired of the clear blue skies and fighting with the natural light from the Sun; it is always a maneuvering challenge when I’m out there between 10 am and 3 pm.
While it was raining November 11, 2021 I was outside with Skunk-puppy, she needs to be outside all of the time, I noticed an opening in the clouds. I waited for a considerable time for the Sun to by chance pass behind it. Sure enough it did, things don’t always work out like that, the colors are superb. The Sun spot outlines the North slope of Mount Diablo in an interesting way. I only claim this to be an “interesting” photo not an event winner or one that will make eyes go googly. There are several interesting features in this image, one is how the green in the foreground came out.
The smaller birds showed up after the fog cleared, the Sparrows were among the first. This photo caught the subject in the shadows, although the Sun was bright the glow seemed soft; if that makes sense. After being fogged in several days the critters must all be hungry, I have not seen many larger birds.
I have found that after a period of rain, fog or low overcasts the Hawks will come out with the Sun. I took a number of pictures of them which naturally most had to be deleted due to being out of focus. It’s the way of things in photography take 100 shots and delete 95 or after a good session 90. The image of the Red Tailed Hawk is borderline, I kept it to use in this blog. The bird was too far away for a highly detailed photo plus I had to crop it drastically to be able to see it here. Of the 20 shots I took of it 5 were kept, they were all of equal quality. This Hawk is a new comer displaying a set of characteristics that may be to my advantage. He has been around for a week and flies close to me, in fact he landed on the pylon at the old dock just before I was able to get a shot. I’ll be prepared better tomorrow.
The Great Blue Herons always seem to be camera ready, here is one taking in the Sunshine as I was doing on the Levee top. Skunk-puppy was laying on the grass, me in my wheelchair and the Heron on the dock, all of our energy was melting away in the warm glow. I know 63º is not cold but when it’s foggy and damp then the Sun suddenly wipes the haze away that Sunshine puts me to sleep (that’s not all that uncommon for me I fall asleep everywhere). All three of us were happy for a long while, I don’t know when the Heron left, I was the first to retreat Skunk-puppy laid out there until dark.
I could not resist taking a photo of this small Phoebe, they are numerous but hard to take a picture of. They are constantly hoping around, making short flights but regularly return to the same spot. They catch flies, a good reason to encourage them to hang around. They will catch the devils when they land on the side of houses; the entire flock will be dodging towards the house then swerve away at the last minute. I don’t know how many each of them capture but whatever amount it is helps out.
Tomorrows a new day that looks like it will be clear. Another bit of rain is predicted arriving this Friday in a minimal amount. The important part is how much snow will fall on the Sierra Nevadas, the snow pack is what makes the difference in our water supply next Summer. We won’t be out of this drought by a long shot, but a minimal amount will supply drinking water for 80% of the State. It was a relief the rain fell early 3/4 of the way through Wildfire season ending it a month before the normal date. Everyone is happy about that, now if it would rain in the middle of October each year it would be a major game changer.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance