The Sun sets around 8:15pm lately it will set a bit later at the middle of summer but as I remember it will be shortly before 9:00pm. I adjust to the light by having a second session to take Skunk Puppy out and if given the opportunity take a few images. I’ve adapted it recently except for the dog it has produced few positive results.
This blog will be showcasing the miscellaneous pictures I have taken during the past few weeks. Starting with the female Mallard without the brood. I took several (50+) photos of the 7 ducklings, the pictures were fine well focused with a good composition. I had an issue with the background, they were close to the far Levee. So close they blended in perfectly with it, so well in fact it was impossible to separate the subjects from it. The ducks were invisible; all of the photos were deleted, I have most likely lost my opportunity to photograph them until next year. They were learning to fly three days ago; I suspect by now they are happily crash landing in a different slough.
The Male wasn’t far behind her, it’s hard telling why he remains around. I have a picture of him with a purple head which means he is in his mating hormonal blender. The Males are not good Mates, Fathers or visitors; after the eggs hatch Mr. Mallard splits to find more mates.
Their mating ritual is barbaric to say the least when 5-20 males gang up on one female often the bruised battered and bleeding female loses her life in the attack.
On to a more pleasant subject, the California State Bird the Grouse a seemingly calm animal. I believe this is a pair that have recently fledged as they are smaller than the other adults. They are interesting to photograph although skittish they strike poses; or it at least appears they do. For a bird with few colors they are in my opinion beautiful birds; part of it amy be their perfect posture. This guy was ornery towards who I assume is his life’s companion chirping away as if he were a Goose. This is an “as shot” photo very minimal editing.
Much to my surprise the shot I took of this Red-Wing Blackbird seems to be a relatively good one. With black birds I am unable to tell if this is an acceptable image being so dark with no hi-lites or color. I have another I took with a big red bar on its wing; I won’t post it until I figure out if it’s a keeper or not. I have the same issue with Ravens, Crows and Cormorants.
I believe the bird in this photo is a Cow Bird, but the point is for some reason this guy came out well most likely due to the Sun being low in the sky and just risen above the tree tops. It’s a good picture but I’m sure it’s a scroll by; and that’s OK some will like it and others don’t find it suitable to their tastes.
I have been concentrating on the Night Herons lately and wrote a blog on them a few days ago. I wanted to post one of them in a bit of a different pose; I chose this one. The best times to capture any bird is during takeoffs and landings; the later is best but also the toughest to pull off. They are very colorful birds as their crowning glory is the bright Blue cape on their back. They are interesting animals bringing my curiosity to a peak; that’s my driving force curiosity a blessing and a curse.
I am what I call a “Seeker”; I don’t see a mountain I dream about what is on the other side and it hasn’t let me rest for 70 years; curiosity drives me.
Oh the Osprey, I have been watching for him while searching the sky for the Night Herons. This Hawk is a regular although he avoids me I’m sure he knows I’m here. During the morning hours he patrols the waterline on the far side dipping and rising along the Levee top as he is doing now. His habit is to bounce along for a while then turn away from me and head South towards less wind I imagine.
He was at quite a distance just over 100 yards (in this photo) the maximum for this lens and still get a recognizable subject. I took several of him yesterday and again today. Now I will wait to catch him grabbing fish from the water; that will take a while I’m sure.
I’m including this image of a Mallard with a purple head taken two weeks ago. I like to think it is the same Male as the photo above; if it is I expect to see another group of Ducklings soon. A tell-tale is the Male is still around and his head is now Green; time will tell. An interesting fact is Male Mallards do not quack; what a world we live in eh?
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance