Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooks and Goblin's

Neighbors Down The Road
While camped in the Wichitas I visited the little village of Medicine Park just down the road to the east of the Refuge. Found these guys hanging out on the upper porch of this house. Interesting characters to say the least. Got a feeling there might be strange happenings going on around there tonight. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

Creepy Crawly for Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone.

A long shot

These aren't the really nice bird pictures you are used to from Q and Paul but it's the best I could do this trip.

On the first day Parker and I went out it was cold and windy, VERY windy, but we spotted this very large bird in a field hovering about three feet above the grass, apparently looking for it's next meal.

We tried to get as close as possible, moving through the grass when the bird dove into the grass so he wouldn't see us coming. It seems that every time we would move about 50 yards closer the bird would move 100 yards farther out. He didn't seem to be paying any attention to us, he was just hunting and that took him farther away. At least that's my story any way.

After reviewing several of our photos Parker was able to determine this was a young Northern Harrier which has a wing span up to 40 inches.

To give you an idea of how big this bird was I took a photo of it as it flew between two buffalo that were in the same grassy area. I think Parker spent more time watching the buffalo than the bird just to make sure they didn't get too close. LOL

These photos were some what of an experiment. I took the advice Paul gave me this summer and bought a Sigma 1.4X teleconverter for my Sigma 150-500mm lens and it was in use during this shoot. These shots were taken with the Sigma 150-500mm lens with the teleconverter on and set at full zoom which gave me 700mm on the lens. The bird was between 200 and 300 yards away the whole time. Because of the teleconverter the fastest aperture I could set was f9 and I had to manually focus the lens. These photos are cropped about 50%.

Did I mention it was cold? And windy? The temperature was right around 42 degrees and the winds were howling at a brisk 25-30 mph the whole time. Even though I was using a tripod the winds were making it very hard to keep the camera from moving. These are my best shots out of about 100 shots I took of the harrier.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

Just thought I would say Happy Halloween and share a little pumpkin carving project that my wife and I enjoy doing every year. I did steal a trick from Q on how to light the name stone with a flashlight for a brief second during the long exposure on this photo to get it to appear in the photo.

A sense of humor

While in the mountains with Parker I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to give him a hard time about his encounter with the longhorn bull, several times I might add. Parker took it in stride and even posed for a picture my wife thought would be a good photo to post on the blog.

All kidding aside, he is lucky to be alive.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cool, Clear Water

We're back! Well, Cheryl and I are back. Parker is still there and may end up staying another week. He hadn't decided by the time we left. He was still looking for Old Red. LOL

It was a little windy and cold the first couple of days we were there but we still were able to get out and take a few photos and make some short hikes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shaken not stirred...

Got a little side tracked last night just after 8:00 as I was going to post this foggy sunrise picture... Suddenly and without warning the whole house began to shake, not a whole bunch but plenty enough to get our attention, we were having an earthquake and it went on for 15 or 20 seconds! One little problem with living on the West Coast is that any time there is an earthquake there is the potential for a tsunami to follow...

Sure enough within a few minutes the marine radio we monitor blares the "we-ou-we-ou-we-ou" alert sound followed by an announcement by the Coast Guard that there had been a magnitude 7.7 earthquake near the Queen Charlotte Islands 200 miles North of here and a Tsunami was expected in a number of coastal areas including where we live on Northern Vancouver Island!

Long and short of, anyone and everyone in the many towns, villages, logging and fishing camps along 500 miles of coast line had to get themselves well above sea level as quickly as possible. A few hours later this same scenario would repeat it's self on the Hawaiian Islands as everyone was evacuated from the low lying areas before the expected arrival time of the tsunami waves.

Several hours later after the waves had passed the tsunami warning was lifted and though there was a small tsunami (less than 2 feet) here on the West Coast and in Hawaii there was no loss of life and little damage that I've heard of. We were lucky this time! Like the title says "Shaken not stirred".

Friday, October 26, 2012

Found a feather...


... and took a few pictures of it. Pretty certain this is from a "Steller's Jay". I tried using the cropped image as a screen saver but it was too hard on my eyes! LOL

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall colors

Here are a couple of recent "Fall" pictures from Vancouver Island. Q will be dismayed to know that the top photo was through passenger side window of a slow moving vehicle and the window had rain drops on it... I did a little better on the bottom shot, no windows and I stopped moving long enough to take the picture! LOL

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Found myself near the local airport last weekend and took several pictures of this plane landing. A few days later I finally got around to looking at the pictures I'd taken and found this!

This bright object appears in several of the photos but always in a different location relative to the airplane which to me rules out lens flare from the planes landing lights.

Anyone have any logical explanation what this might be? Guess if we can't identify it then the only thing left would be to call it a U.F.O.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On the road again .....

Cheryl and I will be leaving at O-dark-thirty tomorrow to head to the mountains to meet up with Parker so this may be my last post for a few days. Hopefully Parker has being playing nice with the bulls until I get there. LOL

Monday, October 22, 2012


.... my favorite thing to make for dinner!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Good Start But a GREAT Finish!!!

    With young kids as all you know they tend to have a mind and internal alarm clock all to their own. My 5 year old son is no different, he woke me up well before sunrise yesterday and I just couldn't get back to sleep. So peering out through the window I noticed a few clouds on the horizon and said what the heck, I might as well go take a few photos. These two photos were taken along side a rural gravel road a short distance outside of town.

As Ron said the sunset yesterday here was absolutely amazing. I was lucky enough to go down to the pond near his house and take a few photos, while Cheryl and him watch the kids (oh yeah thanks dad).  My wife went with me to take photos and the first photo is one that she seen from the bridge that crosses the pond. So not wanting to waste time I grabbed the tripod and camera and sprinted back around the pond to take from the middle of the bridge.
 This photo Ron helped me edit this photo using two different exposures and overlaying them in the Photoshop and a little post processing with the NIK editing program.

The bottom photo is a 3 shot panorama that I combined using Photoshops photomerge feature and a little post processing.

Waiting on Aaron

We saw one of the best sunsets of the year last night and I should have been at the lake to take some photos however, I was at the house helping my wife watch grandkids while Aaron and our daughter were taking photos of the sunset. The things I do.... LOL

So while waiting for Aaron and our daughter to return I stepped out on the front deck and took a couple of shots. As much as I hate to admit it, Aaron's shots were a lot better than mine so now I am waiting to see if he will post any of them on the blog. He now wants to be called the Sunset Kid. Hmmmm....

This photo is exactly as it was shot. The only post processing I did to it was changing it from a RAW file to a JPEG.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Timeless Hawaii

Here are a few timeless pictures from Hawaii... I think the oldest picture here is from 5 years ago but all of them could be from any time in the last 60 ish years... 

Just about time to go back, starting to run out of pictures to post! LOL

It's an Aloha kind of day

This was taken at Hookipa Bay near Pa'ia on Maui. It's a big surfing and windsurfing beach on the windward side. As you can tell by spray from the waves the wind was up this day.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A couple of timeless photos

I rarely take people pictures, I'm not comfortable with it for some reason. Took these two pictures at a recent family reunion of a favorite Uncle and a couple of young Cousins. Guess when the people are family I'm a little more comfortable taking their pictures.

Both of these pictures looked like they could be from just about any time in the last 70 or 80 years so I turned them both B&W.

Before the Frost

We had two nights below freezing this past week so all of the flowers have curled up and died for now.

This one has the sunset colors, don't you think? LOL

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Dad's favorite chair"

Why is it that every time you get out of your favorite chair even for just one minute by the time you get back someone else is siting in it? Talk about taking advantage or what!

Jets at Sunset

We had a very colorful sunset two nights ago and since I was still working I couldn't go any where but my front porch to take some photos. Just as I got my tripod and camera set up this jet flew across the sky and it's vapor trail was lit up like the clouds.

The sunset wizard is back! LOL

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cinnamon Sky

Grabbed a to go cup of coffee and my camera bag. Was out the door of the RV before daylight on my way to a pulloff spot where I had a good view of the skies over the Wichita Mountains. Capturing a Sunrise was the objective and after only a few sips of the black coffee the fast rise of the sun began!

Cinnamon Sky
In less than five minutes the glowing globe seemed to be just comfortably sitting on a cloud and thinking about the twenty four hour journey it was starting. Seems to me that when the Sun sits and thinks, the Heavens take on a Cinnamon color in appearance!
Moonset Over Elk Mountain
After the sunrise shoot all I had to do was pivot the monopod a hundred and eighty degrees to the west to see the sun illuminating the grasses, trees, and Elk Mountain. The full moon was still high in the sky. Seemed to be daring the sun to try and catch it!
Trailer is all packed and loaded. Hope to leave by noon tomorrow. Time to re-start my original plans. Ron and 'Q'--Will see you guys next week at Doris Campgrounds!

Almost Stumped

You almost had me on that one. I had to go back to 2007 when I first bought my Nikon D80 to find these. LOL

There's still just a wisp of clouds in the sky but these are the emptiest sky sunsets I have. Hmmmmm....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Last Rays

Last Rays
The day had been calm with no wind or clouds. We were under a high pressure dome. With no dust in the air or clouds for the light to bend and reflect off of, it was not the best time for an attempt at catching a sundown pic! 
Laying all of the above aside, I was in the Sunset Wizards territory! Sunsets in living color seem to Pop from his lens with regularity. But.......I don't recall seeing any without clouds. (This little observance will probably come back to bite me.) So be it! Capturing a Sundown was the objective, clouds or no clouds! More or less just looked at old Sol from the corner of my eye and shot away! I kind of liked the results!

After the storm

Being dubbed the "Sunset Wizard" by Tex I felt I needed to live up to my name however, this is actually a sunrise. This was taken the other morning after the thunderstorms had moved through and the clouds were slowly sliding away. Two sunrises in one week, I must be losing my mind. LOL

For those of you interested, this was taken with the Nikon P7700 set on aperture priority at f8 handheld. As a side note, I checked the file size on the RAW or NRW version of this photo and it was 25.5 MB. The JPEG version was only 4.06 MB. The RAW file was converted in Nikon's View NX2 and then the photo post processed in Photoshop CS5 using the NIK software.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sunday in Buddhist Temple.

I have been sneaking around to take these portraits in the Buddhist temple while waiting for my two boys finishing their Vietnamese class.  These elderly people usually hanging around the temple every Sunday to do volunteering work.  These are on Nikon D3 with 70-200mm f/2.8.