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Just Because…

Looking west from one of the neighborhood trailheads.

Looking west from one of the neighborhood trailheads.

Sunsets are photographically speaking considered somewhat cliche.  Here in the southwestern desert we don’t often have much in the way of cloud cover so we decided to take advantage of the monsoon season and see what we could get.  This particular shot has some interesting cloud texture in it.  We’ll be trying some other locations while the weather holds.


One of our local hummingbirds posing for me

One of our local hummingbirds posing for me

I was out on the back porch playing with the camera when one of the hummingbirds that hangs around the back yard came by.  We have three or four of them that are regular visitors and they’re completely fearless, coming by close enough that you can feel them and hovering within a couple feet of you.  Since this guy was checking me out, what else could I do but take his picture?

Afternoon moon

14-09-03 Misc 50-200 6-web

The late afternoon moon

The other afternoon I was out in the yard and noticed that the moon was up and bright.  Since I’ve been getting to know the 50-200mm zoom lens I recently bought, I went ahead and took a couple of quick shots.

Olympus E-M1/200mm@f8. 1/250 sec and ISO 200

Flagstaff Weekend

Flagstaff Meadows

Flagstaff Meadow

The Missus and I recently spent a weekend in the Flagstaff area shooting some landscapes during the “Mountains and Meadows of Northern Arizona” workshop put on by Arizona Highways Photography Workshops.  This particular workshop was run by Shane McDermott, a Flagstaff landscape photographer. 

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Stupid Guy Stuff

Stunned Dragonfly

Stunned Dragonfly

So today we’re out enjoying the pond at the White Tanks, taking a few photos and listening to the wildlife, when we hear a loud “clang!” and the Missus jumps.  It seems a dragonfly was preoccupied with chasing a female dragonfly (I’m assuming here, I’m really not too clear how to identify the difference on the fly) and wasn’t watching where he was going.  The “clang!” was the sound of him flying into the railing made out of steel pipe meant to keep people out of the habitat.  I learned today that an insect can indeed knock itself unconscious. This guy lay there twitching for a couple of minutes – literally – his hind wings would twitch.  Finally he came back to life and resumed his pursuit of the female who was no doubt thinking “Idiot…”

Stay at home Mom

Aug 10 2014 Nesting 80Sometimes a photo finds you instead of the other way around.  We don’t have an overly lush back yard, but it’s protected from most predators and large enough that it’s become something of a bird sanctuary.  There’s a canal for water just on the other side of the fence, and enough brush for them to feel comfortable.  The fact that the Missus is apparently on a mission to feed the local quail into full blown obesity is no doubt also a factor.

We noticed a couple of nests being build in the tree the hummingbirds hang out at, and this one just above eye level is currently occupied by mama, one chick and an unhatched egg.  There is a balancing act in getting close enough for a decent picture while not stressing her out.  Fortunately she’s somewhat accustomed to us so with a long lens it’s just possible to catch a good angle.

P1/P65+, 300mm@ f5.6, 1/640 sec and ISO 200