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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

More Wildflowers and a little Bird Porn

Yeah, you read that right, flowers and birdie porn. Don't judge me, it's spring isn't it? And I'll get back to all that in a bit. First, I recently made a potentially rash decision to upgrade my Canon SLR camera from mid-range level to the 'can I really afford this stuff...?' level.

I find that quite amusing. You see, when out shooting wildlife photos, sometimes people are often impressed with my camera, particularly because it is always attached to humongous long lens and many people suffer big lens envy. When they do, without a trace of
modesty I tell them, "You know, in my expert hands I can make this baby function like a high end Brownie Box camera!" The joke being - on me - meaning a camera is no better than the person peering though the lens.  Unfortunately for my equipment, I'm always the untrained rube making the decisions, seldom holding still enough, seldom taking atmospheric conditions into consideration. I refuse to weigh myself down with yet another piece of equipment, however desperately needed for stability (e.g., a tripod). Therefore I decided to go for the 'if-you-can't-improve-photographer-improve-the-equipment' ruse. Probably won't work, but it sure gives one cool new toy to mess with.

Spoiler alert: I'm shifting back to this post's heading now, so send the kids out of the room.

With new camera in hand, I was out early-ish today, to the boondocks looking for something to photograph when I spotted a likely looking subject - a beautiful dark phase Swainson's Hawk, sitting in a Cottonwood tree.


The beautiful bird didn't do anything so while it sat, I faffed about my new toy camera. Before I knew it, a second Swainson's Hawk entered the scene, stage right.
"Hey girl... want to feel my feathers? Know what they're made of?
Boyfriend material."
Of course the male bird was only joshing, they seemed quite familiar with each other.
Yeah... I think they've met before
Now we know the origin of the Russian double-headed Eagle
"So long girl. Catch you on the next, nearly-as-hot-as-you thermal column" 
End result... he doesn't call... doesn't write...
Now, now, I'm just rufflin' yer feathers. That was a cool thing to see, and unlike the Bald Eagles doing a courtship flight recently, at least I had my camera ready for it.

The Swainson's weren't the only birds I saw for the day. This poor fellow below seemed a bit lonely, and was clucking to himself, that the lady pheasants were too picky, and it wasn't his fault that his tail met with an unfortunate accident.








I'll bet his missing tail had been at least as pretty as his otherwise impressive feathering.


The outback was rather wet from recent weather. This little Black-necked Stilt was found on Meiss Road where you'd never expect to see shorebirds, but when its many pastures are flooded I've seen a fair share on that area over the years, .


I actually spent more time photographing flowers than birds, with my new camera and my iPhone.
The California Poppies were delightfully photogenic 
Great year for Larkspur 
Standing ovation for these lovely, intensely blue-ishy purpley larkisih thingies
The Wally-Baskets are banging
Wild White Hyacinth
But-tuh melting over the valley swells
Not much of a workout for the new camera but you can't tell the birds when to fly or the flowers where they'd look best blooming.

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