One new photograph, almost every day of the year

Archive for February, 2019

2019—Blow in My Ear …

As one Laughing Gull said to another, “Blow in my ear and I’ll follow you anywhere.”

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2019—Florida Sanderling

I’m back  beach panning, one of my favorite ways to photograph birds.  In beach panning,  I lay flat on the sand so I am at eye level with the shorebirds with my camera and long lens affixed to a panning plate attached to a Frisbee. This allows me to be up close and personal with some of my favorite photographic subjects.  But, things have changed a little since my last beach panning trips in Florida and Texas.  I no longer own my Nikkor 600mm lens which is the lens I used when I was introduced to and fell in love with beach panning.  I now have a Nikkor 500mm PF lens which is about half the height and half the weight of my 600mm lens.  What I didn’t take into account until I was laying flat on the sand at Huguenot Memorial Park in Jacksonville, FL, my head scrunched sideways and my face almost pressed into the sand, was that the 500mm lens mounted on the panning plate was several inches lower than my old setup.  Moose saved  me by reminding me that I can easily hand-hold my Nikon D5 and 500mm lens.   I could still lay flat on the sand and prop myself up on my elbows getting me to the perfect elevation. Problem solved and one of my favorite shorebirds, the sandeling, walked toward me while I took its photograph to commemorate the event.

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2019—North to Alaska

North to Alaska again for more big game.  This time, it’s Alaskan Moose.  We didn’t see any Moose in Wyoming last week although the habitat was similar to Chugach State Park near Anchorage where I photographed this bull moose.

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2019—Effortless

Whiskey Mountain in the Wind River Range in Wyoming is home to the largest wintering Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep herd in North America.  This young Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram trotted effortlessly across the treeless, high elevation alpine tundra, his habitat which provides quick access to the steep rocky slopes nearby, an escape from predators.

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2019—Ram Tough

The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Rams we saw near Dubois, WY last week stuck together in small groups within the band of Bighorn Sheep we were photographing.  It was such a thrill to watch them deftly pick their way down a sheer cliff then rumble together down the hillside, stopping to munch on the grasses protruding from the snow.  They exhibited a toughness and confidence that impressed me and must have impressed the ewes they were undoubtedly trying to attract.

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2019—Big Buck

We were fortunate to come across several small herds of Mule Deer when we drove along the East Fork of the Wind River near Dubois, WY.  There were several bucks in each herd and even more does.

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2019—Deer in the Headlights

We encountered a few herds of Mule Deer in Wyoming last week.  They were much more skittish than the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep and the slightest movement or sound caught their attention.  When we triggered the shutter releases on our cameras they would stare at us, transfixed with that “deer in the headlights” look.

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2019—The Big Boys

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Rams.

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2019—Symbiosis

Black-billed Magpies and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep have a friendly, symbiotic relationship.  The Magpies are a common companion to the sheep.  They forage through their thick fur to remove ticks and other small annoyances to the sheep or, they just hang out on their backs.

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2019—Lip Curling

Lip curling is a behavior in Rocky Mountain Bighorn rams that means the scent of a female in heat is in the air.  The ewes aren’t far away from this pair of rams.

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