2019—Killer Rabbit?

Looking ominously reminiscent of the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, an Eastern Cottontail looms large behind a male Northern Cardinal in South Texas. The Cardinal looks around as if trying to decide if it’s time to “Run away! Run away! Run away!”

Nikon D500, Nikkor 500mm PF.

2019—Back to Magee Marsh

A few weeks ago I was in Magee Marsh in Ohio photographing Warblers that were migrating north to breeding grounds in Canada. The Warblers stop at Magee Marsh to fuel up before the teacherous flight across Lake Erie. The birds also spend time at Magee Marsh bathing and grooming. This female Northern Parula is fluffed up after her bath as she preens and enjoys the sun.

2019—Open Up That Golden Gate

On Wednesday, the thick fog lifted so I was able to capture a view from the Marin Headlands of the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco in the background. I was really hoping for a shot of the bridge partially shrouded in fog but the towers were either completely obscured or completely visible. When the breeze picked up, the fog didn’t return. From this scenic overlook, it looks almost as if one could just step onto the bridge. Open up that Golden Gate, indeed!

Nikon D5, Nikkor 24-120.

2019—The Boys

Last week, I returned to Neenah, Wisconsin to visit my dear friend Susan. My last visit to Wisconsin was about ten years ago. Susan and I have been close friends since the age of twelve so we easily fell into a comfortable routine that comes with 60 years of friendship. Susan has always been a cat and dog lover and I’ve known many of her pets over the years. But this visit, I met two new pets, each rescued from less than ideal situations, and who, like me, are fortunate to have Susan in their lives. Meet her boys, Herbie, a Bichon Frise and Pippin, just a cat.


A flamboyance of flamingos greeted us as we entered the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday. A “flamboyance” is what a group of flamingos is called. And, indeed, they are quite flamboyant. We’re so used to the tacky pink plastic lawn variety that to see them in the flesh (in the feather?) is quite startling and their brilliant feathers and elegant stature make quite a statement. This Chilean Flamingo is related to the American Flamingo but its coloration is slightly different, a bit paler and the joints on its legs are pink.

Nikon D850, Nikkor 300mm PF

2019—At the Zoo

“Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo,” Paul Simon wrote more than fifty years ago. I was reminded of those lyrics from “At the Zoo” Saturday when I visited the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. I’m not sure what Paul Simon might have been smoking when he wrote the lyrics. I have always been puzzled by several of the references to the zoo animals in the song and although I did witness a rather skeptical orangutan just before seeing the giraffe, I couldn’t really tell whether or not the zoo’s “giraffes are insincere.” But, the zoo was celebrating World Giraffe Day on Saturday, even though the official day to acknowledge the longest necked animal was the day before on the longest day of the year, Friday.

Nikon D850, Nikkor 300mm PF.

2019—Cassin’s Finch

Cassin’s Finches live in mountainous pine forests like those around Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. They are similar to the House Finches that live in suburbs around the USA but they live mostly in the western US. This male Cassin’s Finch posed for me on a perch near a feeder.

Nikon D5, Nikkor 500mm PF, Nikon 1.4 Teleconverter.

2019—Before the Fishemen Arrive

A few days ago. early in the morning, we visited Rock Creek Lake in the Inyo National Forest. The lake is like glass and it reflects the mountains that surround it and the clouds that float above it—that is until the fishermen arrive and the Brown Trout start to jump. We arrived as the sun rose about 5:15AM and stayed about two and a half hours. Then, the glass-like surface of the lake began to ripple as the trout surfaced and the fisherman gathered nearby. Time for breakfast.

Nikon D850, Nikkor 24-70 VR


Mountain Chickadees are nesting and I had an opportunity to photograph them in the Eastern Sierra a few days ago. Here, a male Mountain Chickadee has landed on a perch near the nest box ready to transfer his mouthful of spiders and bugs to his mate to feed to their hungry nestlings.

I used my Nikon D5 and a borrowed Nikkor 180-400 set at 390mm to capture this photograph.

2019—A Thorough Preening

The Yellow Warblers at Magee Marsh were ubiquitous and cooperative and some of the best photographs I got at Magee March this year were of Yellow Warblers. On our last morning there, we watched not one but two Yellow Warblers take their time thoroughly preening their feathers, including the tail and each wing, after they bathed. This one, in particular, spent lots of time in clear view of my lens while it made sure every feather was in its proper place.

2019—Rabbit Ears

A few Eastern Cottontails visited the watering hole near the blinds at Santa Clara Ranch in South Texas every day. Sometimes their presence got in the way of some great bird photographs. Other times, they were so darn cute I couldn’t help but photograph them. The veins in the ears of this demure bunny are quite noticeable while it looks straight into my lens.

Nikon D5, Nikkor 500mm PF

2019—HO Gauge

When I was a little kid, my older brother Artie set up a model train layout on a 4X8 sheet of plywood supported by saw horses in his bedroom. His first train was a big Lionel and later he had an HO Gauge set and I remember being fascinated by the lights, the town he built, and the train chugging along the tracks. At age 5 or so, I was never allowed to touch the controls but I still enjoyed watching the action. And now, 65 years later, Arthur is once again venturing into the model railroad arena and building his own model railroad setup at his home in Bend, OR. I thought of him the other day when I visited the model train display at the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. One display case features replicas of the same Santa Fe engine in sizes from the tiny Z Gauge up to Large Scale with HO Gauge falling in the middle. I took this shot from the side of the display case so I could see all the models head on. I used my Nikon D850 with my Nikkor 105mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.4 and focused on the HO Gauge engine so that the smaller models in front and the larger models in back are completely blurred out and just the HO Gauge model emerges, appearing to move directly toward the camera.

2019—Mrs. Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinals are so similar to male Pyrrhuloxia that it is sometimes hard to tell which is which. The most obvious sign is the color and shape of the beak which is bright yellow and has an angular look in pyrrhuloxia while Northern Cardinal females have a bright orange beak.

This female Northern Cardinal came to the water feature at one of the blinds at Santa Clara Ranch in South Texas to drink and bathe. Her bright orange beak is the telltale feature that distinguishes her from the male Pyrrhuloxia.

Nikon D5, Nikkor 500mm PF.


One of the major challenges of shooting at Magee Marsh is the thick canopy that allows the warblers and other birds to hide. There are so many twigs and branches going every direction that much of the time, small birds, like this adorable Ruby-crowned Kinglet, are obscured from view. But, despite the twigs and leaves that cover much of its body, that wide, round eye is quite visible, peeking through the branches.

Nikon D500, Nikon 1.4 Teleconverter, Nikkor 500mm PF lens.


At the Orlando Wetlands Park in Orlando, Florida American White Pelicans form small flotillas and maneuver around the shallow waters in a kind of scrum, forcing small schools of fish together so that the pelicans can use their massive, flexible beaks to scoop up the fish and whatever else has accumulated beneath them. We witnessed this behavior over and over during our visit in February of this year.

Nikon D500, Nikon 1.4 Teleconverter, 300mm PF lens


What is it that makes some birds sound like cats? My Red-lored Amazon parrot says what many people interpret as “meow” but I think she is actually saying, “well.” But, perhaps after twenty years of believing she’s saying, “well,” I could be wrong. There is another bird that makes a “meow” sound, too. It is a Gray Cat Bird. I saw them and heard their distinctive “meows” in South Texas and in Ohio at Magee Marsh. Hmmmm. Maybe Bobo is saying “meow” after all.