Postcards from a Freegan Raccoon

If I had a photography motto it might be "follow the crows." As sentries of the canopy, crows know what's going on. So I pay attention. If it mattered at all to crows, they could tell me who shattered my car window last month and who stole our Christmas tree (with decorations) back in 1995. What obviously does interest crows is those pesky interlopers, especially during prime nesting season. Around here, that interloper is most often a Bald Eagle. [...]

2018-02-13T04:14:50+00:00 May 20th, 2014|Blog, Mammals, Pollution, Uncategorized|1 Comment

North American Beaver … Eating Lily Pads Like Enchiladas

It's like waiting for a geyser to erupt ... or an eclipse. There's a start time to this endeavor. At 6:45p, we're told, a North American beaver or two (or more) will swim into this stew of lily pads and systematically take them down for dinner. They have a lodge not far away, this family of four. It's plain good fortune on our part, taking a spontaneous walk on the shoreline trail, that we encounter a local photographer [...]

2018-02-14T17:34:07+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Blog, Mammals|11 Comments

Spa Day for a Night Heron

... at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California I originally named this portrait "Standing Room Only." I'd never seen a Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) creep chest-high into a pool -- then just stand there forever like a Japanese snow monkey. This pose made me laugh as I watched the heron soak up the swirls of his own private day spa. One of my Facebook friends wrote, "what is this lil man doing?" That comment captured [...]

2018-02-13T21:50:11+00:00 March 5th, 2014|Birds, Blog|13 Comments

Western Gull + Fishing Line + Rehab

In my previous post, I mentioned a Western Gull I managed to rescue ... by true luck. Here's that story. We were in Los Angeles all of January and part of February, and in the context of a chaotic month, I stole an hour to go strolling on the beach. On my walk over through Redondo Beach, I saw two Black Phoebes (Sayornis nigricans), one who preferred automobile side mirrors as perches. She'd flutter [...]

2018-02-14T17:33:28+00:00 February 22nd, 2014|Birds, Blog, Uncategorized, Wildlife Solutions|11 Comments

Favorite Images

I've done a "best of" selection at the end of previous years ... but this year I'm opting for a favorites list. I didn't realize there would be a disparity between the photos I consider my best technically versus those I hold close to my heart. There appears to be only a loose correlation between the merits of an image and my feelings about it. With that in mind, here's my list of 2013 [...]

2018-02-15T20:10:46+00:00 January 1st, 2014|Blog, Photography|9 Comments

“Proof of Life” Photography – Part 2 – Proof of Eagles

[Continued from Proof of Life Photography - Part 1]Some of these images required a bit more than my usual standard file raw processing, due to the darkness of the conditions. Adjustments include levels, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction.We turned onto Mt. Baker Highway at Bellingham, heading for a bend in the Nooksack River in northern Washington. On clear days, the snow-tipped Mount Baker looms over the road eastward. On this day, we had just the knowledge of [...]

2018-02-15T21:29:46+00:00 December 30th, 2013|Birds, Blog, Photography|2 Comments

“Proof of Life” Photography – Part 1

Moving to the Pacific Northwest changed nearly everything about my photography. When we left San Francisco, with mixed feelings for sure, I consoled myself with the idea of photographing species I'd never seen in the Bay Area -- like Bald Eagles and Orcas. I anticipated tramping along the shoreline trails of Puget Sound as I did around San Francisco Bay, finding my way in a new landscape and ecology. I envisioned the Salish Sea [...]

2018-02-15T21:39:16+00:00 December 27th, 2013|Blog, Photography|13 Comments

Living in Your Own Private Cryosphere

Albedo is the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, white and bright, has a high albedo, reflecting back the sun on itself, whereas water draws the solar radiation deep into its hues. Water is always in flux, mutable -- liquid, vaporous, frozen -- evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life with its hydrological rhythms. And, it stores life, even as deep as 4000 meters below the East Antarctic ice [...]

2018-02-15T21:49:10+00:00 December 12th, 2013|Blog, Photography, Weather|9 Comments

Rilke in a Seattle Autumn

I first read Rainer Maria Rilke one autumn in "Letters to a Young Poet" -- a book handed off to me with pages stained by office carbons. Rilke's letters to Franz Kappus, published by Kappus after Rilke's death, are sympathetic and inspired. There's a reason this collection finds its way to the paws of young writers, as it did mine that fall day. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and [...]

2018-02-15T21:59:45+00:00 November 25th, 2013|Blog, Flora|9 Comments