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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

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

Welcome Home, Seattle Ducks!

I spotted my first migratory ducks on the urban shores of Elliott Bay last week. The new arrivals are on edge -- wary and easy to flush. Lifting my lens is enough to send them skittering to the middle of the bay, and I can only imagine what sights and sounds have jarred them into high alert on their long journey home. I think of how far the winter ducks soar, finally dipping into Puget [...]

2013-11-15T22:27:24+00:00 November 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Going All Micro Four Thirds on Wildlife

Update - November 1, 2016: I get many emails and comments related to this post -- from people interested in micro four thirds (m43) and mirrorless cameras as a wildlife format. I've been shooting with Olympus m43 gear exclusively now for three years and plan to update my impressions before the end of the year. In the interim, the gear I'm now using is the OMD E-M1, with my original E-M5 as a backup body. I'm [...]

2013-10-01T22:11:12+00:00 October 1st, 2013|Photography, Uncategorized|49 Comments

Taking a Break to Mend a Chip in My Heart …

I've been absent from this space more than I've been here, my heart consumed with care for our four-legged kid. We've been nursing our beloved girl, Jackie, through an acute form of leukemia -- and she lost her battle yesterday, bundled in a fleece, huddled in our arms. Sweet Jacques To say that we are heartsick is likely the greatest understatement I’ll ever make. She was so much a part of our world [...]

2013-08-25T16:17:41+00:00 August 25th, 2013|Uncategorized|23 Comments

The Hierarchy of Disagreement

I came upon this graphic the other day, illustrating the Hierarchy of Disagreement -- with seven stages of argumentation based on the Paul Graham essay, How to Disagree. Excerpt: If we're all going to be disagreeing more, we should be careful to do it well. What does it mean to disagree well? Most readers can tell the difference between mere name-calling and a carefully reasoned refutation, but I think it would help to put names on the [...]

2013-07-23T02:05:43+00:00 July 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|15 Comments

Faces of the 18th Weir

They sit suspended at the 18th weir, these scaled faces in the sockeye crowd. It's the window to their water world, the portal from ocean to stream to lake, where their gills remember the taste of fresh after years in the salty sea -- and where they lead -- at least in part -- by magnetic memories of the gravel beds where they were born. They're surging forward across the solstice and into summer ... [...]

2013-07-01T18:24:02+00:00 July 1st, 2013|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Clever, Corrugated Starlings

With starlings, I am often an outlier, even among people who share my conservation ethics and love for wildlife. That's because I appreciate starlings in a way that defies conventional dislike for the species in the United States. I wrote about this in a 2009 post about European Starlings and their introduction to the U.S. in the late 19th century: "Starlings are related to Mynahs, both in the family Sturnidae. They’re exceptional mimics. In [...]

2018-09-30T19:31:32+00:00 June 20th, 2013|Uncategorized|23 Comments

Sleeping With the Fishes

This isn't the first time I've seen an Osprey napping with a fish in his talons. Last year, while observing the platform way across Seattle's long-abused-but-recovering Duwamish River I watched a male Osprey land on a utility pole, clutching a half-eaten meal. A crow who'd been tailing the Osprey, landed alongside. The Osprey perched, adjusted -- then appeared to doze off. The crow who'd been haranguing him for some leftovers seemed to be in the [...]

2013-06-16T22:46:07+00:00 June 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|5 Comments

In Their Own Words … Protecting Gray Wolves From Their Haters

One way to illustrate what's at stake in removing protections from gray wolves, is to quote the people who've effectively been given legal license to kill them. I will not link out to their websites or Facebook fan pages (some of which have thousands of fans -- one has more than 18,000), but I can assure you this rhetoric is frequently accompanied by gruesome imagery of dead wolves. I've posted just a smattering of their [...]

2013-06-13T21:34:14+00:00 June 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|17 Comments