Mother Nature is the artist. I just collect the memories…

Wildlife

A Beautiful Morning

My daughter has been begging me for a dog…specifically a Chihuahua, for the last 6 years and change. Me…I don’t like Chihuahuas.  Yippy, snappy, barky, bitey, toe-biting rat dogs…I always said we would get a dog “someday”, but stressed that we would not get a Chihuahua.  I’m such a sucker…

Yup…my daughter walking her 4-month old Chihuahua, Fleur…

This is them. 2 peas in a pod in only 3 days…

I went and hung out with this puppy for about an hour before I ever told Zayne anything about her.  She is actually a very well-behaved puppy, and very easy to train.

Anyhow…on our little walk around the desert this morning, I took a few pics of the local Autumn wildlife…

Great Basin Fence Lizard

Common Sideblotch

All in all, it’s a beautiful morning.  And yes…I know my kid is wearing 2 different shoes…

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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Midnight Macros

I couldn’t sleep last night.  Insomnia has always been an issue for me, so I’ve learned to deal with it.  One of my tools is my camera…

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I couldn’t have created better lighting for the green Praying Mantis.  It was sitting on the brass base of my porch light, glowing from the bare bulb above it, and I used a hand-held flash.  I’m pretty happy with the results of all that brass and reflected lighting…

Thanks for looking!


Been A While…

Wow.  It’s been quite some time.  A lot has happened.  Initially, I was unemployed for a little bit, and anyone that has ever been there knows that priorities change.  The internet had to go.  Time was spent looking for a job, pounding the pavement, rather than walking the streets looking for photographs waiting to be taken.  Money got tight, gas prices rose, and activity in my life ran down to a minimum.

But I’m back.  I’m working, making money, and putting my camera back in hand, and priorities back in line.  So by way of a re-introduction, here’s just a few random shots that have helped pass the time…

Zayne and Great Basin Gophersnake

Spike and Andee

My son and his girlfriend hunting for petroglyphs in the Volcanic Tablelands.

Goldfinch

Zayne enjoying Hot Ditch. Natural reflection from the water cured backlight shadows nicely.

Random front yard flower

1982 Shovelhead Custom Rigid. She will be mine. VERY soon…

So…yea…just a few shots to say, I’m back.  And things are getting better.  Thanks for stopping by!!


Little Lakes Valley

Went for a quick hike up through Little Lakes Valley this morning.  Such a beautiful area…

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American Kestrel Release

We had the distinct pleasure of releasing a gorgeous young female American Kestrel this morning.  She was with us for about a month, learning to hunt and fly, and feed on her own, and she’s going to do just fine out in the wild…

Getting ready to step out

 

Perfect flight to a perfect perch

I also got a shot of our Evening Grosbeak.  He, too, will be released fairly soon…

Evening Grosbeak

Thanks for taking the time to look!


Incredibly Rare Rodent

Aplodontia rufa, commonly known as Mountain Beaver, only occurs in the northwestern Pacific Coast of Oregon and Washington, and in a very narrow belt in the northeastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We got one that was hit by a car into the center the other day.

These animals are very rare.  In fact, as far as we can tell, this is the first one registered in any rehabilitation center in the state of California.  They are a “living fossil” with traits and characteristics that place them as one of the oldest living rodent species in existence.  Really interesting creatures.  Checkout this Wikipedia article for more information on this fascinating creature…

So far, I’ve only managed to get one decent photo of this guy, but I will be bringing my camera to work again tomorrow in search of a few more…

Aplodontia rufa californica--Sierra Nevada Mountain Beaver

Thanks for stopping by!!


It’s Been a While…

I’ve been slackin’ on the posting.  Work has been incredibly busy, and I’ve had no time to go out and shoot photos.  It’s been hectic, to say the least.  But I brought the gear to work the other day, went in a couple of hours before I was scheduled, and took some shots…

Cooper's Hawk

 

Jeremy and Cindy examining a Golden Eagle

This Golden Eagle was found hopping on the ground, unable to fly.  An early exam revealed dehydration, near-emaciation, and all of his primary feathers broken on one wing.  The flesh and tendons are viable, no signs of electrocution, and was given subcutaneous fluids, and fed gently.  He is recovered well enough to be transported to a facility with on-staff veterinarians and raptor specialists, and after full-recovery, he will be brought back to us for release.

Love Dove-European Collared Dove

This dove came to us as a tiny baby.  We raised her up, big and healthy, and tried to release her, but she came back and hangs out at the center.  There are other doves in the area, and they all get along well, so we’ll let her stay…

Roadrunner

This young Roadrunner is completely wild.  He has never been a patient at the center, and doesn’t appear to be even remotely injured.  He just hangs out in the desert behind the center, and has gained enough confidence to allow us to approach him…sort of.  We don’t get closer than a few feet, but I have passed directly underneath him whilst he was perched on this branch several times, and he is less than 6″ above my head, so…pretty bold Roadrunner…

"Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore!'"

 

First Flight of Freedom

Lenore came to us as a little nudie baby, orphaned, naked, cold, and starving.  She grew into a big, healthy, beautiful Raven.  I was quite fond of Lenore, and shared pictures of her a few weeks ago.  She’s a big girl now, and we released her the other morning to be free as she can be…

Thanks for looking!


Cruising for Snakes

I went out last night for a short snake cruise, hoping to scare up some Sidewinders and Panamints, but alas, the rattlers didn’t want to come out and play with me.  I did find a couple of other snakes, though…

California Kingsnake--Lampropeltis getula californiae

This king was absolutely gorgeous!  He was about 4-4 1/2 feet in length, very healthy and crisply colored with jet black and pure white bands.  This is a true “Desert Phase” California Kingsnake.  Quintessential in color, size, and attitude, but he did settle down and stop trying to bite for long enough to get a few pictures…

Further down the road I found this guy…

Great Basin Gophersnake--Pituophis catenifer deserticola

I have found and played with a ton of Great Basin Gophersnakes over the years.  This species is always fun to find, because you never know what kind of attitude they are going to have.  Some are incredibly calm, content to be picked up, held, and moved out of the road, and others…well…not so much.  This was one of the most defensive Gophersnakes I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering.  He was medium size, about 3 1/2 feet in length, but he was absolutely FULL of piss and hatred for me.  He was easily one of the loudest hissers I’ve ever encountered, and he struck at me more times than I could possibly count.  Not little strikes…2/3 body length, almost aerial, lunges towards me, the flashlight, the camera…anything that moved in front of him.  Of course, he was determined to convince me that he was gonna kill me, but that’s what I like to see.  If a snake is that angry at me, it means he will treat every other human he encounters the same way.  When this dude reaches 6 feet or more in length, he will be one helluva snake to deal with.  Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to meet him at that point.  Think he’ll remember me? 😉

Here’s another shot of the same Gophersnake.  Notice the similarity of pose and attitude?  He didn’t stop for a second…

Even after picking him up, moving him across the road in his intended direction of travel, and calmly setting him down inches from the cover of sagebrush, he had his sights on me.  What a great little snake!

Thanks for taking the time to look!