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

Thoughts Interrupted

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!!


I LOVE my new job!!!

Yup…got a new job.  I told you guys I was fired while my son was in town.  I was a bit pissed at first.  Afterall, who can blame me for getting upset?  I was fired for not working hard enough…for free…on my days off…but I digress…

Shortly after getting fired, I found out that the local wildlife rehab center was hiring.  I have been an Educational Volunteer with Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care, doing educational shows and presentations for a couple of years now.  Cindy is a wonderful lady with a tremendous amount of knowledge and a heart of gold, and she always respected my reptile knowledge.  When I found out they were hiring for summer wildlife interns, I jumped at the chance.  Luckily, out of a rather large field of VERY experienced individuals, Cindy gave me a chance.

So here’s some pictures of our current patients…

Juvenile Red Tail Hawks

 

Juvenile Red Tail

This poor guy above was electrocuted.  Unfortunately, it is likely that he will never fly again.  His wing is wasted, and may even need to be amputated as the flesh continues to atrophy from the injury.  Hopefully we can get a permit to keep him as an educational bird, but…that’s a mighty big “IF”…

Nestling Great Horned Owl

 This is one of 3 nestling Great Horned Owls we have right now.  All 3 were orphaned, but otherwise healthy.  They are strong, healthy, and will be released to live in the wild as soon as possible.  We also have an adult GHO, but she has a pretty bad wing laceration, and she stresses out really easily.  She’s doing well, and we expect a full recovery and release soon, but I didn’t want to stress her out with photos…

Nestling Red Tail Hawk

 

Nestling Red Tail Hawk

 This is Lucky.  Lucky is a nestling Red Tail Hawk.  He was found on the ground, out of the nest, no adults anywhere to be found, and he was FAR too young to be alone.  An extensive search of the area revealed no signs of parents or siblings.  We don’t know why or how Lucky was orphaned, but we sure are trying to raise him right.  He’s strong, he’s full of attitude, and hopefully, with some flying time and hunting lessons, he will be released back into the wild before fall.

My mom always said, and I always believed her…things happen for a reason.  Getting fired from the pet shop SUCKED.  Getting this new job at the rehab center is a dream come true.  When one door closes another opens, and this door is one I’ve been wanting for a long time.  Stick around.  I plan on sharing a TON of photos of our rehab adventures this summer…

Thanks for looking!

P.S.–Please checkout Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care’s website.  It’s a fantastic, non-profit institution funded entirely by private donations and volunteer efforts.  We are sometimes the only thing standing between these fantastic creatures and death, so give ’em a look, and see what it’s all about.  If you live in the area, we can always use rescue volunteers, and you could even volunteer to work hands-on at the center.  It’s not a job for everyone, but everyone that does it is vastly rewarded…


Backyard Bird Watching

Backyard bird watching.  It’s almost cliché.  People are hustlin’ and bustlin’ around this great big world of ours, and not leaving anytime to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  Money is tight, job security is low, taxes and inflation continue growing…  It seems the only thing we have any ability to control anymore is how we respond to the rapidly changing stimuli.

That’s why I LOVE my backyard.  Let me explain…  I live in the High Desert.  My house is situated at about 5,000′, right on the feet of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern California.  I can look out my living room window and I have an unobstructed view for close to 10 miles, all the way up the western slope of the White Mountain peaks, which is the western most border of Nevada.  Now…there is a major highway running through there, and a multitude of high-power, high-tension lines zig-zagging back and forth.  Views are spectacular, but these ugly lines are very destructive to landscape compositions.  But the wildlife is incredible…

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It’s amazing how curative a backyard like mine can be.  I’m gonna tell you guys a little secret…I lost my job last week.  Yea, right in the middle of my visit with my son, I found out that I was no longer employed.  But it’s OK.  I had an incredible week visiting with my son, and my emotional well-being has never been more positive.  Even being unemployed and quickly running out of money, I can’t help but smile.  I walk out back, and it just happens.  Something will come through.  I have a lot of experience in a lot of fields.  I’ve done everything from flippin’ burgers and pouring drinks to antique restorations and hotel management.  I also found out about some pretty cool job openings in my area, including backcountry habitat recovery and wildlife rehabilitation, and not only would I LOVE to have either of those jobs…I’m fairly well qualified for both.  So something will come through.  Just gotta ride this wave for a few days…

Thanks for taking the time to stop and look!


Landscapes, Lizards, and More Fire

Kevin flies back to Colorado tomorrow.  It’s been an incredible week, but I’ll be sad to see him go.  We’re making plans for him to come visit again in August, and that will be really nice, but…I’m gonna miss him when he leaves…

Yea, it’s really been an incredible week.  I met my son.  Zayne met her brother.  And we really enjoyed each others’ company.  It will definitely be sad to watch him go, but I know he’ll be coming back…

Thanks for looking!


Playing with Fire…

So…my son is a Fire Dancer.  Fire scares the shit outta me, but he’s got WAY more balls than I do, because he purposely sets shit on fire and spins it around his head and body.  It’s pretty intense to watch, because you can hear the flames and feel the heat.  Makes me wonder what it feels like inside of all those flames…

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What a Day!

So…I picked my son up at the airport on Sunday.  I haven’t seen him since he was 2 years old, and he has no conscious memory of me at all.  He’s a 21-year-old Army combat veteran, now.  We had a 4 hour drive from the airport to the house, and we spent 99% of it talking, laughing, and getting to know each other.  It really surprises me how much we have in common, both in terms of things we enjoy, and our personalities…the way we think.  We share similar opinions on many subjects, and enjoy many of the same hobbies and activities. 

It’s really been a nice couple of days.  We went for a walk around the Buttermilk area, looking for snake and lizards, and taking pictures yesterday afternoon…

My son, Kevin, looking for snakes and lizards, camera 'round his neck

 We did manage to find a few lizards, but no snakes…

Great Basin Fence Lizard--Sceloporus occidentalis longipes

And a B&W panorama of some of my favorite mountains…

2 shot pano--Paiute Crag to Mt. Humphries

 Last night, Kevin and I went road cruising for snakes for a little bit.  We didn’t see any snakes, but we did find a Great Basin Spadefoot toad, which is always a welcome and rare treat in Inyo County…

Great Basin Spadefoot--Spea intermontana

It’s been fantastic so far!  We are going to pick up Zayne either tonight or tomorrow.  These two haven’t met, yet, so I’m pretty excited to get them both together…

Thanks for looking!


Am I THAT Old?!?

Man…my baby girl is growing up WAY too quickly.  It seems like just a couple of months ago I was changing her diapers and she was falling asleep on my chest in a rocking chair…

  About 2 weeks ago, she asked me if she could pierce her ears and cut her hair short.  The earrings we had discussed before, and I told her I didn’t care if her mother didn’t care.  The hair was hard.  All of her life I have adored her long, golden locks, and now she wanted to cut them off.  “It’s your hair”, I told her.   “If you’re old enough to ask me for permission to cut your hair short and pierce your ears, I suppose your old enough to decide for yourself.”  And so she did…

My Heart, My Soul, My Everything

Her mom was picking her up for the weekend, and so they decided to make a “Girl’s Day” out of it, and go to the salon for haircuts and earrings.  I’m telling you…I almost cried when I saw her.  I have to admit she looks absolutely adorable.  But she looks so…grown up!  She ain’t no tiny baby girl no more, and that means I’m getting old…

Wanna know something else?  I have a 21-year-old son whom I haven’t seen since he was 2.  He has no memory of me whatsoever.  He is coming out to meet us for the first time this April.  You have no idea how flippin’ excited I am!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read!


One of My First Shots

A long time ago, or so it seems, I took the plunge and invested in a mid-range DSLR camera.  My best friend John was thrilled.  Within 2-3 days of getting my box in the mail, John took me to one of his favorite locations in The Alabama Hills to try it out.   Those first few images were rightly crap.  Poor composition, no subjective connection, and only moderately acceptable exposures.  But on that first day, I learned and re-learned some fascinating aspects of photography that were forgotten in the maze of years.

I went back through the files from that first day, and actually found one that was fairly reasonable.  So I took it into Photoshop CS4, and reprocessed the original file…

Southern Inyo Mountains

I was feeling a little nostalgic, and missing my recently deceased best friend, John.  I’m always gonna miss him, but he will always guide my feet and my exposures in this gorgeous little valley that we both loved so much.  Thinking back on that first day shooting, I couldn’t help but process this one with a little sense of nostalgia, and an antique flare of it’s own.  It was only a few years ago, but it really does seem like a lifetime…

Thanks so much for taking the time to look!