Monthly Archives: September 2012

Click of the Week – Flower Child

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have been seeing a lot of hot weather lately, which has made for some very pleasant late afternoons and gorgeous sunsets. I took a short drive up to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy the beautiful magic hour light at the end of the day, and to see what critters were out and about.

Very shortly after entering the tour route, I noticed some very slight movement within a field of flowers. After a few minutes of watching quietly, I saw a young Coyote hunting for his dinner. He was slowly winding his way through the flowers, occasionally stopping to pounce upon an unlucky victim. Of special note, it was very interesting to see that the Coyote would stop and literally smell the flowers, much like a human would. He would stick his snout right into the flowers and appear to be taking a deep breath; it certainly put a smile on my face. 🙂

These photographs were made with Canon equipment: Canon 1D Mk4, Canon 500mm + 1.4 TC mounted on a Skimmer Ground Pod atop a Skimmer Sack Beanbag over the window opening of my car door. Settings: f/8, 1/320, ISO 400, + 1/3rd exposure compensation.

 

Coyote - Ridgefield National Wildlife RefugeCoyote - Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Posted in Click of the Week, Wildlife Tagged , |

Birding in the Heart of Oregon

Central and Southeast Oregon offer some spectacular wildlife photography. Among numerous great locations I visited, Summer Lake was one of my favorites. This is one of the best places in Oregon to view migrating waterfowl and other shore and waterbirds. The area consists of a large marsh and upland area, along with an eight mile tour route. The refuge hosts over 40 different mammals, and over 280 species of birds!! This is an extremely important location for migrating birds during both Spring and Fall migrations as a resting point en route to their final destination. The colors of the arid landscape make for lovely earth-toned backdrops to your photographs, one of the most welcome attributes for this wildlife photographer!

Heading East, you can venture over Hart mountain into the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. I spent three nights camping on the top of this massive fault block ridge that abruptly rises 3/4 of a mile above the Warner Valley floor. This is an EXTREMELY rugged area that offers a diverse mix of terrain and habitat types, four-wheel drive is a necessity here! Hart Mountain is home to over 300 species of wildlife, including Pronghorn Antelope, California Bighorn sheep, Mule deer, and Sage grouse.

If you continue East over Hart Mountain, you will come off of the plateau into the town of French Glen. I use the term “town” very lightly here. 🙂 It is roughly one block long, and consists of a  gas station, a few homes, and a restaurant/motel. Important to note here: when you are travelling in this part of Oregon, you need to pay attention to your gas usage VERY closely! Gas stations are EXTREMELY sparse, and mileage must continually be accounted for, and refueling scheduled appropriately.

Additional options not to be missed, are of course Malheur National Wildlife Refuge which is located 30 miles South of Burns, Oregon, and if you want to head South from French Glen instead, you can venture down to Fields, Oregon, an equally small and desolate town…but fantastic for bird photography!

Eastern Oregon offers a wealth of photographic opportunities for the adventurous photographer. Although the landscapes tend to be a bit on the rugged side, the payoff is one of a kind. So get outside and take the road less traveled in Eastern Oregon, and see what wild beauty awaits you and your camera.

 

Mule DeerBlack-necked StiltPinyon JayWhite-faced IbisBuck DeerYellow-rumped WarblerWhite-crowned SparrowBrewer's BlackbirdPinyon JayWestern Meadowlark

Posted in Wild Outdoors, Wildlife Tagged , |