Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scruffy

Cold and windy but not a lot of activity today... most of the eagles have moved on to other places.  A few are still hanging around, but one in particular I thought had more character than the rest... I shall call him scruffy. (bigger)

I only got one shot at him since he swept in from the far side and then passed down the river but for some reason he drew my attention an if I could have followed I would have.

Neat and tidy ones are great to see, but most of them seem to miss what scruffy has... character...

I hope he does well this winter... for eagles with character are always worth seeing again...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Busy but still time for eagles...

Never enough time to do everything you want in life, but it's good to make time to get out and do the thing you like every once in a while (bigger).

Something about getting away for everything "normal" just makes you appreciate everything a little more.  (bigger)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy happy eagles...

Not much is better than having the day off and finding the day unfold with beautiful weather and the return of eagles... (bigger)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Grace in the end...

Even in the smallest of places, there is conflict - who gets to exist, who gets to expand, who becomes lost over time...

and yet eventually the days end for all, time is always the champion, always the victor...

But even so, sometimes grace holds meaning in the end...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Juveniles growing up...

The juvenile eagles are starting to develop more complex behavior - learning how to get another eagle to drop a fish, leave a prime rock and so on... This is probably good since as the fall comes, the adults migrate in and the competition for food starts to get serious.  (bigger)

The posturing is also improving, but the other birds (mostly vultures) don't seem to take them seriously yet... At times I think the vultures like to taunt the young eagles.... (bigger)

It's interesting watching them grow up a bit, thinking they are tougher than they are, thinking that they rule the world, thinking they are invincible... completely unaware that in a few months they will be at the bottom of the social order and hungry more often than not... (bigger)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oppressive and uncomfortable...

In the summer here the heat and the fog create a constantly wet - sticky - overpowered and uncomfortable feeling where it's hard to feel connected to the world... (bigger)


To be overpowered on a small scale is in a way to be bathed in light for the rest of the world to see... (bigger)


Even the normal bees seem to leave the flowers for the strange little wasps... (bigger)





Even as the sun rises there is little hope for change as water just doesn't want to leave the air... (bigger)

And yet if one is under the fog as it lifts, there are little moments of tempered clarity to be found... (bigger)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer eagles...

Had the day off work and felt like shooting eagles and while summer usually isn't anything like the fall/winter activity, it ended up being a good day. (bigger)

My goal for the day was to practice tracking birds in flight (I figured that if there weren't eagles at least there would be gulls so it should be an achievable goal. (bigger)

I was surprised that there were a decent number of juveniles around but not that much competition for the catches (usually it gets rather dramatic when one succeeds and the others converge)... (bigger)

Overall it was an all around successful day, lots of time observing behavior and learning new things that hopefully translate into better work later int he year.  (bigger)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not all can be possessed...

Some things in this world appear solid until touched - a pursuit that holds the promise right up until the point at which it is touched... (bigger)

That moment when it seems success has come, the object captured is brief however... (bigger)

and we learn that not all things can be possessed... (bigger)

That doesn't mean they aren't still fun to play with...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Less traveled...

Sometimes I think the key to happiness in life is to care about the little places overlooked by others... the places where you can find something meaningful and special... (bigger)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To live only in a moment...

As the days pass recently, almost everything I hear is negative... Natural disasters, human disasters, unfairness, disparities, injustices... even the intended amusements seem to be focused in conflict and confusion...

The only thing that keeps me sane most days is the fact that Mischka (my dog) is oblivious to all the trappings of humanity and society... (bigger)


For to a dog, the world is always new - reborn each instant with possibility and the past is but a fleeting memory with little significance.  (bigger)

To be happy with what the world offers, no matter where one is, no matter what was expected, no matter what was planned is something wonderful...  (bigger)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reverse butterfly kisses...

Out in the river on a hot and muggy day we were suddenly surrounded by somewhere between 10 and twenty butterflies.  It seems that there was a great rush of excitement and pushing and shoving for the attention of only one... (bigger)

It's all about being the one to get the reverse butterfly kisses... (bigger)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Only what we make of it...

In a way we all live in our own tiny worlds... separated from others by the walls we put up, by the paths we choose to take, by the things we acknowledge or ignore.  (bigger)

When our little worlds get damaged we simply rebuild them - perhaps changing a bit here and there to suit the interests we have at the time.  But when our expectations about the way in which the world works - how people should behave - which beliefs are more valid or important - how injustices should be handled - that's when emotions show up...

Faced with things beyond our control (outside of the little worlds we feel comfortable in) most of us freeze up... We tend not to act but rather to wait, hoping that some magic will cause the problem to go away, danger abates, economies recover, oil vanishes, politicians change... (bigger)

Emotions (especially fear) are powerful things... for a bit they overpower logic and rational thought - useful for survival, but in the end leaving us empty... alive perhaps, but empty - they never lead to anything productive - only survival.

It seems to me that for too much of the world it is enough only to survive right now.  The visions of making things better, of peace, of happiness, of understanding all seem to be lost for so many... They want only to survive - but what good is a life where everything is driven by fear and hope is only a magical wish that someone else will solve the problems and injustices of the world?

Why do the same people pick up the pieces so quickly when a natural disaster strikes and yet sit idling at the side when the destruction is from the hands of another?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Both juveniles made it...

I went out to check on the eagles nest to see how this year's little ones were doing.  This is a quick composite of one of the two while it was scouting.  (bigger)

The other one seemed happy just to just wait in a tree near the nest.  (bigger)

There's just something nice about seeing both offspring survive and doing well. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

To convey...

There is something interesting to me about the idea of things just beyond our ability to understand.  Things just beyond our perception, things stretched out over time, things that give more meaning than what the obvious tangible aspects of nature allow.  (bigger)

What conveys meaning is intent... not position or detail or history... intent.  Without intent there can be no meaning, no purpose, no specialness to existence.  (bigger)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Finding out...

No matter how much confidence one has in predicting reactions in dangerous situations, there really is no way of knowing until it happens... (bigger)

It's a very scary thing when you find yourself unexpectedly in a situation where that adrenaline surge kicks in so hard and so fast that cognition and rational thought fall away faster than leaves in a hurricane.  To be left with only reflexes (no matter how practiced and tuned) is to be at the mercy of who you really are... no chance to hide your fears or anxieties... no chance to delay a decision... no chance to pretend to be what you are not... it's just raw survival.

While it's a great and exciting feeling to look back and realize that you made it through unscathed - that your reflexes and training will save you - finding out that in a maximum pressure situation your expectation about whether you would run away or hold your ground was wrong is unsettling.  But even so, finding out a little more about who you truly are does bring confidence - experience matters in life, sometimes more than anything else...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's great to be able to walk on water...

While it's great to be able to walk on water, one should always be aware of what waits beneath...

Saw these little fish in the river picking off bugs one at a time from the surface.  The bugs were very aware of me and fled quickly, but if the fish approached from the right angle they seemed to be invisible.

So easy to lose perspective about one's place in the world if you only look where you feel like it...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On the character of the individual...

I've been trying for a while to figure out how to capture what makes individuals special - to capture an image that makes me remember what sets one apart from the others that look so much the same... (bigger)

After trying a wide number of tricks to capture a faster frame, a more precise moment, a more perfect or exotic lighting environment (and failing to make progress) I changed my strategy completely... (bigger)

I decided to spend one day just watching birds I have seen many times before - deck birds - occasionally fed seed, not afraid of me (indeed watching for me at times)... In the sticky heat, I merely sat and watched - looking for the little behaviors, movements and alignments that were different between similar birds... (bigger)

The next day I went out with the camera, and waited in the increasing heat until I felt the light would be right soon (no flash here), estimated the metering and just cleared my head of all thoughts... The goal here was to capture only the specialness that sets them apart - the moment I felt connected to them - and for the first time, I felt I was getting closer when I reviewed the images... (bigger)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wings of glass...

It's been way too hot here lately (and will be for another week)... the kind of heat that drains you... doesn't make you feel like doing the stuff you usually do...

The interesting thing is that it changes the way I look at the world, the environment becomes more important - how it affects the individual.  For bees I suddenly thought of them as having wings of glass, resistant to the overbearing heat.  (bigger)

For butterflies - wings that change the light... (bigger)

And bodies to shield... (bigger)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Unobtainable forms...

Sometimes I feel like trying something different - not so much "trying to look at things from a different perspective" but rather trying to "feel" the situation in a different way. (bigger)

One morning the sun happened to be just right and unlike most days where only a few bees at a time would scavenge pollen - slowing moving from one flower to the next, there were nearly a hundred swarming about... Almost all of them seemed to be carrying as much as they could and yet still they wanted more... (bigger)

Chaos reigned as they furtively slammed into flowers, unsatisfied and yet seemingly compelled to continue...  pollen was everything... (bigger)

It was a situation where the details could not define... the moment was about something present and yet unobtainable... beyond possession, a desire that could not be captured... (bigger)