Category: Critters

Hasta la Vista!

Snow Geese Flying North

Snow geese on their way north, the first time I’ve seen them in a couple of years.


Sandhill Doppelgangers

A nearly identical pair of sandhill cranes, looking in the same direction

Up close and personal — a couple of the cranes who were featured in the sunset photo/video post a couple of weeks ago.

I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned that sandhill cranes played a significant part in me becoming a photographer. 18 years ago I bought an “ultra-zoom” camera. It was the Olympus C2100UZ, with a whopping 10x zoom and two — count ’em — TWO whole megapixels. Turned out that camera had a bit of a cult following for a while, of which I was unknowingly a part.

In any case, I took it out for a spin in Albuquerque’s bosque right after I got it, and shot a couple of crane photos. At the time, cranes were just about the only kind of bird I could identify because I actually don’t see very well at all. They were the only birds that were big enough for me to identify.

I took the camera home and uploaded the photos to my computer. I was absolutely shocked when I realized that “those birds have red heads!” I’d honestly had no idea until I saw those photos. And that is the continuing allure of photography for me: it allows me to “see” all sorts of stuff I couldn’t otherwise.


Cranes at Sunset, Bernardo

Cranes at Sunset in Bernardo

I have a couple of new cameras, one of which can capture 4K video. So I went down to Bernardo to take crane photos a few weeks ago and shot some 4K video as well. As you’ll see below, video is not my strength. Despite that, I do feel it captured the absolutely mesmerizing quality of the cranes flying in at sunset. That sound is some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.

You can see a larger version if you click through on the YouTube link.


Mule Deer Mama

Deer Mama

This photo represents a lot of what I both love and hate about winter in the Sandia foothills. I hate the bland, muted colors that lean toward brown most of all; I love the way the deer come down from the high mountains for the winter. This particular mule deer was with two younger deer whom I guessed were her offspring, and they were all fairly curious about me — although they didn’t let me get too close.

Since it’s hunting season right now, I confess I have mixed feelings about gaining their trust. They can trust me but I definitely don’t want them to extend that level of trust to all humans. I routinely thank all wild critters who allow me to take their photos, since they really are taking a considerable risk. And I say to them, over and over, “I’m your friend.” I have no idea if it makes a difference in terms of trust but it is true — I am their friend.


Bluebird at Valles Caldera

Bluebird on corral fence at Valles Caldera

I call him the bluebird of suspicion because he really didn’t want me to get very close. Nonetheless, I was able to sneak up on him, kinda sorta.


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