Author Archive

Ruth Hoyt

photographer, writer, teacher and more

Pitaya Place!

During the mid-day break from guiding, I picked up some lunch to go and drove home. To my surprise, my Pitaya cacti, also known as strawberry cactus, were in full bloom! I knew if I spent time getting out my DSLR camera, I would take too long before getting back to guiding, so I used my iPhone 6+ to take several photos. Here is just one of my favorite images; click on the image to see the complete photo. Each year my Pitayas have a bigger presence in my yard; for several years I’ve been collecting them, with permission, from friends’ ranches.
Pitaya Cactus blossoms

Pitaya Cactus blossoms


As I was photographing this Great Kiskadee on the Laguna Seca Ranch, a Golden-fronted Woodpecker landed on the dead snag the kiskadee had been using as a fishing spot. When the kiskadee returned and touched down on its perch, the woodpecker didn’t want the company. The wet kiskadee had to fly off to find another place to dry. Be sure to click on the photo to see the entire image!
Confrontation - two's a crowd!

Confrontation – two’s a crowd!

Fluffy Stuff

I was thrilled to capture a series of images of a Green Jay while photographing on the Laguna Seca Ranch this evening. The jay was calmly perched on a dead tree limb, but suddenly it noticed a Summer Tanager in the brush and fluffed itself out as much as possible. I assume this behavior was to create an illusion of being larger than what it actually was. The jay relaxed slightly a couple of times but then re-fluffed, which gave me plenty of chances to test my camera’s frame rate and buffer! (Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 300mm f/2.8 lens + 1.4x extender, ISO 1600, 1/4oo sec @ f/5.0)
A Green Jay fluffs out to make itself appear larger.

A Green Jay fluffs out to make itself appear larger.

Shades of Rose

I’ve got ranch guests at the Laguna Seca Ranch this week who brought props for their photos. It seemed a little odd to have additional color at the water hole, and I didn’t take many images, but when I saw this Pyrrhuloxia on my computer monitor, it stopped me in my tracks. Does it look like a painting to you, too?
Pyrrhuloxia on a lichen-covered perch with a backdrop of Indian Paintbrush flowers

Pyrrhuloxia on a lichen-covered perch with a backdrop of Indian Paintbrush flowers

Bath Splash!

I guided two photographers at the Laguna Seca Ranch yesterday. The afternoon was mostly cloudy so I didn’t expect to take action shots, but a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher suddenly appeared on a dead snag over the ranch pond. Suspecting what he was about to do, I made a quick camera adjustment (to 1/2500 second) and captured photos of him as he flew up from his bath-on-the-fly. What a thrill it was to see the results!20150413_LSR_4075