School-time!September has arrived and the kids are back in school. Why don’t you consider coming to my classroom this month for some Basic Nature Photography lessons, or learn Lightroom software for importing, organizing, editing and sharing your photos? “Basic Nature Photography” is on Wednesdays in Weslaco at the Valley Nature Center (Sept. 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7). “Learn Lightroom” is on Monday and Tuesday evenings in McAllen in my studio at the Incubator (Sept. 21, 22, 28, 29, Oct. 5, 6). Contact me directly for more information via my website. Be sure to click the photo to see the full version of this Green Jay!
Tooter!A friend and neighbor of mine allows me access for photography. A few years ago I heard the tooting of a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl there but didn’t find it. I knew then that the bird was on the Endangered Species List and that I would return and find them there eventually, but it took me time to study their habits and learn more about them. Last night I brought Tracie Martin, a non-photographer friend, to visit the property. Within a couple of minutes after our arrival, we heard the little guy tooting away and eagle-eyed Tracie spotted him. I was able to get some nice photographs, including one on a dead-snag perch with a blue-sky background. This morning I returned with my long-time friend and photo buddy, Debbie Thomas, and we both photographed the bird successfully. At one point the little bird flew to a tree just a few feet in front of us, but neither of us moved. It was more enjoyable to observe him without having to look through binoculars or a camera lens. There are at least two birds on the property and I’ll be returning often to see, study and photograph them in close proximity. Let me know if you’d like to join me. I’ve posted my favorite photo from this morning below. Be sure to click on the image to reveal the entire photo.
Rare Find!Last week I shared flowers on Mother’s Day, taken on homestead property owned by friends in Hill Country, Texas. They also took me to another tract of property they own outside Harper, Texas, about a 30-minute drive from their homestead. The 120-acre property has been lovingly maintained with conservation in mind. We hiked around the property in various parts, looking for a very special bird, the Black-capped Vireo. This rare bird is on the Endangered Species List, but uses habitat like what is on the property as its breeding grounds every spring. We were very fortunate to get glimpses of several of the birds, but they mostly stayed in the densest brush onsite. Toward the end of our visit were rewarded with a photo opportunity for me and the first photos that document the Black-capped Vireo on their property. We were thrilled, to say the least! Please remember to click on the photo to reveal the entire image.