Bonus Bee

Last week I had planted an attractive section of Prickly-pear Cactus with blossom buds in the sand in front of one of the Laguna Seca Ranch’s photo blinds. I hoped a bird would pose as it looked through the curve of the cactus pad, and it happened yesterday morning. What I didn’t expect was the honeybee to come along at the same time as the Long-billed Thrasher. When I inspected the photo, the bonus bee was sharp!Photographer

Surprise – Mammal!

I was photographing with ranch guests on the Laguna Seca Ranch last night and Shirley said, “Oh, look! Is that a mouse?” But she knew in her mind that it wasn’t. The little critter with little dark eyes and long whiskers was excavating from below, shoving and tossing dirt with its nose and forehead. It’s a Pocket Gopher, my second one this year! We watched as it cleared a path from its subterranean home. I suspect all the rain we’ve been getting has collapsed many of the burrows and they have a full-time job reopening their paths.
Pocket Gopher on the Laguna Seca Ranch

Pocket Gopher on the Laguna Seca Ranch

Wet But Wonderful!

This morning six of us photographed at the raptor blind on the Laguna Seca Ranch. A few Crested Caracaras came in within a few minutes but the skies were still, dark and cloudy. When it started raining, four of us opted to stay and see what would happen; we were rewarded with a wonderful performance by several Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. Here is the parting shot from the last bird I photographed.Photographer

It’s About the Light!

I enjoy photographing at the Laguna Seca Ranch in the early morning and late evening; making this photograph was no exception. As the sun sank and the photo blind area went shady, the last sunlight struck the grassy background behind this Black-crested Titmouse as the bird and its mate came in for a late bath.
Black-crested Titmouse

Black-crested Titmouse

Green Jay Alert!

ALERT: Anytime you visit deep south Texas, you may come across some of these green characters! I saw plenty of them today while guiding photographers on the Laguna Seca Ranch in Hidalgo County. This morning I made photographs of two of the three Green Jays on this little perch with my Canon 7D Mark II, 300mm f/2.8 lens and 1.4x extender. If I hadn’t had the extender on, or if I had been using my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, I may have been able to capture the image my eyes saw, of the three of them in a tic-tac-toe formation. You may notice the birds have wet tails. It rained yesterday and during the night, so everything was very wet when we began photographing. The skies were heavily overcast most of the morning and, except for me, the photographers all used fill flash. Tomorrow we plan to work on some flight shots early, then move to the raptor blind to see what kind of action we can find!
Green Jays (Cyanocorax yncas)

Green Jays (Cyanocorax yncas)