I’ve been out of touch for a few days, mostly due to lack of connection to cell towers and the internet. I led a half-day workshop for the Wings Over the Hills nature festival based in Fredericksburg, Texas, and had a wonderful time. I stayed with wonderful hosts, Susan & Errol Candy, and thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with them. I’ll write more about my Hill Country experiences from where I am in Houston the next few days.
For now, I’d like to “virtually” return to the Jones Alta Vista Ranch in Jim Hogg County of south Texas and flaunt some of what’s there on the ranch. Over the past few weeks I’ve guided some photographers there, introducing them to the ranch and introducing the ranch to the photography world. Each photographer who has visited has said they want to return, and we already have reservations booked as far out as 2017! Contact me to schedule a visit there.
Here are two photos of male Northern Bobwhites, taken from a sequence of photos of a squabble over a hen (nearby, out of sight). I think you can really see the expressions of their faces reflecting the intensity of the feud.
Be sure to click on the photos to see the full images and let me know what you think!
Squabble Over a Hen
Winner Chases the Loser Away
Prior to my arrival in Texas, I worked mainly on micro/macro photography. Here in Texas I discovered that a constant breeze or wind was the “norm,” a challenge for close-up photographers. I continued what I was doing, but people who were heavily involved in activities involving birds came into my life and my photography took a turn.
Nowadays I love taking the opportunity to return to my tiny world when the opportunity presents itself, and that’s what I’ve chosen to share with you today.
I was out wandering the beautiful Jones Alta Vista Ranch in Jim Hogg County, Texas, looking for potential perches for birds, when I spied a vine loaded with yellow aphids. I had to stop, pull out my tripod and macro lens and take some time to photograph these tiny creatures.
Please be sure to click on the image to reveal the entire image and caption.
Yellow Aphids on Trailing Vine
My mother’s birthday was April 20th and although she isn’t here with us physically, I often feel her presence. This was the case on her birthday Monday evening. I had been guiding photographers at the Laguna Seca Ranch Sunday/Monday and we were heading to the Jones Alta Vista Ranch outside Hebbronville for Tuesday/Wednesday.
We stopped at the little church on Highway 1017 outside San Isidro and I know Mom would have loved to have seen it. I could almost hear one of her favorite hymns, “The Old Rugged Cross,” playing as I photographed that little church. The weather had been cloudy and overcast, sometimes accompanied by drizzly rain, but as we stopped to take photographs, light exploded through the heavy clouds.
I noticed something I hadn’t seen when I had stopped there previously – a small decorative strip along the top of the gate. The way the strip was shaped, I could compose the photograph so that the church’s cross on the steeple fit inside of it. Some vines formed a curly-Q above the cross.
When I finished making photographs, I turned back toward the MiniBeast (my Ford Expedition) and sang Happy Birthday inside my head.
Be sure to click on the photo below to reveal the entire image.
Little Church on Highway 1017 Outside San Isidro, Texas