Photos and meditation on our connections Are human beings a part of the natural world, separate from it living in our own human-made world, or somewhere in between? As a professor of anthropology (retired!) I have thought a lot about these questions. Consider this photographic example—a jet’s contrail passing (or so it seemed from my … More Are We Part Of Nature?
I drove up Snowbowl Road and managed to arrive at the top of the road just in time to get my camera out, steady it on top of my car, and shoot. That was 5:19 a.m. Tomorrow morning’s moonset should be at 6:01. Ample time to plan, get the tripod and camera ready, shoot some … More This Morning’s Moonset
I introduced this series of posts addressing “agonistic behavior” with the following definition, from the Wikipedia article on the subject: “The term has broader meaning than aggressive behaviour because it includes threats, displays, retreats, placation, and conciliation.” This post highlights wing flapping by ducks as an example of agonistic behavior that is clearly not fighting (but could … More Wing Flapping Displays As Agonistic Behavior
One clash, two photos— Red-winged Blackbird Harrassing Great Blue Heron on banks of Francis Short Pond. In the first, the blackbird passes by the heron. In the second, the heron seems to me more worried. Once again two species clash, and once again the smaller seems to have the upper hand— or at least it … More Agonistic Behavior: Small Vs. Large Once More
Juncos are fairly tough birds. They hiss and click if you unwittingly get near their nests. So if they can challenge humans, ground squirrels may well appear to them to be relatively easy to chase off. That is the way it seemed a month ago when two juncos challenged a rock squirrel in our front … More The Agoni(stic) And the Ecstacy (Or Not): Bird Vs. Mammal
A useful introduction to the term “agonistic behavior” is found here,” from Wikipedia—”Agonistic behaviour is any social behaviour related to fighting. The term has broader meaning than aggressive behaviour because it inecludes threats, displays, retreats, placation, and conciliation.” My camera and I see it all the time, from our bird bath to clashes in the (relative) wild. I have documented such … More “Agonistic Behavior” Among Birds: More Than Just Fighting
You have noticed by now that there are two connected ponds on the Old Walnut Canyon Road (the road that leads to Walnut Canyon National Monument) that attract a variety of waterfowl as well as ospreys, bald eagles, and swallows. Once again I turn to my cache of photos taken there for another favorite— the … More Motion Blur Photography #3: Flock of Geese
I live hundreds of miles inland from the Pacific, but late in August, Flagstaff was visited by a flock of American Avocets. As you saw in my first Motion Blur post, the technique produces some cool effects. (By the way, like yesterday’s post, this shot was taken at the Old Walnut Canyon Road Ponds. I … More Motion Blur #2: Photographing American Avocets in Flight
I have been working on lessons taught by Lisa Langell a month ago in a webinar hosted by Arizona Highways Photoscapes. In particular, I am still very much working on my skills in shooting and editing photos intended to be partially blurred. I intend to show you what I mean in more posts in the … More Motion Blur: Photographing Birds in Flight
A few weeks ago, on back to back days, I had magical encounters with a gray fox, which was standing on one of the huge boulders adjacent to the Cheshire Pond (Cheshire Park). My wife and I had last seen one in our neighborhood about 16 years ago! I took this photograph during the first … More Gray Fox In Our Neighborhood
I know that gardeners are not always fond of deer making an appearance, since it can involve pretty much decimating at least one plant the deer find tasty. Putting that aside, however, watching a doe who has been visiting our boulder-filled back yard (and the plants my wife has worked so hard to nurture) for … More A doe and her fawn
On September 1, my wife called me to the window to come and see a “rock squirrel party.” Rock squirrels (Otospermophilus variegatus ) are the little rodents that we first met when we moved to our current home in Flagstaff, Arizona—and were a bit mystified. The genus otospermophilus is a group of ground squirrels. Our … More Rock Squirrels
A week ago my wife and I visited my home town, Claremont California. Whenever I go there I prioritize taking a walk along Thompson Creek. As we walked, something caught my eye—a hawk on a 15-foot-high eucalyptus branch. I began to photograph what was apparently a red-tailed hawk. The next thing I know, another hawk … More Red-tailed hawk in Claremont, CA
It’s been a frightfully warm winter, but not so warm as to completely melt the ice on our fair city’s beloved municipal pond near a couple of our public schools. Frances Short was an “educator and city councilperson” in Flagstaff. (For more information, click here.) The pond and its immediate environs are home to waterfowl … More Waterfowl on Frances Short Pond (Flagstaff)
See my newly posted video of a male red-winged blackbird. It’s pretty fun to watch him puffing himself up like a bagpipe and then producing his own piping call.