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
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)
It’s always nice when I discover that my camera has seen more than I did when I took a shot. That has happened lately, as spring gets ready to turn to summer, when I see “Well well, the little creature seems to be building a nest!” (Of course I am also very aware of seeing … More Spring (or at least nest-building material) is in the mouth
Ordinary Cameras, Extraordinary Encounters:Taking Wildlife Photos From the Heart A Workshop Led by Jim Wilce, and Sponsored by the Northern Arizona Audubon Society Saturday, June 24, 8-10 a. m., Kachina Wetlands (near Flagstaff, Arizona) What do you want from outdoor/ wildlife photographs? How can you take photos that you and others will enjoy? And how … More Photo Walk With Jim Wilce, June 24
One of my favorite places in Flagstaff is Frances Short Pond. It is a hotspot for members of the Order Odonata— dragonflies and damselflies like the one below, which is, I believe, a “bluet.” But now the show I promised—a shaky video of two orange dragonflies and their mid-air mating dance. The still photos on … More Dragonflies mating mid-air
Back in April I visited Frances Short Pond here in Flagstaff— a pond fished by man (sometimes woman) and osprey alike. Blackbirds and grackles occupy trees and the marshy island in the middle of the small pond. Here is a great-tailed grackle (I think), caught mid-hop. Click here to see the full-sized photo of the … More Reflective great(-tailed) hop
I’m posting this on Reddit ( /r/whatsthisbug). For you who once saw me post HERE rather regularly, I apologize for my long absence and offer this strikingly beautiful insect (a beetle?). I was seeing this orange-winged insect (probably a beetle) this spring, then suddenly it reappeared today in the Rio de Flag, Cheshire neighborhood, Flagstaff, … More Unidentified insect: Beetle?
Anywhere you see hawks you are likely to see them being chased by smaller birds and not just chasing after them. The following photos (some of which are links to wilcephotos.com) tell two stories. The first story consists of a single photograph of what we might expect to be most common—a bigger, more carnivorous bird … More Hawks: Chasing and Being Chased
Google Doodles— the graphics atop Google’s splash page that change every day—are sometimes worth taking the time to consider. Such was the case with the 9 January 2016 Google Doodle. The Doodle acknowledges the “41st Anniversary of the Discovery of the Mountain of the Butterflies” The mountain in Mexico where the monarchs “overwinter” is the … More Monarch Discovery
If you have never heard of Curve-Billed Thrashers, you probably don’t live in or near a desert. But if you google “default desert bird” you’ll see a lot of text etc. devoted to Thrashers. Unfortunately, the phrase “default desert bird,” with or without proper attribution is a misquote. At least Wikipedia rightly cites Dunne as the … More What Wikipedia calls the “default desert bird”
Raptors are birds of prey. I try not to overuse the word “awesome,” but raptors are awesome, awe-inspiring. I love it when raptors, who have extremely sharp eyes, are so generous as to allow me to photograph them. So, I have gathered here, in one place, photos of four different raptors— three diurnal and one … More Four Raptors
This brief video (about 7 seconds long) captures a pair of beetles, apparently “Darkling Beetles” (family Tenebrionidae). It shows one beetle touching the other with its antennae. The video was shot September 5 on Fatman’s Loop trail (Mt. Elden area of Flagstaff, Arizona). I removed the sound track and edited out most of the effects … More What’s the beetle doing to its companion?
My first “wow” butterfly moment in the summer of 2015, described in Butterflies Part I, was really about butterflies and moths, and their antennae. The second moment of amazement is this realization: One butterfly, and in fact each individual wing of that one butterfly, can be very different when seen from above or below. Their … More A summer of learning: Butterfly upperwings and underwings
It has been a summer of wonder and amazement, based on apparently chance encounters of this insect or that. But of course what we see— if we are watching—reflects what is here for now, in this season (or sub-sub-season). And so, it seems that one week, quite suddenly, our Cheshire neighborhood (Flagstaff, AZ) was home … More A summer of learning: How to tell butterflies from moths