Sunrise from another place and time

Multicolored sunrise with Black Skimmers at Fort De SotoMulticolored sunrise with Black Skimmers at Fort De Soto

I struggled this morning trying to decide what to post on this day, September 1, 2014 because today Utah got a bit uglier. The reason Utah got uglier is that today Crow hunting killing season begins for the first time in the state so the day is already off on a bad start.

There might be people killing crows today but they aren’t hunters they are just killing for no reason. They won’t eat the crows even though they are legally supposed to. And ravens are going to die because some of those people don’t know the difference between crows, blackbirds and ravens.

educational-my arse

The graphic above is what the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources believes is enough to educate crow killers about the differences between crows, blackbirds and ravens. I suppose the Utah DWR feels that they are legally covered with this material afterall it was in the guide even though it was buried on page 54 of their new 56 page guide to upland game bird hunting. Is it enough to educate those crow killers? Not in my opinion.

Yes, Utah got a bit uglier today.  So instead I have shared a sunrise photo from another place and time.


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The land is one organism

“Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators... The land is one organism.” - Aldo Leopold

Sadly there are people who love the game and do hate predators. Those people want to wipe out the predators by any means possible to stop the predators from taking “their” game.

And then there are ethical hunters who will only take what they eat and only hunt using fair chase who know that a natural balance between predators and game is good for the land. That a natural balance is “harmony”.

Too bad that everyone doesn’t get it. Maybe one day they will and hopefully that day will happen before all the predators are gone.


For more information on how man and coyotes can coexist visit Project Coyote.

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Fighting Red-tailed Hawk juveniles

Fighting Red-tailed Hawk juvenilesFighting Red-tailed Hawk juveniles – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light, not baited

While photographing a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk that was perched on a post yesterday I could hear an American Kestrel calling above so when my subject looked up and started acting defensive I thought the kestrel was flying in but instead another juvenile red-tailed flew in to fight over the perch. The action came as a surprise and though I wish the light had been a bit better but I still like the interaction between the two young hawks. It is possible that these two juveniles are siblings but it is just as possible that they aren’t so I won’t speculate on that.

The skirmish only lasted a few seconds, the perched bird flew off and the attacking juvenile landed on the ground below the perch and promptly flew off to chase the other juvenile. Their “fight” actually seemed to be less fight and more play.

I wonder if these two juvenile Red-tailed Hawks will hang around for the winter, I sure hope so.


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Broad-tailed Hummingbird – a photographic lifer

Perched female Broad-tailed HummingbirdPerched female Broad-tailed Hummingbird – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or set up

Photographing hummingbirds in the wild* can be daunting and fast paced, so fast paced that there are times I don’t often have time to properly ID them in the field.

Yesterday while photographing hummingbirds I noticed the plumage on the back of one bird looked different but it wasn’t until I was able to view my images on my computer screen that I realized that bird was a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird which is a photographic lifer for me. I don’t normally count a bird as a “lifer” unless I have photographed it. So I was tickled to find out I had another lifer even though I didn’t ID the bird in the field.


*I don’t photograph hummingbirds at set ups which are elaborate outdoor “studios” that some times have fake backgrounds, feeders with flowers as props in front of or covering the feeders and a multitude of flash units set up. That isn’t my style of photography at all, I want to photograph my subjects in the wild doing what they want to do when they want to do it where they want to do it.


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Beautiful Pollinators

Wild Sunflower and pollinatorsWild Sunflower and pollinators – Nikon D810, f13, 1/500, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Yesterday the light wasn’t great in the morning but I did get out to take some images an Antelope Island and there were plenty of pollinators out and about. Just this one Common Sunflower blossom 5 different insects which included two bees, one tiny fly, a beetle and a type of slender wasp.

Bumble Bee pollinating a Bee PlantBumble Bee pollinating a Bee Plant - Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Then there were a few skipper butterflies that didn’t get close enough to get decent images of but the Bumble Bees were.

Bumble Bee in flightBumble Bee in flight - Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And they were actively going from one bee plant to another. This one’s pollen baskets were so heavy its legs dangled down.

Rufous Hummingbird flyingRufous Hummingbird flying - Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

There were also a few hummingbirds zipping from flower to flower with their wings making a buzzing sound that compliments their soft chirps.

Perched Rufous HummingbirdPerched Rufous Hummingbird - Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The bees, butterflies, beetles and hummingbirds will soon be gone but they have pollinated the plants which will soon set seed and the cycle will begin all over again next spring.


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