Watching this fellow navigate the narrow ledges of this cliffside –while carrying a kayak no less!– was a marvel to behold.
I will never tire of this view.
If all goes accordingly (and doesn’t it always?) Marin County in Northern California will be my final resting place. OK, that sounds kind of morbid… let’s say rather that my wife and I would love to die there! Uh… wait… what I mean is we hope Northern California is where we’ll live out our days. You know, retire. Or something like that.
“Retire” is such an ugly word, though, isn’t it? Maybe “repurpose” is what I want. Rachel and I hope to one day repurpose ourselves in Northern California. Yeah, that’s better.
So why Northern California? Well…
Northern California. Works for us.
This is Kiko. The oldest male orang-utan (“Person of the Forest”) at the National Zoo in DC.
Male orang-utans have a home range of approximately 11 sq miles. They can travel up to two miles a day in search of food in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. Habitat destruction and — of course — hunting by humans are the main threats to their survival.
I have a great ambivalence towards zoos. I am equally fascinated and troubled by them. As I was watching this fellow stare out at us from his enclosure I admit a deep sadness began to wash over me. He is an amazing creature and I could sit there all day just watching and observing his behavior… even occasionally try to make eye contact with him. But ultimately I couldn’t get past the fact that he’s in a zoo… in Washington DC.
Far from “home.”
C & O Canal National Historical Park.
Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) is a nationwide program that studies and tracks songbird populations. I visited the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in Maryland in the Spring of 2012 to document its staff and volunteers as they went about collecting and recording data of various avian residents. (Do visit them if you find yourself in the area. Beautiful place and good people!)
Take a winter as you find him and he turns out to be a thoroughly honest fellow with no nonsense in him: and tolerating none in you, which is a great comfort in the long run. ~ James Russell Lowell
Longing for warmer days.
Eastern bluebird. ♂
Don’t be afraid to fish out the flash from your camera bag when shooting in nature. Too often a strobe is used only for lighting up people in dark situations.
Nature should look natural, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enhance it a bit. And that’s what fill flash does. If you want to get those natural colors to really pop and if you want to see a little catch light in the creature’s eye, just throw a little light in there. Makes a world of difference.
I like to expose for the scene and then dial down the flash about a stop and a half. Maybe two stops. Experiment.
Dialing down the flash keeps it from blowing out the scene; keeps it more natural looking.