Red-winged Blackbird

Taking flight? Or, flashing his epaulets?

It’s just a moment in his life, but I was there, and photographed that moment. When I look at this photo, I remember the joy I felt in sharing that moment. It was my first trip to the “Upper Texas Gulf Coast”, and there was much to see and photograph. This bird landed just for a moment on a cat tail stalk at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. The day was overcast, and my film camera was loaded with Kodak Ektachrome 100 speed film – as was often the case in those days.

So, technically speaking, this is not a great photograph; the background is too bright, there is too much empty space, the light was all wrong, the bird is not sharp, and he’s looking out of the frame. But for me, it’s all about remembering a moment in time. Isn’t that what photography is about? Isn’t that why we take pictures?

Red-winged Blackbird, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Minolta Maxxum 9xi, Tamron 300 mm lens, Tamron 2x teleconverter, Bogen tripod, shot from the window of a Chevy S-10 truck. Shot on slide film, the slide was later scanned using a “Kodak Photo CD” scanner, hence the small border – which I have intentionally left showing.

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Angry Bird

Angry Bird

In one of our favorite destinations, Texas’ Brazos Bend State Park, spring is when a number of bird species nest, brood, and raise their chicks.  One of our favorite birds is the handsome Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, with striking colors and intriguing behavior.  (By the way, their feet are not green.) 🙂

Adult Yellow-crowned Night Heron in Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

However, the chicks are less handsome, and this one looks like the original “Angry Bird.”

A juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

We used the Sony Alpha 700 camera, with a Tamron 300mm f/2.8 and Tamron 2x teleconverter, on a Manfrotto tripod.

Great Blue Heron

This is about a photo taken a long time ago…

About 25 miles from Fort Smith, along the south side of the Arkansas River, is a Corps of Engineers campground called Citadel Bluff. Wooded and seemingly removed from civilization, this small park has long been a favorite spot of mine for birds and wildlife. I have seen numerous bald eagles, pelicans, cormorants, and more. And, I have always seen great blue herons.

On this day, I walked down the trail which parallels the river, through the woods to a stand of cane. Just beyond the cane is a small cove. I came out of the cane, and the heron flew from just a few yards away. After I recovered from my surprise, I raised my camera and took two photos: one with his wings upraised, and another on his downswing. I like the simplicity of the photo – just the heron, its reflection, and the Arkansas River.

Minolta Maxxum film camera, Tokina 400 mm f/5.6 lens – both are no longer made…