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Danger? What danger?

5 Oct


What is so dangerous about a sweet little Black Phoebe?

For more dangerous birds (or not!), visit Bird Photography Weekly.


Walk This Way, pt. 2

29 Sep

Sometimes a good thing never gets old . . .

and watching long-leggedy birds walk is one of those things.  (See the original post here.)




Taken in Davenport on Cement Plant Road.

For more beautiful birds strutting their stuff, visit Bird Photography Weekly.

Fall has fallen

14 Sep


The end of our summer has been long and hot.  In my non-air-conditioned-because-we-are-too-close-to-the-coast classroom, my students and I have been sweltering.  I’ve had kids go home sick because of the heat.  Miserable.

I am not one who enjoys hot weather with good grace.

I prefer spring and fall.  Perfect temperatures, perfectly wonderful skies, and perfectly delightful color all around me.

So, the rain that finally fell today was celebrated in my house today.  We stopped making dinner and ran outside and enjoyed the rain.  I could just feel my garden going, “Ahhhhhh!  Finally.”  The earth was opening and relaxing.  My roses and pomegranate were unwilting.  My maples softened their scorched leaves.  The redwoods heaved a huge sigh of relief and oxygen.

Later, with windows open all over the house, we heard the rain really fall, so I went out on my porch and listened.

I think that I will become famous for my videos which are all dark and filled with sound.

I did look for a bird enjoying the rain but my children were also out enjoying the rain and therefore birds were not in great abundance.  Thank goodness for Flickr Photostreams.

Chickadee in the rain

For more birdies in the rain, please visit Bird Photography Weekly!

Going to seed . . .

30 Aug

Goldfinch hovering

This right here is why it’s sometimes okay to let weeds take over.  Sure they are prickly and non-native and all that jazz but oh the goldfinches love them!

For more beautiful birds to enjoy, go to Bird Photography Weekly.

PS.  Just found out that my step-mother, Babette Donaldson, is a published author. Go see! It’s pretty cool!

Walk this way

24 Aug


For more beautiful birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly.


17 Aug


Black-Crested Night Heron at Clear Lake

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron at Clear Lake

Double Heronage

And now, together.

I also saw a green heron fly by a few times but never got a shot of it.

Didn’t see any egrets of any size there at all that weekend.

For more fun birds hanging out doing birdy things, visit Bird Photography Weekly.

Wild Ravens

6 Jul


I am lucky enough to live and work near Ravens.  I see them and hear them daily.  They are nesting in a tree behind my house.  At work, they land on the railing outside my classroom and get food from the trashcans.  I won’t go so far as to say that they are domesticated but they are very, very accustomed to the presence of people.  I’ve seen then let kids get within five feet of them before flying off to safety.   I have a comfort level with ravens that many people rarely get to have.

Lest I take it for granted, I get to experience wild ravens from time to time as well.  Camping in the high sierra at 7,600 feet, there was a nest of Ravens within a 100 yards of our motorhome.  I could hear them but was never able to see the nest.  Drat those tall pines.

I saw the parent ravens regularly.  They’d fly in and out and there would be raucous raven calls from their young as they did so.  However, they were very careful about their nest.  They’d do huge circle flyovers to make sure all was safe before they’d approach their nest.  I had hoped to get a shot of them coming or going but that wasn’t possible.  If I was anywhere near their tree — even hiding under another tree – they would not approach their nests.  It was amazing how aware and careful they were.

Fox Sparrow!

28 Jun

Fox Sparrow

This brazen little sparrow plunked down on that fence post not 4 feet away from Gage and I as we walked around the General Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.  It immediately started singing, heedless of the dozens of people around us.   I snapped pictures as quickly as I could.  I tried to catch video as he kept on singing his fool head off but, of course, as I started the video, he flew off.  I love the look on his face in the shot above.  What a funny, little show-off.

For more show-offy birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly!

Why I love Chickadees

22 Jun

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

They will let you get close enough to take shots like this.

For more closeups of cooperative birds, Bird Photography Weekly.


25 May

Driving along a beautiful seasonal wetland along the Carson River outside of Carson City, Nevada, my stepdad (who got me started with birding) yelled out “SNIPE!”  We hung a U-turn and the Snipe was patiently waiting.  We hung another U-turn and pulled up near the Snipe.  It couldn’t have cared less about us.  It sang and called and posed for us.  What a joy!  What a lifer!

Wilson's Snipe

Hello, Snipe!  Aren’t you lovely?


We just want to admire you.  You don’t mind, do you?

P1200144Thank you for your patience, you gorgeous thing.