Wednesday, August 01, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Been awhile! Since last posting, we've acquired a DSLR camera, which has been a lot of fun but also has involved a huge learning curve. I'm getting better at it, but still have a lot more bad shots than good ones, and even then, I don't think anyone will be offering money for the "good" ones any time soon.

Anyhow, in the interest of showing off whatever mad skilz we've acquired to date, I thought I'd do something different and put up some wildlife photos. Not that there's anything especially exotic here, but looking for critters to photograph has turned out to be fun.

Click on the pictures to see larger versions.

This heron was hanging out at lake Mohave. I'm not sure what kind of heron it is, I really need to buy a good bird field guide if we're going to keep doing the picture thing. Anyway, I don't recall seeing herons around here before, so I don't know if this guy was off track, or if we just don't hang out on shore often enough.

Our first Desert Bighorn sheep sighting! This is at lake Mead.

Same picture, with a tighter crop. The two pictures together give a better idea how far away they were and how cool it is to have a big lens. Ok, actually all it does is make me wish we had a BIGGER lens.

This hummingbird hangs out in our yard almost every evening. I'm leaning towards thinking it is a female Black-chinned hummingbird, but her call sounds just like the Anna's hummingbird. Supposedly Anna's don't live here though, and I think ours looks more like the Black-chinned shown in the link above. We see a male from time to time, and if I could ever get a good shot of him, I think the identification would be more obvious. BTW, hummingbirds are REALLY difficult to photograph.

Whatever she is, she seems pretty territorial. I've seen her try to run other birds out of the yard, which is pretty funny because she's so small. All she can really do is try to pester them into leaving. I think it's too late in the year for her to still have babies in a nest, so I'm not sure what the deal is with trying to get rid of everybody else.

One of two young Verdin from the nest in our yard this spring. Their heads haven't turned yellow yet, so no idea if they are male or female. Other than that, it's hard to tell them apart from the adults by now, but they still seem to be living in the nest with mom and dad. All four of them hang out in the yard and chatter away most evenings while the dingbat hummingbird dive-bombs them.

Another Bighorn sighting! Weird, we've never seen any before and then we have two sightings within a month. Anyhow, check out the horns on this fellow! The white rocks at the bottom of this picture are the top of the "bathtub ring" high water mark at Mead. The lake is down around 115 feet or so in the picture, so that gives you an idea how high they were above us.

A couple more shots of the big male. We were whistling and trying to get him to turn around, but the little people way down there in the boat were too far away for him to pay much attention.

Most of the herd. It looked like there were two females and two lambs with the older male. There was also a younger male that seemed to be with the herd, but he stayed at a pretty good distance. There's a picture of him at the end.

Not the greatest pictures, but here's a couple of most of the herd together.

Here's the younger male, by himself. I suppose he is just hanging around and waiting for the day he can kick the old guy's butt and steal his wimmin.

Even the little guys are amazingly agile. They were probably 130 feet or so above the surface of the lake at this point.

So that's what I've got for now. I'll try to get some more pictures up soon, but my track record on that is... poor. :-)

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