Archive for Baskett Slough

Baskett Slough Sunrise

Posted in Natural History with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2016 by chamimage
Sunrise on Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Sunrise on Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

It was raining when I left home in Salem, Oregon yesterday. But, some of my best landscapes have come from stormy days so I set out for a drive, if nothing else. It had stopped raining by the time I got to Baskett Slough NWR. Fog shrouded the hill I wanted to hike and I usually like to check out the ponds first, anyway so went to the pull out at the narrows. I was just leaving when a huge dusky Canada goose blast off went up right to my left, out where this image was taken.

After a few experimental shots on the geese against the foggy hillside, none of which survived editing, I noticed the break in the clouds. I grabbed my 70-200 mm lens for a few landscapes. You can see the silhouette of a bald eagle just above the horizon on the right. He was apparently what had triggered the goose blast off. They fly over and watch for geese that can’t fly. Those geese are henceforth called breakfast. He had no luck with the geese, but as I finished with the landscapes I noticed he dropped something into the water. It was about right for for a coot carcass. Quickly another bald eagle swooped up the carcass. Then two more materialized to chase the bird with the food. While editing this image I could see the other eagles perched on trees out there.

Two weeks ago I photographed an adult eagle in the back part of the refuge. When it flew, I knew exactly where it was going by the direction it flew and found it again in an old snag on the hill I like to hike. Two weeks ago my hike produced no sightings of deer, which is unusual. I was starting to wonder if they had all died off from some disease or something, but yesterday I saw deer in every location I expected to see deer.

Stormy Sunrise

Stormy Sunrise

This image from 2006 is from the same angle, a bit tighter. Some of those trees have either fallen down or been cut. The bald eagles loved those trees so it is a shame. There is more plant growth now as the marsh is filling in, as they do. Didn’t get the color of the sun shining through a lsot this time. That was also Velvia film in 2006. That was another rainy morning when I went out, anyway.


An Old Friend

Posted in Natural History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by chamimage
Black-tail Deer

Black-tail Deer

I ran into an old friend Saturday morning while out looking for new deer fawns. Me and this guy go way back.

I was bit surprised last autumn when he was nervous and wouldn’t let me close enough to photograph him. That had not been the case before, since he grew up with me and accepted me and my tripod as just a sometimes part of the environment. One of the benefits of being in the same place for thirteen years is being able to follow the rhythms of the environment, of place, over time.

On Saturday I was back to being accepted. I was about thirty yards away when I first noticed him and he barely even bothered to keep an eye on me as he went on feeding. I spent about forty minutes with him. The last I saw of him he kicked a hind leg and then ran in to the woods. Maybe a bee stung him.

Deer Fawns

Deer Fawns

He may well have been one of these two fawns based on his approximate age. They were down in the tall grass where the does like to hide them. That damned tall grass has vexed me every year for thirteen years now. But I have to admit it is a great place to hide a fawn. I don’t think they they lose many, but there is a cougar and a bobcat to worry about. Probably coyotes, too, but I never see them.

Momma and fawns started  heading uphill towards the forest (before the ‘tourists’ arrived) so I was triangulating to head them off and get a photo when they passed through the mowed section where the trail ran. Much to my surprise they hung a left on the trail and popped up right in front of me when they crested a small rise.

Black-tail Yearling

Black-tail Yearling

I have no idea if this is the same buck as above, but he probably would have been a yearling that year. He was still with his mom at this time, but he had about a month left before the rut started and he was run off.

Black-tail Buck

Black-tail Buck

I was surprised to find him with the does at the start of the rut when he was just a forked-horn. I almost thought he might get away with it, but the next week a bigger buck had taken over and run him off. He did have the moxey to stick around on the fringes, though.

Black-tail Buck

Black-tail Buck

This bug guy that ran him off was gorgeous. He didn’t know me and kept a distance, but he had other things on his mind and came close enough at times. He mysteriously disappeared in mid rut. The does never leave the refuge and he never left the does so I don’t think he left the refuge and got shot. I don’t think he died of natural causes, either. He is not the first big buck to disappear from well within the refuge during hunting season.

Black-tail Deer Buck

Black-tail Deer Buck

So, this guy has been the only buck around since he was a forked horn. This image was from 2010, the last time he let me photograph him. I’m not sure where I was in 2011 and last year I got just shots of him peeking through the thick brush at me. I’m looking forward to autumn again.


Below My Feet

Posted in Photography Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2011 by chamimage

Frosted Grasses

“Don’t just take photographs. Be taken by your photographs.”

Ansel Adams (I think)

 Before I picked up a camera I don’t think I ever would have noticed grasses. The inordinate number of photographs I now have of them would suggest I might notice them more than most people.

Back-lit Foxtail Barley

This foxtail barley was growing in the middle of a gravel parking lot in Cranbrook, British Columbia. I went down on my belly in the gravel for the photograph. The brownish color at the top of the photo is actually somebodies hand trying to keep the sun out of the lens. I can’t remember now if it was my hand or my friend’s hand. A happy accident.


So, we are at the world famous Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in May. Flowers everywhere. And I’m shooting clover? The rain drops were what really attracted me. This is a great background, screen saver, you name it. I find more uses for it than any of the flower photographs I took that day.

Derwent Water Lake Area, Lake District, England

I went all the way to the Lake District in northern England for these grasses.

Some of the best photographic advice I have heard was to not get so fixated on what you are photographing that you forget to look behind you. Or all around you. And don’t forget to also look down.

Back-lit Foxtail Barley B&W

And just because it’s green doesn’t mean it won’t look good in black and white.

Winter’s Grasp

Posted in Photography Technique with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2010 by chamimage

Wintry Morning

I found time yesterday to visit the local wildlife refuge. I wasn’t expecting much, just happy to have a break in the rains and go for a drive. It was a bit nippy and I captured some landscapes that make me glad for a warm fire this time of year.

Cold Dawn

I am starting to appreciate moody photographs more. Something that elicits a visceral response, a response you don’t need to think about.

Frozen Mushrooms

Or sometimes I just want to convey what I saw. What did I see in these mushrooms that caused me to stop and bother to photograph them? If I can make others see what I saw, then they will want to stop and look at my photograph. Georgia O’Keefe painted on huge canvasses to make people stop and notice her paintings, assured that they would appreciate the artistry once they just stopped for a second or two. I don’t think that is the answer for photographers. There is a lot of visual stimulation out there to compete with. It had better be something good.

Oaken Entropy

This little oak tree makes me stop and look at it every time. I don’t think I have still quite gotten to its essence, the thing that makes me look, yet. My mind’s eye can filter out that background, but I think I might need that 85 mm f/1.4 lens I’ve had my eye on to make it ignorable in a photograph.

Things to think about, Photoshop skills to polish, and books to read as it plummets to 22 degrees and we get our first snow tonight.

Lake Moods

Posted in Photo Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2010 by chamimage

Lake McDonald Shoreline

I have a bunch of lake photographs in my blog file for some reason. I guess lakes are just a big old part of summer. What strikes me in looking at the set of them is the different moods that lakes assume. Lake McDonald was gorgeous at sunset, but that sky made things interesting, and a bit threatening. I am a big fan of threatening sky photographs so I’ll weather the storm to follow for them.

Dawn at Ollallie Lake

Dawn at Ollallie Lake has an entirely different feel. One of the reasons I went back to camp there last week was to try to re-create this photograph. But, every morning is different. This is a Kodachrome slide from 1983 and it is getting a texture to it now that looks like I did an overlay when it is enlarged. I didn’t even try to suppress the noise on this one. It had a funk all its own.

Lake Quinault

Another sunset. This one at Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Park in Washington. Makes me wish I was a kid again so I could jump off of that dock all day.

Baskett Slough NWR

This is the local wildlife refuge at sunset in summer. Not much wildlife getting in the way in summer. It fills up with dusky Canada geese that come down from the Copper River delta in Alaska for the winter.

Long Tom Lake

This lake just outside of the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge in northern California looks so peaceful and serene and warm. My memory of it is that it was about as cold as it can be without freezing and I was cold, cold, cold. Photographs can be deceiving.


Posted in Photo Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by chamimage

Western Scrub-Jay

I am finally in image acquisition mode again after time out for being on call and rain (and rain, and rain). These jays are common around here, there is even one nesting in my laurel tree. You would think I would have more photographs of them, but I just don’t seem to have good jay karma. I seem to repulse them. They like to tease me, but always fly off just as they come into my view finder. I finally found one on Saturday morning that hadn’t seen the memo. He was so curious about me I thought he might even fly on over for a closer look. He was good company.

The expert bird photographers will tell you that you MUST have the sun coming from behind you. The head angle should be EXACTLY five degrees toward you, also. I kind of like side lighting, myself. So did Rembrandt. That is why he sat people next to a window. That’s why it is called Rembrandt lighting. Believe whoever you prefer to believe, but in the end you only have to please yourself.

“A gentleman considers what is right, the vulgar consider what will pay.”  Confucious

Of course that is pretty idealized thinking. Those expert bird photographers have to eat.

Teenage Walrus

Another image that came up on the screen saver and I had no memory of it. The young walruses were the ones that came to scope us out when we visited their haul-out beach in Spitsbergen. The really big guys won’t give you the time of day and the females were all asleep and couldn’t be disturbed. I guess once your blubber content gets to a certain point you stop wasting energy on trifles like mere humans.

Dog Walkin'

It’s kind of funny that we are all walking in step. I sometimes wish I had a tail to wag, too. It seems downright rude to greet dogs without a tail to wag. (Photograph courtesy of Karen Nadeau).

Image Optimization

Posted in Photo Stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by chamimage

Banana Leaf

My edit file is getting huge so have been working on editing and optimizing some images. I photographed this back lit banana leaf in Cost Rica with the 600 mm lens when I saw it just glowing there in the dark rain forest.

Ankeny NWR

This is a HDR I shot this spring at a nearby wildlife refuge. It didn’t work at all in Photomatix, but in Photoshop CS5 there were HDR options available for processing that produced one that I liked – a lot.

Baskett Slough NWR

And, of course, as long was I was in the Sunset file I found this sunrise I had totally forgotten about. That’s Mt. Hood in the background. Another local wildlife refuge.

John Day Fossil Beds

As long as I’m on a sunset landscape theme. I have my screen saver set to view my photos and ones like this sometimes come up and I like them better now than I did back then so I touch them up a bit because Photoshop skills are ever-improving and I don’t know what I was thinking when I did it the first time, but I sucked back then and now I am wise enough to make this beautiful, like it was when I was there.

Painted Hills

Just around the corner (literally) from where the last photograph was taken, is this area of the Painted Hills. The pink is pumice, the red is clay and minerals. When it rains the clay swells and the water can’t penetrate, so nothing can grow in it.

Goose on Gold

Another sunset photograph. This was taken at a local park. The park where I walk my dog every day. The goose is wild. I had just to wait until he swam across the water reflecting the autumn foliage.