Well, that was fun

I find it interesting as I log into my blog that my last entry was exactly one year ago. Before the world changed like I have never seen before. Home life changed, work life changed, social life changed.

The weekend drive to our favorite diner in Malin was pretty much cancelled. Oregon shut down and all food establishments ended up doing carry-out only. While I have no issue doing carry out, it made no sense to drive 35+ minutes to get food. So we quit going. Once we opened back up under restrictions, we would go maybe once a month. But it just wasn’t the same.

Not going out on the weekends pretty much meant staying home to stay safe. We did continue our weekend drives from time to time, but things just seemed different.

Last year I didn’t use my camera near as much. I want to change that. Sometimes it seemed like a hassle to load everything up, drive to the Refuge (mostly) and not see a whole lot of birds and animals. As the summer hit, we didn’t have a lot of water on the refuge, which meant of course not alot of birds. We were blessed with seeing the goslings and ducklings. My favorite Eagle road was shut down from March through July, so there was no shooting the Eagles and their babies.

We did get out tho. Just not much with the camera.

Yesterday the Mr. and I went for a drive on two refuges. The first refuge Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, was frosty, and there were a few eagles. I captured this eagle amidst the frost on the willow trees. I have to say it is one of my favorites!

I was excited to get home and look at these images from the trees that were trimmed in white frost.

We drove our usual route on the refuge and got discouraged. There is not a lot of water, therefore there isn’t a lot of waterfowl, and less eagles.

We decided to drive to the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge. I was on one of the local Facebook pages and people were posting some Eagles from that refuge. So we hit the auto tour route and were not disappointed! Almost every power pole for a good 2 mile stretch had Bald Eagles perched on them!

It was amazing to see three together. One looks mad. But they were just so awesome to watch. I stayed in the truck (as I normally do) and the husband creeped and stopped, I opened my door and got the shots I wanted.

There are times when getting out of the vehicle is necessary, like when shooting the goslings and ducklings. You can’t get a good shot through the weeds!!!

Who knows what this year will bring. So far I am not too impressed. I don’t want to cancel my subscription to 2021, I just want peace.

There will be changes this year for all of us. I know I am tired of hearing “This is the new normal”. Personally I want my old “Normal” back.

All we can do is keep our chins up! And be thankful for every day we wake up! Be grateful for all that you have and all that you are! Don’t forget to reach for the stars and get out there and capture what your eyes can see! Share your happiness, share your world!

Happy New Year To You All

May you all be blessed.

T Lynn

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year

Wishing all of you an amazing 2020!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

Did you make any resolutions?  Do you make resolutions? Do you follow through with those resolutions?  

Me?  No.  I don’t make resolutions so to speak, but I have a conversation with myself.  I try to remember what “didn’t work” the last 365 days.  And how can I change things to make them work for the new year.  There are those times when I need to remind myself, that what I was about to say was “so last year” and remember what I told myself.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  It’s all dependent on the situation.  Being a red head, sometimes the short fuse gets lit and I don’t stop and think before I react.

 That said, I also like to attempt to learn something new every year.  Find something in photography that I would like to learn.  Right now I need to learn to slow down.  I think I have a tendency to shoot first, so to speak.  I need to slow down when I see things that aren’t going to go away.  But sometimes I am so wanting to get “That Shot” and then I get home and become very frustrated because 95% of my shots are blurry.  Then I get discouraged and want to sell everything I own.  

What I really need to do is learn from my mistakes.  I have learned that I need to slow down and take my time.

I would love to learn something new this year, but I haven’t really figured it out yet.  I am sure it will come to me sooner or later.  In the mean time I will continue to do what I love to do.  And that is, hop in the truck with my husband with my gear and meander down the road! 

We haven’t been out yet this new year, but we did go then end of December 2019.  It did not disappoint!  

While it may seem my focus is on the eagles, this is not true because there are so many different things to see.  

The hawks were by far more in numbers than the eagles.  We saw a smaller lighter colored hawk and I thought for sure it would fly away because I was not “ready”  my lens was on manual focus and it took me a bit to realize that, so I thought for sure it would fly away never to be seen again.  Nope, not this time.  I keep forgetting to put my bird book in the truck, so of course I had to figure out what it was.  I had shot one last year, so I cheated and looked through my facebook page where I had asked someone what it was.  

So this beauty is a Roughed Legged Hawk.  I just love the lighter colors and the eyes.  Thank you hawk, for standing still for minutes on end while I tried to be organized.  

Roughed Legg Hawk

Roughed Legg Hawk 02

Then of course you have your occasional coyote.  This one was a bit far away, but I was still able to capture it.  They seem to be pretty healthy this winter.

Coyote 01

Eagles, we didn’t see a whole lot of mature bald eagles this time out, mostly the juveniles.  They are still captivating.  To me anyway. I hope you enjoy them as well.  

Eagle James E

This beautiful mature bald eagle was on “his side of the truck” so the hubby gets credit for this one!!

Eagle 01

 

Juvenile Bald Eagle 01Juvenile 03

Juvenile Eagles 03

It is very interesting to see the different stages of the juvenile bald eagle.  The one on the left looks like it just got out of a mud bath!!

We are so fortunate to live where we do and experience what we see!  I enjoy every minute we are out and about regardless if we see anything or not.

Grab your camera and go shoot up the new year!

Be Happy

Be Safe

Happy Shooting

Tracy Lynn

Too Many Cookies

The Ones That Got Away

When we moved to the southern pacific northwest, never did I imagine I would start photographing birds.  Then, someone gave me a bird book, and I have been learning how to identify them.  How did this happen? This just wasn’t me.  Where we lived in the high desert of Southern California, there would be ravens, pigeons, sparrows, finches, and an occasional hawk.  It was cool when the hawk would land on the tree.  But it wasn’t often.  Nothing super exciting to take pictures of.  I did the hummingbirds and the house birds, but that was simply because there wasn’t anything else to shoot at. (with the camera)

Fast forward, moving where the Pacific Flyway is.  I remember researching what it was.  I didn’t know there was such a thing. I knew birds migrated.  I remember as a kid in Montana, being outside and hearing the Canada Geese before you could see them high in the sky heading for the warmer climate!

Geese in flight 02

Such great memories!

Now here we are,  we love to do our Saturday drives on the Refuge and Sunday drives on the side roads.  You never know what you will see.

Last week we were driving the side roads and there were hundreds of White Fronted Geese in the fields and canals.  This week, no more geese.  It’s interesting how one species leaves and another comes in.

White Fronted 02

      White Fronted Geese

The last couple weeks the White Face Ibis started coming in, and this week  by the hundreds.  A very unique bird.  They are colorful in the sunshine and have a crooked beak.   They are pretty good formation flyers too!

Ibis 01

  White Faced Ibis

As you all know, I have a great love for the eagles and hawks.  I think it’s just that they are so majestic.  We are noticing less eagles and hawks this time of year.  They are hopefully sitting on their nests!  Every now and then they can be seen sitting on the power poles, or in the fields.  Hubby will stop the truck if they are on the poles, and I will sneak out (like you can sneak up on an eagle) and then I will start photographing them, inching closer and closer.  I can shoot the same bird 20-30 times, with the chance of getting close enough to get the  detail on the beaks, talons, or feathers.  And eventually they will take flight because of the annoying red-headed lady holding up something and pointing it at them.  So I smile, thank the bird (honestly I do) and happily walk back to the truck.

But not every photo turns out.  That’s just a part of learning.  Yep, I have tried flight pictures and they aren’t pretty.  I get half of something, or the whole thing is blurry.  I am still trying to be more patient with the in flight birds.

All that said,I wanted to share with you, the get aways….  Yes they are blurry and I am not ashamed to share that with you!  It happens to all of us!  Some more than others I am sure.  Ducks 01

Ducks 02

Ducks are one of the flightiest birds I have seen.  They must still be shell shocked from hunting season.

Egret 01

Heron 01

Blue Herons and White Egrets aren’t easy either.  They can be so still, and as soon as you get up on them whoosh….  they’re gone!

Hawk 02

     Hawks are fun.  They keep me on my toes.

hawk 04

   At least the feet are in focus!

Eagle 06

   Hello Majestic Eagle

Eagle 01

    Good bye Majestic Eagle

Eagle 05

Not quite sure what this was. I think it was an eagle. but its a nice foot and wing!

eagle 03

This is by far, the stuff that bad dreams are made of!  Kind of eerie if you ask me!!!

While you are viewing these photos, you are wondering… WHY do I keep these blurry photos?  Well, of course to share with all of you!  I guess maybe someday I will go through the files and delete them.  Or Not.  What if I need that perfect get away blurry shot?  Well, it could happen!

Enjoy your day!  Go outside and enjoy spring!  Shoot some pictures, try new things and don’t be afraid of the blurry ones!  I’m not!

Happy Shooting

T Lynn

The Ends

Explore and Experience Your Local Wildlife Refuge

When we first learned that we were moving to the Southern Pacific Northwest, we naturally started to research the area in which we were going to move to. The Klamath “Basin”, Klamath Falls Oregon.

One thing we have learned or I learned since I moved up here first, was this is not a valley.  Unlike Southern California, where you have San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Antelope Valley, etc … you get the picture. They’re all surrounded by mountains. So therefore it’s a valley.  I totally get that. I lived there for many years. Even in my home state of Montana, I lived in the Bitterroot Valley. But… Klamath Falls is the “Basin”
Here is the difference according to the search I did and we all know everything is true on the internet.

A basin is a depression or hollow on the earth’s surface, which is surrounded by higher land. A valley is also a depression or hollow between hills, mountains and uplands. A basin, which is also called a watershed, is the part of land that is drained by a river and its various tributaries.

So, I will go with the Basin idea, now that I know what the difference is. Kind of. It dates back to lots of history about the Klamath Watershed, and all the other shenanigans dealing with water in this area.

All that said, in doing the research of this area, it was learned that Klamath Falls is located on the “Pacific Flyway”

The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds in America, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, migratory birds travel some or all of this distance both in spring and in fall, following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or travelling to overwintering sites.

You can bet that once I learned that, I was all about what kinds of birds migrated to this area.

A large number of bald eagles winter in Bear Valley, located 10 miles (16 km) west of Klamath Falls, near Keno.

Yay!  Bald Eagles!  Last time I saw them in a large number was in 1981 when they followed the spawning habits of the Kokanee Salmon.  Which sadly, I learned a few years ago, they no longer converge on the waters of Glacier Park for this yearly event.

Eagle 04 Blog

Bear Valley, is close to where we live. It is part of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The complex consists of several refuges;

Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/refuge/lower_klamath/

Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/refuge/tule_lake/

Clearlake National Wildlife Refuge   https://www.fws.gov/refuge/clear_lake/

Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/klamathbasinrefuges/upperklamath/upperklamath.html

Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge    https://www.fws.gov/refuge/bear_valley/

Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge   hyperlink not available.

The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge was  Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 as the Nation’s First Waterfowl Refuge.  

HAwk 01 blog

The Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge was Established in 1928 by President Calvin Coolidge “as a preserve and breeding ground for wild birds and animals“.

Clear Lake Refuge in northeastern California consists of approximately 20,000 acres of open water surrounded by over 26,000 acres of upland bunchgrass, low sagebrush, and juniper habitat. Small, rocky islands in the lake provide nesting sites for American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, and other colonial nesting birds.  Clear Lake is not open to public access.

Upper Klamath Refuge was established in 1928 and is comprised of 15,000 acres of mostly freshwater marsh and open water. These habitats serve as excellent nesting and brood rearing areas for waterfowl and colonial nesting birds including American white pelican and several heron species. Bald eagle and osprey nest nearby and can sometimes be seen fishing in Refuge waters. A boat is a must for those who wish to explore this refuge. A marked canoe trail is open year round and canoes may be rented nearby. 

Bear Valley Refuge was established in 1978 to protect a vital night roost site for wintering bald eagles. The refuge consists of 4,200 acres, primarily of old growth ponderosa pine, incense cedar, white and Douglas fir.  Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge also serves as a nesting habitat for several bald eagle pairs. Bear Valley is also closed to public access.

Now that you’ve had your history lesson….
As I mentioned I live near Bear Valley. It is an amazing sight to see Bald Eagles flying over the top of the house, either coming into the area or flying away from. Most likely they’re flying to the Lower Klamath Refuge which is about a ½ hour drive from where we live.
My husband and I are learning the roads in and out of the Lower Klamath Refuge.

Along the state-line highway (Oregon and California) you can make a turn onto the “Willows” road. This road is a line of willow trees that the Eagles nest in. Why they chose this row of trees I will never know. You can see Eagles, both Golden and Bald, Hawks and Owls in these trees. It is a really cool spot to photograph. The trees just by themselves without the awesome Eagles are interesting. They would make for some awesome scary tree collages in Photoshop. (another story for another time)willow for blog 01

This is really my “first” year photographing the birds in this area.  I mean, I’ve walked around Discovery Marsh, which is located at the Tulelake NWR, and have photographed Egrets, Pelicans and Ducks.  But these past few months have been about the Eagles and Hawks.

The beginning of February, we were able to see the Bald Eagles on Township road, which is a way I go to and from work, and we use it to come home from town.  Sometimes along our route to town or to breakfast in Malin, we would count Hawks and Eagles and our numbers would be in the 20’s  for hawks and the Teens for the Eagles.  Now that it’s nesting season, they aren’t around as much. I also imagine it has a lot to do with the farmers flooding the fields, so the mice and whatever hang out in the fields, have moved to higher ground.

Eagle 01 blog

On our weekly trek to Malin for breakfast, we pass the Willows Road and we wind through the Refuge on the gravel roads.

Where eagles nest blog

I have mentioned Malin Oregon before, but if I haven’t done so here, it is a farming community about 45 minutes from where we live.  My husband and I have been known to take a 6 hour round trip to and from Malin, via the way of the Refuge and Lava Beds National Monument.  All for the perfect “shot of the day”.   I never would have imagined we would spend such fun times most every weekend (weather depending) touring around. It’s awesome.  And I discovered that is makes sense to take two cameras out instead of one. We can both shoot to our hearts content.

Tlynn Shooting blog copy

Shooting blog

I was saddened when we were headed out one weekend day and were getting ready to turn down the “Willows” road and it was CLOSED

Eagle no parking 01blog

I totally understand though.  The eagles are nesting and the Refuge does this to reduce disturbances for the Eagles and other nesting birds.  I did so love that drive to see them all. In hopes of a great photo op!  The best were when the eagles were on the closer side of the road.

Eagle 09 blog

Bald and Goldens in Tree blog

If you haven’t experienced your local Wildlife Refuge, I encourage you to do so.  Take a little time away from the rat race of the city noise and your electronic devices,  find a refuge, or even a park,  just to unplug. Listen to the sounds of the nature.

Eagle and Shasta Blog

There is more to see on our  refuge than Eagles.  We have many migrating birds, Snow Geese, Tundra Swans,  Canada Geese, Greater White Fronted and lots of ducks. Right now the Coots are abundant and not so bright, but you can see  Northern Shovelers that look like a Mallard but they’re bills are black and shaped different, Buffleheads, Golden Eye, Ruddy Ducks, Pintail Ducks and a host of other ducks!  We were lucky enough to see Sandhill Cranes, a bit off the Refuge, but they are here as well. Soon we’ll have the White Pelicans, and other summer type birds, more Herons, Egrets, and Raptors.

Tundra Swans blog

Geese and Swans 02 blog

Golden 02 blog

Sandhill 01 blog

I am learning a lot more than I ever thought I would about birds.   It’s fun to ID a bird once you’ve seen it.  I am fortunate to work where most of the men hunt, so they can ID a duck or goose for me.

Shasta birds blog 01

I hope to visit a couple different Wildlife Refuges while the husband and I explore different areas this summer.

Even if you don’t have a camera, take a day trip.  Use your cell phone camera,  find a path to hike, a dirt road to drive down, something that gets you out of the house after a long winter!

Best of all.. Record your trips, and Have Fun.

The End Blog

Be Good Humans

T Lynn