Alpaca la Mañana Tuya

Dawn this morning

The morning started off mostly cloudy, and clouds blew around overhead all day long producing some interesting skies. In the late afternoon, we had dramatic pre-storm light. It’s overcast and raining this evening, so no moonshot tonight.

“¡Hola! Buenos Días. Me llamo Cara de Calavera (Skull Face).”

Blanca: “¿Qúe pasa? Cara de Calavera.” Cara de Calavera: “Hay un paparazzo en el dique.”

Blanca: “Oye paparazzo, ¿qué pasa?”  Me: “¡Disparándote con mi Bazooka!”

Wild morning sky

Susan Hunter identified this bird as a Song Sparrow. It was foraging on the river’s edge.

Pre-storm dramatic light on the cottonwoods.


Another Robin

And yet another Robin.

How many robins can you find in this tree?


The many faces of Tommee Towhee.

The Lonesome Dove

Mama Owl and Daddy Owl trying to get some rest after a night of really hooting it up.


Gwendolyn is more adventurous than Glenda, but not into modeling like Glenda. She doesn’t hold still for long unless she is napping in a cubby or lounging in some other difficult to photograph location. She is always playful, but when I get the camera out she skedaddles under the bed, behind the couch, under a chair, wherever she is out of camera range. This afternoon I got her to come out from under the bed and give me some cute poses. Thank you, Gwendolyn.

Intermission: The wild sky this afternoon.

Moon in the rough. January 23, 2021.


Spunk Approves

Murder over the bosque

Lavinia asked if I had used a telescope to photograph the moon last night. Lavinia never lets me down on being observant and asking questions when something seems different like a whole lot of detail in the moon photo. As I answered her, I did not use a telescope, I used a 400mm lens that is equivalent to a 640mm lens on my Canon 7D Mark II body. I have been considering getting a long telephoto lens for quite some time.

I was originally looking at the Canon 100-400mm lens, which is one of Canon’s best telephoto zoom lenses for mere mortal photographers, such as myself. However, the 100-400mm lens is ƒ/4.5 to ƒ/5.6, which is a little slow for as much low light photography as I do. I really needed a faster telephoto lens. I seriously considered both the Canon 400mm ƒ/2.8 and the Canon 300mm ƒ/2.8 lenses. The problem with those lenses for me is their weight. The Canon 400mm ƒ/2.8 weighs in at 12 pounds, and the 300mm ƒ/2.8 weighs 6 pounds, 1/2 the weight of the 400mm ƒ/2.8, but still a heavy lens.

I ended up compromising on speed for lighter weight and bought a 400mm ƒ/4.0 DO lens with Refractive Optics, which enables Canon to put a 400mm ƒ/4.0 lens in the same body as the 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens, shaving 2 pounds off the weight in the process. At 4 pounds, the 400mm ƒ/4.0 DO is easy to handle, and fast enough to get decent images hand held in low light. In the photos of the owls below, we could only see outlines of the owls with our bare eyes like in the first photo, but not nearly as close up. The new lens is able to focus on the owls in relative darkness, through the branches and get an amazing amount of detail.

Spunk loves my new lens


Spunk’s a lens hugger

Intermission photographed using a Fuji XE-1 with 27mm ƒ/2.8 lens

“Who are you calling a ‘lens hugger?’ Stupid Paparazzo!”

RAW image of the owls before I cropped the image and adjusted the exposure, contrast, color balance, etc.

“Oh my! The paparazzo found us again.”


The streak photographed using a Canon 5Ds with a Canon 70-200mm ƒ/4.0 lens

A little over half a moon on 01/21/21


Yesterday’s Birds

Moon in Tangle Heart Tree at sunset

We have cloud cover tonight with snow predicted by early morning. Therefore, I’m posting the birds I photographed yesterday.

Flicker at the tiptop of Susan’s Tree at dawn.

Actually, there were two flickers at the tiptop of Susan’s Tree at dawn.

The other flicker.

Owls’ Backs

The Canadian Geese complained that I have not been giving them enough attention.

The Pter in a tangle.

Downy Woodpecker


Cooper’s Hawk in the top of a cottonwood between the clearwater ditch and the irrigation ditch.


Crane Dance

Sunset on the Sandias with cranes in the foreground from Southbend.

Just after sunrise one of the cranes made quite a show of dancing for another crane. There are 21 photos in the sequence with three intermissions. At the end of the post, I included an animated GIF that shows the crane dance in motion.

Quarter moon at sunset.

Daddy Owl slept through the show.


“How do you like my impersonation of a Crane?” Oh, Spunk! I think you look more like Chupacabra. “What do you know stupid Paparazzo?”

“We think Spunk looks a lot like a Crane.” Who asked you Daddy and Mama Owls?

Sandhill Cranes landing at sunset. Another colorful sunset. The sliver moon was just above the trees after sunset.