I found this little store across from the beach in Newport very charming. I had an idea of replacing the background with the beach and oceans- and still might someday- but here it is in its (almost) natural surroundings.
We loved watching this scene next to where we were sitting. The younger brother patiently and quietly allowed his brother to pile sand over and around him- and hardly a word was spoken. Eventually he did emerge, and off they went to play in the waves.
The morning we left, we took a quick walk on the beach, and I must have taken at least 20 photos of a man and his mother as they came walking toward me. I think he thought I was stalking them, but what I really liked was the composition of the S-curve in the sand (and gull) with the dog walker in the background. A peaceful scene!
My husband was in Southern California on business last week, so I tagged along. Our first stop was Newport Beach, where we caught up with our son and his girlfriend and had a very quick afternoon at the beach. I’ll be posting a few photos this week from that all too short visit.
Just walking at the top of the hill. . .
Our roadrunner guest made himself right at home in our yard. He is a predator after all; I try not to think of what he might have eaten besides lizards. I haven’t seen any of the young quail for awhile, alas. These shots are before and after he helped himself to some water in the fountain.
By the way, this is the same roadrunner I featured in yesterday’s blog post. His crest is sometimes up, and sometimes down. Supposedly the crest goes up when the roadrunner is communicating with other roadrunners, but this one has been a loner.
Last week, we spotted a roadrunner coming into our back yard several times each day. One day, Carol and I were out there for over an hour with our cameras, and the roadrunner was everywhere! We even watched him kill a large lizard by- sorry!- whacking him repeatedly against the rocks (don’t worry- no photos). At one point, he came down to the lower level and drank from the fountain- leisurely and unafraid.
Here he is in all his glory:
I’ve taken many, many hummingbird photos over the years. And now I am trying to take better ones. The hard thing is to take them in flight, in focus, and in a good spot in the frame (good composition and background). So far, I have many, many shots of their tails as they take off- or just sitting at the feeders. At least in this shot, the wings are outstretched and moving.
Here is another shot of Mr. Quail. I love being able to get closeups with my long lens.
Thanks to the expert tutelage of my friend, Carol, I am finally able to use my long zoom lens with the gimbal head I got for my birthday. I am working on assembling and disassembling the lens and tripod combo, as well as focusing and panning techniques for bird photography. I am far from competent, but am thrilled with my results so far!
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Quail, regular visitors to our backyard:
Bystanders at Prescott’s Hose Cart races yesterday:
I love living in this small town1
My friend, Carol, is visiting! After an afternoon at Barnstar Brewery and a delicious barbecue dinner, we all sat outside talking, laughing, and watching birds until after dark. As we got up to go inside, we were surprised to look up and see clouds which had not been visible earlier. Carol and I got our cameras to photograph the moon peeking out through the cloud cover and were surprised to see the colors that appeared in our images. Smoke from the fire? I don’t know.
In this shot, you can see a star in the lower part of the photo.
Four years ago today the nineteen Granite Mountain Hot Shots (mostly from Prescott) lost their lives fighting the Yarnell fire. I remember that day well, because we were on our way to Prescott to buy a house- and all during that time the town was in shock and mourning. As this date approaches every year, tributes appear all over town. And in Yarnell, there are constant reminders. When we were there a few weeks ago, I spotted this door with nineteen purple ribbons.
Good news- the Goodwin Fire outside Prescott is about half contained, and today Highway 69 opened. We will be driving to Phoenix today to pick up my friend, Carol as she returns from another Moose Peterson trip (hummingbirds in the Tucson area), and will be so glad to take a direct route to the valley.
A little impression of our sunset view last night- smoke and pink sky. Multiple exposure layered with a view of the moon from the other direction and an added texture. The fire continues to grow as I write this. We are far enough away to feel safe, but it is scary how fast it is growing.