Saturday, February 28, 2009


day was spent mostly bird spotting. I started out at the Clark County Wetlands Preserve and then went to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Preserve.
Inbetween the two I got to watch a felony traffic stop up close and ppersonal, by Las Vegas's finest, and had the pleasure of being bitten by a Boxer(dog) at Ash Meadows. All in one day! My day is complete!!

This is a Flycatcher of some sort.

A Redd Tailled Hawk with a helicopter in the back ground.

Not sure what it is, but I really like this picture.

This is a Common Merganser. He's having a bad hair day!!

Its a duck! Thats all I could figure out.


I think this is the biggest Great Egret I have ever seen. He was huge!!!

A Sparrow of some sort.

After leaving the Preserve, Karen and I decided to go to the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Preserve. I knew we would end up there at a bad time for birding, but I wanted to get a feel for the place. It is only about 7 miles or so from Death Valley and about an hour and a half from Las Vegas.

While driving down Silverado, near the Southpoint, we heard faint sirens. From out of nowhere to LVMPD cars were behind us. Ofcourse we pulled to the side and they passed us rushed towards the freeway. Then another one pulled out of the corner gas station with his lights on. He then turned his lights off and headed north on Las Vegas Blvd. Then he turned around and follwed the other two cars to the top of the overpass. This is what we saw on the top. I wished I had my 24-105mm lens on the camera at the time, but I was in birding mode and had to make due with my 100-400mm lens. A great lens, but not in this situation.
Felony Traffic Stop

Felony Traffic Stop
This is an interesting picture. If you click on it and go to my flickr site you can see I added a note to it. In front of all of the police cars is a guy who jumped out of his car and grabed his camera to start photographing the action.

Felony Traffic Stop

Felony Traffic Stop

Felony Traffic Stop

Felony Traffic Stop
The photographer who just stopped in the road to photograph the felony traffic stop.

To be continued......


Friday, February 27, 2009

In 30 days or so

Obama has crushed any hope I had for him leading from the middle. Yes I knew that, like most politicians, he campaigned from the left during the primaries, and then moved to the center during the election. I was hopeful that he would govern from there. That hope is now gone. Although I know that elections have consequences, never in my wildest nightmares imagine them to be like this.

Our true deficit, often cited as roughly $460 billion in 2008 is actually over $5 trillion dollars!!!! How is this you ask??? Well its a neat accounting trick the government has been using for years called "cash accounting". When they collect a dollar for Social Security they send that dollar on anything from a F-22 fighter jet to a "Bridge to no where". Its a simple subtraction of "Cash in" minus "Cash out".
The problem with this is that Social Security money is supposed to pay for, well....Social Security! "Cash Accounting" does not account for future expenditures.
"Cash Accounting" is deemed acceptable for small businesses as seen here.

This is how President Clinton could claim(with a straight face) to have had a "budget surplus" when in fact he was running a budget deficit. Under the governments accounting method, there was no deficit because they spent all of the Social Security monies. Not to fault President Clinton in particular, because administrations have been raiding the Social Security pot since....well since there was one to raid.

The true deficit under President Bush was just over $5 trillion dollars. Under President Obama it will be in the area of $8-9 Trillion dollars. And that's JUST the DEFICIT!

I do have to give credit where credit is due though. President Obama's position on Iraq does seem reasonable at this time. He is, more or less, withdrawing troops within the time frame negotiated by President Bush under the terms of the SOFA(Status of Force Agreement) last year while still leaving open the ability to re evaluate the situation as needed.

Speaking of President Bush, its kind of ironic to see how many of his positions that President Obama is adopting:
Rendition? Yes.
So called torture: With his approval.
Position on Iraq: More or less the same as Bush's
Denying trial to enemy combatants: Only some held in Afghanistan
And a host of other.....




I wonder if they eat Cheerios too?










Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Its called "The hollar"

or something like that. We don't know the exact name, but tommorow in the AM they will be driving all of the NASCAR semis from the South Point down Las Vegas Blvd to the Las Vegas Speedway. I'm thinkning about going out to get some photos of them. I'm not sure though, because NASCAR doesn't do much for me, but it might be cool.

Otherwise on Saturday I am going to Ash Medows for some bird spotting!


Photography and the photographers who take photographs.

Todate I have just under 20,000 photographs on my hard drive...19,767 to be exact. Over the last few month I have attempted to delete the worst of my photos. I probably have had over 25,000 photos at some point. What can I say, the Canon EOS systems that I have used have used can take, depending on the camera I had at the time, anywhere from 3-6 frames per second. That can result in the same subject, doing the same thing, at the same time, many times over. Sometimes it results in way too many pictures. I admit, I'm as lazy as the next person, so going back and deleting duplicates and bad shots is more effort than I can muster at times.

It does bring into focus one of the main rules of photography though. If you want to take the "one" in a million photo, you HAVE to take a million photos! That is a lesson I have learned.

Angry Mute Swans
This photo is a perfect example of this. When I realized what was about to happen, I pushe the shutter down and just let it fly. Back then I think I had the Canon XT or XTI which takes 6 frames per second. If I had my Canon 5D(my current camera) which only does about 3 frames per second, I may have missed this shot.

Another rule of photography that I am TRYING to learn is, PATIENCE!
It is aa very important rule!!
Since this photo does NOT have a creative commons licsence on Flickr, I will only link to it. But do look at it. How hard is it to capturethat photo? It has been taken by many people, over many years. But it only happens about ONCE a year, if your lucky!!! That is patience. Patience is waiting for the right light, but also maybe waiting for the right time of the year, or maybe even the right year!!! Ansel Adams destroyed more photos that he ever developed and shared. You never saw his failures!!!

That is a lesson I'm trying to learn also. Never show your poor photographs!!!!

Now I will make you suffer! I'm going to post about my photos on Flickr. Flickr tracks your photos popularity based on 4 catagories. I'm going to show and talk about the top 3 of each in each of those catagories. they are:
1.Inerestingness(a secret formula developed by Flickr)
2.Views(How many people viewed the photo)
3.Favorites(How many people call it a favorite)
4.Comments(Most commented on photo)
Its only 12 photos, you'll live through
1.Jun_21_2008 059
This is a recent addition to my top list. This photo was taken at Binions in Downtown Las Vegas. I took it upon the request of the girls shown. When they saw my camera, obviously having good tastes in cameras, they wanted thier picture taken.
It never even made my Flickr list until I added it to a group called "Caught in the Act" about photos you got in trouble for. Within a week it shot to the top!
Originally it was just taken as a "man", or in this case, woman on the street, enjoying a good time in Las Vegas for my blog.

This picture, and the first one in this post, are among my favorites. It was taken at Crosswinds Marsh in Michigan. Infact the first photo in this post is hanging on my wall in the form of a 2 1/2 by 3 foot print in a frame.

This pictue was taken at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Not a bad photo, but I could take it or leave it. No accounting for tastes!!!!

1.Las Vegas Metro Police Car
Taken at a protest for Verlaine May Powless, a young woman run down and killed in a pedestrian walkway in 2008. Although I remember virtually EVERY photograph I have ever taken, this set really touched me. I remember the pain in many of the photographs I took that day. I remember being asked if I was part of the "press", and, not wanting to lie, saying "no" even though I was determined to tell her story. The picture below sums up the protest.
This was NOT a young lady out doing the wrong things, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons! She was out at 8PM and was run over, when she DID have the right to be where she was! Everytime I drive by there i think of her, even though I never met her. There was no intent upon the part of the driver who hit her. He was visiting from Detroit, and stopped and took responability for what he did. He is still sitting in Clark County Jail as far as I know. In a fraction of a second, things can change forever. He was, without a doubt, at fault, but I still feel sorry for him becuase he never had the intent to do that.

Snowy Las Vegas Sign
This photo was taken while riving down the road in my service van. Camera out the window, settings on Auto. Click! By far it beat out every photo of the snow storm I "worked" at taking!

A LVMDP motorcycle cop sitting outside of The Fremont Experience during the Helderado event. Not a great photo, but anything involving photos of police is popular on Flickr!
Death Valley Moon Raise
Taken in 2005 durting our vacation out west. we visited Death Valley and I took this shot somewhere near the "train" in Death Valley. I remember it very well. One of my favorites.

see above!

Jun_21_2008 059
See above!

See above!

Note that these are NOT my favorites. Maybe I'll show then later.

I'd like to point out though, that for each of the nearly 20,000 photos on my hard drive, I can remember the story behind each. I think thats true for most photographers!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just in case

you wanted to see a cook out in winter!!


Monday, February 23, 2009 I'm still learning

to identify Falconiformes.

This is a Male Northern Harrier.
Northern Harrier
This is a Female Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier
This is a Coppers Hawk
Coopers Hawk


Saturday, February 21, 2009

The wetlands

When I first went to the Wetlands Preserve back in 2007 I remember walking along the path and seeing a bird jump up. I only saw it for about 2-3 seconds, and it was gone. I knew it was a raptor type bird(or so I thought), and that it was whiteish. With a 2-3 second view of the bird it really could have been anything from an Osprey to a Black Capped Night Heron. White, Black and Grey, all blurred together in 2-3 seconds....Could describe either. Now I know for sure it WAS an Osprey as seen below:
(Time to eat some crow...I'm now sure that this is NOT an Osprey)

But i'm getting ahead of myself.....
The first bird I was was a Orange Capped Warbler:
I've seen these before in Michigan, but until today I thought they were Wilsons Warblers. They are not. Not enough black in them.

This is an unknown Sparrow:
I admit it, I'm too lazy to try to figure it


Other than to say this is a Sparrow, I'm not going to even try:

This is a seed of some kind. They were all over the park. You will see many of them in my other pictures. I don't know what they are.

Again, whaty I believe to be an Orange Crowned Warbler.

This, a new bird to me, is a Virden:



I walked about .5-3 miles by this point. I stopped for a smoke break. Everyone know excercising and smoking go together right????? While standing there I looked up and saw this:

This is an Osprey:
A new one on me. Never photographed one before.

This is another un known Raptor. I do not think it is a Red Tailled Hawk as it is missing the red/brown areas on the leading egdes of th wings:


This is a Snowy Egret. Not to be confused with a Cattle egret, much more orange on the beak, or a Great Egret, a bird 2-3 times larger.

A Common Morehead.

This is a Great Egret:


Note the black beak and, although hard to tell in the photo, it is 2-3 time larger tha the Snowey Egret.

some of the f;;ood damage from last week:



Although in this picture it seems, to me anyways, to have the face of an owl, it is, I think a Raptor.
I thought at first, it couldn't be a bird, it must be debris from the flooding. I was wrong:





the King Bird...



Un Known Sparow:

Green Winged teal:

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