Early Reward

A moose cow walks with her calf early one morning in Yellowstone National Park in July 2004

A moose cow walks with her calf (almost completely obscured by the tall grass in front of her) near the road from Mammoth to Tower in Yellowstone National Park. I am not a morning person (to put it mildly) so getting up early for photography is always a struggle. This visit to Yellowstone was in 2004 and I was still learning how productive those early hours can be. I finally decided to get up early to beat the crowds on the last day of the trip and was rewarded with close views of not just this moose and her calf but also a black bear and her two cubs, an elk cow and her calf, and bison as well.

CAT132 “Advanced Dog Bed Stealing”

Our cat Boo stretches out across the full length of the bed of our dog Ellie

Do you steal your dog’s bed, only to find the dog has enough room to snuggle up and impinge on your personal freedoms? Then this class is for you! Professor Boo will show you how one little cat can take up an entire dog bed, leaving plenty of room for you to roll around, or if you’d prefer, get nice and comfortable.

CAT131 “Basic Dog Bed Stealing” is a required prerequisite for this class. Professor Boo takes no responsibility if your dog is a meanie and eats you.

The Happy Scaup

A female lesser scaup yawns as she swims across Horse Lake

Over the past few years I’ve noticed there’s a lone female scaup that sometimes hangs out at Horse Lake. I don’t know if it’s the same bird from year to year, and she often hangs out at the far side of the lake, but it’s always a treat when she swims in close. Unfortunately in this instance I had been photographing diving coots and ducks and to get a high shutter speed was shooting at ISO 3200. That’s higher than I like to push the 7D and the technical quality of the picture suffers a bit for it, but since she was yawning it provides a nice change from my other pictures of her.

The Diving Duck

A female lesser scaup starts her dive under the water, her head already underneath the water, at Horse Lake on the auto tour at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Ridgefield, Washington in December 2013

I love watching the diving ducks on Horse Lake, like this female scaup starting her dive to search for food under the water. She pushes forward with her flattened tail on the surface of the water and her webbed feet below and breaks the surface of the water with her beak, her body soon to follow. It’s absolute poetry and I’ll never tire of watching it.