I went on a short walk today. I headed over to the area by the community gardens with the express purpose of photographing the ravens that hang out there. The sun was up, the skies were blue, and other than the temperature sitting at around -20 F, it was a great day to be outside. I’ve been taking short walks on my lunch hour in part to take pictures, but more to get some sun and fresh air. Our days are so short that it’s dark when I go to work, dark when I get out and rather depressing if I stay inside. I do have a window, but all it does is make me want to spend more time outside.
I parked my truck by the snow dump entrance and walked just a few hundred feet towards the river before stopping to photograph the ravens. There is a line of trees along the snow dump property that they like to hang out in. I have not yet figured out why, but there are almost always a couple and sometimes like today 10-15.
Some days they just sit in the trees, but today they were very active, chasing each other across the sky, diving and swooping. It was a lot of fun to watch. I almost felt they were playing for the camera. While I could not tell at the time, the photographs I took often have them with their heads tilted, eyes pointed towards me as they flew overhead.
While I was watching the ravens I spotted a woodpecker flying by. It landed in a tree along the edge of the pond a few hundred feet away. I walked cautiously over to see if I could get any good shots of it. I was expecting it to take off at any moment. Not only did it not take off, it stayed in the same tree and when it was done looking for food, curled up on an upper bare branch and appeared to be taking a nap. Normally woodpeckers are very flighty and rarely stay long after checking out the tree they are in so it was rather special.
While I was photographing the woodpecker, a chickadee landed in the same tree. Unlike the woodpecker, it did not stick around long, but I did manage to get a shot or two of it before it took off.
During the last several months I’ve been trying to get a shot of one of two foxes that live close to where I was today. I see them on a fairly regular basis, but so far all the shots I’ve managed to get have been from a fair distance away. I saw one of the foxes again today, but it was through the trees in front of me as it ran across the pond. Because of the trees I did not think I could get a shot of it.
The surprise came when I got home today, opened up the images I’d taken and started to scroll through them. Looking at one of the woodpecker images (shown below), I suddenly discovered a blurred and out of focus fox in the background staring right at me and not obscured by any of the trees between us. I had been so focused on the woodpecker that I had not even noticed the fox. All it would have taken would have been to shift the focus of my camera and I would have had a good shot of the fox.
After photographing the birds, and almost the fox, I headed down to the river to look for ice crystals. I found a few, but as I said yesterday in a facebook post the ice crystals seems to be slowly eroding away and I’m not finding as many good specimens as I did several weeks ago.
I’ve taken some great shots over the last few days but have not gotten them all up here on the blog. Until I do, you can probably find some at the Lotze Art facbook page. I put posts up there most days while it seems I’m only updating this page about once a week.