What is So Special About This Stick?

Sticks are usually gathered by male Snowy egret
and presented to the female.

The female Snowy egret (in the background) was so busy cleaning herself
that the male changed his mind and dropped his stick.

 

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Sociable, Free and Beautiful

American Bold Eagle

 

Every prey bird always looks over its shoulder while hunting.

A bold eagle is different. It’s absolutely fearless.

 

Snowy Egret


Farmington Bay. Snowy Egret

Once Robert Frank said to Annie Leibovitz that you can’t take every picture.

It’s sometimes impossible.

That is exactly what these pictures are about.

I wish that Snowy Egret would be more close.

I wish that he would not hide from time to time in the grass

but reality was different and I tried to take pictures anyway

because it was my first encounter with this interesting bird.

Bad Behavior – I. Fighting

Two geese were fighting over their territory. It was an ugly fight and a white goose was hurt
hopefully not badly. I feel sorry for him.

 
 

Pelicans During Courtship

If a male pelican would not perform a proper dance during courtship
he would be rejected by female.
I think this male pelican started a very beautiful dance.


She begins to pay attention.


She is paying even more attention to his dance.


The courtship continues.

I think he was very impressive during courtship.
I also believe that he won her as his mate.

 
 

White-faced Ibises

On Wednesday I got a shock when I entered Bear river refuge. I didn’t see anymore American avocets. The place were they used to hang around dried up completely.

For the first time I realized that I know NOTHING about desert. Ibises also were gone. Where they used to be there was no water at all. Little oasis of water turned into dry cracked soil.

I found ibises further on another little oasis of water which by now probably also dried up. Desert can be unmerciful and harsh.

***
Some news for May. In May all gang will be there. The breeding birds will be into nesting. The majority of northbound migrant shorebirds and song birds have already departed.
 
 

It’s Time for Cleaning


Fluffy and almost clean.


Final examination. A White -faced Ibis is going over each feather and is zipping feathers back together.


Clean and pretty.

Birds preen their feathers every day.
 
 

Wood Duck on a Shore

I always wanted to photograph this bird but didn’t have an opportunity.Today I was lucky watching these amazing birds.

It’s getting warm in Northern Utah and I would have less and less opportunities to go to my favorite places to watch birds. Last time I went to Bear River refuge and was shocked that the biggest part of it was dry already and all birds moved further where there is still water.

Well, I will continue to go to the desert during summer. Hopefully, desert will have a mercy on me and let me to enjoy watching my favorite birds.
 
 

Flowers Who Also Want to be Loved

I don’t like beautiful garden flowers. They are too perfect, too gorgeous and too boring.

The wild flowers are different. You have to stop and pay attention to them to see their beauty. For some people dandelions are just little annoying weeds, for others they are flowers who also want to be loved.

Dandelions never lie, they are who they are. They show their modest beauty without asking you to admire it.
 
 

Sacred Bird

White-faced ibis.

In ancient Egypt killing an ibis was punishable by death.
Ibis was considered a sacred bird.

It’s interesting that when American naturalists saw for the first time ibises
they confused them with herons, storks and curlews.

In April 2015 I saw for the first time Glossy ibises.
I was driving on the country roads when I spotted big beautiful birds.
They were flying in flocks over a field. That was my first encounter with ibises.

Robins

Do you remember the Christmas cards where the beautiful Robins
were sitting peacefully side by side on the branches?

They looked so friendly, so sweet but the reality is different.
The male Robins spend much of their lives fighting, they are not friendly birds.

I took these photographs in March. Seeing Robins was very joyful.
They were little reminders of spring.

 

American White Pelicans’ Heaven – I.

Finally, I reached the Bear River refuge
and drove miles and miles around the river on the narrow dirt road.

It was early afternoon and the desert was peaceful and comforting.
I didn’t see any birds for the first fifteen minutes until I spotted many white birds.
They were so far away that my first thought was that they were Tundra swans.

When I approached closer I realized
that the white birds were American White pelicans. The colony of them.
And a well established colony with rules and busy activity.

Some pelicans were fishing for food, other were resting and napping
and the most active sometimes were flying.

I stayed with pelicans until sunset. I watched them, took pictures
and was so happy
that even didn’t pay attention to clouds of mosquitos and other insects circling over me.
Fortunately, I somehow survived and wasn’t bitten by them.

I also saw grebes. There were plenty of them. And I was lucky, I saw one Tundra swan and that was a big surprise
because at this time of year Tundra swans migrate to Arctic.
Did this Tundra swan decide to stay at Bear River refuge
or it was still early to migrate and there were many of swans somewhere around Bear River?

 

Cackling Goose

 

I had a difficult time to identify this goose until I came across the Cackling geese.
Cackling geese resemble so much in appearance Canada geese.
Cackling geese have long black necks (my goose has a long black neck)
Cackling geese also have white chinstraps.
My goose has this white chinstrap.
And most important my goose has black legs and feet.

 
 

Sandhill Cranes

When I saw these birds I didn’t know what kind of birds they were.
Later I would learn that I photographed Sandhill cranes.

They arrive in the Northern Utah at the beginning of March
and stay for the summer breeding season.
Soon they will start a courtship with their special dances.

 

Flamingos






There were so many things happening on that day in San Diego.
Conversation with a wonderful young woman from Switzerland
who was so kind and gave us her pass to San Diego Zoo.
Thoughts about my dad who would be so happy to visit this zoo.

 And euphoria that we were in one of the biggest zoo in America.

I noticed Flamingos when we were going to leave the zoo.
I had an hour before the zoo would be closed to watch these beautiful birds.
I stayed with Flamingos for the whole hour.

 
 

The Dancer


A Pink-footed goose is performing his special dance.

 
 

Killdeer

This is my third time taking pictures of a bird from my car.
What amazes me that birds don’t perceive a car as a threat.
They are absolutely oblivious to your car and you.

Killdeer was so calm, so relaxed letting me take as many pictures as I wanted.
The difficult part was to find later what kind of bird it was.
I found Killdeer in the category “the shore birds”
and learned that they are migratory birds.

 
 

Hitch Hikers


I rarely visit Antelope Island in the winter. It’s usually deserted and windy.
During my last visit I saw only bisons who were surrounded by birds.
The bisons did not seem to mind the hitch hikers on their backs,
I am not sure they even noticed the birds.

Later I will learn that certain species of birds ride on the backs of Bisons
and feed on the insects they find in the Bison’s fur.
European Starlings are among those birds.

 
 

Fish for Breakfast

My first trip to Farmington Bay, a home for many marsh birds, was very thrilling.

I was warned before going to Farmington Bay not to get out of car
and shoot from the open windows; birds don’t percept a car as a threat.

Well, after driving half an hour, I realized that none of birds
were waiting for me and thought I wasn’t lucky.

I spotted a Great Blue Heron but it was so far away that
to shoot through the open window was ridiculous. I got out of car and tried to get as close as I could.

A Great Blue Heron enjoyed his breakfast. He was fishing.
And that was so awesome to watch this graceful and beautiful bird.

 
 

Hide and Seek

Two weeks ago I met a very young deer in our park.
I followed a deer trying to be as quiet as I could but it didn’t work well.
A deer was hiding behind the trees not giving me a chance to take  pictures.

And then he left leaving me disappointed
and wondering how other people manage to take pictures of deers.

Perhaps, his curiosity was so strong that he would return back to check on me one more time
giving me another chance.

And that will be the end of our meeting or our game “Hide and Seek”…

 
 

Robins are Back

I noticed robins two weeks ago in my neighborhood and was glad to see them back.
Last Sunday after snow storm I went to our park
and there were robins on the trees in the parking area.
They were feasting on berries.

 
 

The Change

I always wanted to photograph a swan with a long graceful neck.
Instead I took a picture of White Goose on our local pond.

I wanted to be a street photographer and take portraits of strangers but lately
I found myself photographing a lot of trees.

I tried to be an artist but I never became one. I reached the point when I didn’t know who I am
and did I really love photography.
I was thinking about not doing anymore photography. Just stop and see what would happened.
I didn’t stop. I didn’t stop because I met in our local park the wildlife photographer Tom
who introduced me to the bird photography.

It was like a fresh air. No more struggle with street photography, no more getting into conversations with strangers, no more dull blur trees. I felt a huge relief.
Wildlife photography is a completely different world where you are happy if you get even one picture of a bird or interesting animal.

I didn’t dare to post my photos of birds I took recently on this blog.
You don’t change drastically your direction in photography and expect people to accept it.
I am perfectly aware of it but it’s my life and my photography and
the rest up to you to decide do you want to follow my journey or not.
I am OK with either decision.

 

Grace


 
 

Playing with Sun

Sun was going down. It was small and resembled a ball.
The old tree was trying to catch the sun and hold it.
I hope it makes sense…

 
 

Red Winter Berries


Just a little bit of color because everything around is still gray and dull.

 
 

White Winter. Shed


 

Fence with cross. Lone shed.
And snow, everywhere snow.

 
 

In the Intersection

Portraits of Strangers. In Pizzeria with Mama


 
 

In the Fog


 
Every tree is like a little poem
that the Earth writes with all its soul and heart.

 
 

Portraits of Strangers


 

2017 is coming to the end. It was a very good year. In many ways.
I made smart decisions and not so smart. And of course a lot of mistakes.
I was experimenting a lot with black and white photography and came to conclusion
that I am comfortable with monochrome and color.

I met interesting and talented photographers
and got inspired by them but chose my own way in photography.

I also decided to photograph what I am passionate about and nothing more.

 I still have a strong infatuation with street photography.
And of course I am always thrilled when I am taking pictures of trees
which I see as lonely and strong people.

2017 is coming to the end. It was a very creative and productive year.
My hope is that 2018 will be peaceful and a good year.
For all of us.

 
 

White Winter


 
Heavy fog is like a dream to come true when you don’t expect it.
This morning fog was everywhere.
It was the rawest and the densest fog.

 
 

Portraits of Strangers. Beautiful Girl with Glasses


 
 

Foggy Morning


 

Our fogs don’t last long time.
One moment you are in the fog, and the next moment the
sun is smiling at you through the clouds.

 
 

Friends


 

This place is so amazing. Every time I get there I am thrilled.
Lights, more lights, people wandering around leisurely.
I thought I would never be able to do street photography again
after taking for straight seven months only pictures of trees.

 
 

West Land. Pond

 

I always come back to the same place over and over again
Thus, I visited this little pond the second time already.

This time I saw a little shed. It’s was not very special
but I found it interesting.

 
 

Urban Sketches. Gulls and a Freight Car

 

My Urban Sketches are coming to the end.
I enjoyed taking pictures of gulls.

 


 
 

Urban Sketches. Gulls


 

I always thought that my photographs are disturbing.
They don’t project peace.

Yesterday I learned something different.
I was told that the photograph above does project peace.

And explained why,
“Gulls, these little helpless creatures, coexist peacefully
in the world with industrial buildings, cars and people.

Interesting. I never thought this way…

 

Girl and a Bird

 
 

I looked yesterday at some of my photos taken two years ago.
They are mostly street photographs taken at the Farmers Market during summer.
Some of them have stories, other just interesting moments.

 
 

Angel of Hope -2.


There is a completely different mood in this photograph.
It’s lighter. The conversation between two angels only started.
It’s about purpose and belonging.
It’s about pleading to stay in the place which gives you comfort and peace.
And a decision not to do that.
 

 

Angel of Hope

Zone Plate. Still Beautiful

 

Lensbaby Zone plate

 

Zone Plate. Old Tree


Lensbaby Zone plate

 

Zone Plate Rural – I. Evening

Why primitive photography? Why Zone plate instead of lens? It’s difficult to answer on this question but somehow my curiosity led me to the beginning of 20th century and works of pictorial photographers. I loved their images, impressionistic soft focus, how they embraced simplicity and imperfection.

First, I couldn’t take photographs with Zone plate. I struggled with exposures. Recently I got advice to use a tripod and long exposures. And it worked. To the point.
 

Indian Summer -II.


 

Indian Summer


 

 

 

Girl with a Jar


We remember moments, not days.

I don’t remember the exact day I found the small village chapel but I remember three dogs who greeted me in the chapel’s backyard. They were big, old and hardly walked.

Those were my unforgettable moments; the old dogs, the colorful carpet of autumn leaves, nice crispy air and peacefulness of a small and welcoming place.

This time I didn’t meet the dogs. The backyard was neatly cleaned. Its cleanness was sad and not inviting.
But there was something new and unexpected. There was the stature of a girl with a jar I didn’t see before.

You come to places you like and expect them to be the same but those places always betray you.

 

West Land. Snow Basin

Autumn is wonderful right now in the mountains.
The colors are rich and vibrant, the air is crisp and fresh.
A total bliss!


 

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