Closing Out 2009 Pictures

(if only interested in the albums, please go to the bottom of this document for the links)

Frozen water and Pikes Peak
Frozen watershed and Pikes Peak

With the Hawaiian vacation pictures taking precedence, I failed to properly close out 2009. By all accounts a crappy year all around, there were still photographs taken, and December had its own share of snapshots outside the plethora of Hawaii pictures.

By the way, I still need to post a SmugMug album of Hawaii pictures . . . at this rate, it will be a month or more, but it will eventually be there.

Meanwhile, December was yet another month during which, when convenient, I went on pre-sunset drives looking for worthwhile subjects to digitally capture for future generations to see what the world looked like before overpopulation, wars, greed, and iPhones messed it all up.

Red-Tailed Hawk Lunch

Most pictures depict things which interest me, and which are likely to elicit little interest from others. Still, I figure I should post them to the web so they can be ignored by larger numbers of people.

By far the most favorite subjects of late, and the reason for my drives were hawks. Specifically, I wanted to emulate photographers whose livelihood depends on great pictures of wildlife captured in the act of being wildlife. I can’t say I succeeded in the fullness of my expectations, but I think some of the shots I got might be worthwhile.

There are two kinds of hawks I’ve seen here; Northern Harriers and Red-Tailed. There might be more, but that’s all I’ve seen or recognized. Red-Tailed Hawks seem rather tolerant of balding photographers wanting to have them as subjects. Northern-Harriers, on the other hand, are reluctant subjects; they don’t hang around much past me raising my camera.

Northern Harrier Taking Flight

Both are difficult to capture in flight, especially if one tries to capture the moment they depart their perches. All one gets, or at least all I usually get, are blurry images of magnificent birds spreading impressive wings to the waiting breeze.

Ducks, on the other hand, appear to be more acclimated to having people around, especially if some people regularly feed them at their favorite pond. One such pond is behind a strip mall about four miles from my house. It is home to a large number of waterfowl nearly year round (different individuals, I’m sure, but there are always some there). I’ve posted pictures from the site before, but usually, the ducks are on the water, and they tend to move to the opposite side of the pond whenever I approach.

These days, however, the lake is frozen, and ducks hang around the parking lot and under nearby shrubs. This offered me an opportunity to snap some pictures from fairly short distances.

Dude! You da duck!!
Mallard Out For a Stroll

They are difficult to expose correctly (at least for me), as the sunlight tends to play on their feathers and make getting an accurate exposure a tricky proposal.

Still, I think some people might enjoy the few duck pictures I’ve chosen to offer up.

Coyote Out and About

During December a few other critters crossed in front of my camera. Add them to a few shots of the local landscape, and we have a diverse offering of albums.

Horses at Sunset

To be sure, knowing most people are not that interested in anything requiring more than a few minutes (a.k.a. Twitter-sized) offerings, these are relatively small albums. I list them here for them who be interested and have the time to peruse them.

SmugMug Albums:

Dec ’09 Closing out the year (14 pictures) – a mix of landscape and critters.

Dec ’09 Horses (8 pictures) – some equines who captured my interest

Dec ’09 Ducks (7 pictures) – waterfowls in repose

Northern Harrier Hawk (12 pictures) – pictures of perched and flying Northern Harrier hawks

Red-Tailed Hawk, Part 1 (10 pictures) – a Red-Tailed hawk intent on its meal, and then flying off

Red-Tailed Hawk, Part 2 (11 pictures) – a young Red-Tailed hawk perched on a pole, and then flying off