It was a cold and rainy New Year’s weekend; it rained for over 24 hours. While in bed at night, I heard the pitter patters of the rain on the roof of the cabin. And I thought of renewal and the water that would make it happen, and the spring grasses and wildflowers to come. The winter nights were long, and it was very cold. I needed a fire in the fireplace for more warmth and to make the cabin somewhat bearable.
When I finally got outside after the rain was over, the light was magical, and the birds were there feeding on Toyon Berries. There were four hermit thrushes each with its unique feeding style. One would come in and dash out; its feeding style was to grab and run. Another one had eyebrow feathers that stuck out, and it hung out in the open more, where I could get a more open look for my images.
The California Thrashers were there too. You could hear them with their clucks, clicks, and mockingbird sounds. They came in repeatedly for the berries, a big item on their diet. I just love the way they would grab the berries and throw them down their throats. Capturing a berry in mid air between their beaks was my photographic goal.
The wrentits were very difficult, for they were always feeding from the inside and hardly ever would show themselves on the outside of the Toyon berry bushes. I caught one pecking out from the thick leaves with a berry in its beak, my only successful wrentit image.
My favorite bird was the flicker. I waited and waited, then I waited some more. I was always listening for flickers for they usually announced their presence with a call. Yet, the female came in only once during the whole day. But when she did come in the Light was magical, the sun was just peeking out of the clouds, and the light was bright but had a special softness. My images of her weren’t too harsh; they were just about perfect.
There were short bursts of shooting activity, and very long periods of waiting; such is bird photography from a blind.
During one of the long waiting periods, is when I heard the Bobcat, it was across the canyon from me. It was calling; its call was sort of a rasping and moaning sound. It called for about 10 minutes, so special to hear a Bobcat in the wild. It made my day, for its moaning call touched my soul.
All in all, a great day in the photo blind at the Ramrod Ranch… Someday soon I’ll see that calling Bobcat and capture its heart and spirit in a photograph