Tag Archives: birds

Be Ready for Good Luck

When I walk around the neighborhood, I take my camera. If I don’t, I’m sure to see a roadrunner, hawk, or merlin. I don’t know if there is ONE best photography tip, but this one is on my short list: Be Ready. Ready means camera in hand, on, lens cap off.

Four years ago tomorrow, I saw this hummingbird hovering just above a claret cup cactus, as I rounded a corner close to home. Imagine me standing in the middle of the street, stopping the dog in his tracks as I juggle leash and camera, frantic that I will miss this great shot, trying not to think of the cars that frequently roar around corners blindly. Fortunately for me, this was one patient hummingbird.

hummingbird and claret cup cactus

hummingbird and claret cup cactus -- cropped

On the other hand, I’ve missed a lot of great shots over the years, ready or not. And taken plenty of crappy shots with all the time in the world. I’m grateful for what I see. mjh

PS: Now, I wear a carabiner to hold the leash, so both hands are free. And the dog has learned to stop on a dime. Luke is a good photo-dog, as was Lucky before him.

Lucky Timing (from the Photo Archive)

American avocets

I go to Chaco Canyon every year (except for this one). In 2008, I also traveled to a couple of outliers west of Chaco. The road into Kin Bineola (“where the wind whirls,” Navajo) crosses a dirt dam. I had never seen any water on either side of that dam before, but on this trip in May, there was a small pond near the dam, well below the road. I saw something circle over the pond. I stopped on the dam to consider taking a picture. The two adult avocets were cute enough – and seemed out of place enough – to warrant a photo. I just got lucky that the babies flew in just as I clicked. I respect photographic skill, experience, and equipment, but lucky timing is the most valuable asset a photographer can’t buy. I never expected to photograph shorebirds in the desert.


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Lucky Timing (from the Photo Archive) is a post from: Ah, Wilderness!. Thank you for subscribing. Let me know what you think. peace, mjh

The Builder (from the Photo Archive)

nesting material

I watched this robin gather grass for nesting material in our small sideyard a few years ago. It was a windy day and the robin kept dropping what it already had in its beak as it tried for more. (Called to mind Aesop.) After numerous attempts, the robin gathered up a good bundle. It took off from the grass and paused just long enough in a gap in the fence. Click. Thank you. With all the wind, I didn’t expect this photo to be in focus.

Robins love to bathe, perhaps moreso than any other birds I’ve seen in our yard.

robin bathes




[From the Photo Archive is an irregular series of photos I’ve taken some time ago but want to revisit.]


mjhinton's Birds (Random) photoset mjhinton’s Birds (Random) photoset

The Builder (from the Photo Archive) is a post from: Ah, Wilderness!. Thank you for subscribing. Let me know what you think. peace, mjh