…gets the good shots.
I had gotten to bed late due to having my quarterly 3-hour conversation with my youngest brother. What was I doing awake already at five AM? By 5:30, I was tossing around like a fish out of water and decided to get up, go hike, and shoot photos before work.
I recently paid Canon USA way too much money to fix my broken EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens. I received the lens back last week so I decided to use it this morning to give it a good workout. Generally most of the photos I capture are with focal lengths under 50mm. Being forced to use 70mm or more is a challenge. Fortunately, getting up at dawn gives me the chance to see a lot of wildlife, which the longer focal lengths are good for.
I headed over to Caribou Ranch and set out on the trail. Needless to say, at 6 AM, I didn’t seen any other people. Just the way I like it.
Chickaree squirrel digging up a cached morsel next to a beautiful lichen covered rock.
Female broad-tailed hummingbird on nest. Click for larger.
Probably the most beautiful nest I’ve ever seen. She’s decorated it with pieces of lichen to make it more camouflaged. Click on the photo for the larger version and see the cobwebs she grabbed from the forest to glue the lichen to the nest. An amazing work of art.
She seemed at ease with me being close. I actually had hoped she would fly away so I could see what is in the nest. I will have to hike back in a couple of weeks and check on things.
Later posts in this series: Part 2, Part 3
I had heard about the upcoming eclipse, but I hadn’t realized until Friday morning that it was a full annular eclipse near this part of the world. So I started researching where I needed to go to see the whole thing.
The red line was the center of the eclipse. The blue lines denote the limits of where the moon was visible entirely within the outline of the sun. (Click for larger.)
I wanted to be somewhere south of the upper blue line. In the hopes of somehow combining some interesting scenery with the eclipse, I finally settled on going to Valley of the Gods in southern Utah (pink dot on the map).
By the time I finally got the Xterra loaded with camping and photography gear, it was raining/snowing around noon on Saturday. I knew I wasn’t going to make it all of the way to the Valley of the Gods, so my first night was spent in one of my favorite places near Arches National Park, Klondike Bluffs.
Klondike was warm and clear. Once I settled on a camping spot (there was no one around for miles), I set up my camera and did a few test shots of the sun. Overall, an idyllic evening.
The sun before the eclipse, with sunspots visible on the surface.