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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hummers in the back yard, Part 1

female hummingbird is interested in the feeder

Yesterday I tried getting some photos of the hummingbirds in our backyard. My motto is "take a hundred to get one." And that's just about what this one took.

I am going to be "honing" my skills in this area in the next days and weeks, because I find hummers so darn fascinating.

Stay tuned for Parts 2, 3, etc.

Till then,
take more photos!

Mike Z

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mountains of Ft. Davis Texas

Last spring Jan and I went to Ft. Davis TX partially for work and partially for a vacation. One of the things I most wanted to do while I was there was to get some really nice panorama photos of the mountains and mesas of the Ft. Davis area.

The photo above was my first attempt. If you look closely at the third mountain from the right, you can see a very tiny McDonald Observatory at the peak.

The photo above was taken on the last day of our visit. We were walking along a trail, and this view just spoke to me.

I hope you like these two panorama photos. I certainly do! As always, click on the photos to see them larger. 

Till next time,
Mike Z

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cactus Blooming

The Cactus is Blooming

We've had such spring-like weather lately that the plants and trees are all blooming like crazy. This little cactus caught my eye as I was walking out to get the mower to mow the lawn. 

I ran back in the house to get the camera, and got a couple of good shots. Minimal post processing was needed. The color of the blooms speaks for itself. As the flowers mature I'll try to post another photo or two.

Till next time,
Mike Z

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Peach Tree is Blooming!

Peach Blooms in Our Yard

The first signs of spring are all around us now. First it was the red maple tree, now it's the peach tree blooming. The weatherman said we are to expect another frost soon, but I'm hopeful it won't affect us.

Where there are blossoms you can always expect bees. There were no shortage of them around the tree, but they were shy and wouldn't get close enough or stay long enough to get a decent shot of one. I was lucky enough to get a few shots of the bee above. He found a lot of what he was after and hung around for a good while.

Spring is a wonderful time for plants and wildlife around here. I hope it stays that way for a very long time to come.

As usual to see the photos large in a slideshow, just click on one. Also if you'd like to leave a note, please Click Here to See or Sign My Guestbook. 

Till next time!

Mike Z

Monday, February 29, 2016

An Afternoon at Bluff Creek Ranch

An Afternoon at Bluff Creek Ranch

Last Saturday Jan and I drove to a friend's ranch. It's a working ranch with Longhorn Cattle and lots of pretty acreage. It also sports a very popular off-road mountain bike trail, where several bike races are held each year.

These photos are of several high-schoolers who are doing practice runs ("free-rides") in preparation for their competition tomorrow. They all looked so happy and tired at the same time! They were fun to watch.

 The photos below are my favorites of several I took of the Longhorn Cattle that populate the ranch. I always enjoy looking at these beauties, and welcoming the new-comers when I visit.

We walked around the Turkey Tank and got to see many of the riders setting up for their free-rides, or cleaning their gear afterwards. There were quite a few campsites in the area where we walked, and I think that would be half the fun of doing the races. Parents and children together spending time in nature. 

The last photo below is of the Bluff Creek Ranch's owner, Dr. Paul Nolan. He struck a very thoughtful pose as he checked in the cars for the race. He is a rancher, and a long-time biking enthusiast, as well as being a top notch pediatrician. He has been a good friend for several years, and has talked to us many times about getting a bike trail on our ranch. I hope we do it!

Well, that's all for this post. I hope you enjoy the photos. And if you're interested in mountain biking, Bluff Creek Ranch is a great place to ride!

All the best,
Mike Z

PS - click on a photo to see them larger in a slideshow.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sunset New Braunfels TX, January 17 2016

Last evening Jan and I walked out the front door, and looked at the sunset and WOW! It was so fiery and bright and spectacular, I ran back in the house got the camera, and snapped a few quick photos. The results were pretty wonderful.

It's long been my opinion that no camera, no lens, no film, can truly capture the bright fiery beauty of a sunset or sunrise. I did some brightening of colors and contrast adjustments after taking the photo, but I didn't want to make the photo much different than what we actually saw. So no HDR, no grunge, just brightening and sharpening.

I think the photo came out more than ok. It could be a little brighter, but I don't want to do too much and mess it up. This is one that I want to get printed and framed sometime soon. It is my favorite sunset photo to date. Hope you like it.

Till next time,
Mike Z