Great Horned Owl in Palo Pinto Hills
I saw the great horned owl fly over from a nearby hill and land about 30 yards northeast of my elevated stand. He saw me and wasn’t concerned in the least. I am sure he sees himself as the meanest thing the area, and he might be right. This bird is beautiful and huge. I was again using the Nikon D300 and the Nikkor 300 AF-S f/4. This was hand-held and out of the 8 images I took this is one of perhaps tow that were of marginal value.
This is heavily cropped and processed. It won’t be featured on a magazine cover but I think it shows how impressive these birds are. It was fun seeing him in the wild and being just close enough to get some kind of image.
Great Blue Heron at Muddy Pond
I saw the great blue heron fishing at the far edge of a pond. I stop in the side of the road and braced myself as best as I could for this hand-held image. I was using the Nikon D300 with Nikkor 300 f/4. I had lots of light so I opened the aperture for addition depth. The distance was approximately 70 yards so this required a heavy crop and heavy post processing in an attempt to get a decent image out of the dozen I took.
Went out this morning with my rifle and camera. The rifle was for feral hogs. The camera was for images like these.
Shot with Nikon D300 and Nikkor 300mm f/4.0. Handheld and braced against the edge of my deer blind. I think the 3rd and 5th images are my favorites from this series.
Alec gave me a hand preparing one of my deer stands and scouting the area.
We found these growing out of the creek bank while following some turkey tracks
Alec in front of stone outcropping that looks like a cave entrance. This was fertile ground for a 7-year-old boy’s imagination.
I stopped by the now retired Rams Stadium of Mineral Wells where the high school football team played for may decades before their modern stadium was completed several years ago. Anyone would agree that the new stadium with its modern spacious press box, improved and expanded seating and perfect location is better in every way. But this old stadium was full of charm and everyone who played, coached or officiated at the stadium will share fond memories about the its uniqueness and charm. When a field goal or PAT was kicked during night games the ball would disappear from view in the thick oak trees that encroached in and over the field right at the goal posts. You can see this in some of the images below.
The facility is used today by a semi-pro team and recreational soccer and the grass field still looks great.
This is one of my first attempts with a used Nikon D300 that I picked up recently. It has the same form factor as my D700 but has a DX sensor which provides for a 50% tighter crop effect because of the smaller digital sensor. It isn’t intended to be my landscape photography kit; that genre rightly belongs to my full frame D700, But when a picture presents itself you use what you have on hand.D300
Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 at 80mm (120mm equivalent)
Focused on tree
The New Uncovers The Old
As road crews prepare to connect the new Weatherford loop to US HWY 180 they uncovered the old brick surface from the original HWY 180 between Mineral Wells and Weatherford Texas. The brick highway was opened in 1936. According to an article on the “The Portal to Texas History”, the bricks were hand-laid by two strong [African-American] men ( http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20465/ ). That is quite remarkable especially considering that the divided highway covers roughly 18 miles.
My results are better this week than last. I spent some time in Palo Pinto County out in the brush and hill country. There were many potential subjects that caught my eye. Here are a few. All shot with my Nikon D700 and Nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 lens hand-held.
Barrel Cactus in Palo Pinto County Texas
Palo Pinto County, Nature Stone Outcroppings
The Sky Comes Alive With Color at Dusk
This week was a bust. I didn’t have much time to shoot but Saturday evening during a rain storm I headed to Harberger Hill overlooking Weatherford to see if there was something to capture. I am not proud of the results but here is a panoramic view of Weatherford from Harberger Hill shot at sunset during a light rain. I brought out a lot of light in processing and it is very grainy. Shooting through the rain makes it even more grainy in appearance.
This is an image of the sun setting behind the north side of Weatherford. You can see the steeple of North Main Church of God down below to the left. Again, not a good image but it is what I got this past week.
1940′s-era Native Stone Ranch House Several Miles West of Weatherford
According to the owner of the place this house was built for a grandmother on the family ranch back in the 1940s but unknowingly it was built in a flood plain. The river is about a 1/4 of a mile away and not visible from this location, but it has flooded three or four times over the decades where the water was waist-high in the house. It was understandably abandoned as a dwelling.
Five Generations of Thorssen/Backus women with two great, great grandsons.
The Matriarch, Dorothy Thorssen Backus, is in the center. From left to right with generation in parenthesis is Dakota Stanley (5), Melissa Belding Stanley(4), Joyce Backus Bogle (2), Mary Belding Martin (4), Peggy Hunt Belding (3), Alec Martin (5), Alandra Martin (5), and Lyric Martin (5).
Two more critters this week but this time around the little “pond” in our front yard. These were both taken from our kitchen window with Nikon 300mm AFS f/4 and Nikon 1.4x teleconverter.
First, a bright orange dragonfly perched on the tip of some horsetail.
And one of our resident Leopard Frogs in the moss.
I had a visit from another neighbor today. This time it was a Texas Rat Snake. These snakes are harmless and do a lot of good. So he got a pass.
I came back about 15 minutes later and found him about 15 feet up the tree.
The distance hill is visible from hwy 180 between Weatherford and Mineral Wells just east of the railroad tracks that run parallel to Newberry road. The west side likes like a cedar and oak covered mesa and I have always thought it was very scenic. This is taken from Newberry road looking east about an hour before sun down.
About a mile south on Newberry Road is the Newberry Cumberland Presbyterian Church and a tabernacle. This site has been used by the church since the 1860′s and this tabernacle was built in 1901 to replace the brush arbors used for services from the 1870s throug the 1890s.