I went camping last week. I like to camp in Tranquil valley. Each Winter a ballet of Trumpeters stays in Tranquil. They are not like their city cousins who allow people to get close.Just the opposite,they never allow anyone to get close to them!

Forget about your “Punxsutawney Phil’s” and alike for predicting when Spring is going to arrive! Its all Hollywood show and just entertainment. If you really want to know when Spring is around the corner just watch when the Trumpeters leave!

Animals are far more in tune with Mother Natures cycles than we clueless humans are! With the Trumpeters gone from Tranquil Spring is close……..maybe 3 weeks away folks! (for this area)

Now………having said that,the Trumpeters near Tsapee Narrows (K-18/19) are still around. There are 8 in their ballet. I stopped to glass them and was around 1/2 mile away from them. They know me well! I have a distinctive white coloured boat. Even being 1/2 mile away they began to raise the alarm! They have a small spot of land they like. They began to waddle into the water and soon took to flight!20190310-IMG_8901

They’ll be leaving soon,I suspect this week. Next Winter I am going to put a trail camera down there to record their daily activities. I did go to this spot to collect some feathers however. They never seem to leave me any large feathers,just small  ones.




Today had too much cloud for me to go out,so I decided not to. I didn’t want to waste the day however & decided to go down to the camp site to do some work instead!
Took my tools with me & went down there. Did some work but my chainsaw needed sharpening,so I called it quits & came back. I have to pass through Tsapee Narrows on the way back,so I thought a few shots were in order just to show you why I wasn’t doing my normal routine.
The coastal cloud moved in & stayed put. I personally can’t get too excited over shots like this. There has to be a happy balance of cloud & sun. Too much of either & it turns out less than it could be.


I didn’t have the time to make it into town to be with Romeo & Juliette for sunset,so I stopped & took a few shots at Tsapee Narrows! It was a rare calm moment in Tsapee! Maybe one day out of a hundred will be like this!
The island on the right is where the “Daredevil & Delilah” have their nest tree.

Sequence Of The Daredevil

He was out in fine form tonight. He never seems fearful of me at all. I guess thats why I named him what I did!
In any given run,I may get acouple that are good. The action pose on this shot is great.
I had a shutter speed of 1/1000 th of a second and his left wing tip was still moving too fast to freeze!
Sometimes I up the shutter speed and sometimes I slow it down.
Panning works well with about 1/60 th of a second.But you have to pan well.
This is what panning should be like. Think of a giant bicycle wheel. Imagine that you are at the hub and your subject is at the rim. When you move to track it,you should be moving as if a giant spoke is connecting you both. In Panning,your either too fast or too slow. You have to match exactly (for that 1/60th) the subjects speed. If you are excellent at it,you can Pan at even slower speeds. But thats only if you match the speed EXACTLY.
I can pan Ok,but I leave that to the experts.

Daredevil’s Sequence

This shot shows how great their wing span is. Which is anywhere between 70-90 inches.(6 feet -7 1/2 feet)
The males wing span would be smaller than the females. Thats why there’s such a difference!
You can tell the angle of the sun by the shadow of his head on his right wing. I try to get the light when it’s almost horizontal.
I do not go out in the boat until 6 pm these days. The sun sets around 8:15pm or so right now and gives me tons of time now. In the winter it can set rather quickly!
You can see how they lower their head after they grab a fish! I really don’t know why they do this? There is a reason and it may be for the aerodynamics. Maybe it’s like the Concord when it was taking off! You remember the supersonic plane called the Concord? I hope?? Their entire nose where the pilots sat articulated .
Maybe they got the idea from these guys! We often times observe Nature and than try to duplicate it.

Daredevil #4

Sometimes their wing beat is the same frequency as my shutter! So what happens is that all the shots have the wings in the exact same position,which is fine,but if you start your sequence when the wing is covering his face. All the rest of them will be the same! Your screwed basically!
It doesn’t happen very often,but I have had it happen occasionally.