This sequence shows my fine feathered friend Romeo arriving at our meeting spot. He always brings a big smile to me!
Great clouds, for me are just as essential as a great subject. No two are alike,kind of like humans. I just never know what kind of clouds will be hanging around near sunset? During the day there may be excellent clouds around but come sunset,they may not be there? So I keep a good eye on the satellite feed to see what’s coming my way and what I can expect.
Whether I go out on a shoot, is very dependant upon the clouds. I want Goldi loks clouds…..not too many (overcast conditions) and not too few,………..just right!
These shots are of my fine feathered friend,Romeo! I think the clouds enhance his beauty.
When I come around from behind a specific island,Romeo can see me and almost always flies out to greet me and then we both travel to our meeting spot. We play this little game,to see who can get there first?……and of course, ……he always beats me! To make it worse he’s only soaring,no flapping!
On this occasion that’s exactly what he did,but on the way over he spotted another eagle flying towards his nest area ! He veered away immediately from me and went straight towards this interloper! He escorted this eagle to the other side of his territory! Eagles are constantly doing this each day. It’s very common.
This is how a eagle will find out if a territory is up for grabs or not. They trespass to see who’s home or If anybody is home to begin with? This is why a eagles offspring will always come back to their home to see if mum and dad are still kicking it?
So after escorting the interloper to the egress ,Romeo flew back to me,but because I was already there I was able to get a few shots of him arriving!
Once perched he began to scream loudly! Which I assume was a message for the interloper! Romeo was saying “TAKE A HIKE MIKE AND JUST KEEP GOING IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YA”!
When you see a eagle going vertical to vocalize , it’s a serious calling position!
For a large bird Eagles can turn on a dime! Romeo can do that and give you change back!
Romeo zipped past me during a great sunset!
Our weather has been less than admirable lately. As a result I haven’t been able to get out. With the dullness of overcast rainy days circling me like a Vulture,I decided to put a bit more colour into the pot!
I shot these of Romeo last summer (August 13) during a forest fire. Forest fires always produce some of the most striking sunsets!
I enjoy the contrast of colour and season!
Strawberry island is a small island in Tofino’s harbour. You could swim to it. It’s owned by Rod Palm. A very interesting man in his own right. Rod has been the eyes and ears for whales in the Tofino area for many a year now!
On his island are two tree spires that Ernie and Ethel love to perch on. When I know there are zero clouds to the west,I sometimes come down here to try and get a few eagle/mountain shots! If there are clouds to the west,the setting suns light will be snuffed.
I went down a few nights ago and basically stood around for 1 1/2 hours and nobody came to perch? Strawberry island is about 500 yards away from me, and those mountains (Strathcona) are 22 miles north of Tofino.
I went tonight to see If anybody was home and sure enough there was! I think It was Ethel? Hard to tell at this distance? I say Ethel because she’s taken off before. It’s like she senses me looking at her and so bugs out! Ernie doesn’t do that,but she does. So I think it was her.
From the time I arrived to the point she took off was only a few minutes. I waited for 70 minutes more but nobody came home.
Glad I got her at least,even If she doesn’t like me very much.
There are 365 days in each year and given that you will live to the ripe age of 80 years,this means you would have lived 29,200 days. If you could some how photograph the same spot each day at sunset for your entire life,you would see that no two sunsets are the same. A sunset is like a thumb print,each is unique. Now that doesn’t mean that each sunset could be called “beautiful”. After all beauty is in the eye of the observer.
Personally, for me clouds are very important. They colour the background,like wallpaper. A good picture should be layered with foreground,mid-ground and background. The foreground works best to invite the observer in to explore.
This Blue Heron was perched on Romeo’s spot,which I guess is fine for most of the time but not when company comes over for a visit………namely me!
This most likely is Ernie enjoying the sunset.
I found this male Eagle eating a freshly caught salmon! Looks like a male Chum.
This is the molting season for eagles,actually most birds as it’s the hottest. Check out his tail feathers?
I noticed on the Satellite feed smoke moving up from Washington State forest fires. I knew the sunset would be great,so I headed out for a sunset shoot. Couldn’t find anybody around except my Eagle friends. Heat makes all animals lazy……including humans!
Romeo came along just as the “Go Getter” tug was passing by. You can see the leading edge of the barge in behind.
The forest fires in Washington State produced enough smoke that the sun went pinkish orange.
As most of you already know……I have a thing for moon/eagle shots. Don’t ask me why,I just do.
There are 12 times each year I can “try” to take them and inside each of those times there are three days that are the best. The three days leading up to the full moon. You can’t shoot on the day of the full moon. The sunsets as the moon rises snuffing out all that golden light! Plus the moon rising times vary. Tonights full moon rises at 9:41 pm while the sunsets a little under half a hour earlier at 9:14 pm. Making any shot a silhouette. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve seen some pretty nice shots of eagles silhouetted but I prefer the gold. I have a saying “I always hunt for the Gold”. Like the Olympics I always try for the Gold,silhouettes for me win the Silver.
You can count on cloudy weather screwing up at least 6 of them. Like tonight!
This leaves only 6 times you can go and roll the dice.
Each photographer has their own preferences of course. I prefer to capture eagles in golden light with the moon in it’s “time window”. The moon rises In the east and is always faint (leading up to the full moon). As the sunsets the moon will get brighter and brighter. Until it’s nighttime and the moon is at it’s brightest point. I’ve found the moon is too faint when It rises in the east and too bright after the sun goes down. I figure there’s about a 20-30 minute “time window” in there where the moons brightness/contrast is perfect! The Goldi-Loks period!
Of course If you do find the moon during this perfect time window there is a 50 – 50 chance you might not find a eagle? The trick is finding both at the same time.
The eagle has to be perched “perfectly”. I’ve found a eagle needs to be perched at the very top of a tree spire or in another place where there is nothing behind them.
This months moon is a Buck moon. Because of weather (clouds) I couldn’t shoot this Buck moon. So I found some archival pictures.
The majority of our greatest inventions have come from observing and duplicating Nature.
For instance,the shape of all airplane wings come directly from the shape of a birds wing! The leading edge is rounded. Air flows over the top edge faster then the bottom edge. Creating a lower pressure on top,which in turn creates lift…..flight!
Eagles are masters of flight!
Whenever you see a halo around the sun it means that rain can be expected within 24 hrs.
The Daredevil is the only eagle who will approach me……closely!
Such a goof ball!
A eagle has over 7000 feathers. The largest are the primaries (the 5 feathers at the end of the wing) and the Tail feathers of which there are 12.
Finding a Tail feather is suppose to bring good luck to the finder. Once you find a tail feather put it in a place where nobody else can touch it. It needs to have just your energy on it.
The Daredevil’s new nest is up much higher then the last one. So when he comes down he is coming in at high speed! He has to slow down so he turns his wings on a angle and drops his legs to increase the surface area!
I was very happy to see that Delilah actually flew over to be with me! I think she’s getting use to me! It’s only taken 1 1/2 years.
I went looking for bears tonight but I couldn’t find a single furry butt anywhere? I originally went out because the cloud structure looked great but by the time sunset came around those beautiful clouds had gone bye bye.
So I was skunked on two fronts tonight but my feathered friends once again saved my non-furry butt!
Romeo sometimes likes to change direction very rapidly! He does these about face turns on a dime! Of course it’s all I can do to hang on tracking him!
I was surprised to find that The Daredevil/Delilah had built a new nest on another island! About the only reason why that happens is because the old nest fell down. Probably during a windstorm?
The good news is that If it did fall down It didn’t happen while they were nesting! I saw the Daredevil take a fish up to the nest. Which means he has hungry mouths to feed! I could just barley see where the nest is.
He seemed very animated and very active! He hasn’t had eaglets for several years,so he must be excited!
Both Romeo and Juliette came out to do a fly by when I arrived! By the time I got to Romeo’s place the sun had set. I had spent too much time with The Daredevil….but who could blame me! Time flies (no pun) when I’m with my friends!
When the moon rises in the east it’s always pale or faint. It will continue to rise and to get brighter and brighter. It will be it’s brightest when night has fallen. To take a good picture of the moon the brightness and contrast must be in the ball park. It’s too faint when it just rises and too bright when it’s dark out. So I’ve found there is about(?) a 30 minute time window when the moon is just perfect for shooting! The Goldi Loks time,not too little and not too much.
I took this shot (of a eagle I do not know) because the eagle was perched just right but my timing was off. I was too early. I tried to shoot two other eagle friends but couldn’t because of the angle. Trees got in the way with both of them! Rats! Good thing I got this safety shot!
This is a new eagle for me. It’s a male. He has the territory just north of Romeo/Juliette. I’ve never seen a eagle with feathers/hair(?) under their chin before? So I am going to call him Mr.Whiskers.
Romeo always looks great in silhouette form!
I went to visit my feathered friend Romeo. We have a routine. When I come around the corner in my boat I always look at Beck island (nest island) to watch for when he see’s me? When he does he immediately flies over to me and does several circles around.He then glides (his gliding is faster than my boat) to our meeting spot,a rocky islet I call his throne.
However……..on this occasion he came out from the north catching me off guard! Silly eagle. I wonder what he was doing over there and that’s not his territory? At any rate it was good to see him. I chatted with him for a while and then noticed that Juliette came over to do a fly by! I always like it when she perches here as well because she almost always sings me a song! She may have a egg and just wanted a excuse to get some exercise?
The mountains had a beautiful snowy appearance to them! A great background only enhances the subject!
This is either Ethel or Ernie? A barge parks in the harbour with a crane on it. They love to perch on the top of this crane. Eagles love high spots so they can see all around them!
This month the full moon is called a Wolf moon. I walked Long Beach with a friend and being the ever diligent photographer I took along one of my cameras………just in case?
As we walked towards Greenpoint (Park campground) I noticed the moon was at a perfect angle and contrast to do a eagle/moon shot! I only get a handful of these moments each year! So as we walked and chatted I kept a close eye on the tree line for a perching eagle! We walked for over a hour and never saw a single one. Than as we reached Greenpoint I noticed one drying it’s wings out! An eagle will open it’s wing downward to allow the air to dry the wings underside. Being wet means it’s heavier. Being heavier means the eagle will have to expend more energy. Which in turn means they’ll need to eat more often.
So they dry themselves off to be lighter. The feathers are more responsive to the air currents when they are dry.
Delilah is on the left. You can see how much larger her beak/head is compared to her partner The Daredevil!
I got a good shot of Romeo fully stretched out!
Romeo did a sharp turn!
The Pacific Faith was coming into the harbour and made a perfect background for Romeo!
I went to see If Romeo was home? I haven’t seen him in almost a month! When I arrived at our meeting spot I found a Gull on Romeo’s perch. I told him he better get out of here as my friend was going to be coming over real soon! Which he promptly did when he saw Romeo flying towards him!
I didn’t know KFC deliveries?