June, 2006

Dickcissel & White-winged Crossbill

I heard about a Dickcissel in Ashton this morning. Dickcissels breed in grasslands of the midwest. This would be the first documented Dickcissel in Idaho. I got in the car and took a quick trip north. The bird showed up after a few minutes and hung out for the 45 minutes I was there. Here’s a mediocre/poor photograph.

Dickcissel, Ashton, ID 2006

I came home for a while and then got a call from my friend Cliff. He told me that White-winged Crossbills, usually a bird of the far north, had been seen on sawtell peak (a fairly high mountain in Island Park). I wished I had found out about these birds while I was still in Ashton, but I didn’t. I took off and had a nice evening enjoying the Crossbills and the scenery (there’s still a bit of snow) of Sawtell.

View from Sawtell Peak, Fremont County, ID 2006

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On the drive home from the Dunes we noticed this chair perched on a rise out in the middle of nowhere. It looked as if had been placed to take advantage of a nice view of the dunes. In reality it probably just got dumped there by somebody too lazy to take it to the landfill.

Chair, near Hamer, ID 2006

For some reason I agreed to this. I’ve probably got lice, ticks, and who knows what else now.

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Sand Dunes

I rode with Mike out to the St. Anthony Sand Dunes this evening. Mike was out there last night, but didn’t get the photograph he wanted. I was happy to come along. Even though the sand dunes are a wilderness study area, they are best known as a recreation area for off road vehicles. Enjoy:

Off Road Vehicle Tracks, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, 2006

Mike Photographing the Dunes, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, 2006

A Cliche’ Side-lit Sand Ripple Shot, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, 2006

Waiting for the Sun, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, 2006

Mike Carrying the 12×20

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Dubois is a small town in Clark County in eastern Idaho. Here are some images from today.

Welcome, Dubois, ID 2006

No Snowmobiling, Dubois, ID 2006

Message on the Dubois Jail Wall – “On this day is vow my unconditional love for my true love”

Robin on Nest, Dubois Jail, Dubois, ID 2006

Uncle Sam Santa Claus, Dubois, ID 2006

Crossroads Motel, Dubois, ID 2006

Camas Creek and Cliff Swallows, Clark County, ID 2006

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Some More Yard Still Lifes

Bleeding Heart

Fern Leaf

Fern with Spores

Robin Egg

Hornet Nest

Apricot with Fingers

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What’s Worse Than One Flat Tire?

Mike and I went back out to the Teton Canyon this evening to make some more photographs. We originally planned to photograph from the same spot we did last night. We got there a little early, so we kept driving up the canyon and sort of beat the bush. After driving for about a mile we saw a promising spot and Mike drove towards the canyon rim. Shortly thereafter we heard “clank, clank, hiss, hiss”. So we blew a tire, no big deal Mike had a spare. However, we soon discovered we had two flats. We went back and found a harrow (a sort of plow with six inch spikes) hiding face up in the grass. We turned it on its end to help others avoid the same problem. Well, the light was good, so we made photographs until dark. Mike changed the front tire and we drove three or four miles out to the highway with one flat. Eventually the tire was so thrashed we had to drive five miles an hour. Tracie, my sister-in-law, was kind enought to drive us home. The Range Rover is parked out near the highway, and we’ll get everything taken care of tomorrow.

Teton Canyon, 2006

Harrow, Teton Canyon Rim, 2006

Mike Changing the Tire

Driving on the Rim

Tire after the Drive

Rescued… Thanks Tracie

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Teton River

Mike, my son Kevin, and I went out to photograph the teton dam site tonight. The light was sort of flat, it was windy, and there was a lot of dust in the air. Neither one of us got anything we wanted at the dam. At the end of the night though we took a drive on the canyon rim a couple miles upstream and discovered a nice overlook.

Teton Canyon, Fremont County, ID 2006

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Night Photograpy Excursion III

I went out again this evening to photograph some night stuff. I’m getting quite a bit of noise when the exposures go over 10 minutes. Therefore I shot everything both digitally and with film. Next time I’ll bring two tripods, which should cut my time in the field in half. There are a lot of weird radio programs on at 2:00 in the morning to pass the time though. Tonight I was listening to a program called Evolution, Creation, and Extraterrestrials.

Anyway, here are three photographs of the same subject. The first photograph was made with the ISO set to 1600, I added a bit of light from my headlamp. It’s really noisy (or grainy, or however you define it), but it’s cool to see the stars relatively sharp. The next photograph was a twenty minute exposure with no added light, during the exposure clouds rolled in and obscured most of the stars. The last photograph was a twenty minute exposure with a little bit of added light from a headlamp. I didn’t even know there was lightning until I viewed the photograph on the computer.

Potato Cellar at Night, Walker, ID 2006

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Night Photography Excursion II

I got my electronic cable release the other day and have been anxious to try it out. So, last night I set out to make some photographs. The first stop was the Teton View (our local drive-in movie theater). I only had three dollars in my wallet and movie tickets are five dollars. I convinced the kids in the ticket booth to let me in for three bucks since I only planned to be there for a little while. It was pretty neat. I hope to get back a few more times this summer to photograph.

Ice Age 2, Teton View Theater, Rexburg, ID 2006

After photographing the movie I got ahold of Jon and we went out on the farm fields SE of Rexburg and photographed until 1:00 am.

Corrugated Potato Cellar, Rexburg, ID 2006

Dirt and Straw Potato Cellar, Walker, ID 2006

Grain Silos, Walker, ID 2006

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Long Day

Friday morning I was scheduled to do a breeding bird survey in Dubois. The survey is to start 30 minutes before sunrise (5:15 am). Since Dubois is ca. one hour from Rexburg I needed to leave Rexburg by around 4:00. Mike agreed to come along and record the data. So, I woke up at 3:15, picked Mike up around 3:30, made a stop at Maverick for beverages and hit the road at 4:05. That was the first of these surveys I had done. It went pretty well I thought, although I had a hard time identifying a couple different sparrows by song. I hope to do it some more. Mike was a good sport and it was nice to have him along. We found this mailbox somewhere along the way and Mike wanted to hop on for a ride.

Mike on Mailbox, Dubois, ID 2006

On the way home we stopped in Dubois to show Mike the Dubois Civil Defense Caves and to have some lunch at the gas station deli.

Dubois Civil Defense Cave, Dubois, ID 2006

Mike Photographing Raven Chicks

I got home around 1:00. After a quick nap I loaded up the car with camping gear and went to meet up with the scouts at 3:00 for a campout. We went up to Buttermilk Campground in Island Park. The campground is on the shore of Island Park Reservoir. It was a lot of fun. The scouts went swimming, we sat around the campfire, and when it was dark we caught a few crawfish. After catching 20 or so crawfish, we came back to camp and boiled them. I was pretty impressed that most of the scouts ate, and even liked them. I finally got to bed at midnight and slept in until 9:00. The kids complained about my snoring, I didn’t hear a thing.

Buttermilk Campground, Island Park, ID 2006

Campfire, Buttermilk Campground, Island Park, ID 2006

Crawfish Before and After Being Cooked

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