Sunday, November 20, 2016

I won!!!

I'm so excited to be one of the winners of the photo contest by Arizona Game and Fish and Arizona Highways Nature Photography Competition.

My Least Bittern photo will be the month of April in the Nature Photography Calendar for 2017.

There were over 180 photographers that entered and over 1900 photos submitted.  I know I submitted around 30 myself :-)

I am so honored to be among such great photographers and to also have one of my cottontail photos as an honorable mention.

Interested in buying a 2017 wildlife calendar? Arizona Game and Fish welcomes new subscribers to Arizona’s award-winning magazine about wildlife and outdoor recreation. The regular price is $8.50 for six issues (one year), but through Dec. 31, subscriptions are on sale at $7 for seven issues. People who subscribe by Dec. 31 will be sure to receive the calendar issue. The calendar issue is also sold at all Game and Fish offices for $3 starting in mid-November.

If you can't make it by the Phoenix or Mesa Game and Fish offices you can print off an order form and mail it in. More info on their website,

Here is my winning photo and honorable mention photo.

Winning Photo - Least Bittern
Photo taken at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Honorable Mention - Cottontail Rabbit
Photo taken at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Great Weekend Hiking Butcher Jones Trail

Had the best day today! Went hiking with two of my buddies from work, Linda and Lindsay. We hiked the Butcher Jones Trail at Saguaro Lake. It's about 3.4 miles one way and ends at Burro Cove.
We started our trip at 7:30 having no idea how long it would take us; according to Lindsay it would take an hour per mile The trail is an easy one suited for hikers of all levels. We meet several hikers on the trail and no problem passing anyone.

Of course I had my camera with me and... decided to take landscape photos today so I left my 500mm lens at home and put on my 18-55mm lens, boy was my camera light today! :-) I'm terrible at landscapes and figured I would practice today and hoped I wouldn't see any wildlife.

The trail basically follows along the lake for most parts. The areas where you are hiking in the mountains when you come to the top of the trail the scenery is breath taking.

When we left Butcher Jones Beach there was a group of paddle boarders following us in the water. They beat us to Burro Cove since they were in the water following along shore, we were zig zagging through the mountain trail. We came up to the last peak and could see Burro Cove at the bottom and they were already there. The view from this point was specular, we all went WOW!

 The lake was busy with boaters, fisherman, water skiers and tubers, kayaks, canoes and jet skis. Every turn and view point we would see something different; everyone having fun on the lake.
We started down the last hill to Burro Cove thinking the end is in sight and it didn't seem like it was over 3 miles when Lindsay came running back to us screaming rattle snake!!!!! She almost stepped on it but heard rattle and went running.

We approached the path with care seeing this fat Diamondback Rattle Snake semi coiled in the middle of the path. I quickly changed lens on my camera to my 300mm to get a better shot of this beautiful snake. I wanted a close up but I didn't want to be close to this guy; yes I'm a little crazy but not stupid :-) I took several photos while he slithered away down the path.

The problem was he stayed on the path so needless to say we never made it all the way down to Burro Cove! So we decided we would hike this trail again in the winter when rattle snakes are hibernating!

The funny thing about this whole snake thing is I told Lindsay and Linda the next time we go hiking I want photos of snakes; well I got my wish. Now Lindsay is afraid of what I might ask for next time :-)

On the way back to Butcher Jones Beach and breakfast we saw a gorgeous Cardinal, he was such a vibrant red; to bad I didn't have my 300mm lens on I changed it back to my wider lens after Mr. Rattle Snake. We also saw chipmunks, lizards and butterflies. A great day for being out in nature.

Here are photos from today’s adventure and I must say some of the landscape photos turned out okay!

Lindsay and Linda before we started our hike

Paddle Boarders

Looking back at Butcher Jones Beach

Cardinal (the little red spec :-) )

Beautiful purple flowers

First cove we hiked around

Saguaro Lake

Another view of Saguaro Lake

Looking down at Burrow Cove


Close view of the first cove

Fisherman in cove 1

Rattle snake that stopped our hike.  They blend in so well.
My favorite shot of the day


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Great Weekend at The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch!

I had a fantastic weekend of photo taking.  Saturday I spent the morning at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch and got some fantastic photos.  Sunday I spent the morning with my friend Amber and her family taking photos in her fabulous garden.  Best weekend ever for photography!!!

Here are photos from Saturday; enjoy...

American Avocet

Blooming Cactus


Curve-billed Thrasher

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron - close up

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Mourning Doves

Gambel's Quail

Female House Sparrow

Monday, April 4, 2016

Butterflies and More Butterflies

I took my first photography workshop last Saturday at Butterfly Wonderland with photographer Lisa Langell.  It was a great experience working with a professional photographer.  She explained things so well and worked one on one with each of us.

After the workshop we got to spend more time in the atrium taking our own photos and practicing what we learned in class.  Time sure fly's when you are having fun I spent another 2 hours after class taking photos.

Below are some of the photos I took from the day.  I don't know all the butterfly names I need to do more research on their names.  Yes there are birds in the atrium also, I know crazy :-)