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A couple of zebra's.
No... not at the zoo, nor on Safari. I'm too cheap for either.
Man! The lighting qa horrid!

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Humming bird
Seems my little Hummer had amid air emergency of sorts

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Dress Code
Is it just me, or is it becoming a trend? Has some unspoken rule changed? I've been to a couple weddings recently where the photographers were dressed... lets say much more casually than the guests. At one, the photographers both wore wrinkled, well worn button down shirts and jeans. At this weekend's outdoor wedding, my son's if you must know, I first thought the photographer was there to do some last minute gardening or set up the chairs, until I saw her bag full of Nikon stuff. For guests at both of these it was suits for the guys, and fancy dresses for the ladies.

A few years back I was at a wedding where the photographer and his assistant both wore black suits with black t- shirts underneath, a much classier look.

So have standards changed? What are your thoughts?
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Not a Day goes by
Not a day goes by that I don't find more caterpillars. Here is a Tussock Moth Caterpillar I found on a Persimmon leaf today.

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Thinking seriously about the Nikon P900. I have 2 p520’s (besides my 2 Nikon DSLR’s.) The p520’s do pretty good; but I want the longer reach of the p900 & any advances in technology it may have. I have heard many good reports about it on UHH. Pro’s & con’s?
If I get one, I am considering getting rid of the p520’s & at what asking price. Any suggestions on the process as well?
I have learned much on UHH & am sure I will get some good advice on the above.
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A Buck or Two
A couple of the boys set foot in the yard tonight - after munching on dirty ole weeds, decided to wash them down with a drink of water.

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Remanufactured cartridges
Does anyone have any experience using remanufactured Epson cartridges for a printer?
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You Know I Am Bored When...
I do a portrait of a Tree Rat on my terrace retaining wall.
Occasional squirrel in the yard until I started putting out feeders. Then in spring/summer 2016 a female nursing young I nick named Shirley. My little Jack Russell Tara became the squirrel's fitness trainer, climbing, jumping and running to avoid being on the menu mostly.
Spring/summer 2017 Shirley and young in and out of yard, and Tara got to where all I had to do was say "squirrel" and the next sound I heard was the doggie door flapping. Tara actually got a few tail hairs once.
Now this year I have seen up to 5 in the yard at once, all young at the stage the tail isn't fully fluffy yet. Tara got them all up on the playhouse/fort on the old swing set and the retaining wall then proceeded to lecture them about not stealing bird food.
Later that day Tara was in the yard and this one was eyeballing her and trying to decide if it should try a jump to the swing set. When it saw me with my camera taking its picture it decided to go up the power pole in the corner of the yard and sass both of us from a safe spot about 40' in the air.

80D, 100-400II+1.4xIII @ 560, 1/400 @ f/9.0, ISO 400, AF Center Point, Spot meter hand held at about 60'

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Micellanious in my front yard
A few days ago I posted some shots of gamble quail and doves on my back wall taken from my back porch. Today I would like to show you some of the critters etc. taken from the front porch. Criticisms are welcome but I am only a beginner trying to learn a new hobby! Thanks for looking.
This is where I sit by the table and wait for something to show up. If in the house I shoot through the door behind the dog. I took this at dusk ...hence the porch lights.

A pair of fluffed up doves trying to keep cool a few days ago when the temperature was about 110 degrees.

My daughter threw some seeds on the porch ...look what showed up. Sorry about all the shadows....jpeg right out of camera and cropped. I think mama is keeping a sharp eye out for what is in the next photo.

These guys like grail chicks for breakfast. It was another very hot day so he appears to be trying to keep his armpits (wingpits?) cool. Shot through the kitchen door.

The other day, to my horror, a monster was eating my neighbors house. (He sold it and the new owner would like a bigger one).

My guard spider. We named Harry or Harriet? For obvious reasons. He lives under a stepping stone next to the porch . He only comes out after dark so I had to use flash to capture him. He is spout 6 inches when his legs are spread out.

Harry was willing to pose for a portrait.

Ground squirrels like seeds too! He looks like he has his cheeks stuffed.

My 30 year fountain wore out so my daughter went to Michaels and filled it up with fake flowers with live ferns on the bottom row...guess what!,

Now the rabbits are happy!,, Shot all these with my Sony RX10IV which is a lot smarter than I am.

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Hike through a fire-scarred landscape
The Whitewater/Baldy Complex Fire was the largest wildfire in New Mexico's admittedly brief history; the state turned 100 while the fire raged. It burned just under 300,000 acres in the Gila National Forest, much of it in wilderness. Of course by now other western states have seen far more devastating wildfires, but this one was hard for us down here in this corner of the state. An estimated 200 miles of the trail system was lost, and nearly all the "relic forest"--old-growth stands of Douglas fir and Englemann spruce at 10,000 feet and above--leaving the mountaintops parched and exposed, no longer to generate weather from the moisture in the forest and no longer able to hold onto what little snow pack now exists. This past winter virtually no snow fell and what did melted because of the intense sun.

It wasn't a beneficial fire that burned in a mosaic pattern; it pretty much wiped out the best parts of 465 square miles. The ash from runoff the following year killed most of the fish in affected streams, the benefit being that native trout could be re-introduced with little competition from non-native species. Another benefit, if I have to scrounge for one, is that the wildflowers have gone nuts with all the sunlight they now have. Others have vanished, however, notably the beautiful Calypso Fairyslipper Orchids I used to see in the deep shade near a spring. Bizarrely, the remains of a notoriously nasty plane crash strewn all over a mountainside melted and ran across the deep ashes that covered the Mogollon Crest Trail, solidifying into elongated blobs (I have two such blobs on my computer desk).

These photos were made on the Redstone Park Trail, once a beautiful, if very steep and switchbacky, descent five miles down to the beautiful Whitewater Creek. Before the fire it was hard to get a good view of the surrounding countryside because the trees were so dense. The woods were so dark and covered in moss that I found them rather spooky back then. Now the views are endless with nothing in the way. After the fire was out, which took two months, parts of the scar were strewn with straw and seeded with annual rye grass, something that would grow tall quickly and then lie down and protect the bare ground from erosion. Others, like this trail, just received straw. My first visit was five months after the fire, in December of 2012. I hiked the steep ascent through a brief stretch of intact forest, topped the ridge, and felt devastated. There was no green whatsoever, just the black of the burnt tree trunks, the grey of ash, and the glaring white of the straw. The wind blowing through those naked trees sounded like ghosts moaning through broken windows. The experience was so grating that I did not attempt more than a few hundred yards of the trail.

As you can see, beauty is now returning, though not the same beauty. Those fir and spruce forests will never come back. Aspen trees are filling in, which is nice, but also scrubby oak and the hideous and thorny New Mexico Locust. On the day I was there, a fog that had settled in during the night was lifting, giving the eerie sense that the fire was still smoldering.

[As if that fire hadn't been bad enough, the following year another wildfire of equal intensity charred another 136,000 acres in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness east of here.] Thank you for your interest.

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