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Good-bye 2011

December 29, 2011
Cooper's Hawk

© - Cooper's Hawk

2011 has been a great year.  I’m going to be sad to see it go.

Photographically it was not all that I had hoped it would be.  Life once again got in the way of a lot of shooting opportunities, but I think I discussed finding that balance earlier this year.

The total body count for images was 6104.  All things considered that is a relatively small number.  My last full year of shooting before heading off the grad school was over 19,000 images.  Part of this was not a huge surprise.  I shot just a handful of images until July, with only a single shooting day in March breaking the six month drought.  Late September and late November were occupied with certification testing, and early November was consumed with surgery.

But at the same time, I made a lot of really nice images this year.  My percentage of keepers to tossers was far higher this year than it has been in a long time–this means either my shooting is getting better or my standards have dropped significantly.  I’m going to believe it is the former rather than the latter.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

© - Red-bellied Woodpecker

My life lists grew as well this year, though not nearly as much as I had anticipated as the year started.  Birds seen this year has caused the number to go up by 35 and a couple of other adds through images not previously identified brings the the life list number at the end of the year to 125.  The butterfly list went up by 10–a number really much smaller than I had anticipated.  But I also did not make it into the Lower Rio Grande Valley as I had hoped and I did much less hiking than I had projected.  That number will be much better next year.  The odonata list had similar issues plus the devastating Texas drought kept numbers of dragonflies and damselflies abnormally low.  I end the year with only five new adds and a grand total of 33.

But most of all, I had fun with my photography this year.  It has given me the needed stress relief to keep on keeping on.  I’ve met a lot of very nice folks out in the field and have learned a lot from them.  Hopefully those who I have met have learned a little from me as well.

It was a good year.  I am so sad to see it go.  But the calendar continues to flip its pages forward.  We can’t stop it.  We can’t even hope to contain it.  But we can certainly enjoy the ride.

About the Images:
The Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) was by far my favorite bird image of the year and I shot it only  a few days into the new year.  The Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) was also a highlight both because it  filled in a gap in my woodpecker family tree  and it took place on a day when my life list went up by about 10.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2011 9:46 am

    Watch out 2012! Here we come!! Great shots of the Cooper’s Hawk and the Red-bellied Woodpecker. 🙂

    • December 29, 2011 10:09 am

      Thanks, Bob. You were with me the day I shot the Cooper’s Hawk, though you & Ann got there a little later in the morning. Indeed, look out 2012. It’s gonna be a blast.

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