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Weekend Travels

July 30, 2012
Four-spotted Pennant

© jmillerphoto.com – Four-spotted Pennant (female)

It was a great weekend and by gosh I needed it.  The job that pays the bills has been busier than usual.  I could get into the ugly details, but I’d prefer to just leave it as it has been busy.

But when the whistle blew on Friday afternoon I told the folks in charge that if they really needed me they could find me on the cell phone and made plans to be someplace other than within 20 minutes of work for the weekend.

Saturday I hit a trifecta of Texas State Parks:  Pedernales Falls SP, Blanco SP, and Guadalupe River SP.  Of the three, only Pedernales Falls SP yielded any images.  Blanco SP was busy, but I probably could have made an image or two if lighting conditions were a little better.  Guadalupe River SP was beyond busy and with all of activity on the water I could see no purpose in trying to make any images.  Besides, it was early afternoon, it was hot and getting hotter, and I figured another day would be a better time for me to try to make images there.

Pedernales Falls was reasonably productive for me photographically.  I spent some time in the bird blind and saw some neat birds.  Unfortunately, there is something with the glass right now that makes images almost impossible and there just isn’t enough room in the small photographer’s windows to make good shots with my standard gear.  So I guess it will be some time in the fall before I go back.  I also went down to the falls area and made short series of images of 4 different damselflies.  Nothing particularly spectacular–they were all species I had before.  But they were nice shots on different backgrounds and definitely some keepers in that set.

Sunday morning I headed out really early to make images at Cook’s Slough Nature Park in Uvalde.  I had heard that the dragons and damsels were out in force.  To which I can only say, “Meh… not bad but not great.”  Numbers were good, the variety was only so-so.  I had much better up at Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory a few weeks back and I may try to head back in that direction next week.  But I did make some nice dragon shots.  I saw not a single damsel all morning so I don’t know what is going on there.  Regardless, it was a nice morning of shooting and it will provide me with more opportunities to do some processing in the weeks to come.

I have one more week of busy before things calm down a little bit.  I’m not sure where my travels will take me next weekend, but  I’m certain they’ll take me somewhere–I know that this week is going to be a barn burner.  And with summer winding down there are some goals that I want to complete before August runs out on me.

About the Image:
Sunday’s trip to Cook’s Slough was the venue for this image.  This female Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida) was hanging out on vegetation that had seen better days.  The front-on or B-52 view of her was a winning pose and I made a few shots like this until she got bored and moved on.  Standard gear as always, on the tripod, and with no flash.  ISO 400, 1/200 at f/14.  I played a bit between a couple of f-stops in an experiment to see how much depth of field was needed while still keeping her stopped in motion with the light wind that was present.  This combo seemed to be the answer at the distance I was at.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2012 8:59 am

    Jim, you might want to check Cindy McIntyres blog: http://cindymcintyre.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/dragonflies-are-the-new-birds/

    She is into dragonflies, too, now. You can compare notes with her. She used to be a ranger at Big Bend NP. I met her when photographing birds there a couple of years back.

    • July 30, 2012 7:25 pm

      Hi Bob. Cindy and I have talked back a forth a number of times. She’s a great photographer.

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