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Spring Photo Binge Wrap Up: Corrections, Clarifications, Reflections, and Deflections

May 12, 2013
American Rubyspot (Female)

© jmillerphoto.com – American Rubyspot (Female)

So Saturday morning showed up and as the weather cleared after two days of solid thunderstorms, I thought that I was going to get some shooting in.  After all the week was still alive, there was some sunlight coming down, and there were a couple of local places I could go where I knew I wouldn’t get coated in mud.

If circumstances were different I might have gone back up to Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area.  But first of all I try not to go directly back to the last place I’ve been shooting.  I’ve never had good results in such a situation.  Secondly, to get to more than just the first blind near the parking lot it would have involved hiking through what had to be a muddy trail.   And third, I’ve decided, for now, that KCNA is not worth the trip up from the homestead.  I’ll have to blog about what makes me decide to scratch places off of my “To Visit” list.  Add that particular subject to ever increasing list of “Subjects to be Blogged.” 😉

Indigo Bunting

© jmillerphoto.com – Indigo Bunting

Instead I packed up the gear, got in the car, and headed to Medina River Natural Area.  I thought I’d walk the concrete trail as far as it would go and walk it back, saving the footwear from the mud I would acquire on the other MRNA trails after Friday night’s storms.  But when I went to make the turn into the park the gate was closed.  “Closed Due to High Water” it said (or something that meant the same thing).  And after Friday night’s storms I could believe it.

Okay, I’ll deflect my plans and head over to Mitchell Lake Audubon Center.  And as I roll down to the road to MLAC I see a string of cars parked along the fence line.  “Oh yeah,” I thought to myself, “the reason I hadn’t put MLAC on the plan for today originally was because of a bird migration event that was going to draw huge numbers of people.”  Nope, I’ll leave MLAC to the hard-core birders.

So with my favorite spots taken, a lack of desire to drive a long distance due to evening obligations, and a lack of desire to explore places locally due to the touchy weather forecast for the day (which never showed up here, but certainly hit south of me), I decided it was a good day to work on the Hunnadews, process some images, and kick back.  With today being Mother’s Day, there are other obligations, so I am officially done with the 2013 Spring Photo Binge.  Four really good days, one so-so day, and a ton of images.  I’m going to be busy for a while.

So I’ve talked about the deflection, but before I get to the reflection I need to some corrections and clarifications regarding the water feature situation at KCNA so I can close that chapter of shooting and blogging.  I am told by folks in the know that the water feature in the blind closest to the parking lot (the so-called “Cuckoo Blind”) does work and was working earlier in the week–there just wasn’t enough sun to get the amps up to drive the pump.  The water pump in the middle of the blinds at the park (the “Chaparral Blind”) is going to be replaced soon.  I did not visit the third blind (the “Cardinal Blind”), but I am told it too was working earlier in the week.  The reason for the seed warning  was not a water pump issue but instead an issue with seeds fouling the water in the water feature.  Chapter closed.

So reflecting back…  All in all it was what I had hoped it would be.  I certainly would have preferred that it were a little bit longer than it was and that is somewhat normal.  The trips to Cook’s Slough and Mitchell Lake Audubon Center at the beginning of the 5 day stretch were good to excellent.  Better than a lot of trips I’ve made to those two locations, but I have have certainly had others than exceeded image count, species count, and keeper count.  Regardless, good days.

My trip out to South Llano River SP was beyond outstanding for birds.  For odonates it was poor, but without a doubt I made the best image I have ever made of an American Rubyspot (image posted back on Day 3’s write up).  That Rubyspot will undoubtedly end up on my wall sooner rather than later.

My trip to Medina River Natural Area was good for the short amount of time I had to work with.  It was nice to be able to get out there and shoot in the afternoon and as the summer drags on (and if I can actually get out of work on time) I will be making return visits during that time of day.

And as noted before, my trip to the Boerne area on Day 5 was disappointing.  Cibolo Nature Center will get another spin along with one other place I discovered in the area.  Kreutzberg Canyon will not, or at least not for a while.

I wish the weather and/or the results of the weather had cooperated better than it did over the next three days, but as I’ve noted more than once through the time his blog has been open, I will never, ever complain about rain in South Texas.  We never get enough and any that we get is welcome.

Thanks for making it through these days with me.  We’re back to some of the regular features this coming week.

About the Images:
Both images come from my most excellent day at South Llano River State Park and both were shot off of the Standard Gear.  I try to be equal opportunity on this blog, so if I’m going to post a really good male American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana) earlier in the week and I have a decent female shot, I’m going to use it.  I didn’t exposure compensate for the white rock when I made the image so I had to work a little magic in Lightroom.  I also could have gotten more parallel with the focal plane, but regardless this image turned out pretty well.  The tech data was ISO 400, 1/400 sec at  f/13 with about a stop of exposure compensation in the digital darkroom.  The Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) was one of my favorite shots from the blind.  As my regular readers know, for about 7 months or so I have not posted a single portrait orientation shot so for me to break that trend it means that it has to be a super special shot.  And I think this one is.  Tech data was ISO 400, 1/100 sec at f/7.1.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 12, 2013 10:02 am

    That bunting is wall-worthy. Great job! Still looking for my first Indigo.

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