Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hot Spots For Birds in Winter

Birds are certainly not the easiest subject to include in a photo, but you can greatly increase your chances if you understand some of their basic needs. Most of us think about feeding the birds in winter, but we neglect something even more important. While some food remains abundant during the winter months, in many locations water does not. Sources of open water are a must for our feathered friends, and, if you take the time to locate such sources, you'll be astounded by the birding activity to be found there.
Not far from my home is the head of an underground spring, and this constantly moving water is a life saver for wild birds. As the temperature gets colder, more and more birds arrive to drink from the spring. While all other sources of water have long since frozen, the 55 degree water bubbling up from the spring provides an endless source of water for the birds, and a great place for this photographer to perch.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Sandhill Cranes Have Returned

Once again, the Sandhill Cranes have returned to Dayton, Tennessee. Each year we look forward to the sound of over 15,000 Sandhills filling the skies with their song and flight. It's really one of the most amazing sights in the world. Traveling thousands of miles each fall, these magnificent birds return to the marshes and the fields of rural Tennesse. I am one of the lucky ones, as these birds fly over my house each morning and each evening as the go to feeding areas around Dayton. Each year I go out looking for the perfect image of these birds, but as yet I have not found it. Perhaps it's the hunt that makes it so much fun. For whatever reason, I just can't seem to get enough of these incredible birds.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rappahannock Wildlife Art Show Print of the Year

For over two decades, the Rappahannock Wildlife Art Show has highlighted some of Americas' finest wildlife artist and sculptors. This wonderful gathering of artists has endured, while so many other shows have sadly disappeared. It stands as a testiment to the high quality art and the dedicated artists, who each year present their work to an audience of enthusiastic wildlife art collectors.
For the first time in the history of the show, a photographer has been selected as "Artist of the Year" , and I am so proud to have been given that honor. As is the tradition, I will be signing and giving out 3500 prints of my image "Bluebird and Berries." This photograph has never been printed, nor has it ever been seen by the public. I look forward to sharing it with everyone.
Be sure and join us the third weekend of March 19 - 20 in White Stone, Va. for this wonderful weekend of wildlife art and just plain fun.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just a Walk in the Woods

Recently I had the chance to spend some quality time in Smokey Mountain National Park, where I love to just walk. As a bird photographer, I have found countless images by simply strolling through secluded areas in search of the slightest movement or simplest song. Birds, like humans, seem to love the solitude of the forest, and perhaps that is what draws me to them. Deep in the darkest of forests one can find the most incredible beauty. Sadly, far too many of us fear what we can't see, and so we pass by the beauty that lies just past the end of the road. I believe that life is too short to miss what is beyond the road, and I love the exploration of the darkness. I think life would be so much richer if we could all learn to trust the song of the bird that calls us.