It is a very scary time in America's history, even here in the Wind River Canyon, I am fearful for us all. Living on the dark-side-of-the-Moon does have it's advantages and diversions though. I hope that this blog will take you on a virtual vacation from our nation's ills.
The Wind River Canyon has always been known as a magical place; I have felt it's healing powers personally. To find a Bald Eagle flying past your window, or a Calliope hummingbird buzzing up to greet you, Mother Nature has a way of uplifting and healing the spirit in all of us.
Spring has finally begun to touch the canyon. Interesting birds are being seen that haven't been seen in ages; migration is in full swing now. And a fascinating bird arrived last month that hasn't been seen in the Wind River Canyon for years. A Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) macrolopha, the central and southern Rockies species, has been at our feeding stations every day.
This amazing bird has a soaring crest unlike anything else in Wyoming; it's black as midnight. Yet, he sports a blue towards his bottom-half that is nothing short of the best blue sky you have ever seen in your life. They are also known for their personable nature; this Jay gets along with people!
This Steller's Jay has seen me several times a day for nearly a month, and three days ago he allowed me a photo session that I have genuinely dreamed of for years. He relaxed his guard and away we went; my new Canon M6 Mark 2 in hand, of course.
I'd been playing with the silent electronic shutter, but at one frame per push of the button it's not for wildlife photography. Thankfully, I'd been thinking ahead and switched (in the software with the touch screen) to the mechanical one; at 14 frames-per-second it zooms like 6,000 dollar, over priced, pro cameras! I highly recommend this small, 21st century wonder of a camera; wish I had one 40 years ago, duh.
The photography session went very well. He switched poses several times without my worthless help, as I very quietly clicked away. Here is a way of really relaxing at home during a pandemic. This first picture shows off his crazy crest. My wife Debra advised I use another shot besides the portrait, but the choice was a difficult one indeed. I chose this one because it shows him off without those birdie-feet; who loves bird feet anyway? What a beautiful species of bird to have visit us this fine Spring day.
These are not composites or computer trick photography; he's the real thing. More importantly, I am beginning to love this Canon camera. The resolution of the Canon M6 Mark II is astounding; by any standards I have experienced in a half century of photographing nature, and a few people, too. I don't have hands like Godzilla, but this computerized camera is a small dose of cool. These are also the first pictures on my website HogbatsPhotography.com that were shot at ISO 1600! As I said, this new mirrorless camera is terrific tech. What a beautiful crested bird he really is, and what fun this shoot was.
Lens - my favorite Canon 70-200mm F/4L with a Canon 1.4 extender III; a light and usable wildlife combination on the M6 Mk 2; with the adapter, of course.
Software - Canon Digital Photo Professional 4 & Lightroom; always shoot in RAW.
Thank you for this time you've spent reading my Wind River Canyon Blog. All content was and is created by Michael John Balog; full-time resident of the canyon and is protected under international copyright laws.
Every one stay safe and healthy.