Return to the marsh

It’s been nearly two years since I was able to visit Anderson Marsh at Clear Lake and walk the trails, and my visit last week offered a stark example of how even a slight change in weather patterns affects the plant and animal life in vital habitats like creeks and marshes. It looks like we may be heading back into another drought year — although I’m still remaining hopeful that our latest round of storms will help. On my previous visit, in May 2019, everything was fresh and green. The inlets of Cache Creek were full; I photographed turtles sunning themselves on logs and crawdads scurrying around underwater. This time, I found evidence of a recent prescribed burn and the inlets were parched and bare. I did see a good number of birds as I hiked along — including a pair of Valley Quail foraging along the sides of the dry creek bed.

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Persistence pays off

Long before I bought my current outfit and began trying to photograph birds and other wildlife, I learned from watching nature documentaries that the best photos are usually the product of hours and hours of patient waiting and often hundreds of lousy shots. It’s all too easy to forget that important lesson when you see all the great images shared […]

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Birds and squirrels

I really enjoy hiking alone, but I’m also aware that I need to pay attention to my surroundings and not make assumptions about safety. The places I tend to explore are generally quite safe — but it is the outdoors, and sometimes the unexpected happens. So I’m always alert and cautious about meeting up with potentially aggressive wildlife or humans. […]

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Suburban back trails

I wanted to get out fairly early this morning, so I decided to stick close to home and chose the bluffs near the Nimbus Dam in Fair Oaks for my hike. It’s been quite awhile since I used these trails — at least two years. Today I was pleased with my choice because I saw very few other hikers. The […]

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Bird is the word

Lately I’m really enjoying using my Sigma 150-600mm zoom lens to zero in on the local birds. It’s become a bit of a personal challenge to shoot as many different types as possible, especially those I never realized were all around me. But even when that fails, it can still be fun to capture familiar birds like Acorn woodpeckers or […]

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All-terrain Sweetwater

I’ve been spending an awful lot of time along the north fork at Folsom Lake lately, so the other day I decided it was high time to return to the south fork — specifically, the Sweetwater Creek/Salmon Falls area. I prefer to get out there in the morning because I have the sun at my back; and even though I […]

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