Birding before the storm…….


Well, I don’t know how much of a storm it will be, but getting extremely cold, (for here), tomorrow.  High predicted 38 degrees.  That’s after us having the hottest temp in the nation yesterday of 85 degrees.  Today was almost as warm, but a beautiful balmy day.  What to do.  What to do.  Go birding, of course.

First we decided to visit the blind at San Angelo State Park.  There we saw basically just the regulars, but not much in the way of anything new.  Like going into a tavern and seeing all the regular locals at the bar, but no new pretty girls coming in.  I did get a nice photo of a House Finch.

House Finch

House Finch

After that we headed for our usual spots at Lake Nasworthy.  Two parks, Spring Creek and Middle Concho, are usually pretty good at producing a nice variety for us birders.  Today was no exception.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Ann spotted the Great Horned Owl.  We knew one was hanging around, but we didn’t know which tree it would be in.  It was in a sleepy mood.  Whooooooo could blame him. 🙂

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron was busy looking for breakfast, or was it lunch.  No matter.  He probably didn’t know the difference.

American Wigeon

American Wigeon

This American Wigeon was doing a bit of searching on his own.  I don’t know what the American Coot was doing.  He may have been jealous of the wigeon’s colors.

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon Teal

A Cinnamon Teal gliding placidly along showing off.

Wilson's Shrike

Wilson’s Snipe

This Wilson’s Snipe was in a very shallow area near the bank of the river.  I almost didn’t see him as they are so tiny.  Actually, they measure 10 inches, but half of that is it’s bill.

All in all, we saw about 35 different species.

We added three more to our 2014 West Texas Big Year list.

#88  Mourning Dove

#89  Cinnamon Teal

#90  Blue-winged Teal

Enjoy the photos, and click on any of them to see enlargements.

Re-organizing My Dis-organization


My good friend, Jim Miller, did a post (click here) about how he organizes his photographs.  It is a great post, as he describes in great detail how he key-words all of his image files, to make them easier to find.  A very good, efficient system.  Probably one that all good pros should use.  But since I have had my own method for so long, I will now, for your entertainment, show you how I do it.

If I may regress, re-wind back to the good old days of yesteryear, 1960.  Do you remember Kodachrome (ASA 10).  That was my favorite film that I used when I first started to get passionate about photography.  I loved that particular slide film.  It was very slow as film of that day was, but I could look at a scene and picture how it would photograph.  I had Kodak Retina IIIs 35mm range-finder camera that I had purchased at the base exchange at Karamursel AFB, Turkey.  Back then zoom lenses were non-existent.  I had the basic 50mm lens, then I added an 85mm and a 135mm (whoopee) telephoto.

But back to the subject I intended to write about.  When it comes to organization of photos, working with slides wasn’t bad.  I had various slide trays that I kept for them, putting images for the different trips that I took into each tray and labeled them.

Later when I switched to negative film is where it started to get messy.  I tried notebooks with sleeves for negatives.  I couldn’t keep up with that, so I started just putting the negative into shoeboxes.  I still have some of those boxes of negatives.  I just hope no-one will ask me if I have a certain picture, that will make me have to sort through them.    I think I should throw the boxes away, then I won’t have that worry.

Now comes the digital age.  At first, my digital files were nearly as bad as the shoeboxes.  What a mess, image files were ending up in the strangest locations on my computer.  I one opened my Quicken program and discovered a photo of a raccoon.  🙂  Okay, I’m kidding about that.  🙂  Then about three years ago, when my friend in Tennessee asked me, “how in the world do you find anything?”,  a light bulb popped into my head.  I realized that I needed to do something.

It was about that time I was really getting into shooting wildlife.  So I opened a new folder in my computer’s hard drive, and called it “Photographs.”  How about that.  I certainly felt that this was a step in the right direction.  Since I was shooting a lot of bird photos, I made a folder in Photographs and named it “Birds“.  Boy, now I was on a roll.  When I had a bird picture, I just opened Photographs, then clicked on Birds.

But then I thought, there are a heck of a lot of birds out there.  Different species, etc.  So then if I photographed a sparrow, I made another folder under Birds, and named it Sparrows“.  You can see now where I am going with all of this.  In Sparrows, I have folders for the different species of sparrows, i.e. Vesper, House, Song, Fox and all the others.  If I want to find a photograph of a Lark Sparrow, I just go to my Fastone Image Viewer, click Photographs>Birds>Sparrows>Lark.  All of my Lark Sparrow photographs are there in thumb-nails.  I pick the one I want and open it up in my editing software.

I then did the same for Animals, Flowers, Scenics, etc.  All those are the main folders with sub-folders under each one.

I might mention that when I take the card from the camera, I download it into my Fastone Image Viewer.  I can delete the ones I don’t want, then easily move the keepable (is that a word?) images into the proper folder named above.

This system works for me because, at my age, I don’t want to spend all my time doing what Jim does.  Especially when I shoot a couple of hundred or more on any given day.  I know that his end result is probably much faster than mine and more efficient.  I know my friend in Tennessee is probably giggling over this post as she does use something similar to Jim’s method, as probably all the other pros out there.  But since this old dog doesn’t want to learn new tricks, I will now demonstrate how to find a photograph of a House Finch.  Click Photographs>Birds,Finches>House……

House Finch

Voilla!!!

And there you have it.  A pretty good system, if I do say so myself.  Also, as any photographer who wants to protect his images, I back up my files on a regular basis.  Now, I need to get that ‘coon image outa my bank account. 🙂