A return to the Big Bend


We got back to San Angelo Friday afternoon, after a five hour drive from our Casita at Far Flung Outdoor Center in Study Butte, Texas.  We were exhausted, not from just the trip, but from the great four days that we spent in Big Bend National Park and Chisos Mountains of west Texas.  We saw a great number of birds, although not as many as we had hoped.  But considering it is winter time, we should be glad.  We added five more to our yearly list, including a lifer, a Bushtit.  We are at 108 for the year as of now, and my life list is up to 294.

But apart from the birding, I was also able to get some nice landscape photos from that beautiful area.  I am usually in the birding mode, and I tend to not notice the majestic scenes of Big Bend National Park.  This time I made it a point to enjoy that aspect much more.

Here are a few photos from our memorable journey.  Click on any of them to see pretty enlargements.

There were plenty of Red-tailed Hawks.

Red-tailed Hawk - 1/1600 sec, @ f6.3, ISO 250.

Red-tailed Hawk – 1/1600 sec, @ f6.3, ISO 250.

We saw plenty of White-crowned Sparrows, too.

White-crowned sparrow - 1/640 sec. @ f9, ISO 250.

White-crowned sparrow – 1/640 sec. @ f9, ISO 250.

We also saw numerous of these Loggerhead Shrikes.

Loggerhead Shrike - 1/1600 sec, @ f6.3, ISO 200.

Loggerhead Shrike – 1/1600 sec, @ f6.3, ISO 200.

The grandeur of Big Bend National Park is amazing.  Photo opportunities at every turn.  This photo is from a very high lookout point along the Ross Maxwell Highway.  Probable altitude around 5,000 feet.  You can look across the top of Kit Mountain and see the opening in the 1500 foot cliffs that mark Santa Elena Canyon, a distance of around 20 miles away.

Sotol Vista - 1/320 sec. @ ff10, +0.7 EV, ISO 200.

Sotol Vista – 1/320 sec. @ ff10, +0.7 EV, ISO 200.

This is a typical desert scene.  Cerro Castellan is in the distance.

Desert Landscape - 1/640 sec. @ f8, +0.7 EV, I SO 200.

Desert Landscape – 1/640 sec. @ f8, +0.7 EV, I SO 200.

Here is close-up detail of Cerro Castellan.

Cerro Castellan - 1/200 sec, @ f5.6, -0.3, ISO 200.

Cerro Castellan – 1/200 sec, @ f5.6, -0.3, ISO 200.

When eating a breakfast of burritos and coffee in the morning in the ghost town at Terlingua, this cactus wren was happily singing near by.

Cactus Wren - 1/3200 sec, @ f6.3, +0.3 EV, IS O 2000.

Cactus Wren – 1/3200 sec, @ f6.3, +0.3 EV, IS O 2000.

From the window formation in the Chisos Mountains, altitude 5,000 feet, looking west, you can see forever.

Window View - 1/3200 sec, @ f5.6, +0.3 EV, ISO 250.

Window View – 1/3200 sec, @ f5.6, +0.3 EV, ISO 250.

I hope you enjoyed these image of our little vacation.  We are hoping to back again soon.  Now it is back to birding for a couple of months.

Now that Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, why don’t you have a look at my gifts in my FineArtAmerica store.  Not only prints of my images, but coffee mugs, bags, and other nice gifts featuring my photography.

Happy Birding!!!

 

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New DVD Available


This is a special post for my readers.  I have great news.  I, along with my friend in Tennessee, Dstappan Productions, have produced a very nice DVD of 100 of my best images, accompanied with music.  It is currently for Windows only.  If Interested, please mail me a check for 25.00 to: Bob Zeller, 4401 White Ash Ln., San Angelo, Texas, 76904-4528.  That amount will cover any taxes and shipping by Priority Mail.  I don’t take credit cards anymore….too expensive.  But we in west Texas are used to doing business with an e-handshake.

The DVD contains 100 images, assorted birds, animals, landscapes.

Be sure to give me your address and contact info, e-mail or phone, etc.

As I said, it is for Windows operating systems only at the current time.  We are working on producing one for TV viewing and that should be available soon.

Hope to hear from many of you.  Thank you.

Photographing San Angelo Country Club


Who says that I only photograph birds?  Actually, before I got into birding and photographing birds, I leaned toward landscapes, flowers, etc.  But one thing that I always loved was the game of golf.  San Angelo has one of the most beautiful courses in the area, and that is the San Angelo Country Club.

I was privy to be able to play it a couple of times as a guest of a few friends.  I did pretty well.  I got around the course without falling into the water hazards.  My favorite shot was the explosion shot off of the first tee, and I always tried to keep my putts low.

I really admired the gorgeous landscaping on some of the holes, so I approached Jason Hase, the pro, and got permission to use one of their golf carts and go around and photograph some of them.

Although the entire eighteen holes are things of beauty, six of them really stood out, as they each had some feature that made them more photogenic.

For your enjoyment here those images:

Hole Number 1.  This hole has a pond just short right of the green, in the trees.  It shouldn’t come into play unless you have a bad slice.  I captured this scene from behind the pond, looking towards the green and flag.

Hole number one - San Angelo Country Club

Hole number one – San Angelo Country Club

Hole number 3. This photo was taken from the right side of the green.  I loved the tree in the foreground and the background view of a pond on an adjacent hole.  The play on this hole comes from the left as you look at the image.

Hole number three - San Angelo Country Club

Hole number three – San Angelo Country Club

Hole number 4.  For this photo, I was standing behind the green.  A nice view of the pond fronting the green.

Hole number four - San Angelo Country Club

Hole number four – San Angelo Country Club

Hole number 6.  This a pretty little par three hole with a pond with a fountain in front.  Be sure to use enough club.  I photographed this one from behind the tee, trying to put the flowers and shrubs into the foreground.

Hole number six - San Angelo Country Club

Hole number six – San Angelo Country Club

Hole number 10.  Another three-shot hole to begin the back nine.  Again you need all carry to reach the green.  I photographed it standing on the tee.  The blue that you see in the trees way right of the green is the Concho River.

Hole number ten - San Angelo Country Club

Hole number ten – San Angelo Country Club

Hole number 15.  I love this pretty little par three.  It has this gorgeous pond to the left front of the teeing area.  It doesn’t come into play, of course, but adds to the beauty of the hole.

Hole number fifteen - San Angelo Country Club

Hole number fifteen – San Angelo Country Club

Yesterday, Jason contacted me and we arranged for the club to purchase the rights to these image for their new website.  I hope to someday to get back there and perhaps photograph the remaining holes.

I hope you enjoyed these photographs.  Click on any of them to see beautiful enlargements.

Birds, Beasts and Buttes – Book now available


That is the name of my long awaited book of some of my best photographs.  It is now available direct from my publisher in either hard-cover or soft-cover at this LINK., where you can preview the first 15 pages.

The book has 111 photographs and 86 pages.  I am very proud of it and I think you will enjoy it.

For autographed copies of the hard-cover version, please contact me at my e-mail address:  bobzeller1@aol.com.   They are being shipped to me as we speak.  I will sign them on their arrival and then ship to you as needed.