A couple of weeks ago I traveled back to Klamath to photograph snow geese. With some luck and good timing I was able to accomplish that goal. As I have discovered on both trips to the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge, it is an amazing place for wildlife in general. I wanted to share a few more photos from the trip.
Over my lifetime, I have spent a lot of time outdoors hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and hiking and now with my hobby of photography. I have seen most of the animals that live in the western United States at one time or another. I have even been lucky enough to see a mountain lion. I had never seen a bobcat in the wild before this trip. Imagine my surprise when I saw two in one day. I was driving slowly down one of the dirt roads of the refuge around lunch time when a bobcat ran right in front of my car. It was too fast for me to get my camera out. I just had to be grateful I had caught a fleeting glimpse. Later as the sun was setting I saw what at first I thought was a stump rising out of the dead grass in an old burn area. As I got closer I could see that it was a cat. It was sitting on a table shaped rock. It did not seem too concerned about me and let me take quite a few pics of it. Unfortunately the grass partially covered its face in many of the photos but I was able to get one good pose.
I always see Mule Deer on the refuge. The bucks have dropped their horns so I am including a photo of a nice one I saw in January as well as several deer I saw on this most recent trip and more Bald Eagles. The Eagles were still around in large numbers. I have included more snow geese in flight and some Greater White Fronted Geese that are mostly brown colored in this collection.
I have had such wonderful experiences visiting the Klamath Basin. I plan on trying to visit at least twice a year from now on as long as I am able. If you can make the trip yourself you won’t be disappointed.
Last week when I drove home from the Klamath Basin I took a slight detour to visit the Modoc Wildlife Refuge just outside Alturas California. I was hoping that I would see Sandhill Cranes and I was not disappointed. There were quite a few feeding on farm fields surrounding the Refuge along with Snow and Canada geese. I hope to go back next week and see and photograph some of the cranes courtship displays.
I went back to the Klamath Basin to see if I could get photos of the migrating Snow geese and got very lucky. I happened to be at the right place at the right time in several instances and was able to shoot very large flocks of Snow Geese lifting off the water and off farm fields. It was an amazing sight and the sound was deafening. Sometimes I just had to lower the camera to take it all in. Beautiful sight and sound as these birds filled the sky.
This past weekend I attended a well known event in the Carson Valley called Eagles and Agriculture. Every year at this time they celebrate the return of Bald Eagles to the valley and have built a rather successful attraction for wildlife and bird enthusiasts to enjoy each February. At this time of year the cows are calving and the Eagles are attracted to dine on the placentas and some of the calves that inevitably die or are stillborn.
I have never attended anything like this before. It was well organized and I met great people, had good food and overall enjoyed myself. It was not however, a great opportunity to take wildlife photos. The drought we have been having has led to ranchers carrying less cattle on their land; less cattle, less calves, fewer eagles and raptors to see. Also arriving on tour buses with 40 other photographers and birders is not my usual mode of operation. Again, no complaints from me, it was what it was and I made the most of it by taking photos of some of the historical ranches we were allowed to visit and enjoyed meeting people who were interested in wildlife and photography. I probably won’t attend the event again or at least for a few years. I came away with some ideas of places to go on my own to take wildlife photos and an appreciation for the history and beauty of the Carson Valley.