Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 18/19th Report - San Angelo State Park / Full Disclosure...

No report this week from the blind. I spent a total of 9 hours this weekend for various projects associated with or in the park and it left little time for fun in the blind taking pictures of birds. Hoping to make it out this weekend to knock some points off the blood pressure.

As to the full disclosure... I have recently been elected to the Friends of San Angelo State Park Board of Advisors for 2008-2009. This is not a position I sought. Heck, I'm still a big fan of the old Grouch Marx line of (and I'm paraphrasing) refusing to be a member of any club that would have me as a member. But as I've volunteered a significant amount of time in the park to their events and I have benefited from the work others have put in over the years on the bird blind, it was an easy offer to accept.

No, I can't see this coloring my view of the park--I'm pretty darn happy with it to begin with. But this now lends a little louder voice to the photographers who frequent the park.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

Turf Church at Núpsstaður
As mentioned in Monday's post, I'm going to slather in some shameless self promotion. My show/exhibit schedule for the next few months is as follows:

Now through the end of October: Gathering Places - Country Churches of Iceland at Crockett National Bank in San Angelo. Twelve of my favorite images from my time in Iceland covering a wide range of church styles and time periods. This is an exhibit only, though if you'd like to buy one of the framed & matted 11x14 images we can certainly talk.

Month of November: Concho Valley Photography Club's annual exhibit at Angelo State University. We're sharing space this year with a photo exhibit from the university much as we did for our November 2006 show. Also an exhibit only.

November 15/16: Santa's Market at Goodfellow AFB. I will have a number of products for sale to include framed prints, matted prints, raw prints, and picture cards. All but the picture cards will be available in sizes up to 11x14. This year most of the images will be nature related, though I will have some of my Icelandic images available as well as any framed images from the Gathering Places show that have not been previously spoken for. This was a really good show last year and I'm looking forward to my return visit.

December 6/7: Greater San Angelo Craft Guild Christmas Bazaar at the Wells Fargo Pavillion (on the San Angelo Fairgrounds). I've been to this show to visit a couple of times, but this year I think I have enough material to make it worth my while.

Image: Turf Church at Núpsstaður, Southern Iceland, ©2008 Jim Miller

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lost Maples SNA Blind Update

Tony was nice enough to send a quick e-mail to fill me in on some more details about the blind at Lost Maples SNA. In short, the blind itself is not very photographer friendly, but the birds are accustomed enough to humans that shooting from the picnic tables directly outside the blind is workable. He provided a list of birds that he caught last spring and there were enough birds that I do not have images of (in particular the Indigo and Lazuli Buntings) that this will be high on my list of places to go next spring.

Thank you again, Tony for the information. Expect an initial blind report sometime in the spring.

October 13th Report - San Angelo S.P.

Male House Sparrow, San Angelo State Park, ©2008 Jim Miller
Slow but interesting morning in the blind. Actually a very late start for me compared to my normal routine. I was all ready to go out at 8 AM but as I was getting things into the car it started to rain a bit. Had the same thing happen Sunday morning and the rain kept going pretty good for a while so I called it off. Besides, I had work to do to get ready for Santa's Market in about a month so I spent the morning (and afternoon and evening) putting together my display wall and assembling cards (yes, a little shamless self-promotion...expect more soon).

This morning I assumed the same thing would be happening, but within 30 minutes all was better but by then I had completely stood down on trying to make it out. 20 minutes later I was out the door and 20 minutes later I was in the blind.

An aside, and completely off-topic, Happy 40th to my favorite Occupational Therapist... Saw the sign outside work. I'm sure there was hell to pay when the work day was over...

As for the bird blind. Things were very slow at first, but things picked up by about 10 AM. Again a smaller species set as compared to the summer but that is to be expected. What made me very happy (though I did not get a good picture of it) was the return of the White-Crowned Sparrows. I saw 2 or 3 but never did get a good angle on them. Lots of House Sparrows and House Finches. Red-Winged Blackbirds were also plentiful. As usual, White-Winged Doves outnumbered Mourning Doves. Only a couple of Brown-headed Cowbirds. No laundry list for this visit.

Image: House Sparrow (Male), San Angelo State Park, © 2008 Jim Miller

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Texas Bird Blind Map Updated

I've made a small update to the Google Map for Texas Bird Blinds. The link for the map is on the right part of the screen. I became aware of a bird blind at Lost Maples State Natural Area. This is the busy season for Lost Maples SNA, and as I do not have any days off during the middle of the week I'm afraid that this will be a mid to late Spring trip on my list of things to do for 2009.

If you have been to the blind and want to provide me some insight regarding the species and photography opportunities, please fire me an e-mail and I will share your info and provide you with 15 seconds of fame...