Wednesday, December 16, 2009

As we expected.....

We couldn't have called it any better.  We planned a shoot for the migration and life got in the way.  We are frustrated that we have been unable to get out and are pushing as hard as we can to do so.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Migration Weekend

This coming weekend is going to be pretty exciting.  We will be going out to the Eastern Shores of Maryland and getting some exciting and great pictures fo the migrating birds.  This will be our first trip for this reason.  We are excited and looking forward to it.  In another month we will be heading south to North Carolina.  Going back to Pocosin Lakes for their migration as well.  Pocosin Lakes has one of the largest populatons of migrating birds on the east coast.
Keep watching and go to the website for some new pictures.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MIgration and Hibernation

That time of the year has come and it is time for us to get back to work. Bird migration is happening and we will be spending our time where we need to be. We will be in Maryland in a few weeks and then off to North Carolina.
We are excited about North Carolina. We will beheading to Picosan and also to the Roanok/Cashie River area. These areas are extremely active with migrating birds. We are looking forward to some wonderful photo ops and getting more video for the documentary.
We will also be watching for alot fo activity from the animals preparing for hibernation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Still Looking!

Research has become extremely exhausting to say the least. We've spent hours researching data concerning population numbers for certain species of wildlife in the refuges. As we dig as deep as we can, we are finding the reluctance of some to either be honest or offer any information at all.
With what we are finding, we ae tending to believe that the numbers are not what we are led to believe. I would suspect that if the population was as high as the US Fish & Wildlife Service claims then they would be offering to open the books, so to speak, and share the information we are looking for.
so it's back to clawing our way around and finding the information we need. We'll post as we go.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thursday 8-13-09 Welcome to New Jersey????

Ahhhhhh. New Jersey. The self proclaimed armpit of the northeast. Self-proclaimed means that all the Jersey people came up with that.
In spite of it's rabid reputation New Jersey has more to offer than one would assume. In spite of it being one of the most densely populated states it does offer a great and marvelous chasm of wildlife and habitats to explore.
Don't be fooled by the chaos on the turnpike or the odd odor through Elizabeth, NJ. Keep going and find yourself in a place that would make you think you're in the wilderness of the great outdoors. New Jersey's wildlife is spectacular and inspiring beyond what one would assume nothing more than a few refuges and state parks. But in that mass of intrusion by development, New Jersey has done well to protect it's wildlife and the habitats they live in.

Wednesday 8-12-09

Now that we have returned to the homestead for a short stay we look ahead and see another week or so of opportunities. We head out again in a few hours and will be spending time in the northern parts of NJ.
Today is a travel day and plenty of rest tonight.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tuesday 8-11-09

One more attempt at finding the elusive bears. We trekked into the woods and were able to find a few and get some good shots. But we determined that it was time to just move on and plan another trip south in the fall.
We spent some time at the Roanoke/Cashie River Center in Windsor, NC. The Roanoke and Cashie Rivers will be a huge asset to our efforts and documentary. We will be returning in the fall and continue the shoot. We spent a few hours walking around and after speaking with Neal Moye of the Partnership For The Sounds we determined we needed to come back. We would have stayed but, again, the heat was almost unbearable. We had spent so much time over the last several days burning up in the extreme heat we decided that we would pass on dropping the canoe in the river and make a trip back in the fall.

We are now heading north and will eventually make our way up to the north east. More blogs and pictures to come. Be sure to view the website often.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Monday 8-10-09

We had thought to spend more time looking for the elusive bears this morning. turns out that's not what we did. Although the pre-determined focus for this trip was North Carolina wildlife, we decided to spend a day doing nothing except sitting out in the middle of Roanoke Sound. While there we did get in some photo ops early on, the cameras pretty much stayed in the bags for most of the day.
Thanks to Fishing Unlimited in The Outer Banks for the boat and their exceptional hospitality!

Sunday 8-9-09

So Sunday was determined to be a day of rest. But we first made a trip into the woods at 6am. We spotted more deer and turkey. We shot some photos and video of some bear as well. It is a difficult time to really get any wildlife movement. The heat has really kept everything at bay. We made some attempts into the brush but I am not the best at being stealthy in the weeds and brush and the overgrown foliage was extremely difficult to manoeuvre through. We stayed for about 3 hours and we did manage to shoot some stills.
Once done we headed out to the coast. We spent a considerable amount of time on Alligator Island looking for reptiles. We were successful in finding a few good participants that lent us the opportunity to take some shots. But they didn't stay long though. It was not an easy shoot on Alligator Island. It has been the one place to date that we experienced an onslaught of humans coming and going. Access to the refuge and it's canals are very public and very accessible not only by dirt road but paved road as well.
Each time we would have a good shot and move in we would be interrupted by a vehicle driving by. Although the road was 50 to 100 yards away it was graveled and it made plenty of noise. Needless to say our subjects were startled off by the noise.

We were getting pretty discouraged and felt we were fighting a losing battle. So we decided to head further east and we spent the rest of the day at Nags Head, NC. And that’s the story for the day. Sunburn, shrimp and crabs (the good kind).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday 8-8-09 Where's the wildlife?

So Saturday turned out to be a day that was difficult for sure. We drove for more than 150 miles all day and we just could not see a thing. We spotted three snakes and allot of turkeys.
We spent the majority of the day in the Alligator Island NWR. This is a very large refuge and this refuge will be a separate trip in of itself. We will be able to spend a great deal of time on the water throughout the refuge in the canals and lakes within.
Towards the end of the day we ended up going back to Pocosin and searching for black bear once again. We spotted 4 before night fall.
But what we have found is that getting within 100 meters of any bear is not going to happen. On our last trip to this area in the spring we had no problem getting as close as 10 or 15 meters. But now we noticed a change and have to wonder why. For our purposes it is making things difficult. But for their sake it is a good thing. Being leery of humans is probably the best thing that could happen for them. It just makes our job that much harder. So this means getting eaten by the bugs and crawling through the brush and weeds and whatever else is in there. Not a comforting thought by any means.
But another concern is the population of the wildlife in the refuges. We have spent allot of time in these places and needless to say we have not seen what we had expected. In the 5 full days we spent in these refuges we noticed a minimal amount of activity and small numbers of wildlife. Even making a few treks into the brush for a few hundred meters we noticed nothing except a few snakes and spiders.
This will be our next assignment. Finding the wildlife in our wildlife refuges.
So now we are hoping that Sunday brings better spotting and photo shots.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Friday 8-7-09

Friday was not a productive day for us (as far as we were concerned). As expected the heat and sun dictated what we would see. For the first 6 hours we saw plenty of butterflies, flies, bees, dragonflies and mosquito's. We decided to leave and have a break for lunch around 2:30 and return later in the day when the sun was not as hot.
While sitting we noticed there wasn't a sound except crickets and frogs. Even the birds weren't out. Only a few hummingbirds. Knowing bird habits, Kathy determined that we could expect to see some bear or red wolf because birds generaly don't give away their nest location when they sense animals nearby. And sure enough she was right.
We returned to the same area around 4:00pm. We decided to stop in an area in which we saw positive signs of bear activity (allot bear poop). Another good sign was that this area is adjacent to a corn field and from the signs we saw (corn in the poop), we concluded it was worth the time to stop and wait.
After about an hour we started seeing bear cross the road into the corn field. Unfortunately they were atleast 600 yards in either direction of us. I decided to move closer to the area where they were crosing. As luck would have it I was able to get much closer than I would have hoped and got off some great shots. They seemingly had little or no interest in me. But I was not going to press my luck an dmoved back away.
We've posted pics to the website of yesterdays adventure. Surely they will encourage you to come back for more.
TODAY will be a different day for sure. We are going out later in the day to the coast and then make our way back inland late in the evening. This will insure seeing plenty of wildlife.

Thursday 8-6-09

When you set out for one thing and try to understand where it is you’re going you usually end up experiencing another. Make sense?
We headed out yesterday for the great outdoors. Or at least as great as it can be in suburbia. We arrived to our destination and were extremely surprised to find the accommodations comfortable, secluded, remote, relaxing and overwhelmingly friendly. So as things are we need to focus on why we are here and get to it.
Up at 5:30am, I think I was delirious, we found the morning to be inexplicable. quiet and serene are probably the words to describe if I could come up with anything. The lake had a beautiful morning mist and the frogs and crickets were announcing there presence.
Taking only a handful of shots this early morning we decided to enjoy a quiet breakfast and relax for a short time before heading out. The day is expected to be hot and humid. We are conservatively optimistic about what we will see today. The heat will most doubt ably keep allot of the wildlife at bay until the late hours of the day and into the evening.

The blogs that are posted and will be posted have been written during our trips and on the road. Some have been posted but most will be posted later. Unfortunately access to the internet is not easy out where we are and have been. So posting will, unfortunately, be slow at times. So each title will have the day and date so as to not confuse anyone if they were to look at the date it was actually posted.

Monday, August 3, 2009


It has been almost 2 months since we made our way out and did any shooting. Needless to say we have become extremely restless. This coming trip is not only a photo shoot but a vacation as well. We are going to mix a few things in here and there but we will be spending most of the time in the woods and swamps.
It's almost 2 1/2 days until we head out and make our way to NC. Although it isn't that far, we are looking forward to being in a place with no cell service. We are also looking forward to some extremely remote places. Sounds odd that you could find such a place in NC. But we had visited this place earlier this year and we spent nearly 10 hours there and never saw or heard another soul. Never even saw a plane fly over. As a matter of fact, we spotted some wildlife that looked at us in a strange way. My guess is that not many go there.

I will be posting daily blogs of this adventure. We will also be posting new pictures on the website. Daily postings will not be easy but I need to do it. If I wait until we return home I will spend more time going through the pictures than posting and writing.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Coming up in August we will be disappearing into the Carolina woods and swamps. For this trip we are focusing on black bear, the warbler, reptiles and landscape. We know where the bears are and we plan a full day or maybe two to find and photograph them.

Research is extremely important when shooting wildlife. Joh has spent a considerable amount of time in the books and on the internet studying certain species to learn habits and lifestyles. From what we have discovered we will be spending many hours sitting and waiting. But it is always worth the wait.

Also on this trip we will be bringing the canoe. We are both excited about this. We will have much more access and the ability to see more than we would even hope to if we were to hike most of it. The canoe will particularly come in handy while in the swamps. These areas are the most difficult to access on foot. Although being in the water and sloshing through weeds is not a bad thing for us, we just think using the canoe we can be a little more stealth about it.
Looking forward to posting and also loading pictires onto the website.
BTW, this is going to be our get away anniversary week. We are celebrating 23 years on August 2nd.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Time Off

We have been kind of taking a break over the last few weeks. We are planning a big trip in August to North Carolina. So far it looks like a 6 day trip into the North Carolina back woods and coastal regions. We are excited about it and look forward to posting some great pictures to the website.

We may be going out sometime over the next month but we aren't anticipating anything too big. Just maybe some time to just escape for a day or so.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Day Was A Bust

Well, I have to say I was disappointed in today. We went out early expecting to get an entire day in of shooting. We brought the canoe so we could head out into the marsh and ponds. When we arrived it was extremely overcast and windy as all get out. We gave it a try though. We made it across the pond and into a small cove but decided to head back in because the wind was starting to pick up more and the clouds got dark.
The canoe trip was ok. Need to work out some kinks but we did good.

We got back in and just spent some time shooting from the shore. But because of the extreme overcast sky most of the reptiles and amphibians were somewhere else and I had no idea where.

Whilst we were shooting the US Fish And Game Enforcement officer showed up. He was a very polite and nice guy. We talked for some time and he asked about the canoe. Turns out we didn't have the proper flotation devices and he warned we could receive a $100 fine. He gave us a break.

He then let us in on the fact that they just opened another refuge about 10 minutes from where we were. So we decided to head out.

When we arrived you could tell they just put the road in. And it wasn't much of a secret place. There is a sign about 8ft long by 4ft. right on the side of the road. We drove through and it was a nice place, but a bit small. Not much happening there. We didn't see any wildlife except some birds. Oh, and one turtle. I decided to just stick with landscape shots myself while Kathy chased birds.

Well, we then decided to have a late lunch and come up with some strategy for where to go after we ate. We decided to go back to Rappahannock NWR on Newland Rd. this is the same place we tried to use the canoe. So we headed back.

We drove in the gate and decided to go extremely slow. As we did we heard some obvious yet strange bird calls. We stopped and turned off the truck. We sat for a long time but could not make out where or how far they were.

We went back down to the swamp but again, nothing. So 10 hours and not a thing. Well, I have to Say nothing for me. I know Kathy got some good shots but not as much as usual.

Next trip is we are heading south or northeast. Won't know till then where we'll go.

I did have a Carnidal get excited about my truck. Thus the picture to the right.

Friday, June 19, 2009


We will be going out again on Saturday and Sunday coming up. We've decided to go back to Warsaw, Va where we were last weekend. We are bringing a canoe with us so we will be able to gander on out further. The lake is rather large and we see plenty of opportunity to shoot some good stuff.

Seeing as it's father's day on Sunday, it was my choice what to do. So that's what we're doing. Of course, Kathy has no objections. She was thinking the same as I about this weekend.

I will post a new blog once we get back on Sunday night.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I spent nearly two hours yesterday going through pictures and deciding which ones to post to the web. After all that time I only came up with about a dozen. We have so many that it is extremely difficult to decide. So I have come to a conclusion and we will be posting whatever pictures we shoot.
We will begin uploading in the next few days. It will take some time but it will be awesome. So many shots to see and it will amaze you at some of the vivid shots Kathy has been able to get and some of the raw shots I took. Yes, she is better than I at shooting.
Go to the website over the next few days and you will begin to see new pictures everyday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spontaneous Trips

Sometimes we decide last minute to go out and shoot. Most of the time we plan it out fairly well. this past weekend we planned only Saturday and had nothing planned for Sunday. On Saturday we spent our day on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Most of it spent at the Eastern Neck NWR in Rock Hall, Md.
Once we arrived it was very clear that this Refuge was more than a wildlife refuge. They had recreation areas and allot of public access. As we drove thru we noticed allot of people walking and riding bikes. And motorcycles driving thru. We knew that it probably wouldn't be a fruitful trip. But we stayed anyway and took some shots that weren't so bad. The biggest event was spotting the red fox trotting down the road. We watched him/her for about 20 minutes as it searched for bird eggs in the thicket by the marsh. As quickly a he/she appeared, it disappeared.
We spent more time shooting butterflies and bugs and flowers. But as we shot these we were inundated with people walking around and asking questions. Seems this is a Nice place but if you're serious about shooting wildlife you're better off looking elsewhere.
We spent about 2 hours walking through the woods and had no luck spotting anything. We heard plenty of birds and rustling in the trees and bushes.
We took a solitude break away from everyone near the shore of the bay. While there we were treated to a close up of a hawk flying next to the truck. and as we exited we spotted a groundhog on the side of the road who seemed just as interested in us as we were of him.
Ospreys made a nest atop a power pole. We watched as a young osprey took it's first attempts at flight. It was a glorious sight to see him sour. He would take off and a parent would fly just over top of him and he would then land back in the nest not going more than 20 or 30 yards away.
On Saturday night we decided we would go out again and go back to Maryland. We saw some signs for a wildlife park or something and followed the signs but found nothing. But, as we drove along a very secluded road we decided to stop at a marsh and shoot. As we did Kathy spotted a Bald Eagle in a tree about 100 yards away. She motioned for me to get the 1000mm lens but i couldn't get it out fast enough and it flew off. fortunately Kathy got some awesome shots before it flew away.
We then drove off and decided to head for the Rappahannock NWR in Warsaw, Va. As we arrived I knew there wouldn't be many people there. I had been there before and there are no signs on the roadways directing you there so I knew there wouldn't be any tourists or curiosity seekers.
We arrived and parked and headed out. One of the many things we have been trying to shoot are amphibious creatures. They are very elusive and it takes allot of patience. This I don't have. But Kathy does. She sat in the same spot for about two hours and got some great shots of some green frogs. also, we were able to get some shots of a couple turtles in the water doing what two turtles would be doing if they knew they were alone.
So that was our weekend. Not much but we did get some good footage and we have posted them on the site.
Till next time....................