Monday, November 29, 2010

Rogaine for ferrets

I am not sure what happened to this fellow at the Tracy Animal Shelter.  For some reason this ferret visiting the Animal Shelter is sporting the Kojak look-sort of, maybe half.  Anyhow it looks downright weird.
This female ferret was found wandering around a backyard in town and was brought to the shelter.  Ferrets are illegal in California so it is not clear what will happen to it.  Nor is it clear why it lost over half the fur on its body.
It sort of has that hairless rat look about it now.  It seemed pretty calm about having its picture taking, but I couldn't tell if it was shaking from being nervous about the camera or just cold from no fur.  Go figure.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow kidding

So it was kind of a strange moment I had  today on assignment.  Just outside of town near Mossdale I am trying to avoid slipping in the fresh snow as my camera gets pelted by a snow flurry.  Strange indeed.

The snow was being piped in to fill a snow hill for inner tube riders as one of the attractions at the Dell Osso Holiday on the Farm which opens on Friday.  The winter holiday themed attraction features the snow hill, Christmas lights and a new sight this year, an ice skating rink.

A refrigeration unit keeps a layer of ice frozen for a 120 foot by 60 foot rink for visitors wishing to show their skating skills.  Ice skates will be available for rent for people who don't have their own pair.  It is sure to be a different sight for drivers on I-5 as they catch a glimpse of skaters twirling about the rink under the lights at night.

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas indeed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Into the sunlit splendor

Shivering in the dawn light at the Isenberg Crane Reserve outside Lodi this morning I tried my best not to shake the camera too much.  The rain were a few drops every now and then while the wind whistled a numbing cold tune across my fingers.  Out in font of me thousands of Sandhill Cranes cackled in the cold morning air during their dawn flights into the rising sun in search of food.

After last months Halloween night visit to the reserve to watch the cranes congregate during their sunset arrival at the wetlands we decided to make a return trip to watch their sunrise departures as they forage the countryside for food.  A weekend of rain didn't dampen our plans as we left Tracy at 5:30 am for the wetlands outside Lodi.

I tracked the storm front that rolled through Tracy early Sunday morning on a doppler web site with my iPhone as Alice drove to the reserve.  Our plan was to arrive at dawn to be in place before the sun rise shortly before 7:00 a.m.  As we neared the reserve the first light of dawn cracked through the clouds and we could see the line of cranes already heading skyward.

At the reserve we set up in the rain and wind and watched as waves of cranes and geese flew past on the morning routes.  The sun slid in and out through the layer of clouds filing in from the west as the changing light splayed across the landscape.

Quickly I thought this shoot would be less about the cranes and more for the dramatic light spilling across the sky and lighting the clouds.  The cranes gave an added composition as the sun rose.  Colors changed from deep early morning blues to the red and yellows of the sunrise and then back again as cloud layers obscured the sun's rays.  The setting moon glowed with a fiery brilliance among the clouds.

After about an hour of chasing the cranes around the road we packed up and headed home.  Our sunrise adventure to the Isenberg Crane Reserve is another chapter watching these amazing birds.  We wrap up our crane adventure for the year with a tour to the sunset landing wetland with docents in late December.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Force is strong with this potato...

This picture was for an illustration on the price wars between the grocery markets with the arrival of WinCo Foods.  I got to take home the corn flakes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pass the stuffing

It's a sure sign the holidays are just around the corner when the crew at the Animal Shelter starts breaking out the wacky names for the pets up for adoption.  I guess "Giblets" and "Gravy" already found a new home because their name wasn't up on the board.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The moment

In the world of sports photography there are two differing camps on what makes the best photo from a sports event.  One group says the best photo is the one that has the most dramatic content-the best peak action or emotion.  The other thought of the best sports photograph is the one one image that captures that one key play of the game, the defining moment.  This photo is a pretty good example of the latter.  Not only does it sum up the game it is a defining moment of the season.  All season led up to this one moment.

The Millennium High Falcons soccer team played the Sacramento Country Day Cavaliers for the Division VII soccer title this morning in Elk Grove.  After two scoreless 40-minute regulations sessions and two 10-minute overtime periods the game would be decided on penalty kicks.  Each team would get five attempts and the best score would decide the season's champion.  On the third kick from Sacramento Country Day Millennium goalie Daniel Yanez dove to his left and blocked the shot sending it bouncing back away from the net.  The Millennium players including Yanez would score on all five of their kicks to give Millennium 5-3 win for the section title.  The block by Yanez would prove to the difference for the Falcons and their first ever section title in any sport for the school.

The  picture may not have the most dramatic action but it certainly has captured the play of the day and the season and is a moment worth remembering.