Christmas, 2004

Rooster Pheasant

A few days before Christmas I took a series of photos that had such wonderful colors that I ended up making 13x19 inch prints for gifts to several people that are dear to me.

Cammy, my oldest Golden Retriever, and I were coming back from a walk when she got "birdy". She plowed into the snow and flushed a hen pheasant from some tall, dead grass blades rustling at the base of a pine tree. I looked past the hen and could see a rooster pheasant hiding in the grass. Fortunately Cammy didn't notice the rooster, so I called her to me and brought her back to the house where I swapped canine for camera.

I wanted to get a photo of the rooster sitting in the snow covered grass. As I moved into an opening in the pines where I could get a clear shot the bird must have gotten nervious because he dove into a snow bank and disappeared. I didn't want to push him and make him fly, so instead of moving closer to him I backed away and looped around towards the direction that I last saw him facing. I moved very slowly through the pines and sapplings. I kept scanning the grass clumps and the bases of the trees, trying to see him before I moved in closer. Finally I noticed some color and spied him on one of the pine branches.

I got some initial photos and then moved very slowly to where there were less obstructions and the light was better. Eventually he became acccustomed to my presence . He started pecking at something on the limbs and even leaned down and ate snow off a lower bough.

By the time I finished I had over 100 shots. While working on prints of this bird I've been amazed by the incredible range of colors, The computer screen can not do justice to the prints. The lighting in some of the images was perfect to catch the irridescence in the feathers. Of the hundreds of thousands of photos that I've taken I think these just might have the widest spectrum of colors.

My pre-Christmas experience might not have been a patridge in a pear tree, but I'm pretty pleased with my pheasant in a pine tree!

Walk along the beach

Winter Eagle