March 24th

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

If you already read the post I made this morning, I apologize. Just like my rule of always (ALWAYS) bringing my camera with me, I should always wait until the end of the day to post. If you hadn’t read it yet, I kept it below for reference.

The funny thing about this post is that I’ve never gotten close enough to a Sandhill Crane to capture an image I was really happy with, and I ended up with this one this evening (one I am very excited about!) – but then this morning I rushed to post my image early. That’s the way of it, isn’t it? I say I’m satisfied, and God says, “Ok, watch this.”

I mean, look at this bird. Look at this image.

God blew it out of the water this time.

Especially since I am not brave when it comes to these birds – they’re large and in charge. However, He provided me with an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.




I don’t usually post this early in the day, because I like to see what the day brings in terms of photographic opportunities. But this morning was different.

Usually one looks into the sunrise, not at the light behind you.

That was the case for me this morning. I opened my eyes, and saw the vibrant colors outside, and knowing it was going to be overcast today, hopped up out of bed and went for my camera.

However, when I walked out of the bedroom toward the dining room (where my camera was), the room was bathed in red light.

It was beautiful!

March 17th

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My day ended pretty miraculously with a pot of gold (sky) at the end of the rainbow. But more on that in a minute.

The weather was just miraculous today – 50 degrees, light wind, full sun. I was outside in just a sweatshirt today, and I didn’t realize how much my soul needed that. I was a rebel and even turned off the furnace and opened the windows this afternoon. The fresh air in the house was heavenly.

I planted the seeds for my garden today – just another sign of spring. Snap Dragons, Alyssum, peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, just to name a few. They’re obviously being started inside, but watching them germinate and grow is such a delight for me.

I was so wrapped up in the beauty of the day that I hadn’t taken any pictures. So, it was a pleasant surprise when the swans started moving around tonight on my way back from the barn.

It started with a couple…and then they were everywhere.

The geese are starting to come back, and have been encroaching on the swan’s feeding grounds. So I guess tonight was the last straw, and the geese weren’t welcome anymore. Everyone was worked up – honking, trumpeting. It was like a tornado of large birds – and it was AWESOME.


These are just a couple of my favorites. The sky just kept changing, and they all kept flying.

Once things had finally started to calm down a little, then I hear the distinct call of a Sandhill Crane. They’ve been around (six were in the field today), but this guy has been flying around alone all week. I don’t know if he lost his mate, or if he’s a juvenile just kicked out of the nest, looking for a mate, but boy is he loud.

Either way, it was so peaceful the way he flew over the trees. They aren’t overly graceful birds, however in the air they look so gentle and steady. I think this is because they have a very large wingspan, meaning they don’t flap their wings often in flight. If you don’t hear them coming (again, they’re loud – they sound like dinosaurs), they’re easy to spot in the sky.


March 15th

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

The local wildlife must be just as excited about warmer weather as we are.

So many birds are starting to come back, and those that brave the winter are out and about much more. The Swans have been moving non-stop all week, the Eagles have been around, I’ve seen ducks, owls, Sandhill Cranes, deer, pheasants, etc. etc.

If we’re being honest, that gives me more motivation for this project.

I love documenting daily life (I think it will come in handy when we have kids one day), but I feel like I haven’t moved forward with new imagery for my business. Although the current landscape isn’t ideal (melting snow leaves room for brown, dead grass), it’s encouraging to see the activity start up again.

Today, Paul, Henna and I were walking back to the farm from the woods after a walk, when Henna turned back and started to bark. Paul and I turned, and the Bald Eagle pair was circling the trees. Sure enough, they landed in one of our big trees on the edge of the woods.


Now, I admit, I don’t have gear envy very much. I tend to just look at what I have and make the best of it. I’m a realist in that regard – the equipment I want, I can’t afford – no need to dwell on it. Maybe one day, but for now, that’s the way it goes. However, today was an excellent example of when I would’ve welcomed a lens with a longer focal length. My 400mm does a lot for me, but for how I shoot, it would be helpful to have a little longer reach.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I tend to have a very reserved, conservative shooting style. I very much believe that humans are pushing out many animals from their habitats, especially in our area, so when I see them find a home on our property (or elsewhere as well), I keep a respectful distance. While others may disagree with me,  I just feel I owe the animals that respect. If I’m invited into their space by them advancing on me (like the Chickadee earlier this week), I’ll take advantage, but I really dislike when my actions cause an animal to move away from me.

So, while this image may seem to you like “you could’ve gotten so much closer, I want to see the whites of their eyes!“, to me, I saw the Eagles begin to shift their weight and look for escape options, so that’s where I stopped. I also want to see them again, so if my actions are perceived as aggressive by them, they may not come back; wildlife photography is relational, and that’s what I love about it.

We have a man who traps in our woods during the winter, mostly for muskrats, raccoons and possums, and he comes to check his traps daily. He walks the same trail each day, not having much interest for anything other than his traps. Because his presence is a daily one, and the same time each day, he’s made the comment that the deer don’t run anymore. They stay bedded down and watch him without much interest; he’s just become part of the wood’s DNA.

I was so inspired by that – to be welcomed into the woods, because the animals know him and recognize him. I think that a lot about my main inspiration, Jim Brandenburg. I knew I always loved art, but when my ceramics teacher was gone one day, and we watched a movie about Jim, I was captivated. He lives near the Boundary Waters, and is always out there. It’s like the animals indulge him, and pose for him.

I strive to be that one day. I don’t need to work for NatGeo, but I would love to end my career with a portfolio full of images I’m truly proud of. A portfolio full of images that have great stories that go along with them.

February 6th

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Nature’s camouflage is flawless.

Remember way back to last summer when we had a doe and her fawn living in the copse of trees in front of our house? She was my “Dinner Date” doe, and I did eventually photograph them together here.

Well, they’re still around.

Today at noon, I glanced up from my lunch and there they were out my back window. Pictured here is the fawn (who is no longer a fawn).

They causally crossed the property line, and bounded into the neighbors pasture. The horses came running up from the barn, and both parties stood and eyed each other. The deer broke first and ran for the fence and bounded over it, causing the horses to run and buck and toss their heads wondering how they so effortlessly escaped.

A fun escapade to watch!

December 28th

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Taking a break from personal images today to bring you one Mr. Red Tailed Hawk.

He was absolutely beautiful sitting in a tree in the farm today, but I couldn’t get close enough in time.

Still beautiful, still fun to see. I had forgotten just how big they are until I spotted him. He stood out from the trees, even from hundreds of feet away.

Maybe he’ll stick around and I’ll catch him another time. Just another reason to always keep my camera on me. 🙂

December 15th

Friday, December 15th, 2017

If you’ve followed my blog from the beginning, today’s image may be familiar to you.

And it should, as it’s that time of year again. Time for the pheasants!

Pheasants thrive in tall grasses. They give them cover from predators, as well as protection from the weather. The tree line on the east side of our property is the ideal habitat for them; tall grasses, low bushes, and during the summer, crops butt up to the trees providing them food.

So this time of year, they emerge from the grasses, especially after heavy snows (if they survive), to forage in the empty fields.

My family has always been involved in a local Minnesota chapter of Pheasants Forever, and growing up we always had pheasant feeders out during the winter. After moving into our own house, Paul and I decided we would continue the tradition.

We’re going on our third winter in our house, meaning the third winter of feeding the Pheasants. I was a little behind in getting the feeder out this year, and they’ve been letting me know it. Each day they come out and explore the area where we always place the feeder; so I got my rear in gear and got it out there yesterday.

Today they came in droves.

I love watching them. So incredibly beautiful, and so quirky, they provide much entertainment. At one point they all startled each other and they flushed to the trees.

The funny thing is that the only bird more uncoordinated and off balance while perched in a tree is a turkey. Pheasants are made for the ground, and it’s so evident when you watch them.

Like a tightrope walker who has lost his balance, arms pinwheeling, teetering back and forth over the line, Pheasants pitch back and forth over their branch.

This rooster had finally caught his balance, and looked over his shoulder like he was ensuring no one saw his one-man circus.

November 13th

Monday, November 13th, 2017

We woke up to 98 swans in the stubble field next to our house.


It’s that time of year – the lakes and ponds are starting to freeze, and the fields are harvested. The come in large numbers to feed on the remaining corn in the fields, finding safety in numbers.

It’s magical.

I could hear them trumpeting from inside the house. And they continually fly in and out in random heats, and their runway is over our house. So it sounds like the swans are dive-bombing our house.


November 6th

Monday, November 6th, 2017

The pond on the farm was iced over this morning!

My mom and I stood in the backyard as we watched five swans (two parents, three cygnets) come in to land. There was no wind, the air was so still, and as they came in and their feet gracefully slid across the ice, the thin, delicate ice made made the most beautiful sound as it echoed through the air. If sparkling had a sound, that’s what it sounded like. It was magical.

They shook out their feathers and settled in quickly; the entire family relaxed into a nap on top of the ice.

As I drove back up the driveway to head home, I stopped to photograph them. It took them a couple of minutes before they realized I was there. I stood quietly for a while, as its not often that swans are caught with their guard down.

This pair and their cygnets have been on our pond on and off throughout the fall. I know it’s them, as many of the swans start the nesting season with 5-8 cygnets, but usually end up with only one, two if they’re lucky, by the end of the season. I’m not sure what exactly preys on young swans, but whatever it is it’s efficient.

So these five stand out because of the fact that three survived (way to go mom and dad!). In this image, these are two of the three – note the grey feathers on their head and back? Although they are the same size and mom and dad already, they won’t be completely white until they molt out next year.

Swans are fascinating to me. Did you know that swans mate for life? In fact, even though most swans aren’t sexually mature until age 4-7, most Swans find their mates before they are 2 years old! Due to this, young Swans will often play “house;” they test out different nesting habitats and build nests in preparation for parenting in future years.

October 31st

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Happy Halloween!

I can tell I’m getting “older.” Each year Halloween drops farther and farther down my list of priorities.

The highlight of my day today was finding several swans in a recently harvested stubble field. Pathetic 😉

I suppose that’s attributed to the fact that we live in a rural area, so no trick-or-treaters came to our house, and with no kids of my own and no nieces or nephews, I’m just not connected to the trick-or-treating scene. I’m also not one for parties, so adult Halloween parties are out.

Not ashamed to say I spent the evening with the hubs and bun watching a movie 🙂

September 23rd

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

It was Bryce Canyon day today!

But first, look at what we woke up to! PEACOCKS! We opened out blinds this morning to a flock of at least 15 outside of our window! They were stunning, and let me photograph them. If you’re ever in the Glendale, UT area, make sure to look up Golden Haven Ranch!



Then on our way down Highway 89, we saw countless herds of cattle and horses. This beauty was out by himself, and I made Paul turn around and pull over for me to photograph him.


Anyway, onto Bryce. The high today? 49 – with snow! We were completely ill-prepared, but it was so beautiful to watch the flakes fall around the big red rock in the desert.

As such, we didn’t do much hiking due to us not having a decent jacket, but the views and wildlife was stunning. This Mule Deer doe knew her good side.

Also, check out this guy! My forever adventure sidekick.



September 1st

Friday, September 1st, 2017

People often ask me if I have a favorite place to shoot.

The answer is no, I don’t. However, I do have a photography “wish list” or “bucket list” both for locations and wildlife to photograph.

So what’s at the top of my locations list? Iceland. How about for wildlife? Believe it or not, Pelicans are near the top.

Yes, that’s right. Not bears, not moose, not a jackelope. Pelicans.

I’m not even sure why. I’ve just always had a fascination with them. They are so much bigger than you’d expect them to be, and just as ungraceful. And they are so shy. I’ve come so close to being able to photograph them, and I’ve never been able to click the shutter – they fly away. Even at a great distance. Maybe that’s part of it; I’ve never gotten close enough to justify a shot.

So today, as they circled the farm, I thought why not. So here, ladies and gentlemen, is my Pelican image. 😉