Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stand Perfectly Still

Muriel and Gordon explore the trees and bushes at Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve for the rare Rufous-backed Robin
A slight rustle.  That nearly muted call from within the grasses or reeds. Your cloaked disguise makes you vanish from within. 

Several Mule Deer hang out near Huachuca Canyon
A speck upon the landscape. A compact little operative working the tree.  

Look carefully at the photo.  Warblers are hard!  Here is the rare-for-Arizona Yellow-throated Warbler currently hanging out at the city park of Patagonia.  I reported on this guy two weeks ago without a picture.  This time I knew where he was hiding and got the pic:)
If I stand still, I might see you better.  

If I don't move, you may stay longer.  

Vesper Sparrow at the Sonoita grasslands
If I am patient, I will find you hiding. 

Chestnut-collared Longspur
If I don't frighten you, perhaps you'll stay longer. 

Pronghorn in the grasslands.  Yes, the vistas are like paintings.  That's why I love the photography bit around these parts
 For you are what brings me to these parts of the world.  

A coyote
 You are why I wake up so early in the morning. You give me a reason to start my day with a smile.

We flush several female Chestnut-collared Longspurs from the grasses
And why I'll continue to wake up....oh-so-early!

The Gadwall are speechless with this raccoon passing them by.  Definitely not a duck.  At Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson
Just so I can see you swim across the pond or....

.....stare back at me.  I am your friend.  I will do no harm. I will keep my distance.

Ruddy Duck at Peña Blanca Lake
And I promise to stand perfectly still so that you can go about your business.  And I promise that I'll always be a responsible wildlife photographer.

Canyon Wren 
I'd like to thank Muriel and Gordon for a fun day out for the first half of this blog.  It's always a pleasure working as part of the team when we are out searching for rare birds. The second half of this blog was done alone just quietly standing in one spot along the path.  My best work usually happens just sitting on a log or bench being patient.  It's not easy:)  

I remember sitting in the front row as one of those crazy fans.  I took this pic at the Phoenix Comicon back in 2011. 

I'd like to dedicate this blog post to a childhood hero of mine.  Star Trek inspires me to this day and Leonard Nimoy was like an extended part of my family for most of my teenage years.  Even as an adult, this guy can be seen in my classroom on a poster as the infamous Mr. Spock.  

I finally meet him in person!
I was fortunate to meet this amazing actor and man back in 2011.  You are and always will be my friend.  Thank you for helping me through those tough years as a kid.  Star Trek changed my life for the better. 


  1. Being able to stand still for a long time is a gift.
    Do you know by the way where the vulcan gesture comes from??

  2. This is beautifully written post illustrated wonderfully as you go through it. All you say is so true and it must have been amazing for you to meet your hero and that is a fantastic shot of both of you. Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Not moving and not scaring, and even then I mostly birds flee. It's nice that we dedicate a post very close to those people. Yours sincerely.

  4. Buen artículo, bonitas fotografías y excelente blog, me he hecho seguidor.
    Saludos cordiales desde España.

  5. Fun times with friends Chris and very sweet bird captures.. I must admit I didn't realise racoon's could swim :) Sad about LM I like to think of him having adventures while traveling space from now on :)

  6. So true that standing still makes us part of nature. That's why I need to be alone because otherwise, as you know, I gab my mouth off.
    Always loved how Star Trek handled the social issues of its time. May have taught a lot of us.

  7. My worst flaw as a photographer is the total inability to be quiet while standing still! Oh what an honor for you to meet Leonard. That's something you can one day tell your grandchildren about!

  8. As always your pictures are amazing. I too will cherish the memory of Spock. Live well and Prosper. Or...
    nI'jaj yInlIj 'ej bIchepjaj nIdjahdj yInlIdj edge bitchehpdjahdj

  9. What lovely memories to share in each part of your post.

  10. I sincerely hope that more people follow your example Chris and learn to observe without being so obtrusive. Quite apart from everything else, you end up seeing SO much more.
    Great dedication by the way :)

  11. Nice post. Sometimes, in the stillness, the world comes to you.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: LLAP

  12. My hubby and I are also huge fans of StarTrek and Leonard Nimoy! RIP

    Love your photos, all of them!

  13. love all your photos chris!
    RIP LN/spock...LLAP!!

  14. I love that first photo.

    I know Leonard Nimoy was so much more than Mr. Spock, but that is what he is best known for. His character was my favorite from Star Trek. While Capt. Kirk was busy making an ass of himself, Spock remained so cool, so logical, but then that was the point, wasn't it?

  15. When Nimoy died, I thought of YOU. I remember how much you loved/love Star Trek. What a loss... Great great actor.

    Looks like you had a great time birding with friends.. AND--you got to see NOT just birds but lots of other wildlife also. I love the Pronghorns... I saw my first one ever in 2012 in Wyoming on the way to Yellowstone...


  16. Gorgeous photos Chris and a lovely tribute to Leonard Nimoy.

    Good to see the Ruddy Duck - over here there has been (very sadly) a massive cull of this species just in case they migrate and hybridise with the endangered European White-headed Duck. Any birders luckily enough to see one these days keep very quiet about the sighting and location.

  17. They sure do a lot of culls over there. Sounds terrible! BUT if this guy is like the Mute Swan over here, I understand. That's good to know! Thanks for sharing:)

  18. I really appreciate this post because this is one of my favourite spots that I have ever birded. Thanks for the memories!

  19. Beautiful series of images of the birds.
    Inconceivable that the raccoon swim between ducks.

  20. Often, with birding, it's all too tempting to move from pillar to post seeking that new or rare bird. Sometimes one just has to force ones self to sit still for a while (sometimes several hours) and let nature come to you. I too have had some of my best birding experiences by doing nothing but observe, staying as still as possible.

    A great post, beautifully illustrated, which makes the point expertly.

    Best wishes - - - Richard

  21. Yes, I loved that man also, RIP.

  22. I just couldn't believe we had lost Leonard Nimoy! I am so glad you got to meet him a few years ago, Chris.

    Your yellow-throated warbler is wonderful! Glad you were able to get the shots this time....and the animals in the field were just wonderful! I laughed out loud over the raccoon in the water. They were so cute sitting on the edge of the water too. I have to get back there! I've always wanted to see the resident bobcat. :-)

    The Harris Hawk hasn't been back to the school area at the end of my road. Perhaps he was passing through to a better area with taller trees for nesting.

  23. I loved the poster and your words about Spock. I think he changed all of our lives in some way, even without us knowing. Some photographers are so intent upon getting the shot that they forget, and intrude upon the life of a bird or wildlife. I think it is best to just sit and let nature come to me. I really like your blog.

  24. Patience is definitely the key! I just love the raccoon shots but they are not any better than the photos of the wonderful birds and other creatures.

  25. Great birds, Chris! And I love the raccoons swimming..

  26. It is amazing what you see when you are still, quiet and patient. Very interesting pictures.

  27. wonderful photos, fellow Trekkie

  28. Chris, I love the emerging poet in you! So sorry about the passing of Spock. I am glad you are finding some birding partners and enjoying the birds.


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