Turtle Time!

The river was really flowing today, about 23,000 cfs, which is 10 times more water than 2 weeks ago. That also means the water is about 8 feet deeper than normal, and many areas what were land 2 weeks ago are now under water...My friend Paul Sayegh didn’t want me paddling alone on the river when it was that high, so he decided to come too. I am not sure if that means he is a good friend or just as crazy as me.

Turtles were the one species that was abundant today. We must have seen at least 50 different turtles sunning them selves. Unfortunately, the majority of turtles in the river are not native to our area.  The Red-eared Slider, the turtles you may have had as a kid, are the most common.  Many people have released their “pet” turtles over the years and now there are thousands of them in the river. We saw many of them today, along with one new non-native species that I have never noticed before, the Pond Slider. And we did manage to see two different individuals of the local turtle, the Western Pond Turtle.  Read the whole story and see more pictures.

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Out of Focus or Not?

...I took a closer look at 2 images that I thought were out of focus, trying to determine what went wrong. Once I enlarged the images I discovered they were not out of focus but that the fog cloud had shifted and the sun projected the shadow of the tree onto the fog. If you notice the tree behind the shadow is in good focus...

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Blackbird Singing

I liked this pose the best because it looks like the bird is watching me as it sings. Getting down to eye level with the bird created a great interaction but that caused me to include some of the sky. Since it was an overcast day with high clouds and a white sky I had to expose a bit dark, so I would not overexpose the sky, which caused the bird to come out too dark....Watch the video to see how easy it was to fix these problems all in the raw processor.

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High Water Day

Whenever the river is running high it is more difficult to find and photograph wildlife. Part of the reason is areas that were shallow and good fishing areas for wading birds are now deep under water. This weekend was one such a time.

When this happens I try and go to areas out of the main channels of the river, more into back bays and lagoons. But even these areas are about 5 feet deeper than normal and a lot of the wildlife gets displaced. One of the species that seems to do better under these conditions is beaver...Read more and see more images below.

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LEWIS KEMPER is widely recognized as a photographer, writer, and instructor, lecturing throughout the United States. To learn more, click here.