Category Archives: SHOT FROM THE FILE

Red-necked Grebe – Mirrored On The Water

Mirrored On The Water

Mirrored On The Water

     The other day I went out to photograph one of my favorite subjects, the Osprey.  While waiting for a Fish Hawk to show up, this handsome member of the grebe clan, the Red-necked Grebe, appeared on the scene.  At first glance it was too far away to attempt a shot.  After a short while the long-necked bird came in fairly close to where I was sitting.  Apparently curiosity got the best of the creature and that gave me the opportunity to make the capture.  The reflection mirrored on the water was a nice addition.

~ Anecdote and Red-necked Grebe capture, Mirrored On The Water © Jerry L. Ferrara

Giraffe – What You Really Can’t See

What You Really Can't See

What You Really Can’t See

What you really can’t see
Is all the rest of me
For what is hidden here
Someone might find so dear
A long and gangly neck
That looks quite circumspect
Spindly legs that hold
A rotund body bold
Full sight of a Giraffe
Just makes all want to laugh

~ Poem and Giraffe capture, What You Really Can’t See © Jerry L. Ferrara

Fish Hawk – Across The Canvas

Across The Canvas

Across The Canvas

     As the sun slipped slowly over the rigid rim of the highest hills, it cast its golden glow on the lake below and a vague veil lifted gently from the water’s impassive face.  The light and the mist provided a backdrop of incomparable splendor as a Fish Hawk painted a surreal path across the canvas.

~ Anecdote and Fish Hawk capture, Across The Canvas © Jerry L. Ferrara

Black-backed Jackal, Spotted Hyena – Eye-To-Eye

Eye-To-Eye

Eye-To-Eye

     Death paid a grisly visit to East Africa’s Crater Highlands and in its roiling wake a zebra’s spirit was released to the universe.  This set the stage for a seemingly endless retinue of “takers” all arriving to engage in the age-old drama of energy transfer.  It was but a transitory point on a fluid linear time scale, embroiled inside a Gordian knot located on the savanna’s multi-dimensional web of life.

     In one subset of the sequence of events an unruly pack of Black-backed Jackals relentlessly rived the equine remains, stripping flesh from bone.

     Suddenly all canine heads abruptly rose to attention and the boisterous band of brigands paused pregnantly from their meal.  What caught their attention was chillingly sinister in its approach.  A Spotted Hyena had entered the stage.

     Within seconds the powerfully-built scavenger deposited itself at the side of the carcass.  Insolently the wild pack of dogs maintained their position while an insistent hyena and an equally resolute jackal glared eye-to-eye.

~ Anecdote and Black-backed Jackal, Spotted Hyena capture, Eye-To-Eye © Jerry L. Ferrara.  Image recorded in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, Africa.

Burrowing Owl – Getting A Leg Up

Getting A Leg Up

Getting A Leg Up

     For this juvenile Burrowing Owl, getting a leg up on the day merely involved a session of early-morning calisthenics.  All kidding aside, the diminutive owl had just exited its subterranean den and was performing numerous comfort movements in the early desert sunlight.  It was a member of a gang of six fledglings successfully hatched and being reared by a pair of adults … both parents participate in nurturing their young.  It was a great joy and privilege to watch this elfin-like family grow over many months of “capturing” them.

~ Anecdote and Burrowing Owl capture, Getting A Leg Up © Jerry L. Ferrara

North Idaho Scenic – Pacific Palouse

Pacific Palouse

Pacific Palouse

     There are some places on the planet that deeply touch the soul. For me, the rolling hills, flowing lines and rhapsodic visual presentation of the Palouse is such a region…the Pacific Palouse.

Calm is your state, oh mighty Palouse.
Your ridges and rifts flow tranquil and loose.
Smooth and still your demeanor serene.
Irenic a face present do you seem.
Pacific Palouse so stilly with ease.
You’re such a place of solitude and peace.

~ Poem and image, Pacific Palouse © Jerry L. Ferrara. Inspired during a sojourn to the Palouse region of Idaho and Washington.

Desert Tortoise – All Tuckered Out

All Tuckered Out

All Tuckered Out

     For this Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, a well-deserved break seemed in order as the creature’s gaping yawn indicated it was all tuckered out … especially after an active morning of foraging.   I spent a spring and early summer rambling through Southern California’s Mojave Desert recording the slow-moving reptiles’ lifestyle and behavior.  Tortoise natural history is fascinating.   This image was recorded on a late summer’s morning as the intensity of heat began to rise.   The tortoise had spent the relatively cooler hours of the early day feeding on vegetation and wildflowers.   As ambient temperatures climb, tortoises seek shade to escape the warmth and maintain cooler body temperatures.  If day temps become hot enough, the creatures retreat to their subterranean burrows.   This affable-looking guy eventually moved to its underground den.

~ Anecdote and Desert Tortoise capture, All Tuckered Out © Jerry L. Ferrara

Long-billed Curlew – The Promise

The Promise

This Long-billed Curlew, the largest of North America’s shorebirds, was caught early one Texas morning along with its doppelgänger.

The Promise

     The morning was subdued and gentle.  It arrived without haste in increments that were imperceptible … until it was just there.  The wind was notably absent, so the air had no vitality and the placid backwater’s calm veneer boasted to the open sky of how it would grasp all that came near.  As the Long-billed Curlew rested on the rocky spit, its likeness was held captive and the promise was kept.

So the water told the sky
I will seize all who come nigh,
and their spirits I’ll hold tight
’til the darkness of the night.

~ Anecdote, poem and Long-billed Curlew capture, The Promise © Jerry L. Ferrara

Western Tanager – A Palette of Color

A Palette of Color

A Palette of Color

     Sitting on our back porch the other day after mowing the grass and doing some outside chores, a palette of color dropped by in the form of a male Western Tanager.  This time of year the stunningly-variegated males belt out their robin-like songs from deep in the forest canopy and are more often heard than observed.  The Western Tanager is a regular spring and summer visitor to our North Idaho area, and commonly breed here, also.  Their winter haunts pull them away from Idaho, south, to Mexico and Central America.

     I let the “palette of color” know he and his family are welcome to feast on this year’s bounty of cherries, and to take plenty of wasps, grasshoppers and ants…but, please leave the bees alone.

~ Anecdote and Western Tanager capture, A Palette of Color © Jerry L. Ferrara

Osprey – Predator Supreme

Predator Supreme

Predator Supreme

     It is an expression of power … it is grace, it is focus and finesse … aerial nimbleness.  The elegance of the hunt is supple, athletic, concentrated, and determined.  The Osprey is a Predator Supreme.

~ Anecdote and Osprey capture, Predator Supreme © Jerry L. Ferrara