Tag Archives: Nature Photography

Can You Swim, Eat And Dry Your Hair?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (twitter@  WarriorTales)

One reason I went into the Army is I can’t swim for beans. Do a mean dog paddle or glide? Yes. Breast stroke? No.  So when I saw this clip from the “Nature” television show with sea otters not only eating and swimming, but a momma otter blowing her baby’s hair dry and swimming, so impressive.

I can barely dry my hair standing on dry land, let alone swimming. Might be an electrical issue with the whole power cord thing too. That’s why those warning labels are on hair dryers because you know some idiot tried it. Once.

Watch these otters in action courtesy of the robot “Spy Otter” who snuck up and got these papparazi shots of the sea otters.

Have a great, safe, weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!



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Time To Wander In The Woods?

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Since today is Election Day, I decided it was time for a mosey on one of my favorite trails along the Metolius River in Camp Sherman, Oregon. We can all do with a pause that refreshes given the past eighteen months.

Picked out five pictures I took the end of September to share the peace, quiet and beauty of a nice stroll through the woods along a fly fishing only river.


We started out late in the day and the golden light began to make an appearance. Smell the fresh air.


I love this simple path through the woods which runs alongside the river. It makes me calm down just by looking at it again.




The sound of the water moving along and the slight breeze of wind through the trees. 


Now we are headed back to the trailhead, but I can’t resist looking behind me and snapping another picture as the light continues to fade.


So when life gets a little crazy I can dream about relaxing in the little gazebo in the campground on the other side of the river.   

This calming interlude brought to you by Mother Nature, the State of Oregon, the town of Camp Sherman and the U.S. Forest Service. Relax and enjoy the views!




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Cranky Or Kind Seagull?

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Back to the beach! Looking at my pics from our early August beach trip, I’m always surprised with what I see afterwards. Take this normal seagull. I took five pictures of him doing his feather cleaning and then a couple of him/her looking out to sea.

Five. Looking closer at the pictures when I got them on my computer, I noticed one photo of a nice, normal kind of happy looking seagull. Fluffy, pretty, bright colors.


Normal seagull guy on the rocks. So to speak.


Then I looked at the other four and saw the feather cleaning shot, couldn’t see his/her face. Then when I looked closer at the final three, I spotted this. Cranky seagull. Or is that just my imagination?

Checked the rest of the photos and three of the five are cranky gull. It almost seems like he knows what I’m doing and he’s not happy being a victim of the paparazzi. Maybe he is a celebrity seagull?


Cranky seagull! It’s the mouth right?


The best advice when taking photos is take as many as you want; you never know what will show up. When I went on a Europe camping trip for three months in 1983, I took 70 rolls of film; one for each day of the trip. Ended up selling a few rolls to my Autotours EX57 buddies, but I used most of them. When in doubt, take the photo.

Then be prepared for something to happen you couldn’t have arranged in a million years. Like this crazy person walking out onto the sea cliff across the bay from me at the same time a small boat was headed toward the harbor. Imagine!


You cannot plan this stuff, so you have to be ready to take the photo.


If it had been earlier or later in the day, the lack of glaring sun would’ve made the colors deeper. But short of hiring people to stand out on rocks, we have to take what pops up in front of us. Literally.

So always be prepared with extra memory cards and backup batteries. There may be a cranky seagull in your future.

Photo on!



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You Wanted The Harbor Seal IN The Photo?

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Spent a wonderful weekend with family at the beach the first weekend in August. Went on a walk to enjoy the great weather and stalk snoozing harbor seals with the camera.


Mom getting out of the ocean on her own rock away from kid or suitor? I’m not sure which. 


Since we got a late start after sleeping in, the bright sun after 10 a.m. washes out colors but harbor seals don’t go by my preferred photo shoot schedule. They have naps to take.


Kid/suitor slips away into the ocean and this seal looks like it’s a challenge to get up on the rock. I know that feeling so well.  


Once again my trusty little Canon PowerShot ELPH340HS was up to the task. However, wearing a baseball cap would have helped keep the glare from the sun off the viewfinder frame. But patience and timing is everything when it comes to photos, plus taking good and bad photos too.


This is what happens when you are try to hold an ELPH camera by hand at full zoom and then breathe. The seal disappears and only the tail is found, far right. Cute tail!


Turns out I took about 180 photos over the course of the two hour walk, most of them of seals. Some photos had only parts of seals and some had no seals since I couldn’t see what I was shooting in the sun glare. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Even a seal can’t seem to find peace from kids, suitors or rock crashers. Somebody always wants your rock. Sigh.


Had three groups to concentrate on; young pups playing in the ocean, the adults lazing on the rock and one intrepid seal who I think was trying to get away from the kids on her own rock. This series of photos were shot over thirteen minutes, with a bunch of other not so great ones.


And All’s Well That Ends Well as Shakespeare would say. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Now I need to go find a warm rock to nap on myself.

Taking pictures of wildlife from harbor seals to birds and even Spec Ops Cat is similar to taking sports photos; you’ve got to be quick and keep clicking away. Sometimes the harbor seal escapes the photo and other times you get lucky with a gem of a shot.

Practice makes almost perfect when it comes to photos, besides that whole breathing problem thing trying to keep the camera level.

Get outside and start taking action pics today!





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Is That A Rock Or A Sheep?

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Photography is one of my true passions and I was thinking about the photos I didn’t use in my blog last year. Thought I’d give you a peak at a very fun experience I had with my buddy Joann, aka Gate Girl, while we were on our way out to the thunderegg beds last September.


What I saw from the car.


Gate Girl can spot any animal at 1,000 yards, I swear. She can also tell me what fashion accessory they might be wearing. A hunter and country girl, she is always asking me to see stuff I can never find with my challenged eyeballs. So concentrating fully on the rutted dirt road to get us to the mining beds, this was my first alert.

“Sheep! Big Horn Sheep!”

Since I didn’t see any standing right in front of me on the road, I turned to see her pointing directly left.  I could see a desert slope, some trees, rocks. No sheep.

“Look, right there!” she exclaimed.

I pulled Subie over to the right side of the one-lane road and proceeded to scan. Nothing. Then I grabbed my first ELPH camera and went full zoom. Maybe a brown something, Might have legs. Dug around in the other bag and grabbed out the newer ELPH camera with the longer zoom. By jiminy, brown sheep things!

“I think that’s a rock,” she added at the large clump next to one of the sheep in my viewfinder. “It moved!”


Aka the rock, Barbary Coast Sheep. Not moving.


Besides almost throwing the camera over my head at that outburst, I tried to find the moving brown rock with my Canon Powershot ELPH 340HS point and shoot. Given the camera is the size of a deck of cards and doesn’t have a zoom lens to balance in my left hand like the 35mm, I tried not to get seasick at the same time.

I managed to find the rock, er sheep, focused and took several shots. They started to move; sheep are such unreliable models that way. At the end of the short time before they ran off, I took 23 photos and waved three cars past who were blocking my view. They had no clue there were sheep.


Big guy and one of his harem. Wow.


Back at the Richardson’s Rock Ranch gift shop we asked about the sheep. The family brought six of the Barbary Coast Sheep over from Africa about five years ago and now they had close to 200. They are not for hunting, just amazing animals on the ranch.

And I got to see them because of Eagle Eyes Gate Girl and my zoom lens. Never leave home without it. Priceless! Got zoom?


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