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I spent two glorious days at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, thanks to Julee at Mt Adams Lodge for inviting me to lead a group of people on a bird walk.

It felt delicious to catch a sunrise without rolling out of bed at 3am to arrive in time.

During my preview tour of the refuge, I spotted a trio of Northern Harrier Fledglings.

It was delightful watching them practice take-off and landing in a field off Laurel Road.

On my preview and the walking tour, we found Four-Spot Skimmers ~ no they are not birds, but wonderful creatures with wings.

There were plenty of Western Bluebirds actively feeding families in nest boxes.

A few Western Kingbirds could be seen on fence and utility wires.

A Hairy Woodpecker high in a snag.  We decided he was still learning the ways of the world as he scrambled his way to the top.

American Kestrel on a wire off the main highway.

Bunny Rabbit!!!

Western Meadowlarks were plentiful, I love their song.

We heard Sandhill Cranes, but they didn’t venture close to us.

Cliff Swallow fledglings begged for food from their parents and each other.

Saw a herd of Rocky Mountain Elk shortly after sunrise while driving around the refuge before our after-breakfast-bird-walk.

Ruffled feathers on this Western Bluebird from feeding all his babies?!!

Tri-colored Blackbird sitting on a refuge sign begged to have his portrait taken.

I found Fireweed in several spots around the refuge, Community Forests and Mt Adams Lodge.

I’m not quite comfortable identifying warblers, but I am pretty sure this IS a warbler!

There were Mariposa Lilies growing in several spots.

Eastern Kingbirds were in their ‘usual locations’ on the refuge.

Another Western Meadowlark singing for me.

Common Yellowthroats were also seen in several places on the refuge and beyond.

Red-winged Blackbird mom heading back to her nest to feed the kids.

I found Common Paintbrush in a couple of spots on Kreps Road.

Lucky me to see this deer with TRIPLETS!  I could not stop and grab my camera fast enough!!  Glad no one was behind me on the road!!

I have a great butterfly book, but I couldn’t find this butterfly in it.  If you know the identity, please share!

I happened upon this Twelve-spot Skimmer!

I was given a lead that this Western Wood Pewee had a nest near the viewing platform on the Willard Springs Trail but no one in my group could find it.  He entertained us as we searched for his nest with our binoculars.

Spotted a few Dark-eyed Juncos during our walk.

An unidentifiable (to me) hummingbird resting as we hiked by.

Late in the afternoon this Tiger Lily glowed against the dark forest background.

An American Robin watched us watching him as we walked the trail.

This Red-breasted Sapsucker fledgling was so cute but alas wasn’t there when I took the group back to his neighborhood.

Yet another Four-spot Skimmer ~ aren’t they beautiful?!!  They were a golden glow in sunlight.

Tree Swallows are in many of the nest boxes along the Willard Springs Trail.

Group photo taken by Carya Meacham Bair from the bird walk event sponsored by Mt Adams Lodge.

I think a Sunset over Mt Adams on the refuge is a good closing photo.  A fabulous time was had by all!

My next several posts will spotlight a major undertaking that used ALL my time this spring and early summer.  I can’t wait to share it with you, but will take some time to organize my thoughts and photos….stay tuned!

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Yes, its June, but I’m playing ‘catch-up’ today and I wanted to ‘plug’ an upcoming event!!  I’m leading a bird walk at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge thanks to an invitation from Julee at Mt Adams Lodge!  Saturday, July 1st right after breakfast at the Lodge.  Hope you can join me!

Thanks to a lead that Pintail Ducks were at ‘Pintail Lake’ I went up to the refuge in spite of the dark & dreary April day.

Lucky me, I found a huge herd of ELK.  I counted over 40!

Later that morning I saw the herd running through a marshy field while I searched for Sandhill Cranes.

The raven looked very black against a gray sky…wouldn’t a BLUE sky have been better??!!!

Red-winged blackbirds are so melodious, I love them and they were everywhere!

I also found a pile of snakes!  This one let me grab his portrait.

 

Swallows were building nests underneath a bridge.

Brewer’s Blackbird…

Northern Flicker….

Western Meadowlark….

I was surprised to find a Wilson’s Snipe!

And some birds we could see on our July 1st birdwalk, that I’ve seen during this time of year:  Yellow-headed Blackbird

Spotted Sandpiper

Eastern Kingbird

Western Tanager

Sandhill Crane

Cedar Waxwing

Maybe we’ll see dragonflies!  I know we’ll see a lot more than I’ve shown you here.  Join me!!   Mt Adams Lodge Saturday July 1st right after breakfast in Glenwood WA, at the base of Mt Adams!

No experience necessary, just your curiosity, willingness to take a walk looking for birds in a beautiful place.  Binoculars &/or your camera are good things to have with you.

 

 

 

My Last Art Show

October 18, 2016

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I’ve had a long and wonderful journey with art from painting to fiber to glass with photography along every step of the way.  A year or two ago I announced my retirement from teaching and selling art supplies.  My announcement this year is the end of weekend art shows.  Yes.  This is the last one.  I’ve sold my work at weekend art shows since I was sixteen years old.  This. Is. The. Last.  If you’re in the region I hope you’ll come out & snap up the last of my glasswork.  I’ll be at the first spot on the map below:

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200 SW Edgecliff, at my friend Ann Fleming’s studio.  I’ll still play with art but just for myself, just for fun, and when I’m in the mood…probably only on rainy days.  I’ll still be out in the field trying to capture wildlife with my camera, and will print on demand instead of speculation.  Most of my images will always be available for you to order on paper, canvas or metal in most standard sizes.

This weekend, October 21 – 23; Friday – Sunday from 11am until 5pm.  Come say hello, support our local artists!

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I went to BirdFest at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate the end of September and beginning of October.

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Thrilled to be there, I was in a small group that watched Sandhill Cranes fly into their roost on Friday night.  Lucky me, I went back the following morning to watch them fly out.

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We stood as silently as possible in a blind, after finding ‘the best spot’ for viewing.  As the lights dimmed the cranes began to fly in.  I zoomed in to isolate a few here and there.

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While waiting for the next group to fly in, I watched a Snowy Egret working the shoreline.

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‘Wheels’ down.  Coming in for a landing.

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The sky changed color as the sun went down and family after family of cranes arrived for the night.  The sound was breath-taking.

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A couple of times ALL the birds in this area swarmed up and out, then resettled.  Awesome. Incredible. Fantastic. Amazing.  None of these words fully express the feeling or sounds.

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Sandhill Cranes like this marshy area, surrounded by water that keeps them safe from predators.  A few of us saw a coyote walk by the blind when we arrived the next morning.  Sorry, too dark, my camera would not cooperate in spite of my pleading for that shot!

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Each family unit ~ 2 adults and 1 to 3 colts ~ flies in and out together.  Here comes another!

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As the night got darker, my ISO turned higher, but my shutter speed couldn’t keep up with all the activity.  I like this shot anyway ~ shall we call it ‘artsy’?

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Between incoming groups of cranes it was fun watching other birds like this Yellowlegs foraging for an evening meal.

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A Great Egret also flew over, joining his tribe behind the cranes.

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Saturday morning we woke early and headed back to watch the Sandhills leave their roost.

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Again in a small group, we huddled quietly in a blind and waited for the show to begin.  The birds began taking off before the sun came up.

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Watching the cranes fly against this magical sky while listening to their song….I felt as though we could be in a PBS nature show.

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Except we WERE there, right in the midst of a cinematic show filled with beautiful birds taking off in glorious light!

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High ISO = grainy shot, but this is one portion of our morning view just after the first few groups of cranes flew out.  I hope to make a panorama of the entire lagoon filled with 500 or more Sandhill Cranes.

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As the light changed I had a clearer view of the cranes and their flight patterns.

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Did I already say they were amazing to watch?  They were A-mazing!! You can sense the power in their wings.

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Young Sandhill Cranes remain with parents for 9-10 months, accompanying them in migration.

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One of my favorite birds, they mate for life.

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As it got lighter, the background landscape became prettier too.

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Last little family left.  Two adults, two colts.  What a fabulous experience.

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Cranes live an average of 20 years in the wild, and generally have 1 to 2 colts per year.  Photo above is at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge where I was lucky to observe their courting dance.  You can distinguish adults from juveniles by the red on an adult’s head.

Sandhill Cranes nest in freshwater wetlands and are the oldest known bird species in the world.  They have an average weight of 10 pounds, a wingspan of 5 to 7 feet and are approximately 4 feet tall.  Omnivorous, their diet varies with location and season. They eat insects, roots of aquatic plants, rodents, snails, frogs, lizards, snakes, nestling birds, berries, seeds, and cultivated grains like corn.

Sources if you’re interested in reading more about my favorite bird:  Audubon, Nature Conservancy, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Wikipedia, and National Wildlife Federation.  Oh there’s more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you!

 

 

Final Postcard Front

I have so many adventures to tell you about but time keeps slipping away!  I must stay home this week to prepare for Art in the Gorge.  18 artists showing our work downtown Hood River at 301 Oak (Third and Oak) in a Pop-Up art show on July 1, 2, and 3!  Open hours 11 am until 7 pm Friday & Saturday; 11 am until 5 pm Sunday.  First Friday in Hood River will be Fabulous!!  Arrive early for easy parking.

A few of the newest prints I’ll have in my booth will give you a glimpse of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to the past few weeks:

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Sea Turtle on the North Shore of Oahu

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White-headed Woodpecker nestling with Mama

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Moonrise on Kauai

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Strawberry Moon, Summer Solstice Full Moon 2016

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…and this year’s crop of Eaglets!

I’ll have all-occasion greeting cards and prints on paper, metal and canvas.  My art glass earrings, bracelets and a few other small items will also be available.

If you’re interested in my larger work I plan to re-stock my on-line boutique soon.  Most images that I share here can be printed in any size.  You can always contact me for an appointment if you’re in the area.

Come see me and my fellow artists  July 1, 2, and 3 downtown Hood River at 301 Oak.  


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Two weeks from tonight ‘Fine Feathered Friends’ opens at Columbia Arts in Hood River, Oregon.  The artists reception is from 6 until 9pm on First Friday, March 6th.  Hope you’ll join us to see the work of 15 artists inspired by our theme ‘Fine Feathered Friends’.

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My favorite bird shots will be on display and for sale at the show.  My other favorites (because I have too many) are available to purchase as soon as I get them listed in my shop!  Or if you can’t wait, you can always let me know what you like and I’ll order it for you!!

Steider Studios.Sunrise.2.18.15Until then I’m entertaining & inspiring myself by getting outdoors.  I love nature and the Columbia River Gorge has been ever so beautiful lately.

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Here are a few of my favorites from this last week or so.  Went back to find the leucistic Great Blue Heron just after sunrise.

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Saw my first Hummingbird of the year at Bingen Marina!

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Also watched a little Swan action at Bingen Marina.

Steider Studios.Night Heron.HR Marina.2.14.15Finally got a good shot of a Night Heron at Hood River Marina.

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Parked under this Red-tailed Hawk in Glenwood.

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Gazed at Conboy Lake on the refuge for a while on a beautiful blue-sky day.

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Followed a herd of Robins at Conboy National Wildlife Refuge.  Yep, it was a herd.

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More Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge gazing on a misty morning.

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Watched an American White Pelican bathing in the Deschutes River.

And more…..but that’s enough for now.  Don’t forget, come to my opening, First Friday at Columbia Arts in Hood River!!

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January has been crazy busy driving up and down the Columbia River chasing Eagles and Herons with an occasional foray to Conboy and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuges.  Today I drove above the cloud/haze/inversion to grab some vitamin D in the form of SUNSHINE at Lost Lake!

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What a special surprise to capture this lone Otter fishing.  The lake had a layer of ice, so the Otter had to break through the ice to surface with his prize.  In this photo, you can see chunks of ice near his ‘elbow’ as he munches on his catch.

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With each ‘catch’, he climbed onto the ice and ate, then dove back for more.

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Is this a crawfish he’s eating?  It was so quiet on the lake, he didn’t notice us until we went crashing through the brush, trying to keep up with him as he swam away.

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I’m making a big effort to really learn my camera better and use it to its fullest potential.  In that light, I had a little fun with some experimental ‘blurred motion’ shots of the gorgeous surrounding forest before we left.

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The pictures I haven’t shown you between my last post and this one (because I’ve run from one adventure to the next with no stops between) are on my Facebook Page, ‘Steider Studios’.  I try to post a daily photo of what I am lucky to see here in the Gorge, or regionally on the occasions when I leave my mountain top.

Many more fun events are coming up.

Sunday, Feb 1st is the group ‘bird walk’.  We may go to the Maryhill or Columbia Hills area – let me know if you want to join us & I’ll let you know where & when to meet.

Feb 12 – 15 I’ll be in Klamath Falls for Winter Wings Festival, photographing everything I see while I’m there!

Sunday, March 1st is another group bird walk.

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First Friday, March 6th my show, “Fine Feathered Friends” opens at Columbia Arts and runs through March 30th.  Co-curator Robin Panzer and I have put together a fabulous month of events for your enjoyment in addition to 16 artists presenting their artwork!  Many of our artists will demonstrate their process during the month and we’ll have an interactive display on loan from Conboy National Wildlife Refuge.  On Mar 7th come see Raptors, live in the theater at Columbia Arts!  Mar 14 you can paint a birdhouse in the studio.  Mar 21st, enjoy a fashion show of feathery tattoos and a tattoo demonstration.  Mar 28 join us for a short hike up the Hood River stairs into an older neighborhood to see and learn about our resident birds with field biologist, Cathy Flick.

I keep thinking I’ll have plenty of time to tell you everything, but when the sun is out or eagles are flying, or an opportunity for fun presents itself….I’m going out to play!  Maybe I’ll see you out there!!

 

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