Friday, February 11, 2011

Photographing nature from the window of my pickup.

One of my “Face Book” friends looked at some of my photographs and made a kind comment as follows; “How do you just happen to be at the right spot at the right time for all of your awesome pics?” My comment back was that my wife tells me that I spend way too much time looking around when I am driving. I consider myself a safe driver, but I do tend to look for cool stuff on the side of the road. Nature is happening all around us all the time. I am afraid that many of us get so wrapped up in our lives that we miss a lot of beautiful stuff. With this thought in mind, I decided to perform a little experiment. I gave myself a photo assignment. What wonderful things could I see and photograph, from the window of my pickup, in three hours. I started with the Hurricane fields and went as far as Cedar Valley. I have to admit that I surprised myself a little. Not only did I see some wonderful sights, but I actually took some photos that I am happy with. See what you think.

Rough-legged hawk-2.jpg

This is a very dark rough-legged hawk.  So dark in fact that I wondered if it was a young bald eagle when I first saw it.

Rough-legged hawk-1.jpg

What a beautiful bird.  They are recognizable by the dark chest feathers.

Northern harrier-1.jpg

This Northern Harrier is a common sight in agricultural areas.  They can be seen flying low over the grass, looking for rodents to eat.  They are also called Marsh hawks at times.

Northern harrier-2.jpg

They can be identified by the facial feathers that form a disk.  Many owls have these facial discs as well.  They improve the birds hearing by funneling sound to the ears.

Bryce National Park-4.jpg

I have to admit that this is my favorite of the day.  I have always admired Bald eagles.  This one in Cedar Valley let me get quite close.  Not too bad for shooting from my truck.  This photograph was in Friday, February 11th  Spectrum newspaper.

Just a word of advice.  If you are going to take photos from a vehicle, make sure that you turn off the engine.  The vibrations can cause your image to be less sharp than it should be.  Even with fast shutter speeds.

I really enjoyed my three hour tour (apologies to Gilligan's Island).  I saw much more cool stuff that I was not able to photograph.  I intend to make this a regular assignment.  Try it yourself and see what you think.  Meanwhile, let me know what you think of the images.


  1. These are gorgeous as usual, Lynn!

  2. The lighting on all of these is superb!

  3. Thanks Jen and Jeff for the kind words. Winter light can be fair just about all day. The Harrier photos were taken about 11 am or so. Thanks for commenting .