Monthly Archives: January 2013

Simply Goats

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A goat sneezes on Dec. 21, 2012 at The Simple Farm in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Simple Farm is a three-acre urban farm nestled in a desert neighborhood in Scottsdale, Arizona. Some discover it when they happen on the organic farmers market held there each Thursday and Saturday. Others volunteer to tend the garden, clean the chicken coop, feed the goats or any other of the numerous tasks required to keep a small organic farm up and running in suburbia.

When I happened on the farm, I was fascinated with the goats, who were all pregnant, except one: Karrie. She was still producing milk for caramels Lylah Ledner,one of the farm’s owners, makes.

Some of the kids are being born right now. Ledner writes updates about the farm and has recently posted some photos and videos of the baby goats. (And I must say, baby goats might be even cuter than kittens.)

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Two goats nuzzle heads on Dec. 21, 2012 at The Simple Farm in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Networking…and a puppy

Today I met up with former National Geographic photographer Phil Schofield to purchase a lens and hear the stories and experiences from his time as a working photographer. It was incredibly inspiring to meet him and know that photojournalists from any time are interested in the same thing: learning about those deeper stories in people’s lives. One thing he told me that I’ll remember is that the stories are what make the photograph come to life.

Taking a peek into his beginnings as a photographer made me light up with joy. He is so humble about his fantastic body of work.

So, I tried out a 28mm lens he was selling in hopes of seeing new scenes in a different sized square. I’m quite happy with the new lens; here is one of the first shots I took on it, a picture of Schofield’s dog dashing through the yard:

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Zombie Apocolypse

So we all know by now that the world didn’t end on Dec. 21, 2012. But zombies still flocked into Ape Index, a climbing gym in Phoenix, AZ to climb a few more routes before humans may have been obliterated for good.

Climbers at the gym wore zombie makeup to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar. I took some pictures I took of one climber who got particularly into transforming his face.

Roger Heyen wore zombie makeup on Dec. 21, 2012 to celebrate the "end of the world."

Roger Heyen wore zombie makeup on Dec. 21, 2012 to celebrate the “end of the world.”

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Roger Heyen climbs an overhanging route at Ape Index on Dec. 21, 2012 at Ape Index. Heyen, 58, has been climbing for about three years.

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Roger Heyen is lowered after completing a climb on Dec. 21, 2012 at Ape Index in Phoenix, AZ. Heyen wore zombie makeup, along with other patrons of the climbing gym, to celebrate the “end of the world.”

Irreplaceable: Surrounded by birds

Two freezing evenings and two chilly mornings in December, I watched thousands of birds take flight at a wildlife refuge in San Antonio, NM. Being surrounded by snow geese flapping into the sky as the sun rises is truly an exhilerating experience that photos can’t really do justice. But tons of people spend their days and lives photographing this natural phenomenon in hopes of capturing the birds in action.

Needless to say, it really does take a long lens to take the most quality photos of the birds, and I felt slightly inadequate for the task with only 105 mm zoom, but I still like the photos I took. I am grateful for the fantastic light that comes with early morning and evening photographing!

As for the birds, a variety of species migrates to the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge each winter. The most recent bird count while I was in the area, on Dec. 14, 2012, counted 38,500 Snow Geese and 7,863 Sandhill Cranes.

Sandhill Cranes feed in a pond on Dec. 18, 2012 in Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes feed in a pond on Dec. 18, 2012 in Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge.

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Sandhill Cranes fly into a pond for the night on Dec. 18, 2012 in Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge.

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Sandhill Cranes fly into a pond for the night on Dec. 18, 2012 in Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge. The birds can live for 20 years or more and can have wingspans of more than five feet wide.

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Snow Geese lift off from a pond as the sun rises on on Dec. 19, 2012 in Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge.

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Tourists watch as snow geese fly through the air the morning of Dec. 19, 2012.

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The morning light makes the trees near the viewing deck over corn fields bright against a stormy sky. Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese feed on grains and insects in the fields during the day.

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Three Snow Geese take flight near a pond on Dec. 19, 2012 in the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge near San Antonio, NM.

I found the image of photographers with super long lenses quite interesting. It almost looks like they are shooting the birds, not with a camera, but with some sort of gun. There’s similar body language at least.

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A photographer shoots Snow Geese as they fly to a pond to sleep for the night on Dec. 19, 2012.

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Snow Geese take flight the morning of Dec. 20, 2012 in Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.