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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Best Shot Ever

I have to update on the state of my foot and some other things, but I just had to post about the best nature experience I have ever had.

I have been into digital photography for about 7 years or so, and I have enjoyed nature photography the entire time. That has intensified the past two years with the acquisition of my current Canon, and I Hve seen a lot of very cool animals and birds as I hiked and walked around taking nature photographs. But today was the most awesome, hands down.

Recently, I have been able to wear a shoe again (New Balance type serious sneakers only) and also walking a bit without crutches or anything. I can only walk a few yards at a time before I have to rest. But I can drive so I cruised up to one of my favorite photo spots, the UCSC Arboretum. Summer is bird breeding season (I know, I’m such a bird nerd) and I was anxious to get a few shots of the many hummingbirds I knew would be about.

I got there right when they opened at 9am and walked, sat, and photographed for about 45 minutes. I was getting tired, but I had gotten some awesome hummingbird shots already and was ready to head back toward the car. Since I can only walk a little bit at a time, I was using every opportunity to sit and was pretty much resting on every bench. This was kind of cool because it forced me to see the familiar paths in a different way. I also had to sit and let the birds come to me, instead of hiking around looking for them.

I was resting on a bench in an area where I haven’t spent much time but where I have gotten good shots of hummingbird and quail in the past. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw what I though was a medium sized terrier type dog carrying something like a piece of clothing or a rag. I started freaking out, thinking that someone let their dog out in the arboretum or that this was a weird sick dog or something. But soon I realized it wasn’t a dog.(click to view large)

MOST AWESOME ENCOUNTER EVER!

He slowed, but didn’t stop, and passed about 15 feet from me going down the trail. As you can see, he gave me a “what are YOU doing here?” look as he passed. I can’t believe I got the photo capture.

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