Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another bighorn sighting at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.

The weather was expected to turn cool and it did. Got downright windy also!

About 70 degrees F and about a 20 mph breeze, brrrrrr!!!!!

Folks, I just lost my work so far on this postAngry smile so I will continue this as a pictorial
account of this trip. I did take 2 cameras- a Nikon D70 digital slr with a 70-300
zoom and my new Nikon P510 with the awesome 24-1000mm zoom.

Along the Canyon trail at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, I filmed this 3 minute or so long video, talking again about the GreenPath North transmission lines
which were stopped from coming through the scenic area by local people rising
up in opposition, and about the Ocotillo Express wind facility construction near
Anza-Borrego, which will result in the legal “take” or killing of 10 endangered
peninsula bighorn sheep onsite. Legal in the sense that the USF&WS has ok’d
the slaughter.

For the time being, this area is safe from the forces that would like to destroy it!

Next an unpaid commercial- I can’t begin to describe how delicious it is and
satisfying, to drink this semi-frozen on a hot day! This photo also shows my
big Nikon, notice the huge downed, long dead cottonwood which was astride
the trail!
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What happened? Wrong picture, here it is!
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The foul up above does show the capabilities of the P510, as it has a dedicated
food photography scene setting. There you guy, a free plug for Nikon as well.
Actually after 2 and 1/2 hours on the trail, I was daydreaming about that tasty
Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, let me tell you. I didn’t bring any snacks and was
hiking and picture taking for what ended up being 5 hours.Surprised smile

Surprisingly I ended up crossing paths with about 5 people and 1 dog down on
the trail, a shocking number as I can’t tell you how many times I have been the
only one out there, especially on scorching hot days. I asked these 2 young ladies if they saw any bighorn on the hillsides, and they said that they are just right around the corner literally.
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Click on the photo above and it will open in a new window, and at a larger size. The bighorn are on the left side of the
hill in the foreground. This photo is about what you would see with your own eyes if you had been there.
What follows next will be photos taken with both cameras. The photo above was taken with the Nikon P510. The one below
with the Nikon D70.
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This is a good time to make what some may feel is an unfair comparison
between these 2 fine cameras, one brand new with the latest technology and
one that I bought in January, 2005(the D70.) Unfair in the conclusion I come
to that is. This field trip perfectly illustrated what I felt already would happen,
that the D70 would blow the doors off of the new kid on the block, the P510, as
regards the autofocus capabilities of the lenses and cameras, and the viewfinders. The D70 has a bright optical viewfinder, there was no need to remove the camera from my eye to get an approximate location of the bighorn,
and it locked into focus with a snap, both actions the electronic viewfinder and
the focus mechanism on the new camera, struggled with. I can’t tell you how often I had to remove the P510 from my eye to look for those sheep these last
few trips up.

But the bottom line still is the P510 has a 1000mm optical zoom backed up
with a digital zoom, using interpolation, and mechanical image stabilization.
But if I had longer glass for the D70, between that and the weight
of the camera body, even with my tremor, I believe I would prefer the D70 for
the surer autofocus capabilities, but it would be a lot of work hauling that setup
up and down the hot, dusty trail.
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Above you can see the bighorn are about to come down off the hillside, perhaps to look for water. This was taken with
the D70. In all these shots taken at this time, I had the dial set to close up, and never noticed the mistake. Having said that,
I don’t see any flaws in focus on any of the shots. Amazing!
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The above shot was taken with the P510. As I have said in the past, there is a delay when you push the shutter and
with the tremor, sometimes the framing isn’t quite right, as in this photo. The photo below is from the P510 also.
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Below is another shot from the D70.
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And another.
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Again with the D70.
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What are you looking at? This was also from the D70.
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If the above is clipped on the rightside, and the easy way to tell is whether the whole blog address ends with .com, just
double click and the whole picture will open up in your browser.
Below are a couple more taken with the P510. These were taken on the way back up the trail over 2 and 1/2 hours later. The bighorn had moved way up the hillside beyond the reach of the zoom on the D70. The first photo shows a naked eye view.
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Now zoomed in to the 170 mm.
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Below at the max zoom on the P510.
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From the D70. At maximum zoom, 300 mm.
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And again the D70, these shots taken around the same time frame, after 1430 or so pm.
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After encountering the bighorn on the way down the trail, I continued down
to one of my favorite places and rested a spell under the watchful eye of my old friend, Senor Cottonwood. Then I turned around and hiked back up, taking
my time, looking for more bighorn. It ended up that I only saw the 3 photographed here, but I had hopes that more would appear, they didn’t so
I took photos of other things, such as these flowers.
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These flower photos were both taken with the D70.
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That is the nightshade flower above. Every so often, you hear of someone getting deathly ill or dying after trying
to take a psychedelic trip using this plant, don’t try it!

Below is a redtailed hawk way up in the air caught with the D70 after I was unable to locate it with the P510 viewfinder in
the bright sunshine.
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The above photograph I left large so you can see the bird, it was taken at the max zoom on the D70.

Below is a panorama made using the P510 showing the sheep on the hillside if
you use a magnifying glass. The black border is from my failure to push the button or something.
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The next panorama is my favorite, taken under a shade tree with bright sun outside.

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One more thing I wanted to show you. This photo taken near the marsh shows what may be a blind to hide a camera or other equipment. If anyone knows what it is for, please let me know.
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That’s all for today people. Hope you enjoyed your visit and have a good weekend.

Morongobill

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