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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grape guard

A jumping spider clings to a raindrop coated grape ripening in a small private vineyard on a farm near Roseburg, on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rain brings the critters

Our long dry summer came to an end this week in southwestern Oregon. With the damp weather come the moisture loving critters.

A large Pacific sideband snail slides over a colorful fall leaf in a wooded area on our ranch in southwestern, Ore., on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.

A large Prionus beetle displays powerful mandibles  as it climbs on a moss covered fence rail in a wooded area on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. The larvae of Prionus beetles feed on the roots of trees and shrubs. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Grumpy kitty

Tansy showed up at our ranch with a matted coat and an abscessed front leg in February. It's now about 7 months later and her hair has grown back, but she still looks grumpy.
After some doctoring and a shave she looked like one angry kitty. 
At her grumpiest. She's actually a sweet cat, but with a few behavioral difficulties.

Painful bites

It's my spider photo in The Week. Sometimes by obsession with bugs and macro photography pays off. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Frog eye

A bullfrog floats in a cattle watering trough on a ranch near Roseburg, Ore., on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Bullfrogs are considered to be an invasive species in the western United States.

I photographed this same frog yesterday, but today it was less shy and I was able to get nice and close. The bottom plate on my Nikon D4 got a little wet on this one.
The photo agency I work with ( featured the photo in their Pictures of the Day gallery.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Watering trough frog

A bullfrog clings to a blackberry vine as it floats in a cattle watering trough on our ranch in southwestern Oregon, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. Bullfrogs are considered to be an invasive species in the western United States. Bullfrogs notorious for eating just about any living animal which will fit down their throats.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Smile, it's a Jerusalem cricket

A Jerusalem cricket looks over a dried grass stem as it climbs on a moss covered log on a forested hillside near Elkton. The large insects are native to the western United States and Mexico. While Jerusalem crickets are not venomous they can emit a foul smell and are capable of inflicting a painful bite if handled.
I guess this was a friendly one. No stink and no bites.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fruit harvest

I spent the day harvesting about 10,000 pounds of Moyer prune plums. I made a short video of the process.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Proud Elders

I was looking for a DVD case and found an unlabeled CD. I put it in the drive and I found some old images from 2005 from when I worked at the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. This one caught my eye. I used the photoshop "oil paint" filter and now it's a piece of art. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fruit bandit

I found a cute little skunk lurking in the orchard tonight. He was probably picking up fallen fruit before we gave each other a fright. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The buzz, buzz, buzz

A honey bee feeds on a blooming leek plant in the garden of a home near Roseburg, Ore., on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Honey bees take nectar and pollen from flowers to make honey back in their hive. According to research by bee specialists, it takes 12 worker bees their entire lives to leave behind one teaspoon of honey. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The best cat in the world (again)

My cat "Scooter" plays in the freshly mower prune plum orchard on our ranch in southwester Oregon near Roseburg. He may be the best cat in the world.

Put your paw in the air like you just don't care!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Shall we pray?

A praying mantis climbs a tree limb in an orchard on a farm near Elkton, Ore., on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. Mantises are strictly predatory and are considered beneficial by most gardeners and farmers.

Shot with my amazing Nikon 105 Af-S VR f/2.8 lens.

Hee Haw!

PATTY WILGUS, left, and TERRY CHOIDO portray donkeys during a  production of the Echoes of the Umpqua community pageant in Elkton, Ore., on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. The pageant has been produced and  performed by members of the small southwestern Oregon town of Elkton every summer for the past 10 years.