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Sunday, August 6, 2017

A little progress

Worked really hard with my camera today. I've come to the conclusion that my new camera is just more light sensitive than my old Rebel. With help from friends and testing Av settings over and over, I am finally able to take decent shots in Av. That's progress. I removed the extender just to eliminate one possible variable.

Practiced a long time on flowers. They're stationary and pretty easy, but I deleted all those. Then went to odes to try my luck. They're not plentiful, but I managed to locate a few. By lowering the ISO way down to 250 (on all these ode shots) I was able to get this one without blowing it out, and still have a decent shutter speed (1/750), without doing anything to the exposure compensation. (Fstop/8 on all these photos) That makes it easier for me to switch between birds and insects if I don't have to change multiple settings. Have lost many a shot that way.

Common Whitetail
On this next shot, I messed up some. I may have shot it in manual mode, don't remember, but definitely not blown out. It was a more difficult shot anyway, what with the shadows etc. But by lowering the exposure compensation to -1, I was able to get a fast shutter speed (1/1500). However, I shouldn't have to do that compensation, or at least not as much. It's too dark. I wish I could shoot this one over. I think I could do better, but it's probably a one time shot.

Mating Eastern Amberwings
On this last one, the shutter speed was 1/500 with no compensation, which seems to work but I should have used a higher Fstop and maybe I could have gotten the female in focus better. But to do that I would probably had a blown out picture without going for the compensation adjustment. Whew! Not sure I'll ever get this.

Double-striped Bluets

Change of subject, please!

 I save emails and notes from visitors who tell me how they enjoyed the oasis during their visit. I have hundreds. Those messages and the generous donations really inspire me to hang in there. Wanted to share excerpts from some of them with you.

Thanks so much for allowing us up to your quiet, off the beaten path oasis. Your directions were spot on and easy to follow.

Your house was the only place we saw Lucifers on our trip.  You work very hard and your yard and road show it.  It was an adventure to come out to the mountains, away from parks and people.  Your house is unique and very appropriate to the setting.

This afternoon was such an absolutely wonderful time!!! I could have spent hours talking and hanging out!  

Just wanted to tell you how much [xxxx] and I enjoyed our visit to CMO, and how glad we are that you were there when we visited, as your presence really made the place come alive for us!  We very much enjoyed visiting with you, and seeing the house, and talking about how CMO came to be, and listening to bird calls, and … well … everything!   Thank you!  I am looking forward to coming back out there and visiting again sometime next year!

[xxxx] said that you and your place made her trip.

You have been so hospitable over the years to all the experts and all the novices that love Big Bend.  We have not crossed paths in a few years and hope that can happen in the next year as well.  We are so thankful for what you do and hope you can stay in good health as you provide whatever is needed for your flock

Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful oasis and for making it available to us and to other birders.  You are brightening the world in a very unique and special way. 

Visited your Oasis yesterday late afternoon, had superb views of a male Lucifer Hummingbird both at feeders & sat on bushes - stunning! So many thanks. Found last mile drive a bit hairy - not use to such roads in UK.
Wow! Thanks so much for allowing us this experience and for providing such wonderful habitat for the birds. We spent more than 2 hours there. Our top priority was to see a Lucifer's Hummer, a bird we've never seen, and we hadn't been there more than a minute before there it was! We spent most of our time under the tin roof, and there were Lucifers there most of the time. One time I was standing up, and a Lucifers settled onto the feeder hanging from the roof. I could have touched it! We saw both males and females.

We loved your place. [xxxx] says it was her favorite stop on the trip.

I wanted to thank you for letting us visit your oasis this past week. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed being there and was very impressed with all of the birds. It was definitely a high point of the trip.

We had a spectacular visit to CMO this morning.

I wanted to write to thank you so much for allowing my fiance and I to visit your beautiful oasis ..... This was such an amazing experience and the definite highlight of our trip out west. 

Great place!  About as off the beaten
path as anyplace I've visited in the past decade.

My sister called and said we got a big rain. Gonna head down tonight and see if tanks are full or water to pump. To be continued.

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