Tuesday, December 14, 2010

From our Camera to Your Living Room

Over the past few years, our wildlife jobs have allowed us the opportunity to visit, see, and experience so many diverse places and animals. 

From birds of the Peruvian Amazon 
Gulf Coast Alligators 
Mexican Grey Wolves in Arizona and New Mexico
Teton and Yellowstone Wilderness Moose
Pine Martens of the Adirondacks in New York
Pacific Northwest Spotted Owls
Travel in between it all

When we weren't busy tracking, trapping, calling, weighing, measuring, drawing blood, giving vaccines, or radio-collaring wildlife....we managed to snap more than a few pictures and think it's high time we gave everyone the chance to share in the experiences; not only on our blog, but also through
Our brand spankin-new Photography Sale Website.

We've chosen for our photos to be made at a professional photo lab in California, with exceptional quality prints and canvas, who ships orders directly to you.  What's really cool is that once your order has been placed, we get to preview the proofs from your order before they are created and shipped to you.  This way, we can notify you if we see any part of your order we think you may be dissatisfied with (such as the way a photo has been cropped). 
Speaking of cropped photos... with our photography site you're given the option to crop photos to fit your specific print/product size you've chosen to your liking.
AND if you're ever unhappy about the product you receive just LET US KNOW!   Give us the opportunity to make a print that you like, or to refund your money - after all it's YOUR satisfaction that is most important :)

Head over to Ben and Carrie Tracks Photography to see for yourself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sea-faring, scuba-diving, sight-seers

We've been a couple of lucky pups while away from the blogging scene....
  After finishing up our time in the fall colored Colorado Rockies last month, we headed to the Florida Keys, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Mexico for some family, sun, and scuba.


These pictures are not National Geographic worthy, but are what we have come to expect given our budget for dive cameras and the ocean depth's filtering out much of the light and color spectrum.  

Communication under the water is slim for folks like us with little sign language knowledge.  But universal hand signals for underwater animals do exist and when followed up by an exaggerated index-finer point, the animal who otherwise may slipped away un-detected by your dive-partner is often spotted. The hand signal in the lower right picture means turtle.  A green sea turtle joined us for awhile munching away on the reef.....however, upon loading our pictures we learned that  2 of our 4 dive's shots were missing/deleted.  Bummer indeed - but tough to complain about after the experience.  (After- all, at least we got a few memory provoking pictures this dive trip....During our honeymoon to Curacao we dove every day and came back with squat.)

Zoo's are always a thought provoking attraction to visit....  While many super intelligent animals, sadly do not receive the enrichment they deserve in captivity... it is comforting to know the KC Zoo boasts a Chimpanzee enclosure called "one of the finest chimpanzee exhibits in North America" by the awe inspiring Jane Goodall.
The chimps above were raising their hands in hopes of attracting the attention of a care-taker dishing out fun treats.  Lemons, pine-cones filled with jam and honey, and other snacks were prizes whose left-overs were deemed worthy of smelling the ground for, as seen in the picture to the right.

Cheetahs and a Grey Crowned African Crane soaking up the late-afternoon rays...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here a duck, there a duck, everywhere a ____ ____

"I think a good product would be "Baby Duck Hat". It's a fake baby duck, which you strap on top of your head. Then you go swimming underwater until you find a mommy duck and her babies, and you join them. Then, all of a sudden, you stand up out of the water and roar like Godzilla. Man, those ducks really take off! Also, Baby Duck Hat is good for parties."

 - Jack Handy 

Some of the best scenery in Rocky Mountain National Park, other than the mountains themselves, are the streams and rivers which meander alongside trails....

    Lily Lake 2008 Wedding                                           Lily Lake 2010 Visit

 The sweet sweet reward at the top of Lily Mountain....

After breaking for lunch, decided to feast the eyes too....

All shots are part of the following:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

♬ Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Gas one way from KC to the Rockies - $58
 Entrance fee to Rocky Mountain NP - $20/wk
One cup of Spiced Pumpkin Latte @ Kind Coffee in Estes - $3.65
 Seemingly unlimited time to play in a giant National Park..... Priceless

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sometimes you feel like a beach-Sometimes you don't

OK, we aren't fooling anyone....we always feel like a beach. However, when our seasonal owl work ended along the coast of Oregon last month, we made the cross-country trek back to the Midwest....

 We will see you again Oregon....promise.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest - life centers around a crab apple tree in the yard...

From one pool of giant water to a significantly smaller and less salty one...
Hello summer temperatures - lucky for us, we were fortunate enough to dodge you in Oregon for most of the season.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Redwoods - Ben and Carrie Approved.

Time to spend a few moments with us in the Redwoods - 
Did you remember to bring the smores?

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings
Nature's peace will flow into you
As sunshine flows into trees
The winds will blow their own
Freshness into you and the storms
Their energy while cares will
Drop off like autumn leaves.
~John Muir

 This was too classic to pass up.  
Thank you random women ....
for keeping us in focus / knowing what button to push :)

Without the right perspective this tree could be located in anyone's backyard.
This giant, known as Big Tree, towers at 301 feet and has a 21 ft diameter.

To infinity


Hard to believe it was a mere 41 years ago the original park was dedicated.  Did you know that only 4% of the country's old growth Redwoods remain today?  To fell a giant Redwood in the past of ~ 10-12 ft diameter took two to three days of work.  

Steller's Jay made a cameo

We were blown away.  
Half expected a Velociraptor to pop its sneaky head out from around an enormous tree trunk. 
                "Clever girl"


Jedediah Smith State Park.

The most impressive area of the redwoods by far .... campground / day use park complete with trails through old old old growth forest, visitor center, tallest tree on earth (379 ft- but honestly, after seeing SO many trees nearby that are over 200ft - it's hard to tell the difference), and beach along the ultra-clear Smith River.  The only river system in California that isn't dammed.  The water is deeper than it looks. 15 or more feet in places - perfect for diving in from boulders along the banks to view fish hiding out in the shadows.

We followed the coast highway back home, camped, and enjoyed quite a few stop overs at various attractions along the way.
Devils Punch Bowl was quite the sea cave...with a collapsed roof allowing an inside view.

The Newport Aquarium was an indoor/outdoor surprise.  While not as large as some aquariums we have visited, it's interpretive designs and species selection were the best we've ever seen.

Japanese Spider Crabs and Ben spent some time picking each other's brains.

Highly recommended.  Ben and Carrie approved.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We'll bring the photos. You bring the smores.


For the next few days, we'll have a new temporary home... amongst the trees. And while its rather cramped and damp, we have come to enjoy it's earthy feel and frequent earthworm encounters.  Backward, is the most appropriate way to enter.
Don't put it past us - both of us, as kids tried to dig secret hideouts into the ground.  An hour or so digging with garden trowels and spoons, as you can imagine, left us with luxurious 1' x 4" holes in the topsoil....Just large enough to twist an ankle in after they had been forgotten about a week later.

We're actually headed to camp in the Redwoods for awhile.  Somehow, within the past six months, we never realized we were within a days drive from them!  
Plenty of picture sharing will ensue once we're back. 
We'll bring the photos, you bring the smores.

On a side note - We enjoyed the company of this seemingly toupee wearing moth the other evening as we were preparing dinner in the kitchen.  After a few oohs and ahhhs from us - he was scooped up and let outside. Any entomologists out there who can tell us this guys name?

A soon-to-be farewell sunset

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Knock your breath out cold

Only a couple nights of Spotted Owl surveying left for us.  Sadly, we will soon be leaving the great coast of Oregon and saying so-long to its....well....umm.....hmm....indescribable beauty.
BUT...not quite yet....
We're sticking around to gaze at a few last sights and try and soak up as much of the rain forest and salty coast smell into our pores and clothing as possible.
Where are we off to next? 
What critters will we work with in the near future?
Well, those are good questions.
We're not sure yet, a few things are in the mix, but don't worry- 
you'll be the first, or maybe third or fourth to know...

 Adult Barred Owl vs. juvenile fledgling complete with fluff on top of head.  Juvenile chicks often outweigh their parents during this period of life, but are quick to lose the excess weight after learning to hunt for themselves.

Northwestern Garter Snake - 
Notice the musk dripping down the finger...Not to worry,  
enjoying the little guy's company outweighs a few hours of stink any day.

Young's River Falls south of Astoria 
Coldest pool of water EVER.... knock your breath out cold.
(Judging by your expressions, you'd like to know just how cold,
after all - how cold is cold?) 
We would say it rivals the Pacific Ocean's temps right now ~ 58 °F.  
Colder than last summer's river crossing Teton Wilderness escapades.
Basking rocks for afterward, however, were conveniently scattered about.

The sun was ridiculously bright this evening- even for a sunset.  Luckily, we happened to drive by an overlook that provided us with the opportunity to see above the cloud line as well as to the ocean below.  Almost like something you'd see out of an airplane window.


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