Racking Focus

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Racking Focus is changing the focus from one scene to another in the same plane.

Examples here.

A weekend full of wildlife encounters.


As many folks know it is tough living in San Francisco. Being a City slicker is a pain-in-the-arse, but this City can turn things around with the wildlife alone.

Friday, the 29th after dealing with a broke vehicle I decided to go off and find urban coyotes. Well I found them or they found me.While walking my normal wildlife touring route in Golden Gate Park an ambulance went screaming through the park. One thing song dogs like to do is howl at sirens.
Listen to this>>>>Coyotes howling Golden Gate Park

Soon after I entered their den and I was greeted.


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On Sunday the 1st I decided to use my unused Groupon coupon for a trip out to the Farallon Islands. However, we could not make it out to the Farallon Islands. About 12-16 miles out we started encountering swells that would have beat the boat up. But it was still fun looking for whales, and birds. I gotta do this again though. This ride was free, the next one won’t be though. It got rough out there, so in one of the photos it shows a belt. I used a belt with a marine buckle to tether myself to the railing. Photographing on a boat is another challenge in itself. It got cold out there too. It quickly went down to upper 40’s.


In the end we did see a Minke whale, a Humpback whale, harbor porpoises, and that pelican? that seemingly liked us. For the first time in my life I have smelled whale breath, and it is everything they say, StInKy!


The weekend of September 29-October 1st was an excellent weekend when it came to our wildlife both in the City and outside in the Bay and Ocean.

oh yea, can’t forget about that sweet Great Horned Owlet photo from Friday.


I’d like to give a shout-out to Ryan at the company San Francisco Whale Tours. He was very knowledgeable about the wildlife in the Bay, the Ocean, and on the shores. An excellent host. We could not get out to the Farallon’s because if the waves. The waves were to big for the boat. There is nothing bad to say about the company San Francisco Whale Tours. They are women owned, and they care about the wildlife, and the Bay and the Ocean’s health. They have excellent employees.

Lured by a Coyote?

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Yesterday during a brief visit to the park, it is my belief I got lured by a Coyote. Circled the den area two times. On the 2nd time around, the Coyote in the photo, would stop, look at me, bark,(yes that’s right “bark”), and move to another area, I would walk towards him, and he would walk away, but only maybe 30 feet away, he would then stop and look up, and he barked again, this went on for 30 minutes, but then I suddenly realized I was in a very different area, and when I looked around I noticed Coyote hair in amongst the briars and branches.
So that Coyote led me to one of their den entrances, a new access point, that I never knew about. I am wondering why?
It is also my opinion that Coyote was in a playful mood.

Juvenile male Coyote Hair from Coyotes in amongst the briars

Bison/Buffalo paddock breach in Golden Gate Park.

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Approximately 7:10pm I went looking for the owls in an area near the bison paddock in Golden Gate Park. Then I noticed a ladder type of set-up that went into an area where the buffalo go and eat and hang out. This is what I noticed.

Ladder set- up on fence to bison paddock using police barriers Ladder set- up on fence to bison paddock using police barriers Ladder set- up on fence to bison paddock using police barriers Ladder set- up on fence to bison paddock using police barriers

I called the rangers and they responded. I think they were a bit shocked.

Owl Stories Golden Gate Park.

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Your walking along, listening, looking, stepping quietly, you know they are there, but you can’t see them, but your experiences remind you they are looking and staring at you and if your skilled enough and or lucky, you can sense your being watched, and, when you spot them, you cannot get scared, you have to freeze, and try to make eye contact, and hoping they aren’t the attacking kind, then get your picture, and then it’s like driving, if they take flight, you must look at the big picture. You must have a wide shot in your eyes and see what tree they flew too? You don’t always chase after them, you remain patient, and stay in the spot you’re in, and wait, then suddenly they fly back, and they come in low, and land on branches next to you and then they show their eyes, and they stare back then they fly off….
Owl encounters are not for the faint-of-heart when your embedded in their environment.

Great Horned Owl flying overhead Great Horned Owl

The Rat and the Squirrel.

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This is a story about a rat and a squirrel.

The rat, born from other rats, that were born from other rats and so and so on. They inhabit this earth in many environments. On the City streets, in buildings, in houses, in barns, in ships and in the forest. They are considered pest’s, deadly invaders of our cities, rampaging warriors of destruction in our houses, or disease spreading varmints.

The squirrel, born from other squirrels, that were born from other squirrels, and so on and on. They inhabit inner city parks, urban parks, in or around our countrified yards, and in the forest. They are considered the cute little varmints that can climb, wag their tails, make funny noises and eat food we give them.

Rats can be considered aggressive; whereas squirrels are considered cute. But in the forest the rat and the squirrel will eat from the same plate. Both will eat a peanut together rather than they both fighting for both meals.The Rat and the Squirrel

Coyote encounter Golden Gate Park

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On my usual walk, and then I heard what I thought were more people in the bushes, like a rustling of reeds or weeds or bushes, but the noise turned out to be a Coyote flanking me to my left. He was sort of behind me. He was totally watching me. I moved a couple of feet then he moved a couple of feet. I moved closer and then he took off. It is my opinion he followed me for about 100 feet into my walk.

Coyote Golden Gate Park

Owl Pellet’s


“A pellet, in ornithology, is the mass of undigested parts of a bird’s food that some bird species occasionally regurgitate. The contents of a bird’s pellet depend on its diet, but can include the exoskeletons of insects, indigestible plant matter, bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth. In falconry, the pellet is called a casting.”

A disected owl pellet A disected owl pellet Owl Pellet Owl Pellet Owl Pellet Owl Pellet

More Great Horned Owl stories

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Great Horned Owl chicks will go up to the parent’s and peck at their mouth’s trying to get food. The parent owls will run from them until the two parents mate. The pics are of a Great Horned Owl chick going after the female parent demanding food. The parent owl’s will ignore the chicks until the daily mating ritual is done. The Great Horned Owl chicks are demanding when it comes to food because approximately in a month, the chicks may be on their own. So they need and want the energy.

Great Horned Owls Great Horned Owl chick wanting food Great Horned Owl chick wanting food Great Horned Owl chick wanting food Great Horned Owl chick wanting food Great Horned Owl chick wanting food Great Horn Owl mating Great Horn Owl matin

Photographing Great Horned Owls mating

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When your out there, in the field, photographing wildlife, there is one act that wildlife photographers go crazy over, and that one act is the mating.
Catching wildlife mating is hard, you must have patience, you must keep one eye on the whole forest while the other eye is looking through the camera lense, you must listen, and you must be prepared every second leading up to the mating. You have to know when their going to mate and you have to know how they mate.
Great Horned Owls mate even after the chicks have been born. They mate daily.
The mating ritual is very cool. The female parent owl perches on a branch that is out in the open, then hoots, and the male will be several trees away, and he hoots back. They hoot about 3-4 times, then in comes the male. The male will approach the female in two stages. The male owl will fly from the tree he was hooting from to another tree, and after a few seconds the male flies up to the female and mounts her. It happens in about 3 seconds. And then the mating is over for the day.
Great Horned Owls Mating

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