Merced NWR pre-dawn
Merced NWR 'clouds' of Snow Geese
Last month Don and I took a trip over to the Central Valley in California to photograph in Merced National Wildlife Refuge. It was my first visit to this amazing place. There are thousands of birds overwintering on the series of ponds and wetlands that make up the refuge. We spent three days enjoying and photographing there. I have always wanted to experience a huge number of birds flying and calling and making a 'cloud' in the sky. I got my wish. There must have been about 30,000 Snow and Ross's geese present and on our first afternoon at Merced NWR I saw the 'cloud' I had dreamt about. Thousands of geese rose and circled in the sky - all set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was jaw dropping! We also saw numerous other birds: Sandhill Cranes, White-faced Ibis, various ducks, Swallows and many many more. This is definitely a place I want to revisit.
I took over 2100 photos. I could hardly wait to get home to start processing my images. BUT!!!! That is when my problems began. For the first 30 minutes or so all was fine, then my computer froze. I tried everything I could think of to get back up and running, but to no avail. GRRRRR! My old computer was about 6 years old and I knew it was getting to the point of replacement, but..... I called my 'computer man' and when he took a look at my system the next day, I was informed that my Mother Board had fried. The good news - if there can be any good news in this situation - was that the hard drive was okay. Fortunately, all my images and documents were safely stored on multiple external hard drives so none of my important stuff was lost. Now three weeks later I have a new super-duper computer and am almost back to normal. There are still a few glitches to work out, but for the most part I am happy at this point. Now I need to get back to work!