On The Road Again

Once again it’s that time of year. This winter’s been a long one and “the great out there” is calling me. Camping in the relatively wild public lands of the west recharges my batteries and right now the needle on my personal battery charger is pegged at “discharge” so a weather forecast window that includes a few days of nice weather this week became impossible to resist.

Later this morning we’re heading south in search of dirt roads, solitude, quiet, spectacular vistas and photo subjects.

Especially birds.


sandhill crane 9634d ron dudley

1/1000, f/8, ISO 500, Canon 7D, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

One of my goals is migrating Sandhill Cranes. This crane image was taken in March on my first camping trip two years ago and I’ll be in the same general area this time so maybe I’ll get lucky with them once again.



sage grouse 3798c ron dudley

1/2000, f/5.6, ISO 4000, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

Sage Grouse are another target species for this trip. I took this image of fighting males in March of last year and I’ll certainly be looking for them again this time. One potential complication is snow. The high country in the area I’ll be visiting got lots of snow this winter so the dirt roads to this area may be impassable. I won’t know until I get there. If I do find them I hope I’ll have better light than I did when this shot was taken. ISO 4000 isn’t territory I wish to visit again.

If the back country is still snowed in I’ll be looking for birds in other areas. Birds are always a crap shoot this early in the year but with the vagaries of bird migration I just never know what might turn up. For me that’s one of the draws of bird photography – that exciting and unexpected find that allows me a photo-op.

Due to unreliable internet access and other potential complications, blogging on the road is a dicey proposition at best so we’ll see what happens. I may not post every day and I’ll likely be mostly unable to respond to comments but I’ll do what I can.

Let the adventure begin.



20 comments to On The Road Again

  • You should be seeing Sandhill Cranes as most seemed to have left the Upper Texas Coast. We saw one small group earlier this week in Galveston where we had been seeing large flocks all winter.

  • April Olson

    Beautiful photos. Have a wonderful trip, wishing you great light and blue skies.

  • Late to the party – but have a wonderful, wonderful restorative and bird filled time.

  • Humming bird lover

    Hi! Have a great time, be careful! and have a special time! Relax and get lots of good shooting!

  • nikonsteve

    Now that’s the way to recharge ones batteries!! I’ll be with you in spirit Ron…have a Great time…

  • Patty Chadwick

    That Sage Grouse is speaking tp you,Ron. He’s saying, “The Sandhills…and more…are over there! Go for it!!! “…..

  • I smiled when I saw Patty’s comment – I had the exact same response – the perfect photo to express the exultation of freedom and exploration! Furthermore, I see one of the Sage Grouses sharing wonderful information to a delighted recipient. I see that as you with us, as well. Have a wonderful and successful trip…

  • Jane Shipp

    Safe travel. Enjoy the solitude, beauty, and creatures!

  • Patty Chadwick

    Laura and Jorge speak for me…just want to add that the lower Sandhill, the one that’s saying, “wheeee! I’m free!!!”, reminds me of you….I think I know the feeling–a mixture of exultation and excitement of being on the road and on the way to who knows what, but anticipating something good…..

  • Laura Culley

    The Great Out There is the only place to reliably and completely recharge your spiritual, emotional and psychological batteries! Enjoy your trip, travel carefully and breathe it all in. And please take one full breath in for me (until I can get back there)! Celebrate life!

  • Jorge H. Oliveira

    Have a safe journey, Ron. Hope you find what you’re looking for.

  • Kitty. (Watson)

    I like your blog and will follow your posts. Have a great trip.

  • Sallie Reynolds

    Happy journey, Ron. That crane shot is the best I’ve ever seen. Yesterday the first of the spring groups flew over, on their way north and east from their wintering grounds in the Valley here in Northern CA.

  • Judy (Gusick)

    Enjoy! And good luck! 🙂 Beautiful photo of the Sandhill Cranes and the Sage Grouse. 🙂