Geese: Canada And Snow

Getting photos I like at my local pond isn’t easy – not because of a lack of birds but because there’s often too many.


1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

When Canada Geese come in to land on the pond, or take off from it, the opportunities are there but you have to be lucky. Getting houses or fences in the background always ruins the shot and the geese in flight are often so packed together that pleasing images are hard to come by.

But two days ago this bird was still low enough after taking off that it was below the houses and I’m learning to pick individual birds out of the flock rather than aiming my lens at a tightly packed group. I have very good detail (the image isn’t cropped much), I like the flight pose, the goose is well-lit and f/7.1 gave me just enough depth of field to get almost the entire bird sharp.

But once again this isn’t the image as it came out of my camera.



The pond was littered with coots and Pied-billed Grebes and I got four of those little buggers in the background. They wouldn’t be quite so bad if it weren’t for the bright-white bills of the coots that pull my eye away from the goose like a magnet so I cloned them out in the first version of the image.

Sometimes I just can’t resist seeing what I “almost got”.



1/4000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

I suppose this juvenile Snow Goose was my consolation prize that day on the pond. For some of my readers Snow Geese are common during winter but I seldom get chances with them. A single Snow Goose has been hanging out with the Canada Geese for some time now but until this day it was always too far away for decent photos. Here I like the alert pose and the silvery reflections on the water.



1/4000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

After a while the goose relaxed enough to do a little preening.

Because of clouds and miserable light I haven’t been out on a real photo-shoot for 10 days now. All I’ve been able to do is boogie on down to the nearby pond when we get a brief sucker hole in the clouds and take my chances there. I’m growing weary of clouds and dreary weather.

And then the rest of my day (and even my night in the form of dreams/nightmares) is filled with the mindless utterings of my environment-destroying, vulgar and racist president. I need some relief on many fronts but I don’t see it coming on any horizon and that’s truly depressing, almost clinically so.



I’ve always tried to keep religion and politics out of my blog as much as possible but like most Americans my life has to some degree become consumed by the present political turmoil and the trickle down effect from a childish, lying and incompetent president and his minions. If this public stance on my bird photography blog costs me some readers, so be it. Yesterday Trump pushed me over the edge.

I needed to let off some steam but I’ll try not to let it happen again. We’ll see how that goes…

I’ve had my say so I’m going to try to (mostly) stay out of any discussion in the comments.



37 comments to Geese: Canada And Snow

  • As usual your photos remind me of the beauty out there still remaining (though shrinking). As an active child of the 60’s and the Dawning of Aquarius peace/love movement I so very much lament where we are now. It is extremely discouraging and my only comfort comes in consciously creating human connections with the people I meet in my daily life. If only a few politicians who are not already “blue” would just say something I would be heartened.

  • Laura Culley

    I’ve been down with the flu, so I missed my morning sunshine of your blog. The beauty you share (almost) every day helps me get through my day, as difficult as it’s been to do that recently. Personally, I don’t know how we’re going to survive this challenge to our country, but I remain hopeful that we will, that Americans really are good, decent people at heart who will not continue to allow this unraveling of our ideals. I keep hoping that our congresscritters will rise up and say, “STOP IT!” Perhaps they will, or perhaps they’re as corrupt, dishonest and bereft of integrity as he is. But the fix for that is for the really good American people to stand up, en masse, on election day and shout, “STOP IT! STOP IT right this second!”
    I’m going to believe that will happen.

  • Stephen Clayson


    Your recent pictures of Coots and Canada Geese give me encouragement that I am not the only one that hasn’t seen much variety in the state this year. Last year (colder, more snow) seemed to be move of a target rich environment. Maybe I had more time last year to go out and shoot thereby increasing my odds. Nevertheless, some days are left with only coots and geese. I did see one Bald Eagle yesterday (Friday) at BRMBR but he was quite far away. “Documentary shots only,” as you say.



  • Ellen Wascou

    All I can say is AMEN to these great comments! Never feel that there’s nothing you can do. You are NOT helpless. Get involved. Call your “congresscritters”, sign peitions, work on campaigns, make sure you VOTE. Every vote counts. Every vote.
    Ron, your edited photo is perfection as are most of your shots. Thanks!

  • Trump 🙁 (Trump slump?). Great cloning work on the Canada Goose photo. It makes a huge difference. The background you created lets the beauty of the goose shine. Love the flight position :-). The new background does lie about the birdiness of the pond, so the goose environment is inaccurate, but the goose is wonderfully accurate and undistracted.

  • DianefromZion

    Thanks for the snow goose-looks a little like my favorite goose [an afrikanner] I took care of as a kid. 45 has chosen his moniker worlwide and for history: He is our shithole president….

  • Joanne OBrien

    Beautiful photos once again! And yes, we have a whack-job as president and it is depressing as hell.

  • I turn to nature as solace for the things I can’t bear and for the things I can’t change. And because it is beautiful, incredible and amazing. Which means that fighting for the environment is high on my greedy, selfish list.
    And how I love seeing birds from your side of the world. And when the bird has ‘snow’ in front of its name, my over-heated self sighs in relief.
    Thank you.

  • Marty K

    Silver linings. I had mentioned my neighbor removing the bamboo and my losing my scrub jay nesting entertainment. This morning while on the couch and looking out the clerestories, I was able to see one of our neighborhood Red Tails circling for quite a while. I haven’t seen RTHs around here for a long time and if that bamboo was still in the way, I would have totally missed it.

  • Susan, aka Blue

    No apologies required, I’m an ally and understand. I find myself weeping at the daily horror from the White House. It is not normal, besides, shitholes built America. #imashithole.
    Thank you for the daily posts and occasional personal notes…

  • April Olson

    Ron You will have to take lessons from the snow goose and go south on these grey weeks. I am in Las Vegas and the sun and skies have been wonderful. I am off to Red Rock Canyon today. Yesterday I spent the day at a couple of nature centers. There are hummingbirds and butterflies. Saturday I will be hiking Valley of Fire. I am not a big casino and strip fan.

  • Ron, I appreciate your photography even more when you share what is close to your heart. It’s been a tough month here in Montecito dealing with fire and floods. Our list of missing persons is sadly growing instead of shrinking.

  • Marty K

    I’m glad I had a 14-hour day at the shelter yesterday — big spay/neuter day. Someone should have neutered the Cheeto in Chief’s dad — just cut those things right off!

    I’ll share a little good news: 3 of our long-timers (over 5 months at the shelter) have been adopted this week! Woo Hoo! 😀 Gives me hope for some of the other long-timers, especially as one of the adoptees was considered “hard to adopt” and ended up in the perfect family!

  • Really loved seeing the snow goose up close. Pretty bird. I once saw a flock winging overhead. So pretty. And I’m with you on 45.

  • Betty Sturdevant

    I live on Forest Dale Golf course and of course many Canada Geese. The picture is beautiful and I have seen one Snow Goose here several years ago. The canada’s made a lot of noise so I think they felt it was an interloper.

    Rant away about the current political atmosphere. It feels so good to have people I respect feel the same way I do.

  • In a few weeks, I will turn 85. I can say I’ve seen a thing or two, and as my Lakota friends acknowledge,with age, comes learning a thing or two…I think our current administration is deliberately destroying everything we stand for and treasure–trying to destroy our country from within–to please Russia, who can just watch it happen. I think this is being done because they have something big on our president….otherwise, WHY????? EvERYTHING done, and, so far, EVERYTHING said points to such a wacky conclusion…..what other explanation can there be???

  • “Congresscritter”….LOVE IT!!!

  • Besutiful images…love the “filtered” goose, and the beautiful young snow goose…and thank you for having political integrity….it’s sorely lacking in many right now….when we don’t speak up, we condone…unfortunately, we currently have a president whose mouth is the biggest s—hole of al, times….

  • Judy Gusick

    Love the edited Canada Goose! Beautiful detail! The “white bills” are definitely a distraction! The juvenile swan is also gorgeous. Yes, our “illustrious”(socially acceptable term) president is certainly putting me over the edge also…….. 🙁 Hope we survive him!

  • Sarah Hamilton

    Great pictures, as always. As far as Trump goes, just when you think he won’t get any worse, once again he outdoes himself. He is causing so much anxiety on a daily basis in our country. Not my president, no way.

  • Marina schultz

    You know how I’ve been getting discouraged with my photography and Ready to give up ..well I sent it to canon again for 2 nd time in a year .. turns out ultrasonic focusing motor is dead!!!! So will cost 1500 to replace it 😖 it’s barely 2 years old !!! I am not happy with canon products!!

  • Shirley

    Nice shots Ron. I know this weather is skunking us but we keep trying. The Canada Goose has such a pretty head it’s a shame the other end ain’t so pretty with all the green leave behind stuff on the ground. Love the Snow Goose which I have only seen one but it was too far away to get a good shot of it but am totally happy seeing your shot. Thanks again Ron!

  • Ron: Each day I wake up and wonder just what Trump might do today to screw up the US and our relationships with the world. His “shithole” remark once again proves he is a racist, a liar and a human being that should not be leading anything. It scares me to think what might be left of the US if this idiot actually survives 4 years as president without being removed from office. It scares me even more to hear people talking about 8 years in office. I’ve never been more repulsed by a human, much less a president than I am of the current person in office. I usually don’t get involved with political discussions, but since this clown took office, it is hard to ignore his complete lack of integrity. There are at least 4 stories in the news today, YES JUST TODAY, where he has lied and made the US position in the world worse. I just want to puke.

  • Jean Haley

    The first picture is a fantastic shot. Snow Goose is a handsome bird. Thanks Ron!

  • Charlotte Norton

    Fantastic series Ron


  • Marina schultz

    Beautiful pictures!!!!! We all need to join Audubon and other orginizations and help as much as we can with our pocketbooks !!! Hey a Starbucks is 4 dollars!!!! 4 dollars x a zillion bird lovers will add up to a bunch of money !!!! To buy reserves and land for reserves !!!

  • Dave Brooks

    Great Goose shooting Ron! Thanks for sharing your feelings on the national front, I think that many folks have that same outrage and despair of hope. Don’t give up, decency and goodwill will prevail and everyone needs vote wisely from now on. Glad you got a few shots in between the murk.

  • Mary

    It’s hard not to let it out, now and then. This reader is right there with you.
    Love the snow goose! And as for the clone tool–why not, as long as it’s stipulated?

  • Here in the Bay Area the Pacific flyway migration is still on, and we get lots of odd ducks passing through. I don’t think I’ve seen a snow goose, though. And we are finally getting rain, which means I can be happy about rain but sad about lousy bird photographing. This is the anomaly that’s bruising you too – we are rationally happy about good events, and rationally sad about bad events, and they occur simultaneously. What I do is write/phone/email my Congresscritter. I am happy that he is a good guy, and sad that he is powerless. But from growing up in DC in a political family, I know that communications from constituents matter. So I get to blow off steam, the Congressman gets to feel his community with this constituent, and our souls are better for doing something rather than nothing.

    Goose `em if they can’t take it.

    • Martha, I didn’t think I’d crack a smile all day but two things you said caused that miracle to happen:

      “congresscritter” and ” Goose `em if they can’t take it”

      Thanks for that!

  • Ron: As always, I love your images and appreciate your frank comments today on this corrupt administration. Anyone who cares for the environment and our democracy has to be concerned. You needn’t worry about losing this reader.

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