Kirsten Tucker: Blog en-us (C) Kirsten Tucker (Kirsten Tucker) Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:33:00 GMT Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:33:00 GMT Kirsten Tucker: Blog 120 79 "Sea Pandas" These aren't particularly good photos (fading light and distant subjects) but I wanted to share the quintessentially Puget Sound experience I had yesterday evening. 

I caught a FB post that said a pod of transient (Bigg's) Orca were going under the Narrows Bridge headed north. I grabbed the camera and headed out.

After about an hour, a group of 9+ individuals came through, including one calf!

(Kirsten Tucker) Colvos Passage Kirsten Tucker Photography Olalla orca Washington whale Wed, 27 Mar 2019 17:42:52 GMT
Sum-sum-summertime Scissortails Last year I was thrilled to see that a pair of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers had built a nest in a local park. They are such elegant birds with a cheery call. Sadly, Brown-headed Cowbirds took over the nest. Such is the way in nature.

But this year, they came back! And, I'm pleased to say they were successful, raising two healthy chicks.

Dad making a bug run

Coming back to the nest with a spider

Mom showing up Dad by catching an enormous dragonfly. She tried to give it to one of the chicks, but it was too big. So, she ate it herself.

"Branching" is when chicks move from the nest to a branch in preparation for eventually fledging.

These chicks were quick studies as one day they were branching and by the next, they'd fledged and flown to the next tree over!

Of course, both parents kept a watchful eye for some days to come.



(Kirsten Tucker) bird Cypress Kirsten Tucker Photography Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Texas Fri, 27 Jul 2018 18:03:03 GMT
My Camino - May 2018 It's gray and rainy. Perfect time to make a short video of our pilgrimage walk last month along the Camino Frances in Spain.

I recommend selecting the option to view at 1080p - once the video is playing, hover over the lower right area of the video and select 1080p from the drop list. You can also choose to view full screen.

Buen Camino!

Music: Cafe Mocha, Jesse Cook


(Kirsten Tucker) buen camino camino frances kirsten tucker photography spain travel Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:48:13 GMT
Parenthood There are days when you go out with the camera and you get squat (today). And there are days when you can't believe how you could be so lucky. In late April I had one of those lucky mornings.

I set off to Anahuac NWR, a favorite spot, for an early rail walk. I was able to see my "lifer" Black and Yellow Rails - yay! Photos of those weren't happening but after the walk I drove the auto tour route. I caught sight of a couple of King Rail. And, they weren't alone. They had three fluffy black cotton balls following them!

Rails are generally very skittish. But this family was very tolerant of my rolling bird blind (car). I watched them for about 30 minutes as the parents hunted, caught crawfish and fed them to the ravenous chicks who followed and occasionally imitated their parents behavior. It was something really special.

(Kirsten Tucker) anahuac nwr bird chick king rail kirsten tucker photography texas Tue, 12 Jun 2018 17:08:57 GMT
Lions! It's been a very long time since I last posted here on my blog. Oops!

On my March trip to Botswana, one of the memories that will forever stay with me is the time spent with these lions, a mother and her two year'ish old female cubs. I hope you enjoy the shots.

Who knew a big stick was such a great cat toy?!



A stick!


Sibling snuggles


(Kirsten Tucker) botswana kirsten tucker photography lion play travel Mon, 07 May 2018 17:18:39 GMT
You Know You're a Birder + Photographer When... peruse the TEXBIRDS Facebook page during the Superbowl shout "No way!", share your excitement about a rare bird with your spouse who looks back at you like you grew a third head bring up a map and giggle with glee that it's only a 2.5 hour drive rise at 0-dark thirty and consume two caffeinated beverages within an hour of hitting the road walk 20+k steps and climb the equivalent of 48 flights of stairs looking for the bird spend ALL day 1) waiting for the bird to show up then 2) waiting for the bird to return to get photos are still smiling the next day at what you saw

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the way out of range, female Elegant Trogon of New Braunfels, TX (2/5/18)! Low light so a bit of ISO noise, but what a treat!

Flicking tail


Bug snack!

Pretty bird!

Note the white eye mark.

Batting eyelashes (actually, she's looking for bugs).


(Kirsten Tucker) bird elegant trogon kirsten tucker photography new braunfels texas Tue, 06 Feb 2018 17:00:45 GMT
2017 Seventeen It's that time of year when photographers post their 2017 favorites. Here's my take on that: Kirsten's 2017 Seventeen! - a selection of 2017 images that make me smile, in no particular order. Yea, there are a lot of birds... I like birds!

Here's to another year of adventure, memories and pixels!

(Kirsten Tucker) adventure kirsten tucker kirsten tucker photography travel Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:50:04 GMT
Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2017 When I logged in for the fan club ticket presale, I about jumped out of my skin when it offered me front row seats. Buy! buy! buy!

The show finally arrived last night. While you can't take in a big camera, cellphone pics are okay. Thank you, TSO, for that!

True showmen and amazing talent!


(Kirsten Tucker) concert holiday houston iphone kirsten tucker photography texas trans-siberian orchestra Fri, 22 Dec 2017 19:16:41 GMT
2017 Birds It's that time of year again! A sampling of the 903 avian species I saw over 4 continents in 2017.

Can't wait to see YOUR birds!

Joy & Peace this holiday season,



(Kirsten Tucker) bird kirsten tucker photography Tue, 19 Dec 2017 01:18:51 GMT
Let it Snow! This past Friday, it snowed! If you reside in a northern climate, you're now thinking, "So, what?" But I've lived in Houston over 20 years now, and this is only the third snowfall I've seen here.

Alas, our magical winter wonderland was very short-lived.

(Kirsten Tucker) houston kirsten tucker photography snow texas Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:28:13 GMT
Chihuly Garden in Seattle I've always loved art glass. I cherish my grandmother's red glass pieces that were given to me when she passed away.

As a child, I fondly remember watching glass blowers create shiny beautiful paperweights at the Corning Museum. As a young adult, I bought my first piece of art glass at Corning's store - a cattail and dragonfly piece by Victor Meyer.

So when I was recently in Seattle, I made time to visit the Chihuly Garden. I could have spent all day there. It's so beautiful. You should visit.


(Kirsten Tucker) chihuly glass kirsten tucker photography seattle travel Tue, 31 Oct 2017 19:15:35 GMT
BioBlitz at Kleb Woods Tucked away in Tomball, TX is my birding home away from home - Kleb Woods.

Yesterday, there was a BioBlitz, a day devoted to biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within the area. We still birded but we also ran around photographing plants, insects, fungus and everything that would stay still long enough. I can't wait to find out the results of the effort!

(Kirsten Tucker) bioblitz kirsten tucker photography kleb woods texas tomball Thu, 05 Oct 2017 19:55:51 GMT
Choo-Choo!! We took a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad last weekend. Most of the day was quite rainy but it was still a lovely ride with the aspen trees beginning to change colors in the mountains.

I was also reminded how difficult it is to photograph on a bumpy moving steam train!


(Kirsten Tucker) autumn colorado cumbres & toltec kirsten tucker photography new mexico train travel Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:26:18 GMT
2017 Solar Eclipse In spite of abundant clouds and not being able to travel to the totality zone, I captured my first solar eclipse photos. I can't wait for the next eclipse in 2024!


"Totality" - 67% in Houston




(Kirsten Tucker) eclipse houston kirsten tucker photography solar eclipse texas Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:48:23 GMT
Point Reyes National Seashore I am a big fan of our nation's national parks. When I spent a day and half last month at Point Reyes National Seashore in northern California, I became an even bigger fan! It's chock full of wildlife and photo ops. I definitely will be returning!

If you'd like a guide to maximize your time and photo targets, contact Daniel Dietrich at Point Reyes Safaris. You will not be dissapointed.

California Quail

American Badger



Western Gull

Tule Elk




(Kirsten Tucker) american badger bobcat california california quail jackrabbit kirsten tucker photography point reyes point reyes safaris travel tule elk western gull Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:44:13 GMT
Baltic Cruise I've been off on adventures and am about to leave on another. But, before I do, I wanted to share a few photos from a recent cruise around the Baltic Sea.

Fancy chess pieces in the Rosenborg Castle museum in Copenhagen, Denmark

Iris Blooms in Copenhagen, Denmark A look up within the Spilled Blood Church in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It's all mosaics!


(Kirsten Tucker) Baltic Denmark Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Saint Petersburg Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:10:04 GMT
Spring Babies There have been many many baby and fledgling birds to enjoy the last couple of weeks!

Loggerhead Shrike

Blue Jay

Carolina Chickadee

(Kirsten Tucker) Blue Jay Caroline Chickadee Kirsten Tucker Photography Loggerhead Shrike Texas bird Wed, 03 May 2017 15:30:00 GMT
Great Horned Owlets, 2017 Edition, Part III Owlets doing some bug-watching. One week later, one owlet "branched", climbed from the nest, and explored a tree limb. The second owlet was not so sure this branching thing was a good idea. What walks out on a limb must walk back down the limb; it's a delicate balancing act!

When I last visited, only one owlet remained. The other had fledged and flown off. Owlets tend to remain in the nest area for a while, so there's a chance I may get another photo or two.

What a thrill it's been to watch them grow!


(Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Tue, 25 Apr 2017 23:27:16 GMT
Featherfest 2017 The first weekend of April I attended Featherfest, an annual birding and nature festival in Galveston, TX.

I'd signed up for few photo sessions and given myself plenty of time on my own to push myself "out of the box" photographically.

I think I had some success!

What do you do to shake things up for yourself?

(Kirsten Tucker) Featherfest Galveston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:55:32 GMT
Great Horned Owlets, 2017 Edition, Part II Spent a couple more hours with the Great Horned owlets. They are simultaneously shy and curious. And, they are growing so fast! They actually have a few real feathers now.

Some Bluejays came by to squawk at them; they didn't like that very much. I wouldn't like it either.

(Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Thu, 06 Apr 2017 01:00:00 GMT
Great Horned Owlets, 2017 Edition I am fortunate again this year to be able to watch a Great Horned Owl nest. Got my first views of the owlets yesterday.

I named the female owl "Minnie", so I guess you can call these guys Mini Minnies!



(Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:52:56 GMT
Valley Specialties There are a number of birds that, if you'd like to see them in the U.S., you generally need to venture to south Texas into the Rio Grande Valley. Spring and fall are the best times of year to do this as migrants may also be moving through and the temperatures are still tolerable.

Some of my favorites spots are:

Some of the "Valley Specialties" you may see:

Common Pauraque Curve-billed Thrasher

Olive Sparrow Plain Chachalaca

Great Kiskadee Long-billed Thrasher

White-tipped Dove Green Kingfisher

What specialty birds have you seen in Texas?


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Rio Grande Texas bird travel valley Sat, 25 Mar 2017 21:11:59 GMT
Maps and Mummies The Houston Museum of Natural Science held one of their fabulous Pixel Parties on Sunday night. I love these events! They give a chance to shoot in a very different environment (subjects don't generally fly or run away in museums!) and to shoot things that many people are not permitted to photograph.

We had access to a small but impressive collection of maps, covering 400 years of Texas history.

And, there was the "Mummies of the World" exhibit. Wow, just wow!

Egyptian objects A baron who must've really loved his boots! This Peruvian mummy - I was captivated by how the mummy seemed to be smiling but the reflection was entirely terrifying. Honored ancestors A family of mummies - I won't give the story away! And, after all that, I strolled through Wildlife Photographer of the Year and was impressed and humbled.

Hope I'm in town for the next Pixel Party !

(Kirsten Tucker) HMNS Kirsten Tucker Photography Mummies of the World Pixel Party Texas Wildlife Photographer of the Year map mummy museum Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:09:00 GMT
Happy Valentine's Day 2017 Smile and do something joyful today!

~ Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, October 2016

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography New Mexico balloon heart love travel Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:26:26 GMT
The Merlin You get up really early, drive an hour and three-quarters to find some lovely birds at Anahuac NWR, and it's foggy. And, it stays foggy for hours.

Your photos are all grain because of the moisture in the air. The Burrowing Owl you went to find is not there. You've seen photos/heard tales of a Merlin that likes to perch on a post, but with the luck you're having... You are seriously bummed out.

I almost drove past him. I had about 30 seconds before he flew off.

Day redeemed. All is right with the world.

(Kirsten Tucker) Anahuac NWR Kirsten Tucker Photography Merlin Texas bird falcon Sun, 15 Jan 2017 16:24:30 GMT
Winter Birds With today's high temperature predicted to be 79 degrees, it's hard to imagine just how cold it was here in Texas this past weekend. It snowed in Dallas. There were flurries in Houston.

There was ice in Port Aransas, TX (near Corpus Christi) on Saturday morning; I had to give up on one birding spot due to heavy wind plus freezing temps.

Sunday morning was 10 degrees warmer. I was headed out on a boat in search of Whooping Cranes. It was a clear, beautiful morning, albeit a bit windy still. The light was amazing. And, two cranes foraged quite close to the Skimmer. It was worth the windburn.

Whooping Cranes

American Bittern

Green Heron


(Kirsten Tucker) American Bittern Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Green Heron Kirsten Tucker Photography Port Port Aransas Rockport Texas Whooping Crane travel winter Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:54:20 GMT
2016 Sixteen It's that time of year when photographers post "my favorites from 2016" so here's my take on that - Kirsten's 2016 Sixteen! - 2016 photos that make me happy, in no particular order.

Here's to another year of adventure, memories and pixels!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography adventure travel Tue, 03 Jan 2017 18:29:01 GMT
Chase Bird It started when someone posted a photo on a Facebook bird group. "Wow, that's a NICE bird," I thought. Two and a half hours away. Hmm...

More photos the next day. Hmm...

More photos a couple of days after that with a note that, "it shows up nearly like clockwork on the hour." Hmm...

I wake up at 5:30 am, toss the binocs and camera equipment into the car and set off west. Destination - Crescent Bend Nature Park in Schertz, TX.

It was dark. "This is a long drive for a bird," my mind tells me.

It gets lighter and at some point the sun rises behind me in my side view mirror. Vultures rise and swirl. Crested Caracara chase each other. My mood improves.

I arrive at the park around 9:15 am and the birder folk tell me the bird is around. Excellent!

15-20 minutes later - there he is!! This is one of the most stunning woodpeckers I've seen. It's a hybrid cross between a Red-naped Sapsucker and a Red-breasted Sapsucker. Camera drives are clicking furiously. The bird stays maybe a minute. We "ooh" and "ahh", congratulate each other on the sighting and show off some shots.

A couple of people must leave and a seat opens up in a good position for when the bird comes back. I sit. It's a chilly day and very windy. The north wind is blowing in my face and I'm only wearing a light sweatshirt over my shirt. I'm cold. But I am not giving up this seat. The bird will return.

Other birds visit the water and seed occasionally. Two hours pass and I'm mentally questioning if the bird is coming back.

"There he is!" I hear. And I realize I'd been hearing him for a few seconds not knowing it was him. Cute sound, almost kitten-like. This bird is pretty AND adorable. More clicking of shutters. For a second he stops on a horizontal branch. Perfectly. My brain is screaming, "Oh, please. Please, let me get this shot."

I walked around the park for a bit then visited a second nearby birding location before heading home.

It got darker and at some point the sun set behind me in my side view mirror. Vultures settled. Crested Caracara chased each other.

What an amazing day!


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird sapsucker woodpecker Fri, 30 Dec 2016 15:40:19 GMT
2016 Birds It's that time of year again. Grab a cup o' your favored beverage and sit for a spell to enjoy a video of 2016's birds. I logged 750 species this year! 

Don't worry, the video is only a sample of what I saw, not all of them! ;) Just two songs worth.

Can't wait to see what birds reveal themselves in 2017!




(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography bird birding travel Mon, 19 Dec 2016 19:28:36 GMT
Christmas Vacation 2016 On average, every other year for the past 12 or so years, I've taken a holiday vacation to the Christmas Markets in and around Germany. Sometimes friends or  the spouse join in. Earlier this year, the spouse said, "Let's take another river cruise to the markets."

OK then!

Why do I go back again and again? It's simple - IT'S MAGICAL!

Here are some shots from this year's Nuremberg to Budapest adventure.

(Kirsten Tucker) Austria Christmas Czech Republic Germany Hungary Kirsten Tucker Photography Slovakia holiday lights market night travel Thu, 15 Dec 2016 18:34:52 GMT
Take Your Camera Everywhere I recently took a road trip to Florida to care for my mother post hip-replacement. I was able to snap a few photos along the way.

You never know what might be out there, so take your camera everywhere!

Palm Warbler Sandhill Cranes, affectionately referred to as the "Air Force" by my mother White-tailed Deer Little Blue Heron White Peacock Whooping Crane (rehab bird) Royal Terns having a chat Black Skimmer Migrating Monachs The aptly named, Fence Lizard

(Kirsten Tucker) Black Skimmer Fence Lizard Florida Kirsten Tucker Photography Little Blue Heron Monarch Palm Warbler Royal Tern Sandhill Crane White Peacock Whooping Crane butterfly deer travel Mon, 28 Nov 2016 18:24:59 GMT
Chasing Butterflies The last couple of weeks, after the summer birds had gone, before the winter birds had arrived, we had a bumper crop of butterflies. Such an amazing variety! Here are a few favorites.

Fiery Skipper

Long-tailed Skipper

Painted Lady


Gulf Fritillary

Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak


Giant Swallowtail

Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!

(Kirsten Tucker) Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas butterflies Thu, 27 Oct 2016 23:42:23 GMT
10/1/16 Balloon Glow Timelapse 500+ shots in 20 seconds!

10/1/16 Balloon Glow at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

(Kirsten Tucker) Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Kirsten Tucker Photography New Mexico glow hot air balloon timelapse travel Sat, 15 Oct 2016 15:00:00 GMT
Up Up and Away with Crystal Blue An amazing ballooning experience! Click for the full balloon ride story...

Up Up and Away with Crystal Blue]]>
(Kirsten Tucker) Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Crystal Blue Kirsten Tucker Photography New Mexico balloon travel Thu, 13 Oct 2016 20:43:04 GMT
Balloons! I like balloons. I bought a Mickey Mouse balloon inside a balloon at Magic Kingdom a few years back; dragged it around for days until one of Mickey's ears began to deflate.

Hot air balloon ---> the bigger the balloon the better!

There used to be an annual balloon festival near the Space Center here in Houston called "Ballunar Liftoff", but it ceased operations.

Ballunar Liftoff

I was scheduled to take my first ever hot air balloon ride over Bagan in Myanmar a few years back. I arose at the appointed hour very excited. We waited and waited and waited, only to find our launch was cancelled due the presence of a big-wig politician. Grr!!

But, this is my lucky week, I hope. I'm headed to Albuquerque's annual Balloon Fiesta. And, weather-willing, I'll be Up Up and Away this weekend. Wish me luck!


(Kirsten Tucker) Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Kirsten Tucker Photography New Mexico travel Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:13:52 GMT
Flowers at His Feet This quote from "Les Misérables" seemed a perfect match for this image.

The photo is a focus-stacked composite of eight individual images with some foreground lighting on the flowers.

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Milky Way Oregon flowers quote reflection stars travel Mon, 19 Sep 2016 21:16:04 GMT
Photowalk Fun Last night I participated in a big sponsored photowalk event. It was not all it was cracked up to be. It was hot and really humid. I was cranky and not having fun.

But, then it got dark and I ventured off to do my own thing. I experimented with long exposures, then with HDR long exposures. I ended up learning a few things.

Message of the night - Stay open to possibilities. Push through and try!

(Kirsten Tucker) #actionadventure #photowalkthisway Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Metrorail Texas photowalk Sun, 18 Sep 2016 16:08:20 GMT
Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern Earlier this year, the Bayou Bend Partnership completed restoration of the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern and opened it to the public. It's a great destination on a hot day and quite stunning! You should stop by to see it.

The entry

Internal views

A panorama

(Kirsten Tucker) Buffalo Bayou Park Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas cistern Mon, 12 Sep 2016 16:35:03 GMT
Todd Lake One beautiful August night at Todd Lake in central Oregon + three photos + many hours in Photoshop =

The original shots (sky, land, water) before compositing and processing:

Night sky post-processing can be laborious but I think the results are worth it!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Milky Way Oregon Todd Lake lake reflection travel Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:06:58 GMT
Smith Rock Sunset Here's a sneak peak of what I'm shooting in central Oregon this week.

"Smith Rock Sunset"

Stars, milky way, etc. photos to follow!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Oregon Smith Rock State Park sunburst sunset travel Fri, 02 Sep 2016 04:06:48 GMT
Shall We Dance The other night I dreamed of a hummingbird, fuchsia and blue and... it's too faded now to recall. But, it's made me go back and look at some hummer photos.

"Shall We Dance", a portrait of two Green-breasted Mango hummingbirds interacting, was taken this past spring in Costa Rica.

(Kirsten Tucker) Costa Rica Green Mango Kirsten Tucker Photography bird dance hummingbird travel Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:13:33 GMT
The Lucky First-Time Cruiser For a few years before my mother retired, I'd said I'd take her on a Norwegian fjord cruise when she did. It was time to pay up!

I booked a 2005 fjord cruise on the now-retired Cunard QE2, round-trip Southampton to Southampton.

QE2 exuded history. She also had no stabilizers, making crossing the North Sea rather interesting! Grasping the ropes, we made our way to dinner the first night to find that our table was in the restaurant's smoking section. Ack! I'd not been given an option at booking.

The next morning before lunch, I went to the restaurant to see if we could be re-seated in non-smoking. The gentleman was happy to oblige and handed me a slip of paper with the new table number. As I was walking away, he called me backed and asked to confirm the number of my party was "Two, correct?" "Yes, two." He retook the slip of paper and wrote in a new number. I thought nothing of it.

We arrived to dinner the second night and met our table-mates, all lovely wonderful folks enjoying a holiday. Then our table host arrived. Table host? Why do we have a table host? "This is the Captain's table." What?! How awesome is that?!!

We were at this table the duration of the cruise, each night hosted, wined and dined by a different ship's officer. This stuff does not happen to me so I guess it was my mother's first-time cruiser good luck. Thanks, Mom!

One dinner we were joking about wanting to push the noon-time horn. A couple of days later, we found ourselves on the bridge doing so! This was post-9/11 and a special treat as large cruise ships do not generally allow passengers on the bridge. Here's Mom steering the ship.

Another night we had pre-dinner cocktails in the captain's quarters before dinner.

Some very special memories were made that cruise. Very belated thanks to Cunard!

(Kirsten Tucker) Cunard Norway cruise travel Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:00:00 GMT
Nambia 2016 I discovered Adobe Spark a couple of weeks ago and thought it might be a good format to present my recent Nambia photo safari. There are things I wish it did that it doesn't (yet?) but I like it. And, it's free!

Click the photo below to proceed.

Have you tried Spark yet?

Namibia 2016

(Kirsten Tucker) Africa Kirsten Tucker Photography Namibia travel Wed, 10 Aug 2016 21:21:51 GMT
Hottentots Holland Day Tour with Birding Africa When I began to plan my Namibia trip, it became clear that RT airfare to/from Cape Town was going to be significantly less expensive than flying to/from Windhoek. Oh darn! I was going to have to spend a few days in Cape Town.

I immediately researched birding day trips and connected with Birding Africa. They were quick to respond and had very good reviews. I booked two day tours (one land, one pelagic).

As misfortune would have it, my flights were delayed such that I was going to have one less day in Cape Town. Birding Africa to the rescue!

I expressed that if I could choose one trip over the other, I'd really like to take the Hottentots Holland land tour. They contacted the guide and moved the trip a day later - all of this occurred far past business hours and with sincere concern for my desires. What customer service!!

My guide, Campbell, picked me up promptly at 6:45 am from Simon's Town and off we went. First stop was Rooiels. We quickly found one of my target birds, the beautiful Cape Sugarbird.

A bit later, the fabulous Cape Rockjumper

and Orange-Breasted Sunbird.

After a couple of hours, we moved on. Along the road we found a perfectly perched Rock Kestrel.

We enjoyed lunch at the Harold Porter Botanical Garden cafe then hit the trails. I need to revisit this location. Not just for the birds, but the trails. It's a beautiful spot.

At the gardens, I captured:

Swee Waxbill

Cape Batis

And, Karoo Prinia

We swung by Rooiels again on the way back and picked up a couple more lifers, including Yellow Bishop.

Then we drove the coastal road back toward Simon's Town.

The perfect end to the day arrived when we spotted an early Southern Right Whale lolling in the bay. He waved a flipper in greeting!

It was a very full day during which I tallied nearly 60 life birds. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and Campbell's guidance.

If you have birding desires in and around Cape Town, do contact Birding Africa!

(Kirsten Tucker) Birding Africa Cape Town Hottentots Holland Kirsten Tucker Photography South Africa bird travel whale Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:28:18 GMT
"Kings of South Georgia" is Wildlife Photo of the Day for 7/14/16! A happy moment of recognition today, "Kings of South Georgia" has been selected as the Wildlife Photo of the Day for 7/14/16 !

King PenguinsKing Penguins

(Kirsten Tucker) King Penguin Kirsten Tucker Photography bird penguin travel Thu, 14 Jul 2016 17:50:22 GMT
"Aren't You Afraid to Travel Alone?" I can't help my enthusiasm. In a few days I depart for South Africa and Namibia. When I tell people where I'm off to and what I'm doing, I'm often asked, "Aren't you afraid to travel alone?" Alone: solo, without significant other or travel companion.

Afraid? No.

Do I feel a bit out of my element at times? Yea. But, that's a good thing. And, I am cautious and aware as warranted.

Unless you are solo hiking in remote areas, you're never really alone when you're traveling. I often meet a group for a tour somewhere and, if not, there are people everywhere. I'm an introvert, but I still meet wonderful and interesting people (like some of you reading this!).

I can't imagine not having had the experience of:

  • Crossing a landslide on foot and being stuck in a Land Rover in the middle of a river in Tibet
  • That time at a hoop retreat in Bali that I ended up at a house party where Ganga Giri was playing in the living room
  • Food: the wonders of the best steak ever in Tokyo and the horrors of yak butter tea and that weird dried cheese in Bhutan
  • Drink: seriously good wines all over the world and <hint> don't try to keep up with a Mongolian drinking vodka
  • Sunrise at Angkor Wat
  • Sunset in the Serengeti
  • Giving myself a black eye at the Dead Sea
  • Wildlife - lions and tigers and bears and birds and, and, and!!!
  • Land, sea and sky
  • The list is endless...

I promise - the more you travel, the easier it gets and less foreign it seems. And, if we haven't yet, I look forward to crossing paths with you some day.

I likely won't be posting on this blog much for the next few weeks, but I hope to be able to make quick posts on Facebook or Twitter.

Africa bound,



(Kirsten Tucker) Africa Kirsten Tucker Photography solo travel travel Fri, 17 Jun 2016 19:40:23 GMT
Black-billed Nightingale Thrush Hello!

I am the Black-billed Nightingale Thrush. I can be found in Costa Rica and Panama.

Listen for my song -

(Kirsten Tucker) Black-billed Nightingale Thrush Costa Rica Kirsten Tucker Photography bird travel Mon, 13 Jun 2016 14:15:00 GMT
Arizona Is Not Just Desert The Waterfall Trail at Fossil Creek near Pine, AZ is not a place you decide to just pop over to. You must intend to visit. During summer months, you must purchase a parking permit ahead ($6, available online). Weekend parking slots fill way ahead but if you can go on a weekday, it's relatively easy to get a decent spot just a day ahead.

From the Waterfall parking area, walk up the road past the barriers. Pass under or around the barrier arm. Walk a bit until you see the trailhead opening in the fence to your left. Walk down the hill and follow the trail. It's easy to get off on side trails, so if you think "hey, this is a lot of rocks and shrubs", you likely got off on a side trail.

By all means, go the end to see the main waterfall. But once you've had your fill of the view and the building crowd, mosey back and stop at all the little vistas and mini-falls along the way. You're likely to find a perfect spot to sit and have a snack while you watch the fish swim by in crystal clear green spring water.

Fossil creek is billed as "wild and scenic." And, it is! But as midday rolls around, it gets a different kind of wild and scenic - more people, coolers, music and floaties. If that's not the experience you want, go early and leave by noon.

Bring water shoes for a better view of the main fall. Even if you don't bring them, stick your feet in the water anyway. There are a few rocks to contend with but it's cool and refreshing.

Now, as to the challenge of getting there. The road is AWFUL! I am not exaggerating - it's 15 miles (one hour each way) of bumping and vibrating and rocks and awfulness. You will question (more than once) why you are making this drive. High clearance is really helpful. And, while I commend the person who drove in behind me in a Camaro, no way I'd of done that. So long as it's not wet or rainy, AWD/4WD is not necessary.

I understand the need to keep this place wild and scenic and to manage the number of visitors, but wow, did I tell you how bad this road is?
(Kirsten Tucker) Arizona Kirsten Tucker Photography hiking travel waterfall Wed, 08 Jun 2016 17:03:51 GMT
Arizona Birds, Part II "Hey, Kirsten - got any more bird photos from Arizona to share?"

Well, of course I do!

Eared Grebe

Abert's Towhee

Bridled Titmouse

Williamson's Sapsucker (female)

Olive Warbler

So many birds, so little time!

(Kirsten Tucker) Aberts' Towhee Arizona Bridled Titmouse Eared Grebe Kirsten Tucker Photography Olive Warbler Willamson's Sapsucker bird travel Mon, 06 Jun 2016 14:00:00 GMT
Petrified Forest National Forest A couple of hours east of Flagstaff lies Petrified Forest National Park. If you like geology and landscape, you should visit. But maybe not when it's gusting 40-50 mph...

Care to guess how many dust spots I edited off these photos?! Packing the camera bodies up for cleaning as soon as I finish this blog post...

(Kirsten Tucker) Arizona Kirsten Tucker Photography Petrified Forest National Park forest petrified travel Fri, 03 Jun 2016 23:37:05 GMT
Lower Antelope Canyon Everyone and their brother has photographed Lower Antelope Canyon near Page, AZ, but I like to think it's still possible to do something unique. So, I headed in for a quick photo tour this past Sunday.

If you'd like to order a print, rest assured it won't cost you a $million. <wink>

(Kirsten Tucker) Arizona Kirsten Tucker Photography Lower Antelope Canyon Page canyon sandstone travel Fri, 20 May 2016 16:00:00 GMT
Thar Be Dragons! Along with squirrels and birds, I'm really loving the dragons lizards here in Arizona.

The Desert Spiny Lizard who suns himself atop a shrub.

The Greater Earless Lizard standing guard at Tuzigoot National Monument.

And, (my favorite) this horned lizard (a.k.a "horny toad") that we were super lucky to spot yesterday along Hanging Garden Trail in Page, AZ. I think it is a Desert Horned Lizard.

(Kirsten Tucker) Arizona Desert Horned Lizard Desert Spiny Lizard Greater Earless Lizard Kirsten Tucker Photography dragon horny toad lizard travel Mon, 16 May 2016 21:42:00 GMT
Arizona Birds Before I visit a new place, I make a bird "wish list". What have I never seen that I might find in this area?

My list for northern Arizona is about 25 species long. I've spotted and photographed 10 birds off the list as of today. Here are a few representatives:

Red-faced Warbler Juniper Titmouse Plumbeous Vireo

Lucy's Warbler

Western Bluebird

(Kirsten Tucker) Arizona Juniper Titmouse Kirsten Tucker Photography Lucy's Warbler Plumbeous Vireo Red-faced Warbler Western Bluebird bird travel Wed, 11 May 2016 23:35:30 GMT
Squirrel! Greetings from Flagstaff, Arizona where I've become smitten with the Abert's Squirrel!

More to come of these little devils plus I hope to get caught up on photos and posts from my Costa Rica trip last month. Stay tuned!

(Kirsten Tucker) Abert's Squirrel Arizona Flagstaff Kirsten Tucker Photography squirrel travel Mon, 02 May 2016 22:07:50 GMT
The Sandhill Crane Problem that No One is Talking About Deep in the heart of the Great Plains, there's a growing problem that no one is talking about. I traveled to Nebraska last week to bring you this story.

Firsthand, I repeatedly witnessed a heart-breaking scene - Sandhill Cranes smoking corn stalks!

What's next?! Corn stalks are surely a gateway drug.

If you see this behavior, or behavior such as tossing of corn cobs and debris, document it. We can't help if we don't study and understand this problem.

Happy April Fool's Day!

(Kirsten Tucker) April Fool's Great Plains Kirsten Tucker Photography Nebraska Sandhill Crane addiction bird Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:51:02 GMT
Texas Panhandle I made a brief stop in the Texas panhandle last week. I really ought to spend some extended time here.

The landscape is just gorgeous! (Although, the wind was a bit nuts...)

Lots of critters, too!

Feral Piglet

Golden-fronted Woodpecker Rufous-crowned Sparrow (a lifer for me!) Bewick's Wren   Greater Roadrunner Ring-necked Pheasant

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird bison landscape panhandle pheasant piglet roadrunner sparrow travel Thu, 31 Mar 2016 14:00:00 GMT
Ahhh... You know how great it feels to find something to reach that itchy spot on your back that you can't reach yourself? Yea, so does this bison!

Bison, Caprock Canyons State Park, Texas

(Kirsten Tucker) Caprock Canyons Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bison nature scratch travel wildlife Tue, 29 Mar 2016 21:33:37 GMT
Atop of Osorno, Photographer Problems To the tune of ON TOP OF OLD SMOKEY

"Atop of Osorno, all covered with snow.

I lost my poor lens cap; know not where it go.

Fell out of my pocket, and onto the ground.

And now my poor lens cap, shall never be found."

Osorno Volcano, Chile ~ January 2016

(Kirsten Tucker) Chile Kirsten Tucker Photography Osorno travel volcano Tue, 08 Mar 2016 18:04:15 GMT
The Bobble Buddies, Parental Edition Yesterday, the Bobble Buddies were alert and curious when I stopped by. As they grow, they spend more and more time on the nest by themselves.

But that does not mean they are alone. Hortense and Mr. Hooty are nearby.

This morning, the bobbles were sleeping in but I spied Hortense in a tree to the west.

AND, Mr. Hooty in a tree to the east. Isn't he handsome?! Such a treat to see the whole family.

(Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl owlet Sun, 06 Mar 2016 18:08:16 GMT
The Bobble Buddies, an Owlet Update We're growing and doing great! Hortense and the Mr. are great parents.

Big Yawn!

Mom's Away. Let's play!

(Kirsten Tucker) Cypress Great Horned Owl Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Thu, 03 Mar 2016 22:57:09 GMT
The Canyon Wren On a recent trip in west Texas, I drove by some interesting rocks and thought to myself, "If I were a Canyon Wren, I'd live here."

So I pulled over, walked up to the base of the boulders and began to "pish". Up popped this little fellow. He sang twice, fussed a bit and then disappeared behind the rocks again.

If you've never heard the call of a Canyon Wren, you are missing out. Listen here.

(Kirsten Tucker) Canyon Wren Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird wren Sun, 28 Feb 2016 14:48:47 GMT
Hortense Has Been Hiding a Secret... wait 'til You See What it Is! (Great Horned Owl, Part III) Forgive the "hook" blog post title. :P

Tonight I had a "Wild Kingdom" moment. For those too young to know what that is, think of a "National Geographic" moment.

I was watching Hortense (yes, I named the owl... don't judge) hoping for something exciting. I was rewarded SO SO greatly!

First, I discovered an owlet!

Then after watching a while longer to see if there was more than one owlet (I'm still not sure), the male owl stopped by! I was so excited I was going to burst. I snapped photos furiously. But, it was getting dark (high ISO) and I was hand-holding at 400mm.

So friends, I share with my you my grainy masterpiece of the family.

(Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Wed, 17 Feb 2016 01:17:02 GMT
Great Horned Owl, Part II Last weekend, I discovered a nesting Great Horned Owl. I looked in on her today. She's still sitting pretty!

Anyone want to lend me a 500mm lens for a while?. <wink> 400mm is not quite enough.

"Oh, you're back again with that camera. Lucky me."

(Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Sat, 13 Feb 2016 21:50:36 GMT
Spring is Here! The Egyptian Goose is not native to North America but they've been doing quite well establishing colonies around Houston. They are shelducks, so I'd named the neighborhood pair Shelly and Shelley.

This morning they had a surprise for me - 6 fluffy new chicks! I will call them the "Jellies".

Spring is definitely here.

(Kirsten Tucker) Egyptian Goose Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird chick shelduck Fri, 12 Feb 2016 00:08:37 GMT
Superb Owl Sunday Look "Hoo" I discoverd on my walk this morning! I'm excited to watch for chicks in the future.

Happy Superb Owl Sunday!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:30:07 GMT
The Cape that Could Sometimes you find yourself in a place so marvelous you don't want to leave. Cape Bougainville (The Falkands) in January is one of those places.

On a recent cruise, we ported one day in Stanley (an interesting place in it's own right!). I'd booked an excursion with Estancia Excursions (top notch company, by the way!) to the Rockhopper Penguin and Imperial Cormorant colony at Cape Bougainville. We met our driver, Nobby (fabulous driver and great guy), and headed out. We drove a long way on paved road, then a long way on gravel, then a long way bumping along the boggy ground (thank you 4WD!).

Wow, was it windy! But I forgot about that VERY quickly when I saw what lay before me. It was heaven watching the cormorants courting and nesting, the penguin chicks creching and the adults waddling about, the sea lions being sea lions and all the other wildlife (hares and birds galore!).

This was one photographically productive (long) hour! I'm still smiling three weeks later. That's how much fun I had.

Upland Goose

Sea Lions

Imperial Cormorants

Rockhopper Penguins

Here's to the folks and fauna of The Falklands! I'll be back.

(Kirsten Tucker) Estancia Excursions Kirsten Tucker Photography Rockhopper South America The Falklands Upland Goose bird cormorant penguin travel Thu, 28 Jan 2016 23:13:00 GMT
The Fludgling Fludge (verb) - to accidentally fledge.

I recently took a cruise vacation in South America. While I wade through the piled up "pays the bills" work and photos to edit, I share with you "The Fludgling."

The peeping was close - very close. But, WHERE on earth was that bird? I looked in the trees high and low. I took a step back to look harder; I looked down when I did. And, there was little Fludgie. He looked too small to already be out of the nest but I soon saw a parent near by.

Note to birder self and others, look down more often!

P.S. - it's a Rufous-collared Sparrow chick.


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Rufous-collared Sparrow South America bird chick fludge travel Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:44:27 GMT
2015 Fifteen Everyone is posting "my top 10 photos" so here's my answer - Kirsten's 2015 Fifteen! - photos that make me happy, in no particular order.

Here's to another year of journeys, memories and captures.



(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Thu, 31 Dec 2015 16:03:13 GMT
Wonder and Joy My very best to you and yours this holiday season!

(Kirsten Tucker) Christmas Kirsten Tucker Photography holiday ornament Fri, 25 Dec 2015 16:26:49 GMT
Birds of 2015 You may guess from looking at this photo blog that I have become an avid birder in the last couple of years. 'Tis true!

I've put together a sampling of the many birds I've seen and photographed this past year.

How many can you identify?


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography bird travel Wed, 23 Dec 2015 00:08:00 GMT
iPhone at a Concert One of our holiday traditions is to go to a Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert. While I saw many folks pulling out point-and-shoot cameras, I didn't think my DSLR was going to be permitted. But, I did have my iPhone (6+).

The quality is not what I'd normally like to achieve in low light, but I try to remember that this kind of thing was impossible just a few years ago.

Oh, and the concert? It ROCKED! "TSO! TSO!" Anyone know how to get me a press pass so I can take real photos next year?

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Trans Siberian Orchestra concert holiday iPhone Mon, 21 Dec 2015 16:08:44 GMT
Florida Sandhills In most parts of the U.S. Sandhill Cranes migrate, but in Florida there are populations that reside year-round. I recently visited my mother in Florida and came home one afternoon to find a family group of cranes in the back yard. They are very tolerant of people. At one point, while I sat in the yard, they walked past me not 4 feet away (too close for my long lens!).

What a treat it was to watch these wonderful birds!

(Kirsten Tucker) Florida Kirsten Tucker Photography Sandhill Crane bird travel Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:57:51 GMT
My Favorite Angel As a little girl I had my very own Christmas tree in my room. This little angel has been with me ever since.

Share a photo of your cherished or favorite ornament(s)!


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography angel holiday nostalgia ornament Tue, 01 Dec 2015 20:44:31 GMT
Magical Winter Lights - Houston Last night we took a trip to the Magical Winter Lights show currently on at Sam Houston Race Park.

Twinkle, twinkle..

Houston will always be "Space City"

Under the Sea

Don't forget to enjoy the carnival activities!

Should you decide to take in the lights yourself this Thanksgiving weekend, save 15% off tickets purchased for November 25-29th using the code “MAGICAL15”. Offer valid online only.

(Kirsten Tucker) Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Magical Winter Lights Texas holiday Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:12:56 GMT
Got to Be a Part of It I have extended family near New York City, so I try to get up there every year or two. I took a quick trip at the end of October.

There wasn't much time for photos but I squeezed these in. I also took a bird walk in Central Park (thanks Birding Bob!) and saw a great show (Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder).

Who doesn't love New York?

Behind Penn Station

Lovely sunset building reflection

Grand Central Station

"Let's Sit a Spell" (Central Park)

Autumn Leaves in Central Park


(Kirsten Tucker) Birding Bob Central Park Grand Central Station I love New York Kirsten Tucker Photography New York travel Fri, 20 Nov 2015 01:52:16 GMT
November 2015 HMNS Pixel Party / HCP Capture Crawl The Houston Museum of Natural Science periodically opens it's doors to photographers for specific exhibits after hours. Sunday November 15, 2015 was such a day.

Photographers from the Houston area, including Houston Center Photography members were treated to two hours of inside access in the "Out of the Amazon" exhibit and the Hall of Ancient Egypt. The only rule? No flash. Works for me!

So many beautiful feathers in the Amazon exhibit.


And, there's always something new and interesting in Ancient Egypt.

(Kirsten Tucker) Capture Crawl HCP HMNS Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Pixel Party Texas Mon, 16 Nov 2015 22:41:34 GMT
2016 Calendars are Here! Calendars are shipping starting next week. Most of them are already spoken for, so order now before they're gone!

$14.99 each plus shipping. Contact me at [email protected] .

(Kirsten Tucker) 2016 Kirsten Tucker Photography calendar Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:27:39 GMT
What's a Photo Ranch? The birds are already flitting about the trees fringing the blind as photographer Ruth Hoyt sets things up for our shoot at one of the blinds at Laguna Seca Ranch north of Edinburg, TX. Soon Northern Bobwhite, Green Jays, Northern Cardinals, Black-crested Titmouse and other Valley birds are visiting the area.

What's a photo ranch? Across Texas ranches are setting up photo blinds. Some ranches also offer lodging and meals. Photographers like Ruth shoot and lead workshops at the ranches. My workshop was a one-day shoot offered as part of the annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival.

There's a lot of waiting involved; you're on the bird's schedule. It's a large ranch; the birds have a lot of territory and options. And, for a while, a Cooper's Hawk plants himself in a nearby tree and scares off the birds - that is, until the Green Jays gang up and chase him off.

But, the sunken photo blind I'm in gives a unique perspective and there's a lovely soft background to work with.

Long-billed Thrasher Black-crested Titmouse Green Jay (you know I love Jays, right?) Olive Sparrow Northern Bobwhite

I'm looking forward to doing another photo ranch trip soon. Who's with me?

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Laguna Seca Ranch Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Ruth Hoyt Texas bird bobwhite jay photo ranch sparrow thrasher titmouse Thu, 12 Nov 2015 20:10:59 GMT
Channeling My Inner Mangelsen One of the first names that comes to mind when you mention "wildlife photographer" is Tom Mangelsen. If you've ever been through the Denver airport, you're also likely to recognize the name.

On the final day of shooting at the Summit Series nature photography workshop, I had the privilege of shooting with him. He's a genuine guy and a pleasure to learn from. He took us to some of his usual haunts in the Tetons. Even did a little unplanned 4x4'ing! Wildlife was scarcer than usual but we found some bison in lovely tall grass (think about your backgrounds!). 

The workshop also gifted participants with a copy of Tom's most recent book, "The Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek." It's a beautiful piece of work. I had mine signed, of course!

You can get your own copy online or at an upcoming book signing


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Summit Series Tetons Tom Mangelsen Wyoming bison travel wildlife Mon, 12 Oct 2015 21:25:27 GMT
Grand Prismatic Spring Late September 2013 - destination Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Then, there was a government shutdown which closed all the parks.

I never made it to Yellowstone.

Late September 2015 - second attempt. Success! I had three marvelous days in Yellowstone (not enough for this amazing place!). One of my must-see destinations was the Grand Prismatic Spring.

Most people see the spring from the boardwalk. It's interesting; it's nice.

But, if you want that classic view, you're going to have to climb for it.

Drive down the road a bit further to the Fairy Falls trailhead. Hit the trail. Go across the bridge and after a ways, you'll see a couple of rough trails up the hill to the left that overlooks the spring. It's rocky and a little steep but quite doable for the generally fit. And, it's SO worth it!

If you are up for some more walking after Grand Prismatic, complete the full Fairy Falls trail. It's about 5 miles RT and quite flat and easy with a lovely waterfall at the end.


(Kirsten Tucker) Grand Prismatic Kirsten Tucker Photography Wyoming Yellowstone hiking nature travel Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:47:45 GMT
Close Encounters of the Bird Kind Perfectly perched on a bare horizontal branch. The setting looked like a set, but it was completely natural. The bird was completely unafraid and, in fact, darn right curious about me.

I've never been that close to a non-captive bird. It's possible it was a rehab bird and is rather used to people (it was banded).

What a rush to spend a full 10 minutes watching and photoing this magnificent hawk!

Cooper's Hawk

(Kirsten Tucker) Colorado Cooper's Hawk Kirsten Tucker Photography bird hawk Tue, 15 Sep 2015 22:36:22 GMT
Mills Lake While in Colorado last month, I visited Rocky Mountain National Park twice or more a week. I explored much more of the park than ever before. In addition to taking full advantage of photography opps, I did quite a bit of hiking.

My favorite hike was Mills Lake. If you've ever seen the back side of a Colorado quarter, you've seen Mills Lake!

The hike is moderate, a bit over 5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of about 800 feet. The incline is very gradual and pleasant.

The Approach to Mills Lake

If you plan to take in some RMNP hikes, you need to know about this website -

So much useful information!

Other tips for enjoying park hikes during peak summer season:

  • Go early! The parking lots fill by 8-9 am.
  • Go early if you want that peaceful serene experience. I started hikes by 7 am and was on my way down when everyone else was going up. It was perfect!
  • Go early! It's cooler.
  • Pack water and snacks.
  • Don't feed the critters.
  • Breathe in that mountain air.
  • Listen to the sounds of nature.
  • Really look at where you are - it's amazing!
  • Be ready to answer "How much further to the lake?", the mountain equivalent of "Are we there yet?"

My 2nd favorite hike? The Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake and Haiyaha Lake circuit.

(Kirsten Tucker) Colorado Kirsten Tucker Photography Mills Lake Rocky Mountain National Park hiking mountain travel Fri, 11 Sep 2015 00:29:45 GMT
I Have a Thing for Jays and Magpies I've previously professed my love for jays and magpies. They are full of life and personality and will steal your lunch if you don't take precaution!

Colorado did not disappoint me in this department.

Gray Jay

Black-billed Magpie

Clark's Nutcracker

Stellar's Jay Which jay or magpie is your favorite?

(Kirsten Tucker) Colorado Kirsten Tucker Photography bird jay magpie nutcracker Fri, 04 Sep 2015 23:19:17 GMT
Greetings from Colorado (Part III) Wow, does a month go by quickly?! It's nearly time for me to head back to Texas.

Lest you think I only shoot photos of critters, here are some other things that caught my eye.

The approach to Mills Lake

A partially-submerged fence at a farm pond Rocky Mountain wildflowers

Daisies in the rain

(Kirsten Tucker) Colorado Kirsten Tucker Photography Rocky Mountain National Park fence landscape travel wildflower Sun, 30 Aug 2015 18:36:45 GMT
Greetings from Colorado!! (Part II) Still loving my time here in the Rockies! Here are a few friends I made this past week.

Mule Deer

Yellow-bellied Marmots (I love to say "Yellow-bellied...")

Mourning Cloak Gray Jay (he'll steal your lunch if you are not careful!)

(Kirsten Tucker) Colorado Kirsten Tucker Photography Rocky Mountain National Park bird deer marmot travel Fri, 21 Aug 2015 22:45:21 GMT
Greetings from Colorado! I've left the heat and humidity of August in Houston behind and escaped to Colorado! It's so nice to get outdoors and shoot nearly every day. And, Rocky Mountain National Park is less than an hour away - heaven!

Where did you escape to this summer? I'm making a list for future "avoid Houston in August" years. :P

Here's a few things I saw during my first week:

American Three-Toed Woodpecker

Green-tailed Towhee Great Plains Toad

Squirrel! (Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel)

Say's Phoebe

Cooper's Hawk

Steller's Jay (juvenile)


(Kirsten Tucker) Colorado Kirsten Tucker Photography Rocky Mountain National Park bird hawk squirrel toad travel Wed, 12 Aug 2015 19:55:04 GMT
Waugh Drive Bats I've lived in the Houston area a LONG time now. And I'm embarrassed to say that I'd never gone to see the Waugh Drive bat colony. Until this past Saturday, that is!

What - you've never been either?! Head on down a bit before sunset. Peer under the bridge at the bats as they stir (you may need to hold your nose and wear a hat...). Soon enough they will start to fly out. There's a lot of them so it takes a while. And, if you are lucky, you'll see some hawks out for an evening snack of fresh bat!

After the sun goes down, take a selfie at the "dandelion" fountain, gaze at the moon, then head to the Chocolate Bar for ice cream.

(Kirsten Tucker) Chocolate Bar Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas Waugh Drive bats Thu, 23 Jul 2015 14:00:00 GMT
Suburban Safari I love to visit parks and nature centers near home. One I visit frequently is Kleb Woods Nature Preserve in Tomball, TX.

To encourage the return of local fauna, Kleb stopped allowing dogs in the park about a year ago. One of the recent park visitors is a grey fox. I'd heard tell of it's regularity, so I stopped by this afternoon. As I wandered about, I heard someone calling my name alerting me to the animal (thanks, Linda!). 

There it was! Eating bird seed. I guess when you are hungry, you are hungry! And, the birds didn't seem to mind.

It struck a quick pose and was off for an evening stroll.

What adventures have you had on a suburban safari?

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Kleb Woods Texas fox grey fox suburban safari Mon, 20 Jul 2015 23:34:39 GMT
Hatch of the Day Sunday morning, this little guy was just an egg. Yesterday - poof! Fuzzy little Killdeer chick racing across the grass.

Killdeer are precocial - "hatched or born in an advanced state and able to feed itself almost immediately."

(Kirsten Tucker) Killdeer Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird chick precocial Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:04:00 GMT
Puffins!! Puffins are so fun to watch and photograph!

(Kirsten Tucker) Iceland Kirsten Tucker Photography bird puffin travel Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:26:26 GMT
The Good and the Bad I’ve been aboard the National Geographic Explorer on an arctic journey of Svalbard, East Greenland and Iceland since June 24th. This is expedition cruising on an ice-strengthened vessel – visiting places that many do not.

You have photographic expectations when you book this kind of trip. You want the perfect polar bear shot, the perfect puffin shot, the perfect walrus shot, the perfect iceberg shot. Many of your wishes will be fulfilled.

Some wishes will not come to fruition. There have been no great icebergs. And, we’ve aborted our visit to East Greenland due to early and lasting sea ice that even a nuclear-powered ice-breaker would find challenging.

Things not possible also occur - a landing on the island of Jan Mayen, located between Svalbard and Iceland. The island has 18 residents, primarily Norwegian military manning a weather station and various other technological stations. The post is highly coveted; the current commander is serving his 13 months on the island as his pre-retirement wish. There are just a handful of days when “Mr. Handsome”, Beerenberg, the volcano tips his hat to reveal his full glory. The day we visited was such a day. Yes, those are glaciers running down the side of the volcano!

Some wishes are yet but dreams of future days… Here’s to the perfect puffin shot to come!

(Kirsten Tucker) Greenland Iceland Jan Mayen Kirsten Tucker Photography Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Explorer Svalbard travel Sat, 04 Jul 2015 08:24:23 GMT
Happy 4th of July!

(Kirsten Tucker) 4th of July Bald Eagle Kirsten Tucker Photography bird eagle patriotic Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:30:00 GMT
Electricians Needed?? Part of the fun of traveling is seeing how other cultures do things.

Part of the horror of traveling is seeing how other cultures do things.

Electrical pole in Kathmandu, Nepal, circa 2010.


(Kirsten Tucker) Kathmandu Kirsten Tucker Photography Nepal culture electric travel Thu, 18 Jun 2015 22:43:12 GMT
Happiest Army on Earth From the files of my very first photography tour. Bhutan, November 2008. 

We passed a military transport of the happiest and friendliest troops I've ever seen.

I need to revisit Bhutan soon.

(Kirsten Tucker) Bhutan Kirsten Tucker Photography army military travel troops Fri, 12 Jun 2015 13:37:15 GMT
Travel Takes My Breath Away There are some travel spots that actually exceed the hype. The first for me was Macchu Picchu. I'd planned to go there since my Central American Indians anthropology class in undergrad. Tears ran down my face when I looked down on it for the first time. Sadly, my photos from that trip are lacking. (Guess I have to go back!!)

Another spot that will take your breath away is the Taj Mahal. I expected great things, and it was so much more. The first glimpse through the door is something I'll always remember.

Oh, and visiting Mount Everest. That one takes your breath away quite literally!!

Where have you had your "Take My Breath Away" travel moments?

(Kirsten Tucker) Agra China India Mount Everest Taj Mahal Tibet travel Tue, 09 Jun 2015 21:26:08 GMT
As the World Turns There are at least two ways to take a star trails shot - take one really long exposure or take lots of exposures and stack them on each other. I've done both and prefer the look of the latter method.

Below is the result of that latter process - 187 exposures, 22 seconds each. I've applied a "comet" effect in Photoshop by grouping exposures and graduating the opacity of the groups.

How do you prefer to do your star trails?

(Kirsten Tucker) As the World Turns Canyonlands National Park Utah motion night revolution star trail stars Mon, 01 Jun 2015 18:00:54 GMT
Goblins There's an other-worldly state park in Utah called Goblin Valley. The wind hewn hoodoos make for some interesting scenery. And a cloud-covered night can make for some interesting photos.



(Kirsten Tucker) Goblin Valley State Park Kirsten Tucker Photography Utah gobliln hoodoo rock Thu, 28 May 2015 23:32:31 GMT
Billions and Billions of Stars Carl Sagan was right! There are billions and billions of stars out there. But, you need to visit dark places to see them. Good thing I love to travel!

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the Goldpaint Photography night sky workshop I attended in Moab, UT.

Processing night sky photos takes time - a lot of it! Photoshop turns out to be a time suck. :P

Here is my freshman effort at a full Milky Way panorama over Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.

And, the best part? I know how to do it even better next time.

This photo is dedicated to a most dedicated mentor and teacher. Thanks, Brad! Congrats on your upcoming nuptials and adventure honeymoon!


(Kirsten Tucker) Canyonlands National Park Goldpaint Photography Kirsten Tucker Photography Mesa Arch Utah milky way night sky stars Fri, 15 May 2015 16:29:08 GMT
Leucistic Ladder-backed Woodpecker From Wikipedia: "Leucism /ˈljsɪzəm/[1] is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes.[2] Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin."

Last Friday afternoon I was visiting Lora's Blind at South Llano River State Park near Junction, Texas (a marvelous park for birds by the way). The blind was a little slow, so I turned my attention to the Ladder-backed Woodpecker I could hear behind me. What I saw stopped me in my tracks. It was leucistic! What a find.

The opposite of leucistic is melanistic. Now to find a melanistic bird!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Ladder-backed Woodpecker South Llano River State Park Texas bird leucistic woodpecker Wed, 13 May 2015 21:29:14 GMT
Flying Rainbows If you think birds are brown and boring, you are looking at the wrong birds.

For example, Painted Buntings. They are flying rainbows!!


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Painted Bunting South Llano State Park Texas bird bunting rainbow Mon, 11 May 2015 21:41:54 GMT
We are Star-Stuff Two or so years ago, I saw an article about this guy named Brad Goldpaint who was doing some great night sky photography. I was impressed so signed up for a workshop in Moab, UT in May 2013.

Mother Nature is fickle. Except for a few hours here and there, the weather did not cooperate. I managed this shot an hour or so before we were driven off of Delicate Arch by a thunderstorm (some day you should ask me to tell you that story...)

Sadly, we never really did see the Milky Way that weekend.

Fast forward to 2015. This past weekend, I tried my luck again, having signed up for an alumni only class. Once again, it seemed Mother Nature was not gonna let it happen. BUT... Brad always suggests you arrive a day early and leave a day late to allow for weather issues. That extra night/following morning at the end of the weekend did the trick!

Sleep deprived and elated, I caught this group portrait under the moonlight with the Milky Way over Landscape Arch in Canyonlands National Park, UT.

I have many more photos to process and will share them with you soon. In the meantime:

  • Do you find yourself gazing at shiny objects in the night sky?
  • Are you ready to learn night sky photography skills?
  • Are you ok with being a little short on sleep, maybe a little cold and sometimes unsure of your footing (and sanity)?
  • Do you like to drink fresh-brewed hot chocolate, coffee or tea in the middle of the night/morning while in the company of like-minded photographers just like you?

Then sign up for Brad's newsletter so that you'll be among the first to know about his 2016 workshop offerings!

(Kirsten Tucker) Brad Goldpaint Canyonlands Delicate Arch Kirsten Tucker Photography Landscape Arch Moab Utah Thu, 30 Apr 2015 23:16:30 GMT
Happy Earth Day!! I spent the morning of Earth Day 2015 at the weekly Kleb Woods Nature Preserve bird walk. I happened to park near a mulberry tree. The Cedar Waxwings swarmed and had a field day. A beautiful thing to witness, but oh, my poor mulberry-pooped on car! The price of beauty, I guess.

Happy Earth Day!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Cedar Waxwing Kirsten Tucker Photography Kleb Woods Texas bird spring Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:13:10 GMT
Down in the Valley (the Rio Grande Valley) The Rio Grande Valley of Texas is rich in wildlife, especially birds. The many parks and sanctuaries along the river assure that there's lots to see and do. On the way to the Valley, you should also take a tour at King Ranch (yes, the King Ranch of Ford truck fame). In a one-day tour, we saw nearly 100 species of birds!

Here are a few photos from this past weekend's trip.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Scissortail Flycatcher Bronzed Cowbird

Cotton Rat

Buff-bellied Hummingbird Common Pauraque (with her two little ones) Spiny Lizard Olive Sparrow I plan to return to the Valley again in the fall for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. Who else is going?

(Kirsten Tucker) Bronzed Cowbird Buff-bellied Hummingbird Common Pauraque Cotton Rat Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl King Ranch Kirsten Tucker Photography Olive Sparrow Rio Grande Valley Scissortail Flycatcher Spiny Lizard Texas bird Tue, 21 Apr 2015 22:19:57 GMT
Clapper Rail You're out birding and you hear what sounds something like hammering. But, it's 7 AM at a nature preserve in Texas. There's no one around. And, the hammering is coming from under the boardwalk you're on. Ohh.... it's a Clapper Rail!

Click play on the sound bite link here to hear it yourself. Pretty unique sound!


(Kirsten Tucker) Baytown Nature Center Clapper Rail Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird rail Tue, 07 Apr 2015 19:46:17 GMT
Brown Anole Brown Anole on a sunny spring day.

(Kirsten Tucker) Brown Anole Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas lizard Tue, 31 Mar 2015 18:56:31 GMT
Brazos Bend State Park (Again) It seems I am always extolling the virtues of Brazos Bend State Park. So, why break tradition and stop now?

At this time of year, every couple of weeks the parks hosts a Friday morning bird walk. The walk is free (although you must pay park admission if you don't have a Texas state park pass. You don't have a state park pass?! You ninny! Go get one - now! But, I digress...). Walks start at 8:30 at the 40-Acre Lake parking area. Birds you may see this time of year include:

Tricolored Heron - I'm not sure what he caught here; maybe a tadpole?

American Bittern - this is one of THE parks to see this bird. I believe this specimen is perfecting moves for a "Dancing with the Stars" audition.

Little Blue Heron - he's not blue, you say? Well, he'll grow into it.

White Ibis - "I wonder if this is edible?" Ultimately, he decided it was not and dropped it.

Cute little Barn Swallows - who doesn't like Barn Swallows?

And, the park is home to many many wonderful alligators, deer and such.

Tomorrow's weather should be fantastic in the Houston area. Why not go to Brazos Bend?

P.S. If there's a gator on the trail (it happens a lot), walk BEHIND it. ;)

(Kirsten Tucker) American Bittern Barn Swallow Brazos Bend State Park Kirsten Tucker Photography Little Blue Heron Texas Tricolored Heron White Ibis bird walk Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:54:55 GMT
Wolf Spider When I am out birding, I often have to remind myself to "Look down!" There are obstacles out there - holes, rocks, roots, spiderwebs, the cottonmouth snake I almost stepped on once...

There are nifty things on the ground, too, like this Wolf Spider that I saw carrying her egg sac yesterday. Such pretty eyes!

When the babies hatch, she'll carry them around on her back until they are big enough to go off on their own.

Have you seen anything interesting on the ground lately?

(Kirsten Tucker) Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas nature outdoors spider wolf spider Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:16:05 GMT
Spring Is In the Air After what (at least seemed like) weeks of wet, grey weather in the Houston area, it was dryish this past Friday. Despite the heavy fog, I headed to the Bolivar peninsula and Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge to see what I could find.

"The Reunion" - Great Egrets are actively nesting at the Smith Oaks rookery at High Island.

""Incognito" - what Great Blue Heron?

'Sweeping Up" - an Avocet sweeps the sediment in search of a snack.

"Skimmers, terns, godwit..." - what else can you ID in this crowd?

"The Poser" - this Reddish Egret was fairly tolerant of my pursuit.

Now, I await the influx of spring migrants!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Anahuac NWR Bolivar Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas avocet bird egret heron nesting skimmer spring Mon, 23 Mar 2015 21:31:41 GMT
Blue-crowned Motmot If you wonder how that bright blue and green bird eludes you in the trees, you need only look at it's habitat.

(Kirsten Tucker) Blue-crowned Motmot Costa Rica Kirsten Tucker Photography bird motmot Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:52:02 GMT
White-throated Magpie-Jay Last week I took a little vacation to Costa Rica. It wasn't truly a birding trip, but I did my best to make it one. ;)

Before the trip, I was leafing through my copy of "The Birds of Costa Rica." When I saw page 265, I thought, "I *really* want to see that bird!" Our guide said they were likely near Arenal volcano. I crossed all my fingers and toes.

And... they were there!

These birds ooze personality and are so curious. Some built nests. One near a lunch spot swiped a packet of mayo off the table. They watched us nearly as much as we watched them.

I saw many many birds on this trip - over 70 were lifers! But, these guys stole the show.

I also saw a Resplendent Quetzal in the Monteverde Cloud Forest! A "holy grail" kind of bird. Wish I'd gotten THAT picture, but he flew away too quickly. Guess I need to go back to Costa Rica soon. Oh, darn!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Costa Rica Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography White-throated Magpie-Jay bird birding jay travel Thu, 12 Mar 2015 00:27:56 GMT
Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty ... little ball of GRRRRR!

Sometimes your photo model wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.

Snow Leopard, Feb 2015

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Montana big cat kitty leopard snow leopard winter Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:14:23 GMT
Houston Audubon Education Programs Are you familiar with Houston Audubon's education programs? One of the programs they provide is raptor and owl presentations. You'll meet some wonderful rehab birds and learn about how they live in rehab and in the wild. You might meet:

Percy, the Eastern Screech Owl

Juliet, the Barred Owl

Tskili, the Great Horned Owl

Skeeter, the Mississippi Kite

Spirit, the grande-dame Red-tailed Hawk (she's 30 years old!)

Cairo, the Peregrine Falcon

Or, Luna, the adorable Swallow-tailed Kite (I admit, I fell in love with her!)

These presentations are an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with owls and raptors and learn more about them. Why not contact Mary Anne Weber or Vicki Stittleburg at Houston Audubon (713.640.2407) to schedule one today?

(Kirsten Tucker) Houston Audubon Kirsten Tucker Photography bird hawk kite owl raptor Mon, 02 Feb 2015 15:30:00 GMT
Bosque del Apache The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is world-known for the winter morning liftoffs of geese and cranes. On the way back from Christmas in Colorado I insisted on a side trip to Bosque. I only had one day, but I was not disappointed!

Many thanks to my spouse for supporting my very out of the way side trip! And, a hearty "Good to see you again!" to fellow photographer Scott Paine who I was able to reconnect with while there.

The calm before the liftoff:


The landscape:

A Greater Roadrunner who seems to be very late for an important date. Why do I love roadrunners so?

A friendly deer:

The stealthy Junco. They don't look stealthy, but they are!

Do you notice a theme in the color tone of the location?

(Kirsten Tucker) Bosque del Apache Kirsten Tucker Photography New Mexico bird deer geese junco landscape refuge roadrunner Fri, 23 Jan 2015 18:14:14 GMT
Zum Christkindlesmarkt In 2006 I took my first Christmas markets trip along the Danube from Nuremberg, Germany to Vienna, Austria. That began a long-lasting love affair. I go into withdrawal if I don't go the markets every couple of years. Really!

Last month, I grabbed a friend for a 4-day whirlwind Christmas Market extravaganza in Münich, Stuttgart and Nuremberg, Germany (my all-time favorite market) and Innsbrück, Austria. I was even lucky enough to connect with my brother for a day in Stuttgart.

The Christmas season in Bavaria is magic to me. Maybe I see it with rose-colored glasses, but it's so traditional. Church bells, organ and choir concerts. Socialization and family are key. The food! Oh, the food, especially the sausages. Freshly cut trees and evergreens. Glühwein, that marvelous spiced wine elixir flows and keeps the chill at bay.

Come to the markets with me in 2015? I'd love to show them to you. I even speak a little German. ;)

(Kirsten Tucker) Austria Christmas Germany Innsbruck Kirsten Tucker Photography Munich Nuremberg Stuttgart christkindlesmarkt travel weinachtsmarkt Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Morning Surprise I took the camera on our morning walk today as I discovered a nice Horned Grebe earlier this week.

Most days I see Osprey at this park. Two were flying rather far off together so I waited for them to get closer to take their photo. When they were near, I realized that although the osprey were about, the pair I was presently tracking were not osprey at all!

Mr. & Mrs. Bald Eagle gave us quite a show, flying about 8 feet overhead (too close for my long lens!). What a treat!

I did find the grebe, too, but it was rather far out in the lake.

(Kirsten Tucker) Bald Eagle Cypress Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas eagle Sat, 10 Jan 2015 16:15:21 GMT
Happy New Year!! It's 2015 already?!

I am woefully behind on processing photos from November and December, and I've been neglectful of this website.

While I wade through the photo flood waters, here's a few photos from my holidays.

Happy 2015 everyone!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography holiday new year Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:28:51 GMT
Meep! Meep! A little Roadrunner humor for the day. Enjoy!

(Kirsten Tucker) Greater Roadrunner Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird meep roadrunner Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:07:24 GMT
Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg Faberge: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg is now open at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The museum most graciously invited photographers to a Pixel Party yesterday to view and photograph the exhibit. There are, of course, several Faberge eggs! But there are also some very special and unusual items. Drop by the museum to see them yourself.

(Kirsten Tucker) Fabergé HMNS Houston Houston Museum of Natural Science Texas pixel party Mon, 03 Nov 2014 22:19:58 GMT
Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR An hour west of Houston, you'll find the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge. The Attwaters Prairie Chicken is one of the most endangered bird species in North America.

I took a trip to Attwater yesterday. I walked a couple of trails and took the Auto Tour. The place is a-buzz with sparrows, caterpillars, butterflies and dragonflies right now!

While I didn't see a Prairie Chicken this trip, I have seen them three times. Once during the refuge's annual festival (each April). A second time during the refuge's annual bird count (each December). And third, on the refuge's monthly free van tour (call to register; generally the first Saturday of the month).

This refuge is free, folks! Step outside and go visit. They also have nice informational displays in the visitor center.

Even if you don't see a prairie chicken, you'll see sights like this:

(Kirsten Tucker) Attwater Prairie Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas prairie chicken Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:06:42 GMT
Thar Be Dragons! "May I photograph your bird?" I asked the pirate. "Oh, yes. But this is a DRAGON!" And upon the magic word, the bird lifted it's wings and morphed into a Dragon.

The Texas Renaissance Festival is full of magic, music and adventure. If you've never attended, you should! It runs weekends through Thanksgiving.


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas Renaissance Festival Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:28:00 GMT
Bless You!! I'd been wandering the campground area behind my hotel in the Omo Valley looking for birds. The birding was great! Then I heard someone sneeze. Or, at least it kinda sounded like a sneeze. I turned back to the birds. Then I heard it again. Now it was time to find someone to "Gesundheit!" But, I didn't see anyone. When the third sneeze came, I looked in the right direction.

It was a dikdik. I got one shot off before it bounded away. Who knew dikdik alarm calls sounded like sneezes?! He's a link to a YouTube video of something similar -

(Kirsten Tucker) Ethiopia Kirsten Tucker Photography alarm call dikdik sneeze Sat, 18 Oct 2014 18:56:23 GMT
Beautiful Mingi OMO CHILD rescues and cares for Mingi children from the Omo Valley tribal region of Southwest Ethiopia. Since 2008, we have been rescuing children deemed Mingi (or “cursed”) from certain death, providing them with a safe, loving home and a quality education. OMO CHILD also works to end the devastating practice of Mingi. - See more at:
OMO CHILD rescues and cares for Mingi children from the Omo Valley tribal region of Southwest Ethiopia. Since 2008, we have been rescuing children deemed Mingi (or “cursed”) from certain death, providing them with a safe, loving home and a quality education. OMO CHILD also works to end the devastating practice of Mingi. - See more at:""

"Mingi" children are considered cursed in their Omo Valley communities. If allowed to remain, they may bring drought, famine, disease or death. Tribes such as the Kara and Banna have now ended the killing of Mingi, but superstition and fear remain in other tribes.

This beautiful girl is Mingi.

During my recent visit to Ethiopia, we visited Omo Child, an organization dedicated to saving, housing, feeding and educating Mingi children and educating communities to end the Mingi practice.

Our group was moved to support this organization's mission. Should you be interested in learning more, visit .

Some of the tribes believe evil spirits or a “curse” will bring ill fortune (drought, famine, disease and death) to their villages if Mingi children are not killed.

Because tribal elders believe Mingi children’s presence on the land curses the tribe, they have mandated the killing of all Mingi children. The practice was recently ended in the Kara tribe, due in large part to the efforts of Lale Labuko and OMO CHILD. Unfortunately, Mingi is still practiced by the Hamer tribe.

A child can be declared Mingi for the following reasons — Teeth Mingi, Girl Mingi, Woman Mingi and Twin Mingi. Being declared Mingi almost always means death of the child. The tribe will leave the child alone in the bush without food and water or will drown the child in the river.

- See more at:

(Kirsten Tucker) Ethiopia Kirsten Tucker Photography Mingi Omo Omo Child Omo Valley fear superstition Wed, 08 Oct 2014 00:31:50 GMT
Ethiopian Kittens! Lordy, did I take a lot of photos in Ethiopia! The trip I was on had a cultural/environmental portraiture focus, but that does not mean I did not get any nature/critter shots.

Super cute Ethiopian kittens! Interested in using this photo as computer wallpaper or in print? Email for pricing.

(Kirsten Tucker) Ethiopia Kirsten Tucker Photography kittens Sun, 05 Oct 2014 16:27:20 GMT
Why Travel Nat Geo? I've been on a number of trips with National Geographic Expeditions.  Why do I like Nat Geo? First, the trips are well-planned, experts and guides are the best, and the destinations offered are outstanding. Second, there are always surprises.

Case in point - On the first full day of our Ethiopia photo tour, we visited the National Museum of Ethiopia. We toured the museum plus got an insider view of areas not open to the public. But, the icing on the cake was Lucy. Yes, THE Lucy. As an undergraduate student in Anthropology, I'd studied Lucy and related hominids. 

We were taken to the museum's third floor, through a locked corridor, through a locked door, and there she was! On a conference table - no barrier, no glass. Full access to one of the most important and well-known hominid fossils. How amazing is that?!

(Kirsten Tucker) Ethiopia Kirsten Tucker Photography Lucy National Museum of Ethiopia hominid Fri, 03 Oct 2014 08:43:27 GMT
Omo Valley Greetings from Ethiopia! I've just arrived back in Addis Ababa following a week in the Omo Valley. So many fabulous experiences that will unfold in photos over the coming weeks.

Tomorrow, we are off to the north to take in the historic rock-cut churches of Lalibela.

Girl of the Mursi People

(Kirsten Tucker) Africa Ethiopia Kirsten Tucker Photography Mursi Omo Valley girl Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:37:59 GMT
Velvet Ant Have you even seen a Velvet Ant? I hadn't even heard of one until today. It's a pretty big and colorful ant!



(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Kleb Woods Texas ant velvet ant Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:39:47 GMT
Making Lemonade A week in Glacier National Park, shooting moonlit and starry landscapes with Goldpaint Photography. It was going to be heaven!

But, Mother Nature had other plans most of that week - nightly clouds and rain. Ahhhhhhh!

As I make my way through the photos, a few silver linings (like these) are emerging, though.

Stay tuned for more.

(Kirsten Tucker) Glacier National Park Kirsten Tucker Photography Montana clouds exposure long water Sat, 30 Aug 2014 01:35:57 GMT
Finger Lakes I visited the Finger Lakes area of New York for a family wedding this past weekend. I was born in this area and always feel "home" when I have a chance to visit (which isn't often enough).

If you've never been, you are missing out on good people, good wine, good hiking and some outstanding opportunities to be in nature.

Need some recommendations? Give me a shout out!

A Cedar Waxwing collecting berries for her young along the nature trail at Cranberry Pond in Braddock Bay on the shores of Lake Ontario:

Sapsucker Woods, home to the Cornell University Ornithology Lab - fledgling Cedar Waxwing and a chipmunk:

Buck Settlement Cemetery along the Finger Lakes Trail:

And, my favorite spot - Watkins Glen:

(Kirsten Tucker) Braddock Bay Finger Lakes Kirsten Tucker Photography New York Sapsucker Woods Watkins Glen Thu, 07 Aug 2014 19:48:55 GMT
Purple Martins In many parts of Texas in July and August Purple Martins form large flocks and roost together in preparation for migration toward South America. I went to a roost in Stafford, TX last night to witness this spectacle of nature. It's not be missed!

Houston Audubon will be hosting 3 more similar viewings in the coming weeks - click HERE for more information.

I took a brief video with my phone.

(Kirsten Tucker) Houston Audubon Kirsten Tucker Photography Purple Martin Stafford Texas migration Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:04:45 GMT
Real Rodeo One of the side trips I took last week was the Columbia Falls, MT rodeo. They have one every Thursday during the summer.

Now, I've been to Rodeo (note the capitalization) in Houston. It's a big affair, lasting weeks and rivaling Mardis Gras. Really!

Local rodeo, though, is very different. And, on this Fourth of July, I can't think of anything more patriotic to share.

Kid events:

Big kid events:

I'd never photographed a sporting event before, so this was both a treat and a challenge. I can't wait to do it again!

And, don't forget to amble over the the Blue Moon Nite Club after the rodeo ends. Thursday is karaoke night! You might be invited to do shots with the locals. And, if your pal chats up the owner, you may get invited to see the family trophy room. They are serious hunters!

Have a safe and excellent Fourth of July!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Blue Moon Nite Club Columbia Falls Kirsten Tucker Photography Montana rodeo Fri, 04 Jul 2014 18:01:57 GMT
Snow Leopard Last week I visited the Triple D Game Ranch in Kalispell, MT for a Canon Live Learning event. I had all my fingers and toes crossed that we'd have the opportunity to photograph a Snow Leopard.

And, the opportunity came. This cat was a little timid but oh so beautiful. Someday, I hope to see one in the wild. Until then...

Stay tuned for many more photos from this amazing workshop!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kalispell Kirsten Tucker Photography Montana Snow Leopard Triple D Game Farm leopard Wed, 02 Jul 2014 02:01:02 GMT
Squirrel!! Super curious and super cute! You won't need a long lens. 

Find the Columbian Ground Squirrel easily near Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park. They sound a lot like birds when they talk.

Happy Sunday!

(Kirsten Tucker) Columbian Ground Squirrel Glacier National Park Kirsten Tucker Photography Montana squirrel Sun, 29 Jun 2014 19:59:35 GMT
I Took This with an iPhone?! June has been a quiet month photographically. It's gotten hot and the mosquitoes are awful, making outdoor adventure less than pleasurable. But, that's about to change. Next week I'm off to a wildlife photo shoot!

I sometimes entertain myself with my iPhone camera; I'm usually disappointed in the results. But then I took this photo of my cat, Kolya, last week. The sharpness at such close range really surprised me! I may need to experiment with the phone some more...

P.S. - if you are wondering, he's a Siberian (not Maine Coon).

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Kolya Siberian cat cat iPhone Fri, 20 Jun 2014 19:25:59 GMT
Signs of Summer Each June I have baby Mourning Doves in my yard. This is the first fledgling of the year. I call him Squab 1. Two more nests are yet to hatch!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Mourning Dove Texas bird dove fledgling squab Fri, 06 Jun 2014 16:41:54 GMT
The Snake that Ate the Swallows? Apparently, rat snakes are known for their climbing abilities. This snake was up high just under a roofline at the top of a cement wall at Anahuac NWR. Impressive! I just hope the swallow chicks had fledged before the snake took up residence.

(Kirsten Tucker) Anahuac Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas rat snake swallow nest Tue, 27 May 2014 19:15:01 GMT
HMNS Pixel Party - Bulgari The Houston Museum of Natural Science had another Pixel Party last night. Here are a few of my favorite shots from our evening in the Bulgari exhibit.

Enjoy the shiny eye candy!

(Kirsten Tucker) HMNS Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography PixelParty Texas Tue, 20 May 2014 00:50:36 GMT
So Ugly They're Cute Baby egrets serenading mom (or driving her crazy...l) ~ High Island Rookery, Texas

(Kirsten Tucker) Brazos Bend State Park High Island Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas baby egret rookery Wed, 14 May 2014 02:09:14 GMT
Cuckoo for Cuckoos! Last week I saw my first Yellow-billed Cuckoo. He was not cooperating for a photo, though.

But, this past Tuesday I found not one but TWO cuckoos in Galveston willing to give me a few seconds. Love the polka dotted tail! And, I just noticed the warbler photo bomb. Ha!

Now to find a Black-billed Cuckoo...


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas Yellow-billed Cuckoo bird cuckoo Thu, 08 May 2014 23:23:46 GMT
Blackpoll Warbler I nearly mistook this guy for a chickadee on first sight (newbie birder!). The Blackpoll Warbler passes through Texas on it's migration between South America and northern boreal forests. The route averages 3,000 km over water, a potential nonstop flight of up to 88 hours. Amazing!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird blackpoll warbler Mon, 05 May 2014 22:27:48 GMT
Common Nighthawk Birds often fluff up to stay warm. Here's a Common Nighthawk fluffing in the cool morning air this past Thursday at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a great place to visit for birds and wildlife.

(Kirsten Tucker) Anahuac Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird cold common nighthawk fluff Sat, 03 May 2014 21:00:15 GMT
Battleship Texas Last weekend, I attended a Houston Photowalks event aboard the Battleship Texas. This ship has quite a history (read here)!

Here are a few photos from the event.

(Kirsten Tucker) Battleship Texas Kirsten Tucker Photography battleship texas Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:03:27 GMT
Galveston Pleasure Pier at Night Slow shutter, night photography at the Galveston Pleasure Pier in Galveston, Texas.

(Kirsten Tucker) Galveston Kirsten Tucker Photography Pleasure Pier amusement park night slow shutter Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:26:46 GMT
Happy Easter!

(Kirsten Tucker) Easter Kirsten Tucker Photography bunny rabbit Sun, 20 Apr 2014 19:17:59 GMT
Eagle (Owl) Eye An Eagle-owl gives me the "eagle eye" at the raptor photo shoot session of this year's Galveston Featherfest.

(Kirsten Tucker) Eagle-owl Featherfest Galveston Kirsten Tucker Photography bird owl Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:42:37 GMT
Roadrunner Says... Today's Public Service Announcement. <wink>

(Kirsten Tucker) Davis Mountains Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas roadrunner Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:01:40 GMT
A Chorus of Bellows Something new and exciting happens every time I visit Brazos Bend State Park. Yesterday morning was no exception!

It's Spring and the gators are a courtin'.

Imagine a slew of gators posturing (see below) and singing/snoring/bellowing to each other across the marshes. "I'm here! Look at me. What do you say to a date?" Quite the musical interlude!

(Kirsten Tucker) American Alligator Brazos Bend State Park Kirsten Tucker Photography alligator bellow courtship gator Sun, 16 Mar 2014 20:06:37 GMT
Circle of Life - Catfish Edition Everybody's gotta eat...


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird catch catfish circle of life Mon, 10 Mar 2014 22:12:07 GMT
Vermillion Flycatcher What a stunning bird!! ~ Brazos Bend State Park, 3/6/14

(Kirsten Tucker) Brazos Bend Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird Sat, 08 Mar 2014 00:45:41 GMT
HMNS Pixel Party - 2/23/14 Every now and then the Houston Museum of Natural Science hosts a "Pixel Party", allowing photographers after hours access to parts of the museum. The two hours just flew by! Can't wait for the next one.


(Kirsten Tucker) HMNS Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Pixel Party Texas Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:18:16 GMT
Theobroma, the Food of the Gods Rainbow of cacao pods, Belize 2010.

(Kirsten Tucker) Belize Kirsten Tucker Photography cacao theobroma Fri, 21 Feb 2014 01:53:08 GMT
Squirrel! Two squirrels have settled into a box at Russ Pitman Park in Bellaire, TX. One popped out to say "Hi!" as the other eyed me from a branch.


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Russ Pitman Park Texas squirrel Sun, 16 Feb 2014 15:31:20 GMT
Happy Valentine's Day!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Singapore Valentine's Day heart plumeria Fri, 14 Feb 2014 19:47:34 GMT
Creature from the Scum Lagoon Caught this American Alligator hauling himself onto a log at Brazos Bend State Park (probably my favorite state park in TX). He (or she?) actually slipped at one point, did a little log-rolling routine and then managed to haul out.


(Kirsten Tucker) Brazos Bend State Park Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography alligator Fri, 14 Feb 2014 00:31:26 GMT
Caption This Cardinal I just love the expression! What do you think she's thinking? Send me your caption.

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography Kleb Woods Texas bird cardinal Mon, 10 Feb 2014 16:39:27 GMT
Bird Blizzard Red-winged Blackbirds come in to roost at Brazos Bend State Park as the sun fades.

(Kirsten Tucker) Brazos Bend State Park Kirsten Tucker Photography Red-winged Blackbird Texas bird blizzard Mon, 03 Feb 2014 22:52:43 GMT
Small Bird, Big Personality Tufted Titmouse - so fun to watch!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas Tufted Titmouse bird Fri, 31 Jan 2014 19:25:08 GMT
Couch's Kingbird Nifty bird find from last Saturday's Houston Audubon Field Trip. He was WAY across the bayou!

The next field trip is 2/22 to Sheldon Lake State Park. Want to join me? Registration opens 2/1.

(Kirsten Tucker) Couch's Kingbird Kirsten Tucker Photography Sugarland Texas bird Fri, 31 Jan 2014 00:25:35 GMT
Can You Count the Red-winged Blackbirds? I sure can't!

I found this flock, nearly acting like starlings, a couple of weeks ago.

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Red-winged Blackbird Texas bird flock Sun, 26 Jan 2014 16:21:54 GMT
San Jacinto San Jacinto, birthplace of Texas liberty: "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!"

On April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston and the Texian Army engaged and defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican army in a fight that lasted 18 minutes.


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography San Jacinto Monument Texas Thu, 23 Jan 2014 20:35:40 GMT
Nesting Great Horned Owl The local birding network has been telling a tale of a nesting Great Horned Owl at Baytown Nature Center.  If you are a Houston area history buff, read this Houston Chronicle article. The area has quite a history!

We got on the road early yesterday to check it out. As promised, she was easy to find. I can't wait to go back in a few weeks and see the chicks!

(Kirsten Tucker) Baytown Nature Center Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography nesting owl Tue, 21 Jan 2014 01:27:44 GMT
Snipe Hunt Can you spot the Snipe? Happy hunting!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography bird camouflage snipe Sat, 18 Jan 2014 22:17:41 GMT
Blending In American Bittern's sure do have good natural camouflage. I nearly walked right by this guy on Saturday standing right out in the open.

(Kirsten Tucker) American Bittern Brazos Bend Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird camouflage Mon, 13 Jan 2014 18:15:09 GMT
Catch of the Day Ever wonder what it looks like to swallow a fish whole? It looks a little like this.

(Kirsten Tucker) Catch of the Day Kirsten Tucker Photography breakfast catch fish heron Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:19:50 GMT
Curious Armadillo I ran across this armadillo last weekend. The clicking of my camera shutter caught his attention. So much so, that he stood up on his hind legs to check me out! I didn't know they did that. Very cool!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas armadillo Thu, 09 Jan 2014 19:20:52 GMT
13 Greatest Hits from 2013 Here are 13 of my favorite shots from 2013 (in no particular order). Which is your favorite?


(Kirsten Tucker) 2013 Kirsten Tucker Photography greatest hits Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:56:31 GMT
Attwater Prairie Chicken Yesterday, I spent the day volunteering for the Christmas Bird Count at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife RefugeThe annual bird count is an all-volunteer effort that takes a snapshot of populations to monitor status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere.

The Attwater Prairie Chicken is an endangered subspecies at this refuge, which as luck would have it, is just an hour away from my home. I'd never seen one before yesterday. And, we saw SIX of them thanks to a bit of luck and and a Fish & Wildlife intern named Justin. Thanks Justin!

(Kirsten Tucker) Attwater Prairie National Wildlife Refuge Christemas bird count Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas attwater prairie chicken bird endangered species Fri, 20 Dec 2013 03:02:48 GMT
Beautiful Burma One of the things I love about National Geographic sponsored tours is the flexibility. One morning in Myanmar we set out for the day and were passing by fields of peanuts being harvested. Our photography expert, Chris Ranier, asked if we wanted to make a quick stop.

We piled out of the bus, crossed the road, tromped across the field and started snapping. The Burmese can sometimes be shy, but they are always gracious. Few refuse photos. (Sometimes they even ask for your photo with them!)

The men sang while they winnowed by hand and gave us a good-natured show. They laughed as we stooped under the peanuts and debris raining down to get "the perfect shot."

The ladies kept the men supplied with the work. This lovely girl is covered from the sun and wearing thanaka, a traditional Burmese cosmetic. The watch tucked into her hat is pure charming!

(Kirsten Tucker) Burma Kirsten Tucker Photography Myanmar farm girl peanuts thanaka winnow Sun, 01 Dec 2013 17:10:28 GMT
Boy in a Box This little Burmese boy proves the universal truth that all children love playing and hiding in giant boxes!

~ at Mount Popa in Myanmar.

(Kirsten Tucker) Burma Kirsten Tucker Photography Mount Popa Myanmar box boy joy kids laugh play Thu, 28 Nov 2013 14:41:53 GMT
Friendly Freckled Feefant I spotted (pun intended) this lovely fellow yesterday at Bayon Temple in Angkor Thom.

Who knew Asian elephants had freckles?!

(Kirsten Tucker) Angkor Thom Bayon Temple Kirsten Tucker Photography asian elephant elephant freckles Tue, 12 Nov 2013 11:38:58 GMT
Pretty Bird While I was in Wyoming, I visited the Teton Raptor Center. They do amazing work. If you are in the area, do go for a visit and learn about these amazing creatures, including this falcon that I completely fell in love with.

Pretty Bird

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Teton Raptor Center Tetons Wyoming falcon raptor Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:50:54 GMT
Look Behind You Last week I attended the Fall Photography at the Summit, an outstanding photo workshop in Jackson, WY. One of the lessons we took away was to always look behind you as you never know what the light may be doing back there.

Case in point, this photo. While I'm sure this photographer got stunning photos of the pronghorns we were watching, he totally missed this lovely rainbow!

Grand Teton Rainbow

If you are wanting to see some stunning eye candy, I recommend you look at the work of conservation photographer, Michael Forsberg. Michael was my favorite instructor at the Summit.

(Kirsten Tucker) Fall Photography at the Summit Grand Teton Kirsten Tucker Michael Forsberg look nature photographer photography tip rainbow wyoming Wed, 09 Oct 2013 17:45:13 GMT
Be Kind to Your Web-Footed Friends

(Kirsten Tucker) Germany Kirsten Tucker Kirsten Tucker Photography swans Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:12:49 GMT
It's Friday!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Friday Kirsten Photography Tanzania Tucker smile zebra Fri, 23 Aug 2013 14:38:11 GMT
For Marwitt and Metzger In the late 1980s I was an undergraduate Anthroplogy/Sociology/Biology student at the University of Akron in Ohio. Two professors, John Marwitt and Donald Metzger, had large roles in shaping my brain and life.

This photo of Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania is for them - thank you!!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Oldupai Tanzania donald metzger john marwitt Fri, 16 Aug 2013 00:51:29 GMT
My God, It's Full of Stars The skies are so dark in Tanzania that you can pick out the Milky Way by eye. I may never see skies this dark again.


(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Milky Way Tanzania night sky Fri, 02 Aug 2013 22:54:09 GMT
Serengeti Sunset Last week I returned from an amazing Tanzania photo safari with National Geographic photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner, Jay Dickman. Here's a sneak peak of my work.

Yes, the sunsets really ARE that amazing...


(Kirsten Tucker) Serengeti sunset Tue, 30 Jul 2013 17:40:43 GMT
Smile! Even lying in that muck, this elephant seal is too cute for words.

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker elephant seal south georgia Mon, 08 Jul 2013 15:10:06 GMT
Who Knew? Who knew it was so very exhausting to be a baby Muskox?!

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker muskox Sun, 16 Jun 2013 00:06:01 GMT
Southeast Alaska Sunset A time-lapse experiment at sea while the Norwegian Sun was cruising along.

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker alaska cloud sky sunset time-lapse Fri, 31 May 2013 01:30:52 GMT
Arches National Park My first ever time-lapse. It's short, but it took an hour to take the photos to make it! Feel free to watch it again and again.

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker arches night park sky stars time-lapse Sun, 12 May 2013 15:10:35 GMT
I Love Marmots! Found this guy outside the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center yesterday.

(Kirsten Tucker) Colorado Crow Canyon Kirsten Tucker marmot Fri, 10 May 2013 20:27:56 GMT
Some Days You're the Bird, Some Days You're the Frog Blog-1

(Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker bird frog Wed, 24 Apr 2013 21:29:38 GMT