Monday
Oct222012

New camera trap for the SLR. A few more touches (paint and rain hood), and it'll be ready!

Monday
Oct222012

Ryan Mach of PinoyWanderingBoy just posted a little piece about why people in the Philippine mountaineering community climb mountains. I wrote a few sentences for his post, and was happy to see that others had some similar reasons for climbing here. You can check out the post here. Worth a look! His blog is a pretty stunning place to get all the info you need about adventuring around the Philippines.

I retrieved the game camera today and found photos of a younger bayawak! Very exciting. Too cute. This little guy appears to have circled the bait in crazed excitment a few times before diving in for the feast.

I'm telling you these guys are trying to TAKE MY CAMERA...or perhaps rewiring it to take photos of me when it's at home...They're smarter than we thought.

I'm back out the door in a few days to start the last leg of my journey here in the Philippines. It'll be a jam packed month+. Stay tooned.

Also, a friend named Evan Smith posted this photo of his on Facebook.

His caption: "Indigenous people of Panama blocking the Pan-American Highway February 2012 protesting approval of mining and dams in the area." When will the people of the Philippines do this?


Sunday
Oct212012

Building a fancier camera trap for the SLR, with the help of Kuya Richie and his awesome carpenter/foreman Valentino...it's gonna be great.

Plus there were some very sweet Aeta kids selling Pythons on the street out front. Not the nicest thing for a few different reasons, but I did get to hang with some kids and play with snakes...hard to pass that up! A good day in Olongapo!

 

Sunday
Oct142012

So, as you know, I'm back in Olongapo for a short time and operation "Take Photos of Things That Are Hard To Take Photos Of" is in full swing. Phase One, discretely named Veranid, was completed today with the successful camera trapping of what is most likely Veranus marmoratus (thanks to Lala Espanola for the quick look and likely identification).

Rotten fish was the bait, 5 days was the time, Apaliin was the location, and disgusted were the faces of the other passengers on the bus I road to and from the site with isda patay (in Tagalog: literally "fish dead;" I know, I'm improving right?) in tow.

But as an endlessly self-critical photographer with high standards, the image quality of the game camera I used is too poor. I'll be revamping Phase One: Veranid, with better camera position of the game camera, and, yes you guessed it, the Big Guns; I'm putting out the SLR. My beloved Magic Lantern firmware, a Christmas gift from cousin Tom Davis, has made all this possible. Currently I'm calibrating the motion sensitivity and power saving settings with a quick experiment to see if the ghost (her name is White Lady not ghost!) that allegedly lives in Grandma's hallway actually lives in Grandma's hallway. TBD.

The only thing I'm worried about is the subject taking my camera. In speaking with local Veranid trapping experts (Mang Ed Salonga), I learned that they are known to take things that aren't theirs. Well of course I didn't believe him, but when I looked at the images from Phase One, I noticed a few that seemed as though the subject was on the trap and inspecting it. Maybe because I handled it and therefore it also smelled like rotten fish? Who knows. I need to figure this one out. I'll be mad if I lose my camera and see a monitor lizard walking around with it. It would certainly warrant confrontation...

Aside from all that nonsense, we (my momma and Auntie Vill) just returned from another island down South. Got to surf a bit and meet some really swell people. I love it down there, and I'm also not going to say where it is. You're welcome. Looked like this though!

And of course while we were in the region we had to stop by the Philippine Eagle Center!!!! That place never gets old, and neither does (to me) my tendency to saturate this blog with Philippine Eagle pictures. Deal with it. 

And here's and oldie, but a goodie, that has recently resurfaced as a new favorite of mine.

Monday
Oct082012

Whoa once again it's been busy...I'm not sure what I expected? Well I just returned from a quick trip to New Zealand on vacation with my Dad and stepmom DeeAnn. It was a wonderful adventure, centered around finding all the crazy cool wildlife that lives on and around the country. We got most of our hitlist checked off, and ended up with some outstanding images. Check em out!

We went on a Albatross tour and got a whole boat to ourselves to run around and dork out on gigantic birds and take a zillion photos. It was a piece of cake to shoot as well! Plenty of light, super intimate...a dream really!

We also got up close and personal with some New Zealand Fur Seal pups, which was spectacular. I haven't been around too many Pennipeds in my day, so that was pretty special. We ended up on a secluded creek where some of the pups would go for protection. No one around...it was awesome.

Gorgeous landscapes were also abound.

The strange New Zealand wildlife climaxed with the parrots. Strange creatures there. Kaka, the world's only true alpine parrot, and the Kea, a gregarious mammoth of a bird, were both such amazing subjects. Both seen in the wild. Can't ask for more than that!

But I'm back in the Philippines now and life has picked up pace! The year is coming to a close fast, but there are still many exciting trips and events on the horizon. Today's excitement came from putting the camera trap out in the forest with some rotten fish to bait monitor lizards. Well, I was excited, but those who rode with my on the bus with the rotten fish, well, they hated it...Hopefully pictures of Veranids eating fish will follow this post : )

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