tirsdag 9. september 2014

ARIZONA EXTRAS


Moth / nattsvermer
D4, 200 4,0, f/11,0, 1/640, ISO 1250

OK, I`ve already presented my Arizona rattlesnakes, … so here is a little taste of :
…. anything BUT rattlers !!
Hope you like it … and honestly : I miss the desert !!!

Ta en kikk på detaljen av svermervingen. Er det ikke fantstisk at alt dette, alle disse detaljene, alle disse sammensetningene av mønstre og farger …. bygd opp av bittesmå regulære skjell … som en komplisert glassmosaikk … ligger latent i både egg, larve og puppe og at denne omfattende "montasjen" popper ut av seg selv … til et komplekst og strengt forutsigbart mønster … uten at svermeren selv behøver å ofre det en tanke ?

Naturen fascinerer !!! 


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/7,1, 1/125, ISO 560
Gila monster !! Yes, the official english name is Gila Monster !! A big lizard up to 35 cm, venomous and extremely rare. Highly protected throughout it`s entire range in the US & Mexico, … and if you are lucky to find one : you`re not even allowed to handle it.


The Gila Monster can live to be 25 years old
D4, 24-70 2,8, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 4500


Gila Monster
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/7,1, 1/400, ISO 6400


D4, 24-70 2,8, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 1800
The Gila Monster feeds on bird & reptile eggs, nestling birds & mammals, lizards & carrion. 
Check those claws !! 


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/4,5, 1/125, ISO 140
The Green Toad is a tiny small toad that grows up to a max size of 5 cm. It`s a secretive burrower and spends most of it`s life underground. In short wet periods it comes out of the ground at night … .
to reproduce.


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/8,0, 1/250, ISO 450
Sonoran Desert Toad … DESERT toad ??? It doesn`t sound right does it ?? A toad in the desert ??  Anyway, the largest toad in the US that grows up to approx 20 cm. 


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/8,0, 1/250, ISO 900
Sonoran Desert Toad …. a big piece go meat !! The skin exudes toxic secretion that, if digested, can cause hallucinations, paralysis or death to dogs & other predator animals ! 


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 1250
A male Tarantula (tarantell) … on the constant move to find a female for mating. The spider has it`s eye (congregation of eyes) on top of the head … like a periscope on a submarine. Looks funny, can be seen on the picture. 


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/10,0, 1/640, ISO 4500
A female scorpion with her newborn 


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/7,1, 1/125, ISO 560
The small Western Banded Gecko is a character animal in the desert


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/320, ISO 640
Western Banded Gecko


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/5,6, 1/400, ISO 1600
Desert Tortoise : rare & protected !!


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/8,0, 1/400, ISO 1800
Gopher snake, a non poisonous constrictor, is the largest snake in Arizona that grows up to 2,4 m !!


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/400, ISO 1400
Gopher snake


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/7,1, 1/640, ISO 280
Sonoran Whip Snake : A long & slender snake, up to 1,8 m size, alert & extremely fast moving !


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/7,1, 1/640, ISO 320
The Sonoran Whip Snake is an impressive predator that feeds on a broad variety of prey : snakes, lizards, rodents, birds ! This one is only angry !!!


D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/11,0, 1/640, ISO 900
For snake enthusists : The Longnosed Snake


Hot !!!!


Sonoran Desert Scrub


Saguaro Cactus

tirsdag 2. september 2014

RATTLESNAKE HEAVEN

Arizona Upland desert scrub
Nikon Coolpix

Imagine yourself walking the terrain and the temp is incredible 47 degrees C (in the shade !!). The vegetation is scrub-bush with all kinds of thorned & spined dangers. Acacias & Agaves with needle-sharp thorns and different kinds of cactus like the upright Saguaro and the deliric Teddy Bear Cholla cactus with long, super thin needles that are so easily released from the mother plant …. and that will penetrate anything at the lightest touch …. and once they go in, they stick inside you and they will not come out ! My first encounters with the Cholla was unpleasant, but important learning. The wildlife consists basically of tarantulas, black widow spiders, scorpions, venomous centipedes & millepedes, venomuóus gila monsters, a couple of turkey vultures monitoring you from somewhere above …. and rattlesnakes !! (this is of course nonsense, there is a lot of different wildlife in the desert, but this is only to put you in a certain mood !!). Hell on earth ?? Well, the desert may seem a little unfriendly at the first glance, but as you "get into it" … the desert becomes incredibly beautiful and the ecological adaptions to the harsh conditions are amazing !

My fascination for venomous snakes has brought me to the Arizona deserts to look for rattlesnakes. … and AZ is really rattlesnake heaven !!... with as much as 13 species of the total of 18 found in the entire US (not counting sub-species).We worked day & night for 2 weeks, stumbled around in the desert "turning every stone"for snakes, climbed several vegetation zones into rockslides in the high alpine mountains to look for the rare & "hard to find" Banded rock rattlesnake and drove innumerous of night drives on local roads to look for crossing snakes & snake warming up on the still-warm pavement.

Awarm thankyou to my friend biologist Pål Sørensen. Without Pål`s incredible knowledge, solid experience, excellent snake handling skills and dedicated commitment I could never have done this trip successfully. Thanks Pål !!! Also thanks to Barney Tomberlin, Portal AZ.


Mohave rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/5,6, 1/200, ISO 1600

Definitely the most venomous & probably also the most dangerous of all rattlesnakes : 
the Mohave rattlesnake. The venom is not only hemotoxic causing massive tissue destruction & necrosis, but also neurotoxic affecting nerve system collapse : heart, lungs etc. A photographer was recently shooting a Mohave with a (too) short lens and got bitten in the wrist. He died in the ambulance helicopter 30 minutes after the bite.


Mohave rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/5,6, 1/200, ISO 1800


Baby Mohave rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/11,0, 1/640, ISO 1250


Tiger rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0, micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 450

With grayish colors, dark grey stripes on light grey background, the rare Tiger rattlesnake blends in completely in the rocky landscape. Hadn`t it been for the continuous rattling we would never have detected it.


Tiger rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 450


Unlike other rattlers the Tiger rattlesnakes does not lift it`s head & neck in upright position when threatened. The snake has also a proportionally relative small head compared with the body.
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 450


Tiger rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 400, ISO 450


Tiger rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 450


A big Western diamondback rattlesnake in defensive position in the grass. I was honestly pretty close to shoot this picture ! 
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/16,0, 1/320, ISO 5000

The Western diamondback rattlesnake is the second largest rattler in the US, a big snake up to 1,7 m. Adults are an impressive sight when seen streched out crossing roads at night. The venom is primarily hemotoxic and the snake has big venom yields  & super long fangs (20 mm) which enables it to insert large amounts of venom in a single bite (up to 250 mg !). On top of all this : the W. diamondback is often grumpy & bad tempered. In average 5 persons are killed by rattlesnakes each year in the US and diamondbacks are responsible for most of them.


Western diamondback rattlesnke
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 560


Western diamondback rattlesnake
D4, 200-400 4,0, f/6,3, 1/400, ISO 400


Blactailed rattlesnake
D4,200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 360

In my eyes the blacktailed rattlesnake is the most beautiful looking of all US rattlers : warm yellowish colors with black drawings and …. black tail. The blacktail is a big snake (1,2 m) with potent venom & big venom yields. Very dangerous of course, but not as grumpy & aggressive as diamondbacks and accordingly fatalities are not so common. 


Blacktailed rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 320


Blacktailed rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 360


Blacktailed rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/400, ISO 1400


Sunset rattlesnake : a blacktailed rattlesnake…. overlooking the indian wilderness where Geronimo once roamed ….130 (?) years ago !!
D4, 14-24 2,8, f/10,0, 1/200, ISO 3600, monopod & cable release


Catching a blacktail rattlesnake on a nightdrive
D4, 14-24 2,8, f/2,8, 1/60, ISO 1400


Sidewinder rattlesnake in early morning light
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/320, ISO 900 

The sidewinder rattlesnake is a desert icon !!! It is adapted to the more sandy areas of the desert and (as you will probably know) it can move sideways over the loose, sandy dunes. You would be amazed to see the incredible speed this technique can produce !


Sidewinder rattlesnake
D800E, 200 4,0 micro, f/11,0, 1/1000, ISO 800


Sidewinder rattlesnake
D800E, 200 4,0 micro, f/11,0, 1/1000, ISO 1400


Banded rock rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/9,0, 1/800, ISO 1800

The banded rock rattlesnake is a small rattler and can be found in rockslides in the high alpine region. It is rare and hard to find !!!


Banded rock rattlesnake
D4, 200 4,0 micro, f/10,0, 1/500, ISO 1400

fredag 22. august 2014

GREAT GREY OWL / LAPPUGLE


D4, 70-200 2,8, f/3,2, 1/1600, ISO 7200

We`ve seen many pictures of great grey owl over the last period of years ….. and here`s some more !!!
Pictures are shot in the Soumussalvi Region, eastern Finland, in July 2014. 
The late evening light provided some incredible colors 

A warm thankyou to Eero Kemilä


D4, 70-200 2,8, f/2,8, 1/1250, ISO 5000


D4, 70-200 2,8, f/2,8, 1/1250, ISO 4500


The great grey owl diving for a mouse somewhere on the forest floor
D4, 70-200 2,8, f/3,2, 1/1000, ISO 5600


D4, 70-200 2,8, f/2,8, 1/400, ISO 2500


As the evening turned into night …  the soft forest light with relatively long exposures provided some incredible colors.
D4, 70-200 2,8, f/4,0, 1/160, ISO 1600


D4, 70-200 2,8, f/4,0, 1/160, ISO 1600


D4, 70-200 2,8, f/4,0, 1/160, ISO 1400


D4, 70200 2,8, f/2,8, 1/400, ISO 2000