One year ago it had already snowed in the high country and that had lessened my concerns about wildfires up there, this year it is still warm and wildfires are still raging in the high country and down in the valley. Yesterday morning I woke up to the smell of smoke in my apartment because I had opened a window during the night for fresh air. That was a mistake because when I woke up it smelled like someone had built a bonfire right outside my window and for the rest of the day I couldn’t not smell it, that smoke came from the Pole Creek fire which is about 50 miles south of where I live.
More fires started here in the area yesterday and the strong winds fed them. Wildfire season is scary here in the West. I worry about going up into canyons or into areas where there is only one road in and out because if a wildfire started while I was on the wrong part of the road I could be trapped with no easy way to escape.
Yesterday I found myself wishing for winter, a time when wildfires don’t happen with the frequency they do now. Sure they can still happen but personally I don’t worry about them as much during the winter as I do during the summer or fall.
Winter Canada Goose portrait – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
So while thinking of winter I thought of the hours I have spent photographing Canada Geese close to home and how I enjoy myself while photographing these large, abundant birds. I know some people find these geese annoying, loud and messy and I know photographers who’d rather go home than to spend time taking images of them but that simply isn’t me.
Winter Canada Goose in landing mode – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/5000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I’ve spent a lifetime appreciating these large geese and when I have lived in locations where Canada Geese weren’t present I have missed hearing them calling overhead or seeing them floating by on the water.
So I photograph them as often as I can and why wouldn’t I? I enjoy having all species of wild birds in my viewfinder.
Life is good.
The dangerous Pole Creek wildfire to the south of Salt Lake City is what caused the smoke I smelled yesterday morning, you can read more about it here. Hat tip to my friend Wade Haskell whose stunning nighttime image of that fire is featured as the cover photo of the video on the page.