What I thought would be a boring, impoverished, "can't afford to go anywhere" fall and winter has turned out to be quite the opposite!
I expected fire season (my seasonal job) to be a total bust, due to a cooler and wetter May and June than we normally have in the northwest. . I also thought that the government wouldn't fight fires the way they usually do, because of concerns over COVID spread with hundreds of firefighters and support staff living together in close proximity in fire camps. . However .....
On September 9th I got called to work on a fire in Oregon. . Was there almost three weeks! . So there was a little income ..... perhaps enough to fund my fall deer rut photography trip.
Then, while on my way home from the Oregon fire, I get a call .... "there's a dispatch to a fire in California, way down in the Sierras, near Fresno ... do you want to take it?" . Of course I did!
So I went to that fire in the Sierras, and worked there until November 20th! . Woo hooooo! . Almost two months on one fire! . There would be something in the coffers this year, after all!
I got home on the 20th of November, quickly packed and took care of a few affairs, and less than 24 hours later, I left for my annual deer photography trip. . I knew that I missed the peak of the mating season, but hoped to at least find some good image-making opportunities at the tail end of the rut. . I spent a week in Montana, then went to Colorado for another week. . The photo opportunities were better than I had expected. . Even though I only got to spend two weeks photographing deer, I ended up with several worthwhile photos.
Now I'm back home in Washington for a few days before heading off to California again. . This time I won't be working there ..... instead I will be photographing waterfowl in the Sacramento Valley. . A friend who lives there has been after me for years to come down in December for world-class opportunities with wintering Pintails, Wigeon, Ross' Geese, Greater White-fronted Geese, and Shovelers. . Fortunately, because I got so much work on the fires, I have the funds to do it this year. . Can't wait!
So what looked like it was shaping up to be a very boring year, with no money to do any traveling, has turned out to be a great year! . And now I will be able to travel a lot over the course of the next 6 or 7 months. . Woo hooo! . Very happy that I'll be getting to photograph different kinds of wildlife in many different areas - some of which I have never visited before, like the deserts of Arizona (for snakes and lizards).
Here's one of my favorite shots from last week in Colorado - I love those wide open spaces out there!
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