Birding Seabeck

I’ve been hearing about the Bald Eagles that gather at Big Beef Creel near Seabeck for several years now but have never had enough details to get there at the right time. This year fellow birder and photographer Dave Goudy filled me in with all the details I needed to finally get there at the right time. Unfortunately the best time was 6:45, which meant I had to leave home by 5:30. That turned out not to be a problem because I woke up by 5:00 AM. Not surprisingly, I was almost the first one there.

Not quite, though, because I was greeted by a classic three-year-old Bald Eagle perched on a telephone pole right above the creek.

Immature Bald Eagle

And there were several Great Blue Herons already standing on the shore of the creek,

Great Blue Heron

which I focused on at first because they were so close.

Before long I was serenaded by several Bald Eagles from the tall firs overlooking the creek.

 Bald Eagles

This lone eagle

Bald Eagle

was so close to the road that it was impossible to ignore it and Dave and I must have spent nearly 30 minutes taking shots of it, moving closer and closer and it never moved, though it did seem to glare at us at times.

About 45 minutes after I’d arrived more Great Blue Herons began to land in the shallow waters as the tide went out.

Great Blue Herons

It wasn’t too much longer before our eagle launched itself

Bald Eagle

and began to circle the beach.

Bald Eagle

It was the beginning of an exciting morning where I captured some of the best shots I’ve ever gotten of both eagles and Great Blue Herons.

Looking At the Roses, Really

Despite the fact that my favorite flowers at the Point Defiance Rose Garden are seldom roses, the roses were definitely the main attraction on my last trip there, even if the yellow and white iris was my favorite shot of the day. Simply put, the iris were quickly disappearing, while the roses were nearly in full bloom, even if there were a few late bloomers still not showing flowers.

I continue to experiment with the HDR technique, and it produced some eye-popping colors even though I only chose among the presets labeled “realistic,” and more often than not chose the “natural” one, not the photographic one. My aim isn’t to produce the most striking photograph I can, but, rather, to produce a photo that recaptures as closely as possible what I saw when I took the picture. In fact, I suspect one of the main reasons I’m not fond of the rose garden is that there are so many garish colors in the varieties represented there. That said, the more you play around with the software the more you realize just how arbitrary the colors are in photographs. If you try to reproduce the pictures you see on the screen in a print, you’ll see just how arbitrary colors really are.

That said, here are my three favorite shots from the day, in no particular order. You’ve probably noticed that my favorite roses are usually orange and yellow, like this one.


I do realize, though, that a “rose” color is usually a pinkish-red, so I snapped a few shots of red roses, too.


I wish these roses were actually growing in my yard so I could take my computer outside and see how closely this color matches the real color of the rose.


Somehow I remember it as being more yellow than this, but I shot so many roses that my memory could be totally off. If nothing else, I love its shape.

If you live in Tacoma, it’s time to get down to the Rose Garden because it’s peak season early this year.