Archive for December 6th, 2010

06
Dec
10

12/6/2010: Prairie Dogs (Mammals on Monday)

In what has to be one of the oddest instances, Bosque del Apache spent some Our Recovery Dollars at Work building a Prairie Dog town…or maybe the PDs moved in by themselves, but Bosque certainly added some improvements and built a nice little access point and parking lot for visitors.

I have to admit, if you know nothing about PDs, they are cute. Sort of the North American equivalent of Meerkats, only without the movie and the TV show. (They just need an agent!)

The last photo here is the first taken, on a morning visit to the town…but as you can see, the morning light comes in from behind, making photography somewhat difficult. I went back in the afternoon for the shots above, but by afternoon most days the wind is well up, and it fairly sings through the tripod legs. I had to stand between the wind and my rig, to keep the scope from blowing over.

Canon SD4000IS behind the new 15-56x Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL. All were out there in the 2500 to 3000mm equivalent range. The top two are are at 1/1000th at ISO 250, and the bottom one is at 1/640 at ISO 125. I think I had the camera set to Kids and Pets for the top two, which explains the higher shutter speed and ISO.

Processed for intensity in Lightroom. Actually, the last shot required more substantial processing, with a mix of heavy Recovery and Fill Light.

And here is a little video. This was so bouncy and shaky with the wind that I have to pull out the heavy guns here too, and use Vegas Studio to stabilize the video before it was watchable. You can still see a lot of wind shake. The sound track, which I have muted, was nothing but a steady wind roar.

Prairie Dog Town
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