Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crushing Away the Dull Days

I have had a very slow couple of weeks since we last spoke. Motivation to Crush has been low due to lack of birds and an excess of fog and wind. Still, I have managed to make a few Crushings here and there. The secret for success during these comfortless times is to greatly lower your standards when looking for Crushing victims. Anything becomes fair game at this point. Here are the wholly unremarkable Crush subjects from my last few weeks on the Farallones.

When all seems lost, I usually go spend time with the hauled-out Northern Elephant Seals. They have the uncanny ability to lift one's spirits on the gloomiest of days. Sadly, this individual was brutally Crushed only moments after cheering me up with her hilarious kelp mask.

On dull days such as I am experiencing, it becomes necessary to Crush abysmally common birds such as this Red-winged Blackbird. I don't mind. It helps people to find the simple beauty of their mundane everyday lives.

Warbling Vireos sometimes engage in their own kind of crushing. This one is crushing a Cormorant Fly while I Crush its face.

Black-throated Gray Warbler is among the finest of all warblers. Also one of the most cooperative when it comes to Crushing. This one served itself up like a lamb for slaughter.

One of the few vagrant warblers I've seen on the Farallones this year is this Chestnut-sided Warbler. It is the only vagrant warbler that I have successfully Crushed, which is exceedingly abnormal for a man with a camera on the Farallones in September.

Yesterday, I basically won the lottery. I was gifted with the chance to be in a boat next to a Great White Shark while it ate a Northern Elephant Seal. I was a bit too close to Crush the shark with the Crushing equipment I was carrying, and this was my best one. 

*No animals were harmed during the crushing of this web log.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Puffin Crushing

In the house on SEFI, there hangs a photo of a Tufted Puffin taken by Ron LeValley some years ago. To call it a Crush would be an understatement. I can see it right now from where I am sitting, and I almost pity that poor bird for the brutal and shocking manner in which his face was crushed in by Ron. 

Over the last few years I have tried unsuccessfully to Crush a Puffin with Ron-like force. Sometimes, early in the season, you can perch up on on of the cliffs near the Puffin burrows and aim your Crusher at them as they fly by at eye-level. Usually, this results in some pretty decent shots (not crushes) of Tufted Puffins in flight. I went Puffin-Crushing today on Lighthouse Hill and got my best so far. It's a far cry from the famous LeValley Crush from the good old days, but it still ranks highly among Puffin-Crushes all-time.

Tufted Puffin, looking a bit anxious. Perhaps the Crusher I was pointing in its direction was intimidating.