Saturday, June 20, 2009

Last Chance Forever - The Birds of Prey Conservancy

I first saw John Karger in full medieval falconry regalia in the mid-1980s at the Houston Renaissance Faire. Over the years I've continued to be mesmerized at his various public demonstrations and fund-raising events. His Last Chance Forever organization is one of only two facilities in Texas approved for the treatment and repatriation of birds of prey to the wild by the State of Texas and United States Fish & Wildlife service.

Today's event in Boerne, Texas, had John sharing his knowledge and thoughts on nature and man's place in it, highlighted by letting the attendees see hawks, falcons, owls and a Bald Eagle up close and personal.

John has been doing this a long time and with help from friends, family and private donors, small and large, he is building the foundation for the Last Chance Forever organization to continue long after he is no longer in a leadership role...which hopefully will be many years away. ;-)

Check out my photos and then visit his site, Last Chance Forever, check the schedule for future presentations and consider helping out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

San Antonio Missions Baseball

10 June Update: Mike Baxter, San Antonio Missions outfielder, was named Texas League player of the month for May, 2009 by the San Diego Padres.

With the exception of club sports, summer is usually a slow period for sports photography, but I recently spent some time shooting the San Antonio Missions. While the speed of play was faster it was interesting to compare shooting at Nelson W. Wolff Stadium vs somewhere like Boerne-Champion or TMI.

Nelson Wolff stadium has wonderful line of sight with the only nets being between you and the players if you are behind home plate. The downside is that foul balls and bats can do some real damage, particularly if you have you eye to the camera and don't have a clue what's coming at you. In my most recent game we had the usual foul balls go into the stands, including one that took a policeman out with a hit to his elbow, interspersed with two bats into the stands, one of which was broken as it hit the ball.
I'm not that happy with my first effort there; mid-day sun made the light harsh, but better than stadium lights I guess, but the inability to be at the same level as the players means it's harder to get under the helmet and see the eyes. Just more to work on, though I'm not sure I have enough time left to get to the Brad Mangin level.

San Antonio Zoo in the Summer

I've been a member of the San Antonio Zoo for longer than I can remember, but I usually only visit in the winter when it's cool outside, the animals are a bit more energetic...and there are fewer people. With high school sports wrapping up I was looking for something a bit more laid back so off to the zoo I went. Good time, got rained on and still way too many people, but this guy is always entertaining...