I haven’t posted photos from any of my photo trips out to the Bird Runner Refuge since last May so I thought I would share a few from my most recent outing to the refuge. I’ve been shooting on Bird Runner just shy of a year and a half now and while I haven’t made it out there as often as I would have liked, I always enjoy my time there.  So even with the brutally hot weather we have had lately I was looking forward to a return trip.

I’ve been surprised this year with the wildflowers in bloom. With the heat and dry conditions we’ve had recently, I thought the summer months would be pretty bleak, but over the past few weeks we have had really nice blooms of lead plant, verbena, and now ironweed.

Ironweed - Bird Runner Refuge

Ironweed – Bird Runner Refuge

As I hiked out onto Bird Runner I went through several clumps of ironweed that I spent some time photographing.  One the most interesting areas was down in a draw surrounded by trees….really pretty but there was absolutely no air movement so I didn’t spend too much time there…without the slight breeze that was blowing it was way too hot for me.

Hilltop Ironweed - Bird Runner Refuge

Hilltop Ironweed – Bird Runner Refuge

My destination today was a hilltop overlooking one of the main ponds on the eastern half of Bird Runner.  This hilltop has a very nice view out over the refuge.  I was interested in setting up on this hilltop so I could practice shooting some timelapse sequences.  Lucky me, I picked a day with absolutely zero cloud movement in the sky so the timelapse turned out pretty blah. It did give me a chance to practice some shooting and processing techniques though.  You can view the timelapse here. The slight jitter you see in the timelapse is due to the movement I added in processing; my next step is to use a camera slider so that movement doesn’t have to be added in processing.  Another piece of gear to carry! The audio with the timelapse was recorded during a previous trip to Bird Runner back in May.

Verbena- Bird Runner Refuge

Verbena – Bird Runner Refuge

While my ‘timelapse’ camera was set up doing its thing I wandered around the hilltop shooting stills. I found several interesting flowers to photograph. I’m not sure why, but it seems like when I’m on Bird Runner I spend more time shooting more telephoto shots  than the wider big landscape views I’m normally drawn to.  Maybe that is the influence of shooting there with Wayne Rhodus – Wayne really has an eye for the intimate landscapes and once while shooting on Bird Runner with him, Wayne noticed some bubbles attached to some moss under water in one of the creeks. I would have never been looking down at the ground that intently and spotted that great photo op.

Under Foot - Bird Runner Refuge

Under Foot – Bird Runner Refuge

Hidden - Bird Runner Refuge

Hidden – Bird Runner Refuge

The top of the hill I was shooting on also has some very interesting rock formations on one side of it. The photo below was made overlooking the pond where I set the timelapse up. These rocks make a nice place to sit and take in the view (for a while anyway, rocks could stand to be a bit softer for sitting on!).

Hilltop View - Bird Runner Refuge

Hilltop View – Bird Runner Refuge

I ended the evening photographing the setting sun together with verbena and ironweed.  The moon was rising on the other side of the sky right at sunset and I was really torn between photographing the sunset or the moonrise. I ended up waffling back and forth enough that I didn’t do either justice, but the good thing about the moon and the sun…they will always be back again.

Sunset and Ironweed - Bird Runner Refuge

Sunset and Ironweed – Bird Runner Refuge

Sunset and Verbena - Bird Runner Refuge

Sunset and Verbena – Bird Runner Refuge