Saturday, April 21, 2007

Going Camo: My New Photo Blind!

For Christmas Santa Zickefoose brought me a new portable photo blind. One of the advantages of being married to a Science Chimp is that she does lots of research before making an equipment purchase. She consulted many websites and several of our professional photographer friends for info on a portable starter blind--one that I could use here on the farm to photograph feeder birds. All the data pointed to the Doghouse Blind by Ameristep.

For one reason or another, I had not used the new blind until today--a mere four months after it dropped down our chimney and nestled under the tree. And I've got to say that this blind totally ROCKS!

The blind popped up quick as a flash--instant camouflage.

I pulled it out of the bag, and like many of the lightweight, high-tech camping tents in this modern era, it practically sprang into fully set-up form by itself. Since there was no wind this morning I did not stake it down or use the internal struts that help solidify its shape. Instead, I stuck a lawn chair inside, along with my tripod, camera, binocs, and coffee and I was ready to go.

Oh wait!

Forgot to fill the feeders and put up a few handy snags with perfect backgrounds.


OK, bring on the birds!

During the winter, I sat outside in many layers of outerwear, trying to get some feeder bird photos. I got a few, but the birds were slow to return to their relaxed feeding activity no matter how still I was sitting there. With the Doghouse (which I am strangely accustomed to being in) the birds resumed their activity almost immediately.

Wow! Now I wish I had used this blind much sooner!

Taking it down was only a little more difficult than setting it up. But once I get used to it, I'm sure it'll be a snap. From my own search of the Internet, it appears that the Doghouse is available in many retail stores, including hunting/camping/outdoor stores like Cabela's and even the big box stores, if you're so inclined.

The blind fits into this Boston-terrier--sized bag (and it comes with shoulder straps for hauling--the blind, not the dog).

Here are a few of the morning's keeper shots.

The male American goldfinches are nearly ready for spring.

Male eastern towhee at the suet dough.

Male northern cardinal wondering what that clicking sound is inside that giant pile of leaves.

Boo! Hiss! The female brown-headed cowbirds are back.

I'm proudest of this male eastern bluebird image.

This blind also works for photographing other wildlife besides birds.



At 3:21 PM, Blogger Jayne said...

OH, I am so jealous! What great shots!

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Trixie said...

The Doghouse, eh? Hmmmm....I think Tom may need one. Interesting that is should come out during Hot Dog Brothers time. It's like a clubhouse or something.

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Dea said...

The Bluebird is perfect - as if he posed for you in a studio!

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous VermillionFC said...

My firm would like to offer you $1,000,000 for exclusive use on that bluebird image. You game?

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Julie Zickefoose said...

So, I have to go away before you unwrap your Christmas present? Don't want me to see you having fun, huh?

Maybe you'll break out the Dremel I gave you ten years ago and carve me a bird. If you're looking for it, it's migrated to the dog supply cabinet, where it's waiting to grind down Chet's toenails (its highest purpose to date).

Seriously, sweetie, these are some great images. I'm so pleased the birds acclimated to it so quickly. I thought they might. The towhee and exquisite bluebird are my favorites. I got a bunch of truly pathetic Louisiana waterthrush shots today.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous katdoc said...

Love the towhee picture and of course, the bluebird! What a great Xmas gift; now when people call for you, Julie can honestly say, "Bill's in the Doghouse."


At 10:24 AM, Blogger BT3 said...

Dear Vermilion:

yes please. Make the check out to BOTB.

Zick: Thanx for the cool present!

Katdoc: Those words were accurate even before I got the blind.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

I've seen them and I want one!

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Mary said...

I love that - I want one, too! All of your bird shots are superior, especially the bluebird.


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