Mandarin Duck

Sometimes good fortune lands upon you unexpectedly.

A couple of years back I suffered a major hard drive crash on my PC and it took out a large number of photographs along with it. I went through my backup files and recovered about 70% of what went missing, but I found out to my dismay, there were some directories that I hadn’t backed up and two of those directories were images from 2012 and 2016.

Last night, I fired up my old laptop PC which had been setting in the corner of the office for a long time, unused. The battery in it was dead, so I connected the charger and then booted it up in order for it to download all the current updates. That took about 3 hours.

I examined the hard drives to see how much space was left, thinking I’d reformat them and try to use it at the cabin this summer, saving me the hassle of having to drag my regular laptop with me when we went to Red Feathers.

Low and behold, on that laptop sat a number of photographs and I had directories for the year 2012 and 2016. Looking over the directories, the images covered from January through December. Everything I had lost, just sitting there on a computer I hadn’t used in 3 years.

I copied everything over to a flash drive, and moved them to the office pc and then backed them up on an external hard drive.

I’ve been kicking my own butt for the last 2 years for failing to be diligent about backing up my files and losing those directories. The loss caused me to redouble my efforts in making sure I have backups of everything at all times, resigning myself to the knowledge that losing those files was the price I had to pay for that reminder.

Last night, I got a refund. Today’s photo is of a Mandarin Duck from 2012, one that I thought was forever lost.


The Arctic freeze has begun to break here in the Denver area.

A bit colder and more frozen than a typical year in the Central Rockies has contributed a great deal to my laziness.  Sooner or later the laws of physics will take hold and it will warm up.

Yesterday was a warm day and a friend of mine and I decided to go investigate the local lakes to see what waterfowl had migrated into the metropolitan area.  While we found plenty of frozen lakes, there was an obvious change of season in progress and with that change of season comes the normal migratory species of ducks.

Here is a quick look at a few of the ducks we found.

It was good practice too, as I’ve been lazy with the photography and this change of weather has allowed me to get my photographic eye back in tune with bird photography in preparation for my upcoming trip to Monte Vista.

These will all be uploaded to the stock photography catalogs, as duck photos do sell from time to time.

The day of exploration was also a good opportunity to grab lunch with a friend.

Mostly, we spent the day “Duck’n Around”

Common Goldeneye
Lesser Scaup Male
Lesser Scaup Female
Mallard Drake
Mallard Hen and Mallard Drake
Gadwall Male

Northern Shovelers are a common waterfowl here in Colorado.

The shoveler is a fairly skittish duck, tending to keep its distance from people.

It’s easiest to catch them in flight as once hey hit the water they will move into an area of the lake that will give them a safe distance from the camera toting photographers. On occasion, they will paddle by and when they do I grab the best lit scenes as targets of opportunity.

Canvasback Duck by Gary Gray
Canvasback Duck

Back to the tree in the lake this morning for bird action.

Not much bird action. It was fairly cold this morning and the Great Blue Herons weren’t in much of a mood to mingle.

So, I worked the other birds instead.  This is my first photo of a Canvasback duck.  Go figure.