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Dr. Jungle's Animal Speak

Dr. Jungle's Animal Speak

The Cabbage Leather Coral – Lobophytum crassum

Posted: 01 Aug 2011 10:36 AM PDT

Cabbage Leather Coral - Lobophytum crassumCabbage Leather Coral
Lobophytum crassum

"No, this cabbage is NOT supper… Though it looks good enough to eat!

This Cabbage Leather Coral is very plentiful and easy to care for!

The Cabbage Leather Coral, Lobophytum crassum is an octocoral and is very well known in the coral world. These soft corals form low encrusting colonies and have lobed projections that protrude from their heavy and thick outside “skin.” They actually do look very similar to cabbages and other common names are the Flower Coral, the Rabbit Ear Leather Coral, and the Lobbed Leather Coral… Read More

More about the Cabbage Leather Coral!


August 1, 2011 5:02 am
Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245 4041 Granada Drive, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Telephone: 863-692-0906. Computer fax: 877- 265-6955

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The BIRDS AS ART Blog: Great info with a personal touch, great images, great lessons, and our legendary BAA educational captions.



  • JAPAN 2012

Snow Monkey (Japanese Macaque), mother holding baby, Nagano, Japan. Image courtesy of and copyright 2010: Ellen Anon.

JAPAN 2012

THE JAPAN ONLY ONE TRIP NEEDED PER LIFETIME IPT, FEB 20-MAR, 09, 2012. $15,999 from Tokyo, Japan. Limit twelve photographers; openings: 9. Co-leaders: Arthur Morris & Robert O'Toole.

Robert has photographed in Hokkaido several times. I’ve never been to Japan. And I will likely never be going back. I wanted to make sure that a day or two of bad weather would not wipe out one of the four great wildlife opportunities. So Robert and I designed a trip with more photography time than any other photo trip. If you are going to go all that way why not do it right?

Here’s what I mean:

Japan Workshop Location Summary:

3 1/2 days of Snow Monkey photography at Nagano, Honshu (largest island of Japan, the Mainland).

4 1/2 days of Steller's Sea Eagle photography in Rausu, Hokkaido (Japan's northernmost and second largest island).

3 days (2 full and 2 half days) of Whooper Swan photography at Lake Kussharo, Kushiro Region, Hokkaido)

4 1/2 days of Japanese Red-Crowned Crane photography at two different parks in Akan National Park, Hokkaido, Japan.

None of these areas were damaged by the earthquake and all logistics are in place.

Do consider joining us on this amazing trip. A non-refundable deposit of $5,000 is required to hold your spot.

Included: All lodging (double occupancy; single supplement price available upon request), all meals, all ground transportation (most by luxury van or bus), the in-country flights, lots of image sharing and review and small group Photoshop sessions, and of course, two great leaders who will alert you to the best situations, make sure that you understand exposure, and teach you to think like a pro. Right now this is shaping up to be a practically private affair with three participants and two leaders. The current roster of happy campers includes IPT veterans Mike Gotthelf & Kevin Watson and newcomer Tommy R. Rodgers.

Not included: Your air fare to and from Tokyo, Japan and your alcoholic beverages & phone calls.

Trip insurance is highly recommended and trip evacuation (cheap for an annual policy) is mandatory. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services.


Japanese (Red-crowned) Crane, Kushiro, Japan. Image courtesy of and copyright 2010: Robert O’Toole.


Day 1 – Monday, February 20, 2012. Tokyo, Japan. Meeting and dinner.

Arrive at Narita Airport for transfer to our Tokyo hotel and meet for dinner that evening. We recommend taking a limousine bus to the hotel; save your receipt–we will reimburse you. (Details will be provided). Note that since most flights from the USA arrive in Tokyo in the evening, we strongly recommend arriving the day before the workshop starts to rest and adjust to the time change.

Day 2: February 21. Tokyo to Nagano (five hour bus ride). Afternoon Snow Monkey photography.

After an early breakfast we will meet and begin our journey at 5am via chartered bus to Nagano for a 10 am arrival and enjoy and afternoon photo session with the Snow Monkeys. These fascinating primates, also known as Japanese Macaques, range throughout the national park and are especially fond of soaking themselves in the natural hot springs where they are easy to photograph.


Snow Monkey (Japanese Macaque), Nagano, Japan. Image courtesy of and copyright 2010: Ellen Anon.

Day 3-5: February 22-24: Nagano. Morning and afternoon photo sessions with the Snow Monkeys

Day 6: February 25. Nagano, Honshu to Rausu, Hokkaido.

After breakfast we will depart at 7 am to travel to Haneda airport for our flight to Kushiro and then travel by bus arriving in in Rasu that evening. Here, with any weather luck at all, we will photograph one of the world's most impressive and rarest eagles, the Steller's Sea eagle. Our boat trips are dependent on the sea ice that is blown south across the Sea of Okhotsk from Russia's east coast. We will have some flexibility with the itinerary in case conditions might be less than ideal. We are of course scheduled to be there during average prime time for eagle photography. This will be our only full travel day.

Day 7-10: February 26-29. Rausu.

Daily morning photography sessions on a chartered boat with one of the world's largest and most amazing raptors, the Steller's Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus). With the planned for conditions in place, the birds will be flying amongst and landing on the shimmering pack ice.

Day 11: March 1. Rausu to Kushiro.

We will enjoy one last morning boat trip for the eagles and then depart to Kushiro for an afternoon of Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) photography at Lake Kussharo, Kushiro Region, Hokkaido.


Whooper Swan, Lake Kussharo, Kushiro Region, Hokkaido. Image courtesy of and copyright 2006: Ellen Anon. This was a BBC-honored image for Ellen :) .

Day 12-13: March 2-3. Morning and afternoon photography sessions on Lake Kussharo with Whooper Swans.

Day 14 March 4. Lake Kussharo to Crane Parks.

There will be a short morning swan photography session at Lake Kussharo. We will leave at 10am in order to arrive in time for and afternoon crane feeding session.


Japanese (Red-crowned) Crane, Kushiro, Japan. Image courtesy of and copyright 2010: Robert O’Toole.

Day 15 -18: March 5-8. Morning and afternoon photo sessions with the Japanese Cranes.

At Kushiro we will photograph the rare and beautiful Japanese (Crane Grus japonensis, also know as the Red-crowned Crane). Other subjects will include White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) and Black (or Black-eared) Kite (Milvus migrans) at two different crane reserves. The photography sessions at the parks can be amazing; we will get to photograph the cranes dancing and displaying from morning until dark. The peak of the action will occur during feeding time (2pm daily).

Day 19: March 9. Kushiro Airport, Hokkaido to Haneda Airport Tokyo

After breakfast at the Kushiro hotel the group will be transported to Kushiro Airport to meet their English-speaking guide for the flight to Haneda Airport in Tokyo. (Robert and Artie will be staying in Hokkaido for a few additional days of bird photography at Lake Furen.) Upon arrival in Haneda the group will be met by an English-speaking guide and board a transfer bus to transport to Narita airport for international flights home that afternoon.


Ellen Anon, a former BIRDS AS ART IPT co-leader :) , is an award winning photographer, writer, and Photoshop and digital imaging expert. She has co-authored a series of best selling books including Photoshop CS5 for Nature Photographers; A Workshop in a Book and Aperture3; Portable Genius along with several video series. She and her son Josh are very excited about being in the process of creating a new book (and workshops) that will help people develop their photographic eye via visual intensity.

You can learn more about Ellen and see lots of her great images here She asked me to let you know that she needs to update her workshop and public appearances pages; life sometimes gets in the way of photography and career.


This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Lens/camera body Micro-adjustment: +3.

This image was created in a virtually impossible situation that most folks would walk right by. There is a great lesson for you here.


I continue to put in 20+ hours a week towards making the blog informative, timely, and beautiful. Many of the educational features that formerly appeared in BAA Bulletins now grace the BAA Blog. If you have a problem subscribing, please contact us via e-mail. If you are not subscribed, you are missing a ton of great stuff almost daily. You can subscribe to the blog posts by clicking here. Below are links to recent posts of interest.

In Grandpa and the Amazing Photo-Kid you can meet my oldest grandson Sam, check out his amazing flexibility and his amazing blond locks, and see how he did on his first photo trip. To the Galapagos!

Learn to deal with color casts in the July 23 blog post here.

Read the e-mail that brought tears to my eyes here.

Not sure when to leave IS on? Not after you read IS On or Off? And More On Image Stabilization.

Learn which were my favorite “It Ain’t Just Birds” images from Svalbard here.


A Guide to Creative Filter and Effects (pdf) by Denise Ippolito

My foreword pretty much says it all:

“Denise Ippolito is about as creative, as hardworking, and as dedicated a photographer as you will ever come to know. And over the past fourteen months I have come to know her quite well. Her creativity is—as you will come to see as you are reading her Filter Guide—totally amazing. She can look at an average image, a simple snapshot, heck, even a bad photograph, and in seconds know exactly how to turn it into a piece of art using this filter or that effect. And then do just that in minutes. And most of the time she is working with the beautiful images of flowers and birds that she is so good at creating.

To quote our mutual friend, Kerry Perkins, one of Denise's co-moderators on the BPN Out of the Box Forum where she has worked tirelessly helping other to improve their photography for more than two years, "First off, I want to say that the Filter Guide is an amazing work. There is so much information and so many wonderful images that I am just blown away that you managed to get it all together in one document! Wonderful work Lady D!"

Denise has worked incredibly hard on "A Guide to Creative Filters and Effects" and at the same time, worked incredibly hard at improving her writing skills. I congratulate her here on two jobs well done.” arthur morris/Indian Lake Estates, Florida. January 30, 2011

Below is a list of the filters and effects that are detailed in the Filter Guide. Filters with the ($) symbol require a separate purchase. Most of the others are Photoshop filters and one is a free download. The Filter Guide includes links to all available free trial downloads so that you can try before you buy. Though–as above–many of the filters can be found in various versions of Photoshop, most folks–including me before I edited this guide–have no clue that they exist and no clue as to how to use them. Each detailed tutorial section is written in a clear, concise, simple, easy to follow style that can be followed even by someone opening up Photoshop for the first time

  • Topaz Simplify, Clean, & BuzSim Filter ($)
  • Flaming Pear Filter (including Swerve ($), Twist ($) & Vein-a free download)
  • Fractalius (including Denise’s Soft-Fix preset creation) ($–Windows only)
  • Adding Texture (Photoshop)
  • NIK Color Efex Pro including Midnight Filter ($)
  • Omni Lighting (Photoshop)
  • Pinch Filter (Photoshop)
  • Twirl Filter (Photoshop)
  • Ripple Filter (Photoshop)
  • Radial Blur (Photoshop)
  • Find Edges Filter (Photoshop)
  • Orton Effect (Photoshop)
  • Blank Canvas Creations! (Photoshop)
  • The Mixer Brush
  • The New Paste Special Option in CS-5 (Photoshop)
  • DAP ($)
  • Polar Coordinates and Mini-Worlds (Photoshop)
  • Holiday Lights Creations (Photoshop)
  • Snap Art 2 Impasto Filter ($)
  • Creating Composites (Photoshop)
  • Creating Your Own Brush Presets (Photoshop)
  • Using Blend Modes Creatively
  • Using Layer Masks and Inverse Layer Masks Creatively (CS versions of Photoshop)
  • Kaleidoscopes (Free Plug-in, Windows only)
  • Combinations of all of the above!

You can order your copy of “A Guide to Creative Filter and Effects” for $38 right now by calling 863-692-0906, by sending a PayPal to birdsasart@verizon.net or birdsasart@att.net, or from the BAA On-line Store here. Be sure to visit Denise’s blog here.

Enjoy Denise’s image gallery below. Which is your favorite?

Front yard Snow Storm with Denise’s Fractalius Soft-fix preset applied
Image Copyright 2011/Denise Ippolito Photography
Fonthill Castle, Mini-World (Polar Coordinates)
Image Copyright 2011/Denise Ippolito Photography
Great Egret Chick, Fractalius Glow 100
Image Copyright 2011/Denise Ippolito Photography
Tulip with Pinch Filter
Image Copyright 2011/Denise Ippolito Photography


Flight School Photography’s 5th Annual – Flight School Goes to Bosque Workshop – November 2011

With thousands of migratory birds in flight daily at Bosque Del Apache, what better site for Flight School Photography workshops? Previous year's workshops were huge successes, so once again, Flight School Photography returns to Bosque. We are anticipating improved conditions and even more outstanding photographic opportunities than last year. Flight School Photography will be featuring two workshops in November, 2011. Each will be led by expert bird photographer, Jim Neiger, who has perfected techniques for photographing birds in flight using large telephoto lenses, hand held. The focus of these workshops will be learning and practicing Jim's hand held, long lens techniques for photographing birds in flight and in action.


Dancing Sandhill Cranes, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM. Image copyright © 2010: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography.

The workshops will be held before the Festival of the Cranes and Thanksgiving. They will offer spectacular fall color that offers beautiful backgrounds for your photos and adds majesty to the already spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Going early also means there will be fewer photographers. Each workshop will include 3 hours of classroom instruction on the first morning followed by a welcome lunch and an afternoon photography session. The two remaining days include morning and afternoon photography sessions each lasting three to four hours. The workshops are limited to 6 participants.


Northern Harrier, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM. Image copyright © 2010: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Rio Grande in Socorro County, New Mexico. A series of canals from the river carry water to various areas of the refuge. These impoundments are managed to create numerous shallow ponds and pools. In addition, corn, alfalfa and other crops are grown in the nearby fields; the farmers leave some of the crops to feed the thousands of migratory birds that flock there. The water, food and shelter create a haven for the thousands of birds that call Bosque del Apache home during the fall and winter. Annual visitors include Sandhill Cranes, many species of geese and ducks, bald eagles, hawks, and wading birds. In all, Bosque is home to 377 species of birds throughout the year, so anything is possible.

The thousands of Sandhill Cranes, ducks and geese in flight provide spectacular opportunities for awesome flight images using Jim's techniques. Jim is known for his consistent production of amazing flight images. A Flight School Photography Workshop is a must for all serious nature photographers.


Snow Goose, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM. Image copyright © 2010: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Bosque Del Apache, NWR Sample Image Gallery

Workshop BOS-1: November 11, 2010 thru November 13, 2010: $999.
Workshop BOS-2: November 15, 2010 thru November 17, 2010: $999.

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required. The remaining $500 is due 15 days before the start date of the workshop. If you are unable to attend the workshop after paying the balance, your balance will be refunded only if your spot can be filled, on short notice, from the waiting list. All workshop payments must be made by check or money order. Credit cards are not accepted. Please make your check payable to Flight School Photography, Inc. and send them to: Flight School Photography, Inc., Jim Neiger, 550 Basin Drive, Kissimmee, Fl 34744. You can contact Jim by phone at 407-247-5200 or via e-mail to jimn@cfl.rr.com.

Flight School Photography

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders :)
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine.

Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. These high capacity cards are fast and dependable. Clicking on the link below will bring you to the Delkin web site. There is lots of great stuff there. If you see a product that we do not carry let us know via e-mail; we will be glad to have it drop-shipped to you and save you a few bucks in the process.

I pack my 800 and tons of other gear in my ThinkTank Airport SecurityTM V2.0 rolling bag for all of my air travel and recommend the slightly smaller Airport InternationalTM V2.0 for most folks. These high capacity bags are well constructed and protect my gear when I have to gate check it on short-hops and puddle jumpers. Each will protect your gear just as well. By clicking on either link or the logo below, you will receive a free gift with each order over $50.



A 70-200mm lens will be your most-used lens on our Bald Eagle IPTs. By the end of the week I was calling these “DAD” shots. Dime a dozen.

THE OCT/NOV 2011 HOMER-BASED BALD EAGLE IPTs with Arthur Morris and Robert O’Toole

OCT 25-29, 2011.

Limit 10 (six photographers per boat)/Openings: 3). 5-FULL DAYS: $3399. You will need to be in Homer no later than the evening of October 24.

OCT 30, 2011. Add-on day.

Free if you sign up for both IPTs. Otherwise $550. (Limit 10/Openings: 2). If you are on the second trip and are doing the add-on day, you will need to be in Homer no later than the evening of October 29.

OCT 31-NOV 4, 2011

Limit 10 (six photographers per boat)/Openings: 1). 5-FULL DAYS: $3399. You will need to be in Homer no later than the evening of October 30.

These trips will be based in Homer, AK. We will enjoy virtually unlimited photographic action. This year, most folks opted to miss at least one boat trip due to photographic exhaustion. Two great leaders provide both in-the-field and in-classroom instruction that will include at least two Photoshop sessions. Canon or Nikon we’ve got you covered. (In-the field instruction only on the Add-on day.) A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required to hold your spot. Happy campers only. If we do not know you, you will be required to pass our Happy Camper test. Once you pass the Happy Camper test, please fill out and sign the forms here and send them along with your deposit check. Your registration will not be complete until we have your signed forms in hand.

Things you should know: At the last moment each morning we schedule–depending on tides and weather–either two 2-hour boat trips or one 4 hour boat trip each day of the tour (weather permitting). We do however often exceed those time limits when conditions warrant it. We gladly pick up the additional costs. You will not be charged extra for overtime no matter how extensive. On several days this year our two hour cruises went on for more than four hours; it is hard to sail away from great photography. We work a lot from from the boats and do ,again depending on conditions, spend some time on land to do both perched and flying birds. Even with “only” four hours per day of photography you will head home exhausted with the best Bald Eagle images of your life (unless we encounter unexpectedly bad weather). We have chosen out dates carefully with regards to weather. Temps should be moderate to cold with a mix of sun, clouds, and possibly some drizzle. Snow is not likely on either trip. That said we are going to Alaska and there is always a chance, a very small chance, that it might pour every day that you are there. There will be as many or more eagles on these trips as there were on the March trips. We will be collecting a $20 per day tip for our captain guides at the end of each trip. Most folks opted to kick in additional and we were fine with that.

What’s included: lots of eagles and lots of instruction. Ground transportation from the motel to the dock. As above we cover all boat fees and boat-related expenses but for the tips. Breakfast at the motel. We may be able to pick you up at the airport to save you the cost of a cab. Note: some folks may wish to rent a vehicle so that they can photograph on their own during free and nap time.

What’s not included: your round trip airfare from home to Homer. (Driving from Anchorage is recommended only for the adventurous….) The cost of your room. Meals other than breakfast.

To learn more about the Homer eagle experience, click on each link below:

Universal Advice for Better Flight Photography with a Zoom Lens
Finally, Finally, and Finally in Homer!
Enhancing Silhouettes
What Makes a Great Bird Portrait?
Insanity, Exhilaration, Exhaustion, and Home

And click here to read the Homer IPT Report.


You can learn a ton by attending any IPT. While my 2010 group was enjoying these fire in the mist conditions there were about 40 photographers 80 yards south of us completely oblivious to what was going on. Honest.

BOSQUE del APACHE 2011 IPT: "The Complete Bosque Experience." NOV 19-25, 2011.

Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 18. 7-FULL DAYS: $3299. (Non-refundable deposit: $500; see details below.) Limit: 10/Openings: 2. Co-leaders: Robert O’Toole & Jim Heupel. Geese, cranes, ducks, sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Plus great co-leaders and top-notch Photoshop instruction. Please see terms and deposit info below.

With my ever-shrinking teaching schedule and all the specialty trips sold out, this trip may well represent a rare opportunity to learn from the best, so do not wait too long before sending your deposit. Clemens van der Werf who was on this year’s Bosque trip is already registered for next year. If you missed the Photographer Experience Quiz and the Mystery Photographer & Experience Level Revealed! posts on the blog, you will surely want to check them out to see what Clemens has accomplished in less than a single year of bird photography. And how!


The birds and wildlife of the Galapagos are very accepting of humans; only two of the nine images above were created with a lens longer than 400mm. From left to right, top to bottom: Marine Iguana, Galapagos Sea Lion, Blue Footed Booby eggs, Waved Albatross courtship display, calling juvenile Galapagos Hawk, Nazca Booby, Galapagos Tortoise, Red-footed Booby chick, Hood Mockingbird ready to fight, and Galapagos Sea Lion pup/fish eye lens.

GALAPAGOS 2012 PHOTO-CRUISE OF A LIFETIME IPT: The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience: July 1-18, 2011 (July 3-17, 2012 on the boat): 13 1/2 days of photography plus a last morning panga ride: $12,749. (Limit 12/Openings: 9.)

Briefly, my two-week trip is without equal. The best guide, the best itinerary, a great boat (the Beagle), and the best leader, one with seven Galapagos trips under his belt, six with Juan Salcedo. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is required. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/11. The final payment of $3749 per person will be due on 2/1/12. Couples or friends registering together will have a $300 per person discount applied to their final payment.

Important note: if I do not have 8 or 9 deposit checks in hand when I need to commit to leasing the boat (for more than 1/10 of a million dollars) I will seriously need to consider scrapping this amazing trip…

Please e-mail for discount information.

Fly to Quito: July 1, 2012
Travel insurance and rest day: July 2, 2012 (perched hummingbird day-trip optional)
Fly to Galapagos, board boat: July 3, 2012
Fly back to Quito: July 17, 2012
Fly home: July 18.

Cost: $12,749.00 Includes three nights in the luxury hotel–the Hilton Quito Colon, round trip airfare to and from Baltra, all meals on the boat–the food is great, a killer buffet lunch with the tortoises!, all park fees and related costs, all ground transfers, and a five star thank you dinner on the evening of July 17th.

13 full and one half day of photography, plus a 90 minute early am panga ride on the last morning. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. The greatest-ever itinerary. By far. We visit every great spot on a single trip. The great spots include: Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world's only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway), Fernandina, Peurto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, North Seymour, South Plaza, Black Turtle Cove, Floreana, Urbina Bay, and China Hat. Plus tons more. And lots of snorkeling for those who wish to partake.

And the world's greatest Galapagos guide. By far. We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather, we often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, midday snorkeling on most sunny days depending on location. Note: some of the walks are strenuous. Great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens. I always bring a big lens also as that fits my style.

Not included. Your round trip airfare from your home to and from Quito, beverages, phone calls, and the $500 (US cash) per/person tip for the guide and crew; that breaks down to roughly $35/day shared by the 8 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Limited to 12 photographers plus the leader.

If you are good to go, please e-mail first and then send your $5,000 non-refundable deposit made out to "Arthur Morris" to the address at the top of this e-mail along with the necessary paperwork here.

Travel insurance is highly recommended. I learned during the past week that three folks who were scheduled for the Midway trip needed to cancel for various reasons…. None of them had travel insurance. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and I recommend it strongly. Important note: we will notify when the trip is a go and will not cash your deposit check until then. (Most travel insurance policies mandate that you purchase your protection within two weeks of your check being cashed.)

Experience the 2011 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime Vicariously

Click here. Then scroll down to the July 4, 2010 post, “Quito, Hummers, & the Galapagos” and click on it. When you are done reading, hit the back button and continue on up the list clicking on all Galapagos-related posts until you get to the “The End: Galapagos Day 15/July 20, Morning, Black Turtle Cove” which was posted on October 9, 2010. Warning: there are 26 Galapagos posts in all. If you close your eyes while reading you might imagine that you were actually on the trip! I hope that you can join us in 2012.

Best and great picture-making,


Note: Arthur Morris has been a paid Canon contract photographer, part of the Explorers of Light program, since 1996 and continues in that role today. B&H Photo of New York, NY is a BAA sponsor as is Delkin Devices. Back issues of older BAA Bulletins can be accessed here. The most recent Bulletins can be found here.

August E-news

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August 2011

Forest & Bird eNews

Keeping you up to date on our activities, campaigns and projects

Forest and Bird.

Keep coal in the ground

An Australian coal mining firm is looking to mine a geologically rare plateau on the West Coast that is home to great spotted kiwi, green geckos and large carnivorous snails.  This is one of our most unique pieces of conservation land – one filled with boulder-fields, dotted with wetlands and forested with bonsai rata & pygmy pine. In July, Forest & Bird spoke up to protect Denniston Plateau from mining at a resource consent hearing and we are awaiting a decision by the commissioner. We want to see this geologically precious area turned into a reserve so it is safe from mining. Join us in our fight to protect this geological wonderland!

>>> If you would like to join our activists list, see here.
>>> To find out more about Denniston, see here

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Picture: Denniston Plateau, Craig Potton

DOC haemorrhaging jobs

The knife has again been taken to the Department of Conservation, with about 100 staff losing their jobs later this year. Meanwhile, the government is doubling the number of people in the Ministry of Economic Development’s unit aimed at expanding the oil and minerals industries. “Boosting jobs in these extractive sectors and simultaneously slimming down the role of our environmental guardians will no doubt spell bad news for the wild places that New Zealanders hold dear,” Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Nicola Vallance said.  The latest round of cuts to DOC’s 1800 staff is part of a $13.5m-a-year budget cut imposed by the government. >> More

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Picture: A strong DOC is critical to the clean, green image we sell to the world. Lake Matiri, Debs Martin

Forest saviour

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, has called for greater use of 1080 to save our imperilled species. The report stressed the fact that we don’t have the luxury of time to restore our forests and 1080 offered the only cost-effective way to stave off forest collapse and turn around the fate of our threatened species. Currently, only 12% of the conservation estate is protected by 1080. >> More

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Picture: Whio numbers have been shown to bounce back after a 1080 drop. Jordan Kappely.


Deep trouble

Freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy kicked off Forest & Bird’s Freshwater for Life conference with a rousing speech that ended with the words ‘you may have guessed I am angry’. The ecologist – who won a Forest & Bird Old Blue award –was recently pulled into an international scuffle with the Prime Minister over the fallacy of New Zealand’s clean, green image. He said the fact that half of our native freshwater fish are listed as threatened is a red flag that our freshwater is in dire straits. Forest & Bird’s Freshwater for Life campaign focuses on the need to improve the water quality of our lowland rivers, protect our wetlands, save our wild rivers from hydro-dams and make sure our freshwater fish, eels, birds and other animals have a future.  To find out more about our campaign, click here

>> Donate to our Freshwater for Life appeal

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Mangarakau River, Jordan Kappely

Buy a plot, save a river

The final stage of our three-year battle to save the Mokihinui River from an 85-metre-high dam will be played out over the next year as we head into court to save this wildlife & white-water stronghold. In June  next year, we’ll be fronting up at the Environment Court against Meridian Energy’s 50-strong team of expert witnesses. We need your help to present the strongest case possible. So far over 70 kayakers, trampers, school students, businesses and conservationists have pledged their support by buying a shareholding certificate and virtual plot. Show your support by picking up one of the last of these prized plots.

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Picture: The Mokihinui River, Ian Trafford

New wave

Last month at our Freshwater for Life conference, Forest & Bird elected a new President: former Deputy President Andrew Cutler. Andrew has pushed for Wellington’s only marine reserve; led a number of projects at Wellington’s wildlife sanctuary Zealandia and undertaken several studies on cat predation. He spells out his vision for Forest & Bird here At the conference, we also celebrated the work of our tireless planters and pest-busters. The North Shore branch picked up the Golden Spade award for giving Tuff Crater a forested skirt, and the volunteers working around Pelorus Bridge in Marlborough earned the Pestbusters award for protecting our critically endangered long-tailed bat. 

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Picture:  Forest & Bird's new president Andrew Cutler on Campbell Island.

International outcry at seabird policy

New Zealand’s policy towards seabird by-catch has drawn international criticism after a toothless draft policy report was released by the Ministry of Fisheries. A report for the Ministry of Fisheries suggests 22,200 to 40,900 seabirds are killed annually in fisheries within New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). In June, 50 seabird biologists, including many from BirdLife Partners in the Pacific region and beyond, wrote to New Zealand’s Fisheries Minister, Phil Heatley, asking him to reduce by-catch levels. New Zealand is rich with seabirds – with 84 species (more than 25% of the world’s total) breeding here. Twenty three of the seabird species breeding in New Zealand are currently listed by the IUCN as threatened with extinction. >>More

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Picture: Southern Royal Albatross, Craig McKenzie

Blog: dung beetles, native nosegays and zoos to the rescue

Happy Feet’s surprise visit to our shores has left a few questions knocking around our heads – namely, what role should our zoos play in conservation? Ex-Wellington zoo staffer Stephanie Gray has tackled this question in a blog  which focuses on Auckland Zoo's new native wildlife enclosure. As this zoo prepares to introduce longfin eels, short-tailed bats and morepork to its enclosures, there’s another quite different creature being unleashed onto our farms: 11 exotic dung beetles. In my blog  – unfinished business – I ask: will they clean up our dung problem or create more headaches? Let’s hope not. Moving from nosepegs to nosegays, ethno-botanist Sue Scheele takes us back in time to when early Maori trotted botanical perfumes  up and down the country. Happy reading! - Mandy

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PIcture: Copris hispanus hispanus - one of the dung beetles due to arrive on our shores soon to clean up our bovine sewage problem.



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