Hi! I’d like to tell you about a chance encounter with a wonderful wildlife photographer from Oregon, Mr. Kevin Smith.
My husband Robert and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Smith while camping in the Steens Mountains of southeastern Oregon recently. He and his wife were parked in the spot next to us at the Page Springs Campground near French Glen. We chatted as camping neighbors do after a day of wondering around.
Kevin Smith had interesting life stories. Among other things, he was in the Army, he was a photographer assigned to the White House under the Johnson administration. Yes, some of the black and white photos of President Johnson were Kevin’s. I was in awe; what an experience that must have been.
These days Kevin focuses on wildlife photography and birds in particular. Indeed, nearby Malheur Wildlife Refuge uses some of Kevin’s photos on their post cards.
We had the privilege of being invited to go with him for a photo shoot of some Virginia rails. The birds lived just upstream from the campground. Kevin and his wife had flushed the rails the night before. Naturally, Robert and I were delighted to go. We followed along, trying our best to be quiet observers. On this occasion, he had camera in hand and smart phone. Yes, smart phones are good to have if you are a bird photographer.
As we came to the area where the Mr. Smith had seen the rails, we sat quietly on the bank. Kevin took out his smart phone and called up an app that had the Virginia rail’s bird calls. Pressing “play”, Kevin called out the rails. After a couple of times, the rails called back. A few more calls later and a cautious Virginia rail walked out of the rushes. What a delight! Kevin had his photos; Robert and I had a fun, memorable experience. Thank you, Kevin, for the treat!
The image above is an ink and watercolor sketch of Kevin’s camper, without the truck. If you’d like to see Mr. Smith’s photography, I invite you to go to his website: http://www.kevinsmithnaturephotos.com. To see Virginia rails, I did a search: http://www.kevinsmithnaturephotos.com/gallery3/index.php/search?q=virginiarails.
PS. No, I did not sketch the Virginia rail. I was trying too hard to be still! 🙂