Rainey Lake in late Novemeber. C.Paxton image and copyright

Rainey Lake in late November. Captured on Pentax K1 and developed in Affinity with tone mapping followed by a boost with Topaz Adjust.  C. Paxton image and copyright.

Handsome Barred Owl perched in a mature oak tree beside the Green Lea Wildlife Drive at Tensas River NWR last week. C. Paxton image and copyright.

Handsome Barred Owl Strix varia perched in a mature oak tree beside the Green Lea Wildlife Drive at Tensas River NWR last week. Captured handheld in gloaming, on Panasonic Lumix FZ70 at 1200mm equivalent and processed in Affinity with Topaz Adjust plug-in.  C. Paxton image and copyright.

Wildopeneye is focusing on filming again! I think that that would please Andy.  Kimmie and I have been filming in Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge and D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge for the Union Museum of History and Art’s forthcoming wildlife exhibition. Both National Wildlife refuges are lovely in the autumn, especially when the leaves are turning nicely and not just dropping off the tree in wind and rain.

2017 is a great year for rich yellows and oranges, perhaps because we’ve had little rain and some nice cool nights and bright sunny days. This is also perfect weather for exploratory landscape photography and wildlife filming. I’ll use Cyberlink’s Movie editing software to edit the film.

We’ve been blessed with nice sightings and images of Louisiana Black Bear Ursus americanus luteolus, Wild Turkeys Meleagris galloparvo, Barred Owl Strix varia, Nine-banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus, White-tailed Deer Odocolleus virginianus, flocks of Duck and feral hogs.

Kimmie Paxton enjoying an exploratory hike on the Rainey Lake trail at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge armed with Panasonic Lumix GX8 with 100-300mm Lumix G Vario. This is a fantastic combination for wildlife because it is light, fast, silent and powerful. Taken on Sigma DP2 and developed in Affinity with tone mapping, boosted and framed with Topaz Adjust. C.Paxton image and copyright.

Kimmie Paxton enjoying an exploratory hike on the Rainey Lake trail at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge armed with Panasonic Lumix GX8 with 100-300mm Lumix G Vario. This is a fantastic combination for wildlife because it is light, fast, silent and powerful. Taken on Sigma DP2 and developed in Affinity with tone mapping, boosted and framed with Topaz Adjust. C.Paxton image and copyright.

For good reasons I’m reserving our best stuff for the museum exhibition, but we can say at this stage that we have some good footage in the can already and the film will provide a nice taste of some of Louisiana’s fantastic wildlife.

Southern Wildlife,  Louisiana Black Bear

Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best places to see Louisiana Black Bears. This one in a nest in a Southern Red Oak was just beside the Safari drive. Taken on Pentax K-1 with Pentax 100mm macro lens and exhibited at Union Museum of History and Art. C.Paxton image and copyright

Tensas is great for safari driving and birding from the car and on foot. This season we’ve watched the water level drop away as it has been rather dry, but we’ve seen American alligators Alligator mississippiensis in some of the various ponds and lakes in the reserve.

On one memorable occasion in October, Kimmie looked up into a tree in search of birds and saw a large bear’s face looking back at her! A delightful and unforgettable experience. You never know quite what you’ll see, but you can count on seeing some interesting wildlife.

Feral hog crossing the wildlife safari drive at Tensas River NWR. C. Paxton image and copyright.

Feral hog crossing the wildlife safari drive at Tensas River NWR. Shot on Pentax K1 with Sigma 70-300mm APO macro zoom. C. Paxton image and copyright.

I’m still getting used to the Pentax K1 and Sigma 70-300 mm APO macro zoom combination. It’s very handy to be able to use the movable Live-view screen when shooting images of wildlife in the road from in the car and when photographing scenes that include the sun. In the crop mode the zoom attains the equivalent of 460mm in 35mm telephoto range. It is dangerous to view the sun directly with a DSLR camera, but the live-view screen spares risk of eye damage. Also shots through the windscreen tend to be a bit soft and lack contrast. If you can hold the camera out of the window and frame your beast/s through the live view screen that is very handy!

We saw a family sounder of five feral swine cross the road.

 

Wild ducks lift off from a flooded field at Tensas River NWR against an autumnal background. C.Paxton image and copyright.

Wild ducks lift off from a flooded field at Tensas River NWR against an autumnal background. Pentax K1 with Sigma 70-300 mm Macro APO zoom. C.Paxton image and copyright.

An elevated view of the mixed deciduous bottomland forest beside Bayou D'Arbonne near Rocky Branch, Louisiana. C.Paxton image and copyright.

An elevated view of the mixed deciduous bottomland forest beside Bayou D’Arbonne near Rocky Branch, Louisiana. Pentax K1 with Sigma 70-300 mm Macro APO zoom. Developed in Affinity with Topaz Adjust.  C.Paxton image and copyright.

 

Reflections of the mixed deciduous bottomland forest beside Bayou D'Arbonne near Rocky Branch, Louisiana. Pentax K1 with Sigma 70-300 mm Macro APO zoom. Developed in Affinity with Topaz Adjust.  C.Paxton image and copyright.

Reflections of the mixed deciduous bottomland forest beside Bayou D’Arbonne near Rocky Branch, Louisiana. Pentax K1 with Sigma 70-300 mm Macro APO zoom. Developed in Affinity with Topaz Adjust.  C.Paxton image and copyright.