Jake Egbert Photography Blog

February Backyard

The Oregon winter season is still new to me. In Utah, my dad ran two tanks of gas out of his snow blower last week. But here in Oregon this past Saturday we had balmy temperatures in the mid 50's so I spent some time on my balcony soaking in the sun and observing the birds that never migrated away this winter. The hummingbirds and goldfinches are a constant presence at our feeders.

We see a wide assortment of goldfinches in our yard.  They seem to be brightening up compared to the more drab plumage we saw through the Fall season.

We've seen up to fifteen finches hanging from our thistle sock at a time. 


One of many hummingbirds that enjoy our backyard

I often hear the distinctive chirp of a hummingbird accosting me unseen from high branches around the borders of the yard; broadcasting that, while others (particularly the humans that fill the feeder) may make short visits, all should be aware that this yard has already been claimed!

Dive! Dive! Dive!

The previous owner of our home saw this pic and said this is the Pepping Happy Valley Hummer. I think this is the cheeky little fellow that chirps at us any time we trespass in his backyard.

I love this Oregon skyline

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Oregon Zoo Visit

I had a couple of hours to kill in Portland this past Saturday afternoon so I made my first visit to the Oregon Zoo. Between the intermittent rain showers I photographed some of the more interesting animals (and people).

I've been to quite a few zoos, and this one ranks high on my list. I found the Great Northwest area of the zoo to be particularly impressive with its diverse animals, habitats, and forested layout. Maybe it was because of the lower temperatures or the on-again off-again rain, but many of the animals seemed particularly alert and active.

I probably only saw half of the exhibits on this visit so I'll be wanting to go back again soon. Although, during a particularly heavy rain shower I got to spend over 20 minutes inside the Elephant Museum; plenty of time to read each and every plaque within the display, some of them twice. So, I may not need to go back to that part of the zoo...

This bobcat was pacing its habitat

The two mountain lions were very active, stalking one another...

...and pouncing when the other least expected it.

This polar bear was snoozing until rain started falling more heavily.  I snapped this as the rain woke it up.  It soon moved out of the rain.

The damara zebra.  Not just black and white.

Reticulated giraffe

Train in the rain (and sunshine)

Rocky Mountain Goat

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Wildlife of Mukilteo

A few weeks back I posted a gallery from my visit to Mukilteo, WA. Here are a few of my favorite wildlife shots from the album.  Same big photo album, just highlighting different pics.

Some kind of a wood duck

This cormorant dove hundreds of times and came up with fish nearly every time.  I'd call this a double crested cormorant based on the other pics I can find online.

This great blue heron just hung out right next to the ferry landing, not caring that I was wandering all over his (or her) beach

This seal made several appearances while I was there

Why settle for one fish, when you can have a whole beak full?

Feathers in the breeze

The seagulls and I could tell when the cormorant was going to surface.  The surface of the water began roiling with fish trying to swim away from the diving bird.  Good news for a hungry seagull!

This was a very mild mannered bulldog.  He didn't even eat the little Yorkshire terrier that came yipping at his heels.

Gulls everywhere

Sky on fire
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Salmon River Trail

I'm taking a break from city photography posts for today. In late October Grandpa, several grand kids, and I piled into the van and headed for the hills of Eastern Central Connecticut. One of my coworkers had described hiking on the Salmon River Trail in Colchester, CT and I was curious to see it. My kids love to hike our local nature trails and they really enjoyed this longer hike with it's steeper hills and scenic views.

The trail starts at the Comstock Covered Bridge, one of only a handful of historic covered bridges remaining in Connecticut, which is currently closed for renovation. For a short distance the trail follows closely along side the broad and shallow Salmon river which appears to be perfectly suited for fly fishing. Then the trail gains altitude until it eventually crests the edge of the river gorge, offering panoramic views of the colorful forested hills and rapids in the bend of the river, now far below. We could hear ATVs in the hills across the river, and smoke from a camp fire rose in stark white contrast against the darker woods.

We hiked a couple of miles and only turned around when it became apparent that we were going to be hiking back in the dark. We watched the sun dip over the horizon from the overlook. The ATVs had by then gone silent but the boisterous and festive voices of the riders carried clearly in the crisp evening air. The flash of fireworks created distant silhouettes on the smoke that still hung over and through the trees next to the river. We resumed hiking through the descending darkness, arriving back at the van just as the last remnants of light faded from the sky.

We'll have to come back next season to hike clear through to Day Pond State Park.

Salmon River, Colchester, CT

Mushroom City


Kids in a row

Light on the trail ahead

Sepia Sunset

This hiker loved being on the trail

Grandpa and his troop of hikers

This was about the last light I could capture with the camera

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Zoo Trip

In June we happened to be in Providence, RI so we decided to take another trip through the Roger Williams Park Zoo. It seemed there was more activity than normal among the furry, wrinkled and feathered denizens of the zoo. Seeing the juvenile elephant playing in the deep pool in his/her enclosure was one of the highlights. I had a difficult time picking my preferred pachyderm pics from the passel that I brought home. Do you have a favorite?

Watchin' the African Wild Dogs...

Watchin' the Tasty-Lookin' Kid in the Window...

The Always-Engaging West African Crowned Crane

African Elephants


Hot Tubbin'

The Deep End

Snow Leopard

Coolin' Off

Hey, does anyone know if it's alright to drink this?

Basking Harbor Seal
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Roger Williams Zoo Field Trip

At the beginning of June I got to accompany my kindergartener to the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI for her class field trip! We arrived about 25 minutes before her classmates' bus so we watched as one bus after another disgorged its passengers in a steady stream at the zoo entrance. The far parking lot was sea of yellow buses, so we knew we wouldn't be alone. Hundreds of roudy kids from schools all over the area jostled, pushed, shouted in anticipation of the day at the zoo.

It turned out to be a beautiful day!

Here is an assortment of things we saw at the zoo:




Weed Pulling

Bathing Beauties

Bathing Birdies


Snoozing Snow Leopard

Alert Red Panda

Dreaming Red Panda

Eagle Spotting

Giant Snapping Turtle

Noble Elephant

Dirt Throwin' Pachyderm


The Crane Who Thinks *HE* Is the One Watching the Exotic Animals Through the Glass

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Duck Through a Window

Driving around Old Lyme I see lots of things that make me think, "That would make a nice photograph." Fortunately for me, I often have a camera so I can test my theory. Here are a few shots I snapped from the window of my car. I pulled off on a side road and shut the engine off for a few minutes as I watched a couple of ducks enjoying a seasonal pond created by Spring rains, some of which began to fall while I was thus engaged.



This hen is a bit tougher to see than her mate.

This drake was holding a stick in his bill and using it to preen himself when he wasn't shaking water from his back.

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Inflatable Turkey

I took a day off work a couple of weeks ago and I picked the kids up after school. On the way home we saw this tom turkey chasing one of his lady friends through the forest off of Whippoorwill Lane. We see turkeys all the time, but we don't always see them puffing themselves up like a toasted marshmallow. We took a small side trip to photograph the display of puffed plumage.





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You Can Help Pic a Winner

I am entering some photos in the upcoming Guilford Fair and I need help. I am struggling to choose between these two photos. I am allowed to enter only 10 photos total in various categories. I have narrowed down my top 9 choices and am now left choosing between these two for the final slot. Which one could win that blue ribbon? If you have an opinion let me know soon. Thanks!

John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, MI, Nov. 2008

Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL, 2006

If you want to see my other entries you can check them out in this gallery...

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Scottish Highlanders

So, there was this time earlier in the year when I was in Utah and I took a bunch of pictures of some cows. They weren't just any cows, mind you. They were Scottish Highlanders! What's that, you're still not excited? Well that may be because you didn't have the same grandpa as I did. Grandpa used to raise cattle and the most infamous was a Scottish Highlander named Shadrack. She ruled the pasture with an angry eye, flared nostrils, large polished horns, and flowing locks of orange fire. In fact, she was about the color of the really "intimidating" heifer with the bagel on her horn pictured below.

Here are some of my favorite portraits from the cattle shoot, along with a link to a few more gems from this pasturial pictorial. Do you have a favorite?




I don't remember ever seeing a black Scottish Highlander in Grandpa's pasture...

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