If you build it, they will come. With that thought, professional wildlife photography blinds began popping up at John and Audrey Martin’s ranch in South Texas. Soon a watering hole made an appearance. Then photographers, like my Dad, traveled great distances to capture the treasures of Martin Refuge with their cameras.
You might be surprised to learn that my Dad wasn’t visiting the ranch to shoot cowboy images since that’s one of his passions. Rather he was after the marvelous array of birds and mammals that live on the land.
Dad spent two days at the Refuge. Patty, his guide for the day, met him at the ranch’s gate 7:30 a.m. sharp. He spent the first day shooting crested caracaras, but he was itching to finally nail a roadrunner picture.
So Patty took him to a sunken blind with major roadrunner action. The Greater Roadrunner was zipping up and down limbs, stumps and the ground snapping up mealworms as fast as Patty could put them out.
Dad knew he had a good roadrunner shot, but it wasn’t until he looked at the image on his Mac that he saw the mealworm suspended in mid-air between the bird’s beak. The speed of the camera and lightness of his Canon 400mm/F5.6 lens allowed him to capture his favorite image of the whole trip.