Behind the Photo
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 Dad at the ranch’s gate 7:30 a.m. sharp. They immediately traveled to the morning blind where he spent half of the day photographing the antics of the Crested Caracara.
The Crested Caracara can only be seen in South Texas, a slim part of southern Arizona and a smidgen of Florida. Naturally Dad was hoping for a shot of these rare vulture-like birds.
As soon as Patty put out a tasty breakfast of chicken parts, the Caracaras swept in from all directions. Dad estimates at least 20 birds converged on the meat. He was ready for action and the birds brought their unique personalities to the photo shoot.