Wet and Wild at Sebastian Inlet. R5 Kit and RF 100-500s in stock at Bedfords! Finally and Hilariously Stuck in the Mud. And Learning to Love What Is … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Wet and Wild at Sebastian Inlet. R5 Kit and RF 100-500s in stock at Bedfords! Finally and Hilariously Stuck in the Mud. And Learning to Love What Is ...

What’s Up?

In the past 24 hours, many things did not go well. Despite them all, I am feeling great and happy. See the Loving What Is feature below.

On Sunday and Monday morning I photographed at Sebastian Inlet with friend Anita North. The Osprey action was so-so, but we had lots of good chances with the fishing terns. On Sunday we photographed in cloudy very dark conditions interspersed by several downpours. We used our a9 ii bodies with the 1.4X TC and ISOs of 10,000 and higher. That morning and the next we tried the a7r iv alone on the 600 GM and crop plan (to save a full stop of ISO). Anita used Wide AF and did fairly well. I used Zone and did not do so well. a7r iv AF accuracy definitely suffers when compared to the a9 ii. I’ve noticed that once the sun comes out, a7 r iv AF does pretty well with the 600 GM, but has lots of problems making crisp images in low light.

Monday morning was totally wild at the Inlet. See the tarpon feature below. Tuesday was less wild and a lot drier and they were catching snook rather than tarpon. I forgot to mention that on Monday morning I made one of the most incredible photos in my 37 years of bird and nature photography. It was not a bird photograph. I will share the image and the story here in the next blog post.

It is now midday on Tuesday and I just finished picking my keepers from our Monday session. Once things brightened up a bit and I got to 1/2500 sec. at f/4 at ISO 1000, a7r AF performance improved drastically (as compared to AF performance in the images made at ISO 4000 and 5000 in very low light, low contrast situations.

EOS R5/24-105 Kit and several RF 100-500mm lenses available from Bedfords

I spoke with Steve Elkins on Monday and he let me know that he is getting an EOS R5/24-105 Kit at the end of this week. It has been close to impossible to get an R5. In addition, he has several RF 100-500 lenses in stock right now. See Steve’s contact info immediately below. But do not tarry. In addition, he may have several EOS R6 bodies in stock now or soon … Remember to use the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout to save $50 on your order.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase of more than $1000.00, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.

The BAA Used Gear Page

Right now, the Used Gear page is red hot! It is BAA Used Gear Page is the place to sell your used photographic equipment. We will help you to get your gear sold quickly for 20 to 60% or more than what the big guys are offering … Doubt me? Check out the Past Sales list at the bottom of the page.

Please Remember

If you enjoy and learn from the blog, please remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so will not cost you a single penny and if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save at least $50.00 on all orders greater than $1000.00. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and will be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes can always help out by clicking here if they see fit.


BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Stuck in the mud with X-Drive (full time 4WD)

Hilarious Tale

I’ve been mentioning the heavy rains and my fear of getting stuck down by the lake for many weeks if not months …

On Monday, Matt, a BMW Genius, drove from Lakeland to teach me about my new X5. He was cordial and bright and extremely helpful. After an hour of lessons while sitting in my driveway, we opted to head down to the lake. We saw an adult Bald Eagle right off the bat. We made a u-turn in the driveway at the end of Banyan Drive adjacent to the South Field. As we headed back north I mentioned that though I had driven on the fields in some wet sloppy conditions, I did not completely trust the X-Drive. So, I pulled onto the grass for a road test. After a while the car began to slip. In short order, we were stuck in the mud. That was at about 2:20pm. I almost got out a few times but eventually we simply could not get any traction in the mud that was the consistency of oatmeal.

We locked the car. My friend Ralph responded to my phone call but was unable to help. Then Jim came down and drove us all back to my home. Almost six hours later, the car was safely towed out of the mud by Seasall LLC. The best news? The tow was provided free by BMW roadside assistance. It was not the fastest service, but everything worked out just fine. The car will be getting a serious bath this morning.

Releasing a Tarpon

Releasing Tarpon

On Sunday morning it was windy and wild at Sebastian Inlet. Tarpon ranging from 40 to 60 pounds were jumping clear out of the water. Fisherman hooked about a dozen of these strong, spectacular fighters. With their steel-like scales, nearly all shook the hook after short fights. One guy — with a lot of help from his friend — managed to secure the fish, remove his lure, and then release the fish. Any guesses on the weight of the fish in the image above?

Every thing that could have gone wrong …

In less than a day the following things went wrong:

1- I got stuck in the mud and could not get out.

2- The towing service took more than five hours to arrive.

3- On Tuesday morning I woke at 4:50am, late for me. My plan was to do this blog post before we went out to photograph. At first I could not get online with either our WiFi or via my cell phone.

4- When I did get online I could not access the blog because of a Trojan horse program called Cloudfare. Don’t ask. If you have experience removing this monster from a Mac computer please get in touch via e-mail.

5- Next my new MacBook Pro decided to update even though it was not plugged in. That took about 40 minutes.

6- Once I was online and ready to get to work, I discovered that the blog was down: “Cannot Access Server.”

7- I got onto the office computer to try to log in to our provider, HomePage Universe. I was unable to do so.

8- I noticed an e-mail from HomePage Universe stating that our automatic payment credit card payment had failed. The card had expired.

Anita and I left for a morning photo session at about 7:30am. I asked Jim to try to chat with the provider. He was 100% successful and by the time we got home at 9:30am, the blog was back up. Great work by Jim.

Click on the image for a larger version to make reading the fine print easier.

Learn to know peace with The Work of Byron Katie

Loving What Is

Years ago, I would have cursed my own stupidity for getting the X5 stuck in the mud, and the difficulties with the blog and Cloudfare and the expired credit card would have had me pulling my hair out. Now, thanks to The Work of Byron Katie, my stress levels for were past 24 hours were close to zero. I laughed out loud at getting stuck in the mud. And the stuff with the blog was a non-issue. I’ve gone from “these are the worst things that could have happened” to “no big deal, everything will be fixed in short order. To simplify, I have simply learned to love what is. I can hear Katie saying, “If you want to bang your head against the wall of reality, just grab your ears and have at it.”

I first became aware of The Work when struggling to heal from the loss of my beloved second wife, Elaine Belsky Morris in 1994. Doing the work on Elaine’s death helped me to heal. Finally, in 2017 I attended the Nine-Day School for the Work in Ojai, CA (along with more than 200 other folks), met Katie, and enhanced my practice of The Work. Today, The Work does not take much work as learning to hold my thoughts and beliefs up to inquiry, has become second nature. I have been told that The Work is Buddhist-like, and have been told by respected psychologists that the work is simply mumbo jumbo and could not be helping me. But it has helped me tremendously to fine peace in my life.

If you would like to see what it’s all about, click on this link. You might wind up realizing the peace and happiness are choices. You might wish to begin by reviewing some of the free YouTube videos. Then you can print a free worksheet and get to work!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

36 comments to Wet and Wild at Sebastian Inlet. R5 Kit and RF 100-500s in stock at Bedfords! Finally and Hilariously Stuck in the Mud. And Learning to Love What Is …

  • avatar Steve

    BMW? Try a Subaru!

  • avatar Bob

    Dear Artie
    I would have done the same thing in fixing to the best i could, thank you!
    Stay dry

  • avatar Bob

    Dear Artie
    We have all been in a spot like that and can only laugh at it once we look back, my question for you is Are you responsible to fix the damage to the ruts you left in the mud?
    Cannot wait to see your blog on the best photograph ever!
    I would guess 45 lbs
    With love from Wisconsin

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Bob,

      That is a fair question. Anita and I spent an hour this morning repairing the ruts by flattening the sides with a rake and then smoothing things out. I was very happy with what we did but she is a perfectionist so she has been down there for at least two additional hours working on it. In a few weeks, nobody will be aware of the ruts.

      That said, the big mowers often do far more damage than I did (both unfortunately). And the same is true of other private vehicles. We are the first to repair the results of poor thinking.

      with love, a

      ps: so there is no real responsibility involved other than to our own morals.

  • Good morning Guru. Hope you’re doing fine and effortlessly got out of that muddy field. The experience must have been exciting!

    Yes, as it says above, we were towed out safely.

    Guru, Sony is the market leader in MILCs. Therefore, whoever intends to try mirrorless in my country; we always recommend Sony. Sony A7 III + Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS is the best enthusiast bird photography combo at present.

    That is not at all accurate. The rig you suggest is OK for static birds but for birds in flight the a9 or the a9 ii is a far better choice.

    Canon will need at least 5 years more to develop something like that.

    Again, you are surely off-base with that statement. Did you miss the blog post here? The EOS R5 and R6 and the RF 100-500 are garnering rave reviews. I am hoping to try the R5/100-500 soon. But it is obvious that Canon has made a big leap forward …

    Best regards.

    Thanks with love, a

    • Good evening Guru. Thank you for your kind replies.

      Though I’ve been using Canon DSLRs for my landscape and wildlife photography purposes for last 12 years; hardly satisfied with them. So, decided to try out Sony MILC system this winter for bird photography. Perhaps I’ll rent it. As per your suggestion; I’ll go for A9 II to pair with the great 200-600mm.

      On Sony FE 200-600mm. It reaches out a clear 100mm longer than Canon RF 100-500mm. It is faster despite being longer, zooms internally and price wise more affordable. So, it wins hands down against the Canon glass in every department. I’m certain about this mainly watching your awesome images. Granted you will surely create great images with the Canon combo however, I’m also sure those will not put the Sony results in dirt.

      Best regards.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Both the 100-500 and the 200-600 exhibit focus breathing so the maximum focal lengths depend on the distance to the subject. I love my 200-600 for the reasons you mention. Let us know how you do.

        with love, artie

  • avatar Adam

    Hi Artie,

    It sounds like you had a challenging 24 hours and one you would likely not want to relive soon, though your reflection on the course of events suggests that you were able to externalize what was occurring and stay in the moment. As far as I know we’re all on the same bus with a one way ticket for which there is no return journey. Making the most of the “stops” and our circumstances is all we can do.

  • avatar Tilo Samter

    Try MalwareBytes to guard againstTrojan Horses etc.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Already have the paid version 🙂

      The strange thing is that when I search the computer for “Cloudfare” it comes up empty …

      with love, a

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I’m getting a bit better at accepting what is, but I can’t help feeling bad sometimes, especially if what is results from my own stupidity.

    In doing The Work, I’ve learned that feeling bad is a choice. I have also learned that all of us are doing our very best at all times. Sometimes the two do not exactly go hand in hand.

    I’d guess the tarpon was about 30 pounds. It would be extremely difficult to handle a much larger fish in those conditions. Great catch.

    I learned on Tuesday that it is illegal to land a tarpon — though not sure where that applies …

    The suggestion of proceeding in terrain like that in 2WD so you can switch to 4WD and back out of there if things start to go south is a good one, but a better suggestion is not to drive in that kind of terrain. You can test it by walking on it to get a sense of what’s likely to happen if you drive on it. I’m not familiar with that vehicle but I suspect it’s not really designed for driving off road.

    You are correct on all counts.

    Under the heading “Love what is,” there are at least three typos in the excerpt below.

    To simplify, I have simply learned to love what it. “I can here Katie saying, “If you want to bang your head against the wall of reality, just grab your ears and have at it.

    1. First sentence. Love what IS. 2 and 3. Second sentence, there should be no opening quotation marks before “I can here…” and “here” should be “hear.”

    Thanks and all fixed I think :). Spell check missed them all 🙂

    with love, a

  • avatar Ron Gates

    Another thing I’ve tried in sand in Africa was to lower the tire pressure for better traction and then pump them back up when free. Just a thought!

  • avatar Joel Eade


    I have owned 4 wheel drive vehicles for many years here in Kentucky and have been “off road” in some very inhospitable areas. Good off road tires can make a big difference however you would not like them for road trips.

    One big tip (don’t know if you can do this with your vehicle) is to proceed in 2 wheel drive whenever possible then, if you get stuck, engage 4 wheel drive and go very slowly backward at first.

    Try not to spin the wheels. You don’t have to use 4 low, in my experience it doesn’t offer any advantage when stuck in mud.

    Once you get moving don’t stop until you are out.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. The X5 X-Drive AWD does not work the way regular or real 4-WD does. It shifts based on the conditions. So there is no low 4 or anything similar.

      The best plan will be to stay off the soft stuff 🙂

      with love, artie

      • avatar Joel Eade

        It may be AWD rather than typical 4WD. There is a significant difference.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          That’s is exactly what I said 🙂

          with love, a

          ps: Well, not exactly 🙁 I was in error in my comment above when I wrote “The X5 X-Drive 4-WD …” I learned thanks to Anita North the X-Drive is AWD not 4-WD as I mistakenly wrote. I am sorry for my error. Thanks as always for your help.

  • avatar Rick Currie

    You have no business driving in a wet area like that. Look at the damage you did.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Rick for sharing your thoughts. In The Work we learn not to judge others and that the best course is to stay in our own business 🙂

      with love, artie

  • avatar Kathy Kunce

    When the worst has already happened, nothing else really compares or matters.

  • avatar pat fishburne

    I can’t believe you pulled your brand new BMW SUV “onto the grass for a road test!” But I can believe that you were able to laugh at it!

  • You need a vehicle with 4 low, locking diff and offroad tires for that type of muck.

  • Glad your car got OK! Two of my 3 Chase Credit cards got scammed! My Chase biz card was noticed by them and cancelled. My basic Chase card used for grocery store and other store buys I found a scam and contacted them to cancel it. Then I got 2 new ones! So far — OK!

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