Going to Dogtown

Earlier this week, I visited Dogtown Reservoir, a little spot of blue in the ponderosa pine forest southeast of Williams, Arizona. My assignment was to photograph the reservoir for an article on fishing opportunities. I brought two camera bodies with two lenses mounted, both for taking wide-angle shots. I also brought a long lens, but left it safe in the car.

Of course, the wildlife-viewing was wonderful, as it nearly always is around water in our arid state. The moment I got out of the car, I saw an osprey hunting above the lake in long, languid, swooping glides. An hour later, I saw another large bird, which turned out not to be the osprey (my first thought) but a mature bald eagle. Yes, we have those here. As the sun fell toward the horizon, I also saw a great blue heron.

Did I get photos of any of these magnificent birds? No. I had the right lens, but not the right mindset. I was there to shoot scenics. My brain was geared for scenics. I couldn’t switch gears and take bird photos. I just couldn’t! So, this is the best wildlife picture I took during that visit.

Am I sorry about a missed opportunity? Not really. I saw those birds, after all; I just didn’t photograph them. And I did get the scenics I came for, as the light softened and warmed toward sunset. Next time, osprey. Next time, eagle. Next time, you great blue heron.

A flock of waterfowl at Dogtown Reservoir southeast of Williams, Arizona
A flock of waterfowl at Dogtown Reservoir southeast of Williams, Arizona

2 thoughts on “Going to Dogtown

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  1. Hi Julie,
    Question; “what are the fishing opportunities at Dogtown Reservoir?”
    Love how the light softened and warmed towards sunset.
    Yeah… Next time🙂

    1. According to Scott Rogers, the region’s Fisheries Program manager for Arizona Game and Fish, “It’s one of the Flagstaff area’s most dependable fishing lakes,” primarily for rainbow trout. In fall 2014, Game and Fish worked with the Kaibab National Forest and the Northern Arizona Flycasters to enhance lake habitat and create opportunities to fish largemouth bass and bluegill. Those fish should be coming on strong in 2016.

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