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July 16,2024


Newsletter # 101


Cardinal outside my window

Memorial in
Washington CD

Jabiru Storks
Pantanal, Brazil

Toco Tucan
Pantanal, Brazil




“Looking Out My Backdoor”

“On The Road Again” to Pantanal, Brazil

My Memorial Day Salute



“Looking Out My Backdoor”




It is always fun packing and getting ready for one of my tours, especially to the Pantanal in Brazil. However, there are times when it is hard to leave home. The following pictures taken from my office window may give you a hint as to why I wish I could put the trip off a few weeks. A few days ago I discovered a pair of Ground Doves building a nest literally about 8 feet from my nose! Now it is almost impossible to get anything accomplished, especially in the packing department! Set the camera & tripod up, take it down & pack it, pull the camera back out of the case & set the whole rig back up again!! This has gone on for a few days & has to stop if I’m going to make the plane on time! Yesterday the doves were gone from the nest all day, so I took the whole camera setup down (again) figuring they had abandoned this location. Then on a whim I took a goose-necked mirror and peeked into the nest and discovered a single egg! Shortly after mentally berating the wayward & irresponsible parents for deserting their unborn child, the mom flew in. Back up goes the equipment!! Well, this was fortuitous as a very active House Sparrow clan flew in and out, chick-feeding, preening & creating some fun photo ‘opps’. Well, today, both Ground Dove parents are back on the nest, as they should be, allowing me to concentrate on another ‘oddity’ going on in my back yard.



For a few weeks now I’ve been catching this flash of reddish-orange color flying by, but not settling down long enough for me to identify it—until now. After resorting to my faithful companion, Sibley’s Guide to Birds, I’ve discovered I have a pair, if not a whole family, (with aunts & uncles), of House Finches. This is rather amazing as Sibley’s Guide states that these birds exist everywhere in the Continental United States except FLORIDA!! Wow!! Now I am feeling smug. This is how I felt last year when I smugly announced the arrival of the Painted Bunting family; whom, by the way, are back again with probably the male child of last-year’s brood, his sisters and/or girlfriends or significant others. I feel I’m blessed having all this ‘right under my nose’, but also a part of me feels cursed as I have to leave and will miss the blessed-event of the arrival of the little bundle of joy & fuzzy feathers and all the fun stuff (feeding etc.) that will come after. “Poor, poor, poor me” has to go pack for a Fun-filled Foto-Fiasco in Brazil!! “Poor, poor, me”! (no cursing, please!)


The following images speak for themselves helping you to visualize what a fabulous mecca for wildlife and nature enthusiasts the largest in-land, wetland in the world has to offer us. My group & I will be visiting many different areas of the Pantanal such as: a number of private ranches (fazendas), areas around Cuiaba, cruising on the Cuiaba River, the beautiful town of Bonito & surrounding areas, snorkeling on the Prata River, touring in and around the town of Corumba, going to the Macaws Sinkhole for more great photo opps, visiting the Pantanal Wildlife Center (enjoying the Jaguars—I hope!), cruising on and around the Pixaim river….and much, much more.

After I bid my guests a ‘fond farewell,’ I’m staying on for ten days to do some “reconning” of new areas to add to my destination list for next year and years to come. I am especially excited about a couple of hummingbird areas I’ve learned about. There have been four “signer-uppers” already for next year tour (no kidding, I’m not making it up!!). I’m considering two back-to-back visits if this much interests continues. However, my groups are very small, and if you think you may wish to join us, I do honor early-bird signups (no cost or obligation—just your interest). The tour will be around this same time of year as is the optimum for wildlife, good weather, & few people.





As I prepare for my month-long journey departing this Memorial Day, I can’t help reflecting on memories of sights seen, heard, smelled, & felt while traveling to the many other countries I have visited—whether it be on business or pure pleasure. There seems to be one common denominator near the end of each of my journeys--my hunger for home. I’m not only referring to the love of family & friends, or the familiarity & comfort zone one feels when at home, but something much, much deeper. It’s a feeling I have when I get off the airplane in the U.S.A; it’s almost as if I’m just returning from a dangerous mission that I’ve survived, and I’ve made it back to the safety of my homeland. (Even the often-grumpy, self-important, security ‘generals’ at the immigration desk can’t dissuade my delight on arriving home!) This country is special—like no other in the world, and worth every & all the efforts we can make to keep it ours and safe. Why else have so many men and women voluntarily fought & died over all these past years & into the present, to keep her safe? Why? There can only be one conclusion or answer. If they had not, there would be no ‘Home of the Free’ (who have come from every country on earth to live their lives openly and freely). I honor and praise you. This is my personal salute to all of the brave men & women of the United States who have fought and died in other lands defending freedom for all of us here at home.




Our Veterans

It is the VETERAN , 
not the preacher,  
who has given us freedom of religion.


It is  the  VETERAN , 
not the reporter, 
who has given us freedom of the press.


It is  the  VETERAN , 
not the poet, 
who has given us freedom of speech.





It is  the  VETERAN , 
not the campus organizer, 
who has given us freedom to assemble.


It is  the   VETERAN , 
not the lawyer, 
who has given us the right to a fair trial.


It is  the  VETERAN , 
not the politician, 
Who has given us the right to vote.


It is the VETERAN  
who  salutes the Flag,


It is  the VETERAN
who serves  under the Flag.





If you have any doubt about the True Cost of Liberty, turn on your television on Monday, May 31 to your local PBS station (check the listing in your area) and watch the re-broadcast of “Hallowed Grounds”. You can visit their website http://www.pbs.org/hallowedgrounds/ for a preview and listings.



If you are interested in any of my tours, click on their corresponding link below:



Photo Researchers, Editors, and Publishers:

As stated in previous newsletters, at no obligation to you, send me a “want list” of images you are looking for that may coincide with a trip I’m about to take, or have recently taken, and I’ll do my very best to seek out that subject and shoot it with your request in mind. This may save you some expense, give me a specific mission and possibly a sale of that image. It’s a ‘win, win situation’!

A quick reminder that my library of 35mm original slides houses approximately 75,000 images, and my digital library presently holds over 100,000 (and growing-hourly)!

My website holds an in-depth Stock Shop for your quick review: www.joannewilliamsphoto.com



Photographic Accessories

The Better Beamer Flash Extender

For telephoto lenses from 300mm on up only $45.00 each

More Info





Specifications & Functions

  • Reduces battery drain
  • Weighs 2 1/2 ounces
  • Easy to use
  • Fits in your shirt pocket
  • Flash reaches greater distances (about 500 ft.) w/smaller aperture
  • Fresnel lens stays in place with sturdy side-arms

"Keep Your Aperture Your Priority"

Smooth-billed Ani
Pantanal, Brazil

American Flag
Big Sky, Montana

Pantanal, Brazil

Mockingbird Chicks in my backyard

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