4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Shadow-walk with Mission Trails photographer

Former bureaucrat David Cooksy gets outside, stays there

David Cooksy (photo by Liz Swain)
David Cooksy (photo by Liz Swain)

Birds in Mission Trails Regional Park displayed varied reactions when David Cooksy's camera made a beeping sound while focusing. Egrets became "panicky. They looked around; they thought it was a bird," Cooksy said during a February 10 interview at Kumeyaay Lake.

Roadrunner

A roadrunner in the grasslands was curious about the camera's "chirping. I kept [focusing], and the bird got closer. I got wonderful pictures."

Hummingbirds also moved toward the sound. "Hummingbirds are extremely curious; I've had hummingbirds follow me down the trail."

Cooksy is a volunteer whose photographs appear in park materials. He's also a trail guide and works in the visitor center. He's volunteered since retiring in 2010 as the City of El Cajon director of redevelopment and housing.

Photography is a lifelong hobby that started in childhood with his mother's Brownie camera. Cooksy brought two cameras to Kumeyaay Lake: the Canon 7D with a 70-300 telephoto lens and Canon 40D with a 28-135 wide-angle lens.

We met at 9 a.m. and walked to the site where a woman saw three deer. We didn't find them. "They could be laying down in the grass," Cooksy said.

A hummingbird flew by as Cooksy showed me where he saw a coyote's face in the grass. "I stood and waited, but it was nervous. I couldn't get a picture."

White-tailed kites

He pointed to the tree where he photographed two white-tailed kites mating last spring. "The whole moment was a split second."

Cooksy photographed egrets after coming to the Kumeyaay meadow for a week. He moved closer to the birds each day. They became comfortable and "one walked up with a lizard. Photographing wildlife is a lot like fishing. Sometimes you don't get a bite; sometimes you get your limit."

We stopped at the lake near birdhouse number 80, and Cooksy photographed ducks. Wildflowers will bloom there from March to June, attracting butterflies that include the "brilliant yellow-and-black" western swallowtail. Cooksy said it's an "awesome" spot" for photographing dragonflies. His dragonflies article is in the park foundation's fall 2013 newsletter.

Coyote (photos by David Cooksy)

At the path crossing the lake, he hoped to see a black phoebe sit on a rock and catch bugs in the air. While waiting, he offered some photography tips. "For a landscape, a point-and-shoot or an iPhone is fine. I want to shoot those things that require stopping speed."

Light in the morning and early afternoon brings out color in the park. Birds abound in the early morning and late afternoon; midday is best for butterflies. Steady rain on a December day brought a photo opportunity at Old Mission Dam. "I have a picture of a snowy egret with a fish in its mouth."

The American badger remains elusive. Senior ranger Matt Sanford said in a February 11 interview that it's native to San Diego but "hard to find. There was a study a couple years ago in the park; they couldn't find any."

Asked whether the presence of people is detrimental, Sanford said the least Bell's vireo and California gnatcatcher are "still abundant." However, people need to follow rules like staying on designated trails and keeping dogs leashed. When "someone goes into their backyard, it puts stress on the animals."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

It’s hard for me to leave Imperial Beach

There were three dolphins behind us, and two on each side of us.
David Cooksy (photo by Liz Swain)
David Cooksy (photo by Liz Swain)

Birds in Mission Trails Regional Park displayed varied reactions when David Cooksy's camera made a beeping sound while focusing. Egrets became "panicky. They looked around; they thought it was a bird," Cooksy said during a February 10 interview at Kumeyaay Lake.

Roadrunner

A roadrunner in the grasslands was curious about the camera's "chirping. I kept [focusing], and the bird got closer. I got wonderful pictures."

Hummingbirds also moved toward the sound. "Hummingbirds are extremely curious; I've had hummingbirds follow me down the trail."

Cooksy is a volunteer whose photographs appear in park materials. He's also a trail guide and works in the visitor center. He's volunteered since retiring in 2010 as the City of El Cajon director of redevelopment and housing.

Photography is a lifelong hobby that started in childhood with his mother's Brownie camera. Cooksy brought two cameras to Kumeyaay Lake: the Canon 7D with a 70-300 telephoto lens and Canon 40D with a 28-135 wide-angle lens.

We met at 9 a.m. and walked to the site where a woman saw three deer. We didn't find them. "They could be laying down in the grass," Cooksy said.

A hummingbird flew by as Cooksy showed me where he saw a coyote's face in the grass. "I stood and waited, but it was nervous. I couldn't get a picture."

White-tailed kites

He pointed to the tree where he photographed two white-tailed kites mating last spring. "The whole moment was a split second."

Cooksy photographed egrets after coming to the Kumeyaay meadow for a week. He moved closer to the birds each day. They became comfortable and "one walked up with a lizard. Photographing wildlife is a lot like fishing. Sometimes you don't get a bite; sometimes you get your limit."

We stopped at the lake near birdhouse number 80, and Cooksy photographed ducks. Wildflowers will bloom there from March to June, attracting butterflies that include the "brilliant yellow-and-black" western swallowtail. Cooksy said it's an "awesome" spot" for photographing dragonflies. His dragonflies article is in the park foundation's fall 2013 newsletter.

Coyote (photos by David Cooksy)

At the path crossing the lake, he hoped to see a black phoebe sit on a rock and catch bugs in the air. While waiting, he offered some photography tips. "For a landscape, a point-and-shoot or an iPhone is fine. I want to shoot those things that require stopping speed."

Light in the morning and early afternoon brings out color in the park. Birds abound in the early morning and late afternoon; midday is best for butterflies. Steady rain on a December day brought a photo opportunity at Old Mission Dam. "I have a picture of a snowy egret with a fish in its mouth."

The American badger remains elusive. Senior ranger Matt Sanford said in a February 11 interview that it's native to San Diego but "hard to find. There was a study a couple years ago in the park; they couldn't find any."

Asked whether the presence of people is detrimental, Sanford said the least Bell's vireo and California gnatcatcher are "still abundant." However, people need to follow rules like staying on designated trails and keeping dogs leashed. When "someone goes into their backyard, it puts stress on the animals."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

What Lefty’s Cheesesteaks gets right

It’s not local, and it’s not Lefty’s Chicago. But it is ribeye…
Next Article

Super Girl Surf Pro, John Legend

Events September 19-September 22, 2021
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close