ABOUT VICKI WILMARTH
I'm a new bird nerd, but an old nature lover. After years of camping with my husband and visiting national and state parks all over the country, in 2019 I started birding in earnest from my home base in Amarillo, Texas. Counting birds, identifying subspecies and posting lists on eBird are all recent hobbies for me. But walking a beautiful trail at sunrise, listening to bird calls, and trying to spot wildlife is my lifelong passion.
I've also always loved nature photography, but a long hike with a Nikon DSLR with a 500mm lens and a tripod just isn't fun for me. In the spring of 2019, I discovered the Nikon Coolpix P1000, a superzoom (digital equivalent of a 3000mm lens) point and shoot camera with a built-in bird setting. Most of the pictures on this blog that were taken before 2021 were shot with the P1000.
In 2021, I was ready for an upgrade. As much as I love my P1000 (and my husband's newer, lighter P950), I wanted to take better birds in flight and low light photos, neither of which are particularly easy to do with those Nikon superzooms. So in March 2021, I purchased a Nikon d500, which is the preferred Nikon DSLR camera of wildlife photographers. I use it with a Nikon 200-500mm zoom lens. The results were beyond my expectations. Suddenly, finely detailed shots of birds in flight were common during my birding adventures. However, the d500 with the big zoom lens is heavy, making it impractical for many birding days. So before each trip to see the birds, I now have to decide whether camera weight or fine detail is my priority.
I am blessed to be married to Rohn Butterfield, who teaches Earth and Space Science at Caprock High School in Amarillo. His endless curiosity and vast knowledge help me to appreciate and better understand both nature and life. We have an amazing adult son, Hart, some poorly-trained but very sweet rescue dogs and one lazy basement kitty.
When I am not outdoors, I am a full-time employment lawyer in Amarillo and have been for 30+ years. I help my business clients comply with the laws prohibiting discrimination, the overtime and minimum wage requirements, the Family and Medical Leave Act and other employment regulations. I practice with the firm of Wright Wilmarth Byrd, PLLC.