Bellringers Everywhere!

Today’s post features some of the hundreds of Virginia Bluebell wildflowers I came across during my recent woodland hike, near my rural Missouri home:

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

I always look forward to my spring woodland hikes, where the woodland floor often appears to be blue in color, due to the abundant Virginia Bluebells.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5 thru f/16
  • Shutter 1/90 sec. thru 1/3000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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The Beauty of Spring

A couple of days ago, I wandered the woodland area of my neighbor’s rural land, looking for spring wildflowers. A great outing and many species of wildflowers were observed during this hike. In today’s post, I’m featuring a couple of images of one of our earliest woodland wildflowers, the Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica).

The Spring Beauty rises about 5-inches above the woodland floor, when flowering. The flower petals are typically white (some may be pinkish) and have a pink veins through the flower. Native Americans ate the roots of the Spring Beauty.

Here are a couple of images I captured:

Spring Beauty wildflowers

Spring Beauty wildflowers

In upcoming blog posts, I will be publishing more woodland wildflowers that I captured during this week’s outing.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8 and f/16
  • Shutter 1/250 sec. and 1/90 sec.

 

 

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Bell Ringing Time!

Today’s post features the first clump of Virginia Bluebells that I found this morning on my rural Missouri landscape:

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

The bells are not fully opened yet, but that will happen very quickly.  Headed out shortly to see what other spring woodland wildflowers are smiling at me!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 1/250 sec.

 

 

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Symbols of Spring

Today’s post features some of the early spring bulb flowers that are now telling me it’s spring time in Missouri! These images were captured over the past couple of days in my rural Missouri landscape:

Spring bulb flowers

Spring bulb flowering

Spring bulb flowering

Spring bulb flowering

Spring bulb flower

Over the next few days, I expect to go looking for woodland wildflowers, which should be starting to bloom.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200 (still conditions) and ISO 800 (windy conditions)
  • Aperture f/3.5 to f/11
  • Shutter 1/30 sec. to 1/2000 sec.

 

 

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Time for Bluebells to Ring

Today’s post contains some macro images that I captured on my rural Missouri property on Wednesday. Virginia Bluebell wildflowers are one of the first wildflowers to appear in my woodlands. After a long, cold winter, these little babies are about ready to pop! Here are some of my favorite images:

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

When the rains end, I guess it’s time to get out and see what other woodland wildflowers I can find!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/8, f/16 and f/19
  • Shutter 1/15 sec., 0.7 sec., 2 sec.

 

 

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From Super Moon to Spooky Moon

My previous post featured the last Super Moon of 2019, as it rose above a lakeside home at the Lake of the Ozarks (MO).  As I mentioned in that post, the day was cloudy and rainy until a short time before moonrise, when the sky cleared. But after the moon rose higher in the sky, clouds began to move across the face of the moon, creating a spooky scenario.

The Super Moon before the clouds invaded:

April 2019 Super Moon

Once the clouds began to appear, a spectacular night show began:

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

These are all good examples of what I “preach” whenever I’m teaching a landscape or astrophotography class … that “once the activity appears to be over, hang around for a little longer to see if something else develops”.  Sure will miss the Super Moons … until they again visit us in 2020!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off” (and a 1.4x TC used on the last photos)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimbal head
  • ISO 250 and ISO 500
  • Aperture f/8, f/16 and f/32
  • Shutter 1/350 sec. to 2 sec.

 

 

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Final Super Moon of 2019

During last week’s final Super Moon of the year, I was at the Lake of the Ozarks to photograph this event. My previous attempt at this location was unsuccessful, due to heavy clouds. This final attempt was also not looking real good, early in the day. But after some brief showers, the clouds began breaking up about an hour before moonrise!

Setting my tripod up on a floating deck, I positioned the camera towards where the moon should be rising. Fortunately, both the sky conditions and my “best guess” at the location were both good … here are a few images of the Super Moon I captured:

April 2019 Super Moon

April 2019 Super Moon

April 2019 Super Moon

Some of the above images are a bit “soft”.  Shooting with a super telephoto lens, at slow shutter speeds, and set up on a floating dock, created some challenges! Next time, I’ll have to experiment with my techniques.

And when the moon had cleared the background hill and trees, a beautiful Super Moon was sitting there in front of me:

April 2019 Super Moon

Being the last Super Moon of 2019, it will be a while before another opportunity comes up like this.  But I’ll be ready.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off” (and a 1.4x TC used on the bottom photo)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimbal head
  • ISO 400 and ISO 250 (bottom photo)
  • Aperture f/8 and f/32 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/10 sec. to 1/e sec.

 

 

 

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Fun Friday: Time to Nest

For the past few days, I have been at the Lake of the Ozarks (MO).  My main photographic objective this trip was to capture the last Super Moon of 2019, over the lake.  At the last minute, the weather cooperated and I was able to catch the large globe rising above the lake … I’ll feature some of those images in another post.  Today’s “Fun Friday” post features a Bald Eagle that is currently nesting around the lake.

This large nest has been used for several years and is located a short distance from the lake, and in a rather woodsy area.  It was quite difficult to shoot through the woody vegetation, and this image required quite a bit of “limb removal” in Photoshop, so I’m not sure how long I can follow/photograph this nest. Once the tree leaves begin growing, it may not be accessible for photography … but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!!

This adult Bald Eagle is currently incubating eggs:

Nesting Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle nesting

I hope to edit the Super Moon images over the weekend and have them posted early next week!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/500 sec.
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Fun Friday: Food Fight on the Prairie

Today’s “Fun Friday” post comes from a recent photo trip to Shawnee Trails Conservation Area, located in southwestern Missouri. During the winters, I frequently visit this Missouri Conservation Area to photograph wintering Short-eared Owls. On my last trip there, I was set up and waiting for the owl activity to begin, when I saw several Norther Harrier hawks flying low over the prairies, watching for field mice and voles.

At one point, I observed one harrier chasing another one, high overhead. I turned my camera towards this pair of hawks and started photographing. As I later edited these images, I quickly saw what the activity was about … one of the hawks had a vole and the second hawk was trying to pirate it from the first, causing the vole to be dropped from his talons:

Northern Harrier Hawks

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/1250 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Thinking in the Future

Been busy looking at a long term photo schedule. After little hesitation, I decided I needed to go back next winter to Florida … catch some rays and also some beautiful birds, like this Great Egret I captured during my last visit to the Venice Rookery:

Great Egret landing

And yes, the Venice Rookery is on my list for 2020!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/4
  • Shutter 1/8000 sec.

 

 

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