Fun Fri: Ready or Not, Here I Am

Today’s Fun Friday post comes from the Venice Rookery (Florida), where I captured this beautiful male (in fantastic breeding plumage) calling out loudly as he approaches the rookery nesting site:

Male Anhinga arriving at the rookery

Coming up: more Florida travel images and some woodland wildflowers.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/4
  • Shutter 1/5000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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A Regal Bird

Following up to yesterday’s post on the regal Great Egrets carrying nesting materials back to their nest in the Venice Rookery, today’s post features some of the birds returning to the rookery without nest materials.

I love photographing these white beauties, especially in their colorful and frilly breeding plumage:

Great Egret

Great Egret landing in the rookery

Great Egret landing in the rookery

Great Egret landing in the rookery

Great Egret landing in the rookery

Coming up … more images from my winter Florida trip.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod
  • ISO 400 and ISO 250
  • Aperture f/4 (all images)
  • Shutter 1/600 sec. to 1/8000 sec.

 

 

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Home Construction

When I visited the Venice Rookery (Florida) this past February, there was tons of activity by the Great Egrets. Besides the one pair of egrets that were being incubated (in last Friday’s post), all of the other egrets were busy attracting mates or collecting sticks and building their nests. Here are a few of my favorite images of these beautiful birds as they worked on their nests:

Great Egret with nest material

Great Egret with nest material

This guy flew from the rookery to the bank near where I was photographing from:

Great Egret with nest material

And then took it back to his nest:

Great Egret with nest material

Great Egret with nest material

This guy was bringing in a “special” piece of furniture … one decorated with Spanish Moss:

Great Egret with nest material

In upcoming posts, I will be sharing more images from my February trip to Florida.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod
  • ISO 400 and ISO 250
  • Aperture f/4 (all images)
  • Shutter 1/320 sec. to 1/8000 sec.

 

 

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Fun Friday: Eggs-cuse Me …

… but please watch your step!

This image was captured during my 2-day photo outings to the Venice Rookery, in Venice, Florida. Most of the Great Egrets were busy building nests (will be covered in another post) and a couple of pair even mating. But this was the only nest that was busy with parents incubating eggs.

In this image, there are three, blue eggs in the nest that are barely visible when the two adults stood up:

Pair of Great Egrets at nest with 3 blue eggs

An Audubon volunteer was nearby and I overheard him telling another photographer that this was the first known egret nest with eggs, so far this young spring, and they had seen three eggs, which confirms what I thought I saw.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/2000 sec.

 

 

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Warbler Time, Again!

Yesterday was a great “working” day. I conducted a full-day, private workshop to work with a photographer on gaining proper exposures when photographing birds. Since the client was also a kayaker, we kayaked for half of the day and then broke for lunch, following that with downloading and critiquing his images.

We had a great time and were able to see/photograph a variety of birds and mammals from the kayak. As we paddled the waterways, I did capture a few images, mostly for documentation and for comparison to the client’s images. We had a really fun day on the water, and I was happy to see the warblers are now back and busy with nesting activities. Here are a couple of images I captured.

Common Yellowthroat:

Common Yellowthroat Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler:

Prothonotary Warbler

Now that I know the warblers are back, and that the waterways are accessible (I was concerned of downed trees, as we’ve experienced a lot of wind lately), I plan on returning very soon to spend some quality time with the wonderful little warblers.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld from kayak, with IS “On”
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/60 sec. (Common Yellowthroat) and 1/2o0 sec. (Prothonotary)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Photography from a kayak, Photography Workshop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Time to Unwind

During last week’s hike through the woodlands at Clifty Creek CA (south-central Missouri), numerous ferns were actively growing and beginning to unfurl. As the geometry of unfurling ferns has always captured my attention, I took a few breaks from hiking, to capture these beautiful plants:

Woodland Fern unfurling

Woodland Fern unfurling

Woodland Fern unfurling

Woodland Fern unfurling

More Clifty Creek images and some new Florida trip images are working their way to the “to be published” folderĀ  :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Giotto ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5 and f/8
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. and 1/250 sec.

 

 

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Fun Friday: Mystery Object

Today’s post features an interesting macro image I captured a couple of days ago along a woodland hiking trail at Clifty Creek Conservation Area, in mid-central Missouri. Do you know what it is? (Answer is shown below the photo)

Macro image of Moss on a rock

This macro image shows moss actively growing on a large rock, along the woodland hiking trail at the Conservation Area. What caught my eye was the “hectic” pattern of the moss as it grew.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Giotto ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/4 sec.

 

 

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Jack’s Back!

Today’s post features one of my favorite spring, woodland wildflowers, the Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

Every spring, when I begin making my almost-daily woodland hikes in search of finding wildflowers to photograph, I always spend some time checking out the hilly slopes, in hopes of finding the Jack-in-the-Pulpit. This unusual wildflower can be quite difficult to spot. In fact, many times I looked right at them for a while before I spotted them. The green color of the Jack acts as a superb camouflage as it “hides” among other, green woodland plants.

Here are a couple of images of my first-of-year Jack:

Jack-in-the-Pulpit wildflower

Jack-in-the-Pulpit wildflower

Yesterday, I traveled to a new location and found literally “hundreds” of Jacks. After I download and edit the images, I may have some more Jacks to feature.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Giotto ballhead
  • ISO 400 (all images, due to wind on the hillside)
  • Aperture f/3.5 (all images)
  • Shutter 1/350 sec. and 1/500 sec.

 

 

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Variegated False Solomon’s Seal

Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

After taking a little time off from the blog, I feel recharged and ready to go! After returning from my Oklahoma art festival, I felt the need to just “kick back” and enjoy life a little bit. In my absence, I have weeded and pruned back my butterfly garden, bought and planted about a dozen more butterfly-beneficial plants, and been out most mornings photographing the woodland wildflowers around my rural Missouri home. And I must say that the display right now is incredible! I’ll be sharing those images soon.

In today’s post, I’m featuring some woodland wildflowers that I planted under the canopy of my tree-covered circle drive. Last fall, I picked up some Variegated False Solomon’s Seal and cleared out a small area where they were planted. Just recently, I noticed they were alive and well, and making their initial appearance in my circle drive:

On April 12, while checking the woodlands for signs of wildflower activity, I first noticed a few stalks of the Solomon’s Seal peaking their heads above the leaf litter:

Variegated False Solomon's Seal

Two weeks later, I now have a nice display of these beauties:

Variegated False Solomon's Seal

Variegated False Solomon's Seal

Variegated False Solomon's Seal

At the same time I planted the Variegated False Solomon’s Seal, I also planted a Wild Ginger plant. It, too, is doing really well.

Stay tuned for some wonderful, woodland wildflowers!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld
  • ISO 200 (top image) and ISO 400 (all other images)
  • Aperture f/3.5 (all images)
  • Shutter 1/180 sec. to 1/1500 sec.

 

 

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Spring Color Arrives

Whew, been quite busy getting new prints ready for my upcoming first-of-year art show. I’ll be in Stillwater, Oklahoma soon for the Stillwater Arts Festival (if you live nearby, hope to see you there!). And I’ve been busy teaching a 6-week class in digital SLR photography; I have a wonderful group of photographers that are eager to learn new skills and techniques. That always makes for a great class!

Although I’ve been quite busy with all these activities, I managed to get my camera out and walk the woodline of my property, checking out the progress of woodland wildflowers. I’ll post about that in another post, but today’s post features some of the many bulb flowers now growing in/around my woods (note: these were not planted there by me … instead, my little squirrel friends love to dig up bulbs in the garden and carry them to the woods. In many cases, the bulbs eventually root there and although not intended, it does give a nice color to the otherwise drab woods in late winter/early spring!).

Here are a few of the spring flowers now in bloom:

A single Grape Hyacinth has been re-planted to the woods near the road leading to my home:

Grape Hyacinth in bloom

And there are lots of different varieties of Daffodils in bloom:

Daffodil in bloom

Daffodil in bloom

Daffodil in bloom

Daffodil in bloom

In my next post, I plan on featuring the status of woodland wildflowers at my home.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld
  • ISO 200 (all images)
  • Aperture f/3.5 (all images)
  • Shutter 1/125 sec. to 1/2000 sec.

 

 

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