A Travel Snack

I recently made another trip to the wonderful butterfly garden of Lenora Larson, near Paola, Kansas. Her wonderful gardens were filled with color and a large variety of butterflies and pollinators that were busy collecting nectar as fall is rapidly approaching. One of my favorites on that morning was a few Monarchs that briefly stopped from their migration to snack on the beautiful buffet of flowers in Lenora’s gardens:

Monarch butterfly on Lantana

Monarch butterfly on Lantana

Monarch butterfly on Lantana

Coming up … more wonderful finds in Lenora’s gardens!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/8 (top photo) and f/3.5 (last two photos)
  • Shutter 1/350 sec. (top photo), 1/3000 sec to 1/6000 sec. (last two photos)

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday:Portable Pin Cushion

Today’s post features some images I captured as I was leaving the Badlands NP during my recent visit there. It was a short time before sunrise and as I drove towards the park entrance, I observed something moving along the ditch on the side of the road. Finding a pullout, I grabbed my camera and quickly walked to where I had seen the dark image. As I had hoped, it was a porcupine that was busy foraging along the road. Here are a couple of my favorite images (Note: the images are just a tad “soft” on focus, due to the animal’s movement, the low light, and hand-holding the camera … should’ve bumped up the ISO more! :o)

Porcupine

Porcupine

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens, shot at 365mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 640
  • Aperture f/8 (both photos)
  • Shutter 1/13 sec. (top photo) and 1/15 sec. (bottom photo)

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blog, Fun Friday post, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Silver-Spotted Skipper

I had another wonderful art show over the weekend, reacquainting with several ex-coworkers and high school friends, and meeting many new, wonderful nature lovers! It’s always exciting to meet and share stories about our natural world.  My next, and last art show of 2017 will happen on November 03-04, at the John Knox Pavillion in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. This indoor arts/crafts show is always one I love participating in. If you are in the Lee’s Summit area, please stop by. More show info to be published as we get closer.

Today’s post features a common visitor to my butterfly garden, especially this time of year. The Silver-spotted Skipper favors brushy areas and the edges of woodlands. In my butterfly garden, they are commonly found around the butterfly bush, but love the nectar of wildflowers, too. Here are a couple of images I recently captured:

Silver-spotted Skipper

Silver-spotted Skipper on a Purple Coneflower wildflower

Over the weekend, I saw quite a few Monarchs as they fluttered past my art booth in downtown Lee’s Summit. Looks like they are on the migration trail and I hope that the warmer weather later this weeks creates some opportunities to capture more images of these beauties.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens, shot at 400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/5.6 (both photos)
  • Shutter 1/1000 sec. (top photo) and 1/1250 sec. (bottom photo)

 

 

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Badlands Sunrise

(Note: I will once again have a booth in the Summit Arts Festival in Lee’s Summit, MO, this weekend. I have been assigned booth #71 (on Main Street, in front of the Bank of Lee’s Summit). Show hours are 4:00pm to 8:00pm Friday, 10:00am to 8:00pm Saturday, and noon to 4:00pm on Sunday. If you are in the area, stop by and say “Hi”.)

On the morning I left the Badlands, during my recent road trip, I had a wonderful sunrise appear:

Sunrise in the Badlands

Sunrise in the Badlands

Amazingly, there was not a single cloud in the sky at sunrise. As I drove to the park entrance, I had been doubtful about experiencing a colorful sunrise since there were no clouds. But I was pleasantly surprised!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens, shot at 150mm
  • Handheld (leaning against my truck), with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16 (top photo) and f/22 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/80 sec. (top photo) and 1/160 sec. (bottom photo)

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Low Sun Angle Landscapes

I’m now back home, after a couple of weeks on the road. The main goal of the trip was to get some training and practice on a new (to me) technology that I’m looking forward to employing in my nature photography. More on that later, but on the way home I stopped and camped for 2 nights in one of my favorite national parks … the Badlands NP, in South Dakota.

I was hoping to capture some night sky images over the Badlands landscape, but the conditions were just not what I needed to get some good images. On the first evening, the sky was clouded over and I even experienced a late night rain shower. On the second night, the skies were clear. But the moon was so bright that the Milky Way was too washed out for images.

But I managed some daytime images, particularly around sunrise and sunset. Here are a couple of my favorites.

During the late afternoon, while the sun was beginning to set in the western sky, I captured this typical, Badlands landscape as the sun, low in the sky, fell across the landscape:

Badlands NP

And on my final morning, as I drove out of the park, I again had some nice color on some of the Badlands landscape, as the sun began rising above the horizon:

Badlands NP

Coming up, more images to process and post.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/15 sec. and 1/25 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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Raven Fly-by

During one of my trips to the summit of Mount Evans, a small group of Ravens soared overhead. Here is my favorite image of one of the ravens as it made a close fly-by:

Raven

I will be quite busy over the next 10 days, initiating a new and interesting photo project. It is likely that I will not have time to make posts during this timeframe, but will be back as soon as I can.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/800 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Pika Time

Today’s post features one of my favorite subjects to photograph when I travel to the Colorado Rockies. The American Pika is a very small mammal, weighing only about 4 ounces. It feeds on an assortment of green plants and can often be spotted as it quickly runs between it’s source of plants and it’s den, located among rocks and boulders. Collecting green plants, it transports them back to the boulders and spreads them out to dry, similar to a haystack. This cache is stored inside the den over the winter. The pika does not hibernate, so it feeds on the dried grasses/flowers.

Pika cannot survive in warmer climates; they are typically found at higher altitudes where the temperatures stay about 70F or below. Many believe that this mammal is becoming threatened due to our warming climates.

Here are a few images I captured along the Mount Evans Highway in August:

American Pika

American Pika

American Pika

American Pika

American Pika

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6, IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250 and ISO 500
  • Aperture f/22
  • Shutter 1/250 sec. to 1/2500 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Sunrise From Cloud Level

On my last day of camping at Mount Evans, I drove to the summit of the mountain (quite daunting in the dark!) to capture a sunrise from the summit. The view from this vantage point was quite impressive, and the layers of clouds really helped to make this a wonderful sight as the sun rose from behind the layered mountain ranges. Here are a few of the images I captured:

Sunrise from the summit of Mount Evans

Sunrise from the summit of Mount Evans

Sunrise from the summit of Mount Evans

I want to say “Thanks” to my good friend Adam. Adam lives nearby and came out to camp with me for a couple of days. On the last morning, I talked Adam into going to the summit with me, in the dark, to capture a sunrise there. Driving alone, up the windy, steep and narrow road was not a fun thing to do in total darkness! With straight-down dropoffs along the narrow road, it was quite a “white knuckled” event! But with two sets of eyes on the road, it was a much easier task!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld (sitting on boulder and bracing) with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • f/22
  • Shutter 1/8 sec., 1/30 sec., 1/60 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: Where’s Waldo?

On one of my trips back down from the summit of Mount Evans, a small group of Ptarmigan were encountered that were foraging among the rocks, beside the road. Ptarmigan reside in these higher altitudes, but are difficult to spot as they blend in so well with their surroundings. Luckily, this small group were walking around, making their movement a bit easier to spot (but still tough!).

With the road narrow at this location and near a hairpin turn, and no pullouts, and the edge of the road falling straight down the mountainside, I only had a short time to photograph the birds before risking another car coming around the turn, so I shot without changing the camera settings and from the running vehicle, which caused the shutter speed to be a lot slower than I would have liked. But still managed to get a few acceptable images. Here is my favorite:

Ptarmigan foraging among the rocks

Interesting birds and such a great camouflage coat! As the season moves more towards winter, they will turn white, again creating a great way to openly hide in the snow!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld from running car, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/30 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Cute Little Kids

Today’s post features some of the many, cute Mountain Goat kids that were in a group of goats near the summit of Mount Evans (in the Colorado Rockies). The Mountain Goats, and particularly the young kids, are always a highlight of every trip I make to Mount Evans. Born in early June, by late summer they are very agile and can run/jump among the boulders with ease. How can you not love them?! Here are a few of my favorite images of the young goats:

Mountain Goat kids

Mountain Goat kids

Mountain Goat kid

More Mount Evans trip images coming up!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • f/5.6 and f/8
  • Shutter 1/2500 sec. and 1/1250 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2017, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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