2018 Highlights – June

June was a month devoted to working in my rural Missouri butterfly garden, and photographing a very small, White-tailed Deer fawn with momma, that visited my front yard regularly:

White-tailed Fawn

White-tailed Doe and Fawn

White-tailed Doe and Fawn

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar:

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Indian Pink wildflowers in my Hummingbird Garden:

Indian Pink wildflowers

July turned out to be an interesting photographic month … I’ll post some of my favorite July adventures in the next post!

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Macro Photography, Mammals, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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2018 Highlights – May

As I continue through my 2018 journey highlights, May’s dominant theme was wildflowers and warblers, both becoming quite common in this late spring month. My adventures included visiting three new prairies and one new Missouri Conservation Area, and of course, my “regular” nearby kayak locations:

Prairie Larkspur:

Prairie Larkspur wildflowers

Indian Paintbrush:

Indian Paintbrush

Ox-Eye Daisies:

Ox-Eye Daisy wildflowers

Common Yellowthroat Warbler:

Common Yellowthroat Warbler

Woodland Fern unfurling:

Woodland Fern unfurling

Woodland Fern unfurling

Jack-in-the-Pulpit wildflowers:

Jack-in-the-Pulpit wildflower

Next up … June highlights!

 

Posted in 2018, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Photography from a kayak, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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2018 Highlights – March & April

Continuing with my favorite experiences and images of 2018, this post features images captured in March and April. March was pretty slow with regards to photography … I was busy with business income taxes, primarily. But by the end of March, and continuing into April, bulb plants, and then woodland wildflowers really started showing up!

Variegated False Solomon's Seal

Variegated False Solomon's Seal

Grape Hyacinth in bloom

Daffodil in bloom

Daffodil in bloom

Jack-in-the-Pulpit wildflower

Woodland Fern unfurling

 

 

 

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2018 Highlights – Februrary

Today’s post highlights some of my favorite images from my extended photo trip to Florida, in February of 2018.  I experienced some wonderful things, including snorkeling with manatees, kayaking in Myakka River State Park, photographing all the wonderful birds at the famous bird rookery in Venice, Ding Darling NWR, the Everglades, Green Cay, and multiple locations around St. Petersburg. Here are just a few of my favorites from this long journey:

Manatee resting in the Crystal River

Black Vulture closeup

Great Blue Heron

Myakka River view, from kayak

American Alligator

Male Anhinga arriving at the rookery

Roseatte Spoonbill

Great Egret with nest material

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Great Egret "sky pointing"

Tricolored Heron

Purple Gallinule running

I’m ready to go back!!!

 

 

 

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2018 Highlights – January

I thought I’d highlight this past year, with regards to my photographic endeavors. Today’s post features January 2018. During these often cold and dreary months of winter, there is not a lot of things going on. January 2018 was not very different, except for a couple of photographic projects.

I made 3 trips to some prairies in southwest Missouri in January, working at capturing some of the Short-eared Owls that sometimes migrate south to our prairies, in search of food. These little owls are not the easiest to photograph. They fly very quickly, and usually don’t become active until dusk, when the light is often low enough to make action photography a real challenge!  But sometimes things just work out!

Short-eared Owl hunting over the grassland

Short-eared Owl hunting over the grassland

Short-eared Owl hunting over the grassland

January 2018 also saw our first Super Moon of the year:

Super Moon Rising over Amarugia Lake

Super Moon over Cornerstone Community Church

Super Moon over farm silo

Super Moon over farm silo

Next up … February, and my favorite images from a long trip to Florida!

 

 

 

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Sunrise Swans

I hope everyone has had a great holiday season! I backed away from the blog for a short while, to visit friends and family over the Christmas break. I had a wonderful time and am really looking forward to the New Year!

In today’s post, I’m featuring a couple of sunrise images I captured of Trumpeter Swans in flight at the Loess Bluffs NWR (formerly, Squaw Creek NWR) in northwest Missouri. The swans are truly a thing of beauty, particularly when you can capture them in the golden light of sunrise:

Trumpeter Swans in flight at sunrise

Trumpeter Swans in flight at sunrise

Coming up … a few more species I photographed at the refuge during that November photography trip.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250 (image #1) and ISO 200 (image #2)
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. (image #1) and 1/6400 sec. (image #2)

 

 

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Fun Friday: Taunting the Seniors

Bald Eagle interactions are always interesting to watch. While at the Loess Bluffs NWR in northwest Missouri recently, I ran across a pair of adult Bald Eagles perched very close together in trees that contained a pair of bald eagle nests:

Pair of adult Bald Eagles

As I photographed the pair, a juvenile Bald Eagle flew over the trees, causing a response from the pair of adults:

Juvenile Bald Eagle flying over a pair of adult Bald Eagles

To better see the expressions of the adults, I cropped and enlarged a portion of the above image:

Adult Bald Eagles reacting to a juvenile flying over them

Both were voicing their displeasure from the young eagle flying so close.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/2000 sec.

 

 

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The Buck Stops Here

During my recent trip to Loess Bluffs NWR in northwest Missouri, I came upon this nice White-tailed Deer buck. It was in the woodland area of the refuge and just watched as I photographed it for a couple of minutes, from my car:

White-tailed Deer buck

White-tailed Deer buck

Coming up, an interesting behavioral reaction between 3 Bald Eagles, captured on the refuge.

Photographic Equipment Used:

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

 

 

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Immature & Adult Bald Eagles

On my recent trip to photograph Bald Eagles and Trumpeter Swans at the Loess Bluffs NWR, the number of eagles were not nearly as high as I would have liked to see. But I did get several opportunities to photograph some of the eagles.

Immature Bald Eagle numbers seem to increase dramatically every year … giving proof to our conservation programs, to bring them back from very low numbers due to the DDT problems we encountered in the late 1900’s.  Some of the immature bald eagles I was able to capture:

Immature Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle

And a couple of adults:

Adult Bald Eagle

Adult Bald Eagle

More bald eagle and swan photos will be posted soon!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens (top 2 images) and Canon 500mm f/4 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC (bottom 2 images)
  • Handheld, with IS “On” (top 2 images) and Bogen 3221 Tripod with ballhead (last 2 images)
  • ISO 400 (top 2 images) and ISO 250 (bottom 2 images)
  • Aperture f/9, f/5.6, f/8, f/8
  • Shutter 1/400 sec., 1/2000 sec., 1/800 sec., and 1/1000 sec.

 

 

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Prepare for Liftoff

Today’s post features a group of Trumpeter Swans as they begin their liftoff into flight. These beautiful birds are so much fun to watch as they prepare to lift off.  They will do a number of “head bows”, while honking in their trumpet-like call. When ready to go, most (if not all) of the group will be head bowing and trumpeting … making it quite noisy. Then, one swan will begin running across the water, followed by the rest of the group. While flapping their wings and gaining speed, once they are able, they gracefully lift into the air and begin their flight pattern.  So cool to watch!

Here is one group and a sequence of them taking to the air:

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans

During this trip, I also took a few videos of the swans.  I need to edit all the footage and hopefully will have some to share soon!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture 5.6
  • Shutter 1/2000 sec.

 

 

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