A Bang-Up Good Time!

Today’s post features some of this year’s July 04th fireworks that I captured over out lakeside home at the Lake of the Ozarks, in south-central Missouri. This is my second July 04th firework display I’ve captured at the lake. All these fireworks were personal fireworks by lake residents and visitors … and not too shabby!

Photographs taken across our cove, from our butterfly garden:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Photograph captured from our gardens, looking towards the end of our cove:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Photographs captured from our boat dock, looking back at our lake home:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Meanwhile, looking towards the lake’s main channel, a nice moon was brightly showing above all the action:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

And a look at fireworks over our boat dock, captured from our home:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Always fun to try capturing “new” things, like fireworks over our butterfly garden.  I always enjoy new challenges! Hope you had a wonderful 4th, also!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shooting from 28mm to 135mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 250 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8 to f/16
  • Shutter 3.1 seconds to 24 seconds

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography | Tags:
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Plumaria Update

“A Little Piece of Florida”Today, I’m featuring some updated photographs of our blooming Plumaria plant. I first featured this plant last Friday (“A Little Piece of Florida”). This morning, I took some new photos, with many more blooms! Enjoy the beauty we have growing on our back deck:

Plumaria

Plumaria

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800 (top image) and ISO 400 (bottom image)
  • Aperture f/5.6 (both images)
  • Shutter 1/160 sec. (top image) and 1/60 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

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A Little Piece of Florida

Today’s post features images I captured this week from a new, Plumaria plant we have growing on our back deck at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

Plumaria are a tropical species of flowering plant/tree. When we visited a friend in Florida this past February, she broke off a piece of one of her Plumaria plants and told us to bring it home and see if we could get it to grow.  Well, results are in … it’s now blooming!  Hoping to be able to overwinter it inside! I hope you enjoy this beautiful plant as much as we are!

Plumaria

Plumaria

A macro photo of one of the plant’s leaves:

Plumaria leaf

Plumaria

And as of this morning, four flowers … and counting!

Plumaria

Plumaria

What will the upcoming days bring?  I’ll report any significant updates.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens and Canon 180mm f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On” and on Bogen 3221 tripod/ball head (for macros)
  • ISO 200 thru ISO 800
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: ,
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White Ibis

Today’s post features an image of a White Ibis, a very common bird to Florida. This image was captured along the Myakka River, in Myakka River State Park, just outside Sarasota, one of my favorite places to visit when I go to Florida. As the sun began to set, nice lighting fell upon this foraging bird:

 

White Ibis

More Florida images coming up!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/640 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: ,
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Prehistoric Era

Today’s post features some images captured during my February trip to Florida. As I always do, when traveling to Florida I always try to reserve a cabin at Myakka River State Park, just outside Sarasota … one of my favorite places to hike, photograph, and just enjoy nature!

When in the park, it is nearly impossible to spend some time without seeing American alligators, a prehistoric-looking critter. As with most tourists to Florida, I’m always fascinated to see/watch/photograph these armored river inhabitants. Here are a few of my favorite images I captured as they patrolled the Myakka River:

American Alligator

American Alligator

I especially love to find the gators in nice, reflected backgrounds:

American Alligator

American Alligator

… or even better, when a sunset’s reflected colors enhance the river’s image:

American Alligator

Coming up … more Florida travel images.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400 (top photo) and ISO 1600 (all others)
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/125 sec. to 1/30 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Nature Photography, Reptiles and Amphibians, Travel Photography | Tags:
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Fun Friday: With a Luna …

Today’s post features an interesting critter that I don’t see very often, but always a joy to see one … the Luna Moth.

Earlier this week, we saw this little guy as it was perched on a barberry bush next to our garage. This was spotted around noon time, with very harsh light. So, I grabbed a few shots, then waited for the lighting to become better. Late in the afternoon, the moth was still perched in the bush, so I captured some more images, including a lot that I used for “focus-stacking”. Enjoy our little friend!

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Coming up … more Florida posts.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture variable (f/3.5 for focus-stacked images, f/16 for others)
  • Shutter variable
  • Bottom two images were “focus-stacked”, created using Helicon Focus software and combining up to 18 images per focus-stacked image

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Butterfly Photography, focus stacking, Fun Friday post, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags:
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Seafood, Anyone?

Today’s post features a Limpkin I captured while foraging in the Myakka River, at Myakka River State Park (Florida) in February.

Limpkins have become quite familiar to the landscape at Myakka River State Park. One evening, while photographing birds on the river, this Limpkin was busy foraging for an evening snack, just a short distance from me:

Limpkin foraging

Limpkin foraging

Limpkin foraging

Coming up … more nature from Florida … and the Missouri Ozarks.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/640 sec. and 1/1000 sec.

 

 

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The Cleanup Crew

Today’s post features what I call “the dirty, cleanup bird” … the Black Vulture. Vultures are very interesting birds. They are one of our best “cleanup” birds, constantly scavenging road kill. To look at these birds, you would think they come out of the prehistoric era … the hairless, wrinkled faces were built for scavenging roadkill corpses (they can clean out a carcass quite easily, without the “mess” of getting “stuff” caked into head feathers). And their personality is both interesting and amusing.

In many places, you will see signs posted to cover your car (in areas where these birds are prevalent). They seem to enjoy picking at and removing black rubber (window seals, wiper blades, etc.) from cars in popular parking lots.

I’ve had some interesting experiences with these birds at Myakka River State Park. When I visit Deep Hole, there are always a lot of Black Vultures there. When I lay my photo backpack down and move around to photograph the wildlife there, these birds frequently come in and try to grab and carry off my bag of equipment! Fortunately, there is always enough weight in the bag that they have not yet been successful!

Here are a few images of the Black Vultures that I captured at Deep Hole in February:

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

Florida has an abundance of prehistoric-looking animals … the vultures, wood storks, alligators, etc. I’ll be posting more Florida wildlife encounters over the next few posts.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens (+ Canon 1.4x TC, last photo only)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/4 and f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/1600 sec. to 1/160 sec.

 

 

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Time for Chicks

Today’s post features a pair of Great Egrets at the Venice Rookery (Florida) this February. While photographing Great Blue Herons that were actively nesting, several pairs of Great Egrets were busy building their nests, bringing in sticks and branches. Looking over to one pair, they were engaged in mating:

Great Egret pair, mating

Great Egret pair, mating

Great Egret pair, mating

This was the only “active nest” of Great Egrets. Their nesting schedule is usually a bit behind the Great Blue Herons, so it was a pleasant surprise to see this pair kicking off their nesting season.

Coming up, more birds at the Venice Rookery.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 6400 (early in the morning at the rookery, in low light)
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/100 sec.

 

 

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Photo-bombed By an Ibis

Today’s post comes from my recent Florida trip, and was captured at the Venice Rookery. While photographing an active Great Blue Heron nest, I was shooting lots and lots of images, hoping to capture “that special moment”. Well, as it was early in the morning, the roosting White Ibises (“Ibi”?) were beginning to leave the rookery. This Ibis flew directly in front of the heron I had my lens trained on.

Now getting “photo-bombs” or “butt shots” are not unusual to a nature photographer … particularly when one tries to capture action or behavior shots. I get these types of shots often, but decided to post this one … out of spite for all the times the birds (or other critters) get the upper hand!

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

White Ibis "photobombing" a nesting Great Blue Heron

Coming up … some feeding images with the little ones … with a rather unusual breakfast menu.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 6400 (early in the morning at the rookery)
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/200 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: ,
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