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.

 

 

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Feed Me!

Today’s post comes from my February trip to Florida. One of my favorite shooting spots is the Venice Rookery. Today I’m featuring an active Great Blue Heron nest, located at the rookery.

Today’s images were taken early on, during my 2-day photo shoot here. In this nest, there are 3 “cute” nestlings:

Nesting Great Blue Herons

Nesting Great Blue Herons

Nesting Great Blue Herons

Nesting Great Blue Herons

In upcoming posts, I’ll share more of this heron family, including some of the typical behaviors often seen at an active nest.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 1250 and ISO 2000
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/30 sec. to 1/80 sec.

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day 2020!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers out there! As if on cue, our little Canada Goose family (mom, pop, 6 goslings) visited us yesterday evening while we were working in our gardens by the dock, giving me a great opportunity for some Mother’s Day images! Enjoy, and have a great Mother’s day!

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “ON”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/250 sec. to 1/3000 sec.

 

 

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And Away We Go!

Today’s post is the last of the series on the Canada Goose nesting, that occurred on our boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) this spring. If you missed any of the other nesting posts, you can find them here:

Immediately after moving from the flower pot nest, to the dock, to the water, the entire family of 2 Canada Geese parents and 6 goslings began feeding on the shoreline and then swimming about the area, before swimming down the cove. As they gathered together, I captured these parting shots of the family:

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

As this concludes the Canada Goose experience, I will continue posting some of my late winter trip highlights to Florida, along with some local, Missouri Ozark wildflowers.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod head (500 mm lens)
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/4.5
  • Shutter 1/4000 sec. to 1/8000 sec.

 

 

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Gosling Olympics

Today’s post is the third of 4 posts about the brood of Canada Goose goslings that recently were hatched on our Missouri Ozarks dock.

In the last post (“How to Transplant a Gosling”), I featured images of six little Canada Goose goslings as they left their nest … in one of our large flower pots that is located on our boat dock. As I mentioned in the last post, the first gosling to enter the water “fell” in … while running about the dock, he stepped between the dock ramp and the dock, where a  ”~4-inch opening exists. Today’s post features some more comical antics of this group of goslings, as the rest of the brood entered the water for the first time … enjoy!

In this first image, 5 of the goslings are wandering around the dock … you can see the gosling that fell into the water, at the bottom of this image:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

One of the parents, the father I think, jumped into the water to be with the fallen gosling:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

… while the other parent stayed with the 5 youngsters on the dock:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

But coaxing the remaining 5 goslings into the water was her next task, so she shows them how to do it:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

That’s about all it took to get the youngsters diving into the lake waters:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

And finally, the last gosling shows his form:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

So much fun to watch this new family as they leave the nest and go out into the world … but, also nice to get our dock back! In the final post of this family, I’ll share some family photos as they swim off to explore their new environment.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod head (500 mm lens)
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable

 

 

 

 

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