In Remembrance …

Today’s post has been published in remembrance of Pastor Kelly Caldwell, of West Lake Christian Church, who passed away last week, after a long, hard fight against the covid virus.

I first met Pastor Kelly about two years ago. When visiting my (now) fiancee, Bobbie, at the Lake of the Ozarks, we would attend the church every Sunday we were in town. Kelly was a wonderful person … caring, loving, genuinely interested in each member of the congregation. Pastor Kelly and I hit it off immediately … we both are nature lovers and both of us were avid gardeners. One of Kelly’s main outside interests were his bee hives, and the honey he was able to collect from them.

So, to honor Pastor Kelly, I’m dedicating this blog to his love for bees!

Honey Bees love Virginia Bluebell wildflowers:

Honey Bee approaching Bluebell wildflowers

Honey Bee on wildflower

A Honey Bee on a Butterfly Weed wildflower:

Honey Bee on wildflower

A Honey Bee on an unidentified prairie wildflower:

Honey Bee on wildflower

Honey Bees approaching an American Lotus Lily

Although Honey Bees (above) were Pastor Kelly’s interest, I’m quite sure he would have been quite happy to have these other bee species around, to help pollinate his veggie and flower gardens:

A Bumblebee collecting nectar from an Aster wildflower:

Bumblebee on wildflower

Bumblebee on wildflower

A Bumblee at a Spiderwort wildflower:

Bumblebee on wildflower

A Bumblebee with his head entirely inside a Virginia Bluebell wildflower:

Bumblebee on wildflower

A Green Metallic Bee looking for nectar on a prairie wildflower:

Green Metallic Bee on wildflower

After moving to the Lake this past February, I continued to attend the church and ended up transferring my membership to Pastor Kelly’s church. I asked, and received permission to put in a Prayer/Healing Butterfly Garden at the church. Many times this past summer, I would be working in the church garden when Pastor Kelly either arrived at, or left the church for his many community activities. He would always stop and chat for 5 to 10 minutes with me, asking what new butterflies I had seen, or ask me what that new plant in the garden was. And he would always excitedly tell me what butterflies or insects he had seen around the garden. I’m going to miss those fun, little chats!

RIP, Pastor Kelly

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Various Canon bodies and lenses were used to capture these images

 

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Flower, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Photography from a kayak, Wildflowers | Leave a comment

Fun Friday: Angry Bird

Today’s “Fun Friday” post features another “life” bird for me, back in 2012. While photographing at a waterhole in the Rio Grande River Valley of south Texas, this Pyrrhuloxia flew in, while giving the appearance of being another “Angry Bird”:

Pyrrhuloxia at Water Hole

You could call this bird a “Cardinal imposter”, as it resembles a Northern Cardinal in a lot of physical attributes.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 500, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/6.3
  • Shutter Speed 1/1250 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2012, 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

Great Kiskadee

Today’s post features another previously-unpublished image that I captured in 2012, in the Rio Grande River Valley of south Texas. The Great Kiskadee is a quite large flycatcher that is common in the southern Rio Grande River Valley, and extending down into Mexico. During this trip, this was a “life” bird for me. Here is one of my favorite images of the Great Kiskadee:

Great Kiskadee

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 500, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/4
  • Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2012, 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

Mirror … Mirror

Today’s post is another, previously unpublished photograph from the Rio Grande River Valley of South Texas. While photographing from a blind at an active watering hole, this Curve-billed Thrasher flew in and immediately adored the reflection in the still waters of the water hole:

Curve-billed Thrasher with Reflection

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 500, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5,6
  • Shutter Speed 1/800 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2012, 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

Wake-Up Call

Today’s post features a previously unpublished photo of the great spring migration of the Sandhill Cranes, as they stop for food/rest on the Platte River of Nebraska, in 2012:

Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River

This image was captured early in the morning, from a photo blind on the banks of the Platte River, a short while before they left the river to feed in nearby corn fields. It’s been a few years since I’ve been there … seriously thinking it is about time to once again visit the thousands of migrating cranes on the Platte River!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 500, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 6400
  • Aperture f/11
  • Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2012, 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

No Dirty Bird Here!

Today’s post features a few images from a spring birding photo trip I did in 2012 (I’m currently spending some “Covid Time” reviewing/editing some older images in my database).

The Painted Bunting (male shown in these images) is possibly the most colorful bird we have. Found in the southern U.S., these little birds are quite active and love to take a fresh dip in a waterhole:

Painted Bunting Male bathing

Painted Bunting Male bathing

Painted Bunting Male bathing

When not busy bathing, the male shows it “coat of many colors” to us:

Painted Bunting male

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 500, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/1250 sec. and 1/400 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Leave a comment

Getting Impatient!

Today’s post features a couple of images I captured during one of my last Short-eared Owl photo trips to Shawnee Prairie, located in SW Missouri.

These prairie owls frequently migrate south to Missouri prairies during the winter months, before returning to their northern prairies in spring. These guys are so much fun to watch and photograph. I’m planning on several trips to photograph them this year … just patiently waiting for them to show up!

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

I think photographing these little cuties, while social distancing on the prairie, is a nice way to get my exercise and maintain my sanity (what’s left!) … while staying safe!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500, f/4 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC (Total 700mm)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 400 and ISO 800
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter Speed 1/640 sec. and 1/200 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Leave a comment

Fun Friday: Table For 2 Please!

Today’s post features a couple of Silver-spotted Skipper butterflies as they share a “table”, using a zinnia flower as their dinner table:

Silver-spotted Skippers sharing nectar

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/6000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Flower, Fun Friday post, Insect Photography, Nature Photography | Leave a comment

Yellow-bellied Visitors

Today’s post features another butterfly visitor to our Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) butterfly garden this past summer, the Cloudless Sulphur. Typically a nice yellow color (as it’s name “sulphur” implies), there seemed to be several that were more white, or pale green, than the standard yellow.

The sulphurs were content on our large zinnia beds, but seemed to favor the wonderful “Blusing Suzy” vines (these are definitely on the list to grow from seed again next year!). Here are a few of my favorite images:

Cloudless Sulphur butterfly

Cloudless Sulphur butterfly

Cloudless Sulphur butterfly

Cloudless Sulphur butterfly

Coming up … more fly-in visitors we hosted this past summer.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec. to 1/6000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Flower, Insect Photography, Nature Photography | Leave a comment

Spicebush Swallowtails

Today’s post features some of the many (and I mean many!) Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies that visited our Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) butterfly garden this summer.  Hardly a day went by without seeing at least 2-3 of these beautiful butterflies:

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

They were frequent visitors to the zinnias and the “Blushing Suzy” flowering vines. Nectar was the name of the game!!!

Coming up … a few more species of butterflies that visited us!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/1250 sec. to 1/2000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Flower, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Leave a comment