Fun Friday: Where’s My Readers?

Today’s “Fun Friday” post comes from the Lunch Creek area of Glacier National Park (Montana) during my recent trip. I pulled over at the Lunch Creek parking area so I could check out and photograph the wildflowers and waterfall there. Once I exited the car and headed to the waterfall, I noticed this mature Hoary Marmot that was sitting on some rocks overlooking the parking lot.

When I returned to the parking area, the marmot was busy checking out the 3 cars that were in the parking area. I’ve had the Yellow-bellied Marmots at Mt. Evans (Colorado) do the same thing. They like to check out the undercarriages of the vehicles; I suspect they are looking for minerals that have accumulated on the underneath portion of the cars.

As I put away my tripod and landscape lenses, and grabbed my telephoto/wildlife camera, another car pulled into the parking lot. As soon as the occupants of the car left, the marmot hustled over to the front of the car and got right in front of the license plate, standing right up to the plate, as if to read the information on the plate:

Hoary Marmot checking out a car

There will be more marmot images shared soon, but this comical, “Fun Friday” image just begged to be shared today!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, shot at 105mm
  •  Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/4.5
  • Shutter 1/800 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Fun Friday post, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

When I recently traveled to Glacier National Park (northwest Montana), I was really looking forward to some great night skies photography. What I didn’t realize was that there were some nearby wildfires and they literally created havoc with any photography that included the sky or distant landscapes! That is, except …

when shooting afternoon skies! When shooting the sun/sunsets in a hazy atmosphere, the numerous dust and particulate matter in the air help to create a “moodiness” to the landscape. Color is also commonly affected. As you can see in the following images, photographing in this type of environment can be quite interesting!

Afternoon Sun in the Wildfire Smoke of Glacier NP

Afternoon Sun in the Wildfire Smoke of Glacier NP

Afternoon Sun in the Wildfire Smoke of Glacier NP

Not often can you get sun and sunny reflections like this in the middle of the afternoon! I hung around for an actual sunset, but just too much haze and smoke.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 28-135mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, shot at 109mm, 115mm, and 127 mm
  •  Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200 (all)
  • Aperture f/32, f/22, f/16
  • Shutter 1/60 sec., 1/90 sec., 1/125 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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I’m Beary Pleased!

As you may have realized, I have been away from the computer and social media for a couple of weeks. I just returned from a wonderful trip to beautiful Glacier National Park, in northwestern Montana. The main objective I had for this trip was to photograph the Perseids meteor shower over the beautiful landscapes of Glacier NP. I’ll share more on that in an upcoming post.

But today’s post wraps up another, long-term project I have had with the park’s management. A few years ago (2013, I believe), I was contacted by the park superintendent about purchasing one-time rights to one of my brown bear images. The park was wanting to have an enlarged, plexiglass-covered bear image constructed for a new bear safety kiosk in the park, near some of the heavily used trails. After some negotiations, the rights were sold and I forwarded a high resolution image to the park.

In 2014, I made a trip to Glacier NP for early season photography. And while I was there, I decided to check on the status of the new kiosk. Unfortunately, the park had encountered some problems with the vendor who was fabricating the bear sign, so they needed to re-issue the project for new bids. And since the tourist season for Glacier NP is so short (due to extreme snow accumulations), the kiosk would not be completed for at least another season!

Well, this recent trip was the first time I have been able to get back to the park, so I spent some time to check out the progress. As I drove into the Many Glacier area of the park, I saw the kiosk, which is located just before you reach the Many Glacier Entrance station! I was beary impressed with the work the park had done! Here are some images I captured of this kiosk.

Side One:

Bear Safety Kiosk, Glacier NP (MT)

Side Two:

Bear Safety Kiosk, Glacier NP (MT)

A close-up of the bear image portion of the kiosk:

Bear Safety Kiosk, Glacier NP (MT)

And here is the original bear image that I had captured a few years ago, that was used to fabricate this kiosk sign:

Glacier Bear Sign Image Original

I am so glad that the park people were able to put this image to good use. Their intention of the sign was (1) have an “attention getter” for visitors to stop and read the bear safety/etiquette information, and (2) to have a “near life size bear” for parents to be able to photograph their children with (rather than trying to capture the kids with a real bear in the photograph). Excellent job, Glacier NP … I’m Beary Impressed!!!

 

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Mammals, National Park, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Royalty in the Garden

Today’s post features a few images I captured over the weekend of a Monarch butterfly that visited my rural Missouri butterfly garden. I saw a few Monarchs back in late spring, but until this weekend, I had not seen any. I’m hoping I will continue to see them as they add such beauty to the garden! And I’ll have to check the numerous milkweed plants to see if any eggs were laid! Enjoy some of my favorite images:

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

By the way, please be aware that I am busy starting a new photo project, one that will have me working both days and nights. I’ll share more about it later, but for the next week or so, there will be little activity on my blog posts and social media posts. But if things work out well, there will be some interesting posts coming up!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
  •  Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter various speeds

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Friday: Friendly Eating Contest

Images in today’s Fun Friday post was captured a couple of days ago in my rural Missouri butterfly garden. As I walked past my butterfly garden, a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth captured my attention. As I watched it, the moth moved to a Butterfly Bush flower, where a Silver-spotted Skipper was already collecting nectar. I grabbed my camera and captured these images of both insects as they both continued their seek for the sweet prize:

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth and Silver-spotted Skipper

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth and Silver-spotted Skipper

I’ve been seeing a lot of the Hummingbird Moths lately. I’m hoping that they will utilize one of the two Datura plants I put out this year; the Datura plant is a host plant for the Hummingbird Moth.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/800 sec. and 1/1000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Fun Friday post, Insect Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Pipevine Swallowtail Cats

Today’s post features a couple of images from my recent visit to a wonderful, private butterfly garden near Paola, Kansas. The Pipevine Swallowtails were very busy around several Dutchman’s Pipevine plants that grow here. Here are a couple of favorite images:

A small Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar that we found on a Dutchman’s Pipevine leaf:

Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar

Here is a collection of Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars that the garden’s owner had found (she takes them inside the house to protect them from visiting birds):

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld
  • ISO 800 (used since hand-holding macro lens)
  • Aperture f/11 (both images)
  • Shutter 1/30 sec. (top image) and 1/15 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Shootin’ the Moon

Friday evening, I took my telescope and camera equipment to a nearby farm field. My goal was to photograph Mars as it was in opposition (directly across from the sun and very bright). The forecast was not too bad … partly cloudy until about midnight, then clouds moving in. No problem, I would have a couple of good hours before clouds set in … NOT!

As the moon rose above the horizon, I grabbed some images of the nice, full moon. As time progressed, clouds began to pour in. As Mars rose high enough to see, I was able to see it a couple of times … it was very bright red. Unfortunately, the visible times were very short and insufficient to lock the focus on the telescope on it. So, no Mars images. But here are some interesting full moon images I did capture:

Full Moon over a Cass County farm

This next image was captured through the telescope, on low power:

Full Moon over a Cass County farm

Full Moon over a Cass County farm

Full Moon over a Cass County farm

Full Moon over a Cass County farm

Looks more like Halloween, doesn’t it!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body (on 500mm f/4 lens)
  • Canon 5D Mark III body (on telescope)
  • Telescope on telescope tripod; 7D/500mm on Bogen 3221 tripod with Wemberley gimbal head
  • ISO 500 and ISO 1000
  • Aperture f/4 (thru 500mm lens) and f/19 (telescope)
  • Shutter 1/8 sec. (photo #2, thru telescope) and 1/20 sec. to 1/40 sec. (thru 500mm lens)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Astrophotography, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
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Fun Fri: Horrible Yet Wonderful

Today’s Fun Friday post features an image I captured yesterday morning, shortly after sunrise, at my rural Missouri home. As I began doing some dreaded housecleaning, my driveway alarm went off. I was sure it was the twin fawns again (I’m seeing them everyday now … in fact, the two are with mom in the backyard right now, grazing). But I saw nothing. Keeping my eyes trained to the area covered by the monitor, I was both surprised and thrilled to see a large, adult Bobcat emerging from the woods!

I grabbed my camera (it was on the kitchen island, right behind me) and began to photograph. But the camera wouldn’t fire. Seems I had removed the memory card the night before, to download images onto my computer, and failed to return it! I ran into another room, grabbed another memory card, ran back into the kitchen and inserted the card. By this time, the bobcat was farther away and beginning to cross my front yard. I did manage to capture ONE image … a rather horrible image, but one that was wonderful to capture:

Bobcat

I have seen several bobcats on my property in the 18 years I’ve lived here. But this one was the largest one I’ve ever seen here, by far. In fact, when I first saw it, I thought it may have been a small mountain lion crossing our area (rare, but occasionally happens).

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
  •  Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/4 sec. (I didn’t have time to play with exposure controls … just a quick “point and shoot”)

 

 

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None Fresher Than These!

During last week’s photo trip to a Master Gardener friend’s butterfly garden near Paola, KS, I was fortunate to watch a Pipevine Swallowtail as she laid her eggs on a Dutchman’s Pipevine plant (host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail). I was unable to capture the actual egg laying process as she was about 18-inches above my head. As you can imagine, almost impossible to shoot macros, handheld, in that position, especially with movement from the subject!

So, I waited for her to complete the process, then moved in to capture a couple of images of the fresh eggs:

Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly eggs

Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly eggs

These images are a tad out-of-focus, due to the need to handhold, over my head. But still a neat encounter!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 180mm f/3.5 macro lens
  •  Handheld
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/160 sec. (top photo) and 1/125 sec. (bottom photo)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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A Pearl Crescent Party!

While walking past my butterfly garden yesterday, I looked down to see a party going on in a nice clump of Black-eyed Susans. There were at least a couple dozen Pearl Crescent butterflies busy collecting nectar from the wildflowers. Here is a small portion of them:

Pearl Crescent Butterflies on Black-eyed Susans

Later, once the sun had gone behind the treeline and the butterflies had left, I grabbed this image of the Black-eyed Susans:

Black-eyed Susan Wildflowers

This clump was planted last fall and is doing exceptionally well. I don’t remember the species name, but this was a relatively new hybrid that is supposed to yield long-blooming flowers. So far, they’re doing as advertised!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 180mm f/3.5 macro lens
  •  Handheld
  • ISO 400 (top photo) and ISO 800 (bottom photo)
  • Aperture f/5.6 (top photo) and f/16 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/160 sec. (both images)

 

 

Posted in 2018, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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