Fun Friday: Been Drinking Again?

Even if you haven’t, today’s image may have you thinking you have endulged!

While hiking Mount Evans (Colorado), I came upon this very interesting and unusual wildflower. Called Little Pink Elephants, aka Elephant Heads, I found several of these plants (called “herds”) growing along the lower elevation trails.

Little Pink Elephants wildflowers

This wildflower grows as a dense, vertical spike of distinctive magenta-colored flowers. And yes, they do resemble little elephant heads, trunk and all!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter Speed 1/125 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2013, 2021, Blog, Flower, Fun Friday post, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags:
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Glistening in the Early Morning

Today’s post features a previously unpublished image I captured in 2013, while hiking the prairie at Amarugia CA (Missouri). Early in the morning is great for finding and photographing beautiful, dew-covered dragonflies. Here is one I came across on that morning:

Dew-covered Dragonfly

Finding dew-covered insects is always a great thing to discover … being covered with dew often renders the insect incapable of flying away. This makes closeup photography a lot easier!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/9
  • Shutter Speed 1/25 sec.

 

 

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Fun Friday: Carryout for Two, Please

Today’s post features one of the osprey I blogged about yesterday. I didn’t realize it until I edited the images, but discovered that one of the osprey emerged from the lake with two fish in his talons! I had never seen this happen before, so I was really shocked to witness this feat! Here are a few images of this “fisherman extraordinaire”:

Osprey with 2 fish

Osprey with 2 fish

Osprey with 2 fish

I noticed that this osprey was acting a bit strange. Typically, after catching a fish he flies off to find a secluded spot to eat it. But this osprey kept flying around overhead. Then I spotted why he was apparently acting this way …

Bald Eagle approaching an Osprey with 2 fish

An adult Bald Eagle was nearby and seemed to be working in to attempt a take-away. But the eagle did not attack the osprey and the osprey eventually flew off. What an interesting, but strange encounter!

 

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 and ISO 1250
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/6000 sec. to 1/8000 sec

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography | Tags: ,
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Our Migrating Friends are Back!

Today’s post features 3 images I captured yesterday afternoon at our Lake of the Oarks (Missouri) lake home. While taking a break on our dock, the familiar “chirping” of an Osprey interrupted the quiet relaxation. I immediately ran into the house, grabbed my camera and headed back to the dock.

Over the next 30 minutes, 2-3 osprey were frequently fishing over our cove. Here are 3 images I captured as they fished the lake:

Osprey

Osprey

Osprey

Hopefully, these guys will hang around for a while, allowing me more opportunities to capture their incredible dives into the water.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec. to 1/6000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags:
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Birth of a King/Queen

Today’s post features a single frame of a project I have been working on … capturing and preparing a time-lapse video of a Monarch butterfly caterpillar, hatching from it’s egg on a milkweed leaf. I hope you enjoy this royal birth:

Monarch butterfly caterpillar emerging from egg

I’m hoping to have the time-lapse video ready soon, but editing a couple of thousand images takes some time!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/32
  • Shutter Speed 0.9 seconds

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags:
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UFO’s

Today’s post features a couple of UFO’s (Unidentified Fuzzy Objects … well, at least one is) that I found yesterday while working in the church butterfly garden, here at the Lake of the Ozarks, MO. By the way, I counted 21 Monarch butterfly caterpillars busy chomping away on the milkweed … wonder how many I missed? Also, there always seemed to be at least 3-4 Monarch butterflies swarming the nectar flowers, while I was working the garden.

The two UFO’s (below) are new to me, so I can’t properly identify them (if you know what these are, I’d appreciate a note letting me know). I have a suspicion they may be moth caterpillars, but ya never know!

Here are the two visitors I found:

Unidentified Caterpillar

Un

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Android cell phone camera

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Flower, Insect Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags:
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Quiet Time in the Badlands

Today’s post comes from my recent trip to South Dakota’s Badlands National Park, where I traveled in early August for the Perseids meteor shower.

While waiting for meteors to begin flying overhead, the Milky Way was stretched up towards the heavens, from the southern horizon:

Milky Way over the Badlands NP, South Dakota

Such a beautiful sight, late in the evening, solitude all around (only an occasional car driving by) … a little tranquility in today’s hectic world!

I’m still working with meteor images, and hope to have some ready to share soon!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Rokinon 14mm, f/2.8 manual lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/2.8
  • Shutter Speed 18.0 seconds

 

 

Posted in 2021, Astrophotography, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags:
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A Bit Too Early

Today’s post features a single, Bighorn Sheep ram that I ran across during my recent trip to South Dakota’s Badlands NP, while photographing the Perseids meteor shower.

Bighorn Sheep rams have lived in the Badlands landscape for quite a while. However, they typically occupy the higher altitude places, away from people and the ewes/lambs (who stay in the lower altitudes of the park). Once fall comes, the rams come down out of the higher altitude locations to find and mate with ewes. But today’s post was captured in the first half of August … quite a while before fall!

Here are a few images I captured of this “early visitor”:

Bighorn Sheep Ram

Bighorn Sheep Ram

Bighorn Sheep Ram

Coming up … some night sky images from the park.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/160 – 1/250 sec.

 

 

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Fun Friday: Hi Altitude Gardening

Today’s post features a few “snapshots” collected yesterday at our Lake of the Ozarks (MO) home. Looking out of a second-floor bedroom window, I saw this unusual sight:

Squash growing out of garage gutter

Taking a second look, I realized that one of Bobbie’s squash plants (planted below this downspout, had decided to grow up (inside) the downspout and land in the gutter:

Squash growing out of garage gutter

Here is a photo of the garden area, below the garage gutter:

Squash growing out of garage gutter

As you can see, the “high altitude” plant is beginning to set fruit along the gutter:

Squash growing out of garage gutter

I guess this new form of gardening makes sense … after all, it is saving valuable garden space on the ground!

 

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Build It, They Will Come!

Today’s post features one of the many Clearwing Hummingbird Moths that has been busy in our church butterfly garden, here at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, that I established a little over a year ago.

Built to encourage Monarchs to propagate here (which it does), it has also been attracting lots of Clearwing Hummingbird Moths. I maintain the garden at least once a week and I can’t recall a time I’ve been there and I haven’t had at least a couple of these winged beauties busy collecting nectar. In fact, it is quite common to count 5-6 at a time!

On my last trip to the garden, earlier this week, I captured these images of one of the visitors:

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

And most of my visits to the garden has Monarch butterflies stopping by. In fact, I recently took 3 eggs home with me and are currently raising them in our garage … so far, two chrysalises and one fat caterpillar!

Coming up … I just returned from a trip to the Badlands NP, where I shot a lot of night sky images … including the Milky Way and the Perseids meteors.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm macro lens
  • Handheld
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec. and 1/3000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Flower, Insect Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags:
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