FOY Monarch Cat

Today’s post features a phone-camera image I captured a few days ago in our Lake of the Ozarks butterfly garden. Last week I found 3 Monarch butterfly caterpillars, which is much earlier than I usually see them!  These first-of-year caterpillars were all busy chomping on butterfly weed … two were found in our lake home garden, while this one was found in the church butterfly garden:

Monarch butterfly caterpillar on butterfly weed wildflower

As our gardens begin more profuse blooming, I’m expecting to see many more of these beauties!

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags:
Leave a comment

Stumbling Around

Today’s post features one of the 6 little Canada Goose goslings that were hatched on our Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) boat dock recently. As the little goslings escaped their flower pot nest, they worked their way into the water and then swam to the lake shore:

Canada Goose Gosling

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Wemberly gimbal tripod head
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

Fun Friday: Life Begins

Today’s post features some newborn Black-capped Chickadee chicks in a nest. We are busy monitoring a Bluebird trail, here at the Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri). About 2 weeks ago, we opened one of the bluebird boxes to check on activity, and found 4 little Black-capped Chickadee eggs. Black-capped chickadees are one of the “allowable” nesting birds that we let use the bluebird boxes, so we documented everything and closed up the box.

Black-capped Chickadee eggs in a nest

 

On the subsequent visit to this box, about a week later, a newborn family of four little chickadees were present! Using my phone’s camera, I quickly grabbed this image, then closed the box back up:

Black-capped Chickadee babies in nest

Hoping to start finding some bluebirds nesting soon!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Android phone camera

 

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

A Colorful Resident

Today’s post features a colorful finch (I believe it to be a male House Finch, not a Purple Finch) that we see quite frequently at our Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) home. An interesting color contrast to our butterfly garden!

Male House Finch

Male House Finch

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Wemberly gimbal tripod head
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6 and f/8
  • Shutter Speed 1/400 sec. and 1/320 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

Fun Friday: Leaving the ‘Big House'”

Today’s post features the second little Canada Goose gosling to leave the “Big House” (aka, nest) on our Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) boat dock. Struggling to get enough height on his jump, this little gosling finally was successful, although he didn’t get many points for his landing!

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

Free at last!

Canada Goose Gosling escaping nest

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off”
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/800 sec. and 1/1000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

Fun Friday: Forced Eviction

… aka, “Our 2021 Lake Family, Part 2”.

Today’s post features our new lake family, on the “big day”! After egg incubation, both parents and the 6 little goslings were ready to leave the nest and explore their new world … however, one problem to overcome … the nest was pretty low in the flower pot and the goslings worked and worked to jump over the pot’s lip, but it was such a distance, they had lots of problems!

To help coax the young ones out of the nest, mom hopped back into the pot, sat with the youngsters for a few minutes, then left the pot … expecting them to follow her. But again, the little goslings worked hard to get out of the pot, but just couldn’t. So mom hopped into the nest once again.

This time, one of the goslings managed to climb on momma’s back, where it was content to just sit and keep warm:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

But mom had other plans. When the little gosling didn’t show any signs of wanting to leave the nest, mom stood up …

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

… and began to “wing flap” (like they do after bathing). Can you spot the little gosling?

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

If not, here is another copy of the above image, with the little gosling circled in red:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

“Pop”!  Out falls the gosling:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

And beginning a free-fall to his new, aquatic world:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

“Over the edge”:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

“Going Down!”:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

“Basement Level, please”:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

And the little guy falls out of sight of my lens:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

A look into the lake water, below the pot, shows he is a born swimmer!:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

Four of the remaining five goslings managed to get out of the nest on their own (that is, after mom smartly moved some nesting material around so the distance to the top of the pot would be shorter!).

Gosling #6 ?  Well, we had to give it a hand. After struggling for a very long time, you could see he was physically exhausted and wearing down quickly. So, Bobbie went to the nest and physically removed it to the dock floor, where it quickly jumped into the water and joined the remainder of our 2021 family (more images to follow in a followup post).

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off”
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimbal head
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/125 sec. to 1/200 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Fun Friday post, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

This Year Goes to the Dogs!

Today’s post features one of my favorite photographic subject in the Missouri Ozarks … the beautiful Dogwood trees in bloom, in early spring!

And in this year, particularly, it seems the abundance and boldness of the beautiful blooms are better than the past couple of years … dogwoods were blooming around every bend in the road, over every hill, seemingly everywhere!

Today’s images were captured during my April camping trip to Johnson’s Shut-Ins.

While many of our trees were still leafless, or maybe just a hint of leaf buds, the dogwood flowers were not in short supply:

Dogwood blooming

Some closeups of the wonderful flowers:

Dogwood blooming

Dogwood blooming

These beauties are one of the reasons I look forward to spring in the Missouri Ozarks!

Coming up … more of our 2021 Canada Goose family images.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/500 sec. to 1/4000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Flower, Landscape Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

Our 2021 Lake Family, Part 1

Today’s post is the first of several posts that feature our 2021 nesting Canada Geese. This is the second year that this pair of Canada Geese chose a painted, flower pot on our Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) boat dock, to lay their eggs and brood their prodigy.

In today’s post, I’ve shown 3 images that were captured just as the last of the eggs hatched. As you will see, one little gosling wanted to keep very close to mom!

In this first image, momma goose is patiently waiting for the last egg to hatch:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

Once hatching is complete, one robust gosling decides that using mom as a “feather bed” is a good thing to do (while poppa goose stands guard over the nest):

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

A clear image of the little gosling on momma’s back:

2021 Nesting Canada Goose

Shortly after these photos were captured, the goslings, six in all, began to leave the nest, but that is a whole other story, as I will illustrate in the next post!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Wemberly gimball tripod
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/40 sec. (top photo) and 1/200 (remainder of photos)

 

 

Posted in 2021, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

Second ‘Lifer’

Today’s post features a second “lifer” wildflower I photographed on my recent photo/camping trip to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, located in Missouri’s Ozarks … Woodland Stonecrop:

Woodland Stonecrop wildflowers in bloom

Woodland Stonecrop wildflowers in bloom

Woodland Stonecrop wildflowers in bloom

The Woodland Stonecrop is in the sedum family, a succulent plant. I ran upon this as I recently hiked the woodland glade trail at Johnson’s Shut-Ins. It took a while to identify this small wildflower … my Missouri wildflower ID guide did not list it! But an internet search allowed me to identify it.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter Speed 1/3000 sec. and 1/4000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Flower, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags:
Leave a comment

Doing the ‘Uncurl’

Today’s post features a woodland fern as it begins it’s spring awakening, captured during my recent photo outing at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, in the Missouri Ozarks.

Hiking the woodland glade trail, looking for wildflowers, I came upon a small patch of ferns that were starting to uncurl and come to life. Here is a macro photograph I captured:

Fern frond unfurling

Cropping the image to show even more detail:

Fern frond unfurling

Coming up … more interesting captures from Johnson’s Shut-Ins, as well as our 2021 Canada Goose family.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/4.5
  • Shutter Speed 1/350 sec.

 

 

 

Posted in 2021, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment