New Church Members

Today’s post features a couple of images I captured with my cell phone camera, over the past couple of weeks at my church at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

In spring, I installed a bluebird nestbox in our outdoor sanctuary area at my lake church.  Recently, the box finally became active, with 4 light blue eggs (taken a week ago):

Eastern Bluebird eggs in nestbox

Yesterday, I checked the box again … we have 4 new members to our local bluebird population, as well as being honorary church members:

Newborn Eastern Bluebirds

I plan on monitoring this box and capturing some images of the parents taking care of their young family, so stay tuned!

 

 

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Fun Friday: G-hog Day!

Today’s post features 3 images I captured through my back window, here at my Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) home.

As I worked on a photo studio I am setting up, getting ready for Monarch butterfly photography, I caught some movement out the back window. After seeing the grasses/weeds/wildflowers moving swaying back and forth quite quickly, this little head poked up … a groundhog was busy foraging on greens in his salad buffet! I managed to get a few images (through the rear window and screen):

Groundhog foraging

Groundhog foraging

After he got hiss fill of plants, he quickly waddled out of the foliage and across the graveled parking lot … probably back to his den for a siesta!

Groundhog racing off through barren ground

I’ll have to keep watch for his next visit to the salad buffet!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 camera
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On” and shooting through a window and screen
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/1000 sec. to 1/3000 sec. (in bright, harsh, afternoon light)

 

 

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Happy Hibiscus

Today’s post features a wildflower I captured from my kayak a few years ago … the Rose Mallow (in the Hibiscus family). Standing erect and blooming with a bright elegance, I was able to kayak pretty close to a stand of these wildflowers that were growing in shallow water at Bittern Bottoms CA (Missouri):

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 camera
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Handheld in the kayak, with IS “On”
  • ISO 2000
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/60 sec.

 

 

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Frosty Face

Today’s post features an image I captured in Yellowstone NP this past February.

Bison are readily seen in the winter landscapes of Yellowstone NP. How can you hide all that dark coat against the snow?!

Bison in snow

Photographic Equipment Used:

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

 

 

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Not Quite a “Monkey on the Back”

Today’s post features an image captured during my recent winter trip to Teton NP (Wyoming). While photographing elk that winter here, we came upon a group of Bighorn Sheep who were busy grazing and slow traveling along the ridge of a mountain range:

Bighorn Sheep in the Tetons

Did you notice the strange-looking sheep on the right?  A closer look gives us a clearer picture of the reality of the moment:

Bighorn Sheep with Magpie on her back

… a hitchhiking Magpie goes along for the ride!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 camera
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/320 sec.

 

 

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Fun Friday: Love One Another

Today’s post features a common sight in nature, particularly in early spring during mating season. Courtship behavior is often displayed between sexes.

Today I’m featuring a pair of Burrowing Owls (from Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains) and a pair of River Otters (from Amarugia Highlands CA, in west-central Missouri) in my post. Both images were captured early in the year and during the mating season for the two species.

“Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 :

Burrowing Owl pair preening at the burrow entrance

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 10D camera
  • Canon 500mm, f/2.8 IS lens + Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimball head
  • ISO 200 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/11 and f/8
  • Shutter 1/180 sec. and 1/45 sec.

 

 

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Clowns of the River

Today’s post features some of our “water clowns”, the River Otter. When out photographing waterways, I’m always looking for the elusive river otter to appear. When I am graced with an otter showing up, you can usually count on at least a few antics in the water … and they are so curious. I’ve had otters swim back and forth, under my kayak. And they often pop their head out of the water and hold still, while watching me. I even had one incident where an otter grabbed the rear rope handle of the kayak and pulled me backwards in the water!

Unfortunately, the morning I captured these images was not to be any such occurrence. I was not in the kayak, but shooting from the creek bank. But they were still fun to photograph:

River Otter resting on a downed tree in the creek

River Otter resting on a downed tree in the creek

River Otter resting on a downed tree in the creek

And as you will see in my next post, there were actually two otters on this early morning outing.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 10D camera
  • Canon 500mm, f/2.8 IS lens + Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimball head
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/45 sec.

 

 

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Burrowing Beauties

Today’s post features some Burrowing Owls that I captured in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma a few years ago. I always enjoy finding and photographing these small prairie owls.

Burrowing Owl with Tarantula:

Burrowing Owl with Tarantula

Burrowing Owl flying back to burrow with a buffalo chip for the nest:

Burrowing Owl with Buffalo Chip

Burrowing Owl stretching after exiting the burrow (on left side of photo):

Burrowing Owl stretching

In my project of getting my new computer up and running, I hope to be there soon! My old, 13-year-old iMac is way too slow for me anymore … guess that’s what happens when your operating system is so old that it can no longer be updated … and when the software you use for photo editing is getting too advanced for the “old work horse”!  Can’t wait to get everything up and running so I can more efficiently share my experiences with nature!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 10D camera
  • Canon 500mm, f/2.8 IS lens + Canon 1.4x and Canon 2x Teleconverters
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimball head
  • ISO 200, ISO 100 and ISO 800
  • Aperture f/11 and f/8
  • Shutter 1/60 sec., 1/90 sec. and 1/125 sec.

 

 

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Alaskan Ice Cubes

Today’s post features a couple of earlier photos I came across while recently reviewing/editing my Lightroom catalog (as I prepare to move all my photo apps and data to a new computer).

When in Alaska, one of the “must-see’s” is to witness firsthand one of the many glaciers. As the blog title suggests, these natural wonders are extremely compressed ice. Being so compressed, much of the air pockets are eliminated making the ice very tight and under good lighting, pure glacial ice gives a crisp blue color.

Here are a couple of glacier images I captured during one boat trip near some glaciers in Alaska:

Alaska Glacier

Alaska Glacier

And if you are ever in the Juneau area, you can find that several local bars and restaurants offer “glacial ice” in your drinks, claimed to keep your drink “colder, longer”.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 10D camera
  • Canon 300mm, f/2.8 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 100
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/90 sec. and 1/125 sec.

 

 

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Just Because …

Today’s post was published “Just Because … Some Days You Arise and Need a Motivating Kick in the Pants”.

This photo was taken some time ago but I was inclined to publish this image as a way to motivate me (and hopefully, others) as I start off the day. (And if you look closely, there appears to be a second rainbow on the righthand side of this image):

Rainbow Over the Lake

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 camera
  • Canon 28-135mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 70mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/125 sec.

 

 

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