One of my favorite memories of our garden in Eastern Pennsylvania was watching hummingbirds flicker from bloom to bloom in our patch of red bee balm (Monarda). Having a grouping of bee balm in our Eastern Washington Heatherwood perennial meadow was a priority. We planted about 6 plants and sure enough, bees and hummingbirds flocked to sample the sweet nectar.
Joshua Tree Grove Joshua Tree National Park, California
We saw a majestic big horn sheep wandering around the hills in the park. However, I chose this image as a better representative of the park.
Now here’s the story behind the title of this post. One of my close friends (Mr. G.H. Ferguson) is a wildlife photographer. On this outing, he decided to travel light and carry only a 35mm wide angle lens. About 10 minutes into our hike, out popped a majestic big horn sheep on a ridge right in front of us. He looked down at his 35mm lens, looked up at me, and said aw Xyx?//. The good news was that I had my 200mm telephoto and was able to get a few good shots. Ferg, this image is for you!
Moving from one vacation spot to another, our next adventure was to Orlando, FL. The Orlando Wetlands Park was one of our destinations. Migratory birds are all around. Some of them are pretty tame. This sandhill crane swooped down about 20 yards behind and started to walk up along side of us. I got so excited that I couldn’t get my camera focused. Most of my images were either fuzzy or had the bird’s head clipped off. Sometimes is just best to put the camera down and just take in the experience.
Frequently I look out my window and see this American Kestral perched on a pear tree watching over the pasture below. This seems to be one of its favorite spots. This morning, I waited for the sun to rise a little and shine through the morning fog to silhouette the Kestral. It was a beautiful way to start the morning.
Last spring I took 3500 images of Sandhill Cranes near Othello, WA in a 3-day period. After the trip, I quickly went through and picked a couple of my favorites. Today, I decided to go back and pick out a few more of my best images. I found this one of a crane landing in a field. I used an equivalent of a 600mm lens, but still did not get a good close-up. This image was further enlarged by a factor of 4. As expected, the resultant image was not very sharp.
So what can you do with a fuzzy image??? Why not try an abstract processing method. I used Topaz Impression to get this result.
Lesson Learned: Don’t take so many darn images. It is a real pain to review 3500 images. (I am still not done.) I took a break to post this one.
Here is the rest of the romantic story from yesterdays post. The male on the right is the one that is working bringing in the materials for the nest. The one on the left is the one who is having the fun. The female in the middle innocently looks on. Oh well!
One year ago, I and a couple of great friends were getting ready to go down to Florida to photograph at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. I am not a wildlife photographer, even though I work hard at it when I get a chance. What I enjoy the most is just watching the bird or animal behavior. If a good image comes to me, I will gladly receive it.
We watched this pair of herons at a wetlands reserve between Titusville and Orlando. They had quite an interesting behavior pattern. The female (the one behind) was not a very faithful partner. The male would leave the female to gather more twigs to build the nest. While he was away, another male would fly in and mate with the female. The first male would see the other and rush in with his beak filled with a branch chasing the second male away. He would stay in the nest with ruffled feathers for a while, then go back out and collect more branches. As soon as he left, the other male would fly back in. This occurred over and over while we watched the show.
I may be imagining this, to me it looks like the male in the foreground looks a little pissed off, while the female looks a little bored and disgruntled.
I was at an overlook on the Beartooth Highway engulfed observing a panoramic view of the Absaroka Range. I had my camera on my tripod set for a panoramic shot sequence. I happened to look down and saw this little critter looking back at me. I slowly left my camera, walked back to my car, picked up my “wildlife configured camera” and quickly grabbed a shot of this little guy before he ducked away.
When I am photographing wildlife and landscapes together, I usually carry two cameras configured with different lenses. Changing lenses in the field takes me too long. It really payed off this time.