Archive for the ‘animal’ Tag

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?   4 comments


Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

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One evening, I was wandering around the garden with my new D600 and a sweet hunk of glass, the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8, when Susan told me of a bee sleeping in a nearby purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), a plant with many uses not the least of which is… attracting bees.

Now, I don’t know what they put in that stuff, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen bees passed out after collecting a load of pollen. One time, we witnessed a bee waking up on a flower, stumbling around in a bit of stupor, then clumsily flying away to what we presume would be his home base.

Gardens are lovely because as you spend more time in the relatively confined space, you begin to focus in on little things that you might ordinarily miss. And if you sit long enough, nature comes to you, and you begin to recognize the patterns that individual creatures take through the landscape.

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REALLY Angry Bird   5 comments


Really Angry Bird

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He probably has every right to be angry, what with a camera pointed at his bath.

Mockingbirds are particularly cantankerous. They’ll squawk, sing countless songs, and chase interloping birds out of their territory. And around here, they’re everywhere.

This image was captured by setting the Nikon D7000 behind some cover foliage, then using a wireless remote trigger to take the shot. One thing we have over the birds is technology.

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A Mother’s Kiss   8 comments


A Mother's Kiss

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Love, for some, is another mouthful of juicy bugs.

We’ve set up a couple of birdhouses out in the garden. This one was made by Jeff Garvey, who creates beautiful birdhouses made entirely from reclaimed pieces of abandoned barns and houses. (Be sure to check out his Facebook page Recycling is for the Birds.)

Mom and Dad have been working tirelessly to bring the young ones all the food they need. One day, as Mom stopped at the birdbath nearby, she looked up as though to say, “I’m just so tired,” and then flew off in search of more food.

The day after this image was taken, the little ones left the nest. They’re still hanging around the homestead, getting the lay of the land and more bug chow from the parents.

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Another Way To Hide If You’re A Moose   6 comments


Another Way To Hide If You're A Moose

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Yesterday, we learned the first lesson of How To Hide If You’re A Moose. Since our friend’s technique wasn’t very effective, he decided to try a new tactic – hiding behind a big pile of road sand.

I hated to tell the poor guy that it still wasn’t working very well. The antlers were a sure giveaway.

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(Note: In all seriousness, we were just tracking the moose’s activity from a safe distance as he wandered around the location, browsing and looking at these two-legged creatures with idle curiosity. All moose images were taken with a 300mm lens.)

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Amy   10 comments


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“The way I figure it, dogs are the most advanced beings on the planet. They’re fully self-realized. They possess unconditional love. They forgive instantly. They’re empathetic and sympathetic. They’re incapable of guile or dishonesty. They’re always in the moment, not carrying the past or fretting about the future. Everything’s always new and wonderful. Every place is always the best place to be.”

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“I say they’re the most advanced beings and I mean that by our standards; human standards. If you think about the qualities you’d like to possess, the ideal qualities – unconditional love, loyalty, devotion, unwavering friendship, forgiveness, selflessness, sincerity, being fully present in the moment, happiness – qualities we uphold as the loftiest ideals to which we might aspire, they look very much like a good dog; dog consciousness. Of course, by those same ideal standards, humans are far and away the least evolved beings on the planet.”

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Amy, Christmas 2009

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“We sit on the steps together for the next hour and share happy and sad stories about the enlightened beings we have known.”

– Jed McKenna

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Backyard, Deck 08-15-09

All Natural Chicken   6 comments


All Natural Chicken

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At the home of a family friend, one of her hens patrols the yard. In addition to providing natural insect control, she also produces wonderful omelettes.

Not only is this lovely bird grown naturally and organically, but I was amazed at how little post-processing went into this image, which is a departure from my usual workflow. Just a little vignette, a touch of contrast, and she’s done.

Next up… “Jailbreak!”

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When You Smile for the Camera, I Know They’re Gonna Love It   6 comments


When You Smile for the Camera, I Know They're Gonna Love It

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A smiling dragonfly takes time for a photo opportunity on a corn tassel. I’m not sure if she’s resting, or just loves hamming it up for the camera.

It’s a happy coincidence that the color in the dragonfly almost perfectly matched the coloration in the corn silk. She seems to have an uncanny ability to accessorize.

(The title is a lyric from Peg by Steely Dan.)

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I’ll soon be posting a short video on YouTube showing how this image was created. You can access my channel by clicking HERE.

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My Leaf – My Rules   16 comments


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In our garden, every visiting bee is a precious resource. It’s an interesting turnabout, since many of us were raised to fear their sting. Now, we encourage them in, give them a wide berth, and let them go about the business of pollinating the plants. No bees == No fruit.

This little guy was taking a break on some black bean plants, allowing me the chance to shoot from all angles. As I swung around for a front-on view, he kicked his leg forward to grab the leaf. I imagined that he was getting a bit possessive about it, so I deferred the closer shot and backed up a bit.

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Mom Told Me to Freeze   11 comments


Mom Told Me to Freeze

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Each spring, we become aware of at least one momma rabbit who sets up her den somewhere in the yard. It’s predictable that at some point, we’ll see one if not several young bunnies exploring the new, glorious, nutrient-rich environment that we call “garden.”

This year has been better than previous years. We know of only one young’n – this one – and he seems perfectly content to munch on what’s left of our field of crimson clover. So far, he has bypassed all the good, human stuff.

Like the Carolina anoles, under the right circumstances a bunny can present a great photo op, as they freeze perfectly still when confronted with danger. In this case the danger was in the form of some big, two-legged galoot with a 300mm lens. While shooting, I told him that we have to learn to coexist for our mutual benefit.

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Maternal Instinct   3 comments


Maternal Instinct

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One morning recently, Susan told me that there was something interesting in the garden, that I might want to get the camera. Outside, on a section of floating row cover, she had found this little momma zealously protecting her egg case. Despite the fact that the spider looks big and mean, she’s less than half an inch — more like a 1/4 inch — from left to right.

I went in for the macro. She started waving me off. Finally, she raised her front legs as though to say, “Yeah, just try it, Bucko.”

We anticipate the birth of a few hundred offspring. Ah, the sound of little footsteps.

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