Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

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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How To Hide If You’re A Moose   4 comments


How To Hide If You're A Moose

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It’s not a very effective technique, if you were to ask me.

Moose are pretty amazing creatures. They can be huge, gangly, and somewhat threatening when close by, especially during rutting season in autumn. Despite their size, they can turn into the woods and disappear after taking only a few steps. Yeah… they blend.

As we entered the area where we were going to camp for the night, we saw this bull at the side of the road. Two other people had already drawn him out of the woods by making various moose sounds and calls – again, not really recommended during rutting season unless you like surprises. But their efforts gave us the opportunity to shoot a number of frames of this beautiful beast, a rare treat because most bulls stay deep in the woods during the rut.

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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

One More for the Rhode Island Red   5 comments


One More for the Rhode Island Red

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C’mon, face it… Sometimes you just gotta scratch.

This is the final chicken image for a while, after All Natural Chicken and Jailbreak!. These little birds are challenging to photograph, so many of the shots from that day didn’t turn out well. The girls rarely stand still, and when they peck and scratch for food, they move incredibly fast, making a sharp capture almost impossible. And it started raining heavily… Some shoots just don’t go as planned.

I’ll look forward to getting out for more landscape images, soon. It’ll seem easy after chasing these kids around the lawn.

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Jailbreak!   6 comments


Jailbreak!

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Just prior to shooting the previous image, All Natural Chicken, an alarm sounded as several hens conspired to break out of jail. Hey, the scratch feed inside the coop wasn’t all that bad, but nobody can resist fresh lawn bugs for an afternoon snack.

The white bird, Little Miss Delaware, is such a goodie two-shoes. Evidently, she decided not to risk the escape. Or… was she the lookout?

Analysis of the surveillance camera footage have identified the culprits as (from L to R):

“Barbie” – an American Dominique.

“Little Miss Delaware” – a Delaware (She probably snitched on the others.)

“Red Girl” – Rhode Island Red

“EE” – An Easter Egger who lays colorful eggs.

If you see these hens on the loose, follow carefully at a distance and wait. I like mine over-easy.

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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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