Skip to content

Posts from the ‘wildlife’ Category

Through the looking glass…

IMG_2509-1

Since I was a little girl, I have been enamored by deer. Their silent existence, their seamless grace, those big eyes… what’s not to love? This summer our family has been graced by two families of deer living in a tiny thicket at the back of our yard. Two does gave birth to three fawns, and every couple of days, they wander out at a time when I happen to be glancing out the window, which causes me, each time, to stand entranced as if I’ve never seen such a creature before.

This particular morning they wandered to a vantage point with a very near window, and though I am usually loathe to try to shoot through glass (except that which exists within my lens!) I went for it. Perhaps they are NatGeo-worthy, but I am glad to have captured a bit of their essence, up close, for my own memories. Hope you enjoy…

IMG_2511-2 IMG_2520-Edit-1

Mama, where art thou?

IMG_2271-1-2

 

All day long yesterday, my family and I watched as a family of young Mockingbird nestlings underwent the transition phase of their life, where they were unceremoniously dumped on the ground from the safety of the nest, only to lay stunned until mama and papa swooped in to chirp out new directions and set them on a path to independence. Three babies that plopped out of a nest right next to our home, so my husband, children and I watched with interest and admiration as the bird family took the necessary  steps over the next hours to ensure the youngsters’ survival. At times, it looked as though one or more might not make it–they sat shivering, bobbing, and cheeping near each other, but then, every so often, one of the parents would swoop in, bring them a morsel, and encourage them to traverse across the lawn to relative safety, though it must have looked like a football field of distance on such new, unsteady legs!  This little guy above apparently only made it halfway across the lawn when he stopped. I saw him at a distance and after realizing he was not simply a mound of leaves in the grass, grabbed my telephoto to capture a true baby bird’s eye view. After I clicked a few frames, I backed off a bit, and sure enough, mama approached, she fed him an energy snack, and then he was off–hopping and bopping toward the brush to reunite with the rest of the clan.  Several more shots of the family’s activities yesterday can be seen below. Hope you enjoy!

IMG_2218-1-2 IMG_2234-1 IMG_2254-1 IMG_2255-2 IMG_2256-3

IMG_2261-1

Signs of spring…

 

I know it’s practically summer already, but this image of a newly hatched baby Robin certainly screams “springtime.” Of course, Baby is probably screaming something more along the lines of “Breakfast!” I was lucky enough to have mama Robin build this nest and lay her three eggs right near a corner of my house. Lucky me–a short stepladder was all that was needed to provide me a surreptitious peek into the first hours of life of this tiny chick. I will attempt to sneak back over the next few days, and see how the little family is doing. Hopefully we’ll have siblings, soon! And more than ever, this shot proves that you don’t have to travel the world over to find engaging and rewarding photographic images. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes, and be open to what is in front of you. In fact, with all the technology, gear, and high-tech equipment we sometimes feel we need as photographers, I have to say thanks, Mother Nature,  for giving me the perfect photographer’s gift! Hope you enjoy…

On high alert…

Well, hello there, Big Ears! This mother bunny has been a resident in our yard for a couple of years now, and I have photographed her many times. (She has a little notch in her far ear that makes her distinctive.) But the story that unfolded the day I shot this image was something I’d never seen before. If she looks like she is on high alert–pink ears standing at attention–it’s because she is. Paraphrasing the veteran radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, stay tuned to the next post for “the rest of the story.” Hope you enjoy…

Winter buffer…

While it’s been a mild winter season for many residents here in the U.S., there is indeed a chill is in the air this morning. This little bird has the right idea–creating a natural barrier of warm air and down, against the outdoor elements. My favorite feature of this shot from last winter? The tiny sprinkles of snow that dot the frame, giving a true feel for the cold in the air that morning. Hope you enjoy…

Soaring….

Soaring… this image capsulizes a perfect afternoon spent yesterday, enjoying the serene countryside near Franklin, TN. The autumn hues could not have been more beautiful–golds, reds, and flaming oranges, all contrasting beautifully against a perfect azur sky. This magnificent hawk, swooping, gliding, dipping and turning, seemed to be equally entranced with his environs. It was a lucky break that I managed to capture this shot with a 10-24 mm wide angle lens (I was composing landscapes at the time) rather than a more suitable telephoto–a pleasant surprise when I viewed in onscreen last night. Even the trails of sun flare, which I normally avoid at all costs, seem to add the perfect component to this photograph. There are but precious few of these perfect autumn days each year, which is why, I suppose they are to be savored to the fullest. For me, this hawk sort of sums up how they make me feel. Hope you enjoy…

f/9, 1/250th sec, ISO 100, 24 mm

Delicate as a flower…

A friend who recently wanted to decorate a room with some bird images got me interested in pursuing this challenging aspect of wildlife photography. Not challenging because it is inherently dangerous, or required exotic world travel and expense–rather just challenging because it is harder than it seems to capture birds really well… that is, in-focus, with narrow depth of field and frankly, doing something interesting. I purchased a couple of feeders recently to help engage my subjects in a location where I could easily observe their behaviors and study how best to get in close and capture them. Funny enough, I have enjoyed watching them as much if not more outside the lens as through it… really studying all the different varieties, and their interactions has been fascinating.

Here is one image I particularly liked from this past week. While he’s not in flight (a hummingbird in flight being one of the holy grails of bird photography), I really liked capturing him during a moment of respite. He seems to be savoring the sweet nectar within before flitting off at 100 mph again from bush to bush. Hopefully, more to come with my birding adventures! Hope you enjoy…

f/5.0, 1/200th, ISO 400, 225 mm

Ready for his closeup …

This little guy was clearly outgunned by the squirrels and bluejays vying for the abundant birdseed we put out this weekend, but he figured out that the scraps on the ground nearby were being overlooked by his larger competitors. I managed to get pretty close to watch him while he proceeded to stuff those little cheeks quite full, then bounded away to store his cache. Amazingly, for this shot, he actually stopped and stood quite still for about a minute, as if to say, “OK, did you get my good side?” Hope you enjoy…

f/8, 1/250th, ISO 400, 260 mm

Furry inspiration…

The cooler temps brought more activity to the backyard this weekend, and I had no shortage of fascinating subjects within feet of my patio. This cute little furry visitor was one of several I watched yesterday afternoon, scurrying around, and looting the store of birdseed we recently set out to attract some different variety of feathered friends. I love the detail on her little hands wrapped around some morsel she’s obviously happy to have found! Hope you enjoy…

f/14, 1/80th sec, !SO 400, 225 mm

Appetizer anyone?

A couple of nights I was tracking a large raven, watching him gracefully swoop from tree to tree, when I drew a bead on the dainty morsel he was holding onto, clearly outlined in his silhouette. Hmm… I thought… this would be a fairly good coup if I actually capture his beak, and that berry, in my final photograph. Click, click, click… Things moved pretty rapidly after this shot was taken as he gathered his momentum and was aloft once more. When I look at the image now, a moment captured in time, it almost seems he must have been savoring the morsel, if only for a second. Hope you enjoy…

f/5.6, 1/3200 sec, ISO 400, 300 mm