These blue birds look like their belting out a favorite song in three-part harmony. Actually, they are hoping someone will drop a worm or bug in their mouths. The wide open mouths are a response to a soft whistle from me. Even though I don’t sound anything like a blue bird, the whistle is close enough to make them think lunch is being served.
These blue birds are about a week old and progressing along nicely. However, not everyone in the brood has fared so well. Before the hatch I counted six eggs. It appears that four hatched and survived, but we found one of the four dead and removed it from the nest. (Surprised that the parents hadn’t removed it, since it had been dead for awhile and was smelling really bad.)
They have a couple of weeks to go before they are ready to take to the wing. It’s going to get very crowded in that little box by the time they fledge. There were five that survived to fledgling stage last year. That box was really crowded.
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I looked to see how the birds nesting in the bird houses at our place were doing…and there were new babes. These are freshly hatched tree swallows – a few hours old, at most. You can see at least three that have hatched. The mother started with six eggs and is, no doubt, sitting on the still-to-be-hatched stragglers. In a few hours the hatch should be complete. Then the real work begins.
I also took pictures of the blue birds that are about a week old. Watch for photos of them soon.
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Sometimes being up before sunrise pays off. As evidence, I offer another image captured last Saturday morning (6/18/11).
This is a pre-sunrise view of the lighthouse and pier that extends into Lake Michigan at Kewaunee, WI. This was taken a little before 5 am. I was on the small beach just south of the pier.
If you find this image appealing, I encourage you to share it. Facebook users can simply click the button below. All comments are appreciated.
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As soon as I got up this morning, I headed to the beach in Kewaunee, WI. I thought this might be a good morning for some sunrise photos of the Kewaunee’s lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan. I got plenty of good images.
In this shot, someone, on an early morning walk (shortly after 5 am) along the pier, stops to take in the beautiful sunrise. I’m not positive, but I think they had a camera and were taking pictures.
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Weddings seem perfect for black and white images. (White dresses, black tuxes.) This picture struck me as a good candidate. As you can see, I decided to leave a slight touch of color in the bride’s bouquet.
On their way to together forever, Aaron & Hannah McEnaney were married on June 4, 2011.
(A larger version of this photo may be viewed by clicking on it…especially if you have a large monitor.)
I had the honor of playing the role of Wedding Photographer at our son’s wedding. I took a ton of pictures and this is one of my favorites.
It was an outdoor wedding at the country home of the bride’s parents. The reception was held immediately following the ceremony in a tent on the property. (After a few posed photos of the wedding party and family.) At the head table, the gal’s bouquets were displayed in vases placed directly in front of each gal.
I decided to snap a closeup of the bride’s bouquet. While I was focusing and framing the shot, I noticed the groom having an intimate conversation with his bride. I don’t think they realized I was including them in this shot.
Even though the majority of the image is filled with gorgeous flowers in the foreground, your eyes are drawn to the blurred couple in the background.
I think this photo captures them…their couple personality…perfectly. (If you knew them you would think, “That is so them.”) Purposely keeping them out of focus conveys the intimacy of the moment and stirs the imagination. What do you suppose this groom is whispering to his bride?
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My wife said, “Come look at the sky; the colors are weird.”
As the sun was setting the evening of Wednesday, June 8, 2011 a storm front was moving in. Of course, I grabbed my camera. With a little digital magic I was able to capture the dramatic transition from peaceful sunset to stormy night.
My camera (Sony SLT-A55) has a mode it calls “Sweep Panorama” that stitches multiple photos together to make a larger image. I used it and got a nice image…but it wasn’t large enough to capture what was really happening. I could get some of the dark, angry clouds or some of the calmer sunset – but not both. The lens and photo frame were not large enough to fit the early evening drama in the same image.
In order to capture the full scene I wanted, I took five separate photos and stitched them together on my computer with a handy, free program from Microsoft called Image Composite Editor, or ICE.
As I said, this image is the composite of five individual shots. The final, combined image was over 100 mega pixels. And, as if that weren’t large enough, I actually tried to join 17 different individual photos together, but the final image turned out bent and distorted.
I definitely recommend you view the larger image. To do so, just click the photo.
Feel free to leave a comment and if you like the image, share it with others.
The first of the poppies has popped! Sara has a small patch of poppies in a flower bed by the house. I marvel at how these small, fuzzy pods burst into large colorful blooms each spring.
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This is my favorite hummingbird photo of the year…so far. I’ve been trying to capture the hummingbirds that frequent the feeders at our house this spring. I’ve been able to grab a few images that I’ve liked. However, the best of them have been images of birds perched on a feeder. (See my earlier posts – Intense Eater and All Puffed Up)
My ultimate photographic goal is to capture them in flight. I want to freeze their little wings so that you can see the detail of every feather. (A nearly impossible task for an amateur like me.)
This photo doesn’t achieve my ultimate goal – to capture the detail of the hummingbird’s wings – but it captures my soul. I don’t want this to come across as bragging. I realize not everyone will find this image as compelling as I do. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?) But to this beholder, this image is like something from a dream.
I took this in the early morning light (around 5 am). The angle and quality of the sunrise lighting gives it depth. I think the colors are wonderful. The bird’s head being in focus while the rest of the body is slightly out of focus draws your attention to it’s stare; it’s character. (I also love its little feet.) Add the background blur and the whole image takes on an artistic quality. The overall effect reminds me of a watercolor painting.
Adding to the wonder of it all (at least for me) is the fact that I did very little to this image in post-processing. Aside from cropping and increasing the contrast a smidge, this is the image that came out of the camera. (My Sony SLT-A55 with the standard kit lens.)
This is one you’ll want to see closer. Just click on the photo to view a larger version.
This is a Pileated Woodpecker. These birds are huge. It’s become a regular visitor to the jumbo suet feeder in our yard. The jumbo feeder is about 5 times the size of a normal suet feeder, and this bird makes it look small. The feeder hangs from a tree limb and acts like a swing when this big bruiser is hanging on.
These are strange looking birds. It’s believed a Pileated’s red crest and sound was inspiration for the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker.
According to Wikipedia.org – – The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a very large North American woodpecker, almost crow sized, inhabiting deciduous forests in eastern North America, the Great Lakes, the boreal forests of Canada, and parts of the Pacific coast. It is also the largest woodpecker in America.
The call is a wild laugh, similar to the Northern Flicker. Its drumming can be very loud, often sounding like someone striking a tree with a hammer. This bird favors mature forests, but has adapted to use second-growth stands and heavily wooded parks as well.
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