Owlets In Nest

We heard about a Great Horned Owl nest at a local Environmental Center. The nest was in a dead tall tree across the pond and quite high up in the dead tree. I got a few images, but they were quite far away so I will try again with more lens power. While I was there I also shot a 10 frame panorama to show the location of the nest. I shot in a horizontal orientation for a vertical final image.

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Eastern Pondhawk Warming on a Rock

Bad Wing Day For Slaty Blue Dragonfly

Nature Still Life Images From Our Walk

We have been trying to get out and walk more so we were trying the Nature Walk at a local Wildlife Center. It goes through a heavily treed area with ponds and marshy areas, with lots of different plants along the way. I enjoy picking out still life images from what we find along our walk. It can be branches with dried leaves, a feather laying on the ground or almost anything that catches my eye. I especially like shooting 2 to 5 shot panoramas of fallen tree branches. Some have an amazing variety of textures, colors, shadows, etc. Also look for a tree with interesting tree roots, shadows or shapes. Sometimes you find a spot of color when everything else is drab. Look for sunlight highlighting an area of interest. Strong highlighting adds textures or highlights interesting shapes. It is also interesting to look for subjects for some extreme closeups such as 1X to 8X, but that is for a different blog post. To sum it up, it is like a treasure hunt and your techniques can enhance what you find. It also helps you see more and broaden your visual skills. On a walk I usually take 2 cameras, one lightweight m43 with a 14-140mm lens (35mm equiv. of 28mm to 280mm) and a Canon 1D MkIV with either a long lens or a 150mm macro. It depends on how much I want to carry.

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3 shot panorama


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Swan Nest Update

It appears the sixth egg is back in the nest, along with the original five. I do not think the Swan got it back in because it did not seem interested in it at all. Probably one of the staff from the Environmental Center put it back in while she was off the nest.

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First Butterfly of the Season – Mourning Cloak Butterfly

During our walk along the Nature Trail at the McFaul Environmental Center, we spotted the first butterfly of the season, a Mourning Cloak Butterfly. I had never seen one before, so we happy to see it.

All were taken with a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens wide open at f/4 so depth of field was limited. It was moving with the wind so I was trying for the fastest shutter speed I could get with the limited light with all the trees shading the area.

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Mute Swan Nest

This Mute Swan made a nest at a local Nature Center very close to the visitors center. There are six eggs, one which had rolled out of the nest. 

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Lone egg that had rolled out



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Nest with 5 remaining eggs.


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Swan with nest


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Swan adjusting and rolling eggs.


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Swan on nest


Mute Swan Preening

I saw this Mute Swan swimming in the pond at the McFaul Environmental Center. Usually the Swans seem to be protecting a nearby nest, but this one was just swimming & preening in the water. 

All were shot with a m43 Panasonic GH2, LUMIX G VARIO 100-300/F4.0-5.6, 35mm equiv. 600mm

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Mute Swans At The McFaul Environmental Center

I found these Mute Swans at a local Nature Center. They seemed very use to being around people so they came quite close. Perfect for some close up photos.

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Two Shot Panorama combined in Photoshop


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