Our Wonderful World!

Icy View 1Icy View 2

It’s 17°F out on Tuesday morning, mid December.  Actually a much lower temperature than we should be having.  But what a beautiful frosted world this cold snap made for us to enjoy.

The combinations of the ice covered branches, frosted leaves and grass, and a very slow moving icy fog above the water, work together to create a “Winter Wonderland” to coin a seasonal phrase.  Monica was able to amazingly capture a couple of great photos of this cold paradise.  I showed them at work and someone said, “You get to wake up to this every morning!?”  I chuckled and said “Yeah.”  Later on, as I was putting these photos on my computer as part of the changing backgrounds, I thought about the question posed to me earlier:  “You get to wake up to this every morning?”  And I must say, I became overwhelmed with the thought of just how blessed I am to live in the midst of such wondrous beauty.

Some days there may be too much rain, or too much sunshine, or too much wind.  One morning you wake up and it should be 50° outside and it’s only 17°.  What do you do?  Go back to bed?  Stay inside and complain?  No.  Go outside and brave the rain, withstand the sunshine, lean into the wind, and stand fast in the icy coldness.  Why, because you might just miss the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen if you decide to stay inside.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and even more, I hope you “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

 

 

Wonderful Wild World – Goosed!

 

“Gooses!  Geeses!  I want my goose to lay golden eggs!”  If you’re old enough to remember the original Willy Wonka, you’ll recognize my opening line.  Not much hope of me finding a golden egg, but I did have a golden time photographing some of Canada’s finest.

Almost every morning we’ve seen a flock of geese on the pond.  The other morning I went out to start my truck to warm it up for work, and I counted 21 fly overhead and land just to my left.  I have no idea how to tell which are male and which are female, I really should look it up.  I imagine it is more of a behavior thing than appearance differences, when trying to determine their gender.  I guess it really doesn’t matter, as I’m sure they have it all figured out…lol.

The main problem with the geese flying in every morning, is that the light is never very good over the pond in the early morning hours.  This makes it difficult to get a bright, vivid, and those “jump off the page” photos, but getting a good shot of the beautiful nature around me is always a blessing.

Sometimes it’s hard to focus on all of the details of getting a “great shot”:  ISO, shutter speed, F-stop, etc., because I just get caught up in watching the birds.  The geese are so powerful when they beat the air into submission on take off, yet so graceful and peaceful when they are just swimming around feeding and resting.  A true picture of nature:  powerful, graceful, beautiful, stoic, cautious, and yet at peace.

Hit me up with a comment, click the “Like” button, follow the blog, and share with all of your friends.  We’re up to 25 different countries that have viewed and followed the blog posts, so make sure you don’t get left behind.  I’m still taking orders for any prints you may want for Christmas, but time is running out, so be sure to email me and let me know.

Have a great time out in the nature around you, send me some of your best pics so I can share in your adventure.  In the meantime, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

 

 

Wonderful Wild World – Heron and Mallards

 

 

As you may have noticed, I changed the name of the blog series from “3 Hour Photo Trips” to “Wonderful Wild World.”  I’m sure we will continue to take our 3 hour photo trips, but so very often, because of the blessed place we call home, it really is no trip at all – it’s literally right outside the back door.  In any case, the original idea was to show everyone that you don’t have to go to Africa, Australia or some remote island to get amazing shots of amazing wildlife.  You can literally step out in your own backyard, take a trip to a local park, or take that trip to Australia, and get some wonderful wildlife shots everywhere.  If anyone is willing to pay the way, I’d love to go to Australia and photograph some amazing wildlife from “Down Under”, but until then, I’ll keep photographing what I can, where I can, and when I can.

Take the above for instance:  what a beautiful group of Mallard ducks that made our pond their home for a little while.  I love the grouping in the featured photo above, how they just lined up perfectly for a great shot.  The three males staggered in perfect formation, and a female guide-on calling cadence as it were.

My second favorite Mallard shot, is the one where I captured two of them with their mouths open, just quacking along and having a great time.  This time I was able to get  three males and two females in the shot, which is probably why the males are quacking.  I’m sure they are trying to get and keep the attention of the females.  Hopefully our pond will become a seasonal home for all of these water fowl, and we certainly hope to see some nests and eggs as well, when the time is right.

Over this past weekend, we were taking some pictures of the kids, and Monica saw the Great Blue Heron at the other end of the pond.  I didn’t have the 500 mm lens with me, as we were taking pictures of people and not wonderful wildlife.  By the time I made it back to the house and swapped lenses, he had walked half way around the pond.  So I managed to get a shot off from across the pond, but then decided I would walk around the other direction, and meet up with him on the other side.  It worked, and I was able to get a couple of really good shots off.  However, Herons that are inside parks are somewhat used to people walking around, Heron’s that land in the wild – not so much.  I got a little too close and when I stepped out from behind a tree, he saw me and immediately leapt into the sky and took off.  I was able to get a few in flight shots off, but unfortunately the open side of the pond, the direction he flew, was almost directly into the sun and made him more of a shadow than I would have wanted.  I did get one shot off out of the bunch that came out pretty good, and I hope you enjoy.

In any case, it was a great time stalking the Mallards and the Blue Heron.  Thanks go out to Monica for seeing the Heron to begin with and letting me know, or I would have missed him for sure.  Don’t forget to hit the “Like” button below, hit the “Follow” button to make sure you don’t miss any photos, and by all means share my website with all of your friends.

Christmas is just around the corner, so if you’d like a print of any of my photos, let me know as soon as possible so I can make sure you get them in time.  I hope you all enjoy the photos as much as we do taking them, and until next time, from my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

3 Hour Photo Trip – The New Place!

 

 

Well it has been a few weeks since my last blog. A lot has been happening. As you all knew, we had to move to a new home. So far it has been wonderful! The land is beautiful, there seems to be multiple animals around, although we haven’t seen too many birds. But we have seen rabbits (no pictures yet, they were all running from Ripley!), squirrels, deer, and some water birds: Mallards, Canadian Geese, and even a Killdeer. I’ve even been able to do a little fishing because of the warm southern temps, and have caught several small bass.

We seem to be in an internet black hole at our new address. We have been arguing with Comcast and every other internet service provider available, and to no avail. So, today, I’m typing out the blog at home and have actually found a public internet location to load up what I’ve typed and a few pictures.

The deer pictured above, and others that we have seen, have all been too far away to get a really good high detail photo, but since this was our first sighting, I still had to capture a photo of what I could. There were actually two that evening, what looked like a mother and a yearling. I haven’t seen a buck yet, but we have seen much larger footprints all around.

The squirrels were actually somewhat of a surprise. Typically now a days, you will only see gray squirrels, but we seem to have several much of these Fox Squirrels. If you’re not familiar with these Fox squirrels, they are much bigger (about twice the size), somewhat brown in color, but sow some black on there backs and face. I was able to get some good shots of this guy right in our backyard. They are actually through the window pane, so there was some detail lost, but the ones of him standing up still came out very good. The other squirrel that we have seen only once, looks very similar to this one, except his nose is pure white. It looks like he is carrying a marshmallow around in his mouth. I am desperately waiting to get a good shot of him.

All in all the new place has been fantastic and we are looking forward to many more exciting photo opportunities. Hopefully we will have internet service this week and I will be able to continue the blog with the photos we have of the other wildlife and water fowl.

Don’t forget to hit the like button below, share with all of your friends, and remember that Christmas is coming and a photo or two would make a wonderful gift for someone that enjoys wildlife. I have many photos in my storage, so if there’s something you are interested in and don’t see, please send me an email or a message of what it is, and I will get back to you immediately.

Until next time, from my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

3 Hour Photo Trips – Fall Bloomers

 

Fall bloomers, and no I’m not talking about your grandma’s old fashioned undergarments.  Flowers!  Beautiful late fall flowers!

The featured photograph above and the pink double flower below are the gorgeous Azaleas.  Being from the north originally, we are used to seeing these beauties only blooming once during the season.  However, down here in the wonderful warm south, they seem to bloom longer and multiple times.  And even though it is late in the season, they don’t seem any less vibrant.

The other flowers of multiple colors of pink, purple, and red are Zinnias.  These are one of my wife’s favorites.  We didn’t get these planted very early in the spring, but now that it has cooled down, they have really taken off.  And like the Azaleas, they are still very vibrant and bold in color.

Over the next few days of this weekend, as I mentioned before, we will be moving about 2 miles down the road.  I will most definitely miss the backyard here, the small moss covered pond, and the variety of trees and birds that they held.  But our new place has a much larger pond and 56 acres of various trees and wildlife.  We were told that this past spring there were ducks and geese that stayed and actually hatched babies on the pond.  I can only imagine some of the pictures we will be able to get while we are there.

Don’t forget to hit the “Like” button below, leave me a comment, and please share my page, RMGoldsmithphotography.com, with all of your friends.  A quick shout out to the two new countries that have visited my blog:  the Netherlands and Malaysia.  That makes a total of 25 different countries around the world that have “hopefully” enjoyed our photos as much as we did taking and sharing them.

So, from my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

3 Hour Photo Trips – Fruits of Fall

Leaf and spotted seedPersimmon Grouping

Ah fall, with all of its colorful sights and scents, a wonderful time of the year.  We have been moving for the last couple of weeks, as we have the benefit this time of just moving a load or two every night in the pickup truck, since we are only moving about a mile or so down the road.  So we haven’t had a lot of time to go on any 3 Hour Photo Trips recently, but I’ve tried to go outside and walk around at least once a day or so.  Some days, like on my last blog, you luck out and get a Blue Jay and a Cardinal in the same shot.  Other days, no birds, but there’s always something to pause and photograph.

This trip around the yard Monica was with me.  It was still pretty early, everything was damp and covered in dew and it created just a quiet and peaceful time.  In the back part of our yard, there are a lot of oak trees and pines; all of which are very mature trees.  In the first photo just below the title above, is a small round “fruit” of some kind.  I haven’t determined what this is, they were here all summer as well as now.  When you cut them open, they seem to be dried out and empty for the most part.  I haven’t seen them actually on trees, only on the ground.  Monica and I have looked them up and just can’t seem to figure out their identity.  If you know, please leave me a comment and let me know.

In the featured photo at the top, is one of natures sweetest offerings:  a ripe persimmon that has fallen off the tree.  Fortunately for me, the deer hadn’t found this one yet, so it was all mine.  Little is as sweet and tasty like a fresh ripe persimmon.  On the flip side, let me offer a “buyer beware” type of comment:  not much is more bitter and mouth drying than an unripe persimmon.  If it soft and mushy feeling, you are safe to indulge.  If it’s firm really at all, you’re better off passing it by.

In my last photo, we were next to the pond and found the a lifecycle of a fall persimmon. One that’s dead and dried out, one that’s almost dried out, and one that’s a little past ripe but still edible.

Spiderweb and Dew

This photo didn’t fit the “Fruits of Fall” motif of the blog, but it was taken the same morning and really captures the whole feeling of a fall morning.  Dew covered, damp, still a little cool out, and the sun just starting to peak out and warm things up.

This week two more countries were added as viewers of the blog, so welcome Poland and Malaysia!  Press the “Like” button below and leave me a comment, especially if you know what to call the spotted thing above.

So from my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!

3 Hour Photo Trip – A Flicker of Blue & Red

BlueJay & CardinalNorthern Flicker

Saturday morning walk about, not much going on, however, I did get a couple of really neat shots.  A Northern Flicker and a two for one shot:  a Blue Jay and a Cardinal.

My favorite is the Blue Jay and Cardinal shot.  Believe it or not, it has been very difficult for me to get a good shot of a Blue Jay since we moved out into the country.  I think my wife hit the nail on the head this morning:  the Jays we had in town we spoiled and relatively tame.  Out here in the country, these Jays are wild, timid, and normally are hidden behind several branches and leaves.

This morning, I was lucky enough to capture two of some of our most colorful birds.  At the same time in the same place.  An awesome shot!  And as you can see, they both had their eye on me the whole time.

About 20 minutes later, I heard the raspy, squealy, chirpy sound of what I thought was going to be a woodpecker of some sort.  Once I found him up in the top of a dead tree, and focused in, I discovered that it was a Northern Flicker.  A member of the woodpecker family, but much different, and covered with all the spots.

So what began as a quiet morning and not much to photograph, ended up with a couple of great images, great colors, and a surprise visitor.  As always I ask you to click the “Like” button below, and click on the “Comment” button and leave me a word or two.  If you’d like a print of these shots or any of my photos, just email me, or leave me a comment.

Until next time, from my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”