Our Wonderful World – Duck, Duck, Goose!

As promised yesterday, here comes the Canada Goose, gooses, geese, geeses, or whatever is the plural of a Canada Goose. In any case, they were incredibly active and gave me multiple opportunities to get some pretty amazing shots. Often they will just kind of swim around the pond, dunk their head, and shake a little. Today they were diving under water up to about 7 or 8 seconds, rolling over on their back with their webbed feet just flailing around, and then a lot of standing up and flapping their wings.

The Nikon D7200 did a great job in the rainy, gloomy, low light, to the point of even freezing the water droplets in mid air during their flapping. Paired up with our Nikkor 200-500 mm lens, the only factor becomes the one behind the viewfinder.

What barely got started as a gloomy weekend forecast, turned out to be a pretty amazing photo shoot. The five tom turkeys making their grand appearance, and then the ballet of the Canada Goose doing their water dancing. All in all, not a bad Saturday morning for photography.

I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I did taking them, and if so, please don’t forget to press the “Like” button below. Leave me a comment or two as well, I love getting to hear from you all: from the critiques to the “atta boys” I enjoy them both.

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

Our Wonderful World – Talking Turkey

Well yesterday was Saturday, and per the standard course of weather lately, it was cold and raining. We decided to just stay in, thinking that nothing much would be out, and we really didn’t want to drive somewhere and just get cold and wet for nothing. I know, we got lazy.

However, the wildlife around our house proved us wrong. As you can see from the pictures above, several tom turkeys decided it was a great day to get out and about. You can see the rain coming down even in the pictures. All in all there were five male turkeys that were strutting their stuff. We didn’t see any hens, so I’m not sure who they were showing off for, so I’m thinking maybe they just wanted their pictures taken…lol.

They stayed pretty far away, which made it difficult to get any real detailed up close or cropped pictures. Like I said, it was rainy, overcast, and dreary. But we were able to get a few good pics. I especially like the “group” photos of all five birds. They look like something that would look amazing printed out and hanging in your office or study…hint, hint.

About an hour after the turkeys made their appearance, our pond was inundated by a flock of Canada Geese. We usually have these geese on the pond almost every day, but today they were very active. This story and the accompanying photos will be on tomorrows blog, so that’s all I can say today about them.

Be sure to hit the “Like” button below, share the page with all your friends, and leave me a comment or two. We found a place to print the photos on metal as well as regular canvas or the tile squares. I must say, the metal prints look amazing. If you’re interested, please leave me a comment.

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

Our Wonderful World – Red Dawn

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There’s an old saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.  Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.”  I assume that there is some meteorological science behind that saying, but more importantly, a red sky in the morning just looks beautiful.

Yesterday morning, as Monica and I were getting ready for work, we both looked out the window and saw a beautiful sunrise coming up over the field.  I stepped out into the garage to take a photo or two, and noticed the silo and electric poles were all silhouetted out in the foreground.  What a dramatic contrasting shot this would make – and it certainly did not disappoint.

One of the main tenants of photography is called the “Rule of Thirds.”  Long story short, it has to do with placing the focal points of your photograph in the cross-points of some imaginary lines.  The theory is that people don’t focus on the middle of a photograph, they usually focus on one of these four points.  That being said, it is not a hard and fast rule, but it is interesting to see the balance difference.  In most of the pictures today, I used this rule, and in one of the pictures I used a more centered approach.

Whatever your preference is, please leave me a comment as to which you think is more appealing and balanced.  I look forward to getting some responses and comments.  Be sure to hit the “Like” button below and please share with all of your friends.  I hope you enjoy the photos today of a beautiful southern winter sunrise, and that it makes your day just a little “brighter.”

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

Our Wonderful World – Bobbin’ Robin

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The Paul Revere of springtime!  The signal that sunshine and warmth is ever so near!  Except when you live in the southern United States – then it is neither of those things, and is probably only passing through enjoying the warmer winter weather of the south.

Whatever the reason they were rummaging around in my backyard today when I got home for work today, it seems like it has been so long since we’ve had any sunshine and decent weather, I had to try and get a few photos before the sun went down completely.  If nothing else, I’m getting some practice at taking pictures in poor lighting, no sunlight, and the cold.

In spite of all the above, the red Robins were bob, bob, bobbin’ all around in the leaves trying to stir up some food.  Scratching, scraping at the ground, and throwing leaves out of their way.  I watched them for a while and didn’t see any of them with worms in their mouth (I was hoping for that shot) so they were either not having much luck or eating some small bugs.

They did afford me some nice poses, passing glances, and showed off their colorful rusty red breast.  All in all, not a bad half hour of relaxation after a long day’s work.  I hope you enjoyed the photos today, and make sure you press the “Like” button below and leave me a comment or two.

Like you, I’m looking forward to warm and sunny weather, until then, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

Our Wonderful World – American Kestrel

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After about another whole week of rainy weather, today I woke up to blue skies and the sun shining.  So, we found another place to look for some wildlife and especially birds.  We Googled some birding spots near us, hoping to find a new location, and sure enough a place we had not heard of was found:  Eagle Lake Refuge.  According to their website it is an especially good place for waterfowl and wading birds, and the best viewing season  is in the winter.  Unfortunately, by the time we got ready to go, it was about 1 pm when we got there and most of the ducks were out on the water and very much aware of our intrusion into their refuge and wanted nothing to do with us getting closer than 300 yards.  Not very good for photography.

Our plans are to go back again one day, before the the sunrise, and set up a blind closer to the water and try to get some good shots.  We saw mostly ducks today, and were never close enough to get a good look to see what kind they were.  I could see that they were not Mallards, they seem to have a dark head, bill, and body, with a single white stripe on the top of their wings.  If you have any thoughts of what they could be, please leave a comment and let me know.

But, all was most certainly not lost.  We were able to get some decent shots of a new species for us:  the American Kestrel.  A beautiful raptor of the Falcon family, yet even this guy stayed about 100 plus yards away.  But you can still make out his bold colors, spots, stripes, and that familiar falcon-like head with the dark stripe like a teardrop under his eyes.

We picked up 3 new countries in the last week that have viewed our blog:  Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Argentina.  Bringing the total number of countries that have viewed my photos and read my blog to 30!  So be sure to spread the word about rmgoldsmithphotography.com and press the “Like” button below.  Be sure to leave me a comment or two as I love to hear from you.  From my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

Our Wonderful World! The Cedar’s!

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In Greek mythology, Daedalus fashioned himself and his son Icarus, wings made of wax and feathers.  Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too low to the sea.  Icarus failed to listen to his father’s cautions, and flew much too high and the sun melted his wings.  Icarus ended up falling from the sky into the sea and perished, thus the start of the old saying, “Don’t fly too close to the sun.”

I’m not sure of the validity of Icarus, but I know that these beautiful Cedar Waxwings seemed to have no issue flying high, low, fast, slow, or in any other way.  And they certainly look good doing it.  According to what I read, the red tips on their wings are actually a waxy secretion from eating an abundance of red berries, but again, I don’t think they are worried about the same fate as Icarus.

The trees in the backyard were full of these guys.  As you can see, though, they seemed to like the persimmon trees the best.  For a good sized song bird, the Waxwings are actually very active and seem to be on the move a lot, and somehow, always seem to find a way to be behind a branch or facing the wrong direction.  Out of about 25 pictures or so, these are among the few that came out unobstructed.

I guess I should apologize for the waxwing that seems to be mooning the camera, but I guess in every crowd, even birds, there’s always that one guy…lol.  However, in this picture you get a clear view of the bright yellow tip on their tails thanks to his “bending over” for the shot.  Also, the one on the left is showing off both the yellow tail feathers and the bright red waxy wing tips.

I hope you enjoyed these photos today and that maybe, they gave the New Year a little brighter beginning this morning.  Be sure to share the web page, rmgoldsmithphotography.com with all of your friends and family.  If you like a print of any of our photos, please let me know.  Search the media library and if you see anything you like, just let me know.  As always, press the “Like” button below and leave me a comment about what you like.

So Happy New Year and from my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

Our Wonderful World! – Sardis Lake, MS

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Well we ended the year with one last trip to one of our favorite birding honey-spots:  Sardis Lake, MS.  Once again, this local man made lake did not disappoint…spoiler alert, we found a wonderful Bald Eagle out in the wild!

That’s right, if you watch all of the pictures in the slideshow, you’ll see the beautiful Bald Eagle.  Monica spied him all the way on the other side of the lake with her monocular.  I snapped off a bunch of pictures with all kinds of different settings, as it was very overcast today and he was so far away.  We tried driving to different locations to get different angles and hopefully closer, but to no avail.  We even parked and walked about a mile to a point where we thought we would be up close and personal with him, but he was still too far around the corner and we just couldn’t see him.  After that, it was almost 5 pm and getting way too dark.  So, thrilled that we got to see a Bald Eagle in the wild, but sure wish we could have got a little closer.

Another hard to capture bird that we got a good shot of today:  the Belted Kingfisher.  These guys are very hard to get a good photo of because they are always on the move and are very fast.  I’m not a fan of getting  birds on wires, I prefer to get them in their natural habitat, but this was the only shot I got of this guy.  He landed here and then flew off and didn’t come back while we were there waiting.

Another rare find today as well:  the Hooded Merganser.  What a beautiful duck, both the male and female.  We actually saw about 10 of them, but no matter where we went, they always seem to either fly away or swim farther and farther away from us.  I did manage to get a few good shots.

The juvenile Red Headed Woodpecker was pretty cool as well.  At first I wasn’t sure what he was exactly, until I got home and was able to put him on the laptop and see a clearer picture of him.  You can see that he is just starting to get his red head feathers in and is losing some of his juvenile plumage.  No doubt a product of this year’s mating season.

So even though it was a little cool, a little cloudy, and even sprinkled a little once, you just never know what you might find.  Be sure to press the “Like” button below and leave me a comment or two.  A shout out to a new viewer, bringing the country list to 26:  Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Please share the blog with all of your friends and thanks for the support.  I hope you all have a wonderful and exciting New Year!  From my camera to yours, Enjoy Our Wonderful World!