Our Wonderful World – Winter Birds

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As promised, here are tonight’s bird photos from this past Sunday.  As I said, there was finally a break in the cold and rain, and it was a very successful morning in getting some great shots.

Most of all, we were excited to add a new species to our bird list:  the Pine Warbler.  Can you guess which one is the Pine Warbler?  That’s right, the yellow green colored little bird caught sitting on the ground.  It wasn’t an obstacle free shot, kind of the theme for the morning that day, but once again, I’m calling them “Au Naturel” shots.  It’s really hard sometimes to determine exactly which warbler you’re seeing, because so many of them look so very similar.  As far as we can tell, this little guy is the Pine Warbler.  If you’re sure one way or the other, just leave a comment and let me know.  In any case, he’s a colorful beautiful little bird.

Next is the Carolina Chickadee.  There were a few of these just fluttering around all over the place.  I got a bunch of photo opportunities, but I settled on this one.  I think it examples perfectly the cold winter December weather on the birds.  A somewhat cold and gloomy looking sky in the background, the barren tree limbs, and the quaint black and white of the puffed up Chickadee.  It’s not a black and white photo, believe me, it is full HD color.  It is just the natural winter look.

In the featured photo is the illustrious Turkey Vulture.  Not a lot one can say about the “beauty” of this guy, but he no doubt serves a vital purpose in nature.  Even though they may not have the best reputation and have some rude defensive habits if they feel threatened, every single one of us would have to admit to staring up into the sky and watching these lazy gliders cruising along…wishing that we could be them, free and flying high.

Lastly, the common little House Sparrow.  There he was sitting on the top of his world.  What a great setting and a fun shot.  I guess if “His eye is on the sparrow”, then it’s good enough for us to gaze upon as well.

I hope you all enjoyed today’s photos, be sure to press the “Like” button and leave me a comment.  I haven’t heard any feedback either way on the new slideshow presentation, so if you can, leave me a comment on that as well.  Make sure to share our page with all your friends and relatives, and as always, from my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

Our Wonderful World – Birds Plus One

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So for the past week or so, the weather has been less than nice.  Although the cold mornings were “brisk” to say the least, however, if you saw yesterday’s blog post you will know that we didn’t stop going out and getting some great shots.  The rain is a little more challenging…especially some of the torrential downpours we have been experiencing.  But this past Sunday, there was a break in the weather.  So just like us, the birds seemed to be very anxious to get out, look for something to eat, and it appeared to just enjoy the sunshine.  Not to mention, the gray squirrel in the featured photo, which was one of three that was frolicking around.

All of these shots were taken just behind the backyard.  There are about five pine trees and a cedar tree on the one side, a lane going back to the fields in the middle, and a row of pine trees on the other side just next to our pond.

The squirrels, even though there were three of them, were simply not being very cooperative for pictures.  Every time any one of them got somewhat out in the open, there always seemed to be something between my lens and my subject.  A theme that I kind of fought with several of my subjects.  In the end, Mr. Squirrel gave me a pretty decent shot.  There is some “nature” in front of him, but it makes for a good natural setting.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

The Eastern Bluebird on the other hand, was being very cooperative and photogenic.  A perfect profile, nice background, and bright bold colors – especially for a winter bird.  I’ve mentioned before that the Bluebird is one of Monica’s favorites, and it’s pretty easy to see why.  Over and over again I keep looking at this picture and just admire the simple elegance of one nature’s special gifts.

Then there’s the nervous little Nuthatch.  I have to say that these guys have been hard to nail down and get a good shot.  I would describe their demeanor as a combination of a woodpecker and a hummingbird.  They always seem to be on the side of tree (usually the opposite side I’m on) and then very quickly peeking out, maybe landing for a second, and then they are off again.  Even this shot, which is pretty good, is really not the best angle.  But, you have to take what they give you.

Lastly, was the Cedar Waxwing.  A truly beautiful bird:  the tan and brown that looks almost airbrushed on, the bright yellow stripe on the tip of their tail, the faint yellow underbelly, and the black mask it seems to be wearing.  It was almost as if the Bluebirds and the Waxwings were fighting for the best spot in the trees.  A Bluebird would fly to a tree followed by several other Bluebirds, and then the Waxwings would fly over to the same tree and make a ruckus.  And back and forth they seemed to keep going, taking turns on who was first and who was trying to chase the other away.

I’ll have some more pictures tomorrow, as it turned out to be a very good day of bird photography.  Tomorrow I’m double excited because we actually got a new species of bird to share with you all.

Remember, don’t forget to hit the “Like” button below and please share my photos and blog with all of your friends.  Let me know how you like the new slideshow affect I’m using to display the photos.  They view a little larger than the collage and you can always pause it at any time to take a longer look.  As always,  thanks for stopping by and from my camera to yours “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”

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!”