Posts Tagged ‘Nature Photography’

I have been traveling in North Dakota a recently and had the good fortune to run across one of my favorite weather phenomena — hoarfrost. Hoarfrost is a heavy coating of ice that is typically deposited on vegetation leading to a winter wonderland appearance.  As the temperature of moist air drops its ability to hold moisture is reduced. When the air temperature is above freezing, dew forms. At temperatures fall below freezing the moisture in saturated air may condense directly to ice (hoarfrost).  Here are some photos of hoarfrost in North Dakota.

Hoarfrost1

Hoafrost2

Trip to 4Bears - December 04, 2014 - 0023-Edit

Trip to 4Bears - December 04, 2014 - 0013-Edit

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Madison’s Warner Park is less than 2 miles (3 km) from my home. It is a multi-use urban park that features a small baseball stadium, soccer fields, picnic areas, large parking lots, as well as a pond, semi-natural fields and wooded areas.

The pond attracts quite a bit of wildlife. While I typically have photographed birds in and around the pond, I recently decided to spend some time watching the turtles that live in the pond. All of the turtles that I saw were painted turtles. Painted turtles are the most widespread species of turtle in North American For good or ill because the pond at Warner Park is an urban multi-use park, it is subject to an oversupply of nutrients resulting in substantial algae blooms. The pictures that follow show the turtles in the pond. Since I am not a wildlife biologist, While the pond looked pretty bad, the turtles seemed to be in pretty good shape. I imagine they were trying to peacefully sun themselves, but they spent a fair amount of their time jockeying for position on the two major logs in the area of the pond I was watching.

Three Turtles

 

Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 136_7_8pmatrix-Edit-Edit

Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 709 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 680 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 670 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 637 Turtles - September 26, 2014 - 604

 

I was photographing some of the ornamental grasses in our yard recently when I happened to see this ladybug. Since I know that there are a lot of people who like ladybugs (although perhaps a more stylized ladybug than the actual one shown here:), I wanted to share it.

Ladybug

Although we normally have large numbers of monarch butterflies coming through our area starting in mid- to late-August last year we had very few. I was concerned that we might have even fewer given the loud noise and clouds of dust that have been one of the primary features of Maple Bluff during all of the ongoing construction. Wrongo (no need to check your dictionary, it is a made up word meaning I was totally wrong). There are many more monarchs than there were last year  and while I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of them during the heaviest phases of construction, it may well be that they were there while I was paying attention to the construction activities.  Here are a few shots of recent monarch activity.

This monarch butterfly is flying right next to our ongoing street  s

This monarch is flying right next to our ongoing construction

 

As I was writing this it dawned on me that the flowers had not been quite so bright this year and perhaps a coating of dust had something to do with that (at least between rains).

The dust may have helped to make more muted  pastels.

Dust or not, the monarchs’ appetites remain good.

Monarch in front garden - August 25, 2014 - 0014-2

 

 

 

Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 269

I continue to go through the hundreds of photos I took of a duck and her ducklings the other day. Here is another photo of a duck exercising its wings; this time with a straight on view. It is pretty cool how they instinctively “know” that they have to be doing this. Somehow it seems like a nifty symbol of striving.

FYI, I strongly suspect that the motion blur behind the duckling was due to the ruffling of the larger duck’s feathers although it almost makes it look like the duckling was landing, which it was not. The exposure was ISO 400 1/90 sec. at f/5.6

Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 137

I was out with my camera recently having no intention of photographing ducks when I ran into a duck and her ducklings. It was a beautiful day. I had a fully charged battery in my camera as well as a large memory card and, most important, a willingness to wait and watch for several hours to see what might be seen. In summary, I saw both more and less than I expected and hope for.  There was no troop of duckling waddling down to the water and launching themselves off from shore as a small flotilla, which would have been fun but is also visible enough so that it has been photographed a lot. What I captured instead were images like this one – a duckling exercising its wings. I’m sure this is a common enough event in the life of a duckling but it isn’t so in your face cool (like a duckling flotilla) that it gets a great deal of photographic attention. I don’t recall having seen a photo of this necessary little piece of a duckling’s life before, so in that sense I captured more than I expected. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

My second contributions to this week’ s Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story  comes in two, you might call them flavors. Both concern the same baby ducklings and the same momma duck. I think the photos tells the tale with some immediacy — don’t get too close I’ve got my eye on you — but it is up to the viewer to judge.Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 392

Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 409