Posts Tagged ‘Warner Park’

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



Great Blue Heron - Taking Off

The large Great Blue Heron in Madison’s Warner Park (pictured in the earlier set of photos I posted) eventually decided it was time to move on for the day. Here he is at the moment when his flight begins.



I have been watching several Great Blue Herons that have been staying in Madison’s Warner Park recently and wanted to share a few of my photos. I intended to put high enough resolution images into the slide show so that you could learn a bit about the herons while looking at the images while not making them too large. I hope it worked. I have several more interesting shots that I will be getting into another post shortly. I hope you enjoy these photos.

I was very curious about how still these geese were. Watching them in the pond at Warner Park they appeared to be motionless. Because of that, I decided to try an experiment to see if I could get a successful HDR of them as they floated in the pond.

Warner Park - September 30, 2013 - 063_4_5pmatrix-Edit

You don’t see many High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos of animals, particularly ones floating in a pond, for the simple reason that they are usually moving. In order to get a successful HDR image you need at least two and usually three or more photos in which everything in each of the photos is nearly motionless vis-à-vis the other photo(s). If not, you will have “ghosts” when the images are combines to make the final image. Tiny movements by the geese in the three photos used here would be okay, but an inch of movement by any of the Geese would be a problem because each exposure was only 1/40th of a second long (it would normally be better to vary the shutter speed and keep the aperture the same, but I didn’t want to push my luck on how still the geese could be). Since the photo worked, you can see that the geese are remarkably still.

Readers of this blog know that I like to experiment with my photos. I don’t do it all of the time, but I like to try things just to see if they work out. That is the truly great thing about digital photography is that it gives one the freedom to try new things without incurring great expense.

There are several Great Blue Herons that have been visiting Madison’s Warner Park recently. Here are three photos of them doing what they do most of the time, which is stand around:).

Great Blue Heron - Warner Park 9-1-13

Great Blue Heron - September 25, 2013 - 076-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit

Great Blue Heron - September 25, 2013 - 008

Great Blue Heron - September 25, 2013 - 057-Edit (Nature Walk)

I love this photo, but I want to tell you that Great Blue Herons are not actually this blue. That said, the heron looks this blue in the RAW file from which this photo comes. I believe the unusual color here is due to the sunlight which has been filtered through the tree cover. I know the highly unusual supercharged blue of the heron is a small piece of the photo and I could have made it larger, but then I would have lost the ambience and explanation for the color. I took this photo recently in Madison’s Warner Park.  This photo, incidentally, is of the hidden side of Warner Park. The park is generally seen as a multi-purpose recreational park (home to the Madison Mallards [a summer collegiate baseball team], numerous softball fields, a large community recreation center, big parking lots, etc.). I doubt that most people think there is any wildlife besides a few ducks in the park.

I hope you enjoy this submission for the Weekly Photo Challenge – Saturated.