Mountain Trogon, Honduras

Male and female Mountain Trogon, Opatoro Highlands, Honduras.

I am making up panels for my article on the Honduran Highlands from my trip with Alex Alvarado and Honduran Birds. These shots of a male and female Mountain Trogon from our day in the Opatoro Highlands shows my favorite bird of the day. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 1250. Processed in Polarr.

Little Green Bees, Wood Lily

Green Metallic Bee on Wood Lily, Kennebunk Plains WMA, Maine

I only saw my first tiny Green Metallic Bee a few years ago. Before that I was totally unaware of their existence…and not blissfully unaware either. When I first saw one I was amazed. What a creature. So small. So shinny. So green. So metallic. I had to google the creature to find out what it was. So okay, finding out it was called a “Green Metallic Bee” was bit of a let-down. I expected something more exotic maybe…but still, they are fascinating creatures. Combine Green Metallic Bees with the brief beauty of Wood Lily, and it is almost too much to bear. 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 640. Processed in Polarr.

Wood Lily

We went refrigerator shopping in Sanford yesterday morning and drove past the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, which reminded me that the Wood Lilies might be in bloom. It is getting on for that time of year. I checked by Smugmug albums from last year to see when I had photographed them…July 17…and the weather app for yesterday and today. Rain in forecast for most of today, so I got on my eBike and rode out to the Plains yesterday afternoon, despite the heavy overcast overhead. It has been a dry summer. We desperately need the rain today, so I hope it does come. I rode out from under the cloud shadow by the time I got to the plains. The Wood Lilies are in bloom, but the dryness has made this year’s crop much more sparse, and the plants themselves are, surprisingly, much taller. Last year most of the lilies were right down at ground level. This year I found none under 2 feet tall. Also, almost all the lilies I found in bloom were tucked up under other plants, in partial shade for some of the day, or in the full shade at the edge of the forest. There is nothing that quite matches the color of the Wood Lily. If the bloom were not so brief, and the plants not so particular in their habitat, the Wood Lily would have been domesticated long ago as an ornamental. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with Program shift for greater depth of field. 1/320th @ f8 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Purple Gallinule, Honduras

Purple Gallinule, Lake Yojoa, Honduras

I am still working on the full article on my trip with Honduran Birds and Alex Alvarado to the highlands of Honduras in May, and looking back through the photos I am finding a lot that I have not yet shared. This Purple Gallinule was catching snails along the boardwalk that lead to the boat dock at a resort at the edge of Lake Yojoa. I like the bird, and I like the multicolored setting of the mismatched boardwalk boards. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 400. Processed in Polarr.

Copper and Blues

Bog Copper, and three Summer Azures, 2 well worn males, Laudholm Farms, Wells Maine

There were lots of tiny butterflies at Laudholm Farms when I was looking for Grass Pink Orchids the other day. I am not an expert on Blues, or butterflies in general, but I think I have 3 Summer Azures here. The first bug is almost certainly a Bog Copper. That is the upper surface of the wing. The wing toward us is edge on. Until recently the Summer Azure was considered the summer form of the Spring Azure, but the thinking now is that it is a separate species. Though they are well worn, I think there is too much dark fringe on the open wings of these to be Spring Azures. The closed wing Blue is harder, but since Summers are flying in Southern Maine in July, I am calling it a Summer. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong 🙂 Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th or 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.

Grass Pink Orchid

Grass Pink Orchid, Laudholm Farms, Wells Maine

I hiked around the external loop at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms in Wells, Maine yesterday, looking, in part, for Grass Pink Orchids in the little remnant bog there. I only found a few…much less than last year’s show, and only one close enough to the boardwalk to photograph. The Grass Pink is one of the few orchids that hang upside down…with the tongue on top. It is actually a normal orchid, but the stem twists as the flower develops. It is certainly one of the beauties of July in Southern Maine. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent from about 4 feet. Program mode with Program shift for greater depth of field. f11 @ 1/200th @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

12 Spotted Skimmer

12 Spotted Skimmer, SMHC Ponds, Kennebunk Maine

There have been 12 Spotted Skimmer Dragonflies around the drainage ponds at the Southern Maine Health Care center in Kennebunk for a week now, but yesterday was the first day I caught them sitting long enough for photos. The 12 Spot has to be one of the more striking dragonflies, but it also one of the most common, at least here in Southern Maine, so we often pass it by without a second look. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/800th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Seeing in Black and White

Rachel Carson NWR Headquarters, Wells, Maine

It does not happen often, but occasionally I will find myself seeing in Black and White…not literally, of course, but seeing the possibility of a Black and White image in the world of color. And once I see my first potential B&W, generally I see several. And then it is gone. I may not take another image for intentional B&W treatment for months. 🙂 It happened yesterday while walking the trail at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine. These are “extreme HDR” images from the Sony RX10iv…taken with HDR set to a +/- 6 EV difference. I applied 1930s B&W film filters in Polarr and then tweaked the results to taste with the “light” controls. Borders were added in PhotoShop Express. And the panel was assembled in FrameMagic. I find the B&W images only really pop when displayed on a black background…hence the borders…but even the panel looks best in full screen mode with a dark background.

Another Swallowtail on Butterfly Weed

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Butterfly Weed, Kancamagus Highway, NH

This is another shot of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Butterfly Weed from the South Falls Recreation Area on the Kancamagus Highway between Conway and Lincoln, New Hampshire. The Swallowtail is certainly as attractive from the underside as it is from the upper, and this shot emphasizes the length and grace of the wings. Not to mention the attractive setting of the two colors of Butterfly Weed. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/1000th @ f5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Swallowtail on Butterfly Weed

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Butterfly Weed, Lower Falls Recreation Site, Kancamagus Highway, NH

We drove the Kancamagus Highway from Conway to Lincoln, New Hampshire yesterday, on our way to the Flume Gorge, and stopped at the Lower Falls Recreation Area just to see what that was all about. There are Butterfly Weed plantings by the fee station, and the flowers were attracting a half dozen Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies. Most of them were well worn this late in the Swallowtail season, but there was at least one nice fresh specimen…caught here for your pleasure (and mine). Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/800th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.