Pine Grosbeak: Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — I will admit to being the tinniest bit jealous of all the folks in Maine who have had Pine Grosbeaks in their yards this winter. It is an irruption year for northern finches in general, and Grosbeaks in particular, including the Pine, but as far as I know they have not gotten as far south as Kennebunk. But then I found 6 birds, all young or female (it is impossible to tell which without a hand’s on examination), feeding on fallen apples under the trees by the education building at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms. The reserve is just south of the Kennebunk town line, less than 5 miles from my house. They have temporarily detoured the main hiking trail right under the trees, and the birds were so busy with the winter dried apples that they paid no attention to passing hikers, or photographers. I had forgotten how big Pine Grosbeaks are…almost the size of a Robin…but definitely a finch. The massive bill is suited for anything from pine nuts to thistle seed, and they were definitely digging something in the shriveled apples…not maybe the apple flesh itself as they were doing a lot of tossing…they may have been after the seeds. Anyway, I have a lot of photos of immature or female Pine Grosbeaks now. I am still jealous of those who have had males…but, actually, I have only seen a few photos of males from Maine this year. I am definitely keeping my eyes out. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.
American Robin: Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — Another view of one of the robins in the large flock, 100 or more, working the edge of the woods and marsh at Laudholm Farms this week. They were actively feeding, mostly deep in the brush. This shot serves as a demonstration of why wildlife photographers like the Sony Rx10iv. It is a crop at 600mm equivalent, and I used auto focus…flexible movable spot. The camera was able to sort out the jumble of branches and lock on to the bird. 🙂 Of course the conditions were ideal for the camera. Good direct light. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.
American Robin: Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wells, Maine, USA — the folks in Washington at the inaugural celebrations did not have a lock on fashion statements on Inauguration Day. This Robin at Laudholm Farms was rocking a skirt to set any fashionista’s heart a-flutter. I saw several Robins doing this, perhaps as a defense against a chilly wind. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Significant crop. ISO 100 @ f5 @ 1/1000th.
Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — These viral growths in tree bark are common in the forest in Southern Maine, but I have rarely seen a tree with so many or such a convoluted tale to tell. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with Auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 320 @ f3.2 @ 1/60th.
Even without snow it is clearly winter in Maine. This was only just after 2 in the afternoon on a late December day, and look at those shadows. We are looking out over the Little River Marsh…or one of many Little River marshes up and down the coast of Maine. This one is Laudholm Farms. There is another “Little River” as close as Goose Rocks, 10 miles up the coast, and many more as you travel north. If you look closely my shadow is among the trees. And so Pic for today says goodby to 2020. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Wild Turkey: Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — We have had unusually large flocks of Wild Turkeys this year, all fall, out in yards and fields, feeding. Maybe they feel more secure with the limits on human activity imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Certainly their domestic brethren are getting a break this year, as the traditional 20 pound turkey on the table to feed 20 is just not happening…or should not be happening…in the middle of this most recent and most severe outbreak of the virus. Still we have much to be thankful for, and the opportunity to observe wild birds is high on my list. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
We were up in the 70s on Saturday…a real Indian Summer. I did a bit of research on the term “Indian Summer”…to see how much cultural baggage it might carry…but its origins are hazy at best, and it seems never to have had a negative connotation. It…a warm dry spell in October or November…is called different things in different cultures. It is “old woman’s summer” in German speaking countries, “poor man’s summer” in slavic countries, “gypsy summer” in the Balkans, “little summer” in South America (where it happens in May), and “little autumn of the geese” in Gaelic. Many people name it for one of the Saints whose Saint Day falls in late fall…though the particular Saint varies by region. At any rate, I don’t feel too guilty calling it Indian Summer. To celebrate I got my ebike out and took a ride. I was arrested by this scene as I crossed the bridge over the Merriland River in Wells on my way to Laudholm Farms. Sony Rx10iv at about 135mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/320th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
What makes fall fall is not only the color of the maple and oak leaves, it is the feel and texture of them underfoot…the carpet. Not so good when it covers your lawn, but it certainly gives the fall forest its character. Sony a6500 with 18mm equivalent ultra wide combo lens set. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine.
Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA. I try to remember to do at a least a few vertical framings on every outing, just for the difference in perspective. This is a shot with the Sony a6500 and the 18mm equivalent ultra-wide combo lens (16mm f2.8 plus Ultra Wide converter). Program mode with HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Fall is passing rapidly in Maine…I think the last of the maple leaves came off the trees in our yard during the storm on Friday, but we are still at the point where there the forests and wooded neighborhoods are alive with color. So much beauty. I don’t know where to look. 🙂 That might be the theme of this photo as well. I am sometimes accused of taking photos of nothing…or photos with no “center of interest”…but the truth is, I like photos where the photo itself is the center of interest…not photos of some “thing” but photos that attempt present the scene as it is seen…with all the clutter, color, texture, detail that fascinate the eye…or at least my eyes. This is a scene from the woods at Laudholm Farms, in Wells, Maine, along the trail at the south edge of the property. Sony a6500 with the 18mm equivalent ultra-wide lens combo. Program mode with HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.