Yellow-rumpled Warbler: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Yesterday morning I was bemoaning the lack of warblers on our yard list. I see the flood of warbler photos on Facebook, and can not help but grieve a bit that I am not headed for Ohio’s Magee Marsh and the Biggest Week in American Birding this year, where for 10 days I could bathe myself in warblers at eye-level and 20 species in a day. I even used to have a half-way decent spring warbler spot here near the house, but it has been posted out of bounds (and never was that safe, being on the train tracks) so I have not been there in years. I had Ohio in May, and didn’t really need to find warblers in Maine. The pandemic has changed everything. I even wrote a little poem about it, which I will post as my poem of the day. (See it here: https://day-poems.tumblr.com/post/649611122967789568/427-if-you-are-like-me-you-have-to-look-twice-at) I had no sooner stood up from writing that and glanced out the back deck doors, when a Yellow-rumpled Warbler flew into the suet feeder. What? That will teach me! First ever in our yard! Of course it was gone by the time I got the camera, but still. A spring bright Yellow-rump…Audubon’s flavor…as you can see from this photo which I finally managed late in the day, and from too far away, but, again, still! A Yellow-dumped Warbler (not another Pine) in our yard! Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm equivalent (2x Clear Image Zoom and cropped to maybe 2400mm equivalent). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
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.
Standing on the Route 1 bridge in Kennebunk, Maine, looking mostly south-east along the flow of the river toward the ocean on a December day. The sun was in and out and I caught it out as I crossed the bridge. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with HDR on auto. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/360th.
Something a bit different from my backyard birds today. 🙂 We are expecting our first real snow tonight, but for yesterday the landscape was just huddling under a brooding sky, waiting on winter to decide to come. That tree out there has had, some years, a Snowy Owl, and I always start checking it every trip to the beach along about now. Not yet. Maybe not at all this year. Still waiting on that decision as well. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th. -.3 EV.
White-breasted Nuthatch: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Endlessly entertaining. Birds around the feeder and the house. Nuthatches in particular. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
White-breasted Nuthatch: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Nuthatches are always fun to watch as they get up to (and down to) the strangest things. This one almost escaped the frame, but I caught him at the edge and was able to crop for composition. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Tufted Titmouse: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — If the November sun is a different kind of light, the November shade is a different kind of shade. All summer photography under the pines were one set of feeders are was difficulty because of the abundance of vegetation and the depth of the shade. Now, as the leaves are mostly fallen, and the light is coming in more obliquely, and from across the yard as opposed to behind the house, the open shade under the pines is becoming slightly more photographically assessable. This Tufted Titmouse only sat for a second, as is their habit, but long enough for a couple of frames. The light brings out the subtle hues of the bird’s plumage. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Mousam River at Rt. 9 in Kennebunk, Maine, USA. — I was out for an exercise and pick-up-my-prescriptions ride on my ebike, running ahead of the storm front that came through, and I had to stop on the Rt. 9 bridge over the Mousam River to capture the scene. Powerful sky 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with Auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I am just back from 5 days in Yellowstone National Park, where Melissa Pinta and I taught a ZEISS digiscoping workshop for the Yellowstone Forever Institute. These are from our first wildlife encounter in the park (not counting the Elk on the lawns at the entrance in Gardner). We were headed for the Lamar Buffalo Ranch where the workshop was to be held and came on this small group of American Bison in the beautiful light of late afternoon. As we watched, the sun came over the group and we had to unpack the ZEISS Harpia spotting scopes and tripods from our luggage and set up…it was after all, a digiscoping weekend. 🙂 The first shot is with my Sony a5100 and the 18mm equivalent ultra wide before the cloud moved, and the second shot is digiscoped with the ZEISS Harpia 85mm and the Sony a6500 with the 20mm f2.8 (kindly provided by Sony for the workshop). The two images were taken from the same spot. Digiscoping, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the art of taking a photo with a digital camera through the eyepiece of a spotting scope, generally using some kind of mount or adapter to hold the camera (even your phone) centered over the eyepiece. ZEISS provides such an adapter for Mirrorless Camera Systems, like the Sony aXXXX series. The equivalent focal length, and magnification, can be much greater than you can get with a conventional camera lens, and, of course, especially if you use your phone, it is quick easy once you have the scope set up to just grab an extreme telephoto view. The way I do it is still Point and Shoot…since I let the camera do all the work of exposure and final focus. 🙂
It was windy yesterday, and though the temperature was only in the low 30s, it was bitter cold to be out. I only lasted less than an hour on my photoprowl along the Kennebunk Bridle Path, before my hands were hurting enough so it was not fun anymore. Still I found these interesting (to me) patterns in the ice in the little water channels next to path where it passes through the woods behind the marsh. They, and patterns like them, inspired this poem.
Whatever is written in the ice
at the edge of forest pools in
January, is evidently in code,
or some long forgotten Cyrillic
alphabet, all styalized curves,
more drawn than written, as
though by monks illuminating
medieval manuscripts by candle
light. It will take a better mind
than mine to decipher it. But
then, I am pretty certain the
message is not for me anyway…
Sony RX10III @ 77mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: 1/250th @ ISO 100 @ f3.5. Processed and cropped for composition in Polarr on my iPad Pro.