New England Aster, Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine — Sometimes things just work out…right place, right time, and ready…and you bring back a satisfying image from one of your photoprowls. This is pretty simple, just the single flower head in Maine September afternoon light, against a dark background…but the effect, at least to my eye, is memorable. Sony Rx10iv at 513mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This is a different kind of photo than I normally post…or take for that matter, but I could not resist this purple pepper from our garden. We have a very short growing season here on Brown Street, due to the effects of the tide coming up the river on our micro-climate, but we did manage to grow this somewhat magnificent pepper this year. Carol brought it in when it began to pull the pepper plant over. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at about 80mm equivalent. HDR mode. Nominal exposure: ISO 2500 @ f8 @ 1/30th. -1 EV to hold the highlights as much as possible. Program shift for maximum depth of field. Hand held.
When the flower head of Northern Blazing Star is fully open it is difficult to see the structure of the actual flowers. This head is just open enough to see individual blossoms. Northern Blazing Star, as I remind you every year at this time, is a plant with a very limited and rapidly shrinking range. Here in Maine, it is mostly found on the Kennebunk Plains, a remnant sand plain kept open by wildfire in the past, and now maintained by the Nature Conservancy. It is often called “the Blueberry Plains” because of the wild blueberries that grow there. They did a prescribed burn of the section where I go most often last September, and the Blazing Star, which is fire dependent, is coming back strong this year. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Almost all the native (or if not native, at least fully naturalized and gone wild) Day Lilies in our yard are “double flowered.” It is apparently a mutation that produces one flower inside another…similar to the “double roses” that are grown commercially. I don’t know if the Day Lilies were that way when planted, but they have been ever since we have lived here. Ours are also late blooming. The yard around us have lilies at least a week before we do every year. But that could just be our yard, and where it sits in relationship to the river and the road, and how much shade it gets. ?? Anyway, I wait patiently for our double Lilies every year, and enjoy them when they do bloom. Sony Rx10iv at 78mm equivalent, using Sony’s full time macro. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I went back out to the Kennebunk Plains yesterday looking for Wood Lilies and dragonflies…this time to what I think of as the “back” side of the plains…the area along Maguire Road where it runs up toward Route 99 and the “front” side of the plains. I was, again, surprised to find that many of the lilies there were already past their prime. It seems to be an early bloom this year, and the lilies on the back side of the plains, for whatever reason, are always a bit advanced over the lilies on the front side. This is a smallish lily growing all by itself, and I zoomed in close for the shot. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. You will have to indulge me on Wood Lilies. I have several more shots to share, but they only last a few weeks and then they are gone for 12 months. 🙂
The parking lot and trail at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge here in Southern Maine has been closed until just this past weekend, so I have not been able to check on this year’s crop of Jack-in-the-pulpits near the bike rack were they have been growing for several years. Now that the parking lot is open, I stopped by on my eBike to see what was up. I suspect the first plants were transplanted as part of a “wild garden” concept, which has since gone completely wild. The Jacks that grow there are the largest I have ever seen…way larger than I could have ever imagined Jack-in-the-pulpits could get. The oldest plants are over 3 feet tall with many pulpits…and some of the pulpits themselves are 6 inches in length. The leaves can be a foot long. These are really big plants. And they are spreading. There are now two smaller plants along side the bike rack that were definitely not there last year. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths (the Sony has full time macro focus). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Who you calling ugly! The Wood Stork, seen here close up at Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park in Christmas, Florida, USA, is, it is safe to say, not a pretty bird. It is majestic. It is interesting. It is, for those who appreciated such things, even beautiful. But it is not pretty. I remember how excited I was to see my first Wood Stork, years ago, in Georgia. It was only a glimpse through dense brush, but it was certainly memorable. In Florida, they are common in most any wetland, and I have, by now, been really close on several occasions. Every sighting is still memorable! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
A kind of supplement to my Pic for today. A close-up of the wing patterns of the Anhinga. Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park, Christmas, Florida, USA. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I have extolled the virtues of Dave and Dave’s Costa Rica Nature Park for bird photography already, but these shots demonstrate what is possible there once more. Raining hard but I was dry, and the birds are close. They do put out natural banana rounds to bring the birds in, but that is the only way you are likely to get this close to a Green Honeycreeper. This is the female, and it is the “green” in the name. The male is blue-green at best, and most people would call it blue. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
One of the problems with my yearly Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventures in Costa Rica is that the first day is always so spectacular that it sets a high bar for the remainder of the trip. We start in the morning birding around the hotel grounds above San Jose, and then move on to the hummingbirds and barbets and and warblers and butterflies of La Paz Waterfall Gardens…then stop at at the little back deck at Soda Y Mirador Cinchona for toucanets and more barbets and tanagers and guans and more hummingbirds and arrive at Selva Verde in time for the 5 o’clock Howler Monkey serenade. Most people see more birds in that single day than they see in several months in North America. If Costa Rica was not so rich in birds and wildlife and scenery, and it each day did not top the last, the trip might be all downhill after the first day.
I am writing and posting this tonight, for tomorrow morning, since we will meet at 5am to bird the entrance road…the world famous entrance road…to the La Silva Biological Station. La Silva is often sited as having one of the highest biodiversities of anywhere in the world. And then in the afternoon, we will go hunting owls and bats and wood rails, iguanas and glass frogs, with Cope, around his little half acre paradise and the further neighborhood. Better and better.
What we have here is an Emerald, or Blue-throated Emerald Toucanet at Soda Y Mirador Cinchona. There were three, at eye-level and at about 12 feet. Then one came into the fruit feeder at the corner of the porch and sat less than 4 feet from our fascinated and happy faces. I could literally have petted its head as it feed on the fruit. Happy faces indeed.
Posting may be erratic and in the evening instead of the morning as I have a few more minutes after supper than before breakfast. There is no place in the world for bird photography that is better than Costa Rica 🙂