This is a somewhat awkward season in Southern Maine for photography…and, as it happens, I am rarely in Maine in August. The bird life is kind of quiet, dragonflies and not in flight as much, and we often have blue sky days…not my favorite for landscapes. I generally attend the Tucson Birding Festival the first part of the month and for the past two years have been in Africa late in the month. This year, of course, I am home. 🙂 So, here is a somewhat random abstract shot from along the Bridle Path in Kennebunk. I love what the water and wind does with the salt grass, and what the weather and the years have done to the posts. Sony Rx10iv at about 170mm equivalent. HDR mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Over the years we have a had a lot of Day Lilies in our yard and this year’s blooms are especially nice. Let’s take a moment to celebrate them. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at about 500mm and 90mm equivalent. 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 was headed out on my bike with my camera when I saw this very tattered Swallowtail butterfly working the Day Lilies by our driveway. I managed a few shots before it was off into the trees across the road. It never really posed for me, but I like this shot for its color, composition, and for the dreamy quality. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This spring I ordered some wildflower seed packets, grubbed up some ground in the yard, and sowed them. They are just beginning to bloom. I am not sure what these flowers are, as it was a “New England Mix”. None are very big. The blue is the largest at under an inch, and the little pink one is really tiny at about a quarter of an inch. I am hoping to see more as the summer progresses and that at least some of them are perennials or self seeding. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at various focal lengths. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications (which I also use for macro). Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Snowy Egret: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — You can rule out any trick of perspective here, since the Egret is clearly in front of the Herring Gull, so this gives an accurate idea of just how small a Snowy Egret really is. Way small! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
There is a poem:
The Tiger Swallowtail, drunk on
Marigold nectar, staggered from
flower to flower, letting me take
its picture in its many poses,
recording the accidents of posture
as it probed the blossoms, one
after another. Full wings, both
front and back, and the furry tiger
body, as it came and went, just
at eye-level in the long plastic
planters on the rail of the deck.
What could be finer on a sunny
July afternoon…with the cool
breeze attempting, again and
again, to lift it. It few off, oh
several times, and I waited in
front of the open deck door, for
it to circle back and find fresh
flowers…and it did…giving me
all the Tiger Swallowtail I need.
We get two Tiger Swallowtails here in Southern Maine: The Canadian and the Eastern…and since they overlap, hybrids are always possible, and apparently are becoming more frequent…or at least more frequently observed. Though I have tried, I can not say for sure which one this is. This time of year Eastern is more likely, and it is large and yellow enough to be one…but this butterfly shows at least some of the marks of a Canadian. It is certainly “fresh”…unlike most of the swallowtails I photographed last month, which were all well worn and ragged around the edges. I don’t think I saw a single one with both tails intact. Anyway. I always enjoy Tiger Swallowtails, the biggest and brightest of our New England butterflies. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. On the first shot I used Program Shift to increase depth of field slightly. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. These are both pretty much full frame, just cropped a bit for composition.
Snowy Egret: Kennebunk Maine USA — The Snowy Egret is such an elegant bird, until it isn’t. 🙂 I found this beautiful creature along the margin of Back Creek where it passes under the access road to our local beach. Just doing its Egret thing. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This is a female Spangled Skimmer dragonfly showing to good advantage among the meadow flowers. 🙂 Sometimes nature photography is as much about the “setting” as it is the creature. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Taken at the Forever Wild Preserve in Kennebunk, Maine.
Spangled Skimmer, Forever Wild Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine — I like dragonflies (you might have noticed). They are amazing creatures from a creative design and mechanics point of view, and often aesthetically amazing as well. This skimmer is nothing special to look at while perched, but in flight, those white spots on the wings make a dance like a child swinging a sparkler on the Forth of July. A thing of beauty. And fitting for the day. 🙂 This is not your usual id portrait shot, but I find the pose interesting and the details of face and the plant as well. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.