Canada Geese: Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Wells, Maine, USA — I know Canada Geese are reaching “vermin” status in some parts of the country, but I still like to see them as they gather in Southern Maine in late fall. They are still mostly in the marshes, not on folks lawns here yet. (My attitude might be different if I were a golfer, but I am not.) This group was in the marsh beside the Merriland River where it flows through Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, below the bluff where the headquarters buildings are and the Well’s National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms on the other side of the river. Sony Rx10iv at ~580 equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 400 and 640 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Mallard ducks: Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, Wells, Maine, USA — the only thing special about this pair of Mallards from Branch Brook at Rachel Carson is that they were apparently music lovers…either that or they just came downstream to see what the awful racket was as I sat on the observation deck by the marsh playing my Native American Style flute. 🙂 (Of course it is almost impossible to make anything resembling a racket with a NAS flute…it is a naturally melodic instrument…which is why I play it.) They were still shy. Once I noticed them, cruising down under the bank, and stoped playing to take a few photos, they circled back upstream, and then when I started to play again, got up and flew away right in front of me toward the junction of Branch Brook with the Merriland River across the marsh. I wish I had had my camera up at that point…but at least I played them away on their journey. Sony Rx10iv at 580mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photo. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly: Kennebunk and Wells, Maine, USA — The Autumn Meadowhawk is the only dragonfly flying this first week in November here in southern Maine, but there are still fair numbers to be seen, almost anywhere where there is water nearby. The top one was along the Kennebunk Bridle Path where it crosses a more or less fresh water marsh beside the Mousam River. There are always dragonflies there and it is one of my favorite places to look for them. The bottom one was taken in the deep woods at Laudholm Farms, with only a little stream nearby, not a place I would particularly look for any kind of dragonfly. And not only are they still flying, I had a mating pair land on my chest (I was wearing a bight yellow hoodie for hunting season safety and perhaps the color attracted them). Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100 @ f4.5 and f4 @ 1/1000th and 1/500th.
As I have mentioned several times now, we don‘t seem to have had as much red in our foliage this autumn as I remember in the past. That does not mean, however, that we had had no red at all 🙂 And, what red there is, really stands out! This is at Laudholm Farms in Wells, Maine. iPhone SE with the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.
North American Porcupine: Wells Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — As I came to the junction of the Piliger Trail and the Laudholm Connector there was a family standing just beyond under the old apple trees, with cell phones out, looking into the deeper brush, so of course, I had to go see what they were seeing. Nothing much they said, just a porcupine in the apple tree. And indeed, there was one, out on a branch asleep when I first saw it. Not easy to see as it blended well with the bark of the tree. I (again, of course), took hundreds of photos from all different angles, mostly trying to get a clear shot of the face. It is pretty rare in my experience to see a healthy porcupine right out in plain sight (as opposed to flattened the road). In fact, my last “out in the open” sighing of a porcupine was the Mexican Porcupine in Honduras many years ago. When I had my photos, I left the porcupine to the attention of others who had come down the path after me. Going up the hill toward the Knight Trail and back to my eTrike, I was pretty full of the experience (and myself to be honest) and decided to take a look at a few of the photos on the back of the camera just to check if I had ever really gotten the face. The face is easily lost, black on black within the gray cowl of the quills. “NO CARD, CAN NOT DISPLAY” What? This was not a good time for the camera to tell me that! Not useful at all. Very disappointing. I mean, why not tell me that when I took my first photo of the porcupine? This is not the first time this has happened to me, but the first time when the photos really mattered to me. I mean, really, my porcupine shots? Not that it would have done me any good if the camera had been more forthcoming. I stopped carrying a second card when out on my eTrike several months ago. That is a bad habit I will now make every effort to break. Always carry a spare card! Sigh! So I trudged back to the apple tree. The porcupine was still there, though it had, under the pressure of less cautions observation (there were a lot of folks using the trail that day), retreated down the branch toward the safety of the crotch of the tree, where it had taken refuge. I was just a bit chagrined to be among the cell phone photographers, but I put my Sirui 60mm portrait lens on my iPhone SE and got as close as I felt good about to take my shots. Nothing great, but I did get the face. This shot has been through Pixomator Pro’s ML Super Resolution treatment to simulate a longer telephoto, as well as being processed in Apple Photos. So folks, always carry a spare card! You never know when you will see something very special in the wild.
As I have said a few times before, it is being a very strange fall here in southern Maine. Still no frost in the third week of October, and the trees are struggling with the change…exposed trees, alone in the field, or on the edge of the forest are turning late and we are not getting the reds of a normal year…and inside the forest many leaves are just turning brown and falling. Still you find scenes like this one…taken into the sun as patches of sun and shadow raced across the field, spotlighting the colors. The sky was so intense I had to tone it down to keep the image from looking too surreal. iPhone SE with Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — Early signs of fall. The leaves have begun to change over the past 3 days and I can see autumn coming…feel it too in the mornings. Sony Rx10iv at 567mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Another iPhone and Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens landscape from the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms, in Wells Maine. Textures, colors, and clouds. What could be better? Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.
While walking at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms the other day, I spotted what I thought might gleam off the shell of a very small insect on the dried flowers of a plant along the trail. I took a few tel-macro shots at 600mm equivalent, but I was not sure, through the viewfinder, if I was really even seeing a bug at all. In processing on my iPad Pro, I discovered this elegant little beetle. The Fieldguides AI app says it is a Cryptocephalus (Leaf Beetle) of some kind. The closest match on Google Lens, and the only one from North America, is 14 Spotted Leaf Beetle. The photo has received the super-crop treatment: processed as most of my photos are in Polarr, then opened in Pixelmator Photo Pro for enlargement using the Machine Learning Super Resolution tool, then recropped for what amounts to maybe the equivalent 2500mm of magnification from 5 feet, and possibly a 4x macro. This is a tiny bug, less than 1/8th inch long. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed as above. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.
Great Egret: Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — This is Maine and the Egrets are never as close as I would like, but we do get Great Egrets in good numbers during the extended migration in late summer and early fall. There were two hunting in the tidal marsh beyond the viewing platform in the Maple Swamp. The Sony Rx10iv will take a good crop when the birds are too far away, and this shot had some help from Pixomatic Photo Pro’s Machine Learning Max Resolution…but the main limiting factor with birds across a marsh at any distance, no matter how long your lens or big your sensor, is heat wave interference, and you can see some softening this shot. Still, and elegant bird, even in hunting mode. Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr, Pixomatic Photo Pro and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4.5 @ 1/1000th. -1/3 EV.