Green Heron: Quest Ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center, Kennebunk. Maine, USA — I stopped by the drainage ponds at SMMC here in Kennebunk to check for new dragonflies, and to see if there were any spreadwings. Spreadwings have been noticeably absent so far this season. While there I was surprised when this Green Heron took off from under the reeds and landed on the lone rock in the pond. It sat there for long enough for a series of photos and then took off, likely for one of the other ponds around the edge of the parking lot or for the marshy area between lots. It is the first time I have see a Green Heron at these ponds, but it is first time in several years. It was overcast so not enough light to bring out the green highlights in the wings, but still a handsome bird. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Slaty Skimmer: Alwive Pond, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I think most dragonflies are beautiful…in a steampunk kind of way…but sometimes dragonfly photography is not all about the dragonfly. This Slaty Skimmer kept perching on the pickerel weed which makes a dense mat in the waters along the shore of Alwive Pond in Kennebunk Maine, and I could not resist taking way too many photos, trying to capture the contrast, both in color and structure, between the dragon and the delicate flowers…it was only in processing that I discovered the beauty of the background…which really “makes” the shot. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Mallard Ducks: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The golden hour comes earlier and earlier as fall moves on toward winter in southern Maine. This group of Mallards in the marshy area behind Roger’s Pond Park in Kennebunk seem to float on molten gold…and have a touch of gold in the plumage. 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.
Mallard, Roger’s Pond, Kennebunk, ME, USA — Just a female Mallard…but in an interesting pose and with the rippled reflections of the turning oaks on the water. Sometimes it just all comes together in an unexpected way…and if you happen to be pointing the camera in the right direction you get a shot that goes well beyond expectations. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
I don’t often feature a landscape for my Pic of the day, but if I am going to, it is most likely in the fall. Autumn in Maine is always (almost) an amazing show of defiance to the coming winter, or homage to the passing summer…and always worth celebrating. This is a favorite spot for fall photos (any season actually)…a little pond along Rt. 9 just north of the Wells Town border, caught here just pack peek color and under an interesting sky. Sony a6500 with the 18mm ultra-wide combo lens set. Program with auto HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f13 @ 1/60th. -1EV to hold the sky. Program shift for depth of field. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Another very common dragonfly all over southern Maine, but especially at the ponds on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area: Slaty Skimmer. Not the most attractive dragon, and very similar to the much more showy (at least in flight) Spangled Skimmer with which it shares habitat. Still, it has an understated elegance all its own. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.
Lots of busyness yesterday (involving my daughter buying a car) so I did not get out for my ebike ride / photoprowl until late afternoon. I had to go by the pond with the Wild Iris, and, of course, stopped to catch the late sun on the flowers and the pond. So this is the same flowers, same pond, but a very different day. Again, an ultra wide perspective using the Sony 16mm f2.8 with the UWA converter for 18mm equivalent. In-camera HDR on the Sony a6500. Processed in Polarr and cropped a bit on the left to eliminate an out of focus iris. Just a touch of Apple Photos magic Light tool to finish up.
I enjoy the perspective of an ultra wide lens enough to carry a second camera fitted with one for my landscape work…and the occasional ultra wide close-up. They don’t always work, but sometimes the effect is striking. My Sony a6500 allows me to use touch focus to put the focus exactly where it needs to go…and the in-camera HDR often renders the scene much as the human eye would see it. This Wild Iris on the edge of one of the small ponds along Rt 9 a few miles from my home is a case in point. Cloudy, overcast, just a bit misty, day, but the Iris pops out of the wet greenery in a unique way. Taken at about 8 inches from the flower…as close as I can focus. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
More shots of the acrobatic Red-winged Blackbird from a few days ago at the drainage pond at Southern Maine Medical Center in Kennebunk. Endlessly entertaining…unless they are at your feeder :). (And maybe even then, depending on your tolerance.) Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr. Assembled in Framemagic.
On my ebike photoprowl to the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area on Sunday, though I was looking mainly for Odonata and wildflowers, I did see a few birds around what I call Day Brook Pond. The pond has no name on the maps, and there are two ponds on the Plains. The other pond, slightly larger, is generally called Kennebunk Plains Pond on maps, though it is perhaps more properly Cold Brook Pond, so I call this pond “Day Brook” pond. It is an active beaver pond that has had a man-made dam added near the headwaters of what becomes Day Brook. But the birds: Two warblers and two sparrows. In the panel we have a Pine Warbler and the best shot I could get of a Canada Warbler that was skulking along the immediate shore of the pond. And then an American Tree Sparrow from the pines along the pond and a Vesper Sparrow from further out in the plains. Both Tree and Vesper were part of small flocks. (There were also Tree Swallows and Robins around, but I did not bet photos.) I rarely see either the Pine or the Canada Warbler around Kennebunk (in fact the Canada may be a first in Maine for me), and I have only seen Tree and Vesper Sparrows on the Kennebunk Plains. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed and cropped in Polarr.