Eastern Bluebirds: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Bluebirds raise two (at least) broods a summer, so it is the male who feeds the young of the first brood while the female is already on the eggs. The past two days have been cool and rainy, adding to the stress on the male, so we have had the fledglings on the deck most of the day. The male returns often with grubs…but he feeds them mealworms between grub runs. The female comes only occasionally, but does not take time to feed the young. She is just after a quick snack before getting back to the eggs. This is not a great shot…as it was early morning in the rain and not much light yet at all, but it is a good portrait of both the male and one of the fledglings. The fledglings are almost big enough to fend for themselves. I have seen one of them on the mealworm feeder, but he has not figured out now to get the mealworms out. And, besides, it is easier to just sit there and let dad drop them into his mouth. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at about 400mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Canada Mayflower (sometimes called False Lily of the Valley): Mousam River Wildlife Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have never seem much in the way of wildlife at the Mousam River Wildlife Preserve, one of the Kennebunk Land Trust properties here in Kennebunk, but it is a nice walk a mile down along the ridge above the Mousam River as it broadens out into the tidal basin. This time of year the woods are full of Star Flower and Mayflower, and I did find one lonely Lady Slipper Orchid. It is not easy to find a Canada Mayflower in full bloom as the individual flowers on the single flower spike do not open all at the same time. This is the best one I have ever found. Nikon B700 at 24mm and macro. Program mode with Vivid Picture Control and Active D-Lighting set to low. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I enjoy the more than life size macro on the Nikon B700. It works great for wildflowers even at its 24mm equivalent.
Boreal or Northern ?? Bluets: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Maine, USA — There were a lot of Bluets at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area this week. I can’t say that I examined every one, but they all seemed to be Boreal/Northern by the largish eyespots and general pattern of the abdomen. I am not honestly sure how to distinguish Boreal and Northern from any distance and I am open to correction even there. 🙂 Many were already paired up adn ready to drop eggs. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. It is nice to have a camera in hand again with that kind of reach again so I am not always cropping the center out of my Sony Rx10iv 600mm shots. 🙂 Program mode with auto everything. -.3EV Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Chalk-fronted Corporal: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The Chalk-fronted Corporal is among the first dragonflies to take wing in any number in Southern Maine. Day Brook Pond had its share yesterday already. Nikon B700 at 1100-1440mm equivalent. Program mode. -.3EV. The white pruinosity (the chalk-like coating on the throax) really sets off the hydraulics at the base of the wing. All those tiny pumps allow the dragonfly to move and shape each wing, and each segment of wing, independently…giving them an amazing agility in flight.
Vesper Sparrow: Kennebunk Plains, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — This bird was a ways away…captured at 1440mm equivalent with the Nikon B700. It was also very busy, taking a dust bath in the middle of the foot trail out along the woods beyond Day Brook Pond. I would have had trouble identifying it if 1) Vesper Sparrows were not among the most common sparrows on the Plains, and 2) if that distinctive little patch of chestnut feathers on the shoulder was not showing so nicely. Even Google Lens was able to id the bird…if I needed any confirmation. Again, Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode. ISO 100 @ f6.5 @ 1/640th. -.3 EV Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Lincoln’s Sparrow: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — you have to be alert or lucky…or even better, alert AND lucky…to catch a Lincoln’s Sparrow passing through Kennebunk on its way north. The past two springs we have had a few (only one this year) for a few days. And, of course, they are not easy to photograph as they are “skulkers”…always low in the brush and half buried in leaves. Still, it is fun to try! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from my backyard photo blind. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 800, 250, 250, 640, and 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Before it fades too far into memory, I want to post this shot of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak what spent a day with us last week before heading off north to better breeding grounds. This is the best shot I was able to get away from the feeders and other man made objects. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm. Cropped to about 1100mm equivalent. Processed in Pixelmator Photo’s Machine Learning Super-Resolution (and for shadows, highlights, and sharpness). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Eastern Chipmunk: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — We have, of course, lots of chipmunks in our yard, but it is always fun to see them “in the wild”…out in the deeper forest. This is one of two who were playing tree tag in Rachel Carson forest as I was walking the other day. One of the fun things about carrying the Nikon B700 is the 1440mm reach that allows for shots like this from a fair distance. B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode for ISO 1000 @ f6.5 @ 1/125. -.3EV Vivid Picture Control. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I think this is a satisfying shot for high ISO with the small sensor on the Nikon.
Fringed Polygala and Trailing Pine, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Kennebunk, Maine. — Sometimes nature arranges the most wonderful still-lives. This juxtaposition of color and texture certainly looks intentional…artistic in every sense. Nikon B700 (which I bought as a backup camera for trips and for a knock-about camera on my trike adventures, and with which I am having a lot of fun) at about 500mm equivalent. Program mode. Still experimenting with Picture Control modes for the best results with this camera. This was shot in Vivid, with Active-D lighting set to low, and -.3 EV exposure compensations. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Painted Trillium: Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Wells, Maine, USA — It used to be, not so many years ago, that the Trilliums were bloomed and gone before the first Lady Slipper Orchid was in full bloom…but these past few years they have bloomed together…and both seem to be blooming later. Maybe I am misremembering, and certainly my sample is too small to draw any conclusions. All I know is that after several trips to find them at Rachel Carson, I was happy to see them blooming near the Lady Slippers. Painted is the only Trillium we have here in Southern Maine, or at least the only one I have found. Nikon B700, the first two macro at 107mm equivalent and the third at 1440 equivalent from about 15 feet. Program mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.