Finally!

Crocus, the yard, Kennebunk Maine

If you have been following these posts and our slowly unfolding spring in southern Maine, you know that I have been watching these Crocus since they first popped up green leaves on Easter Sunday. In other years they have gone from leaf to flower in days. It took weeks this year. But they are here. When I went out for my bike ride yesterday at 11, it was above 50 degrees…and the Crocus were open! About time! We will get to enjoy them for a few days at least. I noticed that the daffodils along the front of house look about readymade to bloom, so maybe we have flowers for a while now. Though they say it will be below freezing with sleet on Sunday. 🙁 Rejoice in Crocus while ye may! Sony RX10iv at 600mm from 4 feet. Program mode. Program shift for greater depth of field. f10 at 1/320th @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

Finally!

Crocus, the yard, Kennebunk Maine

If you have been following these posts and our slowly unfolding spring in southern Maine, you know that I have been watching these Crocus since they first popped up green leaves on Easter Sunday. In other years they have gone from leaf to flower in days. It took weeks this year. But they are here. When I went out for my bike ride yesterday at 11, it was above 50 degrees…and the Crocus were open! About time! We will get to enjoy them for a few days at least. I noticed that the daffodils along the front of house look about readymade to bloom, so maybe we have flowers for a while now. Though they say it will be below freezing with sleet on Sunday. 🙁 Rejoice in Crocus while ye may! Sony RX10iv at 600mm from 4 feet. Program mode. Program shift for greater depth of field. f10 at 1/320th @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.

The intensity of his regard…

Eastern Bluebird, Kennebunk Maine

Here is another shot that demonstrates the Eastern Bluebird’s ability to project attitude, in a way that very few birds do. Something like “the intensity of his regard” as though he were a character in a Romance Novel or some other highly dramatic genre. I still think it must be a kind of accident based on the shape and coloration of the face of the bird, but it does not stop me from being entertained by the faces bluebirds seem to make and the postures they seem to take…entertained enough to repay me for all the meal worms I have invested over the past year keeping the bluebirds coming to our yard. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode set to Minimum Shutter Speed ISO at 1/500th. -.3EV. 1/500th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Spring comes in by millimeters not inches

Crocus, Kennebunk Maine

This year in Maine spring is coming in millimeters, not in inches. These Crocus were showing leaves above ground an inch or more on Easter Sunday, and here we are 11 days later and still no flowers. It has been unseasonably cold…disappointingly cold…and that is from a human standpoint. Clearly the Crocus like it even less. We need three days of 60 degree weather, and we should have had them by now. Looking at the forecast we have one day above 60 to look forward to in the next 25. Like I said, coming in by millimeters, not by inches. Sony RX10iv at 600mm from 4 feet. Program mode. -.3EV. 1/500th @ ISO 320 @ f4. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel, Laudholm Farms, Wells Maine.

The other day I rode my eBike down to Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Center) and stopped to walk up on the hilltop for some pictures of the sky, which was amazing. As I came up to the big barn that has been converted to an event center, I saw something moving by the foundation. On closer approach it was a Red Squirrel. I have seen Red Squirrels pretty often deeper in the woods at Laudholm, but this was the first one I have seen around the buildings. It had apparently wintered in a drain pipe under the building and was happily foraging next to the stone foundation. It let me walk up close enough, in several stages, so that I could fill the frame at 600mm…maybe still 15 feet away, but that is pretty close to any “wild” animal. It was very busy looking for whatever it could find to eat. It was in the deep shadow cast by the barn, so not the best lighting. Still, it is not often you get such a close portrait, and the slope of the foundation above the path put me near eye-level as well. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode, with Minimum Shutter Speed ISO set to 1/500th and -.3EV exposure compensation. 1/500th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Chickadee at the nest hole

Black-capped Chickadee, Kennebunk Maine

What fun! I wrote about this in yesterday’s Day Poem, but we have a pair of Chickadees working a nest hole in a little broken off sapling right next to our driveway, like right by the driver’s door where we park the hybrid. The stump is about 5 feet tall so the birds are very visible as they come and go. Yesterday they were still bringing out wood chips, but I am very hopeful that they will nest there. This shot was taken in a burst of activity when I was getting my eBike out of its shed from just the passenger side of the car. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. -.3EV. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 160. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch, Kennebunk Maine

We only get a couple of White-breasted Nuthatches at our feeders, as opposed to the crowd of Chickadees and Titmice, but I always enjoy them. They add a dash of particular attitude…unique to the Nuthatch. Where the Chickadees are fearless and cheerful, the Nuthatches are full of focused purpose…very intent on finding that next morsel of food. I am always happy when I catch one willing to pose for even a moment. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. -.3EV. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 125. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photo’s Light tool.

Toward a brighter blue…

Eastern Bluebird, Kennebunk Maine

Probably because we provided meal worms, we have had a pair of Bluebirds visiting our feeders all winter. It was interesting to watch as the male got paler, with the blue fading almost to the blue of the female, in the cold months, and now to watch as the male’s blue intensifies with the coming of spring. The blue of the male Bluebird, especially in contrast with the rust of the breast, is, I think, one of the bluest of blues in any North American bird. They are coming to the feeder right now, and I have my iPad on the kitchen counter to write this so I can watch them. Even the the half-light of a morning when it is still trying to snow or rain…it can’t seem to make up its mind…the blue is shockingly bright. And this shot from yesterday, taken just as we were losing the sun behind the first snow clouds, shows just how bright the blue has gotten. As a close up though, it also shows what the naked eye can not see from any distance…that the blue is not uniform…it has texture and subtle variations in tone that make it, in my opinion, even more beautiful. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. -.3 EV. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 200. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photo’s Light tool.

In flight adjustment…

Brown Pelican, Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego, CA

Pelicans are among the most graceful of birds in flight…soaring for miles with their heads and necks resting back over fixed wings above the swells and along the cliffs of San Diego, California (and everywhere up the Pacific Coast). Except when they aren’t! I am not sure what ailed this bird, but it suddenly stalled and went into frantic postures in mid-air before regaining normal flight. Wing cramp? Shifting luggage in the overhead compartments? I don’t know, but it certainly looked odd. I had never seen the like before. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode with my Birds in Flight modifications. 1/1000th @ f8 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Little Birches in a Bunch…

Out on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area west of Kennebunk, Maine, there are a lot of White Birch saplings that have sprung up in dense clumps and bunches. I assumed they were growing from the stumps of old birches that were cleared, either by cutting or by fire, but on reflection that would not account for the number or the spread of the clumps. Maybe it is just a birch thing…the result of a whole birch catkin landing in one spot and many of the seeds sprouting together. However it happens, the clusters have a beauty of their own…difficult to capture in a photograph, but definitely beautiful. This shot from close in, taken at a small aperture for maximum depth of field, catches at least a little of what I see in the birch clumps. Sony RX10iv at 24mm. In-camera HDR. Program shift to f14 for depth of field. Processed in Polarr and the Light tool in Apple Photos.