Category Archives: Avian
I took this image on my walk at the Riverbend Ponds this morning. And what a glorious morning it was. However I think this goose did not have the same impression of the morning as I did. There was a lot of squawking going on and all one sided. I had to laugh as I thought through the following conversation in my head.
Male and female Redhead (Aythya americana), in case you didn’t know. As I was finishing a walk I noticed these two on my pond. Ran in and got a longer lens then sat outside and watched them for a while. We doe not see them that often so I needed to look up a bit of information on them. They are primarily a diving and dabbling duck and unfortunately are on a decline due to hunting and loss of habitat. Their favorite habitats are hanging around marshes and prairie potholes of western North America. The male is the one I spotted first due to the striking colors and bold lines. Interesting fact is that following the breeding season, males go through a molt which leaves them flightless for almost a month. Before this happens, they leave their mates and move to large bodies of water, usually flying further north. The following year they find new mates. Man, what a hassle that would be. And, I’m not talking about the molting as the hassle. :-)
I drove to Loveland to meet my sister for Sunday morning coffee and one of her special hugs. Sure needed the hug as my dashboard said it was 8 degrees. As I drove by Lake Loveland I was pleasantly surprised to see fog sitting above the lake. With the geese huddled up along the edge of the open water and the sun just coming up, I had to stop, take it all in and pull out my camera. This was not going to be a drive-by morning! Even though it was only 8 degrees I’m glad I stopped. And, when I got to the coffee shop my sisters hug was even more precious to me. Just after I got back in the car and started to drive away the geese lifted off. That would have been an awesome image. Next time.
… makes for the start of a good day. Even with a head cold and hacking cough I rose early yesterday and headed out to the Arapahoe Bend Nature area to greet the morning sun. I find the quiet and beauty in nature to be a healer for what ails me. I was still coughing and hacking when I got back to my condo but sure felt better.
When asking yesterday what light people enjoyed, Paul mentioned morning and evening light. I agree and when you look back over my archives there are plenty of sunrise and sunsets shots to choose from. Being a morning person and enjoying time in nature also draws me to this time of the day. Many people are just getting up or on their way to the cubicle so not many people or traffic to deal with either. I setup my camera and tripod then took a sip of my hot chocolate when these two Canada Geese make their way into my scene. I smiled, took the images I wanted and thanked them. (Yes, I talk to birds.)
So, the snow started yesterday and as of this morning we have about 4 inches. Have a Super Saturday!
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein
Found these beauties outside my condo on the pond. I am thankful I have a bit of nature so close.
By that I mean we’ve seen that thermometer rise above the 50 degree mark. Been weeks since we’ve seen that. So yesterday for lunch I made a sandwich, set my chair out on the sidewalk and watched the geese and ducks perform. Felt wonderful soaking up the warm sunshine. I also wanted to check on solo Goldeneye that has been around for the past few weeks. I’m wondering if it is ill or hurt.
Had three groups of geese land while I ate and marveled at all they do. It’s almost like they are playing after they land. They will dive in a forward direction, head first, flapping those flippers in the air (see above photo) then roll to one side and flap those wings. Water is spraying all over the place. In the above image you can see one rolled over on his/her back while the one directly in front is judging the water spay. “More leg action, son.” I found it pretty interesting.
A couple more facts for you: They can cover 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) in just 24 hours with a favorable wind and up to 16 continuous hours. The oldest known wild Canada Goose was 30 years 4 months old. Just 50 geese can produce two and a half tons of excrement in a year. That’s a lot crap!
“Here’s what I think: I think an art photographer is a photographer with an opinion. An opinion about which of their photographs can truly stand as one of theirs, and about how the photograph ought to look.” Mike Johnson
In a previous post last week I admitted to being a photographer. Don’t’ laugh. I’m one who thinks there is an artist within each of us, buried, hidden and waiting to come out. Whether we feed the artist within or keep it contained is our choice. Many of us are reluctant to place the adjective, art, in front of photographer.
In my photography I shoot from the gut, not necessarily attempting to express some opinion or idea at the time I press the shutter. I’m more intent on seeing what’s in front of me, using my intuition and experience to see the light, find a composition, select a specific depth of field or select a perspective according to what feels right. After saying that, I would suggest all of these make up my “opinion”, but subconsciously. This opinion may come to my consciousness at a later time. I look at my photography from the perspective of an artist, “my art.” I look to the voice within me to lead me forward, opening my eyes, to come up with ideas for images and projects. Don’t all of us desire for our images to have some impact on viewers, inspiring them to step outside in nature rather than living life through a TV, a computer, a tablet, or smart phone? But, that’s another opinion for another time.
The above image was not an attempt at creating an artistic image. It was a moment when I was not totally prepared for the immediate takeoff and was a series of quick shots. Only after post processing did I see something I liked. Just my opinion or mere ramblings.
I’ve found an early morning walk at the Arapahoe Bend Nature area is a great way to start my day. It can help reduce worries I have bouncing around in my head. Just as I reached my car I noticed a Bald Eagle perched above the area, watching, looking for breakfast. Sorry, I only had my short zoom with me so 50mm zoom is all you get.
There is something inside of me that smiles when I see scenes in nature like this and not just because we see fewer of these scenes. I think nature is a wonderful teacher and, in my case, I need to be more of a student. I grabbed my binoculars and stood their watching him. I don’t believe this eagle is worried about the economic situation, taxes, Christmas shopping, the project at work, getting the car fixed, term papers, getting old, mistakes, weeds in the garden, painting the house, etc. Something inside tells me worry may not even be part of its nature because worry is related to a potential future event/circumstance. Animals do not worry because they live in the present. Animals do stress but only to a present situation and results in flight of fight. Its present moment in life is survival: food and water. Very different than man.
The Common Goldeneye is a medium-sized sea duck. They are divers finding most of their food from crustaceans, aquatic insects and molluscs. The adult males have a dark head with a greenish gloss and a circular white patch below the eye, a dark back and a white neck and belly while the adult females have a brown head and a mostly grey body. Definitely not as showy as us males. Their legs and feet are orange-yellow. I enjoy sitting by the waters edge watching as they dive, playing the waiting game with myself to see where they resurface.
I started a 4-day trip yesterday so when you read this I should be sitting on the patio at my hotel in Santa Barbara eating breakfast. Sometimes there are perks with my work.
One of my ways to get away from the hustle of the city it to drive out of town and find some secluded place to enjoy. The songs birds offer me are soothing to my soul and help bring calming. So sometimes I will just stop along a country dirt road and just listen.