Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wading Birds on the Waccissa River

I took the chance to photograph wading birds on one of the most scenic rivers I have ever had the chance to paddle. The Waccissa River is a spring-fed river located in the Big Bend Area of Florida. There is very little current and it is easy to find wading birds that are not overly shy. This Little Blue Heron was capturing and consuming crawfish at a rapid rate. Fortunately, it did not gulp them down quickly. Instead, it gave me the opportunity to photograph the mid-day meal. I found an Ibis walking a log much like a gymnast on a balance beam.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Grinding and Boiling Sugar Cane

I had the opportunity to join my friend Buddy Gunn and others in cane syrup making near Havana, Florida. They started with mules turning the press, but making a mule making actually work was a chore. So, they used a diesel mule - 4 X 4. Very old time process and a tradition kept alive in some parts of the South. After extracting the sugar solution out of the cane, it is boiled down. It will take more than 20 gallons of solution to make approximately 1 to 2 gallons of cane syrup. This is much like making maple syrup in Michigan. This was a good way to wrap up the trip to Florida.

Last Day in Florida

This looks to be my last day in Florida and it has been a good trip. I have been able to capture a couple of good images, mostly on the beach at St. George Island. The weather has been o.k., but not great. Two days of camping and two days of visiting with friends for the Thanksgiving Holiday. In some ways this has been a special trip - re-connecting with friends and the time spent outdoors.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In the Dunes

Another from the series on St. George Island in Florida. The skies were very overcast and I was looking for the great light. That came a little while later.

Greetings from Sunny Florida

Finally, after two days of clouds and cool temps some sunshine. Here is the sunset that I captured along the beach last evening. This may get more processing later. There are many more images to be posted later too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Finally Updating Western Gallery

I have been putting off updating one of my galleries that has had some coding issues. Finally determined to get it done tonight and it worked. If anyone is interested here is one of the new/old images from White Sands What an awesome place!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have been feeding the birds in the woods for a couple of weeks now. Mostly chickadees, but sometimes a brave nuthatch when I am nearby with my camera. I will have to go replenish the seed stock today. Will probably get shot as this is opening day of deer season. I should put a big bulls-eye on my back and place my tripod upside down on my head. Then someone can bag a three-pointer to stuff and then mount me on their wall.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Places For Photography

If I did not have a day job, and therefore the time to travel with camera, here are the top ten places that I would like to visit, but not necessarily in order:

1.Redwoods in California - One of the most mystical places in all of the world.
2. Anywhere in Oregon - They have spectacular mountains, wildflowers, waterfalls, deserts and coasts. What more could a nature photographer want?
3. The Badlands of the Dakotas - Have never been there and few have really, really taken the time to capture the spirit of the Badlands.
4. The Smoky Mountains - I think I could wander there forever with a smile on my face.
5. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan - Have never had the good fortune to photograph a wolf, not that it would be easy.
6. A cypress swamp anywhere in the Southeastern US. Preferably during the cooler bug-free months.
7. Alaska in the Fall - Big game wildlife, fall colors on the tundra, northern lights, mountains such as Denali, Wonder Lake. Better in the fall than the summer with the crowds, lack of a night sky, mosquitoes on the tundra and the expensive prices.
8. Zion National Park - I have seen so many fantastic photos from there. All iconic and maybe over done, but still beautiful.
9. The Deserts of the Southwest - Getting off of the beaten path to find the hidden beauty.
10. White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Pure gypsum sand dunes surrounded by mountains and amazing skies.
10 a. So, I have to add one more which is close to home. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. A little piece of natural beauty.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Starry, Starry Night

Who would have ever thought that November along the Great Lakes would see a clear night for viewing stars. The normal pattern is for stormy weather as the season's change - think Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which occurred in November on Lake Superior. So, I tried a star trail photo and here is what I came up with: This was a one hour exposure and it took an hour to write to the flash card. This was taken on the jack pine plains of Central Michigan as far away from city lights as I could get. The only better place might be the UP of Michigan. The tough part about this, besides the cold temperature, was being able to see through the viewfinder. It was that dark. I waited in the vehicle and read a good book while waiting for the one hour exposure. It took another hour to drive home and I waited for the image to finally load to the card. I may try this again some other time when the skies are clear.