Sigma 8-16/4.5-5.6 on a beautiful October Sunday afternoon.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
My wife's beloved sister, Connie, lost her battle with cancer early Tuesday morning. She was a fighter and put up a spirited battle but detection was too late and the cancer had spread extensively before any treatment was started. Connie was a devoted wife and mother and a GREAT sister...she was loved dearly and she will be missed sorely.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I got a little closer to the osprey today but I'm still not happy with the quality of the photo...I'll keep trying. To console myself, I took my Sigma 70/2.8 macro and went flower hunting...they're MUCH easier to sneak up on!
All these flowers, not weeds, were in Fulton,TX
Saturday, October 9, 2010
My friend, Wendy, and I hardly ever see each other, hardly ever speak on the phone but we stay in touch by e-mail, Face book and through our respective blogs. We share a love of photography, a love of nature and a special fondness for The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. A couple of weeks ago, I commented that I was curious about what the refuge was like after all the rains and that I was getting the itch to go up and see. She replied: "Are you crazy? The mosquitoes will eat you alive!" I pondered that for a while and decided that, as usual, she was right. I had a health workshop to attend today in Corpus but the presentation group got hung up and cancelled so I found myself with the afternoon free. I decided to brave the "skeeters" and go to the refuge...Wendy was right, the mosquitoes were fierce...but hey Wendy...I survived! All it took was 'bout a half gallon of "Deep Woods Off" and a Banzai attitude. Turned out to be a great afternoon.
This is Jones Lake...last time I was here, it was bone dry...not even muddy.
Now, besides being full of water and lily pads, the lake is full of these.
Not far from Jones Lake, is Hog Lake. There I found these guys having a serious discussion while sitting on the rail of the observation deck...I shifted into stealth mode and was able to get pretty close.
Stealth mode didn't last too long...they heard my shutter and took to the safety of the water...not too sure how safe that was since the lake is full of 'gators.
Closer to the front gate, I was shooting wildflowers when this guy came crashing out of the brush...He ran for a while then stopped, looked over his shoulder at me then casually stepped back into the brush.
This was on the Heron Flats Trail.
Of course, it IS the ANWR so you can count on seeing a few of these guys.
All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon even though I didn't see as many animals as I normally do. The old rule of thumb for predators, hunters and crazy photographers is... stake out the watering holes and the animals will come to you...that didn't work for me today because the whole place is a watering hole! We had so much rain lately and any place low enough to hold water is holding water. I'm happy though...I was really worried about the inhabitants of this wonderful resource. The draught is broken though and I look forward to many more rewarding visits.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Of all the birds that you see in my little area of the coast, The Osprey is probably my favorite. They are amazing Predators and perfect survivors. Their prey of choice is fish but they'll take small mammals, reptiles or other birds if the fishing isn't productive. It's quite a spectacle to see an Osprey take a fish. Unlike the pelican that dive bombs and crashes into the water to scoop the fish into it's huge beak (quite a sight in itself) or the heron/egret family that wade the shallows and spear the fish with their long sharp beaks, The osprey takes his game from the air...swooping low and grabbing the fish with strong sharp talons. Osprey are migratory and I hadn't seen any so far this year...until today! I was driving down the street by the harbor when I heard one call. The call is unmistakeable and unforgetable. They are very wary and hard to photograph but I'm sure going to have fun watching them for the next couple of months.
After seeing the osprey, I went across the bridge and cruised along the causeway. This Great Blue Heron was waiting there...looking regal.
A little further down I came across this Reddish Egret. These birds are part of the heron family and are really interesting. When young, they have the colored plummage that you see here but at some stage in their later aduthood, they go through a metamorphosis and the colored feathers are replaced by white feathers. They fish in basically the same manner as the Great Blue Heron...they wade in the shallows and strike with their long beaks to either spear the fish or to clinch them in the beak like with a pair of pliers. The methodology is a little different than that the GBH though. The heron stalks in slow motion...he moves through the water so slowly and silently that you hardly see a ripple. The egret does things a little differently...they run through the water, often with wings spread for balance and lift and pounce on the surprised fish. They dart back and forth and put on a very entertaining display. They're very lively and often comical. Just as a point of interest, the heron's catch per strike ratio seems to be a lot better than the egret's...Different strokes for different folks!
This guy came up empty on this try but he didn't seem to mind. I guess the thrill is in the chase!
All shots with the Minolta 500/f8
PS either my spell check isn't working or I didn't have any spelling errors in this post (and that's hardly ever the case).
Monday, October 4, 2010
There was a fire at the harbor today...must have been pretty serious as units from Ingleside and Rockport responded as well as our own department. Aransas has a combination department; a small cadre of professional firefighters and a group of volunteers...I'm thankful that these public spirited guys get involved!
Of course, my day wasn't ALL about drama...there was still time to capture some of nature's beauty
All of today's shots were with the Minolta 100-200/4.5, a lens from the 80's that still gets the job done.
Old School Rules!