Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2012

We have had temperatures below freezing most nights recently and many of the ponds at my local marshland are now covered with a thin sheet of ice. I was a little shocked today to see that ducks and geese continue to fly in and out of the pond, in some cases landing on the ice itself (some of the birds find areas that are not frozen over in which to land).

I am working on a number of photos showing these migrating birds on ice, but I thought I’d share this initial image. The goose to the left seemed to be sounding the alarm, signalling the others that it was time to fly away. As you can see from his open mouth, he was honking loudly and was flapping his wings. If you focus your attention on his feet, it looks like he may be slipping on the ice as a result of his vigorous actions. The two geese in the background appear to be ignoring him and all of his noise, although they may have joined him when he took off a few seconds later.

alarm

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Do you ever play with the white balance of a photo in post-processing? I never realized before that a simple change to the white balance can fundamentally change the feel of some images.

I am currently using Photoshop Elements and the white balance slider is something that I haven’t experimented with much when processing my RAW images. Normally my camera is set to automatic white balance, so I don’t worry too much about the temperature of the light being wrong. I was thinking a lot about light, however, when looking at an image of reflected moonlight that I shot last week. I shot it at ISO100, f20, and 20 seconds. According to my computer, the image as shot had a color temperature of 3950 Kelvin. Wondering what would happen I changed the temperature to something different, I moved the temperature to the shade setting of 7500 K.

Transformed moonlight

Transformed moonlight

Suddenly my cool, moon-lit scene looks like a warm sunset. To give you an idea of the initial image, I went back to the RAW file and changed the color temperature to its original setting.  The image is not exactly as it came out of the camera, because I made some other changes in Camera RAW, but you can see the big difference.

The second image is closer to what my eye saw, but in many ways I like the transformed image more. My unofficial resolution for the coming year may be to learn more about processing my photos (and there seems to be an awful lot to learn).

Moonlight

Moonlight

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

This past weekend I spent some more time watching migrating geese and and attempting to photograph them in flight. Often the geese flew in large formations, though sometimes they would arrive and depart in pairs. As I looked overt my photos, though, my favorite photos of the day feature geese trios.

I love shots like these in which it’s fun to compare the positions of the different birds, and the degree to which they are synchronizing or varying their body positions and wing movements. Each of these photos seems to form a mini-progression within itself, as though they were made up of multiple exposures of a single bird.

goose triogoose trio 2

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

This past Friday I was up before the dawn to try to photograph the almost-full moon and already posted some photos of the moonlight reflected in the water and of the sunrise. As I was making my way along the boardwalk in the marsh, I saw that geese were asleep in the fields. With my camera on a tripod, I took some photos. This was shot at ISO100, f11, and a 25 second exposure. I like the fact that the moonlight was strong enough to cause a reflection in the water and illuminated what looks to be a thin sheet of ice on the water.

Goose asleep in the moonlight

Goose asleep in the moonlight

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

My neighbor, noted blogger and photographer Cindy Dyer, has a really cool garden on the side of her townhouse. Earlier this year I took a lot of photos of flowers and insects there, including one of my most popular postings on a mysterious creature on the lavender plant.

I hadn’t checked out the garden in a month or so and was surprised to see that some of the flowers were still blooming yesterday. I was especially drawn to a flower that looks a little bit like a sunflower—I am not sure exactly what it is. I tried to shoot different blooms from different angles to capture a sense of the depth of the flower. I don’t usually use flash with flowers, but I made some attempts with my built-in flash cranked down low,which I think accounts for the black background in some images.

Here are some of my favorite images of these flowers. They look like they might have been shot with a macro lens, but I was actually using a telephoto lens.

flower6_blogflower3_blog flower5_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Another squirrel photo? In the past few months I have posted a number of photos of Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis). yet I  continue to attempt to photograph them whenever I can. Each time, the light is different, the environment is different, and the squirrel is different.

I really like the colors in this photo, the shades of brown and red, especially the way the brown-red surrounding the squirrel’s eyes is repeated in the exposed wood of the branch. I also like the unique characteristics of this squirrel, his cute pose and his little notched ear.

Another squirrel? I’m sure that squirrels will be featured again in my blog. In my suburban lifestyle, many days they may be my only link to nature.

Squirrel in tree

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

The skies turned dark and gray this morning and rain gradually turned into snow, a wet snow with large flakes that quickly covered the ground. It snowed hard for an hour or so, but the snow clouds eventually blew away and sunshine arrived to destroy all of evidence of the snowfall.

As the snow was falling, however, I went walking through the neighborhood with an umbrella in one hand and my camera in the other. Wondering if I would see any birds (I had visions of brightly-colored cardinals on pine branches against a backdrop of snow), I heard the unmistakable sound of a crow. It wasn’t hard to locate him and as I was focusing on him he took off. Mainly on instinct, I snapped a photo and got an interesting photo.

It’s a moody, dark photo that is perhaps a little ominous.  The crow seems to be a perfect match for the rest of the elements of the scene.

I’ll have to wait for another time for photos of beautiful birds in the sunshine with glistening snow.

Crow in the snow

Crow in the snow

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

In many ways this is a companion piece to my last posting that showed early-morning moonlight reflected in my local marsh. Less than an hour after I took that shot yesterday morning. the sun began to rise. As I looked to the east, I watched in wonder as the skies behind the trees were transformed into a beautiful mixture of pink, orange, and purple. Eventually the sun rose high enough to bring light into my world and I tried to capture the rays of the sun just starting to pierce the darkness.

Colorful skies as the sun rises

Colorful skies as the sun rises

Rays of sunshine penetrate the darkness

Rays of sunshine pierce the darkness

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Last night I saw a beautiful almost-full moon as I was driving home from work, so I got up early this morning with hopes of seeing the moon setting before sunrise.

The moon was bright in the cold pre-dawn sky.  Although it was partially obscured by clouds, the moon illuminated my way along the darkened path to the boardwalk of my local marsh. There were geese sleeping in the fields just off the boardwalk and I attempted to photograph them (I’ll post a photo or two of them later). I tried photographing the moon itself, but the overcast sky prevented me from getting any details of the moon, which looks like a blob of light in all of my photos. I had somewhat greater success in taking photos of the moonlight reflecting off the water. I had my camera on a tripod for extra stability, but focusing in the dark was difficult and I couldn’t see the dials of the camera, so my settings were not always right.

Here is my favorite image that shows a pathway of reflected light from the moon. The subject that I photographed is pretty mundane, but I really like the overall atmosphere of the photo.

Moonlight

Moonlight in the marsh

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

I haven’t been out shooting in nature for almost a week, so I ventured out into my marshland park early this morning. I have not yet had a chance to go through all of my shots, but I knew I really liked this one as soon as I took it and did a quick review on the LCD of my camera.

I found myself in a good position when several Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) were coming in for a water landing and was able to track them and get a good focus. The buffer of my camera fills up pretty fast, so I didn’t want to start shooting too early. Just before they hit the water, I snapped off a few exposures and managed to get this shot in which one of the geese has landed and created a splash.  A goose in the foreground is landing in the midst of the splashing water. My shutter speed (1/320 sec) was fast enough to freeze most of the motion, with the exception of a slightly blurred wing. I like the blurry wing and thing it helps give the sense of motion, as do the droplets of water.

I have been trying to shoot a scene like this for quite some time and think that this is my best result to date. (I recommend clicking on the image to get a higher resolution view.)

Splashdown

Splashdown

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

As I have mentioned in some other posts, the local gardens are looking awfully bleak and colorless. I did manage to find some new growth and posted some photos of blooming snowdrop flowers yesterday morning.  I had to search even harder, though, to find some small splashes of color in the midst of all of the brown, shriveled vegetation.

I found two plants that still had some color, though I have no idea what kind they are. One is pink and has some kind of berries and the other is red and has small spikey flowers on it.

The plants are modest and the colors muted, but they will help to tide me over as I await the return of the glorious colors of spring.

pink_blogred_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

A few days ago I featured a photo of a mockingbird in a posting entitled Song of Hope. That photo was unusual for me, because the bird was perched on the top of the bushes and not buried inside.

My goal, of course, is to show the beauty of the birds as clearly as possibly, ideally with an unobstructed view. Sometimes, though, you can catch a glimpse of a bird’s unique characteristics even when the view is partly blocked.

That was the case in these photos of a Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos). I took the shots on the same day in the same general location as the photo I mentioned earlier, so it may have been the same mockingbird, but he looks a little different in a different setting.

My favorite parts of these images are the wispy, downy feathers on the bird’s stomach. In some places, they stick out like a sidewards cowlick (back in the days when I had hair, it would stand out at odd angles like that if it grew too long). The bird was accommodating enough in posing for me that I have included both left and right profiles.

I have been told that most people have asymmetrical faces and have a preference for one profile over the other. Which profile would this mockingbird choose?

fuzzy_blog

fuzzy2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

As of last week, Canada Geese continued to populate the pond and fields of my local marshland pond in great numbers. Many were engaged in foraging for food, but some look like they have been assigned sentinel duty. The photos are pretty self-explanatory—I’ll let them speak for themselves and make this posting short.

Goose in waterSentinel goosegoose_grass_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

When I visited a county-run garden last week, the last thing that I expected to find was new growth. As I described in an earlier posting about a mockingbird, the landscape was bleak and desolate, largely bereft of color. From a distance I spotted a small patch of green. Moving closer to investigate, I discovered several small groupings of small white flowers that were starting to bloom.

A sign near one of the groupings indicated that the flower is a Giant Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii), native to Turkey and from Greece to Ukraine. I don’t know flowers very well, but the information that I find on-line suggests that these little beauties are blooming several months earlier than usual.

My skills at taking flower photos have gotten a little rusty from disuse these last few months.  Following some early advice of my photography mentor, Cindy Dyer, an expert in photographing flowers, I got down down in the dirt to try to shoot these little flowers from a low angle. Cindy usually strives to have a beautiful green background for flowers, but that was largely impossible at this time of the year, with dominant shades of gray and brown. It was also a real challenge to get any kind of depth and definition with the pure white flowers.

Typically we have to wait until spring for signs of new growth and renewal—this winter I got an early reminder and an advance preview.

drops2_blog

drops3_blogdrops4_blogtiny_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

I am not a cat person generally, but I am pet-sitting three cats for my friend and photography mentor, Cindy Dyer. You can read about some of the cats’ exploits on her blog.

Her striped cat is named Pixel (only a professional photographer would name a cat Pixel) and is very photogenic. Cindy featured him today in a posting entitled Happy holidays from Santa and Pixel. Here is a photo I took of him yesterday morning, with the soft light coming in from behind him.

Pixel

Pixel

Pixel’s brother is named Lobo, though he was originally going to be called JPEG until Cindy’s husband nixed the idea. He is a bit more friendly than Pixel and equally photogenic. Here is a photo of him, also from yesterday morning.

Lobo

Lobo

The third cat, an older female named Zena, is spending most of her time under the bed—she is irritated with me and seems to think that ignoring me is the best course of action.

These cats were my early morning companions today and we shared the start of a glorious Christmas day—they had their cat food and I had my coffee. Maybe I am starting to turn into a cat person.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Deep inside a bush with red berries, a male Northern Cardinal was almost camouflaged, most of his body a dusty red that blended in with his surroundings. His head, though, was a bright red, a defiant red that refused to be hidden. For me, it’s like the true meaning of Christmas, that is often camouflaged with bright lights and tinsel. My simple prayer today is one that we sang at a Christmas Eve service last night, Dona nobis pacem (Grant us peace). Peace to all this Christmas day and in the coming new year.Hidden cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

On a cold, windy day this weekend, I visited one of the local gardens. Most of the color was gone and it was a desolate, lifeless place.

Then suddenly I heard a sound, the beautiful song of a bird. It was a Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) defiantly singing a song of hope and good cheer. It seems so appropriate for this Christmas season, a message of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

I keep trying to photograph geese and  ducks taking off and landing, using a variety of techniques. Normally I will try to catch the birds in flight, though sometimes I have trouble getting my lens to acquire focus quickly enough. I stumbled onto a panning technique when I tried to photograph geese landing in the early morning. This weekend I experimented using both techniques.

I took this first shot when several geese took off without warning almost directly in front of me. I didn’t intend to cut off the goose to the left, but I like the effect of him entering into the frame. In this image, the action is completely frozen.

Geese takeoff

Geese takeoff

The second image is an example of the panning technique. The geese are not quite in as sharp focus as I would have liked, but you can see some details. I like the way that the background is blurred and provides a sense of motion. This panning was much more deliberate than the photos that I posted previously with motion blur.

Geese liftoff

Geese liftoff

It’s so much fun experimenting with different techniques—photography is still new enough to me that I often feel like a little kid on a voyage of discovery.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Do your find yourself shooting the same subjects over and over, hoping that you will find the perfect combination of lighting, pose, and background? That is certainly the case for me when it comes to photographing birds. It is both frustrating and challenging to realize that the only variables over which I have any control are me and my trusty camera. I can try to creep closer to birds or adjust the exposure and composition, but luck and perseverance are the overwhelmingly dominant factors in achieving success, however you choose to definite it.

Walking along a path at my local marshland park this past Friday, I heard the now-familiar tap-tap of a woodpecker. I looked up and saw a male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) at work in the upper branches of a tree. Instantly I knew I had a chance for a pretty good shot, because the lighting was good, the view was uncluttered,  and the sky was blue in the background. The woodpecker was persistent as he moved along the branch and so was I, snapping away with my head bent back at an uncomfortable angle.

Downy Woodpecker portrait

How did I do? Well, you can judge for yourself, but I think that this is about as close to perfection as I can achieve with my current skills and equipment. The elements fell into place and I managed to take an image with which I am pretty happy, a nice portrait of a Downy Woodpecker.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I spent some time watching geese and ducks at the marsh. I thought that the numbers would drop as the weather gets cold, but there actually seem to be more than there were in November, especially the geese. Once again I have been trying to take in-flight shots of these migratory birds, especially when they are taking off and landing.

I like the contrast in this photo between the impassive female Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos), who seems only mildly curious about the activity taking place right in front of her, and the two Canada Geese (Branta canadensis), who are making big splashes and generating waves as they land. They look like they could be a synchronized swimming pair, though I think in that sport you lose points if you make big splashes. In the background you can see some of the fields of cattails at the marsh, as well as some additional geese in the distance foraging in the fields and in the water.

Impassive observer

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

The subject of this photo, a male Mallard duck, is very common. He’s not doing anything strange or unusual. The environment, the beaver pond at my local marsh, is not particularly exotic.

Somehow, though, I feel a sense of comfort and peace in the very ordinariness of this simple composition and in its soothing color palette. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, it’s good to slow down and regain some inner peace (even if it’s necessary at other times to paddle hard beneath the surface).

In the words of a song that I heard yesterday on the radio, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

mallard

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

One of my fellow bloggers, Lyle Krahn, asked me to take some landscape shots to give readers a better idea of the scenery at the marsh at Huntley Meadows Park, where I have been shooting a lot of my nature photographs.

I don’t have a lot of experience taking landscape-style photos, but I did try to step back this morning and shoot some photos of one of the water areas in the park, where I often see geese and ducks taking off and landing. I took this photo just after the sun had risen today, the day of the winter solstice. In the background of the photo you can see part of a field of cattails, through which a boardwalk runs. There is also a large wooded area of the park and an area with a beaver lodge and pond. It’s pretty amazing to have such a treasure in the midst of a suburban area.

dawn_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Have you ever looked at your photos and realized that you captured two very different species in similar poses?

When I was reviewing my photos from this morning, I realized that a White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) and an Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) had each assumed the same pose as I photographed them. Strangely enough, they happened to be on the same tree at slightly different times.

I like how the lightness of the background matches the coloration of the bird. It wasn’t that long ago that I saw my first nuthatch, and I continue to be amazed by their acrobatic behavior and incredible flexibility. Imagine trying to hold yourself in a position like this!

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

The squirrel seems to be hyper-focused and intense, scanning his surroundings and ready to move at the sign of any danger. There are only a limited number of colors in this photo and I like it so much that I considered posting it separately with a title of Study in Gray and Brown.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

The poses of the two wild creatures are similar, but their individual characteristics and the different color palettes of the two photos give each of the two images a distinctive feel.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

A couple of weeks ago I finally got some relatively clear shots of the North American Beavers (Castor canadensis) at my local marshland and showed you one image in a posting called Beaver at dusk—the sequel. A brief overseas trip and other distractions have kept me from posting additional photos (as I promised to do in the original blog entry), but I finally have worked up a couple more photos.

The first image shows a shaggy, dark-haired beaver in profile. It was late afternoon, about an hour before sunset, and this beaver and the lighter-colored one that you can see in the background had emerged from their lodge and seemed to be grooming themselves and each other. Judging from the crying sounds that I have heard coming from inside the lodge, I suspect that there is a younger beaver in there too.

Shaggy beaver

Shaggy beaver

The second images shows the two beavers interacting. It looks like the lighter-colored one is giving the other beaver a massage, but I wasn’t close enough to determine for sure what they were doing. Could it be love or is he merely loosening up for a night of heavy lifting?

Beaver masseuse

Beaver masseuse

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

It’s almost Christmas. Decorations are visible everywhere and all the radio stations are playing non-stop Christmas music. As I am driving to work, I am reminded of (and sometimes burst into singing) the lyrics of Silver Bells, which include the line, “Strings of street lights, even stoplights, blink a bright red and green, as the shoppers rush home with their treasures.”

Even in nature I am reminded of Christmas. Despite the title of this blog posting, this bird is not called a “Santa bird,” but I enjoy making up names of the creatures that I photograph. Usually I do so when I don’t know their real names, but in this case I know that the bird is a White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

His prominent white “beard” and his round belly, though, remind me of Santa Claus, and I can’t help but smile. I recall some of the words of the famous poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, “He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.”

Soon it will be Christmas day.

Santa bird

Santa bird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

A couple of days ago I featured a photo of Canada Geese coming in for an early morning water landing in a posting I called Photo Finish. So many people made positive comments about the photo that it prompted me to take another look at the other photos from that morning. I played around with one of them and decided to post the result.

The overall effect in this image is similar to the previous photo, but in this one you can see some reflections in the water. Tonally, it has more brown in it.  It’s a bit muddy in appearance, but it still conveys the sense of motion of the geese in flight and the panning stripped away all of the excess details in the background. I recommend that you click on the image to get a higher resolution view.

Coming in for a landing

Coming in for a landing

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Male Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) are featured in photographs much more frequently than their female counterparts. In fact, last week a male cardinal was the star of my blog entry entitled Cardinal Directions. The male cardinal is so bright and conspicuous that he is hard to miss, like a song played with the volume cranked up.

Sometimes, though, my eyes prefer a more delicate, refined beauty and at those moments I find the look of the lady cardinal more to my tastes. There is still some bright red coloration, but it serves as a tasteful accent against the warm brown tones of the rest of the body.

I usually have trouble getting clear shots of female cardinals, who seem to prefer the inside parts of bushes. In this case, I managed to get a mostly unobstructed view and the green of the background blurred out pretty well.

The position of her body is interesting too. It looks like she was facing forward and turned her head to look at me. Perhaps, though, I caught her in the midst of her morning exercise routine—the pose looks like the trunk twists that are done in aerobics classes. Cardinals (like most of us) are not immune to putting on some extra weight during the holiday season, it seems, and she may be trying to stay toned and fit.

Lady Cardinal

Lady Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Do you ever find that you totally missed a cool element of a photograph during initial review because the element was not near the center of the image? Today I looked over some squirrel shots from a week and a half ago and realized that the photo of a squirrel perched on the trunk of a tree was a whole lot more interesting than I had previously thought.

Hide and seek

Hide and seek

My attention had been so drawn to the downward-facing squirrel (is that a yoga pose?) that I didn’t even notice the squirrel in the upper right corner, peering out from inside the hollow tree. That squirrel is so cute that I enlarged the corner of the photo so you can appreciate its cuteness even more.

Cute squirrel

Cute squirrel

By itself, the cute squirrel would have been worth posting, but in combination with the other squirrel, it’s a really fun image.

The lesson learned for me is that I need to look at my photos more carefully during my first review or take the time to look at them later a second time with fresh eyes.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Thia little bird that I photographed this past weekend is not in a tree, but I am pretty sure that he is an American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea). The reddish eye stripe and the two-toned bill made this identification easier than usual for me. This sparrow was amazingly active, pecking at a variety of plants close to the ground.

Why is he called a Tree Sparrow if he’s not in a tree? According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the birds were misleadingly named by European settlers reminded of Eurasian Tree Sparrows back home.  American Tree Sparrows are in fact ground birds that forage on the ground and nest on the ground.

Has anyone ever told you that you eat like a bird? If so, I hope they weren’t referring to this sparrow. American Tree Sparrows need to take in about 30 percent of their body weight in food and a similar percentage in water each day, according to the Cornell Lab website.

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Do you ever find yourself really liking some of your photos that are full of technical flaws?

As a non-professional, I have had more than my fair share of blurry images, missed subjects, out-of-kilter compositions, and poor exposures. Many of them are deleted as soon as I view them on the back of the camera. Sometimes, though, the mistakes yield such interesting results that I can’t bear to delete them.

I arrived at the beaver lodge at my local marshland before the sun had fully risen one morning this past weekend, hoping to see the beavers in action. I had my camera set on ISO 400 and it was wide open at F4, with the mode set for aperture priority. I hadn’t yet set up my tripod, which I was hoping to use, because I anticipated relatively slow shutter speeds.

All of the sudden I hear the sound of geese approaching and it quickly became clear that they were coming in for a landing in the beaver pond. Without really thinking, I panned the camera and started shooting as I tried to follow the geese as they approached the water. Most of the photos were totally unusable. There was so little light that my camera chose a shutter speed of 1/6 of a second. Even with image stabilization, that’s too slow for handheld photos.

There was one image, however, that I really liked. The head of one goose is relatively in focus and another goose is visible (although out of focus) in the foreground. The background is blurred from my panning action. Somehow it reminds me of the photos they used to show of the finishes of races in which photos had to be developed to determine who crossed the finish line first. In this case, the geese seem to be leaning forward towards an invisible finish line in the same way that sprinters do.

Clearly this is not a great (or even good) photo, but I like it, and maybe others will find it interesting too.

Photo finish

Photo finish

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Most of the mallard ducks that I encountered today were busily foraging for food. One female mallard, however, had found a prime location on a mossy log in the pond opposite the beaver lodge and spent a lot of time preening her feathers.

It may have been my imagination, but she seemed to realize that she had an audience and began posing for me. Periodically she would even glance coyly in my direction (or so it seemed) to confirm that I was still watching her. As for the male mallards that would swim by from time to time—she ignored them completely.

Shy duck

Shy duck

Looking back

Looking back

Ready for my profile shot

Ready for my profile shot

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »