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Posts Tagged ‘red fox’

Thanks to a reminder from WordPress, I realized this morning that I am starting my 8th year with this blog. On July 7, 2012 I made my first posting “Blue Dasher dragonfly” and, as they say, the rest is history. According to WordPress stats, I have had 205,209 views of 3,177 posts. Some of those were re-reposts of blogs written by others, but I figure that I have written over 3,100 individual posts with well over 5,000 photos.

This morning I decided to share three of my all-time favorite photos—a singing Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus); a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) on a frozen pond; and a close-up shot of a Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum ambiguum). I think that these three images taken together give you a good idea of my approach to photography.

I could not have made it this far on my journey in photography without the support and encouragements of so many of you. You have helped to make blogging part of my daily life. Thanks so much to you for enriching my life in a whole range of different ways.

I owe a special debt of gratitude to Cindy Dyer, my dear friend and photography mentor. She was the one who sat me down seven years ago and helped me with the mechanics of starting this blog. She continues to inspire me and to support me in both my personal life and in my photography. Thanks, Cindy.

What’s ahead? For the foreseeable future I plan to continue my adventures in photography. Having recently retired, I may start to venture to somewhat more distant locations, but mostly I anticipate more and more hours of walking around with my camera in hand, trying to capture all of the beauty of the natural world.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red Fox

Blue-faced Meadowhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Six years ago today my photography mentor Cindy Dyer sat me down and told me that I was going to start a blog. She showed me the basics of WordPress editing and navigation and helped me set up my initial pages. I don’t think that either of us anticipated the degree to which I would grow to love the process of blogging, a process that has allowed me to express myself creatively in both words and images

WordPress data show that I have published 2768 posts and have had approximately 170800 views. Those posts have included 429649 words (about 155 words per posting) and well over 3000 photos.

The importance of my blog, though, cannot be expressed merely in numbers. More significantly the blog has helped me to develop relationships with a lot of different viewers, to share with you the different steps on my meandering journey into photography. Thanks to all of you for helping me along the way and sharing your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. I especially owe a debt of gratitude to Cindy Dyer for motivating me throughout this entire period, for pushing me at times when I was hesitant, and for serving as my museThanks, Cindy.

To celebrate this anniversary, I thought I would reprise a few of my favorite photos. These are not necessarily my most popular images or my “best” images, but they are ones that are particularly memorable to me. I am also including links to the original postings so you can read the accompanying text and additional commentary about the circumstances under which they were captured.

Links to original postings: Visible Song (8 March 2016); Fox on a frozen pond (31 January 2016); and Rescue of an injured Bald Eagle (4 November 2014).

Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement over these past six years. The journey continues onward.

Visible song

fox on frozen pond

eagle resuce

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Early yesterday morning I trudged through the crusted snow to my favorite spot at Huntley Meadows Park. Along the way I saw a Bald Eagle and a hawk, so I knew that it was going to be a good day.

My favorite spot is a beaver pond in a somewhat remote area of the park. l like to sit at the edge of the pond and watch and wait as a feeling of peace and serenity gradually envelops me. It seems so far removed from the hurried rat race characteristic of the Washington D.C. area and has a restorative effect on my overall well-being.

The pond is frozen now, so I am able to sit on one of the logs that make up the beaver dam and extend my feet over the ice. I place a big plastic bag on the log and sit on a folded towel, so it’s pretty comfortable, even when the temperature is below freezing, as it was yesterday.

As I was looking toward a Great Blue Heron to my left, I detected some movement out of the corner of my right eye. I stopped breathing for a moment when I saw that a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) was standing on the ice. It looked like the fox had been planning to cross the pond and stopped when it spotted me.

Our eyes met for a moment as I took a few shots. Then the unthinkable happened. I pressed my shutter button and the shutter did not engage. Glancing down at my camera, I saw that the battery had died—several hours of freezing temperatures had temporarily drained the battery. This had happened before, although never at a critical moment, so I had another battery in my pocket.

I tried to change the battery as quickly as possible, but the additional movement spooked the fox a little and and it turned around and made its way back to the far bank of the pond. I managed to get a final shot of the fox after the battery change. The fox’s face is not visible, but at least you can see its bushy tail.

Red Fox

Red Fox

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Last week I conducted a poll to see which of my four recent photo contest entries was your favorite image and the fox came out on top with 43 percent, followed by the bluebird (28 %), the eagle 18 %), and the dragonfly (11 %). Thanks to all of you who voted and especially to those who left comments about your choice. I was intrigued, but not surprised, by the fact that the favorite of the readers—the fox— was different from the choice of the contest judge—the dragonfly.

Several readers commented, however, that the particular image of the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) that I used was not their favorite one. I had previously done three postings from the magical encounter with the fox and one of the other shots seemed to speak to some readers more than the one I submitted for the contest.

So I am seeking your views again by reprising all of the fox photos and asking you to vote for your favorite. Do you prefer the fox standing up or leaning over the water? Do you like it more when the fox is looking directly at you or at an angle? Does it make a difference if the fox’s bushy tail is visible? I realize that it may not be easy to narrow your choice down to a single image, so I have tried to set up the poll to permit multiple choices.

If I have set this up correctly, you can click on any image and scroll through each of them in full size. After viewing them all, select your favorite (or favorites) and register your vote. I’d be really happy if you left a few words about your choice. NOTE: If you open the posting in Reader, you may need to click on the Title to get to the poll and to actual posting in which you can scroll through the photos in larger size as a kind of slide show.

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but it looks like it won’t happen here this year, with a high temperature for today forecast to reach 70 degrees (21 degrees C).

So I decided to reprise a more seasonally appropriate shot from a couple of years ago at Huntley Meadows Park. In early January 2014 I spotted this Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) circling around a beaver pond, not far from where I took my most recent fox shots.

Merry Christmas to all of my friends here who support and encourage me on my journey into photography and best wishes to you and your families as we move toward the start of a new year.

Red Fox

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As many of you know, I recently entered some photos in a local photo competition and was fortunate to be awarded second place for one of them. I was a little surprised by the one that was selected, because, quite frankly, it was not my favorite one of the group.

The more that I though about it, the more I realized how difficult it must be to be a judge, especially in an area like photography in which there is both a technical and an artistic component.

Why do we like what we like?

I’ve never used a poll in a posting before, but thought that in this case it might be interesting to learn which one of my four entries is your favorite. I am not really asking you to judge which one is “best,” but am looking more for a sense of which one you like most. You can use whatever criteria you like and I would be thrilled if you gave a few words about your choice.

As you can see, I chose a diverse set of subjects to appeal to a variety of tastes. There are two birds—a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and an Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis); one insect—a Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum ambiguum); and one mammal—a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes).

If I have set this up correctly, you can click on any image and scroll through each of them in full size. After viewing them all, select your favorite and register your vote. As I mentioned earlier, I’d be really happy if you left a few words about your choice. (I think the poll might let you vote multiple times if you have trouble choosing, but am not 100 percent certain, given that I am not familiar with the polling component.) NOTE: If you open the posting in Reader, you may need to click on the Title to get to the actual posting and to the poll.

Thanks. Merry Christmas in advance for those celebrating Christmas and best wishes as we move toward the start of a new year.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I’ve finally made my way through all the photos that I took of my recent encounter with a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Virginia and found some more good ones to post. My dear friend and photography mentor Cindy Dyer helped me to select these and to get them ready for printing.

There is a photo contest at the park and the entry deadline is tomorrow, so we were scrambling to get a fox image ready to submit. There is a limit of four photographs per photographer and I’m pretty sure that the first one below is the fox photo that I will enter, along with photos of a bluebird, an eagle, and a dragonfly. This is the first time I’ve ever printed any of my photos bigger than snapshot size—the submission images will be 11 inches by 14 inches (29 x 36 cm) matted to 16 inches by 20 inches (41 x 51 cm)—and the first time that I have entered a contest.

If you haven’t seen my previous posting with photos of this session with the fox, check out Fox at water’s edge and Fox at water’s edge—part two.

Red Fox

Red Fox

Red Fox

Red Fox

Red Fox

Red Fox

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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