A few more altered realities to contemplate:
Posted by Evolution of X on October 20, 2012
October has been a busy month here at home. I’ve neglected FIME, gotten behind on my blog-reading, and haven’t had a chance to go hiking with my camera in weeks. I did find a few minutes to play with some old photos in Photoshop Elements, though. What do you think?
Posted by Evolution of X on October 18, 2012
Yes, you guessed it. I’m talking about ospreys. There’s a lake about 20 miles from here that has a decent population of the impressive “fish eagles.” We usually go a few times a summer and while my partner and the kids swim, I go for a walk in the woods along the lake shore, and if we get there early enough, I get to watch the ospreys fish. This time they gave me a good show, and there were also a couple of great egrets in the shallows and a great blue heron watching from a tree. But unfortunately they were all fishing along the far shore where even my zoom lens couldn’t get good images of them.
Then a shadow swooped over me and I looked up to see an osprey with a big fish in his talons had just flown right over my head from the woods behind me.
About a quarter of a mile through the woods behind me was another finger of the lake and I can only guess he came from there. I knew I had just a second to catch him before he would be too far away and I fumbled with my camera in my eagerness not to miss the opportunity. He was almost too far away already by the time I framed him and his friend.
Then his friend/rival/mate dropped away and I got a solo shot.
I was convinced he was headed for a nest on the far shore…
…until he circled back, flew by me and headed for the north end of the lake…
…where there is a stand with a nest on top and one hungry youngster waiting.
But he didn’t get the fish. My osprey disappeared into the trees behind the nest.
So I spent some time admiring the reflections.
On the way back, I heard a pileated woodpecker call several times but never did spot him. So I took one last shot of the far shore through the trees and went to see if my family was soaked enough and sunburned yet.
Posted by Evolution of X on August 1, 2012
Ever since I first picked up a camera when I was 12 or so, I’ve displayed a tendency to chase pretty bugs with wings trying to still an instant so I could get a closer look. I wasn’t very good at it when I was 12, and I’m not really great at it now, but I have 2 things going for me that I didn’t have then – a compulsive persistence honed by decades of practice (or neuroses management, your call) and a digital camera with a zoom lens.
Now I can take dozens of images of a given butterfly without necessarily having to put myself within arm’s reach – a distinct advantage when you’re dealing with an insect whose spastic, high-speed flight path contains nothing akin to a straight line and can often swoop on a whim over the trees and out of your reach forever. It also helps that I am finally learning something about butterfly behavior, so I can catch them in relative stillness while they’re feeding, sunning or puddling. But still, the skittish little suckers are fast and erratic and will often fling themselves out of my frame at the last second. So sometimes my butterfly hunts are reduced to photos of things that move much more slowly – like wildflowers.
Next to tropical fish and seashells and the feathers of peacocks, I always thought a butterfly’s wings are one of the most brilliant canvases nature has come up with – all of summer painted on a scaled wing, more exotic than the flowers they feed on. Once I started hunting, it was all about collecting (because that’s the nature of my particular compulsion), so I’m always chasing something I’ve never seen or caught (or a better shot of one I have).
Here are a few of my favorites.
Posted by Evolution of X on June 19, 2012