Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finch photos

I was fighting a headache on and off for most of the day today, so I wasn't feeling all that ambitious when it came to photography. Fortunately for me, a couple of Purple Finches visited my feeder long enough for me to take a few pictures of them:

The female Purple Finch enjoying some seed:

The two birds together; I liked the symmetry of their poses in this shot:

The male Purple Finch:

And because this particular image came out so nice and sharp, you get an extra close-up look at the male:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Breakfast with the birds

I knew I was going to be tied up for most of the day today, so this morning after I ate my breakfast I sat by my window and hoped some birds would come by for theirs. Happily, they didn't let me down.

I liked this Titmouse picture because of the way its tail is fanned out; as I recall, it had just landed on the feeder:

A White-breasted Nuthatch:

I liked how well you can see its claws in this shot—it provides a good sense of how much longer they are compared to those of the the songbirds like the Titmice and Chickadees:

Four available perches, yet the Chickadee up on the right decided it wants the one the other Chickadee was already occupying:

The same thing happened a little while later—this time the middle rung was the desired real estate:

A somewhat unusual angle on a Chickadee as it lands on its chosen perch:

Even though the seed in its beak would suggest this Chickadee had gotten some food and was about to depart, it was actually landing when I took this shot; apparently it decided it wanted to sample the goods on both sides of the feeder:

Finally, a close-up look at one of the Chickadees:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Good to the last drop

Just a few photos today, as it was overcast and rainy here for most of the day. Feeling at a bit of a loss as to what to do for today's photography, after I finished eating lunch I grabbed my camera and coat, walked across the bridge, and stood in the shelter of the small gazebo that sits back amidst the trees on the other side of our casting pond. As it was pretty cool out and I didn't have a whole lot of lunch hour left, I figured my best bet once again was to work with what I had—in this case, rain water.

The first thing that caught my eye was the way the water drops clung to the various branches around me:

I then decided to try getting some closeups of the water as it dripped off the edges of the gazebo's roof:

I was amazed at how well you can see the upside-down reflection of our office building in this drop:

Finally, a lucky catch of a mid-drip moment to close out today's post:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trees in sunlight

There's really not much of a story behind these images—the way the sunlight was hitting some trees caught my eye when I was driving through town this morning, so I pulled over and took a few pictures. I noticed a fair amount of fog and mist on my drive to work, so I suspect that was a big reason why the edges of the trees looked particularly luminous today.

A wide shot of the row of trees:

A closer look at the left side:

And the right:

Finally, for once I was actually trying to do something slightly different when I took this one and intentionally framed it so the tree in the foreground would appear in the upper right corner (as opposed to what I usually do, which is crop the image in Photoshop when I want to highlight a certain section). All in all, I don't think it turned out too badly:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More fall colors

When I stopped by the house last night, Mom mentioned that she'd seen a particularly striking maple tree while driving through town recently. So I went and checked it out after I left work for the day. Once I saw the tree, I totally agreed with her—I just wish there'd been a way to take a clean picture of it, so to speak. Or at least one that didn't involve depriving the neighborhood of electricity and cable television:

And a closer look at some of the leaves:

As I drove home, I couldn't help but notice that the sunset was shaping up to be a very colorful one. As the color of the clouds slowly deepened, I considered my options, knowing I needed a spot where I could both get off the road safely and have a relatively unobstructed view of the mountains. And it had to be one I'd reach in the next few minutes, or else the light would be gone. Luckily for me, I was just coming upon the one section of my route home that fit all three criteria—it has a very wide shoulder that runs along part of a field (in fact, it's the same spot I photographed a group of sheep on my first day with my new camera), and once I got past the power lines there was nothing standing between me, my camera, and the southern horizon:

Better still, because of the rain we've had recently the field across the road was partially flooded, giving me the chance to get a couple of nifty reflection shots as well:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Second verse, same as the first: the reprise

It certainly wasn't my intention when I started my day today, but someone I managed to put together a photo day remarkably similar to yesterday: foliage photos (trying saying that five times fast) and bird pics. But at least this time I didn't take any of them near my apartment...

To start with, a few foliage reflection shots courtesy of the museum's pond:

As for today's bird photos, the star of the show is undoubtedly the Red-breasted Nuthatch that spent a good 30 minutes visiting the feeders at Mom and Dad's when I stopped by after work. It was a total accident on my part, but I really liked how well the bird's reflection shows up in the feeder in this first shot:

This particular nuthatch (or nuthatches—they still refuse to help me out by wearing name tags) would have gotten low marks on the "plays well with others" part of its grade school report card, as you can see in this sequence of shots:

Sitting up on the hook:

Telling another Chickadee it's not welcome on the feeder:

And then settling its feathers back into place:

Apparently, at least one Chickadee figured out that the easiest way to avoid fights with the nuthatch was to hop right on inside the feeder:

Grabbing a seed:

I got a kick out of how the nuthatch and Hairy Woodpecker mirror each other in these next two shots:

This Chickadee was moving to a slightly better spot on the feeder... but still keeping a safe distance from the nuthatch:

I can't point to a specific reason why this one caught my eye when I was going through images, but it did:

I liked all the different things going on in this one:

And finally, I'd definitely classify this one as the catch of the day, so to speak:

Monday, October 25, 2010

The usual suspects

Even though I took the day off today, on a scale of 1 to 10 my get up and go probably maxed out at .75. So for the most part I puttered around my apartment and took photos of birds when I noticed them around. However, not only did it not rain but the sun even shone for a while, making it downright balmy outside (for this time of year, anyway); I decided I should probably take advantage of it while I still could, and stepped out to get a few foliage shots:

Leading things off for today's round of bird photos, a close-up look at a Titmouse:

"What the heck is that human doing in there?"

A White-breasted Nuthatch mid-blink:

This Chickadee apparently finds getting just one seed at a time too inefficient:

I liked the slightly fanned wing in this shot:

I picked this because of the spider you can see dangling from the perch opposite the Chickadee's:

I snapped this shot just as the bird came in for a landing:

Eventually the Purple Finches joined the party:

A close look at the female Purple Finch:

And the male:

The two of them together:

Finally, probably one of my best shots yet of a bird in flight: