Friday, July 29, 2011

Snake in the grass

On Wednesday morning my coworker Yoshi spotted a Garter snake when he stepped out the back door of our office. Needless to say, it didn't take me long to follow him outside, camera in hand. It certainly didn't seem too alarmed by our presence, which allowed me to get closer than I'd expected to. In fact, you can spot two drops of water on its head in this shot—one on the tip of its nose, and one on the upper edge of its forehead (just a reminder: you can click on any photo I post to see it in a larger size):

A look at its entire length:

It then looked like it was going to make its way across the walkway, so I set myself up in its path to try and get some shots of it coming toward me instead of moving away. I also took a ton of shots whenever it stuck its tongue out, hoping for maybe one or two decent ones. In this photo, both my goals were achieved:

I really like how its body was curved in this shot:

It continued along its way right in front of where I was crouched next to our picnic table, so I used the bench to brace the camera and worked on getting some good close-ups; in this one, you can see the fork of its tongue just poking past its mouth:

Without question, the best shot I got of the snake with its tongue extended:

Finally, I cropped this one in nice and tight so you can see more of the details, such as the new water drop it's sporting on the tip of its nose and the reflection of the clouds in the snake's eye:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paper nest

My folks noticed a large paper wasp nest while they were out on one of their walks with Kaylee, so the last time I stopped by Dad took me up so I could get a few photos of it.

This first one isn't the best quality, but I wanted to include it to provide a sense of perspective as to how big the nest was:

Same angle, but I was a heck of a lot closer when I took this shot:

I wanted to be sure to get a photo of this side so as to get a good look at how the wasps simply built their nest around the maple leaf that was still attached to the branch:

And a shot from the opposide side; you can see the hole they use for going in and out of the nest on the bottom left:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bird feeder

A couple of weeks ago, toward the end of a Saturday stint at work, I heard the sound of a crow cawing right out in front of the building. I took a peek out one of the windows, saw there were three crows less than ten feet away on the lawn, then grabbed my camera. It didn't take me too long to realize that one of the crows was a fledgling, still looking to its parent to provide its meals:

The three birds together:

The young one squawking away, hoping for some food:

I then got very fortunate, as the young bird and its parent not only came closer to the building but were facing right towards me as the adult obliged its child:

That's the young bird on the right; note that while the inside of its mouth is pink, the adult bird's mouth is as dark as its feathers:

One final shot, taken not 10 minutes after the above sequence, of the younger bird once again demanding to be fed. Clearly, a parent's work is never done...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I see trees of green

Not much to say about this one; I took it a couple of weeks ago while out for a walk with Kaylee, and really liked how it turned out if I do say so myself:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cedar waxwings

I stayed over at Mom and Dad's for about a week and a half in June, and while I was there I managed to expand my already embarrassingly large assortment of unsorted photos to gigantic proportions. I'm going to try my best to do something about that, starting with a few shots I took of some of the Cedar Waxwings that spent a good deal of quality time plucking berries off a bush growing just outside the dining-room window:

To try and get some decent shots, I'd check on the bush periodically until I could see them moving around through the branches. Then I'd sneak out the front door, stand on the front step, and wait until they moved close enough to my side of the bush to get a clear look at them. Or as close to clear as I could manage:

Streeeeeeetch that neck out:

The berry has been successfully obtained:

And going down the hatch:

Even though the bird is mostly obscured by leaves in this last shot, I still liked how it turned out: