Wildlife

Storm Flight

Storm Flight

 

 

Hurricane Matthew’s devastating march up the southeast coast of the United States this past week brought back memories of all the places we visited last year as we sailed northwards from Ft. Lauderdale to Morehead City in North Carolina along the Intracoastal Waterway. City after city making the news as they suffered from wind and extraordinarily high levels of storm surge reminded me of stopovers aboard AVATAR in happier times – Fernandina Beach, Flagler Beach (where my husband Mike grew up), and St. Augustine in Florida, Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island and Savannah in Georgia, Beaufort, Myrtle Beach and Charleston in South Carolina, and so many more.

This photo of an American White Ibis flying into a stormy sky was captured near Southport, NC. I spent a lot of time stalking ibises, my interest piqued in part because it is a bird never seen in the western part of the United States where I live.

For this shot, I had staked myself out on a lengthy wooden pier raised high above the sawgrass marshes flanking the waterway at the marina where we were tied up for the night. The ibises were sailing overhead and landing in the nearby green meadows. It was a breezy day, and I was constantly putting on my prescription eyeglasses to review my shots, and taking them off again whenever I raised the camera to my eye. After repeating this routine multiple times – suddenly my eyeglasses were nowhere to be found. I searched the deck with blurry vision, finally concluding that the wind had blown them off the boardwalk and into the swamp some 10-12 feet below.

Husband Mike was called into the search, and with his unusual eyesight – far worse than mine but with an uncanny ability to focus on minute objects – he did indeed spot them below in the sawgrass. How to retrieve them was another question. Wading into the marsh was an exercise in sinking up to the knees in muck that sucks the shoes off your feet leaving your bare soles exposed to beds of sharp-edged clams embedded in the mud…this scenario derived from personal experience on a previous bird-stalking expedition!

We decided to create an impromptu rope ladder for Mike to climb down and I was sent back to the boat to fetch several lengths of line. Luckily, on the way I spotted an extraordinarily long boat hook belonging to the marina management. Thanks to the boat hook, we snagged the glasses on the first pass, quite possibly saving this post from a much lengthier narrative if our rope trick had proven to be folly!

SHOP THIS PRINT

Nikon D4S, 1/1000 sec at f/6.7, ISO 400 mm (80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6), hand-held

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Enjoy but please respect.

 

Posted by Carol in Birds, North Carolina, USA, 2 comments
Desert Kaleidoscope

Desert Kaleidoscope

Early this past spring I headed outdoors to photograph a white egret that had been hanging around our property. The egret never cooperated, staying far out of range of my camera lens, but a roadrunner on the hunt showed up instead. I captured several satisfying images of him as he darted by in pursuit of a lizard or whatever a roadrunner eats! I especially enjoy this capture for the kaleidoscope-like effect of the background created by the lens bokeh, while the roadrunner emerges into focus with even his tiniest feathers rim lit by the sunlight.

Nikon D810, 1/1600 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1100, 500mm (200.0-500.0 mm f/5.6), hand held

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Enjoy, but please respect.

Posted by Carol in Arizona, Birds, USA, Wildlife, 0 comments
Contest Results!

Contest Results!

 

 

For those of you who voted in my Favorite Photo contest, thanks for playing along! It was fun for me to watch the results of the polling and see which images rose to the top! The winner? It’s a tie! Sunrise Flight and Fringing Reef Wavelet were the winners. Close runners-up, only a vote or two behind, were The Bobcat, High Heels, and Sail Into Sunrise.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – the winner of the drawing for a free 12 x 18″ print is Mackenzie Sullivan. Mackenzie’s vote, maybe not so coincidentally, went to Sunrise Flight. Congratulations Mackenzie!

Sunrise Flight is an image captured as we sailed out of an anchorage early one morning in the Solomon Islands. A couple of summers ago it was displayed in an exhibition hosted by the San Diego Museum of Natural History, where it won an honorary prize. I actually use this photo as the wallpaper for my iPhone! It works just as well in both vertical or horizontal positions. It never fails to bring back memories of those tranquil but dramatic early mornings at sea.

Again, thanks to you all! And better luck next time!

 

Posted by Carol in Birds, Cook Islands, Seascapes, Solomon Islands, 1 comment
Sunrise Flight

Sunrise Flight

 

Sunrise Flight is a composite image created from two photographs captured in the Solomon Islands. We left our anchorage at dawn one morning to get an early start for a long day’s passage. The rising sun lit the cumulus clouds building up on the horizon, giving them an internal glow. I was concentrating on capturing images of the dramatic sky when a booby joined us briefly, winging his way parallel to the boat, his eye reflecting the early light. Two captures taken just moments apart – the empty cloudscape and the sunlit bird in flight – were meant for each other, so I married them in one image that captures the essence of the moment as I experienced it.

The vast expanse of sea and sky and the perfectly positioned wings of the bird together create an image that expresses the unfettered freedom of flight.

Sunrise Flight has been exhibited from coast to coast, including the San Diego Museum of Natural History and, most recently, PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont, a contemporary photography venue. Prints of this award-winning image are available for purchase HERE

Nikon D4, 1/500 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100, 165 mm (70.0-200.00 mm f/2.8 lens)

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Please respect.

 

 

Posted by Carol in Birds, Scenic, Seascapes, Solomon Islands, South Pacific, Sunrise/Sunset, USA, Vermont, Wildlife, 0 comments
The Bobcat

The Bobcat

 

We have the good fortune to live alongside Sabino Creek on Tucson’s eastside, a riparian area which as a result remains a wildlife corridor in an urban area. Bobcats, coyotes, javelina, jack rabbits, hawks, quail, roadrunners and more abound.

I spend a lot of time at the computer editing and refining my digital photographs. Truth be told, this is as much fun for me as the actual photography. One autumn morning my housekeeper interrupted my concentration to announce that there was a ‘gato muy grande’ in the backyard. I grabbed my handheld camera with a walk-around zoom lens already attached and tiptoed into the backyard to check him out.

This handsome bobcat, in full winter coat, was only about 10 feet away from the house but conveniently near his escape route into the riverbed. He gave me an intense look over his shoulder, I clicked twice, and he was gone.

It took some careful editing to bring this image to life, but it has become one of my favorites.

The Bobcat is available for purchase HERE

Nikon D4 1/1600 sec at f/5/6, ISO 800, 400 mm (80.0-400.00 mm f/4.5-5.6 lens)

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Please respect.

 

 

 

Posted by Carol in Arizona, Bobcats, USA, Wildlife, 0 comments
Coyote Visitors

Coyote Visitors

A pack of three coyotes came visiting the other day in casual search of a meal. It was broad daylight, almost noon. We watched through the window as a lot of digging and pouncing took place, eventually rewarded with the capture of a round tailed ground squirrel as a late-morning snack. I’m not too sorry about the rodent – coyotes have to eat, after all. The ground squirrels are cute but we have whole cities of them on our property, riddled with burrows and upheavals of dirt.

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Nikon D4, AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR @ 400mm, ISO 400 f/11 @ 1/750 sec, 0 EV

Eventually one of the threesome wandered over to the stone fountain just outside our bedroom window. I photographed him/her through the glass until the coyote finally went on its way, stopping en route to pick up this huge frog, some kind of leopard frog, that he must have snagged during an earlier fishing expedition and set aside for dessert. I’ll miss the very loud raucous croaking of that frog keeping us awake at night, but I’m sure another will move in shortly.

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Nikon D800, AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR @ 400mm, ISO 800 f/9.0 @ 1/800 sec, -2/3 EV

Click on any photo below to open up a slideshow and camera settings.

Posted by Carol in Arizona, Coyotes, USA, Wildlife, 3 comments