So I decided to enter my Pelican Portrait photo into the Popular Photography Magazine month of March best shot contest. I made some changes to it in Adobe Lightroom earlier today to bring out some more features.
I would be grateful of anyone who clicks the link and leaves me a vote! The edited image is posted there and is also the image for this post. Thanks!
Nature…its pretty damn awesome! Lately our yard has been alive with activity both seen and unseen. There are songbirds all over the places, vultures and hawks soaring about and deer tracks all over the yard (although I never see the deer). Yesterday was no different, or actually it was as we had a visitor of a different kind.
I am fortunate enough to work only minutes from home. This is great for a few reasons. For one I can go home and let Oshie out instead of making him wait for 8 hours which I am sure he appreciates. Secondly I can make myself something fresh fresh for lunch and sit down and relax to eat it. And C (ha-ha) it gives me a chance to walked around the yard and attempt to find the songbirds I want to photograph such as the Chickadee and Titmouse below.
I usually head home for lunch around noon. If the weather is nice I head outside with Oshie and spend about half of my lunch period out there before going inside to get some grub. I always have my camera in hand because practice makes perfect! Yesterday the skies were clear and blue and the birds were everywhere but that is not what caught my attention. While I was scanning the trees look for perched birds something interesting caught my eye.
At first I wasn’t quite sure if I was seeing correctly (I wear some thick glasses ha-ha). Then a breeze kicked up and I saw the fur moving with it. Below is an image of when I first spotted the creature.
So like a young boy I grabbed some rocks and began to throw them at the tree. I had no intentions of striking the animal but only wished to stir it from slumber so I could get a better look. It has been a long time since I have thrown rocks and they went everywhere but the intended target. By this point I was sweating and the ball of fur hadn’t moved at all. I was beginning to wonder if it had died up there.
I decided to walk into the woods a little and get a better view. From the yard zoomed all the way in on my 300mm lens it was still rather small. I scraped my way through the brush and thorns and parked myself right underneath the tree. The creature was now 40+ feet directly above me. At this point I had narrowed it down to either a Raccoon or a Possum. Later after zooming in on this image and also seeing the size of the creature I determined it was a rather large Raccoon.
Lunch time quickly ended and I barely had enough time to throw a sandwich together before heading back to the office. Fast forward a few hours and I was headed home and wondering all the way if the Raccoon was still sleeping soundly in the tree awaiting nightfall. To my surprise he was indeed.
And there was a Tufted Titmouse hanging out with him. Even he couldn’t get the slumbering garbage bandit to wake up. He kept jumping on him but just as my rock throwing attempts had failed so did the little bird.
I knew that Raccoons like to do their work at night so I patiently waited to see if he would become a little more lively and my patience was rewarded. He was actually a cute looking fella although I wouldn’t want to get too close to him.
As it grew even darker he became more active. Unfortunately it was getting too dark for me to get a decent image so I called it quits and left him alone. By morning he was gone. I didn’t expect him to stick around and I wish I had a longer lens but it was still pretty cool.
So I have been photographing birds lately. I have put a few feeders around the yard and have been constantly frustrated as I attempt to get some decent shots.
As usual Oshie could not care less about the birds and always saunters over and scares them away right as I have the perfect shot lined up. He did this the other morning when I was about to take the closest shot I have managed to date of
a red shouldered hawk. I was bummed but he will be back.
Anyway, it is fun and gets me outside and practicing with the camera and there is not much more I could ask for.
Here are two shots of an Eastern Blue Bird I took through our decks sliding glass door. If the glass wasn’t there and the light was a bit better I think they would have come out much sharper.