Friday, July 16, 2010

North Pond - July 14, 2010 - Post #2

Okay, here we go again. More shots from that same walk I was talking about yesterday.

A purple coneflower. More fun with macro mode. [Coneflower Near the End of the Road]

I'm learning to do a lot more with manual focus. For example, I wanted to focus on this grackle with a seed in his beak, but my camera kept insisting on focusing on the green leaf in front of him. It's trickier to get a shot quickly, but if your subject is sitting still for a minute, you do get a much better shot.

[Grackle with Seed]

This guy was adorable. He came creeping down from a higher branch and seemed pretty shocked to see me standing right under his nose. But instead of running back up the tree, he just flattened himself against the branch like, "You can't see me. I'm blending in!" Too bad the tree was mostly green from lichen. :)
[Flat Squirrelly]

Peekaboo turtle! Don't let fables fool you. Turtles - at least Chicago turtles - are pretty fast. This guy would hear my shutter, duck back under water swim a few yards, pop back up. I'd catch him, he'd duck under and come back up somewhere else. Very, very quickly. I love that you can see his feet and shell under the water in the breaks in the algae. [Peekaboo Turtle]

Near as I can Google, this is an upside down Carpenter Bee. I think the flower he's on is some kind of onion variety. Anyone know?

[Carpenter Bee]

Most adorable shot ever! The "Rainbow Duck" shot from yesterday is mom. She was swimming around this log while her babies sat up high and dried and preened and rested. I still need to look up what kind of ducks they are.

[Ducklings on a Fallen Log]

I love this as an artistic shot. I also love that my Google-fu found that this plant is called Blue Vervain and that the bee is a female bumblebee. This is the kind of shot that I end up filing away for the next Art Sharks or contest I find.

[Bumblebee and Blue Vervain]

So, truthfully, the smaller you make this shot, the better it looks. :p He took off, I held down my shutter and just followed him as he went. The good news is, the camera did know what I was focusing on (as evidenced by the almost invisible, yet still visible enough to be annoying tree branches in the foreground), the bad news is, there's a lot of blur when trying to catch a heron that's diving for its dinner. [Heron Goes Dinner Diving]

He's so much easier to catch well when he's sitting still. :)

[Juvenile Great Blue Heron Watches the Horizon]

And here he is in all his glory. And in context. I think I may have inadvertently focused on his chest because it's a little more in focus than his head. But given the distance I was at when I took this, I'm surprised it came out as well as it did (even if I did have to darken it a bit in Graphic Converter). I love how you can see the darker feathers coming in on his chest and in his tail. And a little detail? Look at the zig-zag reflection of the grasses in the water. [Young Heron in the Grass]

Okay, ten pictures make a post. Let me know what you think. :)


  1. I believe the turtle is a red-eared slider. He is adorable, I used to watch a bunch of them back in college, there was a nature preserve in the city and the pond was always full of them.

  2. I'm pretty sure you're right. Thanks! There are at least two species of turtles in that particular pond - these and a much bigger one. The bigger one doesn't have the distinctive ear marks or yellow stripes and the shell is much smoother. They're harder to find until they come up on the fallen logs, but at the slightest sound they head right back into the water.