A few weeks ago a pair of Carolina Wrens had built a nest in a flower pot on the patio. Soon there were three eggs, and thinking it’d be helpful to shield the nest from the high traffic area near the door, the plant stand was moved to the other side of the patio a few feet away. Unexpectedly, the wren seemed to have problems locating the bright red flowers and abandoned the nest. So the planter was moved back to the original spot and over the next three days the total of eggs grew to 6! Wrens will sit on the nest for about two weeks, but about a week later a strong storm came through and toppled the plant stand. The three new eggs were on the ground in the driving rain. So I did my best to put things back in order and the wren came back later in the day and continued sitting. Somewhat miraculously, two of the eggs still managed to hatch. I took a series of photos of the nest as the days passed, with both the male and female continuously bringing food for the growing chicks. Today they fledged and only the original three eggs were left inside. Wrens will often lay two or three broods, so we’ll see if they reuse the nest in the next few days. Happy Spring!
Roman Goddess of the Hunt, Diana
The Museum of Art in Philadelphia is one of the largest in the U.S. It’s been a few years since my last stop inside so I made an effort to visit last week while in the area. The exhibits are divided among two large floors, with the contemporary and special exhibits on the first floor, and Asian, European, and miscellaneous collections on the second. Separating the floors is a grand staircase with a large statue of Diana on the balcony.
Man with a Violin, Pablo Picasso (1911-12, oil on canvas)
Photographing in large museums is usually pretty easy as the lighting is well designed and the galleries provide a lot of space to move around. I shoot in raw, so any fluctuations in light temperatures are easily corrected back at the computer. I do usually have to increase the ISO settings to 800-1600 to get an adequate shutter speed to avoid blur.
Paul by Chuck Close, 1994 Oil on canvas
The reason you carry a lens cloth in your pocket
This weekend included a fundraiser for the local Humane Society and I volunteered to help take some photos of the annual event held downtown. There were a wide range of dog breeds that seemed to be enjoying the sunny day as much as those on the other side of the leash. I’m not sure yet how much was raised but there was a sizeable crowd which hopefully will exceed the $100,000 from last year.
2014 Mutt March
Bethlehem Steel plant in 1896
In eastern Pennsylvania, Bethlehem Steel was the second largest steel provider in the U.S. for much of the 20th century. Founded in Bethlehem in 1857, the company produced steel for skyscrapers, major bridges and ships. But due to declining demand, rising labor costs and foreign competition, the steel making at the large complex ended in 1995. The area of the original plant has now been partially converted to an arts and entertainment district with live music concerts at the foot of the massive blast furnaces. It’s an interesting blend of industrial decay and contemporary urban use – and a great spot to take a few photos.
About two years ago I was walking around downtown and saw an old clock on a street corner and took some photos. Not too long after, I was at the same corner and the clock had disappeared. The city has been making street improvements so I figured it had been moved to another location. In reality, it had been shipped off (to California?) for restoration and was finally re-installed in the past month. So I was in the area last week and stopped by and it looks like a new clock- maybe too new as you can see here-
Jacobs Jewelers Clock (1901), Jacksonville, Florida
Shown in the before/after they cleaned off some rust and repainted, but also replaced the hands and glass light fixtures. I think I like the weathered look better… Continue reading