Spring

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!

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Is Yosemite Overrated?

Now when looking at the great western parks for an autumn trip, Yosemite wouldn’t probably be my first recommendation.  It was a first time to the area, so I carved out a few days to camp and explore in late September, hoping to discover the type of iconic views made famous from the likes of Ansel Adams and many other talented photographers over the decades.

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

Valley View, Yosemite National Park

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Botswana

Southern Giraffe, Okavango Delta, Botswana

A Southern Giraffe with her calf watch from a clearing, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Recently I took a safari trip to Botswana in Southern Africa.  It was at the height of the Ebola scare, but the portion of the trip I dreaded was the 16 1/2 hour flight between Atlanta and Johannesburg.  At some point, the plane’s pilot mentioned it was the second longest commercial flight in the world,  so I made a mental note to avoid that one longer flight if ever given the chance.  From South Africa, it was only a couple more hours north to Botswana.  Once the logistics of getting to the camps were over, the lodges were very comfortable given the remoteness of the areas visited.  It was the start of the rainy season, and the Linyanti River area near the Namibia border was starting to transition quickly to a greener, more dense landscape. Continue reading

Smokies Spring

The Smoky Mountains in Spring are usually a safe bet for a productive photography trip.  From the heavier flowing falls, the wildflowers and possible sightings of recently born animals, there are plenty of subjects to focus a lens on.

Middle Prong River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada (aka Hwy 93) is one of the most scenic roads you’ll find in North America.  Recently I had the chance to drive it again while photographing in the Canadian Rockies.  The 140 mile road connects Banff and Jasper National Parks and provides access to parts of Yoho and Kootenay.

Bow Lake

Bow Lake

Along the way, Bow Lake is a small lake with several vantage points close to the highway.  Above is the lake with a reflection of Crowfoot Mountain.

Peyto Lake viewed from Bow Summit is an iconic shot of the Canadian Rockies. But also a popular stop for the tour buses, so I’d recommend getting there in the first few hours of the day.

Peyto Lake viewed from Bow Summit

Peyto Lake viewed from Bow Summit

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Beach Walk

These photos were from a beach hike this weekend that started before dawn.  A heavily eroded cliff marks the tide line.  This large tree will eventually fall and join a number of other trees that are half buried in the sand below.

Setting Moon, Big Talbot Island, Florida

Setting Moon, Big Talbot Island, Florida

Sunrise looking towards the Atlantic Ocean.  The water is flowing into a large tidal creek in the foreground that separates Big and Little Talbot.

Sunrise, Little Talbot Island, Florida

Sunrise, Little Talbot Island, Florida

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