Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 11, 2011

Best of, Part 1

Filed under: For the Birds,Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:08 pm
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Scott’s assignment for this month is to show off your “best” photos of the last year (from Nov.1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2011).  Like Kathy of Lake Superior Spirit, I think I’m going to have to be a bit of a rule-breaker this time around.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time going through my archives from the last twelve months, trying my best to narrow down.  Scott said he was looking for a minimum of 3 photos, but that we could share as many as we wished.  So maybe I’m not really rule-breaking all that much, but like Kathy, I’ve decided to do a few posts on the subject.  To keep it interesting, I’ve categorized my favorites and will do a post for each category.  I believe I’ve shared the majority of these with you already, but maybe some will be new to some of you, and at the very least forgotten about by some of you regular readers.

My first category I’m sharing is Birds.  Through the various feeders in my yard, and birding opportunities in the woods and on vacation, I’ve gotten very interested in trying to get decent photos of these fast-moving creatures.  I actually took one of my favorites just a few days ago, but that doesn’t count for Scott’s assignment!

I was absolutely thrilled to get my first pictures of a hummingbird this year.  I had a pair that seemed to make their home very close to my yard this past summer and I was lucky enough to get some unique photos of which I’m proud.
My first hummingbird picture!

hummingbird edit

humbird1

hum3

The photo-elusive male cardinal finally stayed around long enough for me to get some nice pictures this year.  Suet cakes turned out to be the key to getting Mr. C to hang around!

Male cardinal

On a visit to Cape Cod a pair of mallard ducks were quietly swimming in a small creek near my mother’s house, and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them in the pretty afternoon light.
Mrs. Duck

Mr. Duck

A return visit to the Cape in July provided me with my first photo of an osprey.
osprey

Seeing this bird of prey and getting this photo gave me a thrill.

I believe the above to be my best avian photos of 2011.  Out of all photos I plan to share over the next few days, these shots gave me my strongest sense of accomplishment due to the challenging nature of the subjects, and the way they forced me to learn more about using my camera.

By the way, I just realized that this assignment will reflect a year of growth in learning to use my Rebel; I bought the Canon in July of 2010, and the time period for the assignment begins four months later.  Kinda cool, huh?

You still have plenty of time to participate in Scott’s assignment – it isn’t due until November 16th!  I hope many of you will jump in and show off your best!

ETA: I forgot to mention that I had some bird photo goals for this year that went unfulfilled.  I had been hoping to also photograph an oriole, a clear shot of a red-winged blackbird (the only one I got this year can be seen here) and Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal together in one shot.  Bob or Tracy, any advice for fulfilling those goals?

July 21, 2011

Cape Cod Flora and Fauna

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 10:13 am
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Flora and fauna – a fancy way of saying plants and critters!  Maybe that’s what this blog should actually be called, huh?  They are my favorite photo subjects, and my recent trip to Cape Cod provided plenty.

Flora:
lace caps

Lace-cap hydrangeas

lillies

fiery day lillies

beach rose

beach roses or rosa rugosa

beach heather

beach heather

And the fauna:

grabbing a snack

gull who came close enough for a piece of pizza crust

beach visitor

beach-visiting golden retriever

hermit crabs

Hermit crabs found by my daughers (don’t worry they put ’em back!).  Amuses me that at 16 and almost 14 years old, finding and picking them up still fascinates Meghan and Sarah.

piper or plover? not sure!

Not sure what this bird is.  I’m thinking a piper or a plover – can anyone help?  I watched this bird hover over the Bass River and quickly dive in for fish.

osprey

Osprey – I’m very happy with this shot.  This is the best shot of a bird of prey that I’ve ever gotten.  In all my visits to the Cape, with the many nest boxes you see everywhere, I never quite realized just how large this bird is. The chimney gives you a good idea of its size; according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology it is almost 2 feet tall and has a wingspan of about 5 feet.

“Karma’s Plants ‘n’ Critters”…. nah, I guess not. 😉

E.T.A. : Turns out that my hovering, diving bird is but a common tern (ha, ha, I crack myself up!).  I did a little research and Cornell’s “All About Birds” helped me out again.  Great site they have there.