Scratching our heads

One of the ‘target’ species we hoped to see at our feeders this year are Baltimore Orioles. About a week ago one landed on the hummingbird feeder trying to get the “nectar” and we broke out the oriole feeder. Molly filled up the small recesses with grape jelly. For the past week we have been graced with at least 4 mature males, 2 mature females and what we think are juvie males.

We must have been the place to be for Orioles. They hit the feeder hard. We were refilling it twice a day. They were eating so much jelly, Molly went to the store and bought a bargain brand so she would have some Welch’s for her morning toast. It has been a lot of fun to see these colorful visitors.

This week has been a different story. Oriole activity is down. After looking at the migration /nesting area map, we see that our part of Missouri is on the borderline between “just passing through” and “setting up housekeeping”.

We aren’t sure if they are in the process of leaving or are busy building nests etc.

A trio of shots– not Nat Geo but we didn’t have time to do the ‘bird on a stick’ set up. Tomato cages have to be fabricated so Miss Molly can get her garden set up and I’m running behind. 🙂

Word Press Woes

I was in the process of working on some catch up posts and happened to look at some of the latest posts and the images. I noticed that WP had auto updated to a newer version and some glitches had popped up.

Seems the WP rendering engine is acting up again and some of the images are loading slow, despite keeping file sizes small, and they look very soft.

In the past, I reloaded the version and things straightened themselves out. I hope that is the case again. Will wait a few days and check it again.

Until then, bear with us and we will try to get a few new posts up that reflect what is going on in our little piece of paradise 🙂

Battle Of The Box

One of our favorite things about living near the New Haven city limits is having blue birds use the box that Carolyn Schleuter gave us as a housewarming gift last year. We had three sets of bluebird babies fledged out of our box last year.

This year we put the box up early thinking that the birds would get a head start. Little did we know that the House Sparrows would try to claim the box for themselves. Numerous ‘raids’ ran the blue birds off. After reading everything we could about blue birds and house sparrow nesting conflicts, we had to take the box down for a week. This was to break any bond that the house sparrows had to the box. Luckily, the rains came and we have not seen any house sparrows in sometime. The alternative is to trap and eliminate the house sparrows with as they say “extreme prejudice”.

Put the box up this morning and we hope the battle of the box is over. So far, no house sparrows and the blue birds are going in and out of the box.

Fingers crossed, we hope to see bluebird babies soon.

Recent shots

Almost Showtime

Caught this guy early,early in the morning at close range. He and his lady friend have been checking out the blue bird box we put out. He certainly has his ‘courting colors’ working and no…..there is no added saturation.

Thanks to Scott Vilmer

I recently got an invitation to photograph eagles with Scott Vilmer ( winner of a gazillion photo contests and all around good guy). Scott is one of those photographers that photographs everything well, always has a camera with him and is very successful.

We met at the Junie Moon Cafe for breakfast and then had a quick photo shoot. Scott had to cut it short due to some yahoo missing a curve near his house in Richwoods and flattening a couple of Rose of Sharon bushes. Like Molly always tells me…”You can’t fix stupid.” Hopefully, Scott can re-plant the bushes and maybe put a couple of boulders in the yard so the next yahoo gets a ‘wake up call’.

Here is a half-dozen– I’m sure Scott’s are better but these will have to do.

 

Knocking Off Some More Winter’s Rust

Last Tuesday, I had to get out of the house. Decided to head up to Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. That called for an “O Dark Thirty” wake-up so I could get there around 7am.

There are a couple of photography groups that we belong to that are going to visit the refuge in the next week or two and I kind of wanted to scout stuff out. With the weather we have had, I was not sure if I was going to be early or late in the migration. Our normal migration pattern calls for the 2nd week in March to the end of March for waterfowl.

After being there, I think I might have been early for ducks and late for snow geese.

In any event, I tried to knock off some more of that Winter’s Rust. Here are a few that I liked.

Knocking Off Some Winter’s Rust

We went up to DiSalvo’s Farm Sunday to see what was happening and to see how the work is going on for his new house. Molly also brought him a home made loaf of bread. We figured he already had the salt and the fire so it would count as a house warming gift as well. :))

We found a few ducks that were using the place. We think these were ‘scouts’ since there did not seem to be a lot of ducks around BK Leach. Now we could be early or maybe we are late— hard to tell with the weather.

After months of not photographing birds that are moving, I had to regain some old skills like finding the bird in the viewfinder (think of it like trying to look down a straw), catching up with the bird and have the auto focus stay on the bird. We had ‘other fish to fry’ and packed it up when the light got harsh ( it did not take long).

So here are 10 shots. The one named farm1 shows some of the difficulties when there is a cluttered back ground– add both subject and background being essentially the same “shade” and my ‘rust’, it didn’t result in total failure anyway.

 

THE FANTASTIC LORI BIEHL

I had lunch with award winning photographer Lori Biehl not long ago. We were discussing a future project scheduled for late spring. I asked her what she had been shooting lately and she showed me a few images on her phone about ice racing. I was blown a way and I think you will be also.  Consider the photographic puzzle presented here. Relatively low light, lots of white and very very slow shutter speeds– add the fact that the subjects are moving pretty fast relative to shutter speeds and it calls for great skill in panning. Lori has it in spades.

Lori truly has a passion for motor racing and has worked hard to achieve the recognition of being a very fine racing photographer.

You can see more at her website Lori Biehl Photography or her Facebook page Lori Biehl Photography-Facebook

Enjoy