Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Mourning Doves and Babies


A pair of mourning doves decided to start a family in our back yard. They built a nest directly on one of the wooden crossbeams of our pergola. The nest and their activities could be seen, and photographed, through our back windows without disturbing them.

We have climbing hydrangeas growing on that pergola. Fortunately, it was just early enough in the spring season that they weren't in full bloom yet, so the leaves didn't hide the nest too much. The leaves have since grown in, and there's no way to easily view the nest anymore. That's okay because the young babies, called squabs, have since left the nest.

These first few shots are of the eggs in the nest. The quality of the photos is not ideal because they are taken through window screen and window glass. We were too concerned to remove the screen at first, because we didn't want to startle the birds. All the later photos are still through window glass - not best - but at least we managed to get the screen out of the way with no negative consequences.

I spent quite a bit of time post-processing most of these through-the-screen-and-or-glass photos in an attempt to improve their image quality.


Parent and Eggs #1




Parent and Eggs #2



Mourning Dove parents switch off during the day, both mother and father sharing the responsibility of keeping the squabs warm by sitting on them. This next photo was taken after one parent got off them, and before the other parent arrived.

Babies During Parent Switch #1




Keeping Babies Warm




Peeking Out



One of the parents waiting his or her turn to sit. I liked the tail pose.

Graceful Parent




Babies During Parent Switch #2



Babies (squabs) are fed Pigeon's Milk, also called Dove's Milk, which is regurgitated from the mother and the father. The parent can feed one or both squabs at the same time.

Babies Being Fed Dove's Milk




Eyes Wide Open



After the babies left the nest, the parents decided to visit our deck railing, adjacent to the pergola, the same spot where inception began. In fact, they had sex again, during this next sequence of photos. Deb, using my camera, took these railing shots through the kitchen window.

Parents Revisit Courting Spot




Fan Display




Kissy kissy




Face to Face



Intercourse happened next. Alas, shutter speed wasn't set fast enough to avoid blurry wings flapping, but honestly, I don't think anyone really wants to see any more detail than this. They are incredibly fast, by the way. This act serves a single purpose and they don't dwell;)

Making More Babies



Intimate post-coital chat:

Intimate Chat


 All photos © 2021, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.



Saturday, February 13, 2021

Icicles

This has been a particularly snowy and cold winter so far, and icicles are a commonly seen result.

When the morning sun hits the icicles hanging off our roof just outside an upstairs window, we get brilliant flashes of light coming through the glass. And I get to open the window and take pictures of the icicles!

There's a lot more going on "inside" icicles than the naked eye normally discerns. The sun glinting off them can be so bright that some of the nearby internal icicle "magic" is hard to see. The camera does a good job capturing all the details of icicles so that we can better appreciate the simple artistry of water slowly changing from one phase to another.

Enjoy!

Dog Looks On



Scratches




Icicles Aglow




Sky Portal




Icicle Udders




Very Pointy




Icicle Phalanx




Climbing Creature




Ice Knee



All photos © 2021, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Candle Power

It's time for some photographs of Hanukkah candles on the Menorah.

All are taken hand-held with my 60mm macro lens.

Enjoy!

Candle(s) 1




Candle(s) 2




Candle(s) 3




Candle(s) 4




Candle(s) 5



Candle(s) 6




Candle(s) 7



All photos © 2020, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Mist Suspension

It caught my attention when I saw late day sun streaming in through a window lighting up mist expelling from a humidifier. The mist made some pleasant patterns in the air. I tried to capture some of that with my camera. These are taken with my 60mm lens. See the results below.

I was initially surprised when first viewing these photos that I could see distinct points of water visible within the mist. They are not normally noticeable to the naked eye. Perhaps this is due, in part, to the camera's relatively fast shutter speed of 1/1200 to 1/1600 second that I used to create these photos.


Spirits




Face in the Mist




Tresses




All photos © 2020, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Friday, October 9, 2020

October Leaves

In this post I've included foliage views seen during the same walk discussed in my previous post. I did not expect to see a lot of leaf color yet, as these photos were taken on October 1, and this turned out to be mostly true. However, the nice thing about foliage is that, sort of like micro-climates, there seem to always be rotating pockets of leaf color throughout the fall season. It's just a matter of where one looks.

Here is some of the color I found on that day!


Dancing Blues




Leaves Down 1




Leaves Down 2




High Flying Foliage




Foliage Fun




Deciduous Before Evergreen




All photos © 2020, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Great Blue

On a recent walk around the Ashland Reservoir, I came across a great blue heron standing tall on a rock. I've seen great blue heron's at the reservoir before, however past encounters were from large distances, and often only when the bird was in flight, and so the moments were short-lived.

On this occasion, the bird was still and quiet. As I walked closer to it along the shoreline, I was happy to see that my footsteps did not bother it. So much so, that I was able to sit down and change to my telephoto lens, and despite the delay, the bird hadn't moved at all. I was able to capture a few photos, and would have captured several more except that someone else came along the path with a dog that barked loudly and made some moves in the direction of the bird. Naturally, the great blue heron flew off, something it does majestically since it has a six foot wing span. I love dogs, but not that one:) The owner apologized to me; she'd not even seen the bird herself. I was upset with her dog, but I held my tongue, keeping my opinions to myself.

Because of my position behind some shore trees, the bird was completely hidden from my view when it flew off, so I was unable to get any photos of this dramatic bird in flight. I am comforted only by the fact that, even if I had a clear view, catching good photos of birds in flight is not something I've ever had much success with. Evidently, this was not to be my day to improve on my "in focus birds in flight" ratio.😞


Watchful Bird




Over the Shoulder Gaze




Portal to Great Blue



Here is the same photo cropped closer.

Great Blue in the Sun




All photos © 2020, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Halibut Point

Deb and I took a day trip to one of our most favorite spots: Halibut Point State Park, in Rockport, MA.

We think Halibut Pt. is a real treasure. A quarry lies next to the ocean here, and while the water filled quarry itself is calming to look at, the rocky shoreline is uniquely special. We sat on the rocks for our lunch and were mesmerized by the ocean waves creating frothy crashes.

Into The Depths




Splish Splash




Rockport Northern Tip




Water Dance




Frothy Shore




Water Line




Bumpy Ride



This next shot looks as though it was taken with me leaning precariously over a high ledge, but that is only an illusion. I have a fear of heights and felt quite safe while taking this photo:

Fear of Heights Be Gone



Here's Deb putting her feet into the Atlantic Ocean, and feeling gloriously happy doing it. Deb found this to be thrilling: watching the big waves come in and not knowing how high they would go, or how strong they would be. But it felt like a relatively safe risk because she felt her footing was secure and the rocks not too slippery. She's also a great swimmer (but Deb didn't know if that would make a difference in this rocky environment).

Surf's Up



Here's Deb adding a rock atop one of the cairns in this display created by the many visitors. We wondered how long these cairns stay the same, or if stormy waves could reach this spot and unsettle them.

Artist Addition




Quiet Quarry



All photos © 2020, all rights reserved.  Contact philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.