The Magpie

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I’ve only seen Magpies in Alaska. Like crows, which I am very familiar with, they are not at all shy of us humans. Inquisitive birds. As I was getting into our parked rental car high up in mountainous terrain north of Anchorage, this bird landed on the car adjacent and watched me. A few years ago at the same location, I watched two Magpies harass a Fox that was trying to get near one of their small chicks huddled in a sheltered spot. The Fox gave up, being chased away by the swooping pair. The one on the car was not so hostile. To me at least. I’m pretty sure he was just looking for a hand-out of a tasty snack. Too bad for the beggar I don’t believe in feeding birds or any other critter in nature. I prefer to look and marvel at what i”m seeing.

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Action and Beauty Along a River

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Some photographers say that “lighting” is key to making a photo special. This one and the one below proves that, to me at least. Made these at Western North Carolina’s Nantahala Outdoor Center near Bryson City. These rapidsĀ are a small part of the Olympic-level kayak and canoe training and championship event site.

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And then there’s the bottom-feeding duck. Funny watching him bob up and down.

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Martinsville’s Lake Lanier

After all the snow and extreme cold we’ve had over the past week, I decided yesterday I needed to get out and about, even if it was cloudy and in the mid 40s. I spend a lot of time with my cameras, driving around Martinsville, Virginia where we live, looking for interesting sights and memories to share. Why I picked going to Lake Lanier I don’t know. As the next image shows, I’m glad I did.

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I made photos of the boat house and canoes laying on shore from various angles. Had it not been cloudy as it was, I’m not sure I could have captured the soft look I did.

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And there’s the wildlife. Ducks, geese and two magnificent swans were there … the latter swimming up next to shore where I was standing. I felt like they were posing for me. Perhaps they were.

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As I was walking around the lake (about an hour’s leisurely stroll) I spotted an adjacent pond with an interesting fishing pier projecting out. Peaceful indeed.

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The lesson learned for me that day is that it’s not the weather that matters, it’s what we do with it.

Nature at its Best

There are times when I look outside and see something that makes me grab my camera and go. In this most recent case; first, it was the dark sky on the eastern horizon as the sun was rising after a night of thunderstorms. The light on the trees backed by the dark clouds is what did it for me. The second instance was the bird in a tree out back, sitting alone on a limb. I felt the image would look best in black and white. And lastly, it was one of the last daffodils to bloom, out of many this spring. This one had some red color on top of the yellow, so I felt it would look nice close up. Springtime is a special time for photography. But alas, soon many of the bright colors will be replaced by shades of green. Still, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just makes for some more photo fun.

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Something about the Photo

Whenever I return home from a photo journey, the first thing I do is transfer the pictures from my camera’s memory card onto my laptop. Then, I look at each photo and select those which I like, and then I select those which make me come back and look again. There’s something about these latter images that attract my eye. Maybe it’s the subject, the composition, the color, or a story told. Here are four I made recently that made me take that second look.

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It is HOT but colorful

Here in SW Virginia, it has been above ninety degrees each day for the past two weeks. However, the Robins sitting in the shade of trees don’t seem to mind, nor do the beautiful flowers in our yard, made colorful by late afternoon thunderstorms.

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