Our Lantana flowers are now attracting a variety of insects. My favorites are butterflies. The Commonwealth of Virginia where we live has designated the colorful and rather large “Eastern Tiger Swallowtail” as the state’s honorary insect. I’m sure the butterflies could care less that they have been so honored.
A colorful mix of butterflies, gathering on the damp sand along the shoreline of the Smith River near Martinsville, VA.
I don’t spend much time looking specifically for photo opportunities of birds, but once in awhile I get lucky and see a “target of opportunity.” First, skittish Cardinals usually don’t wait long for one to make a photo. I recently saw (through our kitchen window) a male Cardinal sitting on our backyard shed roof. It was loudly chirping, probably seeking to attract a female. I grabbed my camera fortunately with 55-200mm lens attached, which was sitting on my desk where I’d placed it while downloading images from the day prior, and hustled outside expecting to make several nice images of the bird. After the first try, my camera alerted me with a message on the LCD screen that there was no SD card inserted. Stupid me, I’d left the card in the reader I was using to download photos. So, I went back inside and installed the card, hoping the Cardinal would remain where it was. It did, and I was able to make this photo. Nothing great, but definitely rewarding after all I’d gone through.
Second, I was recently sitting in a chair outside during sunset, waiting for the light to create a good view of clouds to the west. Just as I was ready to go inside after making several “OK” photos, I looked up and saw a Turkey Buzzard quickly sailing by. Thanks to a fast focus I made the shot. Again, not that great of an image, but I sure was happy to make it. During these times of limited travel due to the pandemic, small photographic successes “close to home” mean a lot.
We’ve had an unusual amount of rain recently. I found three interesting photo compositions that I think represents our wet conditions.
I felt sorry for small birds that live around our house. One sought shelter from the rain under our porch roof, looking cold, wet and somewhat miserable.
Yesterday afternoon several Turkey Buzzards were floating high overhead, wings spread, being caressed by gentle winds. I was fortunate to have my 55-200mm lens handy and got a nice in-focus image as the bird flew close above a tree in our yard. I like to think the buzzard was “looking down” at me. Afterwards, I got another nice photo of our neighbor’s dog (Gracie) looking at her owner (George) who was calling for her to get back into her own yard. A good day for spontaneous photos.
My mood improved considerably when I happened to see one of our friendly yard squirrels sitting on our garden sundial eating a morning snack. I had a 55-200mm lens but didn’t need the long range. 50mm was just fine. I was less than 15 feet away.
I’ve been watching for the past few days these two young Squirrels dart in and out of their “home” inside the Maple tree in our front yard. Today I had my camera ready.
There is a story here. Day after day I watched them come out of the hole and scamper around the tree not too far from security. Each day they went further up the tree, but never down onto the ground. Then today, I watched as their Mother took control and tried repeatedly to coax them to the ground. After many attempts she was finally successful, getting them to follow her off to look for food. I have no idea how large the hole is, but it has to be quite large inside the tree to accommodate the Mother and two youngsters almost as large as she is. Nature is fun to watch, especially with a camera and telephoto lens.
Here’s a mix of different themed photos I recently made. All with wonderful Fujifim mirrorless gear.