Now that I am aware of the northern migration of the Cedar Waxwing, I marvel at its arrival in my Serviceberry tree every year in May. In winter, I have seen them on the golf course in Naples, Florida. How incredible that these birds find my little tree on their journey north — just for a few days.
This morning I was sitting on my deck listening to about 8 different bird species sing, while the Merlin ID app on my phone identified each one. When the Cedar Waxwing appeared, I sprung from my chair and got my camera off the dining room table.
This occasion allowed me to practice the bird’s eye focus feature on my Sony a7rV camera, with 400mm lens, handheld.
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This brilliant red bird was busy feeding its chicks while I observed in Tucson, Arizona. I had never seen the Vermilion Flycatcher before in my life, since its habitat is primarily Mexico and reaching over the U.S. border to portions of southern Arizona. The adult male exhibits this brilliant red color on the body, with gray and white wings.
These two Great Blue Heron juveniles have grown tall and are almost ready to fledge. They were watching anxiously for parents to come deliver food (no luck), and the brave one was trying to jump and fly.
Like the Bald Eagle, the Great Blue Heron grows to nearly full size before it can fly and catch its own food. I find this stage fun to observe, photograph and share.
A young child near me asked, “What are they doing?” Without taking my eye away from the camera, or my finger off the shutter button, I replied, “Making new Great Blue Herons.” I cannot not tell you how lucky I felt in that moment, to photograph this very special scene.
This photographer was ready at the right place, the right time feeling very grateful to make my favorite photograph of the season in Southwest Florida. If you are interested in owning a print, please contact Cathy Kelly at email@example.com.
Observing a Great Blue Heron pair in Venice, Florida, I witnessed some special body language. It was an hour before sunset in March when this scene unfolded.
In the next blog post, I will share some rare photographs of the pair mating. I was super excited to be ready to capture this moment with my camera mounted on the tripod with all the right exposure and focus settings, ready to click.
“I’m hungry, Mama!” seems to be the universal cry of the baby. Just look at those big yellow beaks on the young American Egrets in the nest. I just love their scruffy appearance as the new feathers develop. They are neither elegant or silent yet — characteristic of the adults.
These baby egrets have not fledged yet and depend on the parents to deliver food. They seem to be getting restless as they wait for their feathers to develop. It is exciting to witness the dynamics of nesting season in Southwest Florida.
I remember that I asked my parents for a horse when I was a young child, too young to understand that the answer would always be no. I remember how I loved to ride horses at summer camp. And I remember learning how smart horses are, and how some can unlock their own stable door. These reasons are part of the story.
Perhaps the most authentic reason is the way I feel when a horse looks at me, and I try to read their thoughts and feelings. Our true connection is found in our eye contact. I cannot explain it, but I can show it.
What incredible good luck to witness a volcano erupting! Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii, just began to spew molten lava one week ago — for the first time in 38 years. When I first heard the news, I feared that our planned family vacation might be canceled for safety reasons. Fortunately, the lava flow and the harmful gases known as vog, have been limited to unpopulated regions of the island. Hundreds of curious onlookers can witness this extraordinary sight from two to three miles away from the viewpoint of Old Saddle Road.
The lava flow is best seen at night, when the molten lava creates a dramatic contrast with the dark sky and land. My good friend Dennis, who lives here on Hawaii, met me at 3am and drove me up to this viewing site. We photographed the changing scene and stayed until daybreak. This image shows the first light in the sky before dawn, around 6am.
This year I sense a chorus of thankful feelings that our lives have mostly returned to normal after a long period of staying at home and masking our faces to avoid the COVID-19 pandemic. While the virus still circulates, most of us are traveling and working and getting our families together. Hooray!
I’d also like to take a moment to thank a photography teacher, who has inspired me and enhanced both my knowledge and enjoyment of photography: Gary Hart. Gary hosted a fascinating workshop at the Grand Canyon during summer monsoon season, teaching students about capturing lightning with a lightning trigger, and he will be co-hosting a January workshop in Iceland, where we hope to see and photograph the Northern Lights.
This morning I read Gary’s blog where he described what he is thankful for, especially post-pandemic. His blogs are very well written and always contain a few photography tips, including occasional confessions of his own mistakes, and always a touch of humor.
When I wake up on a cloudy day, I feel like staying in my pajamas. As soon as the clouds clear and the blue sky allows the sunshine to light up the world, I feel a burst of energy. Do your moods swing the same way?
On a sunny afternoon in the Fall, you don’t have to convince me that it’s a good idea to go for a walk. This path into the landscape reminds me of a John Constable painting.