Dawn’s Early Light

While we are staying “safer at home,” I’m looking through the images I captured in February and uncovering a few hidden gems. I have found new examples of why it really pays off to wake up in the dark and get on location as the sun rises. The reflections on the lake makes this egret look regal.

#greategret, #reflection, #lake, #light, #morninglight, #earlybird, #fishing, #color, #dawn, #florida, #naplesflorida
Great White Egret catches a tiny fish while dawn’s early lights paints the lake with color.

This image is similar to one I blogged about in February, but it’s different with the fish in the egret’s bill. Here is another frame from moments later.

#greategret, #ripples, #lake, #water, #fishing, #reflection, #color, #dawn, #morninglight, #florida, #birds, #egret, #wildlife
Walking about in the shallows and dunking its head, this Great Egret makes circular ripples in the lake.

American Black Duck Ballet

Since professional ballerinas are usually strikingly tall and thin, it’s funny to see the rounded figure of a duck extending a leg back into a graceful arabesque.

#mallard, #ducks, #mallardduck, #pose, #leg, #female, #pair, #morninglight, #reflection, #lake, #florida, #naples, #nikon, #tamron, #wildlife, #birds
These American Black Ducks were active at dawn, swimming and mating and hanging out on the lake in Naples, Florida February 2020.

Both ducks are mottled with purple accent feathers on their wings. The male duck with the yellow beak swims on the left below. The female bill is mottled. Smart ducks, they winter near the coast. Their population has fallen, but they are found in the Eastern United States.

#mallard, #ducks, #lake, #color, #swimming, #pair, #female
The same two American Black Ducks in synchronized swimming. Naples FL February 2020.

Narcissus: Beauty on the Surface

This Great Egret is no Narcissist. He’s just foraging for fish on a Tuesday morning. But his clear reflection in the lake reminded me of the Greek Myth about Narcissus, the character who fell in love with his reflection. This moment frozen in time in a still image gives the impression that the egret may have stared at his reflection for a few minutes. Of course, this moment passed in an instant.

This morning the colors reflected in the water and the ripples surrounding our Great Egret gave this image a unique ethereal quality. The smooth white egret and its reflection contrast with the color and texture of the water, bringing our eye to rest on the bird and its mirror image.

#egret, #greategret, #mirror, #reflection, #colors, #ripples, #symmetry, #narcissus, #greekmythology, #naplesflorida, #naples, #naturephotography, #morninglight, #texture
Great Egret looks beneath the water for fish, while I quietly capture the reflections and ripples on the surface. Naples, FL 2020.

Art Show Entries

How to pick just TWO images from the past year of photography for the upcoming Art Show in Pelican Bay, our community in Florida? It’s time to order two good sized metal prints for the show. I asked myself which images I would like to keep, assuming no one asks to buy them, and I realized that I have a personal favorite that I did not include in my 2020 photography calendar and I have not included (yet) in my blog! So, here it is:

As I was aiming my Sony camera at the scene (in the rain) and asked my husband to “wait up” for me, I thought to myself that this might become one of my favorite images of the Canadian Rockies trip. Three components made me excited: 1. the vibrant hues of the turquoise lake and red and orange canoes, 2. the pleasing juxtaposition of these colors, which are opposite each other on the color wheel and 3. the circular arrangement of the canoes in the foreground.

#morainelake, #moraine, #alberta, #canada, #canadianrockies, #canoes, #color, #colour, #colorwheel, #composition, #photography, #nationalparks, #favorite
My favorite photos tend to be the ones I was most excited about as I was capturing them. It still brings me great pleasure to remember the joy of photography in the moment. Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada.

If I asked others to choose my two best photographs of 2019, I will probably get a different reply. Do you have any suggestions for my second entry in the Art Show?

The Glistening Bow River

From the summit of Sulphur Mountain, high above Banff, let’s travel down to the Bow River flowing past the village of Banff. Enjoy a scenic walk with me into Banff past the falls and across the pedestrian bridge. On this day, there was plenty of sunshine, fresh air and no sound but the rushing water and the gravel underfoot.

The clear rushing waters below the falls lead the eye toward the distant mountains of Banff National Park.

This image will be included in the 2020 wall calendar Cathy just designed, featuring photographs of the Canadian Rockies. Send Cathy an email if you would like to reserve a calendar for yourself or a holiday gift.

Vibrant Moraine Lake

Even in a steady rain, the vibrant color of Moraine Lake in Alberta Canada is striking. Add some fall color for contrast, and include some fallen tree trunks for foreground elements, and you the viewer are right there with me, walking along the lake’s edge.

Walking along Moraine Lake in the rain, we admired the Canadian Rockies and their glaciers.

Vivid Emerald Lake

Vivid, almost surreal color is the first thing I noticed about Emerald Lake. We arrived on a cloudy day with light rain just starting to fall. On a sunny day, the lake color would be a little different. It is glacial rock flour that is suspended in the water that reflects this vivid blue-green hue, so I’m guessing the lake would look even more green in the sunshine.

The red canoe glides along Emerald Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. September 2019

Rain or shine, Emerald Lake is not to be missed. While it would be stunning to see this lake in winter snow, access to the Lake is closed in winter due to high risk of avalanche along the route.

More photos to come of the scenic Canadian Rockies! I’ve just begun to process my new collection. Have you been there?

Van Gogh Self Portrait

Van Gogh’s Self Portrait was recreated in flowers at Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory. The strong shapes and colors in his portrait allowed the Pittsburgh artists to make a remarkable piece.

Do you recognize Van Gogh with his piercing eyes, red beard and straw hat? The choice of plants in the portrait even reflect the different dots of color found in the background and the jacket. Find this recreation of the Self Portrait at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.

The current flower show features rooms inspired by other Van Gogh paintings such as Starry Night, the bar with the pool table, and a Provencal house.

My previous blog featured a landscape photo with clearly defined shapes that are different colors. Do these two compositions inspire your work?

Born White, Turning Blue

The Little Blue Heron is born as a stark white bird, and it gradually develops those vibrant slate blue feathers as it matures. If you were not aware of that color change, you might wonder about the identity of this unique bird when you see it in the Everglades.

This juvenile Little Blue Heron shows some blue feathers coming in around the neck. The bill is taking on its blue hue as well. The white branches underline its ghostly visage in the swamp. Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, 2019.

Standing on one leg, the heron rests the other while silently watching the water for fish. “Little” is a relative term, as it can grow to 29″ and have a wingspan of 41 inches. It is only “little” when compared to the tall “Great Blue Heron,” that can stand 4.5 feet high.

Looking for Color

Today I’m returning to snowy Pittsburgh where the sky may be overcast, and ice coats the sidewalks. As I board the plane in Florida, I remember my afternoon at the Naples Botanical Garden when my friend Marjorie walked around the lake on the lookout for alligators. I told Marjorie that I was admiring the textures of the grasses and pines. Marjorie replied, “I’m looking for color.” A few minutes later, I spotted this brilliant red orchid growing in the limbs of a tree. I liked the way the smooth white bark of the three tree limbs framed the plant.

This blooming orchid gave us a brilliant splash of primary colors, a wish come true.