jump to navigation

Birds Of Prey. August 27, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I haven’t seen prominent displays of eagles on the river since Spring, and our local population of hawks is pretty private, so I was pleased today to find both within range of my lens and comfortable enough with my presence to sit for me.

Well, the eagle wasn’t exactly close – it was perhaps a hundred yards away, and sitting in a densely-leaved tree, but I reeled it in with Gizmo and a 2X Tele-Extender for an effective focal length of 800mm. The shot is hand-held, albeit resting on the door of my car, and cropped pretty hard to get this:

The faster version of this lens, with image stabilization, is a cool thousand dollars more than what I paid for Gizmo, so you’ll have to suffer with us until I hit the lottery.

I did  get closer to a red tailed hawk perched on a roadside fence post this very same morning, and didn’t have to crop the photo to give you this:

I crept my 4-Runner up the shoulder of the road over ten or so minutes to position myself across from this beautiful bird, who stayed put and let me. Go figure – perhaps they know the difference between being loved and hunted.

I see lots of raptors every day, but it’s not every day that I have a chance to photograph them.

Thank you, Father Sky, for lending me your children.

Giving You The Bird. April 8, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , ,

Our National symbol, that is.

Here in Western Massachusetts we have a resurgent population of eagles, which were extremely rare in my youth.  Conservation and re-introduction efforts since the ban on DDT have been one of the great success stories of the modern environmental movement, and I’m thrilled every time I witness the results.

Along my local stretch of the Deerfield river we have frequent eagle sightings; they’re nesting near-by, though I’m not sure where.

Yesterday I got home in the evening and unloaded my camera gear and groceries, then saw the laundry basket in the back seat and remembered that I had a load drying at the laundromat in the next town down river.  I hopped back in the car and went for it, and along the way spotted three eagles roosting in a tree across the river – damn!   I always  have my camera with me, but… not tonight.  Bummer!

I carried on and retrieved my laundry, then headed home, and don’tcha know, there they still were, three eagles in one tree.  And me without my camera.

So I got home, ditched the laundry, grabbed my camera and headed back down river.

I know: my chances of success at this point were slim.  But if I didn’t try,  my chance of success was zero.

So I went, and some little while later as I pulled around the bend into view, I saw…

…two eagles.

Oh well.  Mother Nature isn’t obliged to mark time while I get my act together.

So here are a few shots Gizmo snagged over the next twenty minutes.  I resolved as soon as I turned the key off to stay ’till somebody took wing, and many cramps later I got my wish:

Yeah, I shoulda been closer, but there was the small matter of a river between us.  And I shoulda had an 800mm lens, but that’s several more thousands of dollars I don’t have either.

So I got what I got, and I hope you like it.

I Got Lucky! March 4, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: ,

Driving through Shelburne Falls this evening, I saw a couple of photographers at roadside, and being a curious little guy, I panned the scene for their subjects.

They weren’t hard to find.  In two trees between the road and the river, thirty yards apart and almost too close for good photos, sat two enormous eagles.

I jammed on the binders and pulled over, fumbling to get Gizmo onto my box, and started shooting out my car window.

I got this shot (and several more) of the male:

…lookin’ all cool and such as he cast his Hypnotic Eye on his intended mate:

…who was playing hard-to-get, as well as hard-to-see.  I was amazed at the differences between the two – he was very bold, both in appearance and demeanor, while she was very well camouflaged, and except for her impressive size (somewhat larger than the male) would have been barely noticeable amongst the larger branches in which she sat.

They both flew off after posing for ten minutes, and I snagged this distant shot of Americana:

Tracking the eagle’s flight at a hundred yards was difficult, and I motored off many shots, of which this was the only (barely) viewable one; the flags were serendipitous.

I gotta get better at that panning stuff.

Random Shots… April 16, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , ,

…from yesterday and today.

A dairy farm I passed on the way home from work:

dairy farm

Dry Brook in Cheshire:

cheshire stream

A quartzite pool along the way:

cheshire quartzite pool

A pinkish sky at day’s end:

pink sky

…and an eagle in a tree near Pagan Sphinx’s house.  It took off toward the end of this two second exposure:

eagle taking flight

This was the second eagle I saw this week; it really made me feel blessed!