In The End We Will Only Conserve What We Love

Burrowing Owl

This quote came from a 1968 speech given by Baba Dioum; a conservationist and environmentalist, to the general assembly of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.   These words are as powerful and thought provoking today as they were 46 years ago.

Mia

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A White Ibis and the reflections from mangroves

White Ibis with green mangrove reflectionsWhite Ibis with green mangrove reflections – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/320, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I’ve written before about how moving just a little can improve an image because of the light or the background and the same can be said about the subject moving just a little too. These two White Ibis images were taken 19 frames apart and the color of the water changed dramatically as the ibis and I moved north towards and group of mangroves that hung out over the tidal lagoon. These were taken at Fort De Soto’s north beach in March of 2009.

This frame shows the White Ibis foraging in water where the dark green leaves of the mangrove were reflecting on the water and a touch of the blue sky overhead showed near the ibis’s legs.

White Ibis feeding with dark mangrove reflectionsWhite Ibis feeding with dark mangrove reflections - Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

This frame shows the ibis with the dark roots and trunks of the mangroves were reflecting on the water. Both images are appealing to me despite the very different color of the water and in just 19 frames and three minutes it can look like the subject and I were in a completely different location.

Life is good.

Mia

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Female American Kestrel on a frosty winter morn

Female American Kestrel on a frosty winter mornFemale American Kestrel on a frosty winter morn – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

The weather has taken a turn here in Utah lately with monsoons heading up from the south bringing much needed moisture and the temperatures have dropped some. Today is supposed to be windy but tomorrow might bring a bit of a surprise… snow in the high country! That is a little strange for August.

The forecast made me think of fall and winter, how the scenery changes and of the many birds I will see after fall migration is over. American Kestrels are year round residents in Utah and when the cold sets in they are less skittish and will allow closer approaches. Just after the new year in 2010 I was delighted to photograph this female American Kestrel on a frosty perch with the snow-covered Wasatch Mountains in the background. The male kestrels may be more colorful but I think the delicate colors of the females are equally appealing.

Life is good.

Mia

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Photobombed by a bird and a bug

Loggerhead Shrike photobombed by a Barn SwallowLoggerhead Shrike photobombed by a Barn Swallow

When taking any photograph it is possible to be photobombed and I have had my share of those including these two bird images. What is a photobomb?

1 Spoil a photograph of (a person or thing) by unexpectedly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken, typically as a prank or practical joke.

1.1 Spoil (a photograph) by unexpectedly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken

Oxford Dictionaries

In the case of my Loggerhead Shrike image a Barn Swallow was being aggressive towards the shrike and appeared in the frame as I clicked the shutter. Unfortunately the shrike turned towards the swallow and I only have minimal eye contact. My camera maintained focus on the shrike so it is sharp while the swallow was out of the range of my depth of field and was out of focus.

Northern Harrier photobombed by a DragonflyNorthern Harrier photobombed by a Dragonfly

I was photographing a Northern Harrier in flight when I lost my focus and knew the image was going to be a blur but when I viewed the image on my computer monitor I was surprised to see that when I lost focus on the harrier my camera had actually locked onto a photobombing dragonfly. At least the dragonfly was sharply in focus.

Mia

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Least Sandpiper at the lagoon’s edge

Least Sandpiper at the lagoon's edgeLeast Sandpiper at the lagoon’s edge – Nikon D200, f6.3, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I wanted to take a break from publishing the hummingbird images I have been creating lately so my readers wouldn’t get sick of tiny flying jewels so instead I am posting an image of the smallest sandpiper and shorebird in the world the Least Sandpiper. I came across this diminutive Least Sandpiper while photographing Greater Yellowlegs at a tidal lagoon at Fort De Soto’s north beach in the fall of 2008. I was laying at the edge of the lagoon with my body half in and half out of the water when the Least Sandpiper flew in close to me and began foraging at the water’s edge. When a wild bird comes close to me it fills me with delight and I feel honored to be a part of their life if only for a few moments.

Mia

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