New to the parade this week, the American Red Bud and the final curtain for the Forsythia and Japanese Quince.
Virtual frames added in post processing for effect. The Red Buds and the Forsythia were shot with a Nikon D700 and a Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 lens. The Japanese Quince was shot with the D700 but with a Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 Micro lens. The sky was overcast and my iso was set to 400. As always, thanks for taking a look and have a good week ahead. Happy shooting. See you next time.
We wound up on the left side of Hurricane Florence as it moved into Eastern North Carolina. Better than a direct hit which was in the cards for a while, but not a good place to be in a Hurricane. Still, we were blessed. Had the storm made landfall at 140 miles an hour, I can’t imagine the damage it would have done to the farm. As it was, we were blessed. Winds never topped 60 miles an hour. The rain though was biblical. We figure over the course of the storm, we got upwards of 25 inches of it. At the height of the storm, it was coming down at the rate of 2 inches an hour. The ditches and canals did what they’re supposed to do and there was no flooding of houses here on the farm compound, but the cotton crop took a big hit. Yield will be way down.
These shots were taken the day before Florence came ashore. If a photograph can predict what’s coming, perhaps these did.
If the string of sunny days since Florence holds, I’ll finish clearing up all the debris from the storm this coming week. I have no idea when I might be able to get down to the beaches though. The major rivers in Eastern North Carolina; the Cape Fear, Neuse, Trent, and Lumber, are all out of their banks now and any roads and highways that weren’t washed out are cut by floodwater. Only property owners are being allowed on the Bogue Banks which took a major hit from Florence. I have a lot of friends down there and I feel for their loss. Thanks for the visit. See you next time.
I think it was Bob Dylan who said “If I had known how long I was going to be around, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Amen to that! If you’re going to roam around with cameras and camera bags around your neck, it sorta helps if you are in shape. And at 73, I’m quickly finding out I am not. Arthritis is loudly proclaiming itself to be in control to the point of preventing me from straightening my right leg. I’d been hobbling around popping ibuprofen tablets for a month or so when I finally decided it would be a good idea to finally find out if something was structurally wrong or if it was just arthritis. A raft of X-rays confirmed arthritis to be in control of my knee joint. A shot of cortisone got me back in the game. “Might fix it or it might not,” my doctor said, “But for now, you’re good to go.” I’ll take what I can get.
I’d been wanting to get out into the field to grab a few shots of the sunrise now that the annual invasion of wild, reddish sour grass has taken over the fields. It provides a smidgen of foreground interest in what would otherwise be a pretty empty scene.
Nikon D750 Camera. Nikkor 24-120mm lens set at 24mm.
Somebody told me that the red grass is a variety of Bermuda Sorrel which supposedly is edible. An acid provides the sour taste. Perhaps that’s why goats like to graze on it which tagged the grass with the name, “Goat’s Foot.” Not too appetizing, huh. But given my state of mobility, I wondered if old goats develop arthritic knees. And if not, does grazing on sour grass have something to do with it? I’ll take my chances with the cortisone. Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead. See you next time.
As the cotton crop neared harvest, the soybeans dropped their leaves and began the slow march toward ripening later in the fall. As usual, I was out early grabbing some final shots of the cotton and some initial pictures of the soybeans. The weather cooperated magnificently drawing in clouds which provided a marvelous backdrop to the golden beans and the stark white cotton..
I’ve had good luck over the years marketing these kinds of shots to the various foundations and marketing concerns which promote cotton and soybeans worldwide. I also like to document what we grow here and since I’m the guy who’s into photography, that falls to me. As for getting up so early, It comes from habit. I was in broadcast news for more than 40 years, most of it in Radio, which had an early call. I still wake up before dawn every morning. It dovetails nicely with photography. I’ve always held the opinion that the best light of the day comes early, from dawn to shortly after sunrise. Thanks for the look. Have a good week ahead. See you next time.
A Van Gogh Variety Sunflower greets the sunrise in Eastern North Carolina. Sunflowers appear to be almost immune to the stifling heat here. The heat index has been well over 100 for nearly two week but there is not a sign of wilt in the sunflower field. Wish that was true for us. Stay Cool if you can and have a good week. Nikon D7100, 10-20mm lens.
For the longest time, we had very few birds fluttering around here then when the rare snow smothered everything, they all came out looking for yummy black oil sunflower seeds. This little Carolina Chickadee is banging away at his while holding it against a limb. I fired off about 10 shots with my D3X and managed to get several keepers. I’ve found the easiest way to get a shot of these very fast little birds is to wait until after they crack their seed and eat it. They will always look up and pause for a nanosecond before darting back to the ground to pick up another one. Click on the photo for the large view.
Our first crop of Sunflowers hit their prime over the weekend. Our strategy to keep the deer away by planting field corn around the perimeter of the Sunflowers had mixed results. The field pictured above did rather well with only a hand full of stems being gnawed off by the Deer. The second crop not as well. It appears at least half of what we planted has been gobbled up with the field corn ears mostly intact. A third field of sunflowers were surrounded with Millet has done better than any of those encircled by corn, perhaps because the Millet is so thick its difficult for the little darlings to get through. Live and learn.
As for the shot, I used Shutter Priority with a shutter speed of 320 as it was quite windy out. ISO was cranked up to 600 because of the low light at dawn. I used the auto white balance and camera vivid settings on the D3X which I changed to Cloudy and Camera Portrait in the RAW Conversion Panel. D3X with an 18-35mm lens. Have a Great Sunday evening.