Photo Of The Week: Back To the Birds

Big Snow storms in Eastern North Carolina are rare but this time around, the TV weather readers were pretty convincing with all their dopplers, models and statistics. Rain, they said, would turn to freezing rain as the temperature dropped.  Then sleet would pile on followed by snow.  In all, two to four inches would accumulate before the storm petered out.  Doesn’t sound like much but 4 inches here is a pretty big deal.  Snow removal here is the month of July.  I’m an aging radio news veteran from the days when news on the radio was actually quite the norm and I remember well the hype that kicks in when snow appears in a weather forecast, but this time, even I bought in.  I rushed out and bought five gallons of gasoline for our generator.  Freezing rain almost always means power outages in the rural area where I live.

The gasoline went in my truck.  The storm fizzled.  We had maybe a trace of snow and sleet but that was it.  No eye popping winter vistas.  So, I ventured down to my makeshift bird blind and spent the day with the birds.

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A little snow on the River Birch Tree would have been a nice enhancement but you dance with what brung ya.  A sack of sunflower seeds scatterred on the ground around the trees always works and soon the Cardinals and the Gold Finches et al were grabbing them and flying into the tree to crack the shells and munch away.  So I got some pretty decent shots.  One or two might find their way onto my web site.  Not bad for plan B.

Here’s the gear list on these shots:  Nikon D750, 70-300mm telephoto, Aperture Priority, Spot Metering, f/11, iso 200.  Slik tripod.  See you next time.

 

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Photo of The Day: Sunset in the Bean Field

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I don’t usually venture out for a sunset shot here.  The sight lines are such that I have to hike up to the far end of the field to get a nice long, unobstructed view and even then the tree line comes into play before the sun hits the pure horizon.  But as we all know, there are no rules.  The sun was just about to drop below the tree line when I turned the corner into the open fields and the light was fading fast.  Not enough time to make the trek to the other end of the field so I quickly fired off  two shots with the D800E.  I know, its on the dark side but I really do like the light and shadow play on the soybeans.

If you’re wondering what on earth are soybeans doing in the field in January, the answer is…..Rain.  We’ve had two weeks of heavy rain over the past 20 days and the ground is like soup.  Far too wet to get the harvest machines into the field.  Like most places in the Southeast USA, the weather has just been crazy.

Thanks for the look in and have a great 2016.

Photo Of The Day: Cherry Blossoms

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Cherry Blossoms here on the farm on a very windy day.  Given the conditions, I had little choice but to use Shutter Priority Mode for this shot.  I dialed up the shutter speed to either 1/400 or 1/500 for this shot which was enough to grab these blowing blooms with a reasonable degree of sharpness. Waiting another day was not an option. We’re expecting a very hard freeze tonight.  The weather people are evening forecasting a good chance of snow flurries overnight. April first is our average last day for a hard freeze here on the coast so I suspect, I hope, this will be winter’s last stand.  It’s not leaving without a fight.  Thanks for the look and have a great weekend.

Photo Of The Day: Iced In Junko

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Another shot from the recent ice storm here.  This Dark Eyed Junko was waiting to dart down to the ground below this River Birch Tree where I had spread a healthy amount of  black oiled sunflower seeds.  I was maybe 10 feet away in a makeshift bird blind with a Nikon D7100 fitted with a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G lens.  I use the D7100 for most bird photography I do because of the crop factor involved in using a full frame lens on the small sensor camera. I’ve tried the Nikon 18-300mm but find the 70-300 far sharper.

The ice lingered for about a day until warmer temperatures brought more rain. What the Northeast has gotten in snow, we have gotten in rain. Eastern North Carolina to the coast is a virtual swamp because of the nonstop rain so other than during the ice event, I haven’t been out much working instead on a backlog of images.  I’m hoping for a dry spring but it seems unlikely. Thanks for the look and have a good week.

Photo Of The Day: Iced!

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We always get ice!  Seldom any snow.  Just ice!  The freezing rain started just after dark last evening.  By this morning, an estimated 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice covered everything including, of course, the power lines.  How we escaped a power outage is beyond me.  There’s so much ice on the lines, you’d think the electricity would just freeze up.  Big ole Lob lolly Pine trees buckled.  Two just gave up and toppled over.  Huge limbs littered the driveway into the farm like some tornado had ripped through.  The Beach Road looks like the Polar Expressway.  Our Camellia Beds had the look of frozen spinach.  That’s a photograph of it above.  When I got up this morning,  I rolled out the portable generator and chanced a two mile drive to a gas station to pick up 5 gallons. It was slow going, never going over 20 miles an hour. Yes, I have four wheel drive.    I never ever think to lay in gas the night before.  Why is that?   I haven’t had to use it.  So far so good.  Tonight, no precipitation but the deep freeze has an encore.    Maybe some snow tomorrow the weather gurus say.   I’ve always had a suspicion the weather people are in cahoots with the grocery stores to share in the bread and milk bounty when the nasty stuff closes in.  I whine.  Thank you Lord for not making us Boston. Stay warm……and safe.

Merry Christmas and To All a Good Night

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The Bluebirds were all snug in their nests as a surprise Holiday Snowstorm visited the farm some years ago.  Today, just cold rain, high winds and a thunderstorm or two.  Not a good day to be traveling.  Hope you and your loved ones have a safe trek to wherever you are headed.  Best Wishes for a joyous Christmas and a marvelous New Year.

Photo Of The Day: Point Harbor from Duck

00090.obx.12.13_edited-1Shooting the sun at f/22 will always give you a nice sunstar.  The number of radials depends  on the lens.  Shot from the boardwalk at Duck on New Years Day.  That’s seagrass in the foreground.  Thanks for the visit and have a great evening.  And…Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!