Thursday, March 7, 2013


all photos taken with Canon 75-300 telephoto lens
I pulled into the boat ramp parking lot at Beech Creek and sat in the truck while I finished my coffee.  Every picture on this blog entry was taken from the truck seat while parked there.  The large concentration of wildlife along this creek is due to the lack of human presence.  I wasn't even trying to find photo opportunities.  They just happened.
I no sooner turned the key off when a red bellied woodpecker landed in a tree along side the creek.  Now, you have to remember that I'm using a lens that is considered borderline "good" for birds.  The 75-300 mm lens is a great lens for mammals due to their larger size but, for birds it's a bit high on limitations.  The 500 mm is the only lens for serious bird shots - in my estimation.
I believe the lens is doing a good job so far.  The magnification is acceptable so far and the images look crisp in the LCD on the back of the camera.
A mallard slowly made his way across the water across the creek.  I couldn't do much with him but, who says I have to do anything with him.  I took the picture and it is what it is.

There were three mutt ducks paddling around when I pulled in to the lot.  They swam fairly close to the truck, noticed me, became panicked, and flew.  I guess I would find out how this little lens does on moving birds.  I should have turned the camera metering onto spot metering.  Didn't think of it at the time.  Could have trimmed the white balance down a click also.  Hey - I'm not a professional.

These birds are fairly large and fly at about the same speed as the Canada goose.  They were really making time and were a bit of a challenge to pan the camera with them.

I'll mention here that the ducks would be twice their size if the 500 mm were in use.  I think these shots will be fine though.
A fisherman I had befriended a couple weeks ago stopped by and we conversed about the water and the potential for Spring smallmouth bass fishing.  He left and I started to unhook the boat when I heard a gobble.  A flock of turkeys were rapidly moving down the hill to my left toward the cattle feed trough that sits back in the field.  They know where the eating is good - and easy.  I told you a couple weeks ago that I'd probably bore you with wild turkey photos just as bad as I bored you with continuous bald eagle photos.  That being said - here's my attempt to bore you.  Actually I'm just taking advantage of the opportunity to photograph these guys.

They were very stealthy as they moved down the hill.  At first they were rushing toward the feed trough but, as soon as they lost the cover of the forest and entered the open they slowed their movements.

They looked awesome with the deeper forest as a backdrop for them.  The males can be heard gobbling as far as a mile.  There was one in this pack but I couldn't tell where he was.

Turkeys can be found foraging about in the fields and at the edge of the forest.  They roost in trees at night.

Turkeys are opportunistic creatures as far as finding food goes.  They will eat insects, acorns, various nuts and seeds and the all important dry cattle feed that the farmer sets out for his cows.
Cattle lounge in this area and the turkeys are spreading out to cover a wide area.  They will be picking grain from the cattle droppings as they find them.  Repulsive you say?  Remember that this is a wild animal and food is life to them and food is not easy to come by.  As I said - they are opportunistic critters.

Old Ben Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey the bird to represent our nation.  He lost out to the bald eagle.  I guess stealth, caution and craftiness gave way to glorious power and confident boldness.  All are qualities of our nation - so far.  
I've looked at the resultant quality of the photos taken with the 75-300 mm Canon Telephoto and am pleased.  The photos you see here are cropped larger than normal but other than that are as they came out of the camera.  I wish I could afford PhotoShop digital image processing for the computer.  That must be an awesome piece of photo software.  No big deal.  I do what I can.

The photo above appears else-ware on this blog.  I wanted to photograph it using this 75-300 mm lens to see the results.  I like it.
I have to stop off at the doctor tomorrow to discuss blood test results with my doctor and will carry the canoe along with me.  It's routine and the doc says I have the blood tests of an 18 year old.   My doc's back at Ft. Loudon where I used to live near Chilhowee Lake.  Look out Abrams Creek.  See you tomorrow I hope.