Sunday, June 16, 2013

NATURE'S GIFTS TO ENJOY & a surprise visitor at the end

Tree Swallow
This morning was a strange morning on the river.  The rising sun promised a bright, warm morning, but instead an overcast sky with a chill in the air greeted me.  That's just the way I like it.

Any kind of morning is a gorgeous morning on this water.  It can rain, snow, blow and it's a heavenly place.
I was there very early this morning because I just had an overpowering urge to get out of town.  This area I live in is working on me.  I just don't like it.  I'm tryin!
I hadn't planned to take many photos this morning, but the critters kept coming.  For instance - every mother goose was taking her kids out for a walk this morning early.  They were everywhere.  Some of the kids were older than others with the older ones already taking on the color markings of their parents.


Baby brown heads followed their parents.  I'm sorry to say they were frightened by the boat.  I felt sorry about that and veered far away from them.



Mom hustled them all into the thick water grass where every one of them disappeared quickly.


Mother goose escorted her young into the water grass to hide them as I passed by.  Two little fellows fell behind and suddenly became aware they were alone.  Their little featherless wings flailed the air as they rushed to catch up.


Every now and then a tiny bronze head would pop up above the grass to have a look around.
The late ones were hurried along and all became invisible in the grass.

And then there was that patch of brown that was of a different shade.
I am plagued with the need to use very slow shutter speeds this morning.  It's ridiculous to even try to take these shots.  I'm on speeds like 1/30th to 1/80th while hand holding a 500 mm lens.  I didn't know if any of the shots from the morning would work out.
There you are.
"Didn't think you could be seen back there I bet."
This deer did a high jump that would have been a sensational shot.  If the sun would have been higher and if I could have at least been able to use 1/125th of a second - I could have pulled it off.  The shot is below.  It's blurred badly but it will give you an idea of what I was looking at.  That deer took off straight up in the air.
What a shot that would have been.  Well, can't get em all.
The vultures found the little doe that someone shot on the river bank.  She will nourish the living even in death.
I was glassing the shoreline when a beaver suddenly appeared in the binoculars.  He startled me as the entire field of view was filled with him.  Wow!  His hair was exceptionally dark.  I wonder why.




He was pulling grass off the bank one blade at a time with his dexterous front paws.  He held each blade of grass, one at a time, and nibbled it until it was gone.  Very sweet!


I took many, many shots of him, but I won't post too many.  You may be getting beavered out.



He entered the water and slowly made his way downstream.  I watched him until he disappeared under an overhanging limb of a tree.  I take a lot of pictures of these guys because it won't be long before these creatures won't be available to me.  There is another reason that I won't go into here.  I can look at and appreciate them anytime I wish because I've captured their image for all time.  Scenes like this are not frequent or the norm.  These critters do not live everywhere.  I'm just lucky that I was placed in their waters.  It was all accidental.
I stuck the bow of the boat in the water grass and attacked a peanut butter sandwich.  It was a pretty spot and soon I was covered up with tree swallows.  They were everywhere.  I laughed out loud even.  Sandwich down - camera up.



My fingers were crossed concerning the slow shutter speeds.  Even shooting toward the sky required slower than normal speeds.  Oh well - is what it is.



I was thinking, "these shots ought to be great."

This pretty guy is a very young bird.  He's probably a first year bird.  His plumage is brown and will soon take on the coloration of his black vulture parents.


Now, where did they come from?

A pair of mallards took to the air and I had to pan the camera using the slow shutter speed to try and keep the images sharp.



This river is a treasure.  It has it all.
I went past the mountain that hides the bald eagles and was treated to a great sight.  One of the babies was out alone on a very tall, old, dead tree.  I wonder if he is the only surviving baby.  He can fly, but he is reluctant to leave his parents.  He no doubt perches in his birth nest at night.  Soon, he will be driven off.




I can't believe the sun isn't brighter.  I'm disappointed.  This is the first opportunity I've had to photograph this baby.  He is very far away and I'm half laying across the seat of the boat to steady the camera.  I'm talking 1/30th of a second here.  Soon he will be out on his own and claiming his own personal section of the river.


And there he was again.  I can go years and not even see a black crowned heron and they are everywhere along this river.  They stay out later in the morning when it's overcast like this.  He was back under the trees in the shadows.  Hard shooting.





Ha - there goes a little beaver just blasting across Beech Cross toward the thick water grass.  He obviously knows that boats travel up this stretch of water frequently.  He's really moving on.


And, what better way to end a morning than to smell fresh cut hay along the edge of a quiet river.
I hope you saw something on this entry of interest to you.  There's a lot of photos here and I know everyone has different tastes.  I can only try.  By the way - below is sort of an extra treat.  He is an immature red tail hawk.  Thought you might like the shots.  I'm still on slow shutter speeds with this 500 mm lens and couldn't get his leap into the air.