I've been photographing the birds in our backyard for the past couple of years, but some species are so shy that I could never get a close-up picture of them. Last fall, I purchased a collapsible hunting blind so I can get closer. I have yet to figure out the collapsing part of it. It's supposed to fit into a small bag but it took too long to fiddle with that, so I just left it out of the bag all through winter. Now that the weather is more favorable, I've set up the blind several times to get a closer view of the many birds that visit our four feeders. My objective was to catch a shot of the Eastern Towhee that has been foraging under the feeders. On Tuesday, it finally showed up once and I fired away. Although it never returned after that, I was able to grab some great photos of a White-throated Sparrow which is quite beautiful in its new spring dress. The blind really works in allowing me to fill the frame with the bird. Even shy birds such as Red-bellied Woodpeckers show up occasionally when they don't feel threatened. Now, if I could only snatch a photo of a migrant passing through...
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
A while ago, I wrote that spring is just around the corner. That was foolish, considering the recent wintry weather we endured. I'm afraid we won't see our redbud bloom this year, but I hold out some hope that our azaleas survived the frost.
On Thursday, I attended a fundraiser at a library and was very pleased with the event. The evening was sponsored by Lincoln Avenue Arts in McDonald of which I am a member. I not only sold several prints and greeting cards, but I also met the nicest people who told me about the birds in their yard. Some of them were bird-watchers who admired my photos. After such a success, I was more than ready to get back into photography mode. Yesterday's warm weather prompted me to set up my blind again in the backyard. I was not disappointed. While I didn't get to photograph any new bird species, I am pleased to report that I took not just one, but five fantastic photographs. Besides the cardinal shown here, I also shot a goldfinch singing, a red-bellied woodpecker up close and a black-capped chickadee eating a sunflower. What a great ending to an exciting week! I can't wait to make prints of these photos and show them to the world.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
When I was young, I could not understand why my dad loved to watch nature programs on TV. Nature was boring and something for older people, I concluded. Fast forward twenty years and I'm the one who watches nature shows on the tube. For the past three Sunday nights, we have been glued to the TV to watch the Planet Earth program on the Discovery channel. It is a fantastic, although sometimes disturbing, show and the photography is spectacular. Never before had I heard of elephants in the desert or camels in snow. The other day, my husband asked me, "Why do we hate predators so much?" I had no answer. We humans aren't really innocent creatures. Animals, after all, only kill to feed themselves and their young. Humans, on the other hand, kill animals without need and without thinking about the consequences. When I thought about the predators of humpback whales, for example, I could only come up with one: humans. So--who are we to judge when an animal who has gone hungry for days kills another animal to feed itself and its young? Survival drives all life on earth.
Personally, I was hoping that I would be photographing birds by now, but winter has made another appearance here and the temperatures are still hovering in the forties. While this would be decent weather in January, it's a bit harder to take in April. Everything that was getting ready to bloom either froze or came to a standstill. I can't wait to see blooming and green trees. It's no surprise that the juncos are still here and I'm worried whether the hummingbirds will survive their spring migration. I guess I will hang up my feeders a little later than usual.