Close in with a Saffron-winged Meadowhawk

Saffron-winged Meadowhawk. Fernald Brook Pond, Kennebunk ME

In the cooler weather of fall the Meadowhawks are spending more time in sitting in the sun during the day…soaking up heat. They are more approachable this time of year. This shot was taken at 48mm equivalent field of view from about 6 inches. And even then the bug did not fly. It was still there when I left. It is a Saffron-winged Meadowhawk, a species I had never seen in Maine (or anywhere else) until this summer…and this summer they are everywhere I go. It was, in fact, one of two dragonflies I photographed in a few days in the thumb of Michigan. Everywhere!

Sony HX90V. 1/320th @ ISO 80 @ f4.5. Processed and cropped slightly for scale in Lightroom.

Reflected Glory

Fernald Brook Pond, Route 9, Kennebunk ME

If I live to be a hundred (and we stay in Maine) I imagine I will still be visiting this pond every fall to see what the color looks like in reflection. Sheltered as the pond is, it has to be blowing a gale before anything disturbs the mirror of the surface. This still autumn afternoon the trees are, if anything, even more brilliant in the polarized reflection in the pond.

Sony Alpha NEX 5t in-camera HDR. Nominal exposure 1/200th @ ISO 100 @ f9. Processed in Lightroom.

Fishing Old Falls Pond

Old Falls Pond on the Mousam River, West Kennebunk ME

Yes, fall is coming on strong now here in southern Maine. I drove out to the Kennebunk Plains and Day Brook Pond yesterday, and then around to Old Falls and Old Falls Pond on the Mousam River. There was a friendly fisherman at Old Falls Pond and I asked if I could include him in the view. He makes it a classic calendar or magazine cover shot. Maybe on the Post, painted by Norman Rockwell. :)

Sony Alpha NEX 5t with 16-50mm zoom @ 24mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure 1/320th @ ISO 100 @ f9. Processed in Lightroom.

The Texture of Fall

Maple Leaf. Kennebunk Maine

Full Fall has finally come to southern Maine. We are not yet at peak color, but it looks now like we might make it by Columbus Day…which would put us right back on schedule :) Both of my Point and Shoots are malfunctioning at the moment (I actually canceled a trip to Panama, at least in part, because my workhorse cameras have gone lame…one is in the shop and the other will go in this week) so I am shooting with my Sony Alpha NEX 5t. I had forgotten what a nice camera it is. It certainly captures all the subtle texture and delicate color of this fallen leaf (if delicate is a work you can use to describe red).

This is an in-camera HDR at 63mm equivalent field of view using the 16-50mm zoom on the NEX. Nominal exposure was 1/80th @ ISO 320 @ f5.6. Processed in Lightroom.

Tailed Blue

Tailed Blue, Grange Insurance Audubon Center, Columbus OH

I mentioned yesterday that I had a good bug day, with several species of both butterflies and dragonflies. This is, I believe, an Eastern Tailed Blue. It is a tiny butterfly, only about 3/4 of an inch from wingtip to wingtip. There were two, doing their rapid Blue spieling dance over a grassy path. I just about gave up on getting a pic, when both of them settled out and sat long enough for a few shots.

Nikon P900 at 600mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 100 @ f5. Processed and cropped for scale in Lightroom.

Green Darner up close

Green Darner Dragonfly, Grange Insurance Audubon Center, Columbus OH

By the time I got out for a walk at the American Birding Expo at Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus Ohio things were quiet on the bird front…but there certainly were a lot of bugs. I saw at least 7 species of butterflies, and four species of dragons. This Green Darner, the largest Dragonfly in North America, was perching along the grassy wetlands trail below the Center. Due to the focus limitations of the Nikon P900, I had to back up quite a ways to get this shot…taken full frame using the Perfect Image Zoom function at a 3600mm equivalent field of view. Handheld!

It certainly shows off the amazingly intricate structure of the dragonfly.

Nikon P900 at 3600mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 250 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.

Artist at Work. Happy Sunday!

Catherine Hamilton talking art with John Sill at the American Birding Expo in Columbus OH

“If your eye is generous your whole being is full of light!” Jesus.

The first American Birding Expo attracted a handful of the best bird artists in America. I hope to see the art selection expand in future years. This is Catherine Hamilton talking her art with John Sill, both accomplished and well known artists. Catherine spent her days so far at the ZEISS booth and I got to spend significant time with her…and heard her show her portfolio to hundreds of people. I have come to appreciate her love for both birds and art. She certainly has a generous eye!

I love discovering the spirit in people I encounter. I have known Catherine for several years now, and recognized the spirit in her right away. We have shared several adventures (minor adventures) and talked a lot. On the way back to the car after a long day at the expo last night, as we walked along in silence, she said “I am so glad we are already at the point where we can be together without feeling like we have to talk.” (Which is something, since Catherine is a talker! And I mean that in the best possible way :) We are comfortable together. And that is, of course, the shared spirit. We have not talked about what she thinks of the spirit…of the light she is so full of…and certainly not of where she thinks it comes from. It is not necessary on my part. I am so comfortable with her that I know exactly where it comes from. The generous eye is the generous eye, and the light, as far as I can see, and as much as I know, is the light. There is only one good and loving God over and in all, the light of the world. That is my faith. And it is always good to see it in another. Happy Sunday!


Columbus Egret panel

Great Egret, Grange Insurance Audubon Center, Columbus OH

Great Egret, Grange Insurance Audubon Center, Columbus OH

More from the cooperative Great Egret at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus Ohio. I am working the first Great American Birding Expo so I did not get out to take any photos yesterday. Still, these Egret shots from the day before at too good not to share. Nikon P900 at various focal equivalents from about 1000mm to 4000mm. Processed in Lightroom and assembled in Coolage.

Columbus Egret gets lunch

Great Egret, Grange Insurance Audubon Center, Columbus OH

I am at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus Ohio for the first American Birding Expo. Optics vendors and tour companies from around the world have gathered here to show off to what we hope is a large and eager crowd of birders. The event is modeled on the British Birding Fair which attracts 20,000 people a year to the midlands of England. This year the American event will not be nearly that large, but it should grow.

There are several wetlands and ponds on the Audubon property, and I discovered the Great Egret actively feeding in one of them. Nice catch.

Nikon P900 at 2000mm equivalent field of view. 1/500th @ ISO 140 @ f6.5. Processed in Lightroom.

Harvey Ried on Banjo

Harvey Ried. Punkinfiddle Festival, Laudholm Farms, Wells ME

The yearly Punkinfiddle Festival at Laudholm Farms in Wells Maine is a celebration of harvest and folk music, and a fund-raiser for the Wells National Estuarine Research Center. Lots of kids activities. And music on the porch of the Education Building. This is Harvey Ried, a well known local musician with several albums and several books of Autoharp and Banjo instruction. He and his wife, Joyce Anderson, play a variety of folk and old-time music on the fiddle (Joyce), guitar, autoharp, and banjo (Havey).

Sony HX90V in Superior Auto. Processed in Lightroom.