Yesterday, I finally made it up to the Pack Monadnock Hawk Watch… on day 22. And what a day it was, perfect weather and lots of hawks.
I arrived just before noon, the the show started shortly there after and continued until around three. I left about 4:30.
The total was about 2,800 birds, about 2,700 of which were broad-wings. Katrina’s official report can be found here.
The 10,000 birds for the season mark was reached and the traditional group photo around the tally board was made (with Katrina’s camera, but I am sure that it will appear at some point.)
While the bird watching was great, the conditions for photography were not ideal. The raptors were kettling pretty far away; only a few appeared close to the summit. The resident turkey vultures made fairly close approaches at times and I was able to make a few mediocre photos.
Today was a glorious day weather-wise. The temperature was in the high 70s F, the humidity was low and the skies mostly clear.
While we ate lunch on the deck, we were entertained by the birds at the feeder and by a couple of male autumn meadowhawks perching on the dead flowers nearby. After watching the odes for some time, I finally gave in and got the camera.
Later in the afternoon, Joan headed out for a kayak ride. She called from the beach parking lot to say that there were “brown headed ducks” down by the bridge but that she did not have her binoculars with her so that she did not get a good look at them. I stashed Big Bertha in the passenger seat, threw the tripod in the bed of the truck and headed down the road the mile to the bridge.
Those “brown-headed”ducks turned out to be a family of mallards. I watched and photographed them for about an hour.
Yesterday (Sunday, 18 Sep) I had engagements in Brattleboro mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I filled the interval between engagements by taking a short drive to photograph.
Heading north from Brattleboro on Route 5, I stopped in Bellows Falls for lunch.
After lunch, I headed west on Route 121 towards Grafton. In Grafton I turned south towards Townshend; there Route 30 took me back to Brattleboro via Newfane and Dummerstown.
The ride was scenic and covered territory that was mostly new to me. I stopped three or four times to make photographs.
This past Saturday was the 2016 edition of Antrim’s Home and Harvest festival.
Among the events that are part of this annual event is freestyle skateboarding at the skate park that is part of the town’s Memorial Park. I have had fun photographing the skaters in years past (here is last years post) and thus made it a priority for this year.
At one point, I spent too long knelling on the ground and was not sure that my knee was going to let me stand up again… very embarrassing when all of these young athletic guys are flying through the air and mostly landing on their feet!
A few days ago I spent $1.50 at the Tenney Farm for a stalk of sunflowers.
The next morning I spent a bit of time in the yard photographing two of the flowers. By the time I finished the sun was getting high and harsh so I moved inside to my table top studio in the basement to photograph the two remaining blossoms.
At some point I stopped for lunch and to make a trip to the mail box. On my way back up the drive way, I picked up a couple of apples from under one of the trees. In the evening I got back to the studio to photograph the apples.
A buck-fifty well spent!
I headed out in late this afternoon in search of more barn board to photograph. The mission was a success! Pretty soon, I’ll have enough material to edit a finished project from.
I also found another window to photograph.
I have been looking back though my archives and may also have enough material for a series of photographs of windows… tentatively titled “Outside, Looking In”.
Yesterday, while “out and about”, I found another barn with interesting siding. Of course, I stopped and made a few photographs!
The last photo in this series is of a scene I pass by quite often. Yesterday, I finally stopped and made the photo that has been rattling around in my brain for some time.
Yesterday afternoon, I headed “down back” to our beaver-made wetland afternoon just to see what was up. Despite the perfect weather (temperature in the mid-70s F, mostly sunny, a a very light wind), “things” were very quiet. There was no bird activity and very little ode activity. The most numerous animals were grasshoppers in the wet meadow and frogs in the beaver pond.
I observed less that a dozen darners hunting over the meadow and about dozen autumn meadowhawks (all male) in the shrubby margin between wetland and upland. I saw no damselflies at all.
I spent some time photographing the asters (which are not quite peak) and other plants. At one point I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that the shrubbery along the edge of the meadow moving in an anomalous fashion. I looked up just in time to see a bear pass though a gap in the shrubs that was no wider than he/she was long.
As I headed back towards home I noticed, from a distance, a strange looking stick protruding above the grass in the meadow and changed my path to investigate. As I neared it, I realized that the stick was topped with a twelve-spotted skimmer! I approached cautiously and made my “insurance shot” from a discrete distance. I then took a small sideways step hoping for a better angle and this fellow took off. I watched him land about fifteen feet up in a nearby tree; clearly out of range for a good photograph. Sometimes the “insurance shot” is all you get!
Yesterday afternoon I headed over to the boat launch on the Contoocook in Greenfield just to see what was up “ode-wise”. The river was high and I did not see any odes along the river. However, there were autumn meadowhawks along the edge of the parking lot and in the nearby open field. In addition to the meadowhawks, there were a number of small butterflies flitting about. I also saw a single female spreadwing of some sort.
As I was observing the meadowhawks I began to be a bit confused. There seemed to be three kinds around… bright red males, yellow females (which also have a clearly visible ovipositor at the distal end of their abdomen) and a third duller and not as extensively red form. Upon looking at my photos I noticed that these last individuals also had the triangular ovipositor and thus were clearly female. Hitting the reference books, I discovered that “older” females turn a dull red, especially on top of their abdomen. It is good to learn new things!
Comments Off on Autumn Meadowhawks Redux
Yes, you read that correctly… this post is about onions, well really photographs of onions!
A couple of days ago Joan harvested all of the onions from the garden. They are sitting on a tray in our breezeway drying.
Yesterday, I borrowed a couple of them to use as models. I spent an enjoyable few hours (split between yesterday afternoon and this morning) playing with the lighting and making photographs.