Happy New Year! It is also the second anniversary of this blog and I hope you have been enjoying my posts. This year has been overflowing with adventures, discoveries and wonders and I am so pleased that I have this forum to share this with you. And there is so much more to come – some once in a lifetime journeys including these:
I will be taking at least two cameras on these expeditions, plus who knows? There will be so many opportunities to capture moments it is almost overwhelming.
There are also sure to be many local experiences as there were this past year. I thought I would take this moment to offer up some of my “Favorite Pics” taken locally.
In addition to my usual obsession with the moon, clouds and landscapes I have a new category to add. As mentioned, I met a wonderful birder on my trip to Peru and Ginny turned me on to the wonderful world of birds. These are not easy subjects – as you know they are quite flighty (pun intended). Often getting a good shot of one sitting perfectly still proved just as difficult as capturing another in flight – providing a great lesson in perseverance and patience. So let me start with this category:
I should mention that for each photo you see here there are countless rejects. It’s wonderful that digital photography allows you to make “mistakes” without penalty. And frankly it makes the moneyshots even more exciting. Sometimes in fact, the results are a complete surprise, a diamond in the midst of countless pieces of coal. The first three were taken in a park near my home – there is protected marshland that has provided me with quite an education on the multitude of bird species:
Hooded Merganser ducks, male and female
Red crested spotted small woodpecker
The following three, a mockingbird, a monk parrot and a male mallard duck were perfect models being quite willing to pose for me:
This goose gave me the thinking deep thoughts pose:
This tern was among my first attempts at capturing a bird in flight, taken at the Bronx Zoo.
There are quite a few misses as I learn how to best take a photo of a bird in flight – but also some cool results:
Raven with a seed just taking off from a lamppost – but leaving quite a poopy mess
Goose in mid landing as the sun was setting
Gull with a mighty catch – bass or a sheepshead fish?
I am fortunate to live on the top floor right along the Long Island Sound. The apartment has one wall that is all large windows so the views are amazing. In addition there have been a number of astronomical events in 2015 that offered even more spectacular images:
Full Hunter’s Moon – Also known as a “blood” moon, the term refers to a full moon that appears during the month of October. The color comes from the position of the moon close to the horizon as it rises at almost the same time the sun is setting:
Even when clouds drift by the image is stunning:
I was in my apartment for this picture, used my 24-600 zoom lens at its strongest setting.
Total lunar eclipse – this time with a “supermoon” this past September, so-called when the moon reaches its full phase at or near its closest approach to Earth. The moon in this case appears abnormally large and bright as a result. In this instance it was also a bloodmoon – kind of a trifecta. Here is the moon at the outset, the eclipse beginning and full eclipse:
And of course the moon is still beautiful as it goes through its normal phasing:
Here the moon is joined by Venus and Mars
Lest the sun be jealous – here are a few shots. The sun is a tricky subject as pointing the camera directly at it can cause burnout – but once again a little patience can produce these:
Ah, and when you add the sun and the clouds there is an ever-changing show of nature’s fireworks:
Some of you may recognize the last shot as it appears on my “business cards.”
Once in a while something particularly ephemeral happens – like these ice clouds formed by the refraction of ice crystals
Or this rainbow after a severe thunderstorm:
Nature can also be quite whimsical – or some may say it’s just my overactive imagination. See if you can see these pareidolia (images that are not there – or are they)?
Nessie the Loch Ness Monster
T-Rex in a tiny ice formation
How about this dog’s head:?
Nature sending a heart-filled sunset
The sky above, the land below. The earth offers some strong competition.
From expansive vistas of the local marsh and the Long Island Sound:
To individual beauties
Without its bloom this looks like a bird in flight – with its bloom it is pretty tulip:
Looking even more closely I have found unique images of simple dewdrops:
If the above were actually Swarovski crystals it would make a fine addition to my collection of statement necklaces.
I’ve had some talented models on the land too:
Cat gazing at the moon
I was particularly impressed that this squirrel could be so composed while a yellow jacket adorned his head
This bravery reminded me of my own battle with my fear of flying insects pushing me to get up close and personal to these busy little bees:
While this past year has brought wonderful adventures, personal accomplishments and vivid memories, it has also been the time of deep sadness. A small bundle of fur enclosing a deep soul, with boundless love and joy, passed on this September after 13 years of chasing squirrels, stealing socks, giving kisses and begging for treats. Jackson brought smiles and laughter and knew just when a cuddle was needed. Here are a few of his favorite pastimes:
Jaxie may have been a little dog, but his heart was immeasurable. He will always have a place in mine.
May 2016 bring you health, happiness, adventure, discovery, love and joy.