Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Circle of Life…

I am posting from an RV resort on Hilton Head Island as Eddie and I make our way back to New York. Before heading home from Florida, we spent a few days camping at Disney World. The annual Flower & Garden Festival is being held at EPCOT, and I took my camera to the park to take pictures the flowers and topiary. In a pond at the China pavilion a bird was perched on a rock (I don't yet know what type of bird, because I haven't had a chance for online research) looking so still that at first I though it was a statue. It appeared to be stalking something, and after about ten minutes of staring, it dove into the water and came back to the rock with a prize. From my vantage point it looked like it had snagged a piece of water plant, which hardly seemed worth the effort. I snapped one last photo of the bird, and we went on our way. It wasn't until that night when I was downloading my photos into Lightroom, that I saw what the bird had really snagged.

Expand the post for camera and setting information.

Camera: Nikon D90 DSLR
Lens: Nikon 70-300mm VR
Focal length: 270mm
Shooting aperture priority at f/11 with the ISO was set to 200.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A new family at Easter…

A pair of Sandhill Cranes are nesting at Lake Margaret here at our RV resort. The gestation period is 55 to 60 days, so I doubt if they will hatch before we leave at the end of the week, but they are wonderful to look at — and photograph from afar.

More photos, and some information, in the expanded post.

Sandhill Cranes mate for life…

…and both the male and female share in parenting.

The sexes look alike, and I have no idea which is the male and which is the female.

I found a blind to stand in while I took my photos. They were taken with my Nikon 70–300mm VR (vibration reduction) lens. Rather than drag a tripod into the blind, I hand-held the camera. Without a VR lens, the photos would not have been as clear.

My camera is a Nikon D90 DSLR. The ISO was set to 200, and I shot aperture priority at f/8 and f/10.

In case you were wondering, still no sign of blooms from the every growing Century Plant. Wishing everyone a Happy Easter and a Good Passover.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

When will it bloom?

I've been so involved in other projects for the past few weeks, that I haven't taken the time to do what I love — wander around and take pictures. Today I went for a walk with my camera, and over the next few days I hope to be sharing some of the photos on my blog. I'll begin with two photos of a Century Plant Agave that is growing in our RV resort.

I took this first photo on March 18, when I first heard about the impending bloom.

Everyday I ride my bike by the plant to monitor its progress, and it just keeps getting taller. The second photo was taken this afternoon. The property owner said she thinks she is growing Jack's beanstalk! No one seems to have any idea when the plant will bloom. I just hope it is before the 19th, when we leave for the season.

Expand the post for more…

While called the Century Plant, it actually lives from ten to twenty-five years, blooming only once and then dying. During out last two trips to Arizona and western Texas we saw many blooming Century Plants. The ones we observed in 2007 were of a smaller variety of the plant, but last March, in Texas, I took photos of a large, dying specimen after the bloom.