Friday, April 30, 2010

Pied-billed Grebe...

Another Florida and another Viera wetlands bird. This one is the Pied-billed Grebe and was one of my favorites from the trip. Often it was very windy making it difficult to shoot birds in still water. This day it was calm and I was provided good light and a great reflection. Note the feet visible under water. By the way a group of grebes is know as a "water dance" of grebes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Washington Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals






Part of the reason for our trip to Florida in March and not February this year was to see the shuttle launch (it was cancelled again), the other was to take in a couple of spring training baseball games. Our first weekend there we visited the Nationals camp to see them play the Cardinals. The Cardinals prevailed 7 to 3 but we did get to see Stephen Strasburg the Nats first round draft pick throw three scoreless innings. In the second photo Cards manager Tony Larusa talks with the home plate umpire between innings. We had a great time and Shane and I both got some photos even though we were behind the net at home plate and the sun was in our eyes. Thanks for getting us the tickets Linda, it was fun except for the sun burn.

Please stop by Shane's blog for a new post.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flying Blue Jays...


A few of weeks ago I purchased a new Gitzo tripod and a Wimberley head to support the new glass I got at the beginning of the year. Like anything else you get a new toy you want to play with it and this was one of the few chances I had to do just that. These Blue Jays were photographed a couple of weeks ago at Wildwood Lake. The one thing I noticed about Wildwood was that with spring here the lake is really coming to life, many birds were out flowers were blooming and it was a pleasant walk. Now to make time to get there more often. I know these photos are not tack sharp or technically perfect, but I liked them. And I have realized that when enjoying photography as a hobby that I am the only one that needs to approve.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crested Caracara...

This is one of the most attractive birds I have ever seen, the Juvenile Crested Caracara. This was taken at Viera wetlands, I know a big surprise. Last year I got to see an adult with a fish and photographed it but it was pretty dark and they were taken with a very high ISO making them pretty noisy. This year I had better luck, this juvenile was out mid afternoon and provided us shooting opportunities on the ground and then on a fence post. You will see it again when I post a few of him on the fence post.

Please stop by and visit Shane's blog for a new post.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Caps And Bears...


The regular season is over and the playoff have begun. The Hershey Bears and the Washington Capitols both finished the best in there leagues. Both set many club records and the Bears set many new league records including winning 60 out of 80 games and 24 straight at home. Both teams blew away all the other teams in goal scoring giving the fans a great season. But none of it means anything if they do not win the Calder and Stanley Cups. No one ever remembers who was the best during the seasons but they can usually tell you who won the championship. The Bears opened the playoffs playing the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and took the series in five games. They have taken the first two games of the second series against the River Rats. The Capitols opened the playoff with the Montreal Canadians, they lead the series three games to two and play tonight in Canada. This is a great time of the year, spring is in the air, summer is approaching and hockey playoffs are one of the most exciting thing to watch. I will not bore you with the players names, if you are a hockey fan you already know who they are and if you are not you really do not care.

Friday, April 23, 2010

What A Catch...


You guessed it more birds and it comes from the Viera wetlands in Florida. I hope you like birds because this time of year that is about all I am photographing. Since I have started photographing birds just over a year ago I have gained considerable knowledge about them. I have also found that I like birding very much and find it pretty relaxing. Of course photographing them just adds more fun to it. This Blue Heron caught this fish before we showed up. The lighting was not the best as it was late afternoon and he was back lit. He was reluctant to look towards us also, but I will take what is offered to me. We watched him for some time often stopping and dipping the fish into the water, I am shore he eventually ate it but we were short on time and didn't get to stay for the feast.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Opening Day At Metro Bank Park...



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On Thursday April 15 my family and I attended opening day at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg for the Senators first home game. This years event was a little different than in years past as it was the first game in the newly remodeled ($45 million) ballpark. I have to say the ballpark was just beautiful, everything is improved and the seating is 100% better. We had great seats above the visitors dugout and the Senators won the game in the bottom of the 9Th inning. I am not going to go into detail on any of the photographs, I just wanted to photograph the first game and get some shutter releases in, something I have not done much of lately. The video was taken off the television with my D90, it shows the sports guy talking from the ballpark and yes that is Shane that walks behind him waving and then again back the other way waving again. It only last about 32 seconds and you will get to see what I have to live with all the time. Thank you Mayor Reed for your vision to bring baseball to Harrisburg and your work to keep it here and get us a new ballpark. Coming soon photographs of Stephen Strasburg's first professional win.

It is Thursday and that means a new blog post by
Shane, please stop by and see what he has to say.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sora...

Yes another Florida bird this one the Sora, I determined that after consulting with ibird on my itouch. I had never seen one before that I could remember yet the ibird says that it is the most common and widely distributed rail in North America. It is sometimes referred to as the Sora Rail or Sora Crake. They must be hunted because it goes onto say that they are shot in large numbers every year but because of there high reproductive rate they maintain a high population.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Truck And House Fire...



I am trying to switch things up a little for those that are not big birders and to give me something else to post. Besides the fatal accident in Shippensburg earlier in the month I went to two other incidents with the camera to record some photos. The first two photographs were taken March 1, 2010, New Kingston and Carlisle Fire and Rescue were dispatched to a tractor trailer fire on the Pa. turnpike in Silver Spring Township. Additional information was the truck was carrying trash. After hearing the units and realizing they actually had a fire I decided to go take photographs. There is three bridges in my area that go over the turnpike and several roads that run along side it. I set out for the first bridge, arriving there I could see heavy smoke but realized I was not close to the incident. Yes I drove until I reached the last of the three bridges, that being the one that put me close to the scene and by then the fire was knocked down.

This past Sunday morning after getting home from work Linda and I decided to go out fro breakfast. After filing my belly with non healthy food and getting back in my pick-up we heard people talking on the radio in breathing apparatus. For those of you not in the fire service that was the first indicator of a fire, the second one was the designation of the person talking and the designation of the one receiving the message. Both indicated the fire was in Hampden Township and we just happened to be in the area. Not knowing the location we followed to some degree the traffic unit that drove past us. Arriving about 25 to 30 minutes after the initial rigs yielded little in photographs but I shot a few any ways and took the time to speak to a few friends that were working the fire. The incident was at 5038 Erbs Bridge Road, the fire gutted a kitchen with some extension into other parts of the house. The family escaped but numerous pets perished in the blaze. Fire apparatus from Hampden, U.S. Navy, Silver Springs, New Kingston, Lower Allen, the Citizens and Washington of Mechaniocsburg, New Cumberland Army Base, West Shore Bureau of Fire, Creekside in Enola and Paxtang fire companies along with numerous EMS and Fire Police units operated at the Sunday morning incident.

Remember clicking on the photos will make them get larger.

Please stop by Shane's site for a new post today.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Limpken Videos...

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Today I am taking the easy route and posting videos from Florida. All were taken the same day at Viera wetlands and show the Limpken bathing and squawking. The videos are all short and last 9, 27 and 26 seconds. When I shoot videos I try to keep them below 45 seconds to keep the file size below 100 meg so they can be uploaded to blogger. I eventually hope to get a video editing program so I may take the short clips and put them together to make decent short films. But for now this is what you get. In all three videos there is a back ground sound that I could not determine, after talking with a friend about it we think I had the VR turned on in the lens creating the sound. Time to experiment a little and see if that was the source.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bloggers In Florida...




Since I started blogging a little over two and a half years ago I have had the good fortune to meet and photograph with other wildlife bloggers on numerous occasions. This March in Florida was no different. The first photograph is of Klaus Peter, I met Klaus February (he lives in Florida) of last year and spent the day shooting with him at Merritt Island and Viera wetlands. Klaus was kind enough to show me around and pass along some knowledge making this trip much easier and enjoyable. I failed to photograph Klaus on this trip so I am using one of him from Viera wetlands taken last year as he photographed a Common Moorhen. The next photograph shows Tim Rucci on the left and Ken Conger on the right they were photographing a juvenile Crested Caracara. This was my first chance to meet these guys. Tim lives in Florida and l learned of his blog through Ken's. Ken is from Virginia, I have been looking at his blog for some time and have always been envious of his opportunities to travel all over photographing wildlife and at the quality of his images. And finally the last two photograph are of my favorite blogger my son Shane Myers. In the first photograph Shane captures a few images of a small alligator and in the second photo he finds out what it is like to photograph the juvenile Crested Caracara with the 200-400 f4 hand held. By the way if you look at the top of the last photograph in the center on top of a fence post you will see the Caracara.

Later this year I hope to get many chances to shoot with two of my favorite Pa. wildlife photographers and bloggers Willard and Coy Hill.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Belted Kingfisher...

This is one of those birds that I have wanted to photograph for years with no luck. I have seen them occasionally close the my house but always to far away to get a photo, my son and I tried repeatedly to photograph one along the stream in Benezette one weekend but the moment we would lift the cameras it would fly. Last month I had a few chances in Florida, often they were to far away to get a good sharp image, this one provided me with my best photos to date. Although not as good as I hoped it is a start. It is difficult to tell but the belly is brown on this Belted Kingfisher making it a female.

It is Thursday already so please stop by Shane's blog for a new post.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Egret Eating...


Taken last month at Viera wetlands, I stopped and watched this Great Egret looking for food. As always my luck was not the best in that he never wanted to look at me but constantly fish in a different direction. I tried photographing this bird actually going into the water to capture it's food but with the long slender neck leaving little to focus and not knowing just where he would put his bill in the water I never got a sharp image of it. It just gives me something to shoot for when I retire and spend winters in Florida. These are the same photographed just cropped tight to show the food in his bill, they were taken just seconds after he pulled this from the water. The second photo is not as sharp as I would have liked but he was a distance away. The first photograph was cropped to make the final image, so you can get an idea how much the second one was cropped. Blah, Blah it is early, did that even make and sense?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tricolor Heron In Flight...

This will be short today because of the loss for words and the fact that I have spoken of the Tricolor Heron's in the past. This big blue was photographed at Viera wetlands last monthunder the harsh mid day sun.

Please visit Shane's blog today for a new post.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Common Moorhen...

I hope the few of you that are still looking are not getting tired of Florida birds because I have plenty more. In fact with the time of year about the only thing I am photographing around here these days are birds. This is a Common Moorhen, I guess the word common in his name comes from the fact that they are very common in Florida and very easy to find. They are so readily available that I almost didn't photograph any this trip.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bald Eagle...

When planning to photograph birds in Florida never did I think that one of the birds I would be photographing would be a Bald Eagle. Within two hours of my house is one of the better places to photograph these beautiful birds, this years trips did not pan out as expected. I did get my best flying shots this year but I learned I need to go earlier in the season and more often. With the upgrade to equipment and additional knowledge I hope that next year will be much different.

This has to be my best eagle photograph to date. Unfortunately the skies were not blue and the lighting was not the best but then again I am in this for the thrill of seeing the wildlife and fun of photographing it. This just happened to be my last trip through the Viera wetlands when I found him sitting atop the highest tree in the area.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Up Close With A Snake...



While searching the wetlands for the perfect bird photograph we happened upon this snake. Now do not ask me what kind it is because I really have a strong dislike for snakes and usually head in a different direction. For some reason I didn't this time and decided to photograph it. Laying in the grass with the 200-400 f4 on the camera I focused on the snakes head and waited for the tongue to come out. After downloading the card and bringing the photos up in bridge I realized that I also got a reflection in the eye. Now I know the last photograph is not sharp but it does show what the snake was seeing, that is left to right Linda, Shane and myself with a blue sky behind us. This is the first time I ever photographed a snake, and maybe the last time.

Please visit Shane's blog for a new post today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Royal Tern...


On one of our walks on the beach I came across this group of Royal Terns. The Royal Tern is a coastal bird primarily in warmer climates. These birds with the exception of the two with black capes are sporting their winter plumage. Don't get bored, stay with me there is many more Florida birds to be posted.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shippensburg Auto Accident and Collapse Part 2...

Today is the second and final installment of Friday's auto accident and structure collapse in downtown Shippensburg. I want to point out that this post in not meant to glorify the incident that occurred but to report what happened and show the public what the volunteer and paid fire services do in there line of work. The incident lasted for what most is a regular work day but for the men and women that operated at this call there was no compensation except for the fact that they helped there fellow man and a scene of community involvement. When I left you yesterday firefighters were preparing the structure for a lift that would allow them to remove the jeep safely. In this photograph special operations members put the finishing touches on there cribbing in preparation to install the air bags.
The cribbing is ready for the air bags at this point but members retreated to determine if the structure is still stable and safe to work in before continuing.
One set of air bags are placed on the cribbing while the other set lays ready to place on top in order to give them the amount of life needed to raise the structure enough to remove the auto.
This photos illustrates the two sets of air bags in place before the lift. Above the air bags is a steel I beam that will provide the area support in lifting it enough so a roll back can be used to pull the auto free of the building. Once the firefighters are ready, team member George Lazorchic (pictured on the right) will coordinate the inflation of the air bags side to side to safely lift the load evenly.
If you look to the center of the photograph you will see the air bags are inflated. The lift was sufficient to remove the auto from the structure allowing the victims to be removed and the fire department to begin demobilizing.
With the air bags inflated the auto is slowly pulled from the structure.
This is the remains of the jeep that two people died in as a result of the accident. The auto was crushed by a limestone wall approximately 18 inches thick that came crashing down on it when the supporting column was taken out by the front of the jeep.
Pictured above is J. Danial Byers, Danny is the retired fire chief of the Letterkenny Army Depot fire department and past chief and current president of the Vigilant Hose Company in Shippensburg. Danny is one of those guys that gave me the skills as a junior member to be a fireman today.

The accident claimed the lives of the two individuals in the jeep, the person in the other vehicle was injured and transported to a local hospital and two people in the building escaped without injury. The building had to to be torn down do the the damage it received when it collapsed. The three Shippensburg Fire Companies, Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and the West End Fire and Rescue operated at the scene into the evening. They were assisted by the Shippensburg EMS, Franklin's of Chambersburg and the Cumberland County Rescue Team consisting of the Rescue and Citizens of Mechanicsburg, Hampden Twp., Carlisle and Citizens of Enola., I am sorry if I missed anyone. There were other agencies involved that included transfer fire companies, the county coroners office, Shippensburg Police, engineers, the towing company and others.

Please visit Shane's blog for a new psot today.