Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Velvet...




I normally do not try to educate others on wildlife as I myself am always learning but today's post will be a little different. You see lately with the seasons about to change a Christmas song has been going through my head but with different words, I have had "visions of Elk dancing through my head". In less than a month I will be heading north to photograph the Elk rut in Pennsylvania. This will me my second year doing so in Pa. and I look forward to the sounds, sights and friends. This all got me to thinking about the bulls in velvet which brings me to today's post.

The photographs are not cropped the way they normally would be but are done so to show you the velvet on an Elk's antlers. The racks on an Elk are called antlers and not horns because they shed them each year and grow a new set. If an animal keeps theirs for life they are called horns. Once an Elk begins to grow his new antlers they are covered with velvet. The velvet is a vascularised skin which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone. Once the antlers reach their full size the velvet begins to die off and fall from the antlers. The Elk will rub their antlers on tree and other items to help remove the velvet. The first three photographs were taken this June when the antlers were still growing. Because of vacation and other commitments I did not make my August trip north this year to see the Elk shedding the velvet. When Shane and I made the trip in mid August last year the mature bulls had already shed their velvet or only had small strands remaining on their antlers. At that time the only bulls left with velvet were the young spike bulls shown in the last photograph and taken last August. My next trip north the velvet will be all gone and the bulls will be competing for the cows in mating season. I can't wait for this annual trip.

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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Resting Mule Deer...

I was going to skip today but changed my mind at the last minute. After uploading the photo and looking at it maybe I should have stayed with my first thought. This was one of the few wildlife we seen on our recent vacation. This mule deer buck was photographed as he relaxed in the mid afternoon heat at Bryce National Park. I really need to get out and photograph some whitetails and Elk, if for no other reason just to make me feel better and relax.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Valley Of Fire State Park...

This photograph was taken on our recent vacation at the Valley of Fire state park in Nevada. The park is less than an hour north of Vegas and close to a portion of Lake Meade, it is Nevada's oldest and largest state park dedicated in 1935. The valley derives its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyph. I really like the red rocks in our travels. Because of the landscape and lack of wildlife most of the photographs I took were landscapes, not something I do often or am very good at. The last time I used my wide angle lens I showed no one the photos because the sides were distorted and I just thought they were terrible. I learned one lesson and removed the filter from the lens before leaving. The bulk of my photos were shot out west with a wide angle lens so I hope as I get to looking at them some came out good.

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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Black Crowned Night Heron...


Another quick post today, man has time been in short supply lately. I am hoping to get to work on a few photos from vacation soon to post and get around to the other blogs on my list. Like yesterdays these were also photographed in Harrisburg at Wildwood Lake. This is a Black Crowned Night Heron. I realized I never mentioned that yesterday's photo was taken in Bellevue Park at one of the small ponds. The summer went by so fast I never got to Wildwood more than twice this summer.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Filling Space...

I was going to skip today's post just because I was tired and didn't feel like doing a photo, busy and just tired of blogging and only having a couple of people look. But because it is Tuesday and Shane posts today I thought I would make one real quick. The mallard was photographed earlier this summer in Harrisburg, it was one of the better reflections I got on the outing. I mentioned Shane please visit his blog today for a new post, guess what I get home from a long night at work this morning to find he didn't even make a post, oh well.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Arizona Bull...

I needed a a quick and easy post for today but that was easier said than done. This stupid system has been working like a piece of junk making it difficult to work on any photos. I guess when I see it on another computer I will know if I did alright or not. This was one of the few Elk we seen at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I have photographed many Elk and most of those were better than this one but I could not pass up the chance to photograph a bull in four different states.

For those of you that start work on Monday's I can sympathize with you this week. After being off for 37 days it was ended by attending a National Boy Scout Camporee four hours north this weekend. I got up early yesterday morning and traveled back home for the most dreaded thing there is, back to work last night. I would rather be doing just about anything else. On the bright side four more days and if push comes to shove I can retire and move on with another phase of my life.

Friday, August 20, 2010

National Boy Scout Jamboree



Before leaving for vacation Shane and I along with a group of other scouts from our council attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill Virginia. It would have been great to have attended the entire Jamboree but because of vacation and other commitments that was not possible this year. We did see enough to know that we will attend the next one for the duration.

The event was attended by almost 45,000 Boy Scouts and adult leaders, this years being extra special as it is also the 100TH anniversary of Boy Scouts. Besides working on merit badges there was many other things the boys could earn that was only available at the jamboree. The site had its own radio station and daily news paper along with numerous trading posts.

In the first photo Shane and Jack (also from our troop) look at one of the two patch walls, in the second photo Shane, Jack and Kelly (Jack's father) take a break in the military area for lunch. In photo number three Shane looks at the many patches that were available for trade. Shane was looking forward to this portion and traded all but one of the patches he took with him. The fourth photos is Shane with the Boy Scout radio station on site and the last photo just shows part of the camp.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy 26TH Anniversay Linda...


This post is a day late since I made no post yesterday but a day late is better than not at all. And no I didn't forget it yesterday. On August 18, 1984 Linda and I were married in a small church just outside of Centerville. It is hard to believe that we have been married for 26 years already. They have been a great 26 years and I am looking forward to 26 more. I love you Linda and Happy Anniversary.

The first photo was taken on our recent vacation at Red Rock and the second (taken by me with a wide angle lens at arms lenght) was taken at the North rim of the Grand Canyon. Please visit Shane's blog today for a new post.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back From Vacation...



Hello everyone, for the last two plus weeks both of my blogs have been running on auto pilot. It looks like everything posted as planned and I think I have visited every ones blog since getting home. I have been off for more than the last month with about a week to go including another Boy Scout Camp before having to go back to work.

Vacation started with a trip to Boy Scout summer camp, a long weekend at the beach that included stops at Blackwater, Assateague and Bombay Hook, an Orioles game, the Boy Scouts National Jamboree and then off to our big vacation for the year. We spent 15 days at Las Vegas and the surrounding area. After leaving Vegas we took a 2,000 mile trip that included Death Valley, Red Rocks, Zion, Cedar Breaks, the Grand Canyon north and south rim along with a few other stops. In all we hit 12 National Parks, Monuments or recreation areas.

Myself I got bored with the Grand Canyon liking the North rim the best. But my favorite stops were at Pipe Springs, Death Valley and Walnut Canyon (home of the cliff dwellers). We seen temperatures ranging from 38 degrees to 122 degrees.

I never thought I would like Vegas, boy was I wrong. We loved Vegas and will be returning. There was so much to see including the Blue Man group, the hotels and the Pawn shop from Pawn Stars on the history channel. And I must admit there was more hot woman there than anyplace I have ever been in my life. I also have to say everyone lied to me, they said I wouldn't notice myself sweating. They were wrong I sweated allot and often. The one thing we seen little of was wildlife but I expected that and did not take the big lens along knowing that it was not a wildlife trip. It is good to be home and sleeping in my own bed now and hearing English spoken instead of every other language. I think after we left Vegas the only people that spoke English were the people working in the areas.

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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Assateague Island Pony...


While in Ocean City we decided to take the short trip over to Assateague Island in search of Sika Deer, Pony's and birds. We were partly successful, but the high temperatures and bright sun kept things away. We were lucky enough to see this eight day old pony with its mother. We did see some other horses and a few Sika's along with a nest of new born Barn Swallows and despite the heat we all had fun.

I hope the narratives and photos went together and made sense of the last month. I have been on vacation during that time and little of it has been spent at home. I wanted the blog to continue to run as if I were at home so it becomes difficult when posting a months worth of post in just a couple of days. The big vacation this year after the beach was in the west at Vegas, the Grand Canyon and all the other parks around it. With any luck I got a few usable photos while away. Days off are winding down now with another boy scout camp to attend before heading back to work. I will soon start posting live again.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sinoquipe Scout Reservation...



I started my 37 day break from hell, oh I mean work last month by attended summer camp with Boy Scout troop 180. This year the troop went to Sinoquipe in Fort Littleton. This was my first trip to this camp and it was very nice. We had 17 boys and four leaders at camp and I think all had a great time despite the heat and two storms. I enjoyed scouting as a youth but I think it is more fun now getting to do it with my son. I think all of you that view this site know me but if you do not that is me and Shane in the second photo. The first photos is the troop at the color grounds awaiting the flag ceremony so we may get to the mess hall. The last photograph was home for my time their, regardless of the high temperatures I slept very well in this tent. Our next scouting adventure was attending the National Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill Virginia, maybe some photos from it later. By the way this is for my old scout friends Dale and David, are you guys missing this yet? These were also taken with the point and shoot camera. Can you tell that we try not to let any grass grow under feet in the Myers house, we are always on the go.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Purple Martin...

Yes I know another not so good photo taken in harsh sun but it was the first Purple Martin I ever photographed. This is another bird that can be found here in Pa. but I have never seen them here. This one was photographed at Bombay Hook, Delaware. Maybe after I get a few more years under my belt photographing birds I will see some of these and other birds more often. I just started photographing birds a little over a year and a half ago. Klaus got my appetite wet in Florida and I have enjoyed it ever since. In that time period I have learned allot and can name many more birds that I could before.

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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And People Think I am Not Right...



video

Okay for those of you who think I am not right watch this video and you will see that I am the normal one in the family. I hope the video works, when I upload them they always say an error occurred please try again later but once the post shows up they always seem to be there. This is the sort of thing I have to put up with all the time. This was at the condo we stayed at in Ocean City the other week, Shane finds a luggage cart and Linda acts like a kid with him. By the way the were shot with the point and shoot camera also. I know I sound like a broken record and I am not looking for pity but I have not been happy with the quality of photographs I have been getting lately. I have good equipment and I should be getting better but I seem to be digressing. The post processing skills are not improving either. Since I am doing this for fun I have decided not to worry about what I post anymore, besides on a good day my numbers only around 25 to 30 hits a day anyways.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thats All He Gave Me...

The one thing that attracted me to Bombay Hook was the foxes in January, February and March. A trip was planned for that time earlier in the year but because of work, snow and other things it never happened. The red fox population is to be very good and at that time of the year it is the breading season. I never expected to see a fox on the day we drove through because of the warm temperatures and the high sun but one never knows. Just as we were exiting the refuge we spotted this fellow up ahead of us and this is all he provided me with photos. For anyone that photographs wildlife the rear end shot is pretty common, they normally find the delete button pretty quick. Hopefully this winter will be a different story for me as I plan to make the trip in search of good fox photos.

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

Friday, August 6, 2010

Landing Osprey...

I was really angry at myself after shooting these photographs. I had the camera set for shooting still birds when I noticed this Osprey coming in for a landing. I quickly changed my focus point to a nine pin area but failed to change the focusing to continuous and left it on single so it did not track the birds the way I wanted it to. This ended up being the best of the ones I shot but I should have had many more. Regardless I was still happy to see Osprey as I have only ever seen a few and they were always far away. These were still a good distance away and shot with the 200-400 and cropped in. By the way these were taken at Black water in Maryland.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Clicks At Blackwater...

These were my first shutter releases at Black water Wildlife Refuge on the way home from the beach. I am not sure I got the effect I was looking for and I think I would have liked the depth of field better with the 70-200 2.8 on the camera but Shane was using it so I was relegated to the 200-400 f4. It looks like the larger bird is a Ring-billed Gull. I can't wait to get back to these two new places when I am only there for photographing and have plenty of time. Any body up for a road trip?

Hey it is Thursday already so please visit Shane's blog for a new post.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Mid Day Orioles Game With Friends...



On Wednesday July 21ST we attended a noon Baltimore Orioles game with our friends the Quigley's that live across the street from us. Not unlike most Orioles games the Birds came out losers to the Rays 5-4 but is was still fun to watch a game. Not wanting to lug around a bigger camera and down on my camera skills lately I decided to take the point and shoot. By looking at the sharpness of the last photograph I guess I am not very good with it either. That is Shane on the left of both photos and John on the right. Go ahead guys grab them for your face book pages if you want them. Don't forget to click the photos for larger versions especially the first photo.

Speaking of Shane check out his blog today for a new post.

Happy Birthday Mom.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Barn Swallows...


I mentioned last week that we took a short trip to the beach with a couple of stops mixed in to scout out some areas. These Barn Swallows come from our visit to Bombay Hook, Delaware. After taking the photographs a couple of people pointed out that we have barn swallows in Pa. also and that is true. But seeing them and photographing them in Pa. is something that I have never done. I guess I just have not been at the right place at the right time or I am not searching hard enough. Like everything photographed at mid day this time of year the sun was high creating bad lighting and not the best of times for shooting. But then again I am no professional and at this stage of my life just consider myself a picture taker or fun.