Little Black Bear

 

Wildlife photography is my passion.  I get so caught up in the moment of seeing an amazing animal and capturing at least just one amazing photo.  It is what I love, live and dream about.  That perfect shot!

I got the opportunity to mark off another amazing item from my bucket list this week. Photographing a black bear.  Here in Arkansas you might see a bear, but seeing one is rare and very exciting if given the opportunity.

Arkansas, once know as the bear state, is loved by black bear due to its mountains which are rugged terrain, covered in trees, and abundant with water sources.  Black bear were almost extinct in the natural state in the 1930’s with only 50 bear.  Now, there are thousands and the numbers keep climbing.

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I recently got the opportunity to capture some amazing shots of this young male black bear.  This is a young bear recently pushed away by it’s mother just looking for food.  He was very brave and didn’t seem to mind posing for me.

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I hope you enjoyed the shots of this beautiful little male bear.  If you would like to learn more about Black Bear in Arkansas, this article from Only In Arkansas called  Bears in Arkansas is an interesting read and gives some great links to read more about Arkansas Black Bears.

Leah

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Great Egret

The weather here in Arkansas has been quite cooler in the last few weeks due to overcast rainy skies.  It has been great weather to take long walks and just get out and enjoy the great outdoors with my camera in tow.  During my long afternoon walks a big white bodied winged bird has caught my eye lately soaring over the pastures and ponds.

This snowy white bird know as the Great Egret, is the symbol of the National Audubon Society.  I hope you enjoy these few photos that I was able to capture and just had to share.

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I watched as three glided in on snowy white wings, landing in a big tree nearby.  The birds put on a show landing and leaving the tree to go to the pond nearby.  There were three, two adults and a juvenile.  I watched as they landed in the tree and then flew to the pond feeding on fish, frogs, and anything else that they could catch.

The Great Egret is common in south Arkansas and may be seen in northern parts of Arkansas during the late summer before heading to their wintering grounds.

Nearly hunted to extinction in the late nineteenth century for their beautiful white feathers for ladies hats, they are now making a come back.  Audubon was founded for protecting birds from being killed for their feathers.

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This juvenile Little Blue Heron was flying low over the pond searching for a place to land to get its next meal.  This is a smaller bird and will change color when it is mature.

I was spotted by the birds before I could get good photos while they were in the pond feeding.  So maybe next time…

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If you would like to know more about the Great Egret visit the National Audubon Society Also All About Birds is another great site to read about the Great Egret.

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Bringing Together Light, Water and Action to Create A Dreamlike Illusion

 

Shooting action shots of an animal on the water is really exciting and can be a challenge in itself.  Bringing together light, water and action, can create an awesome effect in photography.  This series of shots of the Trumpeter Swans, right when the golden hour in photography was ending, was such a gift.  It happened at the most perfect time of day, with the most perfect subject any photographer could want, the Trumpeter Swan.

Each afternoon the swans always made an afternoon flight before nightfall.  I was setting and waiting for this to take place for hours and was just about to give up.  Since it was almost dark, I didn’t think the swans would fly.  I was beginning to believe that they had not intention of flying that afternoon.  Suddenly they were spooked by something and the bobbing of heads began.  The nervous swans gave me an indication that flight could take place any minute.  That is when something magical happened. That is when light, water, and action came together.

The loveliest thing about shooting around water is that every time you shoot,  something special and magical has a big chance of happening.  In this case it was  all dependent on the moving of the water, the light and shutter speed.  Shutter speed is so important when you are trying to capture a moving target.  Shutter speed refers to the length of time your camera shutter is open allowing light to enter.  The faster the shutter speed the less time the sensor is exposed to light.  This gives you different effects at different speeds.

The swans splashed on top of the water as they made their way across the pond.  Light hitting the water droplets shown like diamonds around the swans.   This gave my images a surreal look that captured the Trumpeter Swans in a dreamlike illusion.  I hope you enjoy photography magic……..

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Turkey! Tis The Season

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Since turkey season has arrived here in Arkansas,  I thought I would show you a few shots that I have had the opportunity to take.  A wild turkey is really something to see and hearing them gobble is a sound like none other.

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This bunch was thirsty and it gave me a great photo opportunity.

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And look who popped its head up over a little hill to check me out. A beautiful little White Tail deer.

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And away she goes……  Isn’t it amazing at how high they can jump?

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I love seeing so many turkey.  I can remember when I was a kid, there were no wild turkey in the area.  I am so glad they are here now and have made such a great comeback.  Today Arkansas is well known as a good Turkey hunting state.
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Animal Behavior cont…. Walking On Water

Last week I posted some photography tips, and I talked about one of the most important… Animal Behavior.  
This story begins on a cold January afternoon.  It was the kind of cold chill that went to the bones.  It was overcast and the sky was draped in gray.  I knew where the swans were that afternoon and I just had to go see if I could get some decent shots.  I took out walking carrying a load in my backpack.  My camera, a couple of lens, and my trusty tripod.

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When I arrived at the pond where the swans were feeding.  Some of the swans were on the pond bank and some were in the water.  I noticed that they had company.  A few cows were standing on the same side of the pond as they were except they were on the opposite end.   I noticed the birds were getting a little nervous moving around more and more.  I climbed up the pond bank keeping as low as possible crawling on the damp cold ground.  There were two adults in the group, a Pen and Cob, along with five young Cygnets.

Since spending many hours watching Trumpeter Swans, I have learned when they are not happy and when they are not going to stick around.  This group was not going to stick around long.  The adult male Pen was the first to get very nervous.  The cows kept getting closer to the group and that did not suit the Pen at all.  Cattle are very strange when it comes to something they don’t see every day.  They were curious and just as scared as the swans.  I kept holding my breath hoping that the swans would stick around just a little bit longer.

The male Pen started bobbing his head up and down and calling out to the group.  This made all the swans nervous and now all the group were bobbing their heads.  All the swans got in the water and started swimming toward the lower end of the pond.  The Cob was telling his group to get ready.  Every swan lined up side by side with the Pen in  the center.  I knew this was not a good sign. They were lined up for what seemed like an eternity to me, bobbing their heads and honking back and forth to each other.  I lay there on the ground waiting while holding this huge heavy lens up afraid to let my guard down and miss the shots that I knew were to come.

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The Pen lifted his angel wings high into the air.  I knew this was going to be show.  All of his group were lined up evenly at his sides.  In the photo above you can see the adult Pen in the center lifting his wings, the adult Cob is on the left side at the very end.

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When he started to take flight, all of the swans started to lift their wings and take flight.   None of them were going to stick around.

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All the swans took off with the Cob waiting until the very last to leave.

Knowing animal behavior and having patience is so important.  If I had not known the reason that they were bobbing their heads, communicating, moving around, lining up to take flight, I would have not known to be ready.  You must have the patience to stay and be ready to get the shot.  Not knowing all these important aspects will make you miss that great shot you only dreamed of capturing.

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I will let the photos tell the rest of the story…

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And the walked on water…….

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Seeing Eye to Eye


Capturing A Moment In Nature


The past year I have been working on a project that I have wanted to do for a while.  I just received a proof and I would like to share the cover photo of my new book.  Capturing A Moment In Nature due out in the fall of 2018.  I am excited to see my project completed and I cannot wait to share it with you.  A book that is filled with some of my best images and wildlife photography tips.

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Signs Of Summer On The Farm

 

This weekend the farm was alive with the signs of summer.  When hay time hits you know it is here.   I hope you enjoy a few of the photos I was able to capture of life on the farm.

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A week old calf gets a lick from its mother
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I love wild daisy so I couldn’t resist the shot
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A bull frog sets and watches me take his picture

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December calves
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Red Bellied Wood Pecker
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Rhode Island Reds
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A bumble bee gathering nectar
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A white faced baldie calf
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A Scissor Tail Fly Catcher enjoying the sunshine while setting on a fence post.
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Fresh bailed hay
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Female Eastern Bluebird setting on a barbed wire fence
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Male and female Bob White Quail

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A beautiful male Cardinal 
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Two young deer enjoying the green grass
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Goosey pulling on Dinky’s tail
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A special Canadian Goose that lives here on the farm
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Red Bellied Woodpecker

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Sunflowers and John Deere Tractors 
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Maggie the coon dog enjoys the cool water
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A young heifer
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Rhode Island Red hens visiting the barn

There is nothing like living on a farm.

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The End…

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