A few weeks ago, I made it a point to get up early to go take a photo of the sunrise at the Edwin B Forsythe Wildlife Refuge. I arrived there several minutes late and had a hard time getting set up and start shooting. The first images turned out to be not so good. In desperation I turned around and took the following photo of part of the refuge illuminated by the rising sun. I actually took three shots and combined them into one image using HDR.
Later that day, my wife and I came back to the refuge and while she read a book I photographed the birds around us.
Here’s one of a couple of willets. They are of the sandpiper family, but quite a bit larger than a sandpiper. In the 19th century people used to eat them like chickens, and their population plummeted dangerously. Now they are doing better but are threatened by the loss of their habitats which are marshy areas where they use their long bills to forage for food.
I took this photo a few weeks earlier, but this is also a willet.
Bird in flight (BIF) photos are difficult to take unless one has a lot of patience and the right equipment, namely expensive long zoom lenses. But, I got lucky with this black-hooded gull who flew relatively close by.
If you click on each image, you will see it in full size.
For the past three years, I have been going to sunflower fields in New Jersey to take pictures. Yesterday, I tried to go back to a farm that had acres of sunflowers, a sight that one could not miss driving on the highway as the golden acres stretched as far as the horizon.
This year, the farmer told me that he had to rotate his crops as any wise farmer would do. For 2013, he planted his sunflowers in two different and smaller locations near another farm. I went there and could not find them. I stopped at the farm store and asked where they were. The young woman who answered looked at me in a strange way and pointed her finger across the highway: “Right there!”
Indeed they were, but the field was mostly green, a far cry from the waves of yellow that I was looking for. A lot of rain fell in New Jersey this summer and the plants were very tall, maybe 12 feet, and the leaves were large. The sunflowers were not all at their peak, although those that were blooming were gorgeous. On the plus side, this gave me a chance to photograph the sunflower at different stages as you can see in the photos below.
As usual click on each image to view them in full size.
This one is still quite green:
This one is ready to burst forth:
The following are in various stages of bloom:
On sultry winter days that will be coming each year, I will look at the next one to remind me of the warm and vibrant colors of summer.
Finally, here’s another, almost psychedelic, view of a younger flower.