My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

My Weekend, Saturday

Okay, I decided to do a stand alone post for each day this weekend, mostly because I shot so many photos.

I went to the Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve, and I was a little disappointed by how few birds or spring flowers I saw. The weather was the major reason for few birds. It was sunny when I arrived, but soon the clouds rolled in. Later, it began to sprinkle first, then rain moderately hard for the rest of my time there.

It felt hot and muggy when I arrived also, the type of feeling that one gets when severe weather is on the way, and that’s what happened this day. I had just left, when a powerful storm moved through the area with winds over 80 MPH. I’m sure that the critters could feel the storm coming, they normally do, and they take cover early.

Still, it was my first day out with the replacement 300 mm prime telephoto lens, and it really wowed me! Not only is it even sharper than the first 300 mm lens was, the auto-focus is much more accurate. And, to top it off, it does so well in very poor light that I’m going to throw in a few photos that I probably wouldn’t normally include, as they are of ring-necked ducks in the rain, and I’m amazed at how good they are. You’ll also be able to see how versatile the new lens is, I’ll include photos that I shot of subjects literally at my feet, as well as birds in the distance.

So, here’s the first photo I shot with the new lens, of a dandelion right outside my apartment door as I was loading my gear in my vehicle.

Dandelion

Dandelion

I’m not going to prattle on about the rest of the photos, they are what the captions say that they are. 😉

Sandhill crane in flight

Sandhill crane in flight

Immature male red-winged blackbird

Immature male red-winged blackbird

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

Spring peeper

Spring peeper

Spring peeper

Spring peeper

Spring peeper "peeping"

Spring peeper “peeping”

Canada goose on the run

Canada goose on the run

Lichen

Lichen

Female downy woodpecker

Female downy woodpecker

Female downy woodpecker

Female downy woodpecker

Lichen

Lichen

Male northern cardinal singing

Male northern cardinal singing

Bee

Bee

Lichen

Lichen

Tufted titmouse

Tufted titmouse

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Painted turtle and reflection

Painted turtle and reflection

Flies feeding on sugar maple sap

Flies feeding on sugar maple sap

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

Ring-necked ducks in the rain

So there aren’t any award winners in this batch, they do show what the new lens is capable of even under some very poor weather conditions. You’ll get an even better idea of what the lens is capable of in tomorrow’s post.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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24 responses

  1. I was excited to see your photo of the sandhill crane. I’ve become enamored with them since my visit to the Gulf Coast. High winds and rain in Moab, Utah, too but clearer skies heading our way.

    April 13, 2014 at 7:08 pm

  2. Nice! You saw so many things. Hope you enjoyed your walk, even though it rained. I think there are a few winners like the duck with its wings so far back. And the dandelion. Thanks for posting.

    April 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    • Thanks Chris, I always enjoy my time outdoors, even if it rains, the rain just makes photography more difficult.

      April 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm

  3. Nice shots! Spring peepers, I’m impressed!

    April 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    • Thanks, but there’s millions of the peepers, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

      April 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm

  4. Super Saturday! I especially love the first photo of the female downy woodpecker, very nice Jerry.

    April 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    • Thanks! The second is actually better, but it doesn’t show it the way that it displays within my blog.

      April 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm

  5. I think you’re almost getting pretty picky. Simply loved the crane shot. Then again I envy any kind of crane shot. Seems we don’t get to see any around here. sigh
    Other than that, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the tufted titmouse. What a little cutie and your lens is doing a super fine job (and so are you!) 😀

    April 14, 2014 at 3:53 am

    • Thank you! I am getting pickier, as the quality of my photos improve, I want to post just the best ones.

      April 14, 2014 at 8:24 am

  6. PS I really like the shorter, but more frequent posts. I’ve often had to skim through your other long ones because I’d simply run out of time.

    April 14, 2014 at 3:55 am

    • Thanks for the feedback. I used to do daily posts, but keeping up with the responses began to take up too much time.

      April 14, 2014 at 8:25 am

  7. You got some great shots in spite of the rain. It looks like that lens will really do it all, even close to macros. It’s amazing that it was able to do that with the dandelion.

    April 14, 2014 at 6:18 am

    • Thanks Allen! A year of flipping back and forth between this lens and the 400 mm version was worth it. I’m very happy with this lens, and my photos will only get better as I learn how to use it.

      April 14, 2014 at 8:38 am

  8. I think the shots are great, especially the flies on that tree!

    April 14, 2014 at 10:47 am

    • Thanks, I thought that it was interesting to see them feeding on the sweet sugar maple sap.

      April 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  9. I wondered why you had stopped doing more frequent posts. It is hard work posting and reading posts and commenting and replying to comments. I appreciate your shorter more frequent posts but I understand your point of view. You never need to reply to my comments if you are busy. I won’t take the huff.

    April 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    • Thanks! I look forward to your posts and comments here, so replying to you is never a chore. I do sometimes skip commenting on your blog if I notice grammar and punctuation mistakes, because that’s not like you, so I assume you’re either very busy, or not feeling up to snuff, and don’t want to put you out.

      April 15, 2014 at 2:53 am

      • That is most thoughtful. I will obviously have to pay more attention when I read through my efforts though.

        April 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm

  10. More lovely photos. I like the turtle and its reflection.

    April 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      April 15, 2014 at 3:02 am

  11. Thanks for the education on the juvenile red-winged blackbird. Had no idea they didn’t look the same as the adults! As always, an education. Thanks. When we get back to GR, I will walk around with new eyes, thanks (sincerely) to you.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:25 am

    • Thank you for the kind words! The first year males look like a cross between the mature males, almost all black except for the wing patches, and the females, which are speckled brown.

      April 15, 2014 at 3:04 am

  12. Wow, Jerry! That first photo of the dandelion is pretty incredible! It actually looks 3D on my screen! I also liked the first photo of the female downy and I LOVE the turtle and its reflection! You gave us a taste of the impressive photos we can expect in the future from that new lense!

    April 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    • Thank you! It’s funny, I put little thought into the photo of the dandelion, other than to adjust the exposure down since they are yellow, and I got a good photo. The new lens is like that, get the exposure correct, and it’s awesome.

      April 17, 2014 at 2:20 am