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

Maybe short and sweet is the way

Well, I’m trying once again to allow people to add their comments to my blog, I hope that I’ve finally set everything correctly this time.

I am going to try something a little different in this post, it will be mostly images, my best of the best the past two weeks, with very little of my thoughts.

White throated sparrow

 

White throated sparrow

Even though that means multiple images of the same species.

Male rose breasted grosbeak

 

Male rose breasted grosbeak

 

Male rose breasted grosbeak

 

Male ruby crowned kinglet

 

Song sparrow bathing

 

Song sparrow bathing

 

Song sparrow bathing

 

Song sparrow bathing

How I went about capturing these images isn’t that important to any one but me, I think, but I could be wrong about that.

Male hooded merganser

 

Male hooded merganser

 

Male hooded merganser

All that I’ll say is that I continue to play with the equipment that I have, trying to get the best from it.

Unidentified flowers

 

Maple flowers?

 

Flowers and leaves opening

 

Common field speedwell?

 

Unidentified purple flower

In my efforts to get the best possible images, I sometimes forget to look at the subject that I’m photographing as well as I should as I concentrate on shooting the image that I want. For example, I thought that these were pale leaves opening, they really caught my eye against the background. But, they were in a position where it would have been hard for me to get closer to them. I had enough trouble not sliding down a steep slope and into a drainage ditch as it was while I was in position to shoot this next one. I was more concerned with getting the shot than identifying what I was shooting, and after blowing the image up on the computer, I believe that what I thought were leaves are actually flowers opening. Either way, I love the color of the background and the fact that it’s completely out of focus so that the flowers stand out better.

Leaves or flowers?

Maybe I’m putting too many images into this post, I’ve had two really good weeks in a row…

Snow drop flower

…with plenty of subjects to photograph…

Common grackle

…with some very good light at times…

Common grackle

…and even slight changes in the light can change how a subject appears in an image, as these two of the grackle show.

Horsetail flower

I’ve also been working very hard at getting the best background that I can, as you may have been able to notice in these images.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

That isn’t easy with these smaller birds…

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

…but when I find an exceptional individual of a species, I try to stick with it as long as possible, shooting as many images as I can…

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

…until I get the cleanest background possible.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher

While this is too many images already, I have one more that I’d like to throw in. This one is of a chickadee that some how lost all of its tail feathers. I can only assume that the loss of its tail was due to a run-in with a predator, perhaps a hawk, or more likely, a feral house cat. The reason I’m including it is that I watched as the chickadee flew, and it did remarkably well despite the lack of a tail to use for directional control.

Black capped chickadee that’s missing its tail feathers

I’m thinking of doing a long-winded companion post to this one in which I prattle on at length about my current camera gear, any possible future gear that I’m thinking of acquiring, and photography in general. I guess that I should wait to see if I have finally fixed the problem of people not being able to comment to my posts first.

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

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19 responses

  1. I am so pleased you are posting again, Jerry and that we can comment again, too! All the images in this post are beautiful and the details really clear.

    Like

    May 8, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    • Thank you very much Clare! I still have issues with my iMac computer and the latest operating system for it not working well with WordPress, but I am learning how to get around those issues, finally. I’m glad that you liked the photos, I think that these are some of my best yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 8, 2019 at 11:21 pm

  2. Judy L Crankshaw

    Hi Jerry! Long time, no comment.

    I like the more photo/less talk format, but please don’t ever stop leaving off all the stuff about bird behaviors and who’s who.

    Happy that you got the comment stuff figured out – I really missed that in the last posts.

    The gnatcatcher was a new one to me – don’t know if they are common, but don’t believe I’ve ever seen (or heard) of that before.

    Like

    May 7, 2019 at 8:06 am

    • Thanks Judy, it has been too long! I miss your blog, but I understand why you’ve chosen not to continue it.

      I’m still working on this, I think that the best way for me to continue blogging is to do posts with just photos and my thoughts on nature and things like bird behavior, and then do a companion post with my thoughts about photography and gear, which most people can skip.

      The blue-grey gnatcatchers are slightly larger than a chickadee, and from a distance, they are easily mistaken for a chickadee. I stuck with the one in my photos because it was bluer than most of the species. They do nest in our area, but you need to keep a sharp eye out for them, as they’re usually up in the tree tops searching for insects.

      Like

      May 7, 2019 at 4:47 pm

  3. Glad you got the comments fixed Jerry, because now I can say that I’ve enjoyed every post I couldn’t comment on.
    I think my favorite shot in this post has to be that grackle. You’ve caught the Iridescence perfectly and shown what a beautiful bird it really is.
    Though there might be a flower or two there those are actually red maple seeds forming.
    I think your unidentified small yellow flowers must be spicebush, though I’ve never seen one.
    That is a speedwell blossom but I’m not sure which one. I am sure that your macro lens is working well!
    I’m not sure about the purple flower or the pale leaves / flowers. Leaves can be pale like that though when they first open, then they quickly turn green.
    Nice post. Happy spring!

    Like

    May 6, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    • Thank you Allen! After finally getting my blog to accept comments again, I don’t know how I was ever able to turn them off. I had to use a different browser and read the WordPress help section on comments to get them turned on again.

      I’m glad that you liked the grackle, those are some of my favorites from this spring, as I feel that I really did capture its colors well.

      I got the name “common field speedwell” through a google search, and it seemed to match what I photographed exactly. However, it wasn’t from an American source, it may be called something else here.

      I’ve known this already, but the way that I ID birds by photographing them then looking them up in a field guide doesn’t work very well for flowers, at least for me. It doesn’t help that as I’m shooting the photos, I concentrate more than ever on getting the best possible photo, rather than trying to ID what it is that I’m shooting. If it catches my eye as something beautiful, getting the image is now my total focus.

      It hasn’t been the best of springs here, and I can tell that you’ve had much the same in the way of weather this year, but it doesn’t matter. It’s finally spring, and the birds are returning and singing, and the flowers are beginning to bloom, so I’m loving it despite the cool wet weather we’ve had.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 7, 2019 at 7:32 am

  4. Well, I started by thinking that it would be hard to top the White throated sparrow pictures at the top of this post but then I saw the set of Song sparrow bathing shots and then there were just more and more. Your playing is paying off. You are quite right about the backgrounds. They make the birds stand out well so as well as getting really nice shots of the birds, you are giving us very harmonious compositions too. Don’t bother to reply to this comment. Spend the time on your next post instead.

    Like

    May 6, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    • Thanks Tom! I have plenty of time to formulate my posts as I’m driving for work, so I have the time to thank a faithful commenter who always has nice things to say about my blog and photos.

      Like

      May 7, 2019 at 7:11 am

  5. Well done for getting the comments back. Your pictures are stunning and, since I know nothing about cameras the quality of the pictures are why I read your posts. We are so lucky to be able to see your work which should be in a gallery somewhere for all the world to see.

    Like

    May 6, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    • Thank you very much Susan! Your words are too kind. I will say this though, my photo are in a gallery for all the world to see, on the Internet. I think that I have hit upon the way that I should blog in the future, do a post with just the images, then do a companion post which contains my ramblings on photography that most people can skip.

      Like

      May 6, 2019 at 4:18 pm

  6. Well what a welcome back from our holidays to be greeted by these amazing, wonderful photos and being able to comment too…fantastic! Love the tail less cheeky chappie chickadee!

    Like

    May 6, 2019 at 7:52 am

    • Thank you very much Marianne! That little chickadee was amazing in the way that it was able to fly despite having lost its entire tail. I shot a few images that show its lack of a tail better, but the image that I posted does show the chickadee’s attitude was the same as always, bright and cheery, which is why I love them so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 6, 2019 at 4:15 pm

  7. All very beautiful! And I can put those words in a comment 😊

    Like

    May 6, 2019 at 7:42 am

  8. Finally, we can comment! Welcome back, and your photos are just as fantastically beautiful as ever, or maybe even better than in the past. I hate to pick a favorite, I like them all, but I like those of the Rose-breasted Grossbeak.

    Like

    May 6, 2019 at 7:39 am

    • Thank you Hien! It was a tough fight to get the comments back, computers can be very frustrating at times. The grosbeak was looking very dapper, but this is one of the few posts that I’ve done that I’m proud of every image in the entire post. My favorites are the white throated sparrow, due to the detail and resolution in those images, which you’re not able to see in the reduced quality images in my blog, unfortunately.

      Like

      May 6, 2019 at 4:12 pm

  9. wandering heARTist

    As always love your work.

    Like

    May 6, 2019 at 7:25 am