Posts Tagged nature photography
No, I don’t mean layer masks in Photoshop, I mean on the Cedar Waxwing’s face. I’ve seen pictures of these birds before but until this day did not think I would ever see one live let alone enjoying oranges. The waxwing part of their name comes from the bright red wax-like droplets on the tips of their wing feathers. They look ready for a masquerade party with that black mask across their eyes.
(I hope that Mother’s Day has been a pleasant one for everyone; DH doing all of the cooking has been wonderful. I know that there are many of us who no longer have our mothers or that special mother figure and that makes the day bittersweet and my heart goes out to those moms who have lost the ones that called or would’ve called them mom. I miss my mom but I give thanks that I am called mom and nana. I am thrilled that Facetime and Skype were invented so that while I’m not there with my progeny who live about 7 hours away, I can still see and speak to them.)
The sanctuary has an aviary that guests can walk through to view and interact with the song birds. The Blue Jays and Orioles will sometimes eat from a visitor’s hand, decide to inspect your bag or even land on your head…which is what happened to DH with a Blue Jay. Cheeky bird!
Diesel* (Red-shouldered hawk) was retired from the sport of falconry when her handler realized she only wanted to hunt earthworms and grasshoppers instead of a hawks usual prey. Diesel is a human imprint, which means she does not recognize her own species. Can you imagine what it would be like if you didn’t recognize yourself as being a human around other humans?
Athena is a beautiful American Barn Owl and a bit of a Grande Dame at the sanctuary. She has been with them for a long time and is about to be retired soon to a life of leisure – not having to be on display. Capturing her image took some maneuvering and patience. She was high up in a pine tree (wonder how they put her up there) and beside having to wait for a good pose, there were other people there taking her photo as well as tree limbs blocking her face as the wind blew.
That’s not to say that an image with the subject being partially obstructed isn’t a good image. Those shots have their merits too as they can tell you more about where and what was going on when the shot was taken. I just wanted to capture all of her clearly because she was so striking on her perch.
While Athena was high in the tree, her European cousin was on the glove of a handler. Monty here is a European Barn Owl and while they look very much alike (heart shaped face and those dark eyes) Monty and his kind are bigger which is something to say considering owls, no matter how feathery they look, really weigh very little. Owl facts: The reason they can fly so quietly is because the edges of their feathers aren’t smooth but are somewhat comb edged which breaks up the air rushing over their wings making them much more stealthy. Barn owls are also the most widely distributed species of owl in the world and they don’t hoot, they shriek.
Another interesting fact is that while we humans have seven vertebrae in our necks, an owl has fourteen which is how they can bob their heads around and do that head turning thing they do so well. Also, both owls and hawks eat their prey whole but hawks can eat every bit of their prey while owls cannot digest fur or bone hence those owl pellets they spit up. Interesting…
That it’s the weekend? Ok, go right ahead and groan. Hope your weekend is bright and chipper like these two tulips. Mentioning these tulips, can anyone find what’s different about these as compared to the others featured ? And no, I don’t mean the color and shape. It’s something I don’t recall seeing on a tulip before and it’s looking right at you.
The Inniswood Metro Gardens boasts more than 2,000 species of plants along with specialty collections and themed gardens. Between it and the Park of Roses here in Central Ohio, from spring to fall there is always something and somewhere to photograph.
By the way, get the pun?