Good Friday

Each year on Good Friday, we have a re-enactment of the stations of the cross at our church.  The community (mainly hispanic members) dress as Roman guards, Jewish priests and Israelites who lead Jesus to the crucifiction and watch as he endures his passion.  It is quite a powerful event to no only hear the words but to watch in real life how the story unfolds.

It will never cease to amaze me how much deeper of an experience we have when we bring our faith lives into closer examination.  There are so many things we say we believe in but often take for granted.  The season of Lent is meant for Christians to deepen their faith.  The season of Easter is to celebrate it.  Hopefully, I will find the true joy that is there in this year’s observance of Holy Week.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
38mm @ f/8 – 1/1250 sec – ISO 400

#HolyWeek #GoodFriday #LivingStations #Easter #Christian #Catholic #StThomasAquinas #Alpharetta #Georgia #WithMyTamron

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Back in town

Well, if you haven’t hung your hummingbird feeder and put fresh nectar out, it’s time to do that!  I had heard that they were on their way back and we saw the first one in our yard yesterday.  I would have thought March was pretty early for the return of hummers but it looks like that’s the way things are going this year.

I think this guy must have been tired from a long migration flight.  He sat at the feeder for long periods just looking around and taking long drinks.  Maybe he was just able to sit longer because there were no competitors for the food.  When they get here for the summer, there is an almost constant battle where they chase each other every time one stops to eat.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of that soon.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/6.3 – 1/60 sec – ISO 1250

#BirdWatching #birds #RubyThroatedHummingbird #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Blessings

For those who may not have noticed, this is Easter week.  In the Catholic church, we refer to it as Holy Week and there are many services and ceremonies that go on now.  I was able to attend one of these celebrations last night at our Seder dinner.  The Seder is a Jewish tradition which is part of the Passover holiday.  The seder is associated with and is the origin of the Christian tradition of the eucharist.

This is a wonderful time to celebrate the differences and commonalities of the world’s great religions.  If we can share our common history and build on those things which we share as beeing good and worthwhile, the world will be a better place.  May we all focus on the good and look for ways to connect with those around us.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G
85mm @ f/5 – 1/13 sec – ISO 2500

#HolyWeek #Seder #ceremony #Passover #Easter #Christian #Catholic #StThomasAquinas #Alpharetta #Georgia

Bird behavior

I am trying to work on capturing birds not just as a portrait, but as a depiction of their natural habitat behavior.  I like to single out individuals and try to get close up and that often makes for a nice image.  There is a whole different story to be told if you can get them in action, displaying their normal behavior.  It shows not only what the animal looks like but a little of how they act.

This group of Black-bellied Whistling ducks were going about their business in a little pond.  You can see some eating, some preening and some just standing about.  I kind of like the fact that they aren’t all “posing” in this case.  It makes it a little more natural and gets you a feel of how they would act if nobody was watching.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Dendrocygna autumnalis

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
500mm @ f/9 – 1/500 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #BlackBelliedWhistlingDuck #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron

Time to go

Watching birds can be lots of fun but when they get spooked, they are not sticking around to have a portrait taken!  These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were the picture of serenity when they sat in the sun.  I watched them for a good while dozing on the shore and it seemed as though they might never move.  One loud noise of quick movement however, would send them to the air in a shot.

As you can see here, they kind of take off pretty much straight up.  A splash of water, a flurry of wings, two orange feet dangling in the air and they are gone.  Of course, there was always one or two late reactors.  The one duck in the water is looking around like, hey – where you guys going?  Sadly, the slow-pokes may soon be someone’s duck dinner but, that’s nature for you.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Dendrocygna autumnalis

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/320 sec – ISO 640

#BirdWatching #birds #BlackBelliedWhistlingDuck #Sarasota #Florida #WithMyTamron

No, I don’t like rainy weekends either!

I suppose the plants are happy since everything seems to be a bright shade of green these days.  Unfortunately, the spring weather has been more rain and cooler temperatures and not so much on sunshine.  Though it won’t be long before I complain of summer’s heat, right now, I could do with a few more bright days.

This yellow-rumped warbler was happy enough to get someting to eat but seemed here to be complaining about something.  I have been watching these guys through the fall and winter and have not been getting that much of the yellow markings before.  Don’t know if they are getting brighter with spring mating season or if I just got lucky with the way he was facing me.  Either way, you can see the bright yellow on the rump, under the wings and on the forehead.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
(Setophaga coronata)

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/160 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #YellowRumpedWarbler #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Going for a dip

Sometimes, if you keep your eyes open, you get an unexpected gift from nature.  I was out looking for some golden-hour bird pictures when I spotted this little scene.  A tree with its branches dipping into the water and a spectacular golden reflection of the setting sun off the pond surface.

If I had been out looking for a great landscape shot I probably would have missed this.  I certainly wasn’t expecting it but, I couldn’t pass up the fantastic color and contrasts that were here.  Once again, being in the right place at the right time means everything.  Of course, being open to subjects that are different from what you had in mind helps a lot too.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/50 sec – ISO 200