Bird Walk with Atlanta Audubon Society

Joyce and I spent part of Saturday morning on a Bird Walk at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  This was an event sponsored by the Atlanta Audubon Society which went trough the Nature Center grounds and out on the private boardwalk along the Chattahoochee River.

It was a very informative and enjoyable morning but we didn’t actually see all that many birds.  We did see your basic stuff – robins, mockingbirds, towhee, etc and of course there were the captive birds in the aviary displays.  The image shown here is an Eastern Phoebe who we saw along the boardwalk area.

I hope they have more walks from the Nature Center in the future so we can see what other beautiful bird breeds are in the area.

Eastern Phoebe
(Sayornis phoebe)
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/11 – 1/250 sec – ISO 400

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Flowers of all types

The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly.

                                                                 Ponce Denis Ecouchard Lebrun

Once again, nature shows me how beauty appears in so many shapes and forms.  The colors and details of the butterfly’s wings against the flower’s petals and color is amazing.  The delicate legs and antennae, the curl of the proboscis which allows this insect to draw nectar from the flowers, all part of a little creature that we see float past on lazy summer days.

Doesn’t it just make you want to sit and wonder over the miracle that is our home?

Butterfly Encounter
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
250mm @ f/9 – 1/40 sec – ISO 100

The art of Nature

There is no end to the amazing beauty of nature.  Looking at landscapes or flowers or animals is a constant source of fascination for me.  It is incredible to think that all of this surrounds us every day and yet, we mostly ignore it.  Sometimes, you just have to stop and enjoy the simple joy that is available in appreciating how glorious our world is!

Photography is my excuse to pay more attention and find things that are beautiful and/or interesting to the eye.  I find that the more I try to do this, the easier it is to spot the things that make a good image.  It doesn’t mean that there is no work involved.  I still need to seek these things out.  I must go out earlier or later than I usually would, visit places I’ve never been or just take a closer look at what’s right in front of me.  This takes patience and practice but the rewards are great.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Butterfly Encounter
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
270mm @ f/9 – 1/60 sec – ISO 100

Flowers and sunshine

One of the things I really like about the Chattahoochee Nature Center is the way they have landscaped.  There are many different flowering plants around the walkways all done in somewhat wild and natural plantings.  I know that lots of work and thought went into this but it gives you the impression that you are walking through a patch of wildflowers in the wilderness.

I didn’t see a marker to tell me what kind of flower this is.  It looks similar to a sunflower but was certainly much smaller than the kind that produce all those seeds that people eat.  It was just open there like a burst of sunshine but hanging it’s head down toward the ground.  I really liked the pink flowers behind it and the rather washed-out white background that the bright sun gave this scene.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
210mm @ f/10 – 1/125 sec – ISO 100

Camouflage

Nature has many forms of beauty and amazing patterns in so many different places.  This butterfly was a challenge for me to capture for a couple of reasons.  One of them was that its pale-green color was very close to the surrounding foliage.  It also didn’t move very much but tended to stay on a single leaf with wings folded so, it looked like a leaf rather than a butterfly.

I know this is all part of nature’s design to help these little creatures avoid being scooped up as food for other animals.  In a lot of ways, it also adds to the fun of nature photography by requiring me to hunt for a good opportunity and be patient.  I have to admit that patience is not my favorite thing.  I would much rather have what I want, RIGHT NOW!  But, there is only one thing that increases patience and that is PRACTICE.  Of course, if you don’t have much patience, that can be very frustrating.

Ah well, I guess if I had everything immediately and didn’t have to work for it, I wouldn’t appreciate it much.  When you think about it, taking time to slow down and appreciate the little things is what is really good about life.  So, I guess I will need to keep practicing…

Butterfly Encounter
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
135mm @ f/11 – 1/80 sec – ISO 100

Oooh, Aaah!

It’s not fireworks but we got to see some breathtaking beauty in the Butterfly Encounter at the Chattahoochee Nature Center on July 4th.  The exhibit is an annual event where they set up an enclosure with flowers and lots of free-flying butterflies that you can walk through and see up-close.

Some of these amazing insects rarely stop moving, beating their wings constantly and rapidly moving from one flower to the next.  A few will stop and draw nectar from a flower for a long while and only move the wings on occasion before moving on.  We even had several that landed on our shoulders or heads and hitched a ride for a while.

It is great fun seeing this flying artwork and admiring the many shapes and colors that make each one unique.  From a photographic viewpoint, they are beautiful subjects but quite demanding. It’s not easy to find spots where they land which has good lighting, a favorable background and an angle where you can see the details all in the few seconds before they move somewhere else.

Butterfly Encounter
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
135mm @ f/9 – 1/40 sec – ISO 100

Cooper’s Hawk

There are some beautiful birds at the Chattahoochee Nature Center that are amazing to see.  This is one of the three varieties of hawks that they have on display.  I wouldn’t call this a photographer’s paradise since the enclosures block direct sight and the animals often hide in the dark corners but they are magnificent creatures.

You can see how alert and aware this bird of prey is of movement around it.  The piercing orange eyes seem to look right through you.  I can just picture this bird with it’s wings spread wide, diving to grab up a small rodent and flying away with it’s prize.

Many of the animals here come to the Nature Center as rescues that could not survive in the wild and are nursed back to health by the staff.  I am just glad for the chance to see them and appreciate the grandeur of nature so near my own home.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/11 –  1/20 sec – ISO 400