Ma Berry

This past Sunday, Joyce and I made the trip up to Rome, Georgia to visit the Bald Eagle nest at Berry College.  We were invited to join the North Georgia Photography Club and their special guest, David Akoubian for the morning.  I must say, it ‘s not my favorite thing to do getting up early enough on Sunday morning to arrive in Rome before dawn but it was worth the effort.

David had informed the group that the eagles are usually most active right around sunrise as they go out hunting.  There are now two chicks in the nest to feed and they are getting pretty big these days so, they are HUNGRY!  The eagles do not get named since they are wild creatures.  People refer to the adults as Ma and Pa Berry and we saw both of them out hunting.  The male was first to return to the nest with a squirrel followed not to long after by Ma Berry with a duck.

NGPC-BerryCollege-0789

After the chicks were fed and the adults ate what they wanted, Ma Berry decided she needed some water so, she flew to the field that is between the nest and the main entrance of Berry College where there is a little spot that collects water.  We followed the experienced eagle addicts that had joined the group for a rare opportunity to catch a few eagle ground shots.  This image is my favorite from that time.

Berry College Bald Eagle Nest viewing area
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
500mm @ f/14 –  1/250 sec – ISO 320

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Old Mill from a different angle

I love to see the Old Mill with reflections off of the mill-pond but this is another nice view.  The pond flows off down the hill, under the road that runs past the mill.  This is a what it looks like from that vantage point.  The stone wall adds a nice foreground even if you don’t get the reflections from here.

Berry College
2277 Martha Berry Highway NW
Mount Berry, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
24mm @ f/18 – 1/40 sec – ISO 400

Old Mill in Autumn

 

Another happy accident when at Berry College.  My trip was intended to be for the purpose of seeing the Bald eagle nest but I also got the reward of seeing the Old Mill with autumn colors.  We had been out to see the campus back in June and this was a nice scene then.  With the beautiful colors in the trees it is even better!

Berry College
2277 Martha Berry Highway NW
Mount Berry, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
21mm @ f/18 – 1/80 sec – ISO 400

Autumn at Berry College

I know I have been complaining about there being a lack of fall color but there definitely is some out there.  This is a clearing in the woods below the Old Mill on the Berry College campus.  Once again, I have to be thankful that the eagles were away from the nest when I arrived.  If they had been around, I would not have gone wandering the campus and might have missed this totally.  Happy accidents are pretty cool.

Berry College
2277 Martha Berry Highway NW
Mount Berry, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II
17mm @ f/18 – 1/80 sec – ISO 400

Berry College Eagle

Finally, I got over to Rome, Georgia at the right time to see the bald eagle nest at Berry College!  It didn’t look like this was going to happen at all.  When I first arrived on the campus, there were two photographers standing around and looking up at the nest.  They weren’t pointing camera, just looking.  I asked one of them if there was any sign of the birds and he said no, he had been waiting since sunrise (it was after 11:00 when I got there) and had not seen any eagles.

I decided to drive out and see what things looked like at the Old Mill (actually, that was pretty nice – more on that later) and then came back to the nesting site.  Apparently, the one eagle (I think this is the male) had just returned to the nest with a stick to continue the construction work.  After a bit of housekeeping, he popped up out of the nest and perched on a branch in the pine tree to allow us to take portraits.  He then flew to another tree across the parking lot from the nest and stayed there for quite a while.

It was quite a treat to see this magnificent bird in the wild.  I discovered two things on this outing – First, I always wish for more focal length when shooting distant subjects.  Secondly, I discovered that it is VERY hard to follow a moving subject with a 500mm lens zoomed all the way out.  It’s also nearly impossible to use auto-focus when that subject is whizzing by.  Probably need more practice!

Berry College
Rome, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
[Pro]Master Professional Gimbal Head GH-10 #5111
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
500mm @ f/11 –  1/1000 sec – ISO 800

Best seat for the show

As hot as it was in Rome, Georgia last week, many people took their lawn chairs and found shade under a wing or fuselage of one of the many large aircraft on display.  This guy, however found an even better spot.  He climbed up onto the tail wing and sat with a perfect view of the aerial acrobatics that were underway.  I guess you have to be an insider to get the best seats!

Wings Over North Georgia Air Show
Richard Russell Airport
304 Russell Field Road
Rome, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
100mm @ f/9 – 1/320 sec – ISO 100

#WingsOverNorthGeorgia #RomeGA #airshows #aviation #airplane Roswell Photographic Society  Wings Over North Georgia Airshow

Korean War Hero

At the Wings over North Georgia airshow there was a wide variety of aircraft to be seen.  Everything from  midget-sized experimental planes to huge transports and the flight demonstrations were varied as well.  One of my favorite parts of the afternoon was what they called “The Class of ’45” which featured the F4U Corsair above and a P51 Mustang flying in memory of the pilots from World War II and Korean conflicts.

Here is information on the plane, its history and pilot:

The F4U Corsair was the most capable carrier-based bomber-fighter of World War II. Flown today by Jim Tobul of South Carolina; this aircraft has seen the tests of time. Since discovering the 1945 Corsair in a lime orchard in Homestead, Florida; Jim and his father Joe Tobul bought this airplane in 1981. After a very long rebuilding project, ten years later “Korean War Hero” proudly flew again on December 8, 1991 over the Pittsburgh skies.

Wings Over North Georgia Air Show
Richard Russell Airport
304 Russell Field Road
Rome, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
[Pro]Master Professional Gimbal Head GH-10 #5111
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
300mm @ f/9 –  1/250 sec – ISO 100

#WingsOverNorthGeorgia #RomeGA #airshows #aviation #clouds #airplane #USNavy #ClassOf45 #Corsair #KoreanWarHero #JoeTobul Roswell Photographic Society  Wings Over North Georgia Airshow “Korean War Hero” F4U-4 Corsair