Winter Warblers

I saw a post just yesterday where someone was saying that a Yellow-rumped warbler had come and taken over their feeders.  Somehow, that has not been my problem this season.  I do get the “butter butts” as some people call them but, they haven’t reduced the visits from other birds in my case.  I have seen the aggressive behavior of yellow-rumped warblers chase off competitors but that only last for a moment.  Once the bully is gone, all the others are right back.

The Pine Warbler shown here is a frequent visitor to the suet feeder.  I see both male and female but since the yellow color is so much more vibrant, the males attract my eye more often.

I thought maybe there would be lots of variety this winter when I started seeing the pine warblers, yellow-rumped warblers and goldfinches coming round.  They still visit but, I haven’t seen any new breeds show up recently.  Could be, I haven’t looked closely enough.  I did see some ruby-crowned kinglets that from a distance, looked like small pine warblers.  It’s hard to distinguish from a distance.  I’m hoping I chance across some new finds in the near future.

Pine Warbler
Roswell, Georgia
January 20, 2018

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/200 sec – ISO 400

#BirdWatching #birds #PineWarbler #Georgia #WithMyTamron

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Yaupon Holly

Ilex vomitoria “Saratoga Gold”

I had heard of yaupon hollies before but I’m not sure I ever saw one and knew for sure what it was.  Since the holly is so often found in Christmas decorations, I found it very interesting to see this yellow version of the iconic winter berries.

As always, nature has so much to offer and we have such narrow ideas about what things should look like.  It is amazing to experience new sights and widen my knowledge of what is right outside my own door.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
135mm @ f/16 – 1/30 sec – ISO 1000

Golden Maple

The trees in my neighbor’s yard are always beautiful in the fall.  I grabbed an image of one of these yellow beauties as the sun shone through it.  Autumn is my favorite time for nature photography.  Hoping for much more to come!

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/6.3 – 1/1600 sec – ISO 200

#autumn #detail #leaves #colorful #macro #Nature #WithMyTamron #vanguard #Nikon

Tattered tails

Butterflies are such amazing creatures to observe.  The way the flit about through a garden and search through the flowers for their favorite nectar it a great joy to watch.  At the same time, when you look closely you will see that most butterfly wings show signs of wear.  It is somewhat unusual to see the wings unscathed by everyday life.  I don’t know if it is birds getting to them or if the delicate wings just get damaged in their constant landing and taking off but most often, I see holes and tears and missing pieces.

You can see on this yellow swallowtail that only one side has the iconic tail at the end of the wing.  She lost that other one somewhere but that does not really diminish the overall beauty.  Thinking about this reminds me how often we judge things based on our idea of perfection.  When something fails to meet that standard, we feel like it has less value and we tend to dismiss it.

This happens even in the case of how we treat other people. This behavior of holding things up to a standard of perfection often causes us to miss out on what is wonderful in spite of small flaws.  Nothing is really perfect.  We should be looking for what is good and building it up instead of tearing down what is imperfect.  Again, my photography teaches me life lessons.  What a great way to spend time learning more and looking for beauty.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucus)

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/11 – 1/100 sec – ISO 200

Oooh, Sparkly!

Every trip to Gibbs Gardens proves to me that I am no horticulturist.  I can identify some plants by sight and there are markers on others to tell me what they are but there are many others that I just don’t know.  In this case, the plant in the background is Lamb’s Ear and they were sparkling with rain/dew drops giving me a great contrast to the little yellow flowers above them.  The cool texture on the flower’s leaves and the water drops on its petals make that interesting as well.

I’m not sure if I actually captured all of the layers of light, pattern and color that there was in the natural scene but I thought this was pretty cool.

Gibbs Gardens
Ballground, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/18 – 1/60 sec – ISO 100

Pine Warbler

It is amazing what diversity of birds are visible in Georgia and how you see different species appearing in one area and then not in the next neighborhood over.  We went over to our friends home in Alpharetta to see if I could catch a shot of the yellow-variant of a Red-bellied Woodpecker that they have been seeing.  That rare bird did not show but we got a range of other birds some of which, like this beautiful yellow Pine Warbler, I never see at my house in Roswell.

We got a nice variety of birds who came up to the feeders and posed in the nearby trees.  There was also a great symphony of bird calls which ebbed and flowed with the birds moving around.  You could tell if a bird of prey passed by when the songs suddenly stopped and then soon after, the sound would rise and the little birds would quickly re-appear.

I guess this wouldn’t be an exciting Memorial Day for too many people but I sure enjoyed it.

Pine Warbler
(Setophaga pinus )
Alpharetta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/30 sec – ISO 200

My Favorite things…

I know, the song from Sound of Music says Raindrops on Roses but, I think Daffodils are just as nice.  This is a macro shot of one of the 20 million daffodil bulbs that have been planted at Gibbs Gardens.  Many of these are blooming right now.  It is quite early for this but Atlanta has had a mild winter with rain and warm weather over the past month or so.

I am very glad to think that winter has left us now but one of the things about Atlanta weather is, the only constant is change.  I suppose it really doesn’t matter right now.  It’s time to enjoy the beauty of Spring and not worry about cold snaps that may or may not happen.  In any event, it’s a great time to go out and see the beautiful flowers.  They are closed on Monday so don’t try it tomorrow but I recommend that you plan the trip soon!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1/5 sec – ISO 320