Spring Wildflowers

Unidentified Trillium - Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, New York

Unidentified Trillium - Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, New York

During this past weekend’s Backcountry Photography class, we asked all of the students to present a vision statement describing what they wanted to get out of the class and provide a theme to help direct their photography.  Going into the class, I knew I wouldn’t be doing a lot of photography as I was in instructor mode, rather than photographer mode, but I set out a goal for myself as well.  Since we were backpacking and with a large group, I knew that bird photography was going to be difficult.  Instead, I simply took my normal lens, the 24-70mm zoom, for demonstration purposes and then also carried my 105mm macro lens.

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Brant! Despite a Dog

Brant - Cass Park, Ithaca, New York

For the last few weeks, flocks of Brant have been passing through the Ithaca area on their way south.  My first looks at these geese were in a scope at a distance of probably 400-500 meters, not exactly the most exciting and rewarding experience.  As people have been reporting these birds throughout the region, I keep chasing them down for a chance to photograph them.  I’ve now seen Brant on a number of different occasions but usually at either great distances or in situations where I couldn’t make a photograph.  Sunday evening that finally changed!

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Woodpeckers Everywhere

Red-bellied Woodpecker - Everglades National Park, Florida

I was going stir crazy sitting in front of the computer all day, so this evening I headed out for a walk in the woods.  I decided to explore a patch of forest known as Monkey Run as I had never been there before, and an immature Red-headed Woodpecker had been seen there a couple times in the last few days.

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Weather Forecasts and Geese

Mallard - Stewart Park, Ithaca, NY

Mallard - Stewart Park, Ithaca, NY

I am getting more than just a bit frustrated with the weather forecasts these days.  Today I slept in because the weather forecast said a rainy cloudy morning followed by a sunnier afternoon and evening.  When I got up this morning it was gorgeous.  When I just headed out to photograph this evening, it got cloudy.  It makes for a frustrating time.

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Featured Photograph: Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird, Female - Allan H. Treman Marine Park, Ithaca, NY

This morning my goal was to photograph migrating sparrows, but I came home with this image of a female Eastern Bluebird.  I captured some great images of sparrows but it is this image that keeps drawing my attention, so I thought I would share it.   [Read more...]

Gaining New Perspectives: Tree Climbing in Ithaca

A gentle breeze rocks my hammock as I lay in my sleeping bag staring up at the full moon through a canopy of leaves. The moon is so bright I can read my watch, just after 2:00AM.  I shift a little to adjust my harness, double and triple check my rope, and then return to watch the moon move through the maple canopy surrounding me.  As I peak over the side of my hammock, even with the bright moon, I can’t see the ground below me.  I slowly drift back to sleep with a smile on my face, just thinking how unique it is to be sleeping suspended in a forest canopy over 60 feet from the ground.

For the past 18 months I have been able to proudly call myself a tree climber. [Read more...]