After mowing the lawn this morning Buddy and I spent some time outdoors enjoying a summer like day and experimenting with my new telephoto lens. I think I’m getting a handle on it but I’ll continue to practice, practice. practice. At least my forearms aren’t aching too badly from holding that 4 lb. monster up.
Incidentally, with the steep corporate discount, courtesy of the company I was working for when I had my accident, combined with the close out discount offered by the supply house I purchased this lens from my actual cost was less than half that quoted on the Sigma catalog page the first link takes you to.
Frankie had Godzilla today so Buddy and I were sticking close to home. These are a few of the best shots I managed to capture from the front porch at an average range of 15 to 20 yards. I can’t wait to get out and about with my new gear, especially on the beach next month when we go home on vacation.
If you’d like to see larger views of today’s images just click on the images from the gallery below.
If you would like to insert slide shows into your WordPress posts a step by step tutorial can be found here. Puzzle, a talented, creative and prolific blogger gave me the link a while back when I was still learning my way around here. I have followed her blogs since my first post on Windows Live Spaces a little over two years ago. Thank you, Heide for your friendship, knowledge and inspiration!
A few of the burdz outside our window this morning.
Chickadees (above and below)
And, last but not least, a Pine Siskin.
I was just about to go outside to photograph a pair of Purple Finches and two pairs of cardinals when all of the birds scattered. Sam quickly pointed out the cause; a pair of cats lurking in the flower bed. While he chased them off I managed to capture these shots through the window before they darted away, as well. I thought I would get these posted while I wait for the sun to move enough to do some more shooting.
Natural camouflage isn’t always drab.
Despite being within 10 feet of where he was perched I didn’t even see this goldfinch until he moved.
He blended in nicely with the yellow leaves and shifting shadows in our maple tree.
Even after I spotted him it was tough to pick him out unless I watched closely when he changed perches.
When the wind blew the foliage parted to allow the sun to shine on him and he really stood out.
The weather for the past couple of days can best be described as gloomy! The daytime highs that struggled to reach 70°F (21°C) were a welcome change from the heat wave we’ve been suffering through. On the other hand the steady drizzle interspersed with occasional rain showers soon became monotonous even if we did desperately need rain. The rain is gone now and the heat and humidity have returned, with a high around 90°F (32°C) predicted for every day this week. Oh joy! It’s already 96°F (35°C) and the hottest part of the day is yet to come.
As I sat here waiting for the local self storage place to open so we could unload Laura’s furniture from my truck I was not asleep with my eyes open, despite popular opinion. I was actually trying to decide where I wanted to roam with the camera today my decision was made for me. Frankie was in the kitchen helping Laura fill out rental applications (still no luck on that front) when she shouted “DEER IN THE BACK YARD!” Glancing out the window beside my chair I spotted not just any deer but the piebald buck that roams our ridge.
Legend has it that seeing a piebald doe is lucky. Piebald bucks are eve rarer so I’m expecting Frankie will hit the lottery for a gazillion dollars any day now. When she does you’re all invited to the party!
I got these shots from our back door. They were hurried and the camera got jiggled a few times (image stabilized lens saves the day again). You see, I was fending off a lunatic Labrador Retriever while trying to frame a shot. Sam thinks these critters are big dogs and he’d like nothing better than to run with them.
I guess we were making more noise that I realized because the deer suddenly turned and spotted me in the open doorway 20 yards away.
Sometimes, if I stay really still and don’t present a threat, a deer will go back to grazing and allow me to get a few more frames.
This was not one of those times. When that tail goes up it’s time to switch to a fast shutter speed or all you’ll get is an orange and white blur because that deer’s mind has gone to feet don’t fail me now mode.
If you hover your mouse over the these last three frames you’ll see the frame numbers and notice that one is missing. The missing one was the aforementioned multicolored blur.
There was another blurred frame after this last one as the buck broke left and leaped into the brush and out of sight.
When this guy first started showing up in our yard he didn’t seem to have much fear of humans and that was a concern to me with hunting season fast approaching. Nobody hunts our ridge but you never know……
Today’s episode set my mind at ease. That critter can not only run, he can JUMP!