Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Nature–New life

Posted: June 2, 2014 in Phoneography Challenge
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“Nature” is a particularly appropriate theme at this time of year when life is burgeoning everywhere.  Plants have edged their way out of the formerly frozen ground and are blossoming.  Baby birds and animals are growing rapidly into “teenagers” and all too soon will be adults.

A few blocks from our house is a small lake with a paved path and enough plants and wildlife to give the feeling of being away from the suburbs, despite streets on two sides, houses on one and the back of a grocery store on the other.  The lake is home to a large number of geese whose major contribution often seems to be festooning the path with their droppings.

In spring, the goslings arrive, lending with their cuteness, a momentary charm to birds that can be a bit annoying.  Starting as tiny balls of yellow fluff, they move rapidly into the teenage phase, trailing behind their parents, pecking madly at whatever they find in the grass or floating in a serene flotilla on the lake.  This is the time when the grown geese become protective and aggressive, greeting walkers with the sinuously moving curves of neck, beady eyes and becks darting and emitting hisses.  Although I’ve become adept at hissing back, I keep a wary eye and a good distance from them, which makes taking a photo with a phone difficult.  If you stop, you become the immediate target of the adults.

As I neared a family during this walk, I paused at a non-threatening distance to text a quick message back to one of our daughters, something I rarely bother to do when on a walk.  When I looked up, the goslings were about six feet away from me, parents behind them, and still approaching.  Without moving, I quickly took a number of photos before moving away.  As long as I was still, the adults didn’t perceive me as a threat, but as soon as I moved, they went on high alert.


  1. words4jp says:

    Awwww – adorable.

  2. They spike my spirits–what a family. Happy Photo Challenge.

  3. vbholmes says:

    Good composition, Janet. Even the feather (in the left foregroound) adds balance and mimics the shapes of the stones in the background which parallel the edge of the path and reinforce your point of view. Very successful.

    • Vb, so good to see you around. I’m glad you enjoyed the photo. The composition was mainly luck, as I had to take the photos from where I stood so as not to galvanize the parents into attacking me. 🙂 Life and limb before composition. But I did get to pick from a number of photos.


  4. Great Capture!!! Those parents can be dangerous.When my daughter was very young we spent all one spring going out to look a ducks and geese a fond memory this reminds me of.
    Thanks Happy Monday.

    • Yes, they’re very protective when there are little ones. People think geese are nice but they’re really rather nasty much of the time.


  5. FireBonnet says:

    Look at those big feet! Great shot. Yes the goslings are at that gangly pre-teen age. I love your description of the geese ‘festooning’ the path. So true. What happens when you hiss back? Do they back off?

    • Meghan, they tend to back off when I hiss, but with the little ones around, they stand their ground and show they’re ready to attack if you come to close, hissing or not. They’re not the nicest of birds, that’s for sure, and when I see people encouraging children to feed them, I want to tell them to keep the children away. Same with swans!


  6. Suzanne says:

    What lovely little creatures

    • They’re adorable when they’re little, aren’t they, Suzanne? So glad I could get a decent photo. They’re even cuter when they’re little balls of yellow fluff, but harder to get close to.


  7. Angeline M says:

    What a cute composition! Looks like they have boots on!

  8. Soooooo cute. 😀

  9. Dawn says:

    What fuzzy goodness. 🙂

  10. What a cute photo and nice post. Thank you for visiting my blog 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. I’m almost done going through the list of haibun entries and have really enjoyed them, as well as my first attempt. Hopefully I’ll see you again.


  11. It’s interesting how fluffy they are when the are young but eventually their feathers are not.
    Cute seems to be a perfect description …. great capture.

  12. aloha Janet. a great gathering question in this four bird stance. way fun.

    i’ve found that birds are very aware of what i’m doing with a camera or my own attention. if do not look like i’m paying them attention they are comfortable coming within a few feet. as soon as i look up at them or bring a camera into position even slowly, they scatter. if i’m drawing however i can move quite freely and they pay me no attention at all.

    a while back i had a digital camera that i could swing the screen out and twist. that allow me to hold the camera in unusual positions (as if i were not actually looking at the birds for instance). and i could snap photos easily. i liked that.

    people are the same way. if they think you are taking their photo they get uncomfortable. if they do not think you are taking their photo they are fine with you snapping photos. it’s an interesting awareness we (and animals) have developed. and fun to explore.

    i like the way you continue to explore your name and copyright in the image. i did that for a long time till i found the ways i like to use most of the time. i still place it for each image of course where i think it works best and does not attract attention too much unless someone wants to look for it. then it’s usually easy to find.

    fun write up. it’s a nice glimpse into the moment. very cool. aloha. r

    • Thanks for stopping by, Rick. Since I’m often walking when I find photos of animals in particular, I don’t always have time to stop and stay still so that they get used to seeing me and relax a bit. I was happy to be able to get this photo with my phone, which is how I take almost all my photos at this time.

      I haven’t taken time to explore a chop yet. One of these days…


      • yes. i understand that issue of walking to walk. and walking to take photos. i still struggle with it. imo you’re on the right track.

        one of these days will be soon enough and the right day to play with something chop like. . . . fun. aloha. rick.

  13. They’re so adorable. Great picture!

  14. Patience and waiting…wow, two powerful forces, both for photography and life, in general.