Posts Tagged ‘egrets’

My first thought for “You Pick It” was to share flowers from my recent visit to Descanso Gardens, but after seeing Tina’s marvelous flowers, I decided to go “white.”

On a two-day trip to Yosemite in March a few years ago, we left on a magical day where we saw clouds filled the marvelous landscape.

Who could resist a shot of this cutie on my first visit to Descanso Gardens? I’ve given it an edit to take out any other colors.

Egrets are the new white in my life.

Light + spider web= white.

And a final whiteout from my first visit to Descanso Gardens. If I lived anywhere near, I’d have a membership and be there at least once a week!

for Lens-Artists Challenge #125 – You Pick It!

Once upon a time I hunkered down by one of the lakes at the Preserve to relax and keep an eye (and lens) on one of my favorite birds–the cormorant. I’ve previously called the the U-boats of the bird world. They’re silent, deadly, and can hunt underwater for long periods of time, coming up a completely different place than where they dove. As usual they were fishing and my camera was clicking, although the first round wasn’t quite in focus. But the second round…

…gone fishing and…strike! Oh, yeah, I love Fish Fridays!

I’d be happy to help if you need it. 🙂

Going down. No, I don’t chew my food! What of it?

Hmmmm. Didn’t go down. Let’s try repositioning.

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I was excited to see that the Lens-Artists challenge theme would be announced the prior week…until I saw that Patti’s theme was “Focus on the Subject.” OK. Maybe it didn’t matter that I knew in advance. 🙂 I felt marginally better when Tina said she had to ask Patti the direction she planned to go. Me? I figure as long as I can be on-topic (even if not Patti’s emphasis), I should be good to go.

“Focus” can be a noun or a verb. If you don’t literally focus (v.) on your subject, you might get something like I got here, the focus (n.) on everything other than the bird I wanted you to see.

Of course, you might also find that complete lack of focus (accidental) gives an impression that works, such as “speed” here.

The entire shot might be your focus and in focus…

…or your focus might be just what’s in front of you. Anything more would distract and cause the focus not to be on your subject. Let’s all say together, “Bokeh.”

So…if you focus (v.) on your subject, it will bee the thing that enables others to focus (v.) on your focus (n.), causing the flowering of a beautiful relationship. Ha! How could I resists when my focus (n.) is always on making a trip here as delightful an experience as possible? If it works that gives me a buzz! 🙂 Happy Saturday!

Several weeks ago while I was walking at the Preserve on the lookout for something interesting and unusual, a birder with the requisite long-lensed camera hurried up and asked me if I’d seen the spoonbill. I had to tell him no, but instant spoonbill-spotting envy struck. Unfortunately I didn’t see hide nor hair of one . Maybe beak and feathers would be a better phrase.

Today I reversed my usual path and although it was a lovely, cool morning, I didn’t see anything exciting until I stopped at one of the little open areas along one of the lakes where I often see egrets, which by now are usual. I did see an egret…and then by golly, a roseate spoonbill! And I was the only photographer in the area. 🙂 Oh, yeah!

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Everyone has a superpower. My dad’s is being able to call on the phone at the most inconvenient time: when I’m as far away from the phone as possible, on another call, forgot to take my phone off vibrate for the night, etc. My husband, in the same vein, starts a conversation when I’m in the bathroom, doing something noisy, or have just walked out of the room. He can also nap any time and any place, something not in my super power arsenal.

Some have the superpower of always being elegant,

while others look great in feathers and a hat.

I’m a mom, so I obviously have a multitude of superpowers! But one very useful super power is being able to pack well, whether estimating how much will fit in a container for the fridge or freezer or packing the most possible items in the space allowed, whether in a suitcase or boxes in the van. My other superpower is being able to drive for long periods of time without having to stop (gas stops and bathroom/food breaks should always happen together if at all possible) and actually enjoying it.

What’s your superpower? I know you have one! If I don’t see any responses, I might be forced to come up with one for quite a few of you who follow this blog, so get your choice in so I don’t have to do it for you. 🙂

BTW, I look great in hats, too. 🙂

for Six Word Saturday 9.12.20

I know it’s rude to watch someone while they’re eating, and even worse, take photos, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I caught this snowy egret mid-gulp and nope, I don’t feel bad about it at all.

Snowy egret or great egret? Egret or heron? If you’re not sure which egret is which, as I wasn’t, the site linked above lets you compare types side-by-side, which is really helpful. The snowy egret has a dark beak with yellow at the top and by the eyes as well as yellow feet, which you can’t see here. The great egret has a yellow-orange bill and is much larger. But I didn’t know that egrets are also herons. Did you?

And did you know snowy egrets were once more precious than gold? The allaboutbirds site says:

During the breeding season, adult Snowy Egrets develop long, wispy feathers on their backs, necks, and heads. In 1886 these plumes were valued at $32 per ounce, which was twice the price of gold at the time. Plume-hunting for the fashion industry killed many Snowy Egrets and other birds until reforms were passed in the early twentieth century. The recovery of shorebird populations through the work of concerned citizens was an early triumph and helped give birth to the conservation movement.

Talk about killer fashion! Makes me even happier to see crowds of these fashion leaders now at the Riparian Preserve!

As most of you already know, last week I left my canal walks, heading for The Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, Arizona. The City of Gilbert manages the seven recharge basins (lakes) to replicate wet and dry periods.

A riparian habitat or riparian zone is a type of wildlife habitat found along the banks of a river, stream, or other actively moving source of water such as a spring or waterfall. The term generally refers only to freshwater or mildly brackish habitats surrounded by vegetation and may include marshes, swamps, or bogs adjacent to rivers. The Spruce

Birds are the big draw for a large number of people. The many trails are also perfect for walking, jogging, biking, or even in some places, horseback riding. It’s also used for dog walking and fishing and…photography.

Even at 5 am, just before sunrise, everyone is out and about! There are lots of egrets rushing in all directions for juicy insects and perhaps some fish.

The duck family wasn’t too afraid of me and although Mama kept an eye on me, everyone else was busy eating and cleaning themselves.

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Not far from us is the Lake Renwick Preserve, home to cormorants, egrets, herons, pelicans and more. During the breeding season, March 1 through mid-August, the preserve is only open for public programs and guided bird viewing so as not to interrupt or bother the birds. On a nice day, it’s a lovely walk. This day was several summers ago, but worth a revisit!

Tree swallow seems like a rather colorless name for this bright beauty.

© janet m. webb

The main nesting area looks more than a bit like something from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

© janet m. webb
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We’ve made it thought the park and back to the parking lot, saddened that the best part of the morning is over.  Or is it?  As I drive the van toward the main road, I look to the right, to where the water is slow, forming a large pond/small lake.  Behold!  A fisherman!  Pull over, park, and find a rock.  Limber up the clicking finger, focus the telephoto, and we’re off. As Yogi Berra (not Bear) once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”  And we have a few more photos to take.

Waiting; the personification of patience.  Animalification?

© janet m. webb 2016

Stealthily on the move.  Is that a feather duster in the back?  🙂

© janet m. webb 2016

Streeeetch.  (I’d say “Craning”, but as it’s an egret, that might get confusing.) 🙂

© janet m. webb 2016

I sat for a long while on a warm rock, taking photos and just watching.  When I finally rose to leave, you guessed it.  Plop.  Another frog missed.  But I did get a shot of one recently and that will likely be coming up Tuesday.

Have a marvelous weekend and thanks for walking with me.