Monday in Nature June 12, 2017

Discussion in 'Nature' started by gordonjb, Jun 12, 2017.

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  1. Basic Guidelines: In the strictest sense, nature photography should not include "hand of man elements". Please refrain from images with buildings or human made structures like roads, fences, walls. Pets are not permitted. Captive subjects in zoos, arboretums, or aquariums are permitted, but must be declared, and must focus on the subject, not the captivity. Images with obvious human made elements will likely be deleted from the thread, with an explanation to the photographer. Guidelines are based on PSA rules governing Nature photography which also cover the Nature Forum. Keep your image at/under 1000 pixels on the long axis for in-line viewing. Note that this includes photos hosted off-site at Flicker, Photobucket, your own site, etc. Are you new to this thread? We post one image per week.

    As the season proceeds the nightly chorus of frogs in our pond changes, with each species giving way to the next. This past week has been the turn of the Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor). This one was found sitting on an iris sword waiting for nightfall, to begin singing.
  2. Ribbon Snake in Austin, Texas. Nature Monday 6-12-2017.jpg
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  3. It just keeps raining. Rainy day people.jpg
  4. Box Huckleberry is a plant that spreads from one parent plant via underground rhizomes, eventually (in theory) covering many acres with one, very old plant. The one pictured here is part of a colony that is estimated to be at least 1,200 years old, while the remains of another colony elsewhere in Perry County, PA is thought to be 8,000 - 13,000 years old.

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  6. I had a choice this week between a pretty picture of a fern and something bizarre, so of course I went with the bizarre. The back-story: I was ambling down a path in my local spruce forest, attention focused on some beautiful light falling on a distant fern, when I came within a few inches of being slapped in the face by a 6-inch-long flying banana slug. It was very slowly rappelling (or abseiling, if you prefer) down a slender strand of slug slime (um…“slug silk”?) attached to a branch about 4 feet overhead. It turns out that this behavior has often been observed before, but not by me. It raises some pretty basic questions: how does a slug go about launching itself off a branch? what happens if it runs out of slime half way down? what makes it decide to take the leap? wouldn’t just crawling down the trunk have a lot higher survival value? or can’t a 6”-long slug pull a U-turn on a slim branch? how would I measure the tensile strength of slug slime? After pondering the imponderables for a few minutes, it occurred to me that I should document the occasion, and here you have it: my first-ever SIF photo.

  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Gordon, thanks for starting this week's thread.

  8. One of the other signs of the season is the new generation of deer. Mamma was crossing the road with a couple of newborn twins, when traffic interrupted, and this one turned back and flopped down in the ditch. Of course I didn't have my good camera at hand, but here's a very very young fawn indeed. A later check indicates that mamma came back, and no misfortune befell the little one. baby deer.jpg
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  9. Gray catbird
    Dumetella carolinensis
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  10. nature 6-12 x1000.jpg
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  11. I second Gordon's observations about frogs passing the torch on. Grey tree frogs have been calling off and on without much vigor for the past month. Last night, however, they went wild with nearly deafening choruses overwhelming the waning peeper calls. Here's one mid-call from last night.

    DSC_8581 tree frog on stem WEB.jpg
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  12. Found this funny image of a visibly upset Secretary Bird (Tanzania, Africa) with its feathers standing up. The mischievous magpie (which got away on the right) kept dive-bombing it. Actually, for this gawky big bird, this is not something anyone should laugh about. My heart goes out to you, Mr. or Madam Secretary!

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  13. Leslie, that is an impressive slug! I did not know banana slugs had that ability.
  14. Really fantastic shots this week.
    I saw this red winged blackbird harassing the great blue heron. The heron mostly ignored and went on about catching its meal.
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  15. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Snail on Yucca.jpg

    Snail on Yucca
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  16. Gup

    Gup Gup

    It's my goal to post on Mondays but my connection doesn't always cooperate!

    This is the first result of some experimentation last night with my D800E and an 85mm lens. As a photographer I seldom stray from what is comfortable anymore. I guess we all have something of a style that slowly develops over time (or a lifetime) and whether purposely or not we often shoot, more or less, on automatic (our brains, not our cameras). I know this is my normal. Much of the time I use a tripod and artificial lighting. I set the camera to single focus dot in the centre and spot meter. Usually, I compensate the exposure with a -1/3. My routine is consistent and yields a predictable result.

    Last night while sitting on my front porch steps with an arm around my dog (he's relentless when a human is within his capture zone) we were soon inundated with early evening mosquitoes and some remaining spring black flies (a 5 or 6 week plague known well to northern Canadians). Not long afterwards we were joined by a small battalion of large dragonflies intent on rescuing us. They darted in and out often only inches from our faces and then within seconds would be high above our heads. Relentless hunters in pursuit of their suppers they rarely hovered, treating us to a display of aerial prowess and acrobatic manuevers.

    Quickly I fetched my camera, dialed the focus to 'continuous', chose 11 focus dots, a shutter speed of 1/2000, no focus compensation, a quicker ISO of 640 to allow that speed at f/5, braced myself against the nearest wall, aimed and shot. I rarely have a moving subject and have no experience 'tracking' anything so it was all hit and miss for me without too much expectation on my part.

    Well, the results were far less than spectacular but it did spark my interest in trying it again later with my 105 VR next time. It was good to step out of the comfort zone for a bit and test both my camera features and my memory for how to find them! Here is the result, a hunter and his prey, heavily cropped and sharpened.

    Dragonfly and prey 886 7640.jpg
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