The “Month of Variety” is coming to a close. This is a good thing for me because the bird pictures are really starting to stack up as of late. I’ve had a number of local encounters this month that I’m really happy about and Linda and I have been out on additional bird shoots that have have netted some nice opportunities as well. Speaking of which, today’s shoot was unbelievably FRUSTRATING – well at least one large chunk of it. We had been up and down the Mississippi River for most of the morning checking out whatever water birds we could locate. While visiting a nature center at of the sites we came across a birding pamphlet that indicated the Pileated Woodpecker was COMMON in the particular area we were, Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall. Let me restate that – they are COMMON to the area. Needless to say, we tracked down a wooded nature preserve and headed right for it. By headed right to it, I mean, drove all over the place trying to find it including backtracking like crazy trying to locate it. Unbeknownst to us at the time this was going to be the theme for our prized Woodpecker hunt. Eventually we located it and headed out on one of the trails. Mental note, next time take a better look at the map. In our haste to get the shot, we failed to set a proper course. About 20 minutes into the trek we heard it! You can’t mistake the sound of a Pileated Woodpecker. Sure enough, about 5 minutes later it flew high over our heads and lighted quite some distance deeper into the woods. In hindsight we should have just tracked it down, but instead we decided to continue on the trail back to the car. An hour plus later we were lost thanks to absolutely pathetic trail markers. It was awful, but eventually we found the proper trail and started our trek out. At one point I joked to Linda that there will probably be 5 Pileateds sitting in the tree next to our car when we returned. That didn’t come to fruition when we staggered out of the woods. We got in the car and left dejected. About .3 miles out of the park that damn Pileated (assuming at this point it was the same) flew past our windshield and into the trees by the side of the road. By the time Linda got the car stopped and I got out it had disappeared again AAAARRRRGGHHHH!!! All that work, 2 sightings and NOTHING to show for it.
But that really wasn’t the topic for today’s post. Instead I am going with some shots that we took during our Mackinaw Island trip back in 2012.
It was actually a gorgeous night on July 3rd. We were in the area to catch the Fourth of July celebrations. As with our previous visit, we opted to stay on the mainland rather than fight the hassle with the shuttles. The hotel we were staying at was on the lake complete with beach. As the day was coming to an end, the full moon decide to grace us shrouded in a breathtaking orange. The Harvest Moon shots in the previous post was what reminded me about these shots.
There is something about a serene water setting that completely relaxes you. No more worrying about work or fretting about tasks to get done at home, just living in the now with the best nature has to offer. I was standing out in the water enjoying the scene when Linda took this shot. Was I thinking deep philosophical thoughts, the foundation of our existence or maybe the downfall of the greatest country in the world thanks to socialist agendas?
Hit the jump to see the answer.
Nope, just thinking of what clever way I could always remember that peaceful moment. When I heard Linda take the previous shot it came to me. A clever play on perspective would do the trick. Next up was to find a way to pull it off. Put myself in just the right angle, gather a few rocks from underneath the water and presto – that moon was mine! – not that this really needs to be stated, but obviously Linda get the photography credit …
… well, sort of. I take a lot of pictures of things that may not seem important at the time, but I know I have it and can use it when that special need arises. While processing these pictures in the digital darkroom I knew I had some options. The real shot is actually below.
As you can tell, to get me visible in the shot Linda had to slightly over expose the moon. This resulted in some loss of detail as it washed out from the brightness. Credit to her she nailed the exposure for me on this one (the first shot looking at the moon came out a little soft). No worries, a little bit of shopping will straighten that right out. Taking a good shot and making it great hehehe. I’ll be getting this fixed one printed for my office. That way, whenever the day looks the bleakest and the weight gets too much to bear I can look over an remember how I felt on that calm moment in my life. Again, thanks to Linda for getting it in the tin.
Find Your Calm Everyone!