Nothing like a little green beer to celebrate the day!
Tag Archives: green
My previous post showed a couple of close-ups of an anole lizard I photographed while watching it change colors. These next three photos show the same thing, but in a little more detail.
Taken with a Canon 5D Mk II camera with a 70-200mmL f2.8 II lens.
Green on Green:
Beginning the Gradual Color Change:
Color Change Complete:
I was walking downstairs from my apartment to go get the mail. I saw a brilliant neon-green anole lizard skittering along the wrought-iron hand railing. I thought to myself what a neat photo that would make, the bright green lizard lined up on the black iron railing. For a split second, I thought of running back to get my camera, but figured the lizard would be gone upon my return. So I went ahead and got my mail, noticing the anole had hopped onto a spikey leaf of the squat tree next to the stairs. I figured, what the heck, I’d get my camera and if the lizard was gone, no big deal.
The pretty little guy was still there, so I happily took a bunch of photos. As I was doing so, golden-rust-red spots appeared on its skin, gradually changing from its original bright green coloration to the saturated olive green-gold-rust red you see in the photo above.
I should have posted this photo first, before posting my Figs In A Box photo previously. Even after seeing all those little figs in the box, I still couldn’t believe how prolific the figs were on Mom & Dad’s tree and I had to go out and take a look for myself.
Taken with a Canon 5D Mk II camera and 50mm f1.2 lens.
Although I have a full plate of things to do around the home during the 2012 three-day Memorial Day weekend, I still tend to get a little stir crazy if I can’t go out and photograph something during my time off.
While I may bitch about living in southeast Texas (being a gal from the mountains, I’ll always be doing that), I readily admit that it’s rather nice to have two very interesting photographic ops right at my back door: Brazos Bend State Park, and the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.
Right after visiting with my mother on Saturday morning, I grabbed my cameras, loaded them, tripod, and myself into the car, and drove the 20 miles south-southeast to check out the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.
I’ve been there before, but that was back in 2007 (if I remember correctly). At that time, the road to the refuge center was only paved for maybe 2 miles, and the remainder was all gravel. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that now, in 2012, the entire road to the refuge center is paved.
For the photos you see here, I used my Canon 5D Mark II cameras and my 16-35mm and 70-200mm lenses. I carried everything in my new Lowepro Fastpack 350, which, btw, is AWESOME! I am going to Mesa Verde NP and Arches NP later this year, and wanted something that would carry a camera and long lens, as well as water, snacks, etc. Ok, sorry, I went off on a tangent. The 16-35 lens was attached to the tripod for landscape shots, and I hand held the 70-200 lens (with IS turned “on”) for the wildlife and more close-in images. I find I hand hold this lens more often as not, eschewing the tripod ring. I was pleasantly surprised upon post processing that I really only had to do a very little editing for light/brightness and a teeny bit for sharpness details on some (but not all) of the photos. The light was just right that day – very sunny but with some interesting clouds. So I kept the ISO at 200 and the aperture around 7.1. Oh, and I gotta tell ya, a long lens is a must-have for this area. Unlike Brazos Bend State Park, there are not many places to comfortably get up close and personal to the birdlife, and there is slim-to-no parking alongside the one-lane gravel road past the refuge center. My 70-200mm was ok, but what I really needed was a lens 400mm or more. But….one makes do with what one has.
Next to the refuge center is a boardwalk across Big Slough (pronounced “slew”), leading to a plowed path called Big Slough Trail. I didn’t go very far down the path because:
1) The mosquitoes were horrible (they must have been as large as egrets!) and I forgot to wear bug repellent (I was in too much of a hurry to leave the apartment and that is one of the things I forgot, although I did remember to apply sunscreen and grab a hat).
2) As far as I can tell from my walk and the map, this trail doesn’t lead down to the water’s edge, which is where you really want to be to get those bird shots.
So I did some landscape and flower photography along the boardwalk before heading out along the gravel-road auto tour.
Note: the Texas wildflower book I own is total crap and didn’t list half of the flowers I photographed. I ran some searches online and couldn’t come up with much either, so many of these flowers won’t have captions to them. If you think you know what the un-captioned flowers are, do let me know.
Unknown seed pods.
Unknown yellow flower. There were a number of “look-alikes” in my useless wildflower book, but none of them really fit this image. So I don’t know what these flowers are called.
Unknown little white flowers.
Unknown red flowers.
Basketflower (at least my wildflower book has something).
Unknown white flowers.
Unknown little purple flower.
Big Slough views from the boardwalk.
Big Slew inhabitant
Nope, I didn’t see any American alligators. It was hot already and I’m pretty sure they wanted to stay in the water to remain cool, rather than sun themselves in the growing heat.
After my visit to the refuge center boardwalk area, I climbed back into the car (followed by hoards of mosquitoes) and started along the gravel road auto tour. It’s basically one-way, although they don’t have arrows – instead they have signs with numbered stops (which means there is probably a tour guide within the center that I should have gone in get). It’s practically impossible for one car to pull over to allow a car from the opposite way to pass you….as I can attest….
Texas coastal marshland and wetlands as far as the eye can see.
Gull-billed tern taking flight.
Ibis in the water.
Red-wing blackbird. You can’t see its red markings in these photos but I did when it spread its wings out.
If any of you are interested, I just published to my Blurb Bookstore a 150-page journal titled Texas Coastal Images. Half of the journal is filled with totally awesome photos taken in such places as Brazos Bend State Park, Port Aransas, Padre Island, and the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge and the other half is nothing but blank lined pages for writing/artwork. It would make a great gift for yourself or someone who is a fan of coastal Texas landscapes, flowers, and wildlife (mainly birdlife). Click on the book link on the left side of this blog and it will take you directly to that particular book in my bookstore. You can preview the pages of this journal and see for yourself the Masterpiece that I have created.
Hey, it’s all about marketing!
I was walking around Creekfield Lake at Brazos Bend State Park, this past Saturday (5/19/12). I stopped at the viewing/fishing pier stretching out into the lake, and pointed my camera down toward the water just as this blue-faced turtle was surfacing. The green stuff on his shell gracefully waved like hair underwater. Just as quickly as this guy (or gal) surfaced, it dove back beneath the water and I was lucky enough to have captured this image before it disappeared.
When I was little and living in Montana, I remember a certain time of year when there were multitudes of dragonflies flitting through the clear, dry, sunshiny air, in metallic colors of red, blue, and green. I called that time of year Dragonfly Season.
I visited Brazos Bend State Park the other day. It was a lovely, sunny, non-humid day in southeast Texas, where egrets and herons populated the sky and dragonflies of all hues skimmed the air.
Must be Dragonfly Season.
None of these photos were taken with a dedicated macro lens (I don’t own a macro lens). For this day, I just took a single lens, the Canon 70-200 L USM II f2.8 attached to my Canon 5D Mark II body. The nice thing about a full-frame camera is that you can really crop those babies and still get a nice image with decent resolution.
Sometimes, you need to listen to that little voice inside your head. Usually, I don’t, but today, I did. And I’m glad.
Day 3 of my Washington State vacation saw me heading toward the Longmire entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. I had a reservation for two nights at the National Park Inn. I love staying in historic park lodges. No, they aren’t 5-star hotels – they are very basic with no bells or whistles and usually no television or phone and definitely no internet service. But, they are always rich with park history.
April means The Mountain still has quite a bit of snow, making access to many places difficult to well nigh impossible. I’d already stayed at the Paradise Lodge, so I figured staying someplace a little lower in elevation would allow me to hike around without having to resort to cross-country skis (back in the day, I loved downhill skiing, but was a terrible alpine skier).
Naturally, I arrived at the National Park Inn way too early for check-in, having left my Seattle hotel around 7AM that morning (it only takes 2 hours to get to the Longmire entrance). So, I figured I’d try to drive up to the Paradise area to see how it looked covered with snow; I’d visited during the fall, when the huckleberry bushes were brilliant oranges and reds, and the sky was a deep, dark blue.
The best adjective I have to describe the day is: “bleak”. The sky was a hazy white. The cloud cover was high enough in altitude to not hide Mt. Rainer and surrounding mountains, but basically, the scenery was white on white, with a little bit of dark from the treeline and the rocks sticking out of the snow.
I realized I was fighting an uphill battle when my attempt to hike to Narada Falls was a total bust before even leaving the parking lot. The snow level reached above my head and I had no snow shoes (perhaps I should invest in a pair, although I do live in southeast Texas where snow shoes do nothing but make for an interesting wall decoration). Then, I heard a little voice inside my head telling me to head back down in elevation, away from the hues of white, and toward the multitudinous hues of green deep within the shadowy forest.
So, I did.
I parked, pulled out my tripod and cameras, set things up, then just stood there.
The forest is still and silent, yet alive with the sounds of nature: birdsong, wind blowing through the trees, the creak of the trees as they bend in the wind, the drip of moisture from the leaves to the ground, the flow of water from countless meltwater springs and rivulets.
I captured images I would not have thought to photograph had I not listened to that little inner voice telling me to leave the white-on-white.
Do yourself a favor – listen occasionally to that little voice inside your head because it may well lead you to the best images of the day.
Ok, I lied. To myself. I told myself I would wait until Friday the 16th or Saturday the 17th of March to post these images. Then I realized that I will, on the 17th – hopefully despite the forecasted weather – be out somewhere like Brazos Bend State Park, or even in Austin at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, taking photos of birds/wildflowers/whatever catches my camera’s fancy.
So, here are some photos I took recently with the upcoming St. Paddy’s Day in mind. I used my Canon 5D Mark II and either the 50mm f1.4 lens or my favorite all-purpose lens the 24-105mm (which does a much better job at capturing macro-like images at full-zoom). I increased the ISO between 640 – 1000, depending upon the light source at the time, and I actually used my tiny little Canon Speedlite 270EX, which I bounced off the ceiling – for the horizontal shots - it’s limited in its positions so it doesn’t work for verticals.
My themes were green and alcohol (the meds I take for my rheumatoid arthritis prohibit me from overdoing, but a drink or two now and then is a very nice thing in which to indulge)
My Irish Whiskey of choice is Redbreast.
My mother and father collected Depression and Elegant glass. This lovely lady is called a (an?) ivy bowl and was my father’s favorite glass possession. When he died, I asked Mom if I could have it, and she said yes.
The “Greening” of the beer (ok, not an Irish beer – in this case, I used Coors Light because there was no Harp’s around at the grocery store, and you need a pale beer to get the green coloring to really show up). And that glass beer stein has special meaning for me – I received it from some good friends on my 19th birthday – some 32 years ago (we went to a pizza joint in Tennessee because the drinking age was 19 back then). The stein has accompanied me through all of my moves – one of the few items not lost, broken, sold, or given away. Thanks guys, for the gift and the memories
Did I drink the contents in the glasses when I was finished with the photography? What do you think?
Here’s from me to all of you: Go Green on the 17th, Baby!
And have a Designated Driver.
On inclement days, my part of southeast Texas can get kind of blah. I don’t always feel like taking the risk of getting the camera / lens wet. On those days (when I don’t need to be logging into my office to get some work done), I try to think up ideas for a bit of photography. It helps that there are some holidays (Easter, St. Patrick’s Day) just around the corner. With some ideas in mind, I got some interesting shots (no pun intended) using whiskey and green beer. This image is one of several.
Did I drink the whiskey when I was finished with the photography? What do *you* think?