I have shot endless hummingbird photos in the backyard at home. There was one shot that eluded me for a while. At a certain time of day, if a hummingbird is at the feeder, its shadow will fall on the post on the corner of our deck. I have seen it a few times when I didn’t have a camera handy and have had a camera when none came or the light moved around too quickly. However, I did finally get the combination I was after. I like the hint of the hummingbird without the actual bird in shot that it delivers.
On one day, I had an overflight from both of the initial 777X test airframes. The second one went straight over the house in less than ideal conditions but the first came just south of us if a little higher than is sometimes the case for aircraft heading back to Boeing Field. What I noticed in time was that the moon was on the flight path. Not much of a moon to be fair but the moon nonetheless. It crossed it quite nicely!
How many different animals have I photographed in our backyard? In a time when we haven’t been able to travel to see much, having stuff come to us has been quite a benefit. This addition was a total surprise. I had taken the sun shade out from where it was stored beside the house and, when I put it up, I realized it was pretty grubby and needed a clean. I moved it to an open patch of grass and washed it down. When I got back to the table, I realized it had been housing a frog that had dropped on to the table when I opened the shade up. I grabbed the camera quickly before it disappeared. It actually hung around longer than I expected and I even tried to start focus stacking but it then got a little mobile and I gave up on that.
It leapt off the table and on to the grass where I got a couple more shots before letting it head off to wherever it felt like taking cover. The green and gold colors were really pretty vibrant. I am not a frog expert but I did Google it. I think there is a fair chance that it is a Pacific Tree Frog. Anyone know anything better?
While sitting on the deck one afternoon, I was fortunate to have the camera to hand. As I looked across to our back fence, I saw a raccoon walking along the top of the fence between the two houses behind us. He seemed totally uninterested in our presence and walked to our fence and then turned left to wander across the back our our house and our neighbors’ houses. I had a long lens on and he was too close for a while to fit him all in. Along the fence he went and then disappeared from view. First time I have seen a raccoon around here but probably not the last. What other wildlife will visit us?
Just around the corner from our street is a wilder section of the road which currently has a lot of Foxgloves in bloom. I wandered around with camera in hand to take some photos. The bees were busy doing there thing but much patience was required because, whichever flower I decided to focus on, the bees concluded another one was what they wanted. I spent a lot of time only for them to choose the flowers either side of mine!
The bees were not only interested in the foxgloves. One particularly large looking bee was really going to town on another flower and I wondered whether he had had so much that he might not be able to get airborne again. I guess rolling off the edge of the flower gained him so airspeed – enough to stagger back into the air!
We have plenty of hummingbirds visiting our back yard. They may look different depending on the angle the light hits their feathers but up until recently I had thought that they were all the same species – the Anna’s hummingbird. Then we got a visitor that seemed different. First, instead of having a grey look to the feathers, it was a lot more brown. The other difference was the sound of the wingbeats. Instead of the whirring noise we were used to, this one had a higher pitched sound almost like a click as the wings were hitting each other. It sounded quite distinctive. I trip to my big book of birds suggests that these may be Rufous hummingbirds. For the birders amongst you, I hope you will advise if I am mistaken.
The walk around the block was one of the things were were allowed to do when shelter in place took effect. This started at a good time for the local flora. As we walked up the hill near the house, we could see across to the grounds of a large plot near the street. They had a row of bushes that were all in flower providing a beautiful burst of color. I was carrying the small M6 but took a sequence of shots to stitch together. I also include a few other shots of the flowering we saw walking around.
Working from home introduces you to sounds from the street that you never normally hear when you are there outside working hours. Nancy knows all of these things since she hears them all the time but they are new to me. However, we were both taken aback by something that sounded like a roaring noise. I had to investigate. It appears that the power company was doing some work digging up the road outside our street. I guess they had to cut in to a gas line and they had set up some device, presumably to burn off excess gas before continuing their work. It was only a brief event but a noisy one!
When looking for wildlife photography opportunities, the one thing I have close to home at the moment is the local rabbit population. We get a steady stream of these guys coming through the back yard and eating what could loosely pass for grass in my yard. We get some bigger buns and there are some tiny looking ones that I assume are young rather than a different breed. They are usually pretty jumpy so getting shots is not always easy but a couple of them seem pretty relaxed with me showing up.
We have plenty of wildlife in our backyard. We get a variety of birds visiting. Recently, while sitting out on the deck, we had a new visitor. I am not an expert on birds but I do have a very big book with lots of pictures of them. There are so many that it is easy to pick the wrong one but I think this one was a Steller’s Jay. It stayed around for a couple of minutes before flying off. If you are knowledgeable about birds and I am wrong, please feel free to let me know what it actually is.