Sunday, August 23, 2015

Perfect Summer Weekend

 I'm cleaning, I'm cleaning again.

 Interesting multicoulour feathers atop the young male Hairy Woodpecker.

 This is where I discover that manual focus can outdo auto-focus through glass.
We also get the Downy at this feeder (and Hummingbirds of course).

 Blessed are the shat upon.

 One of my faves, Rose-breasted Grosbeak in transition.

But wait - there's more. 
Later on I was working under the car and looked up to see an unfamiliar tail, just above me, very close.
Backtrack to the tree in question: I've been concerned about our Catalpa trees losing a lot of foliage to Catalpa Sphinx caterpillars. While the caterpillars are somewhat impressive, the effect of a multitude rather turns one's opinion:
Enter the Yellow-billed Cuckoo! 

The first I ever photographed.
 A pair of them were feasting on the caterpillars, hurrah and hooray!
This was at a distance of about 85 feet.
Not counting the elevation!
Yes I've heard Cuckoos aren't the nicest regarding nests of others, but today they're my heroes. 
I looked for one of the caterpillars to show and the first I found was the victim of some parasitic insect (wasp?) but I ain't crying.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Another Dam Day

Biking/triking on the dam near us.
We saw this Red-tailed Hawk last weekend as we drove home. This time I had the big lens with me. Processed (HDR, tonemapping) with Photomatix.
  Why the digital tomfoolery? Original was pretty dark (inset).

Turkey Vultures, probably thinking 'look at that funny-looking creature!'

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August Butterflies

New camera, new post. 

Odd coincidence: I first spotted this butterfly earlier today on a Kentucky license plate. It's a Viceroy, easily confused with the more famous Monarch. Some think Mother Nature hopes that birds will make the same mistake and avoid eating it as the Monarch supposedly tastes bad.

I delight in the female Tiger Swallowtail - all that lovely blue! 

Funny-looking thing, the Katydid. Sorry, not a butterfly.