Friday, December 30, 2011

Ruffed Grouse

And we're back!  Over the river and through the woods from Grandmother's house in Maine, where we spent the Christmas holiday.  Thanks to everyone at Little Pond for hosting our family for almost a full week. I think grandma, grandpa, great-grandma, and the aunts and uncles had fun playing with Brody and Weston.  Megan and I appreciated the help just looking after the kids- keeping tabs on them is a full time job!

During this trip, I had the opportunity to photograph this pair of ruffed grouse.  Relatively uncommon in Ohio, the ruffed grouse is a popular game bird species in Maine, where they are often referred to as "partridge".  My in-laws have told me they see grouse occasionally, but they had, up until this week, eluded me at Little Pond.

I had just come in from outside when Megan started whispering for me rather loudly from the other room.  I am well familiar with that loud whisper, so I grabbed my camera to see what she had spotted.  These birds were foraging in the grass just outside the house, apparently eating clover, as evidenced by the little bit hanging from the male's beak.  Megan spotted them out the window as she was coming down the stairs.

I only had about a minute, but I was able to get a fairly decent photograph of the female and a "blog-able" image of the male.  You'll be sure that I'll be on the look out for ruffed grouse the next time we visit Little Pond, Maine.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Muskingum Dawn

It's hard to beat the gray.  It seems as if we've had quite a bit of it lately.  Rain, and few snowflakes, but little color or interesting winter weather so far.  There are those few magical moments, however, each morning, if we're lucky, when the sun rises up between the thick deck of clouds and the horizon.  I snapped this shot as the first light of day bathed across this typically harsh landscape in Muskingum County.

Merry Christmas- I'm hoping to catch a few snowflakes in Maine.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Muskingum Sunrise #2

I freaking love the Iphone.  I love it even more than last year, when Megan bought it for me as a Christmas gift.  I literally took about 30 seconds to capture this image Tuesday morning.  Yes, I did spend five minutes post-processing in Photoshop CS4 tonight, but I was just bringing out the tones captured by the phone.  We think of winter as being void of color, and for most of the day, that is true.  But sometimes, for a few minutes each morning, this happens.


Friday, December 09, 2011

Muskingum Sunrise

It's been a while.  As our boys grow (Weston is closer to 3 than 2, and Brody is closer to 1 than 0), I find myself spending more time with them and Megan.  Tonight I took a few hours to organize my basement office and finally add all the photos I have taken in the DSLR-era to my lightroom catalog.

This morning I had the pleasure to witness this spectacular sunrise.  The tree?  It's a tulip poplar- Liriodendron tulipifera.  One of the first things I learned about trees from my grandfather was that tulip trees are always straight- I mean really straight.  They take advantage of tree fall gaps in forests and shoot up quickly before the canopy closes once again.  But when a tulip tree doesn't have competition and is growing on extremely poor soil, than you have things like this happening.  This would be a great tree to photograph the tulip-like flowers of this species.  Typically the flowers are 50 or so feet into the canopy, but on this tree, you could practically pick them from the ground.  I'll have to remember that come next June.