Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great Blue Heron

Of all the large birds I've photographed, the great blue heron is one of my favorites. During breeding season the plumage is really beautiful, especially at its peak when the lore turns bright blue.

I was cleaning up some files on my computer today and ran across some images from a previous outing that I had not yet worked up or converted from raw. Looking through them brought back memories of the day I photographed this graceful bird, and I decided to post a flight series from that day. These were shot in Wakodahatchee Wetlands in South Florida. In the flight shots below, the male was flying out to retrieve sticks, which he would then carry back to the nest and hand off to the female.

I hope you enjoy these images. Breeding season is winding down in Florida and looking through these images makes me wish for springtime to begin all over again. To see more of my birds in flight images, click here.
Click any image to enlarge.

Finally, here is a photo of the male pictured above, landed in the nest with the female.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pittsburgh's PNC Park

Timeout for baseball
71031 [click on any image to enlarge]
The week after I returned from Alaska, we traveled to Pennsylvania for a family reunion and spent over a week in the Pittsburgh area visiting various relatives. I was also able to take time to see a Pirates game at PNC Park. I had been past the stadium a few times in the past, and had photographed it from the outside, but this was the first time I had attended a game and took the opportunity to get a photo that I had always wanted from the inside.

My plan was to get a shot from up the upper deck behind home plate showing the playing field and the city skyline in the background. But as luck would have it, it was raining before game time and we had to wait through a 45 minute rain delay before the game started. It did clear up later but my chance for the ideal photo with a perfect blue sky did not really materialize the way I had hoped (I have enhanced the sky a little bit in the first photo at the top of the page).


In the photo at left you can see a well formed rainbow that appeared after the rain. There was actually a double rainbow and I captured that in a different photo, but it is more faint so I did not post the image.

I walked to different parts of the stadium during the game so I could capture the view from several different places. The last photo below is from the left field exit where we stopped to watch the 13th inning.
The game went to extra innings and we stayed pretty late, but finally left at the end of the 13th with the game still in progress. As we got to the car, we listened to the game on the radio. When the Pirates won the game with a walk-off home run in the 14th inning, we wished we stayed just a bit longer. However we finished off the night with some cold beer and an excellent pepperoni pizza from Gino Brothers, which eased the pain just a little. This was absolutely the best pizza I've had in a long while. I can't understand why nobody in the south can make such a good pizza, but that's another story.
I've not been out photographing any birds or wildlife since returning from Alaska, so this is the reason I have not posted lately.