Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the category “FLORA AND FAUNA”

My Iceland Adventure, Part I

I had the thrill of a lifetime going to Iceland for a thirteen day adventure.  The major focus of the trip was a Birding and Landscape Photography Tour.  We did so many different things and stayed in such a variety of places that I am having difficulty organizing the trip for this blog.  But, I am going to jump in, posting in several stages.

Today I am going to tell you about our first stop, Myvatn (Me-vah’-tin).  We spent three nights in this beautiful area, exploring along the river Laxa, Lake Myvatn, and at the geothermal areas near Krafla.  The lake is known for its abundance of birds, and thirteen species of ducks nest there.  Many of them are migratory.  The harlequin duck is the duck everyone wanted to see and photograph, and they didn’t disappoint us.  They played on the bank of the river and swam in the bubbles of a small waterfall.
Harlequin ducks

Harlequin Duck

The phalarope is the first bird I photographed in Iceland, and probably the bird I saw the most in every location.  Many other birds were on the river and at Lake Myvatn.

Phalarope

Phalarope

In the photos above, clockwise from top left, are Tufted Ducks, Long-tailed Ducks, a Merganser, a Barrow’s Goldeneye, and a Horned Grebe.

But, of course, I am a landscape photographer, and I had the best opportunities on this trip for beautiful and unusual landscapes.  At the river, snow-capped mountains were the backdrop for beautiful farm buildings.

Lake Myvatn was a small lake that we could walk around in about 1.5 hours at a leisurely pace while stopping to photograph.  Of course, we met sheep along the way.

Lake scene 1Lake scene 2

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Changing of the Seasons

This morning I went for a walk as I sometimes do on my private road.  This time I had my golden retriever Jesse, and a guest dog, Frannie, who belongs to my stepson, along for the adventure.  I also took my camera because I had spotted a lot of birds this morning and wanted to capture some of them. On the walk, I didn’t see birds, but I saw leaves.  All shapes and colors, some with ice on them, many still showing the colors of fall even though winter appears to be close by.  When you are a photographer, it’s good to set a theme for your shooting, then try to find as many different ways to capture it as possible.  Today is was LEAVES.  I hope you like what I found.

Fun on a Golf Course

I played golf for twenty-five years, and during that time I focused on very few things on the course besides that little white ball below me, the green grass in front of me and the expectation of hitting that spectacular shot.  It rarely happened as I hoped, although there were days when I had relative success.  But, I gave up the game four years ago, and I haven’t looked back.  Now my trips to the golf course are for the purpose of monitoring a bluebird trail, which grew from my involvement in Master Naturalist training and volunteerism.  I enjoy my outings even more now because of all the wonderful things that are hiding out there, and I take my camera along almost every week with the expectation of getting that spectacular shot.  Here are some I took today that I think gave me relative success on the golf course.

Cardinal Flower Green Heron 2 Green Heron Spider 2 Spider Turkey Vulture Willow tree

Shenandoah National Park

I live about fifteen minutes from an entrance to Shenandoah National Park and sometimes I am engaged in volunteer activities there.  Memorial Day was one of those days.  After getting the “work” done, I took some photos along the trail on the way back to the car.  Enjoy.SNP 11 SNP 12 SNP 10 SNP 9 SNP 7 SNP 6 SNP 5 SNP 4 SNP 3 SNP 2 SNP 1

Signs of Spring

Spring was a long time coming this year, but once it emerged, everything popped out suddenly, creating beautiful colors everywhere and washing all of us with pollen, and subsequently, allergies.  My photography excursions have been few lately because of the latter, but today I feel re-energized by my contact with nature as everything comes to life.

My husband and I monitor a bluebird trail on a local golf course, and today was our second day out checking what is happening in the boxes.  The bluebirds have been so busy since last week.  There are nests in 14 boxes and a total of 22 eggs.  Last week we had only 2 nests and 5 eggs.  The chickadees are also busy and now have three nests, one of which has 5 eggs.  This was so exciting to us.

But, the added bonus of monitoring a bluebird trail is the opportunity to see other wildlife.  Today we saw a beautiful heron on the golf course near one of the larger ponds. It is smaller than the familiar Great Blue Heron.  I photographed it and identified it as a Green Heron.  It flashes a lot of blue in flight, and no green that I could detect, even in my image, but it is a beautiful bird, no matter the name.  I also photographed a Meadowlark and a Kingbird, as well as a bumblebee on large blue hyacinths.  I am so glad for spring and new life.

Bumblebee on Hyacinth Green Heron Green Heron Meadowlark

Feathered Friends

The forecast called for a few flurries this morning.  It is flurrying really hard out there! I love it.  We have a number of feeders on our property, placed very close to a maple tree not far from the house.  On a snowy day, the variety of birds is exciting, and watching them flit from the feeders to the tree is exhilarating. My goal today was to get an image of cardinals and bluejays together on the tree.  I think I was successful in this endeavor, although I can never get as close as I really want.   Today the female cardinals are the most beautiful I have ever seen them.  They stand out in the snow and have a golden glow.  I liked the fact that I captured a cardinal and a bluejay in flight….a bonus for standing in 29 degrees and waiting patiently for the birds to align themselves just as I wanted.

You may be wondering why all the birds are facing to the right.  The mountains are located in that direction.  Normally they could enjoy the view, but today the mountains are obliterated by the snowfall, uh, flurries.  They are facing to the right because that’s where the feeders are located.

Incoming cardinal

Incoming bluejay Four cardinals and a Sparrow Two Female Cardinals Beautiful Male Bluejays and Cardinal

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