Tag Archives: rabbit

Five for Five

Sunflowers brighten the view.

Gotta love the yellow.

Last Sunday morning during my five-mile walk in our neighboring master-planned community, several sights moved me to snap pics with my Nikon S6200.

Let’s call it five miles, five photos. I started off with the sunflowers, which finally are blooming everywhere this month.

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

Next there was this rabbit trying to hide in the grass. I usually see at least a half-dozen bunnies during my walk.

Looking a little blue

Looking a little blue

This odd-colored catfish caught my eye. For some reason it was lazing around near the lake’s shore.

Refreshing!

Refreshing!

The best friend of a walker/runner during Houston’s notoriously steamy summers? Sprinklers! I doused myself in one of them after I captured the scene.

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink

Near the end of my journey, these purty petals almost blocked my way along the sidewalk back home. I think they wanted to be included in this post.

And so they are!

Nature’s Surprises

A fly enjoys some purply goodness.

A fly enjoys some purply goodness.

Sometimes it’s easy to see nature’s freeloaders while I’m snapping away at wildflowers.

Buggy!

Buggy!

As I get up close and personal with my Nikon 105mm macro lens, insects often come into focus along with the flora.

I didn’t notice the little antennas until I edited this photo on my iMac.

I didn’t notice the little antennas until I edited this photo on my iMac.

Other times the vagrant varmints show up as I work in Photoshop in the comfort of my home office. I wonder how I could’ve missed them while I was in the thick grass.

Not all of nature’s winks, though, are actually on flowers. Last Saturday as I was about to lean over to take a bluebonnet photo, something odd “hoppened” that was kinda “hare-owing” (somebody stop me!):

Bye, bye, bunny!

Bye, bye, bunny!

Quick as a bunny . . . because it was one . . . this critter near me shot out and scurried down the walking path. Got my heart to racing like Danica Patrick at Daytona.

Mental note: When it comes to nature photography, be careful of busy bees and rascally rabbits!

An Episode of NSI

Bluebonnets are easy to identify.

When I’m out snapping pix of wildflowers, something besides the bees always bothers me:

Pretty in pink, whatever it really is

Identifying what in the world I’m shooting.

Pretty in dark pink, too!

Take the above two photos of the pinkish flowers. I think they’re penstemon . . . or are they foxglove? Or does it really matter what they are . . . as long as they’re in focus with nice bokeh?

Budding sunflowerishes

Where I really get confused is with the sunflower family. I can spot a “true” sunflower (they’re usually pretty big).

Love this view of the sunflowerish

But what about the ones that look like sunflowers but really aren’t? Are they black-eyed/brown-eyed Susans (no relation to me, of course)?

Looks the same but is it?

Why do some have a few petals while others have many? Some petals are wide, some are narrow . . . but all are yellow.

The same but different

Some even feature red markings on the petals.

When I identify them in my photos, I call them “sunflowerish.” I guess it’s as good a term as any. I’ve tried Googling, but I don’t find concrete answers.

What I truly need is an NSI squad: Nature Scene Investigation. Forget all that CSI stuff . . . help me ID these wildflowers! STAT!

Rabbit!

Wish all nature IDs could be this easy.

Visiting With an Old Friend

The #1 son, aka the Terminator, is about to throw an overhand.

The #1 son, aka the Terminator, is about to throw an overhand.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a lazy photographer. Sometimes I find it easiest to stick with one lens, get used to how it works, and forget about the other wonderful glass in my photographic repertoire.

That’s why I use my Nikon 105mm macro lens so much with my Nikon D300. But while the 105 has been a wonderful workhorse, handling my close-up needs along with portraits and action, I sensed something was missing when I used it to shoot action photos. Namely flexibility. Specifically the flexibility that Nikon’s amazing 70-200mm lens affords.

Sidebar: I’ve owned my 70-200 for five years; I bought it soon after I got my Nikon D70. It was the lens that put the “wow” in my sports shots. There’s just something about that f/2.8 wide-open aperture!

Patrick putts from the foliage.

Patrick putts from the foliage.

So Tuesday night I decided to get out of my 105 rut, shake off the dust from my 70-200, and shoot the weekly disc golf handicap mini (18 holes at our local disc golf course) with my old lens friend.

Tiffany prepares to putt from an awkward position.

Tiffany prepares to putt from an awkward position.

It was a wonderful visit! I had forgotten how handy it is to zoom in for a portrait-type shot and zoom out for action, all while standing in the same spot. Primes like the 105 are sharp, but you’re stuck with that one focal length. You have to zoom with your feet, and sometimes that’s not feasible.

Young Adam's putt is on its way into the basket.

Young Adam’s putt is on its way into the basket.

The 200mm focal length was especially nice for shooting disc golf—it got me up close and personal with the players without actually being up close and personal.

Dale prepares for an overhand throw.

Dale prepares for an overhand throw.

Even though the 70-200 is pretty big, it’s still easy enough to handhold and keep steady. The mini lasted for about two hours, and my arms weren’t too tired from carrying the big equipment (the D300 is pretty heavy, too).

The older Adam putts.

The older Adam putts.

I especially noticed the 70-200’s versatility with my putting photos. It seemed to focus faster than the 105, which meant I had a lot more photos in focus.

Eric prepares to putt.

Eric prepares to putt.

Sidebar: Remember Eric from this blog post? He and Jessica (who wasn’t at the mini) recently got married! Congrats to one of our favorite couples! And not to put any pressure on them (ha ha!), but I hope they’ll have beautiful children some day who I can take photos of disc golfing!!

The #2 son was putting pretty.

The #2 son was putting pretty.

I must admit that I was amazed at my keeper rate with the 70-200 (“keeper rate” means how many good photos you have versus deletable ones)! There’s a reason why it’s considered to be the sports photo lens, both for Nikon and Canon. It is expensive, but its image quality is amazing.

The Mister does his Michael Jordan imitation after his throw.

The Mister does his Michael Jordan imitation after his throw.

Not only does the 70-200 have fast focus, but wide open at f/2.8, it produces that wonderful, creamy bokeh blur that I adore.

Sidebar: Last night the Mister admitted that his eyes glaze over every time I talk photography on the blog. Thinking back to our vows 19 years ago, I don’t remember him claiming he would “love, honor, and try to understand what aperture and bokeh meant.” Guess I’ll cut him some slack.

Randall shows his winning, putting style.

Randall shows his winning putting style.

Of course, even though I loved shooting with the 70-200, I did feel a pang or two of remorse every time I saw a flower or critter that was tailormade for that 105 macro.

"You looking at me?"

"You looking at me?"

I’m glad the 70-200 had no trouble zooming in on this wascally wabbit!