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Posts Tagged ‘rain’

It has rained almost continuously for several days since my return from a brief overseas trip to Vienna, Austria. After a week spent mostly in the city, I was itching to get out into the wild again. The rain finally let up in middle of this morning, so I went out exploring with my camera at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge.

The wetland was really wet and it was cool and cloudy, so not much was stirring, except this little butterfly. I think I disturbed its sleep, for it was motionless with its wings spread wide until I was almost on top of it. Suddenly it took to the air and flew away. I am not sure what type of butterfly this is, but I was so happy to be in my “natural” environment again, that I am content to simply marvel in its delicate beauty.

UPDATE: In a Facebook insect identification group, my pretty little butterfly has been identified as a Crocus Geometer moth (sp. Xanthotype) or possibly a False Crocus Geometer moth.

butterfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Sometimes I’m out with my camera even when it’s raining, which lets me capture shots like this Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) that I spotted this past Friday at Huntley Meadows Park.

Red-winged Blackbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Do you like long walks in the rain? Although this sounds like a question for an on-line dating service, it’s really about your style of photography.

I enjoy taking wildlife photos in the rain, if the rain is not coming down too hard and if it is not too windy. Of course, I can’t control the intensity of the rain, so I have various levels of protection. Generally, I’ll try to hold an umbrella in one hand and shoot one-handed, steadying my shot by leaning against the umbrella handle, if possible. If the rain starts to fall harder I’ll cover up my camera inside my raincoat or sometimes will pull out a plastic trash bag for additional protection until the rain slows down.

Last week, I was walking in the rain at Huntley Meadows Park, my local marshland park, when I came upon a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), standing on the boardwalk. I approached the heron quietly and stopped. The heron was looking right at me and somehow I knew that it was going to take off.

I dropped to one knee, turned the camera sideways, and pulled way back on the zoom lens, hoping to fit the heron into the frame. This image was shot at 75mm on a 70-300mm lens, so you can tell that I was relatively close to the heron. The other settings were f5, 1/400 sec., and ISO 500 for those who might be interested in the technical aspects of the shot.

It’s always interesting to see which birds are active in the rain and I did get some shots of other birds that day, but I will save them for another blog posting.

heron_liftoff_rain_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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It was windy and rainy all day in Vienna and I got drenched during a short walk today. Fortunately I was able to get this shot of a carriage that ferries tourists around the city—I think they are known as fiacres. The horses were had on some kind of blankets, but were otherwise unprotected from the weather. The driver was nowhere to be seen, though I suspect he was inside the carriage or maybe inside one of the nearby coffee houses.

I took this shot outside of the Volksgarten, a beautiful garden in the center of Vienna that has a wonderful rose garden with hundreds of different species. The rose bushes are now covered with individual burlap coffee bags for protection.

carriage_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When drops of rain bead up on the surface of a leaf, the effect is magical—a world of crystal orbs is created. Most of the time the drops appear almost solid, reflecting back the light.

From certain angles, though, the raindrops serve as lenses, offering us a miniature view of the world. Within the drops, the inner world and the world beyond come together and create a beautiful effect.

drops_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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When it started to rain yesterday, I pulled out my umbrella and kept shooting for a while, permitting me to get this close-up shot of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).

The heron was stoically enduring the rainfall, as drops of water began to bead up on its shoulders. The wind started to kick up a little too, ruffling some of the feathers on the heron’s chest. I was afraid that my white and green umbrella would spook the heron, but I was able to get pretty close to the heron to get this shot at the far end of my 55-250mm zoom lens. If you click on the photo, you can see these (and other) details in a higher resolution image.

There are many flowers blooming in my local marshland park right now and I really like the little splashes of yellow in the background of this image.

heron_closeup1_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Thanks to Tropical Storm Andrea, it rained all day this past Friday, and this juvenile Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) was wet and hungry and decided to express its unhappiness in a very vocal way.  Shooting from under an umbrella, I was able to capture this moment of pique.

Swallows eat flying insects and I have to believe that the rainy weather made foraging tough for them. Fortunately, the continuous rain last for only a single day and this little bird probably was able to survive its day of reduced rations.

wetbird1_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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