Sunday, March 22, 2015

More Recent Photographs

That isn't water the goose is slogging through; it is slush. She is trying to reach hard ice where she can stand without breaking through. You would think it would be easier to fly rather than try to push through that mess.

Now I know where the term "get your ducks in a row" comes from. Canvasback ducks are so disposed to swimming like this, I think you could identify them at a distance where you couldn't tell from their features what they were. While other ducks do this in general, Canvasbacks do it in spades. The other thing about this photo is the mud on their faces. They are like pigs in a wallow when they resurface after diving to the bottom of the pond.

What attracted my attention to this image was the pair of Green-winged Teal swimming through the water reflection of the marsh grasses. It didn't work out quite as I had hoped. Teal have a maddening habit of keeping their head underwater almost continuously. They hardly resurface for a breath of air. Take ten pictures and maybe one of them will show the bird with it's head above water. At least that is true when they are actively feeding. I was trying for both birds closer to the center of the reflection with their heads up.

These are Ring-necked ducks. The brown one is a female. It is strange that at this location, there are two ponds separated only by a railroad track. To look at them, you would see no difference. But, the ducks you find in the one pond won't be found in the other as a general rule. So, you go to one pond and see all Ring-necked, then go to the other and see all Gadwall.

I love to take pictures of the seeming chaos of a flock of birds taking off. In the randomness, you can discover interesting expressions and interactions. I just find them interesting. Some photographers will travel across the country to take similar photos in places like Bosque del Apache or the Platte river where the subject will be Sandhill Cranes or snow geese.

I have to wonder, what makes that experience better than seeing something similar close to home? I don't come up with any answer that would motivate me to make the pilgrimage. The only difference I can come up with is the subject bird. IMHO, the seagull, sparrow, cormorant - they all deserve their moment in the sun.

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