Pic du Jour #43: “Playing in the Dirt”

These kids were entertaining themselves in a remote section of Yellowstone National Park while their parents & the rest of us were wolf-watching.

I briefly wondered how far they had to drive before finding a tub of soap and water to clean them up, but then remembered that I often faced the same problem.

🙂 🙂 🙂

– pic du jour –

[a Friday image project, a la carte]

Osprey, Pelican, Two Eagles & a Dog

A 500mm lens is a must-have for wildlife photography, but I have long resisted because such a heavy piece of equipment requires a bulky tripod and I haven’t the patience to fiddle with such things.

Until now. Nikon has recently come out with a quality 500mm lens specifically designed to be hand-held. It’s not for the frail, weighing in at 5 lbs., but manageable.

Two things I am looking for as I test out a new lens = (1) how fast it picks up and focuses on subjects speeding across the sky, and (2) how sharp the images are.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw two juvenile eagles sitting on rocks about 200 yards from shore this morning.

eagle20160417_9233-1

One of them hopped around a bit, after a fish the other had dropped in a crevice.

eagle20160417_9276-1

I alternately stood and sat for 45 minutes with camera and lens held up to my eye waiting for the eagles to fly. Liftoff would be a perfect picture. The camera got heavy, my arms got tired, and my fingers began to cramp.

An osprey took a dip nearby in the water and I interrupted my vigil to fire off some quick shots.

osprey20160417_9384-1

OSPREY20160417_9382-1

A pelican dropped in fairly close to the eagles.

pelican20160417_9400-1

Then a damn helicopter buzzed overhead and spooked the eagles as I was looking in the wrong direction! All my patience was for naught.

helicopter20160417_9404-1

Tzuri, fortunately, was a more willing subject.

tzuri20160416_9152-1-Edit

All in all, I’m thinkin’ this new lens is a keeper.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

front yard20150803_1556

It has been raining for 18 days now and I am not the least bit thrilled. Not the normal summer pattern of brief-but-intense showers quickly replaced by a blazing sun but steady all day pitter-patter, streets flooded, and even the towering Skyway Bridge occasionally closed to tall vehicles susceptible to high winds.

walking n rainDSCF2075 as Smart Object-1

[There used to be a newspaper here in the “Sunshine State” that was given away free any day the sun didn’t shine, an anomaly in these parts occurring only about 5-6 times a year. One year Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, however, and St. Pete’s Evening Independent went broke.]

pacific ocean sunset20141027_3641 as Smart Object-1

Last Fall at a marina in Humboldt County on the coast of Northern California just as their rainy season kicked in I shelled out over 100 dollars for a shiny brand new oilskin slicker, the kind like brawny commercial fishermen wear to keep dry on trawlers out on the high seas. But I quickly discovered that while it looked neat it was way too cumbersome to climb in and out of, especially from inside a car with bucket front seats. I never wore it, I just headed South ‘till it stopped raining.

pacific ocean20141029_3695 as Smart Object-1

Which is not to say that I don’t enjoy SOME rain, splashin’ & playin’ like I was 60 years younger. (Okay, so maybe I carry an umbrella and a towel.) And Tzuri of course loves when it rains “cats and dogs” (bad pun intended). She gallops through puddles yappin’ at her reflection and heroically plunges into the Gulf to rescue sticks.

tzuri20150716_081603

She’s happiest when she’s wet and muddy.

tzuri20150727_090155

But enough is enough! Storm skies, yes, can be dramatic…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But rain skies are just wet and boring. And few venture out to have their picture taken by an aspiring street photographer.

rain girlDSCF2050 as Smart Object-1

🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Let The Games Begin!

This year the Winter Games for canis lupus familiaris were held in Naples, Florida. The three semi-finalists hailed from (l. to r.) Germany, Siberia, and the USA.

tzuri.tybee.cyrus

Opening warm-up ceremonies featured all three strutting their stuff, much to the crowd’s delight.

tzuri.tybee.cyrus

Then the games began in earnest. Each entrant was pitted against the other in a single elimination venue.

Siberia vs. USA

Cyrus & Tybee

USA vs. Germany

tzuri20141219_4794 as Smart Object-1

Germany vs. Siberia

tzuri20141219_4961 as Smart Object-1

After a grueling contest a winner was declared.  Germany took home the gold, and is shown here taking her victory lap.

Tzuri20141219_4893 as Smart Object-1

😀 😀 😀