Return to Black Mountain Cascades

Black Mountain Cascades, March 2020
Camera settings: f/11, 1/3 sec., ISO-250, 17mm focal length.

I’ve posted images of the cascades on Black Mountain before. After some good rains, Casey and I visited this past March with hopes of making it to the top. This is not an easy hike, but Casey had not yet seen most of the cascades. This was our intention, but it was quickly realized that the overcast afternoon we were promised was not going to be. So, we utilized the few clouds remaining to the best of our ability and climbed high enough to find some falls hidden behind canyon walls that blocked the harsh afternoon sun.

Black Mountain Cascades, March 2020 Camera settings: f/11, 1/2 sec., ISO-100, 24 mm focal length.
Black Mountain Cascades, March 2020 Camera settings: f/11, 0.6 sec., ISO-100, 24 mm focal length.
Black Mountain Cascades, March 2020 Camera settings: f/14, 1/2 sec., ISO-200, 25 mm focal length.
Black Mountain Cascades, March 2020 Camera settings: f/14, 1/2 sec., ISO-100, 20 mm focal length.

An Owl Trio

Here are a few from last year’s archives.

Great Grey Owl, Sax-Zim Bog, MN.
Camera settings: f/5.6, 1/200 sec., ISO-4000, 1120 mm focal length equivalent.

First up is the Great Grey Owl that Miguel, Dave and I found on our trip to northern Minnesota in late December, 2019.

Great Grey Owl, Sax-Zim Bog, MN. Camera settings: f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO-1250, 1120 mm focal length equivalent.
Great Grey Owl, Sax-Zim Bog, MN. Camera settings: f/4, 1/200 sec., ISO-800, 800 mm focal length equivalent.
Northern Hawk Owl, Sax-Zim Bog, MN.
Camera settings: f/10, 1/640 sec., ISO-320, 1600 mm focal length equivalent.

Next is the Northern Hawk Owl photographed on the same trip. We really enjoyed watching these guys as they hunted in broad daylight from their high perches. You never knew when they would take off in a powered flight after a prey.

Northern Hawk Owl, Sax-Zim Bog, MN.
Camera settings: f/5.6, 1/250 sec., ISO-640, 1120 mm focal length equivalent.
Eastern Screech Owl, Grafton IL. Camera settings: f/5.6, 1/200 sec., ISO-1600, 1120 mm focal length equivalent.

Last of all is this gorgeous red-phase Eastern Screech Owl. Whether it is the same owl, or multiple birds using the same hole in this tree, this species has been observed using this cavity for at least the past three winter seasons at the Visitor’s Center in Grafton, IL.

Eastern Screech Owl, Grafton IL. Camera settings: f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-1250, 1120 mm focal length equivalent.

Fork-tailed Bush Katydid

Scudderia furcata on Sumac (Rhus sp.) fruit
Camera settings: f/11, 1/25 sec., ISO-640, 234 mm focal length equivalent.

I was so glad to get this guy identified. Thanks goes to the folks on BugGuide. I had a pretty decent field guide, but still couldn’t get to the species. It turns out this species is known for having populations that are predominantly pink, red, or brown in color, which is unusual in the katydid family. Casey and I found three individuals that were this color in a sand prairie/savanna in southeastern Missouri last September.

Scudderia furcata
Camera settings: f/14, 1/100 sec., ISO-640, 234 mm focal length equivalent.

 

Hummingbird Clearwing

Camera settings: f/7.1, 1/1600 sec., ISO-640, 520mm focal length equivalent.

From a WGNSS Nature Photography Group outing from last July at Shaw Nature Reserve, here are some images of a Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) as it foraged among blooming Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata).

Camera settings: f/8, 1/1250 sec., ISO-640, 520mm focal length equivalent.
Camera settings: f/8, 1/1250 sec., ISO-640, 520mm focal length equivalent.
Camera settings: f/8, 1/1250 sec., ISO-640, 520mm focal length equivalent.

More from the 2019 Rut

I was mostly pleased with the images made from my first real attempt at photographing the white-tailed deer rut last year. Here are a few more I thought worthy of sharing.

Late in the day, with the sun below the horizon, this buck finally crossed the field and wound up incredibly close to where I was hidden.
This forky is checking the morning air, likely trying to tell if a receptive female is nearby.
This spike buck followed the larger buck, attempting to spar.
Mom with her two fawns. Miguel and I were happy to be able to fool this attentive doe. The does are always the ones who discover us first.
I was not hidden during this one, just walking about and found these three browsing on a hillside.
We haven’t been able to get close enough to the really large and older bucks, like this ‘wide – 8’. Hopefully next year.
We were hitting the estrus bleats so well that bucks were lining up to get a look at us. However, these two were not in an optimal shooting lane.
I would really like to know this guy’s breeding success rate. A large-bodied buck with a relatively small rack.
This guy was seriously trying to find the source of the bleating doe, running back and forth in front of our position. Sucker.
This young spike buck was one of our first targets of the season.
A better look at the buck in the neighborhood who I shot from my back patio.

Great Grey Owl – The Hunt

GGOW – Locked on target.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 445 mm focal length equivalent

During December of 2019, Miguel, Dave and I were fortunate to have this Great Grey Owl successfully hunt and ingest a vole along the roadside in the Sax-Zim Bog. Here is what portions of the sequence I was able to capture.

GGOW – Locked on target.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 445 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – Immediately after capture.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 640 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – With prey.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 278 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – Check out feathered legs.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 278 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – Always head first.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 278 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – Down the hatch.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 278 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – Down the hatch.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 278 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – Down the hatch.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 278 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – All gone.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 278 mm focal length equivalent
GGOW – Back to the hunt.
f/5.6, 1/320 sec., ISO-2000, 480 mm focal length equivalent