At the Zoo

With three grandkids and two more grandkids from our “Swiss daughter”, we took a trip to John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zoos can be a photographic challenge due to the fact that you often have to shoot through glass, bars, or mesh. That said, here are some photos from the fun had by all.

owl

turkey

eagle

tailup

turtle

tiger

theking

two wings

singing

wild

American & Swiss

In the Conservatory with the Camera by Dr. Julie

Actually, the first 10 photos are from recent trips to two conservatories: Hidden Gardens near Tecumseh, MI and Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids.

Conservatories have a mixture of the opportunity to take pictures of plant life not common to your area (saving by not traveling to the tropics) and some challenges. The muted lighting in conservatories sometimes may require a flash to get the effect you want. You may also need to work hard to get a suitable background for your image.

The pictures that follow (except for the last one) were taken using an 18-55 zoom lens.

redcblossumsorangepink2

tulipr

ynwleaves

cacticenter

lime

My Favorite Conservatory Picture (from a previous trip)

Lighthouse, Lake & Beach

Michiganders will likely recognize the distinctive lighthouse at the Holland Harbor entrance. The building was constructed in 1907 and is an historic landmark.

I am usually careful to check my camera settings before heading out to shoot, but this time I didn’t. My camera was set to use a special effect setting. I liked the images and share some of ┬áthem with you. I quickly changed the settings to more familiar ground and took some additional shots. Captions (when used) will give you some needed context for the images.

lighthousefancy

lightred

dandy

Red-Headed Grandson

seagull

Grandson Chasing Seagulls

sails

wboat

tree

dune

Grandson and Dune

gull

Dr. Mallard

In my homage to NCIS, here are some Mallard photos from the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary.

stretch

Morning Stretch

flyby

In the Air

landed

On the Land

outpn a date

On a Date

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Profile

Trumpets and Mutes

In addition to the singular Australian Black Swan, the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary has a few dozen white swans. The white swans are trumpeter swans (all black beak) and mute or common swans (orange beak). Here are some white swan photos and one interloper.

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Mute Swan

trumpet

Trumpeter Swan

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Profile

inahurry

Inahurry

housecleaning

Housecleaning

naptime

Naptime

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Canadian Goose Profile

 

Reflections

Sometimes the subject matter of the day lends itself to reflections in impressionistic images from the water or very stark modern geometric art. Here are a couple of images of both from last weeks bird sanctuary outing.

redbud

Redbud

birches

Birches

rees

Reeds

reeds

Reeds2

 

Environs

We took a rather circuitous (think lost) – but scenic – route to get to the bird sanctuary last week. Deciding to enjoy the moment, we stopped and took some pictures on the way. The red-bud and dogwood were in full bloom and seemingly everywhere. Here is some of what we saw on the way and a scenic shot from the bird sanctuary.

bird

The blue bird of happiness greeted us.

2shores

Two Shores

dogwood

Dogwood

flowers

Red Blossoms

stick

This stick was seemingly floating in mid air. I never saw any support for it. Can you?

two

At the Sanctuary,

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