Two Birds and a Cat

Peacock3Bald EagleSnow LeopardFor a great photo safari, I visited Binder Park Zoo with my friend Pat on a cool but sunny day this week. It was a great trip even with the tsunamis of grade school field trips. These are my three favorite pictures of the day.

The peacock had a screeching cry that sounds like a high-pitched child calling out “help”. The sound could be heard all over the zoo. We encountered the roaming beauty (and his mate) quite a few times.

Both the snow leopard and the bald eagle were taken through glass. The telephoto zoom helped get past most of the glare and fingerprints.

After walking over three miles, we decided to take the tram back towards the zoo entrance only to find out that there would be at least a 30 minute delay due to “technical difficulties”. To pass the time (and because we wanted to do it) Pat and I had our faces painted. You can see my paint job on my Facebook page. On the way home, Pat would try to get the truckers we passed to look. Even though my joints and muscles are in open rebellion this morning, the trip still brings smiles to my face and to my heart.

Far Away and Close to Home

Bleeding HeartIris after rain

Sometimes we can be like the cow that is certain that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I enjoy traveling with my friend Pat (http://imissmetoo.me/) to capture road trip images. We try to go someplace once a week with our cameras. We have fun because we look at things differently (with very different photo captures) but have about the same energy threshold due to some physical problems.

I deeply enjoy these trips, but sometimes beauty is also as close as our front door. The fuchsia image was taken at the Hidden Lake Gardens Conservatory (in the conservatory with the camera by Mrs. Me – for you Clue fans). The Iris was taken after an early morning rain in the small planted area (8 square feet) between my driveway and my neighbor’s. I am happy with both images, but am moving away from flora for a time towards fauna . . . at least in terms of emphasis. I’ll always shoot what catches my quirky imagination’s eye whenever I can.

Jackson Train Station

The Jackson, Michigan train station is one of the oldest continually operating stations in the country. It opened in September 1873 and is listed in the National Register of Historic places. Presidents Taft, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon all stopped here. The station has gone through a number of restorations to maintain its classic beauty.  The train station photo was shot in very early morning light with the lens at 300 mm and f/25. The ticket office window was shot at 72 mm and f/22. Traveling by train is a slow way to travel, but can allow more time to take in the passing countryside towns, and cities. Often I think the slower pace of yesteryear has a lot of advantages, but then I am rushed back to the frazzle of the day.

 

Train Station

 

Ticket Office

Loft Window

Loft Window

This sofa in a barn loft window caught my fancy when Pat and I stopped to capture some images from this old barn. Is the sofa a place for resting or watching the world go by from a private hideaway? Or is it just resting until it can be taken away? I like to think of this sofa as a window to the world; a place to get away, reflect, and quietly watch the world. What are your thoughts?

This image was taken with an ISO of 800 for the early morning light and at f20 with the lens at 180 mm for 1/250th of a second.

Trillium

Trillium is a genus of 40-50 species that bloom in the Spring . Many species are threatened or endangered. In Michigan, trillium is illegal to pick on public lands but a species that is not endangered may be picked on private land with the landowner’s permission. This shot was taken on a shooting expedition with my friend Pat (http://imissmetoo.me/ ). It was a mostly sunny day at Hidden Gardens near Tipton, MI. It was shot with ISO 400 with a 300mm lens at f/10 and 1/640 of a second. The relatively fast speed was needed to deal with an early morning strong breeze Much that is “forbidden” can still be enjoyed in art . . . or in life! The other images (left) were captured the same day.

Tulips mixed colors

Swiss Church Window

Swiss Church Window

Although my photos are now shot with a Nikon 5100, this shot was with a good quality point-and-shoot Olympus camera. The lighting worked on an overcast day to capture the character of this wall. (C)2003

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