I went to Green Cay leading a group of Bellaggio photographers. Lots to see. This lovely anhinga backlit is just stunning. At least, I think so. Taken with my Olympus EM5 II at 500mm. The anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) is sometimes called a “snake bird” because it has a quite long neck. The anhinga is very adept at fishing and I have often seen one diving into our lake for lunch. Florida is one of its year-round haunts.
Wood Storks are a Florida standard wading bird. While they look a bit gangly on land with their long legs and large body, they fly like raptors and watching a flock of wood storks taking off into the sunset is an amazing sight. These birds are the only native storks in the US. They nest in large flocks – and right now there are hundreds of them at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. Egg incubation is about a month and so mid-April or so we would expect to see the fledglings in the nests.
In the photo that I took today, the female is sitting on the nest. The male stands watch over his family. The male tends to gather the nesting materials while the female actually constructs the nest. We are very blessed that Florida is a year-round habitat for the wood stork. Stay-tuned because I hope to take photos of the young storks to post here.
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A great day today. The first time in over a year I went to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands to take photos of birds. Having been vaccinated sure is liberating. Today, the place was overrun with Wood Storks nesting. By mid-April, the fledglings should be popping out of the nests. Although I did take pictures of these gigantic birds, I was looking for something different. And, boy did I find some other interesting birds, including this male Blue-winged Teal.
This guy was enjoying the early morning sunshine with his mate looking for his breakfast. Teals are one of the latest ducks to migrate north and are found in Florida in their non-breeding form. They inhabit ponds and wetlands. Notice the white crescent in front of the eye and the black bill typical of these dabblers.
Using two images that I took in China, one of bamboo and the other of a gentleman who was kindly siting in a field posing for me, I created the attached digital painting. The original of the man was masked and the background replaced with a complementary color derived from the bamboo photo. The painting of the man was created in Corel Painter and compositied in Photoshop.
This being the Fall and in Florida we have no change of the seasons: Fall is as hot as the Summer; I have posted this fall path scene the original of which was taken not far from my former home in Delmar, NY. The path has an old wooden bridge which you can see in the foreground.
This image was taken into Corel Painter 2021 for processing. Notice the new Painter program – the latest and greatest that I got for a deep discount. Better than previous versions especially the first one I use many years ago. This time I used the AI panel and underpainting first and then painted with several different brushes to create the painterly effect you see here.
I also used On1 Photo RAW and Adobe Photoshop for the final adjustments.
This is a palm frond – somewhere in Florida. Doesn’t make any difference does it? But it is a great composition.
I converted it to a black and white image and then did a little manipulation to enhance contrast and place some emphasis on the center of the frond with selective exposure. Pretty cool if I don’t say so myself.
According the the same-named organization, “National Wildlife Day is celebrated today to help bring awareness of the plight of wild animals around the globe. NWD encourages wildlife lovers to stand up and fight for animals that need a voice, to visit their local zoo and donate what they can to make a difference in the lives of our beloved animal friends“. Thus, from my photos at Green Cay, here is a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) caught in the act of collecting materials for his nest. These beautiful creatures are rather large nesting birds common in North, Central and South America. In Florida, we are blessed to have lots of wetlands which attract these guys. They are even found in Bellaggio and I regularly see them along the shoreline of my backyard lake.
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Another image from the photo vault. Memorial Day, a long time ago, in good old Delmar, NY where we lived for most of our adult lives.
We stood at the center of town watching the traditional parade and a wonderful brass band came marching down Delaware Avenue. Here is one of those band members, a fine tuba player puffing along.
So, now I am in my digital painting mode. Into the usual mix I put that Tuba and out came this nice digital painting.
In honor of today’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to end WWII. It took place on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945. The Emperor had announced the surrender of Imperial Japan on August 25 and this was the official ceremony. Leading the American delegation were Admiral Nimitz and General Douglas McArthur. President Truman declared this day to be called V-J Day (Victory in Japan) – now that is all but forgotten. One of my uncles served in the Pacific Theatre.
I am not really sure where I took the original of this image. It was just some flowers of various kinds – I did no arranging. But it was a nice group and I had it on my hard drive for quite a few years. So, browsing through the photos I came across it and thought there was some potential there.
In it went to Painter and then a few tweeks with Color Efx Pro 4 and Photoshop.
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A note about the masthead: the image was taken on the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk using a slow shutter speed to illustrate the movement of the vehicles and the streaming of their headlights.