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And the Busier Week…

March 19, 2016
Double-stipred Bluet (Enallagma basidens)

© – Double-stipred Bluet (Enallagma basidens)

The week sure got away from me.  Par for the course, I’m afraid.  Rather than try to do a couple of posts about last week, I’m going to try to condense this into one.

Last Saturday morning was spent at Southeast Metropolitan Park on the outskirts of Austin.  In keeping an eye on some of the Facebook posts and the Flickr page from Eric Isley, I noticed that the dragonflies were coming out in unique numbers up in Austin.  A few distinct factors came into play:  I hadn’t been out on an Ode hike yet this year, there were unique bugs up in Austin, and the weather looked more favorable on Saturday than Sunday for dragonflies.  With that in mind, I made the trip up to the our state’s capital city.

When I arrived we eventually had a gaggle of outstanding odonata photographers.  On my way when I contacted Eric I found out that we’d have two more photogs with us:  Our mutual friend, Desha, and Carolyn from the Christmas Mountain Oasis near Alpine, Texas.  Eventually we also had Greg Lasley join us.  Greg’s website is my go-to resource when I can’t find an identification in any of my paper guides.

I mentioned earlier in the week that I had picked up some life list dragonflies and butterflies.  On the butterfly side they were the Juniper Hairstreak, the Great Purple Hairstreak, and the Common Streaky-Skipper.  On the dragonfly side my first report was wrong:  There were 4 life list adds.  They were the Mantled Baskettail, the Blue Corporal, the Swamp Darner, and the Springtime Darner.  I have maybe one more butterfly to identify, but all in all it was an outstanding day of shooting.

Harris's Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula)

© – Harris’s Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula)

Sunday morning was admittedly all about the pursuit of another life list bird.  The keepers of the Crescent Bend Nature Park blind had posted images of a Harris’s Sparrow that had ventured into the blind.  As I never saw one, I figured no time like the present.

Truth be told, it wasn’t that great of a shoot.  Bad lighting conditions made worse by my forgetting the proper technique to use with the gimbal head after having shot off the older tripod and ball head the day before.  I have a few shots where the focus is very good.  But the rest show the tell tale signs of the guy behind the camera just not getting it right.  It happens.  There were maybe three or four keepers in the crowd, but the rest were just average at best.

All in all it was a great weekend of shooting.  Unfortunately, I’ve yet to truly harvest any of the shots.  Some of them can be found on Flickr, but none of them have been worked to drop into the portfolio.

I had hoped to get some time today to harvest some, but no such luck.  Spring chores have shown up in abundance so I spent most of what was supposed to be a processing day instead taking care of the homestead.  I’m hoping to get out again tomorrow, though I haven’t decided where I’m going to go yet.  Stay tuned.

About the Images:
Both images were shot off of the Standard Gear, though starting with this post the Standard Gear means different things whether I’m shooting birds or dragonflies.  I have revised what that page to explain the difference.  On the Double-striped Bluet, the settings were ISO 400, 1/200 sec at f/18.  On the Harris’s Sparrow the settings were ISO 400, 1/60 sec at f/8.


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