Day 96—The Birds And The Bees And The Babies

Today was a day for birds . . . and bees. . .and the birds and the bees. I spent a few minutes outside photographing the hummingbirds. I never tire of photographing these birds. And if I keep practicing, maybe I’ll get an in focus shot of one of them in flight. I saw the hummer fly to the feeder, then immediately flit away. The bird’s actions surprised me so I went outside and saw that there was a honeybee crawling around the hummingbird feeder. My new feeders don’t have bee guards like the old feeders had. While I was outside, of course with my camera, the hummer landed and began to feed again. And so did the bee. The following sequence shows the hummer feeding, both the hummer and the bee flying away, and the hummer feeding again. It was a fascinating sequence of events; before the hummer returned, the bee examined the feeder again (I got some uninspired-but actually in focus) shots of the bee crawling around but I chose not to include those. Then when the bee left, the hummer returned and resumed feeding.

The three hummingbird-related shots are all SOOC, shot at a focal length of 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, shutter speed either 1/250 or 1/200.

I wish I’d been prepared to get better focus. The hummingbird hovered for a few seconds and I got three out of focus shots (primarily motion blur but still, out of focus because I was unable to follow the action); this is the most interesting because it shows both the hummer and the bee flying away.

And, it’s back at the feeder, looking around for the bee.

These next few shots are the result of the much-touted “birds and bees” euphemism. I was at Costco to return something this afternoon and decided to take a walk in the Stock Ranch Open Space behind the Costco on Auburn Blvd. I cropped them all and applied a levels adjustment to them.

I met a lady who steered me to a pond where there were baby mallard ducks—eight baby mallard ducks. Mama duck was quick to get her ducklings to safety across the pond when I arrived and I had to quickly take these shots through the reeds. In the only shot with all eight babies, they’re sadly all swimming away from the lens.

The last two shots are coots. At least I think the goofy looking little guy looking straight at me is a baby coot. He quickly disappeared into the reeds after I took this shot and the pair of coots that kept encircling the reeds are likely his parents.

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