All posts by pssquared

Photographer of the natural world. Active in the Cayuga Nature Photographers.

Upcoming Events for Cayuga Nature Photographers

April means wildflowers in the Finger Lakes. On Sunday, April 28, members will meet at 8 am in the Caldwell Road entrance to Mundy Wildflower Garden on the Cornell campus.  Bring your camera, a tripod and expect to find a multitude of plants in bloom.   This will be appropriate for members at all levels.  Beginning photographers can expect useful  mentoring from other members.

 

The Trout Lily below is just one example of what MWFG presents at this time of the year.

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If the weather creates any doubt about the success of the event, check your group email for an update the night before.  Bear in mind that a light sprinkle can be a great time with full saturated colors and wonderful beads of water to add sparkle to the subject.

Any questions?  Contact me at:  pschmitt@stny.rr.com

At our next meeting, Thursday May 2, we will first continue last month’s review of post processing using Lightroom.  We’ll walk through the processing steps with some examples that demonstrate how to fix and optimize images.  This will build on Adam Bakers excellent review at our April meeting.  After the Lightroom presentation, we will share  images of spring, specifically the spring wildflowers found in some many places during April.  I expect wildflowers to be plentiful from April 10  onward.

I hope to see you at both events.

Paul Schmitt

 

See Rock City (New York)

Growing up in Kentucky, my childhood memories include the road trips past tobacco barns  displaying the black and white message SEE ROCK CITY.   It was a tourist attraction at Lookout Mountain just outside Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The sign continued SEE 7 STATES.  Never did see that Rock City, but on several occasions, I’ve driven just a little north of Salamanca, New York to see what I think is a more amazing Rock City.  I did that again this early October.

Driving  north on US 219 from Salamanca, take a left on Hungry Hollow Road where shortly after the pavement ends, you’ll see the sign post for  New York’s Rock City.

Continue reading See Rock City (New York)

A Beautiful September Day

Had a workshop to teach on Sunday at Cornell Plantations, and it was such a beautiful morning that I arrived early to spend some time in the Herb Garden.  It is luscious right now.  The iron gate into the Herb Garden still has the brilliant red Clematis.

Inside the garden, I found some very rich colors. Continue reading A Beautiful September Day

Reflections

Had the opportunity for a day trip into New York City yesterday to do some shopping at B&H PhotoVideo.  With time to spare before returning to the plane, my wife and I walked thru Central Park, visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and found a nice deli on Madison Avenue for coffee and a terrific apricot danish.  We arrived a little early for the bus back to the plane.  So, we found a shady place in the plaza at the south end of Central Park near the Plaza Hotel.  To that point, I had seen nothing that appealed to me for photographs.  But, sitting there,  I became drawn to the reflections on the glass building facades.  With my little Canon G9 camera, I explored the possibilities.

Continue reading Reflections

The Harder Watercourse Garden- A Gardener’s Canvas of the Seasons

The Harder Watercourse Garden is a relatively new addition to the beautiful arboretum at Cornell Plantations.  I found it recently and find it a photographer’s dream of textures and changing colors as the season progresses. First, let me show you where to find this place. It lies just south of the Neuman Overlook at the first parking area just past the overlook.

The view when you park is inviting……

Continue reading The Harder Watercourse Garden- A Gardener’s Canvas of the Seasons

Water Lotus

The past weekend was hot in the Finger Lakes, but I found myself going from hot to hotter. It was not the best weekend to go to Washington, DC. I was focused on keeping in cool  AC in DC, but our daughter had on her mind to go the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens on the Anacostia River. It is one of the overlooked attractions.  See:

http://www.nps.gov/keaq/index.htm

Well, we got there by 8:30 am, but it was still brutally hot and the UV was intense.  Thankfully, the large pools of Water Lotus were in bloom, and dozens of other photographers were there.

I took a few images with both my Canon G9 point and shoot. I was first drawn to the center of the Water Lotus bloom.

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The greens and pinks and yellows are intriguing. There are literally thousands of blooms in multiple pools.

Continue reading Water Lotus

Canada Lilies- A Summer Treat

Canada Lilies (Lilium canadense) have become a rarity with the soaring population of Whitetail Deer in the Finger Lakes.  The gardeners at the Cornell Plantations would grow them in the greenhouse and transfer them to the Mundy Wildflower Garden only to have the deer destroy them. I recall finding my first bloom, and the whitetail doe brazenly standing nearby ready to trim it to the ground.

Continue reading Canada Lilies- A Summer Treat

It’s Showy Time!

One of the summer interns at Cornell Plantations asked me what my favorite wildflower is.  I have many favorites, but the one I anticipate most is the Showy Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium reginae.  So that is my best favorite.  The species name in latin, queen(ly), says it all.

The Queen of the Orchids

Shot with Nikon D800, 105 mm Nikkor Micro lens, f/11 at 1/125 second ISO 800. Gitzo tripod. Shaded the bloom to reduce harsh light.

So, for Cayuga Nature Photographer  members in the Finger Lakes region, the message is that it is Showy (Lady’s Slipper)  Time.  If you know of a population, this weekend is a great time to visit them.

I’ve posted a more details report in my regular blog at:

http://birds-n-blooms.blogspot.com/

Remember to apply tick repellent, my friend found one on her afterwards.

Paul Schmitt

Redtail Hawk Nest Today

After a fruitless trip to find Showy Lady’s Slippers this morning, I stopped by the Redtail Hawk nest in Ithaca. It’s been five days since I saw them, and the change is dramatic.

First, the chicks seem to be getting more demonstrative.  This chick seems to be giving the adult some demand in full voice.

The adult did not stay very long.

I noted two changes today.  First, the chicks are now have the strength to break open the Chipmunks without the aid of an adult.  That shows considerable progress.  Second, they are testing their wings frequently.

I am wondering how many more weeks before they take flight.  Likely, it will be a surprise.

All photos used a Nikon D800 with 400 mm lens and 1.4 multiplier.  Shot at ISO 1600 using aperture priority at f/8.  Noise reduction done in LR4.

Paul Schmitt

Black Swamp Warblers

I resolved to visit the Black Swamp area east of Toledo, Ohio after a terrific presentation at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology by Kim and Ken Kaufman.  I was not disappointed. The number of warblers and other spring migrants is overwhelming, and the ability to be at eye level with the birds remarkable.  My most productive time was along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh.  I will make this an annual outing for future years.

There were several warblers that particularly caught my attention.   First was the Prothonotary Warblers. Some were as close as 5 feet.  Try focusing on that!

I’ve posted high resolution images in a gallery on my website at:

http://pschmitt.smugmug.com/Birds/Perching-Birds/18761402_G84qx9#!i=1847010336&k=9Kdz6Gh

In the link above, you’ll also find a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, a Palm Warbler and  the Blackburnian Warbler below:

I’ve written a further commentary with more details in my personal blog at:    http://birds-n-blooms.blogspot.com/

Paul Schmitt