Monday, January 26, 2009

                                   Great Horned Owl

This Sunday Six is three pairs of images. The first two come from my visit to Palmyra Cove Nature Park. First up is a great horned owl. My friend Kristina and I believe it is probably a male and perhaps the mate of the owl on the nest shown in the Eyes theme image. It was well hidden and flew off not long after we spotted it.

                                White-tailed Deer

There is a resident population of about forty deer at the park. Way too many for the 250 acres of parkland to support. Deer have made a great comeback in New Jersey. Reduced to only a handful in the early 1900's they are seemingly everywhere today, reaching pest proportions in many areas, as they will completely eat the forest understory. This destroys habit and leaves little food for other animals. And reeks havoc on plant communities.

                           Snow Geese Flying in Formation

The next two images are from Mannington Marsh in Salem County New Jersey. There are tens of thousands of snow geese in New Jersey. And we saw several huge flocks as we traveled. Snow geese can be seen flying in great flocks that seemingly stretch for miles. They fly in a loose formation as can be seem in this image.

                                    Snow Geese Landing

However, as the geese come in for a landing any semblance of order is completely lost. To quickly loose altitude the birds wobble, at times appearing to be flying upside down. Check out the bird in the at the top of the flock, left of center.

I wanted to get an image of the huge flock on the lake, but it was at this point that the battery in my camera died. No worries, I've got two more and one in my backup camera body. All dead. It turns out one was completely dead and would no longer hold a charge. The others just needed to be recharged. But no more snow geese images for me.

                                    Liquid Fire Sunset

Fortunately my car, a Ford Escape Hybrid, has a standard electrical outlet. And a really big battery. I plugged in my charger and by the time we got to the Money Island Road observing platform (the location for the Pink image and the Vapor image)  I had a fully charged battery.

This image of the now orange-red clouds was taken later then the Pink image. The sky really did look like liquid fire. 

                                    Great Horned Owl

Finally we ended our day with three great horned owls calling at each other, defending their territories, each in plain site. Wondrous. As it was getting dark longer exposures were needed. And this is the only image where an owl stayed still throughout the exposure. Bummer.


Danudin said...

I snapped an owl caught out one Saturday and was surrounded inside a cage of twigs that it was using in so defensive a manner that none of the twenty crows that surrounded it were game to come in and they were all larger, and neither would any of the thirty or so other birds that put up the alarm. By 10.00 a.m. he was sound asleep and had a peaceful day, I stayed and made sure.

Chesney said...

What a great photo excursion - you really captured some terrific images! Thanks goodness you could charge that battery, you would have been really upset not to get that "liquid" sky (and so would have I)! I loved your day and your pictures!