Flowers and Feathers

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Trial Tulip

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Red & White Tulip

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Colorful Tulip

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Dogwood Flower

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Dogwood Flower

The tulips at the arboretum are almost gone. Most have been replaced by colorful ground cover. I was hoping to spend some more time there but 5pm came too fast and a guy on a cart was driving around clearing the garden of all us stragglers. The sunlight was beautiful so I was taking several shots of the dogwood with various amounts of light when I finally just had to leave. Which flowers come after the tulips? I will soon find out.

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Female Wood Duck on a Mission

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Sleeping Mallard

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Canada Geese

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Blue Heron with Twig

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Blue Heron with Red Straw

Sunset Bay was just full of activity tonight. The DPD officers that patrol the lake stopped to talk for a while. I saw the Canada Geese fly in and a Blue Heron found a red straw. I missed a few action shots which just makes me want to get the new Nikon even more. I think I have proven to myself that I can be consistent with photography so with careful budgeting the new camera should be a good investment.

Sunsets

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Clouds rolled in this afternoon so I was hoping to get a sunset shot at the lake tonight. Unfortunately, too many clouds rolled in and completely covered everything. This is a sunset from January. Severe weather is forecast for tomorrow so I probably won’t make it out after work. Maybe Thursday.

Red-winged Blackbirds

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Male Red-winged Blackbird

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Female Red-winged Blackbird

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Female Red-winged Blackbird

The first photo is pretty obvious. The next two, not so much. I showed the photos to another photographer at the lake and he identified them for me. I know…the females don’t have red wings and they aren’t black. I’m paying more attention to the birds at the lake and really trying to learn as much as I can.

Owl Watch – The adult owls are out so the baby owls should be out within the next week. I hope to get some better shots this year. There are already so many photographers setting up in that area. At least I won’t have to search for them. It’s always easier when someone points them out.

Texas Buckeye Trail

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North American Nature Photography Association Meetup Group
Texas Buckeye Trail, Great Trinity Forest

I had a great time at my first NANPA North Texas Meetup. I found out about the meetup yesterday and decided to join and participate. It’s important to me to keep exploring and expanding my photography opportunities. There were probably more than thirty people and the photography skill level varied among everyone. I am definitely a beginner. Next step, study my camera settings. I had a quick lesson in the field about aperture from Sean Fitzgerald and he also suggested that I have to just start playing with the settings until I feel comfortable enough with each to control the outcome for each shot. Even then, there will be more to learn.

Ben Sandifer led the group on the hike to the buckeye trees. The mud was unbelievable but the hike was still fun (and great exercise). Making it by 7am was a bit of a challenge but I’m glad I did. I posted a few photos from this morning that I liked best.

Out and About on Good Friday

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Since I had the day off, I was able to spend some time at the Arboretum and at White Rock. The second (or maybe third) round of tulips are in full bloom. It has been interesting visiting at different times throughout the last month to see the variety of tulips on display. This one was just beginning to unfold.

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These tulips are some of my favorites.

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I spotted this one in the trial garden and I think it’s a tulip. I forget to walk around and check the sign. Compared to the others, this one looks…I can’t really describe it. Guess it’s just different.

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The Wood Ducks are arriving at White Rock. Actually, there were a variety of ducks at the lake today but I focused on these because they are just arriving. They have everyone’s attention right now.

I took too many pictures to post so I tried to pick a few of my favorites from today.

All About Katie

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I didn’t intend to spend most of my time focusing on Katie. It just worked out that way. I am trying to capture her in different situations such as spreading her wings or flying. Not an easy task. Especially when you want the light to be just right. Here the wind has blown her feathers up just a bit.

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The sunlight is slightly caught under her wings as she glides by.

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Finally! This is one of the better shots I have of Katie spreading her wings with some nice lighting. I’ll keep trying to get an even better shot.

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Well, that’s Katie flying away. I turned my attention to a Red-winged Blackbird and she took flight. I heard her before I saw her and this was all I was able to get. I waited and waited. I figured she would fly back in and I was not going to miss that. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it back before the sun went down. I will keep trying!

Sunset Bay

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I’m always excited to trek out to Sunset Bay because you just never know what you might see. I’ve been trying to get a good shot of the Northern Shoveler that has been hanging around and today it decided to hang out within the camera’s reach. I took quite a few shots but, as usual, I deleted most of them.

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This female Mallard settled in quite close to me as I was taking photos of the Northern Shoveler. She wanted all of my attention, which is quite unusual. Usually the mallards are quick to get away from most humans. I liked her expression.

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I’m not sure what this bird is but I did notice the different color on it’s head. I thought it was interesting. It flew off before I could get a better shot. Next time!

Wildflowers

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I drove to the other side of the lake and look what I found. There were wildflowers growing on the side of the road. I had to park, cross the road and position myself in a shallow ditch to get these photos. The scariest part of this was watching out for the cars. Some of them were definitely going faster than the speed limit. I may go back and get some more shots now that I know they are there. Flowers to enjoy and cars to avoid.

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White Rock Lake

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Egret in Flight

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Canada Geese

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Katie

White Rock Lake is one of my favorite places to visit. It is so peaceful and calming, especially after work. I have decided to explore the entire lake because I’ve realized that I usually go to the same couple of spots each time I visit. I’ve met a few other photographers who spend quite a bit of time at the lake. They share some of their secret finds with me so I really need to expand my comfort zone and explore more of these areas.

The photos I posted were taken today. It’s amazing what you can see in just one afternoon.

First Day of Spring

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I’m glad I walked around the butterfly house a few times. It is like a real world visual puzzle, trying to find hidden butterflies. This beauty was just quietly resting as I walked by for the last time. I don’t know it’s name and I have never seen one like it before. Update: I discovered that this is a White Morpho.

Texas Bluebonnets
I enjoyed visiting the butterfly house and gardens. I noticed these beautiful bluebonnets as I was leaving. Nothing says spring like Texas Bluebonnets.

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Pelicans are still at the lake. I couldn’t resist visiting for a few minutes (turned into an hour) on my way home. There were quite a few pelicans fairly close so I was able to get some good photos. This one spent quite a while preening, while the others slept, before it finally swam off. Time to go home. Beautiful first day of spring!