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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Default Milkweed Pods, Berries, 1 bug, 1 bird (8 imgs)

Hi All,

What ever happened to Fall?. . . we've gone from 80s to 60s and it's already looking like 40s at night. . .

Anyway -- I spent some time at my local Nature Center, and late afternoon sunlight combined with some milkweed pods in the process of cracking open offered some photo ops -- All these are with the K-7 and DA18-250 Exif is intact.

This is a just-opened pod, the first I've seen like this -- The seeds are bunched up like a young pine cone, and the floss is compressed by the shape of the pod like a tail. . .

This one's been open for a while, but there was only a slight breeze, not enough to scatter all the seeds. It was interesting to see a totally green pod on the same plant right next to this one.

The low sun made this group of pods catch my eye

A group of seeds, caught on another plant

Some berries (don't know what kind), from just emerging to ripe in the same bunch

More of these berries -- the composition caught my eye

Another milkweed pod showing how fast these things dry up, and with a couple of colorful Milkweed Bugs grabbing a snack and waiting for the pod to crack so they can get at the seeds -- couldn't have a post without some wildlife. . .

. . .or at least one bird . . . This is my favorite captive, a Screech Owl, IIRC, it's a female, and she's blind in her right eye, which is still there, but is all black. She usually keeps the right eye closed, and I usually just shoot at an angle that only shows her good eye, which she likes. . .

This time, she looked at me straight on with both eyes open. I told her that I could fix her bad eye with some PP magic, and she nodded. I also cloned out the handling strap from under her left foot.

ISO 3200, cropped to 8x10, cleaned up with Topaz Denoise 5, sharpened a tad with Focus Magic.

I told her how imposing she looked, and she was pleased. . .she's only about 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm) tall . . .

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Old Oct 18, 2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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amazing pictures, so clear and sharp! nice work!
Shooting with a:
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Old Oct 18, 2010, 7:34 PM   #3
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great post here! Especially love the last
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 3:16 PM   #4
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Hi CyberTron and NMR,


There wasn't a whole lot to shoot that day, but it was a great day out and I was happy with what I was able to get. . .

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Old Oct 19, 2010, 11:19 PM   #5
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great owl picture
great textures in the feathers
and the lighting gives it plenty of mood

i like the silhouette in 3 and the rainbow highlights in the fibres

I am not sure what season we are in
winter seemed mild, spring was ok but a bit up and down, and at the moment it is dark and raining outside and summer seems a long way off
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Old Oct 19, 2010, 11:30 PM   #6
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A very nice set, Scott. You made the backlight work very well in your favour. I was a bit amazed by how close you got to the owl, till I read the text. So you've really made friends with this little lady? I think she will be very satisfied with the portrait.

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Old Oct 20, 2010, 5:45 AM   #7
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Very nice series - you sure found a lot to photograph on a day when there wasn't much to photograph!!
If you want some more captive owl photos, come visit here sometime - I have three (screech, barred & great horned) who would be glad to pose for you.

By the way, your berries (so well-photographed) are pokeberry. Mildly poisonous to humans, a feast for mockingbirds and others... And the new shoots in spring are quite tasty for humans, if cooked properly (around here, folks call them "poke sallet.")
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Old Oct 20, 2010, 6:06 AM   #8
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Nice series, I particularly like the back lit Milkweed and of course the Owl.

Last fall I went to a program at a local library put on by a bird rehabilitator and he brought a Barn Owl that was blind in one eye from an injury. I guess having large eyes and flying in tree branches in the dark can be a hazard.

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Old Oct 21, 2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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Great series, Scott!
Love the Owl.

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
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Old Oct 21, 2010, 9:41 PM   #10
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Very nice. I especially like the third one of the silhouetted milkweed. Nice effect.

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