Carolina Wild Photo (the blog)

Archive for February, 2014

A Marathon 48 Hours of Duck Heaven

by on Feb.26, 2014, under Locations, Rants, Raves & Ramblings

American Wigeon drake My absolute favorite birds to photograph have to be ducks. They tend to be the most skittish subjects in the bird world, generally making the task of getting good photos of them fairly difficult. Thankfully there are a few places one can go to get reasonably close to a few species, where they will tolerate the presence of humans in their proximity, within limits of their choosing of course. And with the right equipment and quiet patience, it’s possible to get some excellent photos of these fascinating birds with relative ease, compared to hours or days in the “wilderness” trying to find them, and attempting to get close enough for photography.
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More Snow

by on Feb.13, 2014, under Rants, Raves & Ramblings

Male CardinalA week and a half after the big coastal snow the NC coast got hit again, this time with more ice and sleet than snow. Power outages and driving on more ice than snow would have made a trip to the coast a very bad idea for this round of weather. Instead I hung around home for the 5 inches we received, with some sleet on top of that, and more snow still on top of that. Though it’s been overcast and snowing, the sky has been a brighter overcast than on my coastal snow trip. That made it feasible to get some photos at home around the bird feeder.

Though there were Juncos, Goldfinch, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downies, White-throated Sparrows, Robins, Tufted Titmouses, Nuthatch and a spattering of other birds hanging around, my camera was drawn to the Cardinals. The brilliant red of the males is so photogenic with the snow. As a bird photographer acquaintance of mine put it – “Cardinals and snow go together like strawberries and creme.” Besides, with the not-so-bright light available, the photos needed all the color they could get, and the male Cardinals provided that.
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The Big Coastal Snow

by on Feb.02, 2014, under Locations

Well finally, a month into my retirement, I got my break… sorta. Actually I simply took a big chance and drove to the Outer Banks a few hours before the big snow of Jan.28-29, 2014. Snow on the Outer Banks (any snow, much less several inches) was a rarity indeed, and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. The plan was to arrive just before the snow hit so I’d be positioned to get some photos. I knew if I didn’t get there before the snow, I wouldn’t be able to get there at all before it started melting. I reached Nags Head and got a room just as the first of the sleet and snow began to fall on the 28th. Based on the forecast that the 29th afternoon and the 30th would be sunny, it was a good plan. Problem was…. no sunshine. Dull overcast skies prevailed the entire time, so any chance for “good” shots was all but dead. I found enough subjects to shoot, but with such poor light there was no good color or vibrancy in the images.

As soon as the snow quit on the 29th and I could get out on the roads, I headed straight to Bodie Island Lighthouse. I discovered, much to my surprise, that all the pine trees in the loop drive in front of the lighthouse had been cut down. There was no sign they had ever been there. This opened up the view for wide angle shots that were not possible in the past. The dark overcast made for dull images, so I had to make do as best I could.
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