Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cymbidium orchid

CYMBIDIUM ORCHID, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, FEBRUARY 22, 2015

Pentax K-3
Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro
1/1600 sec. f11
ISO 1600

This portrait of an orchid opening its petals was the best shot from an hour wandering around the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden this morning. I used a high ISO for a shutter speed fast enough and a f/stop small enough to get a sharp photo in iffy light. Tripods and monopods aren't allowed because of the crowds. (The Garden does permit them at the fair on more lightly attended Wednesdays, however.)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Iguana No. 2

GREEN IGUANA, LOS CHILES, COSTA RICA, JANUARY 24, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 190mm
1/640 sec. f6.3
ISO 1600

It's a green iguana, but the males of the species famously turn bright orange just as breeding season begins. It was captured through a remarkably clean and clear side window of a tourist bus  trundling slowly through the small  town of Los Chiles on the Rio Frio in northern Costa Rica.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Iguana

GREEN IGUANA, MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK, QUEPOS, COSTA RICA, JANUARY 28, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 190mm
1/320 sec. f8
ISO 1600

Iguanas are as common in Central America as squirrels are in Chicago suburbs. I was sitting on a stone wall near the Manuel Antonio National Park gift shop when this specimen suddenly popped out of a hole under the wall and had a good look at me.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Common Basilisk

COMMON BASILISK LIZARD, RIO FRIO, NICARAGUA, JANUARY 24, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/200 sec. f10
ISO 800

Often called the "Jesus lizard" for its ability to run atop the water on huge feet equipped with flaps of skin along the edges, the basilisk is common in sea-level waterways of Central and northern South American rainforests. Our Costa Rican tour boat had crossed the border into Nicaragua when this photo was taken.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mantled Howler

MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY, RIO FRIO NEAR LOS CHILES, COSTA RICA, JANUARY 24, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/400 sec. f9
ISO 800

It wasn't only birds we saw during our tour boat trip up the Rio Frio in northern Costa Rica. The trees were full of monkeys, especially the mantled howler species. Their howls can travel three miles through dense forests, and biologists think howling is the monkeys' version of social media, their way of keeping in touch with one another without having to move from their favorite branches.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Great Curassow

GREAT CURASSOW, RIO FRIO NEAR LOS CHILES, COSTA RICA, JANUARY 24, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/80 sec. f8
ISO 1600

Technically this is a substandard photograph, having been shot through the window of a moving tour bus, but I'm including it on this blog because the pheasant-sized great curassow, an endangered species, isn't often seen in the wild. Our driver and guide grew greatly excited when they spotted it in the road near Los Chiles. This is a female; the male is even odder-looking. They live in the rain forests of central America.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Roadside Hawk

ROADSIDE HAWK, RIO FRIO NEAR LOS CHILES, COSTA RICA, JANUARY 24, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/640 sec. f9
ISO 300

The small Roadside Hawk is common throughout southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America and is often hard to see in riverine rain forest, but our guide saw it quickly and spotted his tour boat close underneath the bird.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tricolored Heron

LITTLE BLUE HERON, TARCOLES RIVER, COSTA RICA, JANUARY 27, 2015

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/250 sec. f9
ISO 800

This young Tricolored Heron, captured from a sightseeing boat on the tidal flats of the Tarcoles River estuary, is also known as the Louisiana Heron and is often seen on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico down through Central America.