Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bonaparte's Gull

BONAPARTE'S GULL, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 19, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/1000 f9
ISO 400

At first I thought this species, not often seen among the mallards and Canada geese that frequent the little pond in Lovelace Park, was a very similar Franklin's Gull. But the bird books show Franklin's with black legs and feet and the Bonaparte's with orange landing gear, so I'm calling this a Bonaparte's until somebody with better knowledge can set me straight.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Female red-winged blackbird

FEMALE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 17, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/320 sec. f11
ISO 800

This weary specimen was hiding six feet away in the bushes from the ardent male that had been pursuing her in a high-speed dogfight around the Garden. Red-winged blackbirds often display what seems to be the avian world's most energetic form of courtship.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great Blue Heron

GREAT BLUE HERON, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 17, 2014

Pentax K-3
Pentax 55-300 at 300mm
1/320 sec. f11
ISO 800

This visiting Great Blue was wading slowly in the shallows near the Garden's Visitor Center when it suddenly jabbed its long beak into the water and came up with a fish. The lighting was not good—the bird was backlit in high sun and the shadows harsh—but a little work in Lightroom brought out things acceptably.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mallard in flight

MALLARD, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 16, 2014

Pentax K-5
Pentax-F* 300mm f4.5
1/3200 sec. f8
ISO 400

Even a high shutter speed of 1/3200 sec. couldn't stop the rapid wingbeats of a mallard on afterburner. It's mating season, and the three male mallards at the Lovelace Park pond frantically chased one another at high speed all afternoon. Tracking them with a long lens wasn't easy and this is about the only keeper out of some 100 shots.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

First goose of 2014

CANADA GOOSE, LOVELACE PARK, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, APRIL 16, 2014

Pentax K-5
Pentax F* 300mm f4.5
1/320 sec. f9
ISO 400

This one came in close for his portrait.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Senecio

SENECIO ELEGANS, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 13, 2014

Pentax K-3
Sigma 18-250 at 250mm
1/200 sec. f8
ISO 400

Also known as Purple Ragwort, this member of the aster family is considered a weed in many places. Some weed.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Trumpeter Swan

TRUMPETER SWAN, CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN, GLENCOE, ILLINOIS, APRIL 13, 2014

Pentax K-3
Sigma 18-250 at 250mm
1/125 f8
ISO 100

This was a tryout of a new Sigma 18-250mm lens that looks as if it will be very handy for traveling. Results at the long end are a little soft but still acceptable.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Red Kalanchoe

RED KALANCHOE, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, MARCH 10, 2014

Pentax K-01
Tamron 90mm macro with 20mm extension tube
2.5 sec. f16
ISO 100

This bloom, part of a tiny bunch in a pot I brought home from the Botanic Garden, is less than an quarter the diameter of a dime. Using an extension tube with a macro lens allowed me to get in close, and I "spotlighted" a single flower with a Lightroom 5 filter.