We received some snow last night and I decided this morning to get outside with my camera. The wind was howling, it was cold and the snow was blowing horizontally, but walking in a winter storm was a refreshing change of pace. I didn’t see any other people and the birds were more relaxed with my presence. I came across this Bald Eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) perched on a branch and I could see it was using its nicitating membrane to protect its eye from the snow and wind. The nicitating membrane is like a third or inner eyelid that sweeps across the eye from side to side. It’s either translucent or semi-transparent while it covers the eye. It reminds me of someone wearing goggles while skiing in a snowstorm.
A medium-sized bird that is found on any open water from ponds to ocean, the Double-crested Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax auritus ) lives on the west coast year round. They lack waterproof feathers, so I’ll often seem them perched in the sun and using the technique of ‘wing-spreading’ to dry their feathers after swimming. The double crest is only visible on adults during the breeding season ( March to May ). They have orange-yellow skin on their face and throat and striking aquamarine eyes that sparkle like jewels.
It was raining heavily when I came across this male Hooded Merganser ( Lophodytes cucullatus ). This is a small duck with a slender bill and a hood ( crest ) that can be raised or lowered, which changes the shape of the head and the white head patch. Hooded Mergansers are fairly common on small ponds and rivers, where they dive for fish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills.
Photographic minimalism is popular on social media sites like Instagram. It’s an art style that started in the 1960’s. The guiding principle of minimalism is less is more. It should be simplistic, clean and the viewer should clearly understand what is the photo’s subject. There should be no doubt about what you are looking at in the photo. It’s a very fine line between a photo that speaks to you, has some meaning or just taking a boring photo. It reminds me of the saying ‘Simple is hard’. Click on the image to see a larger version with a black background.
A Juvenile and two Adult Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) after a fresh snowfall. In the winter the sun is farther south and creates beautiful sidelight and shadows. There is not an absence of colour in the winter. Click on a photo and then use your left and right arrow keys to scroll through the gallery.
With their Superman-like vision and sharp talons I never tire of taking images of these majestic birds. No baiting or calling was used in taking photos of these Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ). Click on a photo and then use your left and right arrow keys to scroll through the gallery.
The weather forecast wasn’t very promising, but I was determined to spend the day taking photos of the Fall colours. Timing peak colours each Fall is an imperfect science, and the ideal time and place one year can turn out to be a disappointment the next. The reason leaves change is because of a decrease in photosynthetic activity as the days get shorter in the Fall. I like this photo because of the vibrant colours and how the trees lead the viewer into the photo, creating a sense of depth. Click on the image to see a larger version with a black background.
This was my first attempt at creating panoramic images of the beautiful west coast. I was happy with the results and teaching myself a new photography technique. These images give the viewer a truly unique perspective. Click on an image to see a larger version and then use the left and right keys on your keyboard.
This morning I spent some time photographing a Anna’s Hummingbird ( Calypte anna ). I watched it perform this elaborate swooping or diving aerial display. The male hummingbirds usually do these displays for females. The Anna’s Hummingbird does a steep, J-shaped dive, curling around at the bottom. It also produces a distinctive sound at the bottom of the dive, which I heard. Very cool.