Happy Friday ~ 294
I am sorry to show you more birds today. I’m just having so much fun sitting in the back yards and watching them interact with each other. I cannot resist making images of them. I spent an hour last night just shooting away to the tune of 400 images. 400 images and I have three to show for it. 🙂
So far about all I have been able to attract to the bird feeder are some finches, sparrows, black birds, and this little Redpoll. Still it is very interesting to watch them protect their turf and jockey for the favored position on the feeder. Not all that unlike what we “humans” do on a daily basis.
Jeanne is going to Ames this weekend to visit her Mother. So it’s just me and the dog to take care of things while she is gone. I have so many projects lined up I can’t possibly get to them all. Not to mention my Phantom Vision 2 also has serious controller issues.
I was telling my good Friend Jake last night as we were leaving that flying the Phantom has lost some of its luster. For about every minute of flying there is an hour or so of work, repairs, maintenance, and charging stuff. Hardly seems worth the effort. Then again there is no other way to get some of the images I can get without the Phantom.
That’s it for today. Enjoy your Friday. Very busy time at work and home. Doesn’t seem to be anytime to just sit back and smell the bird poop. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Thursday ~ 295
I believe this is a Common Redpoll. I’m not very good at identifying different species but that is as close as I can come. I was sitting on the back patio last evening just enjoying the outdoors and watching the birds come to the feeder. I had my D4 with a 28 – 300 mm lens on and was just looking through some of the shots at my friend’s retirement party when this little guy showed up at the feeder. I’ve tried to capture an image of him since we put the feeder up. He is very skittish, so I grabbed the shot even though I didn’t have enough lens to do him justice. Still I have one of him now and I’ll work to get a better one of him.
This is my friend Gary, who is retiring and next to him is my friend Barb. This is the only shot I have of Gary from yesterday where he was looking at the camera. He was so busy with greeting his customers and well wishers that most of the shots I have of him are of the back of his head. Gary has had a long and successful career in banking and he has helped a lot of people realize their dreams.
He is truly one of the good guys and I’m proud to call him my friend. I will miss stopping by his office and chatting with him. He has a great love of eagles and he has a cabin in Norther Minnesota on a lake where he plans to spend a fair amount of his time this Summer looking at the eagles fishing from the lake. I truly hope he enjoys his retirement as he has certainly earned it.
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoy your day and as always thanks for stopping by the blog. Be careful.
Happy Hump Day! ~ 296
Today a couple of pictures of Josh and Gabby. They were over for dinner on the 18th and Josh was riding his bike. I was paying more attention to him and his love for speed than I was camera settings. This shot was taken at 1/80 of a second at 300 mm focal length. Translation, very soft image. Just wasn’t paying attention, but as a Grandpa I can be excused because I was enjoying watching Josh run up and down the sidewalk. Ben says he goes through a pair of shoes about every month or so.
I’m going to Cedar Rapids this afternoon as one of my friends, Gary is retiring from the rat race and I want to be there for his celebration. He will be missed at the bank but he has earned his retirement and I am happy for him.
The little princess had just finished her dinner so I had to take a few liberties with Photoshop (the digital wash cloth) and remove some food around her mouth. 🙂
She is back to making strange with me. It has become a game that she will smile at me and act like she wants to come to me only to turn away and lunge back to her Mother. We did this for several minutes and then Angie just gave her to me. She was not pleased with this and right back to her Mother she went.
Good luck today Mark. Remember it is a journey not a destination.
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoy your midweek hump day. Thanks for stopping by and be careful.
Happy Tuesday ~ 297
If you are tired of looking at birds then I have something different for you today. My daughter, Angie told me last night she was tired of seeing birds and wanted to see other things. 🙂
I happened by this old tractor sitting near the road a couple of weeks ago. Of course I had to turn around and make some images of it. I have no idea how old this machine is but there was no rubber on the wheels and the steering system amounted to a couple of pulleys with a steel wire at the front of the tractor. There were also no gauges of any kind to show engine performance so I’m thinking this must have been a relatively old tractor.
We ended up not going to the Memorial Day parade yesterday. There is a light fixture over our stairway to the lower level that has been in need of replacement for some time. Jeanne had finally found one she liked so since the kids were coming over for dinner we opted to skip the parade and install the light fixture.
When I take on a project like this there are always challenges (me being the biggest one) but this installation required I get on a ladder facing the opposite direction and still have to reach out a fair bit to reach the fixture. Let’s just say that OSHA would not have approved of this set up. 🙂
Two hours later it was finally installed and looked pretty good. It was a bigger challenge than I originally thought it would be. I should have gone to the parade.
We had Angie, Ben, and the Grand Kids over for dinner last night. It is always so good to see them. I still had the camera set up for shooting birds so I didn’t grab any pictures of Josh and Gabby. Gabby is walking now, although it is more like two steps, fall down, three steps, fall down. It’s amazing how fast she bounces back up. I guess when you’re that close to the ground it’s no big deal to fall. 🙂
That’s it for today. I really enjoyed my four-day weekend. Hard to believe how quickly it went by. Challenging day ahead and hopefully it will go by quickly as well.
Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Monday / Memorial Day! ~ 298
A late post this morning as I have been working on one of the Phantoms. Ugh, they are becoming more work to keep in the air then actual time spent flying. Of course most of it is my ineptitude. I put a range extender antenna on the controllers for both Phantoms. One works superbly well and the Vision 2 looses signal at 206 feet. That’s not good. I tried a couple of different antennas on it this morning but none helped.
After some observation and tinkering I believe the problem is a loose connection. So as a last resort. I have affixed the connector to the flight controller with silicone for stability and when it dries I’ll give it another test. Doesn’t do much good for a Phantom to only be able to go 200 feet high or 200 feet away.
Yesterday evening as is our custom Jeanne and I went down to the 16th basin. Lots of water in the basin now but not many birds. We did see this Heron. I know I have about a hundred images of this same pose but I was also trying out the 600 mm lens. I think I’m going to like it. It needs lots of light a bit more than the 500 mm lens. I also captured this duck at the basin. I just liked the looks of him sitting on his little island of rocks. 🙂
Next we went down to the River Walk. It had been sometime since we were last there. There is always interesting things to see and photograph at the River Walk. Lots of diversity on the walk and it’s good to see so many cultures in Dubuque.
We also saw a guy flying his Phantom. He had the new Vision 2 plus. He was standing on the railroad tracks flying it up and over the railroad bridge. We stopped at the little brewery and had some fruity tasting wine and a bag of popcorn. We wanted the popcorn so we bought the wine to have the popcorn. 🙂
Finally I’ll leave you with the image of this little guy. I love how piercing his eyes are and in this scene I just love all the colorization of the bird.
Going to the Memorial Day Parade today downtown. Always a fun thing to do. Enjoy this day and thank you as always for checking out the blog. Be careful.
Happy Sunday! ~ 299
Typical Saturday for me. Even though I had Friday off it was still pretty much a veg day. I had three basic projects that I wanted to accomplish yesterday and only one of them got done.
After spending some time with Andreas last Saturday and having so much fun shooting the small birds I had decided to get some bird feeders for our back yard. The problem with our set up is there are no trees close to the house. They are all at the back of the property. We did that so that the our kids and their friends would have an uninterrupted play ground for bad-mitten, croquet, and other yard games. Now of course it would be nice to have some small trees up close so the birds could set on them. I’ll have to figure out something.
The one project that I did get done was to test the Tamron 150 – 600 mm lens. My neighbor also has a lot of bird feeders so I was standing in my yard shooting some Finches in his back yard. He came over for a visit and it turns he is an avid bird watcher as well. He used to photograph some of the birds he watched but now he just enjoys watching them. He has many bird feeders and has had everywhere he has lived before. He gave me some good ideas of where I could put the bird feeders and what kind to get.
Another part of this story is that I have never used a gimbal on my tripod. By looking at them I couldn’t see the advantage of them over the ball head that I now use. That is until I spent some time last Saturday watching Andreas use his gimbal head. A light bulb went off in my head (there was no permanent damage done.) So that is what they are good for. I found an inexpensive one on Amazon.com and I was also trying it out this weekend. WOW! Talk about a Duh moment. Why haven’t I done this before. It makes shooting wildlife so much easier. I’m hooked.
Jeanne and I have had several discussions in the past about bird feeders and the whole feeding the birds thing. She had some good reservations and so we talked some more Saturday about it. She said she would go with me to look at them, which was helpful. Being so impulsive, there was no telling what I would have come back with.
We bought a couple of feeders and a pole to hang them from. Some bird feed and few other items and then went home. When we got home we discovered we had left part of the stand in the shopping cart so back to the store. Fortunately an honest person had turned it in to customer service so we got it back without having to buy another one. 🙂
After we got everything filled and set up, I sat close to the house in the shade with my tripod and within 15 minutes we had our first Finch. Like Jeanne said, they know where other feeders are, they’ll learn where ours is.
So it was an enjoyable afternoon watching the feeders and shooting the ubiquitous Robins in the yard. I have not made a final judgement on the Tamron lens. It seems to be sharp when set up correctly for the lighting conditions. Very fast on focusing and much quieter than my Sigma. Right now I would have to say the Sigma is a tad bit sharper but there is still a lot of testing and experimenting to be done.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your Sunday and be careful.
Happy Saturday! ~ 300
I do not usually post on Saturday but since I missed yesterday I decided I would put up a couple of images and relate a couple of stories.
The first two images on the blog today were taken at the Duck Pond on Thursday. This family has taken over the little island from the two geese that had their nest destroyed by the swans. I am hopeful that this family is not the same one I photographed a couple of weeks ago because if it is they are missing some of their young.
About the only thing going on at the Duck Pond right now is there are still a fair amount of geese there and some coots but the swans will come and go and are rarely there during the times that I stop by. Once in a while there will be a pelican or two but not a lot of other wildlife that I have been able to capture.
I took yesterday off so I could enjoy a 4 day holiday. I’m really glad that I did too for a variety of reasons one of which was that it gave me a lot of time to work on the Phantom problem. So I went through all my packaging and screw parts and found enough replacement screws that I could put the phantom back together. I went through the process of rewiring the new gimbal, re-installing it and then hooking the phantom up to the computer.
It took me a few minutes to find the gimbal calibration (it is neatly hid in some of the menus) but I did find it. The first settings didn’t do anything. It made the gimbal shake (that was the software recognizing the gimbal) and then I found the control that let me set the parameters of the up and down pitch. That made all the difference in the world.
I got it all put back together and took it up for a flight. All seemed to work well and I had complete control of the gimbal action. On the way down I got a little concerned that I lost some control of the copter and had to make some radical corrections to keep it from slamming into some trees and buildings. I almost lost it on top of the school. That would have been embarrassing having to go to the Principal’s office and asking if I could get my quad-copter off their roof. 🙂
I think I just need to recalibrate the transmitter controls and all will be well. Probably wouldn’t hurt to recalibrate the compass too.
That’s it for today. Now you know the rest of the story. Thanks for checking out the blog.
A special thank you to all veterans. I cannot believe the sacrifice you have all made for this country. “All gave some and some gave all.” It is an absolute disgrace the way our government treats our military Heroes once they have given so much for our country. We should all be ashamed and we should all let the self-serving sanctimonious politicians know about it. I’m going to.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Thursday! ~ 302
I believe I have shown these horses before but I saw them the other night on the way home from work and was testing out the Tamron 150 – 600 mm lens. They seem to have developed a wonderful symbiotic relationship. Whether it’s on the way to work or on my way home I see them in this position most of the Summer. They use their tails to keep the flies out of each others eyes. They do not stand this way in the colder months only when the insects are out. Pretty neat relationship.
I wrote to the guy in Britain about the trouble I was having installing the new gimbal on my Phantom and how it wouldn’t extend the full range of motion that it is supposed to have. I explained after installing it and removing it twice it still didn’t work and now I’m waiting on some replacement screws. His simple response was, “Did you calibrate the gimbal by hooking the Phantom up to your computer and telling it the range of motion?” Uh, Duh, No! 😦
Like I’ve often said, it’s not easy being me.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. I hope you enjoy your day. Be careful.
Happy Hump Day Wednesday! ~ 303
Okay today is the last day I’ll post small bird images for a while. It was just so much fun capturing images of these little guys that I want to show them all. But take heart of the 900 images this is the last of them.
Some bad news on the Phantom front. I installed an H3 – 3D gimbal to the Phantom 2 Sunday and when I took it up for a spin it was apparent that the gimbal was not working correctly. So last night I re-watched the video on how to install the gimbal and feel like I followed it religiously from start to finish. Put it all back together and the same thing happened as the gimbal malfunctioned. I know it is something I’m missing but I’m not sure what it is.
When I took the Phantom apart for the 3rd time some of the little screw heads got stripped. They are very small and it doesn’t take much. So I can’t put the old gimbal back on nor put the Phantom back together until I get some replacement screws from the manufacture and who knows how long that will take. So for now it is sitting disassembled waiting for parts. 😦
This image of a little House Wren isn’t tack sharp. These little guys are very skittish and you have to focus on the opening and then wait until you see some sign of movement. So I ripped off about 14 images of him coming out of the little house and this is the best one I had.
My friend Ronnie celebrated his 50th birthday yesterday. Not only did he bring doughnuts for the office, later in the day he made a DQ run for us all. I told him I would buy because he shouldn’t have to buy on his birthday but he said, “Hey, I only turn 50 once and I’m going to enjoy it.” So we got a nice afternoon treat of Blizzards. 🙂
Anyway this is my best Cardinal image and so I post it as an after birthday present for Ron.
That’s it for today. Enjoy your day, it is supposed to be a nice summertime day with temperatures in the 80s.
Thanks for stopping by the blog and be careful.
Happy Tuesday ~ 304
Quick post today as I am really late, even for me. No award winners here, just some of the images I shot Saturday and they were so much fun to shoot I had to share them even if they are not quality shots.
I’ll leave it up to you as to their species. I simply do not have the time to look through the bird manual to identify them. If I were to take a guess I’d say the first one is a white breasted nuthatch and the last two are female orioles. Probably not right but someone will let me know.
Gotta run. Thanks for the look. Enjoy your day and be careful.