Peek a Boo

shy foal

Friends, this shy fellow is one of the foals of the wild ones in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  I love his bald face and his mane standing up on end.  He was curious but very shy.  til Tomorrow MJ

Weekly Photo Challenge:Container

red head

Friends,this red-headed woodpecker adult is leaving his baby in this tree container and removing garbage from the nest.  I know this image is a little soft, but i consider myself lucky to have caught him in flight.  This was in Necedah National Game Refuge where Jim and i are chasing wild Whooping Cranes and any other birds that fly in front of us.  This refuge seems to have a great number of red-headed woodpeckers that are absent from our neck of the woods.  til Tomorrow MJ



red head feeding

Friends, while visiting the Necedah National Game Refuge in central Wisconsin, we spied this adult red-headed woodpecker feeding a youngster in the nest hole.  They are high above me in a red pine that was broken off on the top.  The little one is starting to get his red on his head and the next time we went to visit, he had left the nest.  This day he was very active and the adult would chatter at him when he tried to venture too far out of the hole.  He is out finding his own food now, but we could still hear the adult bird chattering at him. til Tomorrow MJ

Badlands Flicker

flicker on a rock

Friends, this Northern Flicker is hanging out in the North Dakota badlands on a rock covered with lichens.  I was surprised to see him out in the open on the prairie dog town, no trees on the prairie.  til tomorrow MJ

Piggy Back Grebes


Friends, the adult grebes, like the loons, often carry the little grebes on their backs.This baby was hitching a ride for awhile but then the adult shook him off and went back to diving for food.  The baby was left with a surprised look on his face. The eggs hatch one day apart so at first there is a wide range of chick sizes. til Tomorrow MJpiggy back5 piggyback2

Pied Billed Grebes-A Family Portrait

pied family12

Friends, these two adult pied billed grebes are feeding five youngsters and are working hard to keep up with their appetites. These birds are pretty small weighing less than a pound and getting close to them is a rare occasion.   The chicks are very colorful and the adults often leave them perched in among the lily pads while they dive for underwater food.  This is a family portrait taken late in the afternoon when i like to visit with them.  I spent about two hours sitting by Phantom Lake in Crex Meadows and these images were gleaned from the 400 digital images that i shot, thank goodness it wasn’t film, it would have cost a fortune.  til Tomorrow MJ

Feeding the Young

Friends, this mama/papa pied billed grebe is busy feeding five chicks. in these images she has caught a crayfish, crushed the head region and presents it to her largest chick.  The smaller chick looks on in amazement while big brother maneuvers the beast to get it head first in the swallowing act.  The adult birds feed the babies feathers to line their gut so these hard to digest prey don’t puncture the little ones intestines.  Smart huh?  til Tomorrow MJ

Help! Sunset Six

Friends, yes, this is six versions of the same photo, a storm coming over the hill at sunset.  I am trying to decide which of these is the best. Maybe you can help. Which of these versions do you like and if you care to share your reasons, I would greatly appreciate. thanks til Tomorrow MJ

Sunset in the Badlands

bucks at sunset

Friends, yes there are trees in the North Dakota Badlands.  These cottonwoods are along the Little Missouri River near Medora and the cedar and junipers are on north-facing slopes..  At sunset. the mule deer bucks head over the hill.  Hope you like the sunset in the badlands. til Tomorrow MJ

Practical HDR or natural high dynamic range

hor hdr patison3

Friends, we have all seen the garish images created with high dynamic range tool in photoshop, but here is a real life situation where this tool was necessary to achieve my goals.  The water is high key and has some details and the rocks are very dark but contain some details and i wanted to retain both sets of details in the same image.  Enter high dynamic range tool.  First of all one needs to plan ahead while in the field, and shoot three exposures of this scene.  One exposure is 1 stop over-exposed and one shot in under- exposed 1 stop, and a third image is shot with exposure compensation at zero.  So three exposures, bracketed around zero by 1-2 stops.  Now to photoshop where the three images are combined with the HDR tool.  Now the image has retained details in both the water and the rocks in a single image.  til Tomorrow MJ


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