This morning I decided it was time to switch to my macro lens. I really enjoy photographing insects, and I know that there is never a shortage of subjects! After changing my lens I headed out to one of my favorite trails on the Hennepin Canal. It has been quite a while since I have had my macro lens out, and I had forgotten how difficult it is to use. Because there is no autofocus, I have to manually focus and any extra motion, including the wind, can really mess things up. Although I managed a few decent photos, I have a lot of work ahead of me!
I recently took a trip to New Mexico. One of the things I wanted to do was go birding, and I was lucky enough to meet up with a New Mexico birder! Through our blogs I met Kelly, and she was gracious enough to take me into the mountains to visit two of her birding spots. First, we met in Cedar Crest, New Mexico and traveled up to a secluded spot in the mountains.
The next day my friend Peggy and I went to the Albuquerque Botanic Garden. It was a wonderful area with lots of beautiful flowers. In the garden I was able to photograph several different bird species. I also was able to get a good photo of a house sparrow, to up my sparrow photographs to seven different species.
On Sunday Kelly was kind enough to take us on on another birding adventure and her beautiful dog Scarlett joined us.
This time she took us to Petroglyph National Monument. It was so much fun hiking in this dessert habitat. Not only were we able to spot some interesting birds and a few rabbits, but we also viewed some amazing petroglyphs.
I also captured sparrow species number eight.
Before leaving Albuquerque Peggy and I took a quick trip to the Rio Grande Nature Center. It was very hot and buggy, so we didn’t stay long. On the last trail we took I was able to capture a photo of a yellow-breasted chat.
As we were driving out of the area we spotted this beautiful roadrunner. I stopped the car and grabbed my camera in hopes of getting some good shots.
I had a fantastic time in New Mexico. One of the best things about the trip was meeting my new friend Kelly! I hope that one day we will meet up again. Until then, I will be following her on her blog New Mexico Birder. If you haven’t seen her blog, you should check it out!
Sunday morning started out cloudy but turned into a beautiful day. I headed over to Scott County Park in Iowa with my friends Bill and Chrissy. It was a real treat having Chrissy with us because I don’t get to visit with Chrissy very often. It was the first time I had ever been to Scott County Park and I was pleasantly surprised by size of the park and how well it was maintained. Almost immediately after exiting the car we were bombarded by gnats and mosquitos. Generally, the bugs don’t bother me, but even with insect repellent I was constantly swatting at them. Even with the annoying bugs, it was nice to be out enjoying a beautiful summer morning.
I was excited to get a photo of another type of sparrow (that makes six). Normally field sparrows are difficult to capture because they hide deep in the tall grass. This beautiful field sparrow was busy gathering nest materials and wasn’t shy about getting his picture taken.
After a couple of hours we decided to head over to Hampton, Illinois to photograph some pelicans. Last year Bill and I discovered that pelicans like to fish just below the dam on the Mississippi River, so we were hoping to get some good shots of some fishing action. The pelicans were there, along with a bunch of humans fishing too! We were lucky to get a spot!
One of my favorite things to do is spend the day with photographing wildlife with my friend Bill. He knows a lot about nature and is always up for a road trip. Thursday we decided to head over to Iowa to see if we could find any good spots to photograph birds. Things seemed a bit slow where the birds were concerned, but it was a gorgeous day to be out, and I had fantastic company. By the way, you should check out Bill’s blog; he has some great photos and does a great job documenting his outings!