Monthly Archives: March 2010

Barred Owl

Today my photography group visited the Center For Birds of Prey. Wonderful place that is normally closed to the public on Sunday’s but they opened up just for us so we could take images without little Johnny and his mom and dad running us over (grin).

Here is one of the birds we saw:

The Barred Owl is a medium-sized gray-brown Owl streaked with white horizontal barring on the chest and vertical barring on the belly. They are round-headed with a whitish/brown facial disk with dark brown trim. The eyes are brown, and the beak is yellow and almost covered by feathers. They have a long tail. There is no difference in plumage between males and the larger females.

A nocturnal bird. Hides in dense foliage during the day, usually high up. May also roost on a branch close to a broad tree-trunk, or in a natural tree hole. May be very aggressive when defending a nest.

The Barred Owl is a highly vocal Owl giving a loud and resounding “hoo, hoo, too-HOO; hoo, hoo, too-HOO, ooo” which is often phrased as “Who, cooks, for-you? Who, cooks, for-you, all?” – The last syllable drops off noticeably. Like some other Owl species, they will call in the daytime as well as at night. The calls are often heard in a series of eight, then silence, when the Owl listens for a reply from other Owls. Other calls include “hoo-hoo, hoo-WAAAHH” and “hoo-WAAAHHH” used in courtship. Mates will duet, but the male’s voice is deeper and mellower. Many other vocalisations are made which range from a short yelp or bark to a frenzied and raucous monkey-like squall.

A very opportunistic hunter, a Barred Owl can sometimes be seen hunting before dark. This typically occurs during the nesting season or on dark and cloudy days. A Barred Owl will use a perch, from where it dives upon its prey – meadow voles are its main prey, followed by shrews and deer mice. Other mammals include rats, squirrels, young rabbits, bats, moles, opossums, mink, and weasels. Birds are taken occasionally, including woodpeckers, grouse, quail, jays, blackbirds, and pigeons. They also eats small fish, turtles, frogs, snakes, lizards, crayfish, scorpions, beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. Birds are taken as they settle into nocturnal roosts, because they cannot catch birds on the wing. They will also swoop down to the water’s edge to catch frogs, other amphibians, and occasionally fish. Barred Owls are attracted to campfires and lights where they forage for large insects. Prey is usually devoured on the spot. Larger prey is carried to a feeding perch and torn apart before eating.

The Barred Owl is widespread in North America, they occur across most of the eastern half of the continent from Florida northward to southern Canada; they are also spreading westward in the north of their range. Their spread westward is causing concern as they may compete with the endangered Spotted Owl Strix occidentalis. Northern populations may be partially migratory depending on food resources.

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Huntington Beach State Park – Panorama

Just the other day I needed to get out and shoot a few scenics. I ended up at Huntington Beach State Park. As I went across the causeway, I looked to the south and decided that I needed to go to the southern-most observation deck. So I drove to the visitors center, parked ol’ blue, grabbed my faithful Canon and hniked through the woods to the aforementioned observation post. Carefully walking out on the observation deck I was able to witness what a beautiful day we had been given. This was too good to waste on one image, so I took four images and when back home stitched them together to form a panorama. Here is is. Let me know if you like it!

Posted in causeway, huntington beach, murrells inlet, South Carolina, state park

Along the marsh Walk

Today was an absolutely wonderful spring-like day. I got out shortly after sun-rise to shoot some images. I did have a primary shooting location in mind, however I also detoured a little bit. Here are a couple of shots I took along the Marsh Walk in Murrells Inlet. 

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Murrells Inlet – Infrared Image

The color version of this photograph has sold well locally and has generated a lot of comment. Just for the fun of it, I decided to make a INFRARED version just to see what type of comments it might generate. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

OH, If you  would like to have this hanging in your home or office, it is available in my ArtFire shop! Just click on the image and you will go to the offering!

Thanks for looking!

Posted in Uncategorized

Kids Can Be Budding Photographers

With Fisher Price-kids Digital Cameras

A lot of children have an urge to show how creative they can be, why not allow them to start by encouraging them to pursue something they can do easily. Remember kids can be budding photographers with Fisher Price-kids digital cameras. It is the perfect starter camera for children to get the experience of taking pictures.

Fortunately the casing that the camera sits is durable enough that when it is dropped on the floor of thrown across a room that it will not break. The material that it is made of is a special hard plastic that can withstand the rough treatment of kids. They made it virtually child proof, it is also waterproof and will not get ruined with water.

You and your children will find this camera is very simple to use. Just look through the eye glass and push the button. The picture will pop up almost immediately. This product is set to use an automatic flash which means if there is not enough light, the flash will go off for you. Give you child a quick lesson and let her do the rest.

If your kids have a special interest in animals or flowers for example, then take them to the appropriate venues and let them start taking pictures of these things. Give the child guidance by teaching them different ways of taking photos for instance, taking pictures from two feet away and then 10 feet away. Also holding a camera at different angles will help the child photographers as well.

When you and your son have had a chance to go through and delete the pictures that you do not want, then it is time to connect the camera to the computer and start the process of uploading. At this point you may choose to print them out, or make a file on the computer with those particular pictures in it.

One of the features is being able to delete pictures while they are still in the camera. The children have instant gratification seeing a picture they had just taken. Since this is a digital camera there is not waste of film, which can be quite expensive. The biggest cost will be printing the downloaded pictures, and the purchase of photo albums to place them into.

To sum it up this is a great camera for children who have shown a genuine interest in picture taking. Taking pictures will enable a child to be proud of their work. Using the camera will enable the child to show how much imagination that they have while looking through the lens of their personal camera.

Posted in art and entertainment, cameras, hobbies, kids, photography