House Sparrows

House Sparrows have lived around humans for centuries. Look for them on city streets, taking handouts in parks and zoos, or cheeping from a perch on roof or trees in your yard. House Sparrows aren’t related to other North American sparrows, and they are differently shaped. House Sparrows are chunkier, fuller in the chest, with a larger, rounded head, shorter tail, and stouter bill than most American sparrows. This adult female has been feeding her young right outside the window of our 2 year old, much to her delight.

White-handed gibbon

Gibbons are apes, not monkeys. Also called the lesser apes, gibbons differ from great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans) in being smaller and in not making nests. Gibbons are masters of their primary mode of locomotion, brachiation, swinging from branch to branch for distances of up to 50 ft, at speeds as high as 35 mph. They can also make leaps of up to 26 ft, and walk bipedally with their arms raised for balance. They are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals. Depending on species and gender, gibbons’ fur coloration varies from dark to light brown shades, and anywhere in between black and white. It is rare to see a completely white gibbon.

Strelitzia

A common name of the genus Strelitzia is bird of paradise flower, because of a supposed resemblance of its flowers to the bird of paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower. Found this one growing outside of Orlando, Florida.

Paper Kite Butterfly

The Paper Kite, Rice Paper, or Large Tree Nymph butterfly is normally found in Southeast Asia and is known especially for its presence in butterfly greenhouses and live butterfly expositions. This one was found at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, OH during National Public Gardens Day.

Cardinals

Got up at 5am and drove to Blendon Woods Metro Park to shoot some photos. Best action was at a bird feeder near one of the blinds. These are male and female Northern Cardinals. The bottom one is a male going through the molting process. Talk about a bad hair day!

At the beach

Been playing around with vintage/high contrast looking images lately. This is Isabella at the Gulf of Mexico back in December, 2010.

SuperMoon

Tonight the moon was at its perigee, closest to the Earth, and appeared 14% larger and 30% brighter than normal. The full moon at its perigee will not occur again until the year 2029. Unfortunately, a slight haze formed and resulted in a not as sharp photo as hoped for. Taken with a Tamron 500mm lens with a 1.4x extender, effectively making it a 700mm shot. Used the mirror lockup and a wireless remote trigger to minimize vibration.

Cardinal returns

After an absence of almost 2 years, a cardinal has returned to the corkscrew willow tree and the feeders. It is always a welcome sight to see the bright red color of a cardinal in the winter. Hopefully this male will stay around through Spring and find a mate.

Dock

Evening sun casts shadows from the railing on the dock at the resort. Was basically the only nice weather day we had during the trip.

Floridian silhouette

Isabella on the dock at our resort in Orlando, Florida. Although the weather was quite chilly, we took comfort in knowing it was still warmer than back in Ohio. A week’s break was not nearly long enough for us, but it was a productive trip.