duck studies #1
Happy new year everyone. We spent our new years eve in Makkum/Netherlands which is kind of surrounded by nature parks with lots of birds. Ducks used to be quite common in my hometown, too. Lately the egyptian goose has concoured their resorts and ducks had to move. I was quite happy to see them again, even though far from home.
tiger moth baby
Our last stop of our trip was in Goa. Right the first day, when we arrived and stepped out of the airport I noticed flock of huge birds in the sky and they where everywhere else to be found as well but in Goa I finally had the time to sneak by and take some shots; not without fretting about leaving my big lens in Germany. Anyway here you can see two young black kites practicing some dogfight maneuvers.
Our second day in Hampi we descided to shift back one gear and have a relaxing day by strolling around, visiting the places we missed the day before and stay longe in one spot. First animal of the day that we noticed was this hoopoe, passing us by couple of times at top of the virupaksha temple. Nice catch, isn’t it?
The old world monkey, as it is calssified. Our first day in Kandy we went to the botanical garden and althoug quite impressive it was the monkeys that cought my eye. After one of the elders tried to ripp of our bananas from Nadines bag, we choose to follow them to their spot. After a couple of minutes they almost ingnored us and we could observe them quite well. This one reminds me somehow of Bob Marley…
You could find woodpeckers all over the world. There are about 200 known species and non the less, I was surprised to find it in the Indian jungle. The best part about it is that indian birds are not shy at all. So I could get quite close and som decent shots. Not that it uses its tail as tripod… a camera and we would probably be really good friends.
Half fish, half reptile they are somhow arkward creatures. They can breath through their skin as well ais their mouth, depending if they are in the water or on land. This cutaneous air breathing functions much like a skubadivers system. However their gills have to stay wet and so you mostly find them on the rocks along the shore. Flexing their body they can jump uo to 60cm in one leap. Be sure to stay calm and do not move when you want to observe them – their eyes are really good.
On our second day in Hikkaduwa/ Sri Lanka, Santa took us to a nearby lagoon and the first animal we met, was this old, big varanus, about 2m long and really looking hazardous. They are known to be very clever and can count up to number six, which is quite big thing for animals from the times of dinosaurs. Now I am frightened.
the krestel and the jay
This weekend was nice weahter. i had an appointment in Mainz, to pick up a new/old treassure for my computer collection – a sought after Commodore PET. Nadine joined me on the trip and the plan was to enjoy a walk in the sun, along the Rhein. The guy who sold me the PET was already waiting for us and I asked him if he knew some nice area to take a walk. He said we should go and try right behind some buildings nearby… so we did and found a nature reservoir, between the motorway and the city. A…
who’s controlling who?
ghostly horse visit
My aunt invited the whole family to Chiddes, Saône-et-Loire, France, for her birthday party. My parents couldn’t come, though and as we just got married, they gave us the big house, they had rented. Our honeymoon, if you want. The first night at a new location is mostly not the one I’m gonna catch alot of sleep. At 3.a.m. I found the meaddow behind our house in dense mist and some sparkling stars from above shingin through. After I took a couple of pictures, I heard snuffle right beside me and when I turned around, that grey horse lady was…
into the spiders nest
Spiders – hoooh! Scary creatures, but if you take a closer look, they are actually really instresting. They got eight eyes and up to eight legs! Found this tiny nest at my marquee on the balcony. The nest normaly keeps a certain temperature and amount of humidity inside. Lowering the marquee seems to have raptured the hull that gave me this insight. Hopefully they wil make it anyway and keep the mosquitos out of my way.
I don’t know in how many countries “Biene Maja” is known, but as an essentially German story from Waldemar Bonsels from the 1920s, it is hard to surpass it, when growing up in Germany. I always liked the character of Flip the most. He was funny, had a chapeau and whenever something dangerous came around the corner, he was jumpign away with his infamous “Hü-hüpf!” cry. Well, in reality they have not battelcry and they definately don’t wear a hat, but they jump away at an remarkable pace and great distance.
In comparison to the grashopper on the previous image, this fellow was about double the size, rendering it a real monster in front of my lens; shy, non the less. I figured that they rather tend to jump away on slow movement, where as they stay when I jump near them and hold still for a second. For spectators this must have been a funny show: Me, with my big lens in my hand, jumping after a big grasshopper in the field. Turns out it was worth rendering me a complete jackass…. the picture is good and it even looks…
ESI for real
Good old times, do you remember? There was a time, when cameras were analog and there was a time where ESI ruled the planet of C64. Thanks Dan, Ladyhway, Mitch… and all the rest for making my C64 times worthwile. You definatley rocked the scene. I knew what I had to do with this picture, right when I shot it at the Fasanerie in Hanau. RIP Eagle Soft Incorporated.
Summer seems to be early this year. It is the beginning of June and the thermometer already passed the 25° C mark. Afrer meeting with friends ind Frankfurt for lunch I took a small detour on my way back and wandered through the beatifull Bethmannpark. Besides the hughe coys in the pond, a couple of big dragonflies where doing their maneuvers. This particular one was taking a break in the late afternoon sun…. and yess, I still don’t have a macro lens, but Sigmas 135-500 does a fabulous job, don’t you think? 🙂 [lightgrey_box] Facts würden hier stehen [/lightgrey_box]
Our last day on the Island and together with Luca we headed for a small round on the Cumbre Viecha. It turned out that we took the wrong turn and were on the long way down, to the camping site at the bottom of the Caldera. As soon as we noticed we just went all the way back and at the parking site a friend was waiting for us or better for our Maria cookies.
just the two
Last year I thought I was lucky when I shot a dragonfly in midair, but it turned out that Karins pool is THE spot to witness more happenings in the lifeof dragonflies. There were constant fights about the territory – two male insects doing unbelievable maneuvers over the pool. Here you can see a couple on the way to the oviposition. I got more shots that are a tuck sharper, but I like the female insect touch the watersurface. And, did I mention that I have to get a macro lens? This was shot with my 500mm…..
One of the features that I really do like about the north of Germany is the vast space: fields everywhere, meaddows and many areas with less human beings. As a consequence of this you can see animals all day long, not worrying much about your presence. Those swallows took a rest on a nearby barbwire. I like the contrast between these little birds, soft and swift in their appearance and movement and the harsh military fence, that stands for the excact opposite.
I know, I know… I should have bought a macro lens instead of the big Sigma 500mm …. but hey, thats’s murphy. I bet, this little blindworm wouldn’t have shown up if I had taken the macro lens. Did you know that they belong to the family of lizards rather than snakes? And although they are called blindworlm their eyes are pretty good.
I don’t know where you need to go in order to have a piece of cake under the plain sky and not be surrounded by sparrows. They seem to be everywhere and along with the starling family they are to be found all around our hemisphere. They are fast little birds, always there, when you drop a crumb of your meal.
Shitepoke? Really, that’s the name of those… see for yourself! Actually this three-colored one belongs to the herons, off which 62 different species are known. When I started photographing some years ago, I thought those were rare visitors here in Germany but they seem to be everywhere, known for having a “cosmopolitan distribution”. Lately a couple of families are nesting in Frankfurts Ostpark, so I could testdrive my Sigma 150-500mm lens and get some decent shots.
fly like an egyptian
Egyptian gooses are common place right now. A couple of years they where seldom guests in germany, but due to warm winters and the clima shift in general, they are everywhere to be seen. The bad thing about them is that they drive the old inhabitans of like the normal ducks out off their habitats…. well, where did I hear this already… ahh yes, the squirrels. Same here. World is changing constantly – mostly due to our intermission.
Living in Offenbach has many advantages. One is the “Grüne See” (green lake) is a nature reseve that is just around the corner. While attending it in summer it is hard to find a place for yourself, because everyone seems to be around, winter spring is far better. Big toad was sitting beside the main walkways an was lucky that I did not step on it. Still quite frozen and stiff it gave me the time needed to focus it with my 500er sigma. I already said it and will say it agin… I need a macro lens.
There many inhabitants in the Caldera de Taburiente. We were lucky too meet quite a few. I tried to take pictures of cranes around my hometown but they are very shy and just looking toward their direction often is enought to make them leave, so the only ones I got where those two from the Zoo in Frankfurt, that tend to show up when it is feeding time for the sea lions. Here we go… all natural, an all wild crane from the Caldera. EDIT: I am still learning and so errors are for sure to be made… this seems…
No, not the millenium falcon, but a real one. La Palma is the island of falcons. Around barancos around our house we hat quite a few of them, but it was this one that kept me going. Every evening it sat down on a nearby pine. I had a hard time getting close to it and even this time, it saw me first, staring right into the cameras eye. A nice shot anyway.
caught in the act
I am no big fan of dead center compositions but with this shot I had to break my rules. This little fellow was buzzing around the pool and kept constantly chasing off other dragonflies off its territory. It came back day after day and so I just hat to wait for it to appear. Shooting it with a 300mm lens was another stroy. Nailed it!
Winter is almost here. Not the best time to visit the Frankfurt Zoo, but I was keen on the new “Borgori Wald” – the all new ape residence. Looks like it is a full success. Compared to the previous narrow cages this is a real winner. A littel drawback for all photographing people: dirty, scratched glaswalls instead of ironbars. You have to find your spot, take some time and better use a polarising filter to get rid of the reflections… I had none and this chimp still got the blues, although living in a great resort now.
breakfast at squirrels inn
barking at the sun
Snails are a very strange species: tentacles and eyes combined, slow gliding, building and carrying their own house made of calcium carbonate that they can lock with a “door” – well, sounds like they got all they need for living. Indeed snails can reach an age up to 15-30 years, but only held captive in more or less strerile surrounding. Into the wild they usually become 5-7 years old. This littel exemplar has a long way to go… let’s hope it’ll make it and stays out of our sink, where we found it. Did I mention that I need a…
a small prayer
It may be that I repeat myself, picturing all the same animals over and over again…. but winter still keeps us under his control and the sun is on a flying visit. I was just glad to see this old fellow again, jumping over my roof and balcony and finally resting on a nearby tree, enjoying the sun. It looks like it sends a little prayer to the one above that he shall send some warm sunbeams down. Guess we are all fed up with the cold – at least my batteries are empty and need a recharge soon.
Jonas dropped by with his new Nikon D90 and we went down to Offenbachs harbor. It came in handy as I had to shake off last nights exodus effects from having too much alcohol. This cold winter seems to tap new grounds for the animals. A red fox tried to sneak behind us inwardly but we saw him and for a short moment he sat down and stared at us. Later, when we took a small break at Hafen2, Mr. Reinecke passed outside shocking the gooses and the two sheeps on the lawn.
young hering gull
A little experiment taking this gull into the dark. The Idea is not from me, though. German PROFIFOTO Mag featured the work of Stefanie Müller (haven’t got the mag and this is quite a usual name in Germany, so no link here, sorry), who took animal portraits out of the context, namely their surrounding and put it into dim light. I was flashed by those images and tried it myself. So here’s my first attempt, using a young hering gull that I shot this summer on Sylt. The image wasn’t that sharp which keeps it from getting that brilliant look…
Cold, dark, weather outside, few people in the streets and no sunshine at all. Not the best conditions for a walk, but I just got my cam cleaned at the Weitsichtfestival in Frankfurt. So Ingo and me went to the nearby cemetary and found… well… Mr. Nuts.. ones more. Despite beeing quite bussy getting his inventory full of nuts he seems to be everywhere. Still a welcome model in front of my cam.
It is mating season in the land of peacocks and their high pitched cry is omnipresent when you wander through the Zoo in Frankfurt. This Indian Peafolw thought it might be a good idea to climb a tree and shout from atop, although they typically stay on the ground. Let’s face it: He is looking that good up there, that it’s fine that he left his normal surrounding. The ladys will be amused.
After the great storm last month, many trees around our house vanished. As if this is not enough for our fellow garden inhabitants, we added a hughe winter garden to our home with lots of noise, people, dirt and action going on. So I was very happy to meet my old chap from last year again. Here’s Mr. Nutz… lately he’s been very bussy scaping of branches from a big tree in our garden. Let’s hope there will be some new blood soon.