Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last Post of the 2011

Happy New Year everyone.

Sunrise over the village duck pond
Hard to post regularly over the holidays so am spending last little bit of 2011 on this post.  This morning I headed out in the neighborhood to shoot the sunrise then some birds in nearby ponds to test out a new lens.  Sunrise and sunsets around Ananda village often are really great and there best viewed from Rajarsi or Sunset Ridge, however down in the lower village area an artificial pond was created about 3 years ago and vegetation has grown up nicely around it so I headed there.  The sun was sufficiently south to make this a potentially good spot with the right clouds and I was able to capture a nice reflection.  This photo is actually an HDR photo made from blending 3 different exposures together to capture a wider range of light.

Canada Goose at takeoff
My friend Barbara joined me after the main sunrise and we headed up to Nandi pond on the road to my house where we wanted to catch the Canada geese as they blasted off when the sun hit the pond which, at this time of the year is around 8 AM.  Last week we were up there doing the same thing, however the clouds didn't cooperate and the geese stayed in the pond until 8:45 and the light wasn't very good.  This time we got better (but not great) light so was able to at least get a couple shots.

Bufflehead Duck at Nandi Pond
Also in the pond were 3 pairs of Bufflehead ducks who dip into the bottom of the pond for food and dart about chasing each other.  They are small and hard to photograph with a short lens so we used our 2x extenders on our 70-200 mm lens to get 400mm focal length.  Since my Canon 7D camera has a cropped sensor I actually get 1.6x which is even more.

Male Hooded Merganser Duck
We photographed a bunch then headed over to Lotus Lake near the Expanding Light guest retreat where there was rumored to be some hooded Merganser ducks.  Both the Bufflehead ducks and Hooded Merganser ducks are very shy and hard to get close to.

Female Hooded Merganser Duck at Lotus Lake
As we walked around the lake towards them, they would paddle over to the other side.  Finally I went around one way and Barbara went the other.  I got lucky and found a spot with sun behind me while she herded them towards me.

Was really fun and am looking forward to many more photowalks around the village in 2012.

Happy New Year  to everyone!

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