Happy Saturday everyone!!! Yesterday was a wonderful day in many ways. First, it was Steves and my 17th Anniversary….WOW time flies when you are having fun!! It seems like yesterday when I met Steve for the first time at a Chow fun match!
As we were getting ready to go out for a wonderful dinner at Castagna in Portland I heard our hawks calling from tree to tree. I took a peek at what they were up to and saw Cayenne in the tree right above my wicker furniture in the front yard…just chillin and calling to her parents.
ABOVE IS CAYENNE IN THE TREE JUST RIGHT OF CENTER. THIS WAS HALF WAY ZOOMED IN WITH MY 100-400 LENS
I ran in the house to get my camera and when I got outside I saw she had moved to the tippy top of the neighbors dead popular trees which were bleached snow white from years weathering. I had always hoped someday they would land there because at around 6:00 PM in the summer, those trees literally GLOW from the low sun and throw some amazing shadows. Well my wish was granted yesterday!
I caught over 300 shots in less than 20 minutes and picked out the cream of the crop to show you!
Above is what my contact sheet looks like with 215 shots after I took out the blurry ones. The brighter blue shots are the ones I cropped and lightened a bit to bring out the bird’s details and the ones you see large here on the blog post. Bird photography is TOUGH! Even a target as big as a hawk takes a lot of patience. I have watched and waited every day with my camera for this exact opportunity
This is SO “Cayenne”. Screeching all day long as she looks to the sky for her parents to tell her what to do next
Even at almost a half a block from my camera, she heard me making clicking sounds to get her attention and almost startled me when she locked eyes with mine via the lens. Wow what an adrenaline rush that was! My new goal now is to catch her soaring with her parents. Today the sky is this electric blue brushed over with “mares tails” of white whisp fair weather clouds. They keep coaxing her up in the breeze to soar but by the time I get my camera she has chickened out (pardon the bird pun) and is clinging to the trees again.
I feel like a mom who wants to see her child be successful and independent, yet am so nervous about the silence and empty nest syndrome yet to come. Steve and I both adore this hawk family and I am blessed to have him in my life to share the experience with
Above is a photo of me using the exact lens I am using for the bird shots of Cayenne, but now I have a bigger badder camera. It’s a real moose of a lens but worth having around for those special shots.
Our wildlife shots in Africa were taken with the same lens on an entry level Canon Rebel!!. CLICK HERE for our visit to Botswana!!
Valerie & Maiya says
Amazing photos, so beautiful, elegant bird!
nan mcgee says
Happy Anniversary to you both, and the baby hawk is amazing!! I am feeling the cool beauty of your garden, while we are burning in this oven like TX heat!!! I do love the pic of Meg, as if captures both her lovely face and her gentle spirit. luv, nm
Jan Bruton says
Wonderful shots Sandy – what a background of the blue sky – such clarity too. Wish we had a family around our house as the baby
rabbits are wreaking havoc with the perennials this year – the coyotes and hawks have not been doing their jobs! Jan
Thanks Valerie, Maiya, Nan and Jan!! I can’t believe how hot you guys have it in TX. Today we will barely make 70 and it’s raining again!!! Yuck, right Jan??? LOL! I really felt lucky to catch Cayenne in clear shots again and the perfect time of day!!! Wow I would think you would have a family of hawks too with your property being so woodsy!! I wonder if you might have an owl family etc in the area. These raptors are so darned territorial and put stakes down on such huge chunks of land.
When we had owls we had now hawks. Now that we have hawks we are now down to 3 squirrels!!!! Loved your garden photos Jan!! Thank you so much for sending them!!!