The Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias is the largest heron in Canada. Adults stand over 1 m high with their necks outstretched, and they weigh around 2.5 kg.
This bird gives the general impression of being tall and thin: its wings, neck, bill, and legs are long. The long limbs dictate the heron’s movements: it flies with deep, slow wing beats, and on land, or in the water, it walks erect with long strides. In flight, the neck is doubled back, the head resting against the shoulders, and the long legs held straight behind (see image’s below).
After I come-back from morning Shoot in fifeteen minutes, ready for sunrise at 5AM Thursday June 16.
Enjoy the images, and expect fifty more for pics4twitts anniversary Imagery and Article’s.
While visiting a friend this evening was lucky to find a Blooming Orchid. Even better the shots are natural light from a sunset. This flower took my eye all night
All shots are Camera Raw and cs5 was not used.
Enjoy the pictures.
Orchids are beautiful and fascinating plants. But the thought of growing orchids, especially indoors, is intimidating for lots of gardeners. It conjures up pictures of giant greenhouses, complicated humidity, light and heat controls, and horticulturalists in white lab coats. Despite their reputation for being finicky flower divas, orchids aren’t difficult to grow.
Like any plant, they’ll thrive in the right conditions. The trick is sizing up your indoor environment and choosing the orchids that will be happy there. Three of the best orchids for windowsill gardening are: Paphiopedilum, also called paphs; Cattleyas, catts for short; and Phalaenopsis or phals. Among them, you’ll find colors, fragrances and sizes to fit any space.
Paphs are also known as lady slippers for a jutting, chin-like pouch that forms their lower flower petals. The white, green, yellow, red or pink blooms are shaded, striped and covered with spots. These orchids bloom off and on all year with filtered light, though their flowering season is mid-fall through spring.
Catts are stunning and versatile. They’re available in every size, shape, color, fragrance and bloom time you could want. They’re also the most confusing, because they’ve been crossbred to create many hybrids. Look for names such as Brassavola, Rhynchoaelia and Epidendrum or an entirely new genus, Brassoepidendrum. They’re all catts.
Phals, or moth orchids, have an arching flower spike covered with clouds of blooms for weeks or months at a time. They’re divided into standard, novelty and mini flora varieties. The standards have large white, pink and candy-striped blooms. Novelties are the most fragrant, in colors of yellow, orange, red and green.
When buying any orchid, choose one that’s already flowering since it’s the only way to really see what you are getting. Look for uniform color and shape. Splotches on leaves or petals may indicate a virus. Leaves should be an even, medium green with no streaks. Roots should be fat and white with pale green tips. These orchids are epiphytes; they gather nutrients from air and water, not soil. They should be sold in an orchid potting mix made of bark, peat moss and Perlite. And that medium should be firm and damp to dry, not soggy. Bypass orchids sold in soil; their roots have likely been smothered or damaged.
Orchids aren’t picky about light once they’ve flowered, but light is critical before they bloom. Give them at least six hours a day. Phals and paphs are low-light orchids that prefer an east, west or shaded south window. Catts do best in brighter, south-facing spots. Use sheer curtains to filter harsh sunlight, it can burn the leaves, turning them pale green. If you don’t have any suitable windows, try a 40-watt fluorescent light. Hang it about a foot over the orchids 12 to 14 hours a day.
These plants like it 70 to 80 degrees in the daytime, 10 degrees cooler at night. If you have a winter-blooming phal, put it in the basement or outside in 55 to 60 degree fall air for a few nights to encourage budding. Give them all 40 percent to 80 percent humidity by setting pots in a tray filled with water and gravel. To prevent the risk of wicking excess moisture into the potting medium, be sure the pot is on the gravel, not in the water.
Overwatering is the quickest way to kill an orchid. Wait until the medium is completely dry before watering. I use 20-10-10 liquid fertilizer diluted 4-to-1 once a week to feed catts and phals, every other week with paphs. I flood clear, room-temperature water over the medium until the water runs out the bottom, and then pour the fertilizer solution. Don’t wet the foliage or crown of the plant.
Pests and fungi
A light mist of rubbing alcohol once a week will take care of any scale insects. Ordinary cinnamon will stop fungi. Just sprinkle a bit on the wet infected spots and the crown.
Orchids can be a little tricky, but giving them the ideal environment — along with a bit of time and attention — will reward you with a great show through winter.
Photographing water and ice presents unique challenges but also incredible opportunities to show off the myriad properties of water in its many forms, the transparency of ice, reflections of the snowball like clouds in the cold deep blue water acting like a mirror, amazing colour ranges and the interplay of the natural elements how they blend and contrast with the winter surroundings is evident in both the Lake Ontario photo and the Coots Paradise photo. Winter landscapes are beautiful in their own right, but they also furnish “inspiration” in many ways to the Winter Abstract Photographer. The Winter Abstract Photographer takes a cue from Mother Nature who finds a way to dazzle our senses, even in the bleakest of the winter months The final result of the photos can be awe-inspiring to the viewer.
The elements of line, texture, form, colour, composition and geometric solids (square, circle, triangle, cylinder) bring both of these photos to a Still Life Drawing level in art. It is the masterly control of the image and its components that is striking in reflection of the clouds in the Lake Ontario deep blue water and the sunlight gently touching the newly formed Ice at Cootes Paradise but allowing a thin stream of water to flow. This breadth of vision and control by the photographer begins to articulate to others what his own photographic scenes are represented in the images. In the Lake Ontario photo the skies are passing overhead unhindered and the Lake’s history of geological upheaval is revealed in the landscape by the clouds, snow and deep, deep blue clear water as Lake Ontario was formed form a glacier ocean. There appears to be a rhythm of life in these parts, such as, the Mallard ducks swimming on the water.
This breadth, or that quality of execution by the photographer and the camera makes a “whole” to predominate over the parts of the photograph as to excite the idea of uninterrupted unity of nature, the elements and the power of water. In breath, the abstract winter photographer artistically puts us in immediate possession of the “whole” concept, and from that gently leads us to examine the parts of the photograph according to their relative importance. There appears to be a formula for every feature, the trees, snow, blue water, fleeting clouds, reflection of clouds and trees, the sunlight on ice, the dimension and designs of ice, tree and its shadows, and the far-off distant shoreline. The crisp winter air emphasizes the beauty of the luminous clouds in the sky. Constable, the famous artist in his oil-sketches saw beauty in every day scenes. Looking at these photos Constable might find them intensified by dynamism suitable to transfer to canvas with a graphic lead pencil, as he used the pencil point as a brush. Tonal differences are evident in the lighter-toned shadows at Cootes Paradise photo that gives it an atmospheric perspective.
So, at the very first stags of freeze at the edge of Lake Ontario and Cootes Paradise we find newly formed ice designs, or “cool winter abstracts.” It is an interesting artwork created by Mother Nature to be captured in Abstract Winter Photography. These amazing beautiful winter water phenomena are captured with along focal macro lens – 150mm to 200mm – why? Basically, because the photographer will be shooing from the water’s edge of the lake or wetland, and that longer range is required to reach the subject and fill in the frame. Shooting at low angles and using higher f/stops (f/22 to f?32) ranges bring the whole design of the photograph into sharp focus. The photographer surveys the landscape looking for interesting swirling lines and sometimes will come across ice with cool colours. The colours may reflect the brilliance of the blue sky, or brown from leaves under the ice, or yellows form low angle early morning sunlight that enhance winter water phenomena. Nature Photographer, Mike Moats has two interesting books entitled Tiny Landscapes and Finding Character in Nature that give illuminating water photography ideas. And, the photographer’s fingers and toes fall victim to Jack Frost’s wiles, so dressing warmly and protecting from wind chill is essential. Environmental limitations do exist even with a digital SLR Cameras without its film transport mechanisms, motors, solenoids, etc. actuate the mirror and auto focus. So it may be wise to use different focuses. Keeping the battery is a key in winter photography.. But, the tripod with metal legs and especially without handles will extract heat from your skin and possible frostbite can occur. One help is the heated hand warmers to keep fingers nimble when fidgeting with dials on the camera and tripods outdoors. So get out there and photograph the amazing beauty of Winter Water Phenomena in Abstract Winter Photography.