Year in Review

Year in Review: Favorite Photographic Moments of 2013

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It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is going to be 2014!  As I reflect on my photography over the past year, I find myself very blessed with amazing opportunities, photographing beautiful wildlife and meeting incredible people.  Today’s post highlights my favorite photographic moments of 2013. Sandhill Crane Colts The year started out slow – I had mono, and it lasted three months!  But bird nesting season helped me get back on my feet.  One nest in particular comes to mind, a Sandhill Crane  nest in Melbourne, Florida.  I had the wonderful luck to observe a Sandhill Crane colt on the day after he hatched, and I returned twice that week to photograph him as he made his first steps into the world.  It was truly an incredible experience.  Watching these tiny birds on the nest with Mom is so special.  The experience was all the better for the fun friends who were there with me, as we exchanged silly banter, vied for the best vantage points, and cheered every time the baby stuck his head out from under Mom’s wing! As Debbie might say, I became a craniac this year (ok, every year!).  I also had some fun opportunities with […]

Cross-stitch

2013 Christmas Ornament – A Puffin!

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2013 Christmas Ornament

Regular readers of my blog may recall that I cross-stitch an ornament every year for our Christmas tree.  This year’s subject was a no-brainer – what was one of the most incredible things we did this year?  Go see puffins, of course! I thought the ornament turned out pretty well.  It looks very similar to one of the pictures from my trip to Machias Seal Island… On our boat ride back from Machias Seal Island, one of the other photographers noted that I hadn’t yet wiped the grin off my face.  He asked me how long I’d be grinning.  Well, I still am!  It was such an amazing trip.  Being within arm’s length of such cute little birds was beyond incredible. This was one of the few puffin interaction shots from my morning in the bird blinds.  Most of the puffins were by themselves, either landing on the rock in front of us, or taking off from it.  These guys were cute as they seemed to talk together.  Look at those beaks! The guy in the front of this shot seems to be looking into the bird blind and wondering who the photographers are inside!  I bet they were as […]

Beyond the Backyard

Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island

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Atlantic Puffin Head Shot

During my recent trip to Maine I had the great privilege to visit a breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island. Puffins are pelagic birds, meaning that they live their lives out on the open ocean. They only come to land to breed and raise their young. Can you image living your entire life at sea? They swim and fly all day, catch fish to eat, and sleep bobbing on the waves. Atlantic Puffins are commonly known as the “clowns of the sea”, due to their brightly colored bills in their breeding plumage. Atlantic Puffins are the only puffins that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean. (Their cousins the Tufted Puffin and the Horned Puffin live on the Pacific Ocean.) Atlantic Puffins are fairly common birds in the northern frigid oceans, but they are most commonly seen in places like Iceland and Scotland. In the United States, there are only a few islands where the birds come to breed. Machias Seal Island is one such place, and it is the only island (to my knowledge) that lets birders land on the island to observe the birds from blinds. For photographers and non-photographers alike, this was an incredible […]