Backyard Photo Art

Backyard Photo Art

The backyard setups have gotten a lot of use lately. Blue Jays, Cardinals and Carolina Wrens are frequent visitors, not to mention White Winged Doves and House Sparrows. Occasionally, a Green Anole or even the new-to-the-party Brown Cuban lizard will show up. Bill even had a Red-bellied Woodpecker visit his but I haven't been as lucky.

But, this has given me great source material for photo art. All of these photos were taken from inside the air-conditioned house with tripod, then subjected to various Photoshop Mad Skillz. The usual plugins: Fractalius, Topaz Clarity and Oil Paint in Photoshop CS6 (which is missing in the new Photoshop CC you rent from the cloud).

Male Cardinal 

Male Cardinal 

Isn't this guy beautiful? Northern Cardinals are very common in the Eastern US, including almost all of Texas. I often forget how exotic they may be to our Canadian friends and those readers across the pond. What is nice about seeing Cardinals at the feeder... is they almost always show up in pairs. 

Female Cardinal

Female Cardinal

This is the female and she is striking in her own way. Sometimes she raises her crest, too. The female often will sing while sitting on the nest incubating the eggs. I think I took this one at the Sugar Land Bird Menagerie and Photo Ranch setup by Bill Maroldo

Male just after feeding female 

Male just after feeding female 

I know this one was taken at his house; he has a bunch of jalapenos growing right next to the setup. Cardinals mate for life and each year they renew their pledge by the male feeding the female. Well, I am going to interpret his feeding of her in that way. 

Getting a photo of this ritual is difficult. I have a lot where he is blocking the female, fluttering wings or half a bird. This image below was a few seconds before:

Male feeding female Cardinal

Male feeding female Cardinal

Not all in focus, but .. interesting. It is my new goal; to get a clear and in focus photo of the male feeding his mate. 

Squirrel attempt at camouflage

Squirrel attempt at camouflage

And I believe we have determined squirrels are just a fact of life if you want to feed the birds. This young guy is a frequent visitor; sometimes he and two of his buddies are scampering around in my patio.

Why he wanted to sit in my flower pot is a mystery.

Are you ready for summer? We are doing fairly well here with days in the low 90s F (mid-30s C) but already the humidity is almost matching the temperature. Soon the birds will taper off and I will be forced to take photos of bugs, buildings and blossoms. Let me know in the comments how you survived our non-event Tropical Bill and what you think of my creations. 

After the Storm

After the Storm

Wilson's Plovers and their Chicks

Wilson's Plovers and their Chicks