Geez. Summer is here with day after day of Blinding Sunstorms™ to keep me in the house and under the air conditioning. No rain or clouds in the near forecast. The temperatures are in the mid-90s F most days, but the Feels Like Temperatures are well over 100 F (37.7C). The heat is all enveloping, heavy, and oppressive. I remember a neighbor, Mildred West, told me when she moved to Houston from Dallas in the 1930s, her husband's company gave them hazardous duty pay because the the climate was so inhospitable. Might even be a true story.
We did go out to Brazos Bend State Park on the official Re-open After the Floods Day, but it was just hot, buggy and bird-free. No, there were birds, but way off in the distance or up close with harsh shadows.
So, I have been playing with Photoshop. I don't have any new suitable buildings to use for virtual murals, so I am giving my birds a vacation. Putting them in new locations with different perspectives.
Here is a Clapper Rail magically transported from Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge all the way across Galveston Bay to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge to announce an impending storm. This is a composite of three images: cloudy sky enhanced with HDR, foreground of reeds blended into sky photo's green horizon and last, the Clapper Rail.
And what if a Roseate Spoonbill posed against the sunset with no other birds or offending branches to spoil the photo? In my fantasy world there is always enough light to take a photo no matter what time of day. This spoonbill was taken at High Island this year and the sky was an image from one late day at the Crabbing Pier near Surfside.
Another traveling Clapper Rail. This one made it all the way to Katy, Texas. I think he is trying to tell us something about the Zombie Apocalypse. Are you going to watch that new one, Fear the Walking Dead? I get a season pass for The Walking Dead since I don't have HBO, but I don't know about this new one. While we are on the subject of zombies, Z Nation was a hoot. You can watch it free if you have Amazon Prime.
Here is a nice Turkey Vulture image I never knew what to do with. I think we found him north of Brazoria Wildlife Refuge when we were trying to track down a rare hawk a FB friend found. He has now been magically transported to Brazos Bend State Park near 40-acre Lake. And also, back in time to last Fall when the trees were just starting to turn.
Most of my backyard birds are Blue Jays and House Sparrows, but I did get a nice little Carolina Wren the other day. My goal is to get a classic wren pose with his tail up. But, I think he looks fine with this blooming sunflower from one of my excursions last year.
These fence posts and dry grass are from the Bolivar Peninsula, looking inland. I added some nice sky (from another late day out having adventures) and then the Osprey with his fish. Can't you just imagine he plucked it out of the Gulf behind him? It looks like a late Fall day but actually the basic image was taken in February around 3 pm.
Now ...you are starting to wonder if I am replacing backgrounds and settings for other birds I have shown you. Well, maybe. If the background is busy or distracting I might work on it a bit. It is all about showing the subject advantageously. And telling the story.
And my supply of stories is spent for a while. I always take off for August and this year I am shutting it down a bit earlier. It is too hot to get out, the birds are tired and straggly looking anyway. I just ordered a new extra wide angle lens and I am going to take some time to get used to using it. I have a trip planned to North Texas and maybe I will find some old buildings or interesting landscapes. They have hills, you know.
See you around Sept 4, 2015. Tell me how much you are going to miss me in the comments below.