Above the Wetlands – Bird and Tree Silhouette – Forest Park, St. Louis

I must confess, that though the curves of these branches were just as they appear, I did remove a protruding piece of bark off the lowest branch that seemed out of place. This is something I generally do not like to do.

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Great Egret from Cover by a Lily Pad – Forest Park – St. Louis, Missouri

I was blessed with the presence of a great egret at the lily pad beside the Jewel Box in Forest Park. This little pond with its abundance of lily pads and lotus blossoms and tiny island with cypress trees and little wooden bridge and crooked tree is truly a delight. The visit of the egret made it even more so. These image have a green aura about them because I was shooting with a long lens from behind some bushes. I think the green blurring adds rather a nice effect. In the final image you get to see the humorous sight of what happens when this most regal of birds needs to rid itself of excess water. It shakes itself like a dog, ruffling its feathers to make a very amusing shape indeed. It is equally amazing how quickly all of the feathers settle back down to return to the regal air the bird normal presents. Also, note the presence of  an SUV in the background of one shot. I am never unconscious to the fact of what a great gift Forest Park indeed is, that  in St. Louis we can see such abundance of flora and fauna in the middle of a large city.

An Afternoon with Finches – Delmar Sunflower Project – St. Louis – With a Thought on Vincent Van Gogh

I think that there is a reason that the artist Van Gogh was so fascinated with sunflowers. They present so many shapes and textures and colors; they present an ever changing subject, as they grow from seedlings, to presenting vivid green buds which bloom into flowers of such astonishing yellows, sometimes flecked with white, which then dry into a palette of sunset oranges, and finally to the brown hues of autumn and decay. The face of a mature sunflower, itself, bears long contemplation with its cover of tiny flower like structures which hide the seeds, so precisely and concentrically packed.

I do not know if the finches appreciate their geometry, but they sure do appreciate their seeds, sometimes using the back of a sunflower as a makeshift table, leaving the empty shells strewn upon it. I only have pictures of male finches here, but there were females as well and some doves, dragonflies, and a sighting through the viewfinder, though not a photographic capture, of a hummingbird. It seems the time of the bees has largely passed but there were several still, well, busily doing their duty for the hive.

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