Peeking out

We often see photography of birds in flight or with their wings expanded.  I enjoy taking a different look at these birds, tucked into their nests. Here are a few more shots from May Term Ornithology Science and Art class at AC.  These shots were taken either on Allendale Columbia’s nature trail, which is right on campus, Mendon Ponds Park, or the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge.

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Wild Wings, Inc and May Term

This past week, during AC’s May term, we had guests from Wild Wings, Inc. visit our campus. Wild Wings is a not-for-profit educational organization that cares for permanently injured birds of prey.  This was part of an Ornithology Science and Art May term course. It was great seeing the birds out of a cage and close up, which allowed us to get a true sense of their personalities. Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 2.53.12 PM.pngGreat Horned 1.jpg

Melinda

DSC_2663.JPG Melinda is a beautiful barn owl at Wing Wilds, Inc in Honeoye Falls, New York. Wild Wings is a place where permanently injured, non-releasable birds are housed and cared for. As part of our May Term at Allendale Columbia, we were lucky to visit Wild Wings and photograph some of these amazing birds.  Melinda by far was the most photogenic, allowing me to take some great close up shots. This is a special place for me since when my Grandfather passed away a few years ago, our family requested any donations to go to Wild Wings. These birds are beautiful and the work they do here is important to help people learn about these animals and how to protect and respect them.

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Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden – May Term Day 4

Today we had to switich things up due to the weather. BayCreek Paddling was not an option, so we headed over to the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden  at The Strong.  This was great for many of the first time photographers, as there were plenty of opportunities to get some great shots of the birds and butterflies.

 

May Term – Day 3 – Montezuma

Day two at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was even better than the first day. We went earlier in the morning, leaving Rochester around 8:30. The animals seemed more active in the morning, and this allowed for some great shots.

Mrs. Lisi and Mrs. Wun have been awesome. They have arranged these amazing field trips and experiences to allow for us to do this work. I cannot wait for tomorrow.

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Home Sweet Home
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On the Waters Edge
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Reflection
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Wetlands
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Busy in Montezuma
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Outing
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Winged Reflection

May Term Day 2 – Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

For Day 2 of May Term, we headed off to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge for the Ornithology Science and Art Field Work class. It’s about an hour from Rochester, and right off the New York State Thruway.  It is just short of 10,000 acres of both dry and wetlands set aside for the nesting, feeding, breeding, and resting of waterfowl and other migratory birds. We are fortunate to be so close and we will head back for another day tomorrow. No bald eagle sightings, but maybe tomorrow will be our chance.  I’m so excited to go back. May Term is such an incredible experience, and I’m so glad I go to a school that doesn’t keep me sitting at a desk taking exams when there is so much out there to learn.

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National Geographic Your Shot Community

National Geographic has a great community site for sharing photography. I know there are many of these sites out there, but Nat Geo Your Shot by far has been the most influential to me. I have used the site for the past 2 1/2 years, and in that time and gotten great feedback from other photographers on my work. My favorite part about National Geo Your Shot are the assignments. I think it’s very easy for me to get caught up in taking only wildlife photography, which is a passion of mine. The assignments and stories part of the site let the editors give an assignment for photographers like myself to submit photographs to that fit a particular theme.  I have enjoyed challenging myself on themes just as “The Gift of Life”, “Invisible Worlds” and “Facing your Fears”, After the editors close the entry period, they craft a story that is then published. I love reading these stories and seeing which photographs made the final cut. I haven’t earned this yet, but I hope to keep submitting my photographs, as my goal is to someday be part of a published story.

What has been really wonderful for me is to be selected as an “editor favorite”. These are special shout-outs from the editors for liking my submission, and some of these shots may have been at least considered for a published piece. The fact that a few of my photos were liked have kept me excited about trying to become better at my work. An even bigger plus is when an editor leaves a comment. For me, that is the best thing that can happen, as I know that a professional who liked my work took the time to let me know that.

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National Geographic Your Shot also just added a “follow” feature, which allows a photographer to follow another photographer’s work. I do not have a large following at all, but the fact that 8 people decided to keep track of my work is a great start and something I think I hope to improve on.  There’s no catch. It’s free, and for a high school student like me, the feedback is priceless.

Endangered – the Ring Tailed Lemur

The ring-tailed lemur is iconic because it’s the most recognizable kind of lemur. It’s black, gray and white tail make them pretty obvious to pick out.  It was an honor seeing them when I traveled to Madagascar, and they were one of my favorite things to photography while I was there. According to a new study by the University of Victoria in British Columbia and the University of Colorado Boulder in 2016, the number of ring-tailed lemurs is guessed to be around 2,500 in Madagascar, the only place where they exist. Here are some of my favorite shots. These lemurs were in Anja Reserve, a protected area in Madagascar.

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Back to Basics

School, sports, and life have been busy, and I forgot about how much photography can make me happy. I’ve taken some photos, but haven’t had the time to post them here. Here are some random shots that I particularly like that have no particular theme.  I am still using my Nikon DSLR3300, and am hoping to upgrade as soon as I save up some money.

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A Guinea Turaco tips his head as he spots me with my camera.
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“Armor” – I liked the contrast of the metal grate, which seems like armor to me and the hard shell of this bug.
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Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls Canada – Extraterrestrial or Extra Touristy?
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True Colors. I often take photography of the heads of these birds, but I couldn’t help but be drawn in by this macaw’s colorful feathers.

Lemurs of Madagascar

A conspiracy is the term they give to a group of lemurs. Although I did get to see groups of lemurs, most of them were just hanging out in the trees, enjoying themselves. It was incredible to see just how many species of lemurs we could find when I traveled to Madagascar. The lemur that I encountered the most was the common brown lemur. We also got to see ring-tailed lemurs, bamboo lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs,  and sifaka lemurs. The common brown was notorious for climbing up on people, and even perched on my shoulder for a visit. It helped that I had a banana in my hand.

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Golden Bamboo Lemur
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Golden Bamboo Lemur
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Sifaka Lemur
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Black and White Ruffed Lemur
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Common Brown Lemur
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Common Brown Lemur
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Ring-tailed Lemur
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Conspiracy of Lemurs