Pretty Rear End View

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I took these series of rapid fire pictures of this Hummingbird in our yard. This probably only took 2 seconds or less. It’s amazing to see the range of motion on the hummingbird’s wings. Depending on the angle of the wings shows a different reflection and color from the sunlight. I love looking at the pointed wings stretching horizontally straight out. The circular motion of the wings shows off a variety of poses.

The green camouflage back is so pretty as it glistens with the sunlight. This bird moves so gracefully as it stays afloat to drink the flower nectar.

Did you ever play with a flip book? I had a Disney flip book as a child. I would flip the pages quickly to see how Donald Duck moved in the various pictures.

I put together my 2 seconds of photographs into this slide show to mimic the flip book. It is a slower version to observe the movement of this hummingbird.

Many of us are too busy to bird watch. I never did much bird watching before this pandemic. There were always chores to do at home. There were places to go, and people to see. I did not spend much time in the backyard other than when I absolutely had to clean up the weed and overgrown plants.

Now my world has changed. I cannot physically go to church. I cannot go to parties nor visit friends. We cannot host dinner parties. We cannot go to the movies.

But my refuge has become to watch these hummingbirds. My 2 seconds of rapid fire photographs allow me to take my time to watch their movement. Even when I sit in the yard and watch them move, I cannot catch all the details of their movement. They move too fast for me to see all of their moves.

I’m learning a slower pace can be a good thing. Going slower allows us to reflect or notice details we would miss if we are rushing.

The Pandemic is teaching lessons I would not have learned otherwise.

Photos Capture Details!

Red Head Enjoying His Garden

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It’s pretty exciting to watch this red head in the garden. I am guessing this is a male hummingbird due to the vibrant ruby red head and throat. His forward fan-like wings look like they are reaching forward toward his nectar feast. When I am watching the hummingbirds in the backyard, I usually cannot see exactly how they move their wings due to their quick motion. But capturing their poses in pictures allows me to examine their wing formations.

I am also getting accustomed to hearing their high pitched singing. My wife and I went out on an errand and were walking backing to our car and I kept hearing the high pitch sound coming from a hummingbird. I heard the hummingbird a few times and asked if my wife could hear the bird. It was too high pitched, and she did not know how to recognize the sound.

This red head points his long beak directly into the center of the flower. It must be nice to have a long straw attached to easily drink your meal. The birds come and go from the garden as they please. They know where an easy meal is available.

I try to make a date with the hummingbirds around lunch time when the sun is the brightest to get better lighting for my photographs. I ask my wife if I can go out to the backyard, and she never says no to these dates. It’s nice this is a red-head I am allowed to attentively watch and listen to without getting into any type of trouble.

Taking the photographs of the hummingbirds is teaching me how to be sensitive to learn who these birds are. These lessons requires time for these bird dates. It requires observation. It requires freezing their actions via pictures to catch a moment of their quick movements. It requires patience to wait for them to come to visit.

I realize how I need to practice these lessons with the people in my life as well with others I encounter. Exercising sensitivity during this pandemic times is needed more than ever now.

As I have been feeding and observing the red head in my garden, I also need to learn to feed the needs of others.

Photos Capture Emotions expressed thru Actions!

Flashback Memories of Candlestick Park

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Here’s a flashback photo of the Scoreboard at Candlestick Park in 1988. The centerfield TV camera was mounted near the base of the scoreboard. This was the General Admission area of Candlestick, and the ticket prices were the most affordable. I have tickets stubs with the price of $2.50 for a General Admission ticket in 1988. Those were the days. These tickets were from a few of the games that I attended in 1988. I took this picture sitting in the front of the General Admission area behind the Centerfield fence in 1988.

It is interesting how tickets have changed since 1988. We don’t have to display a paper ticket for entrance into an event. We can show a computer printed paper with the scan code to enter. Or we can show our ticket scan code from our smart phone.

Things we take for granted eventually will be considered archaic. How many younger people will never use an actual paper ticket. Or it seems the term of “ticket” will not be needed since we only need to show our scan code.

Technology gives us continuous change. So now we do need to hold a paper ticket.

But I think I prefer having a paper ticket. If I did not photograph these old tickets, I would not have recorded the actual old price of a ticket was $2.50.

It’s good to keep mementos of the past to appreciate our history. I love the memories of being able to walk into Candlestick Park and not worry about the price of entrance. The price made it possible anyone to enjoy the SF Giants play baseball.

Baseball should be available for everyone to watch live. There is nothing like the excitement generated by fans watching the game.

I’m sure the price of going to a live game will go up after the losses from this pandemic.

But it is nice to remember once upon a time when a game was cheap and affordable to everyone.

Photos Remember!

Hummingbird Cruising in the Garden for a Drink

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I love this Ruby-throated hummingbird.  His deep ruby colored throat is so bright. Notice the translucent wing shows the color of the flowers in the background. This wing looks like a pretty fan. It is interesting to note the male birds display brighter colors compared to the female counterparts.

The hummingbirds need to drink lots of nectar to keep up their energy. I was weeding in the garden toward the evening. I noticed the hummingbirds sweeping in to get their last meals before retiring to sleep.

I can identify with the hummingbirds need for nourishment. When I was young, I had a pretty good appetite and could devour a lot of food. I enjoy a variety of food and have learned to cook more with my wife. I am not too picky about food but have acquired additional favorites to add to my list of food. I do get hungry quickly too like the hummingbird, But over the years, I’ve learned I cannot devour the large amount of food as in my younger days. Even though I eat a good amount of food at dinner, I am often hungry by bedtime. But I rarely eat bedtime snacks now.

I am trying to maintain my walking steps to be between 14,000 to 25,000 per day. I realize I need to keep moving to burn calories. I imagine these hummingbirds have a high metabolism, which is why they need to keep drinking the flower nectar.

I am walking to burn calories, so I do not get too heavy. The hummingbirds are cruising to drink nectar to get more energy for their movement.

Interesting irony.

Too bad I cannot move as fast as the hummingbirds to burn more calories.

The hummingbirds can teach us the importance of being active and to cruise for good energy food.

Photos Teach!

The Ultimate Aerial Flyers

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Extremely fast and agile Humming Birds are challenging to photograph as they can turn on a dime when they accelerate to fly away quickly. Since the birds are attracted to the flowers for nourishment, the birds pause to feast which allows the opportunity to photograph them.

These birds fly with great agility and maneuver around the garden so gracefully. Seeing how speedy they are is a challenge for me as a photographer.

The birds remind me how the military jets also maneuver around the skies. 

I love to watch the flight patterns of these birds and miss not seeing the Blue Angels this year at Fleet Week.

This bird sure enjoys sucking out the nectar. It is analogous to how I love to drink from a straw in a thick milkshake. I appreciate the inventor of the straw. Not sure if he got the idea from a hummingbird drinking nectar.

It does remind me how man sought to copy the flight of birds and desired to make a way for man to fly. Thus, we are fortunate for the inventors, designers and engineers who developed our air travel.

Observations of nature and our diverse habitat allows us to imagine new ideas and be creative to apply their practices to improve our life. 

What other ideas can we create or design as we observe nature? 

Photos can inspire us to imagine!

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Moving Wings need a Fast Shutter Speed

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1/8000 sec shutter speed

1/2000 sec shutter speed

Here’s my buddy – the green back hummingbird. I shot these photos a couple of weeks ago. The hummingbird’s wings in the first shot have an interesting orientation as it is flying. The pattern in the top wing is so symmetrically perfect and almost resembles a flower with petals.  The bottom wing reminds me of a pretty fan.

With my 2 photographs, you can see the difference in the appearance of the wings with the 2 different shutter speeds. The slower shutter speed in the 2nd picture shows the blur as the bird is moving his wings. Whereas in the top photo, the wings are much sharper in the image.

I am having a blast hummingbird watching in my backyard. The bird’s green speckled pattern on the back is fascinating with its brightness. Capturing these shots allows me to observe the bird more carefully, since this bird moves quickly.

It’s been nice to live at a little slower pace during this pandemic life. We keep busy, but no longer go places as we did in our pre-pandemic life. We do our essential errands like our grocery shopping. No more parties. We missed weddings and funerals. We do not go out to see movies. We do not go out with our friends.

Living at a slower pace does have advantages. It allows me time to watch and photograph these hummingbirds. Ironically, I need the fast shutter speed to capture the perfect action poses.

I am learning there are times we need to slow down to observe and reflect. When I go to my yard to watch the birds, I sit still in my chair and wait for the birds to come. I do not want to scare the birds away if I am moving too much. I try to wear clothes that will not scare the birds away. I usually spend about 1 to 2 hours waiting and observing the birds. This is my time to slow down, observe and reflect. I feel refreshed after these photography bird shoots.

But when I photograph these birds, I am learning I need a fast shutter speed to capture these fast moving birds in action. The shutter speed needs to be fast for the sharper image.

What is the lessons learned from these photographs? We all need to know when we should slow down and when to be fast. I know I could be lethargic if I only lived a slow paced life. We all need challenges and goals to get us going to move faster. There are times we need to get out of our comfy chairs and make ourselves run.

This pandemic has caused many people a lot of hardship and a slower pace due to losses of employment, business, income and companionship. But I hope we can strive to accept the hard challenges to creatively speed up to overcome our obstacles.

Hopefully, we will fly high and fast like my hummingbird friends to new achievements to overcome the challenges from this pandemic.

Photos Teach!

 

 

Old Glory in New Orleans WWII Museum

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This American Flag flew from vessels during the WWII European Campaign

Today is the 2020 election. I went to New Orleans a few years ago for a week to help do repair after the Katrina damage. During a break from our work, we visited the World War II Museum, and I shot this photograph of the flag.

The flag is a little worn on the edges but is mostly together. Even as it was flown over different vessels during the WWII European Campaign, the flag has endured.

The flag is a symbol of our freedom and liberties in the United States. We are experiencing great distress over issues and leadership. It is causing much anxiety today especially as we wait to see the outcome of the election.

Our nation is very diverse on many issues. Perhaps our goal should be to focus on the meaning of our flag. The stripes represent our 13 colonies. The stars represent the 50 states. Red symbolizes hardiness and valor. White symbolizes purity and innocence. Blue reminds us about vigilance, perseverance and justice.

Can we focus on these colors and the true meaning behind the flag?

No matter what is the outcome of the 2020 election – is it possible to promote peace and not violence?

Can we have diversity with peace?

Happy 2020 Election Day!

Photos Remind us about Truth!

 

 

Nectar Ecstasy!

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I feel very blessed to spend time bird watching these hummingbirds in the comfort of my backyard.

My love for hummingbirds goes back 20 to 30 years ago. 20 to 30 years ago, I set up hummingbird feeders, since they worked logistically in my home. I did not shoot photographs since the feeders were by our windows. So there was a reflection from the window as well as its location which prevented me from photographing the hummingbirds who came to enjoy the sugar water.

I enjoyed watching the hummingbirds visit our feeders, but did not pursue ideas how to photograph the birds in action. Since I was working as a photographer for an electronic retail corporation, I did not seriously consider expanding my photography skills to shoot nature.

As my professional career evolved with this retail corporation closing, my professional photography job ended. I obtain other employment which ended after a number of years due to budget issues.

So when one door closes, we learn to welcome new opportunities to learn and roll with life changes.

Currently, I enjoy sitting in my backyard and waiting patiently for my new hummingbirds friends to come for their meals from my flowers. I get energized during my time watching and shooting the creatures who visit my garden. I can identify this bird’s ecstasy.

Creating my own environment to shoot pictures is a work in progress. I am so excited to watch the changing environment with the different birds, bees and butterflies.

What is your passion that makes you excited or experience ecstasy?

I learned don’t give up on past loves or interests. But consider how to build ideas and projects based on your passions. Maybe you have more time during your pandemic life. If this is true, do you have time to go back to old passions and consider how you can convert these loves into goals or projects?

Pandemic life is difficult. But can we grow pursuing our passions to experience ecstasy and excitement with achievements of new goals?

Photos inspire excitement and ecstasy!

Perfect Pose

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This hummingbird was shot recently, as I was waiting patiently for his visit. He was circling around my backyard trying to decide which flower to drink from. I love hanging out in my backyard to see which of my new friends will show up. If I am still, he may come up close to take a quick look at me. He doesn’t like my big zoom lens. But I hope he is getting accustomed to seeing it.

This hummingbird posed perfectly for my photograph. I am learning how to shoot quickly to catch the bird as it is seeking nectar. I love the pointed triangular wings and the green back side and tail. The green perfectly matches the leaves on these plants.

What is the perfect pose? A perfect pose is a natural position of the subject. The perfect pose also tells us something about the subject. This hummingbird’s perfect pose shows us how he is looking at the flowers for his nectar snack.

I am envious of this hummingbird’s perfect pose. He looks so straight and perfect. He does not look like he will encounter any backaches or neck pain. I realize my natural pose is not ergonomically correct. I tend to slouch, and my neck is not as erect as it should be. Thus I have experienced neck and back aches occasionally.

Humans have to work on our natural pose for photographs by standing erect and to correct our stance to look good. If we are moving or doing an activity, then our pose will be more natural. Having good posture will save us from pain agony, as we grow older.

Seeing this hummingbird’s perfect pose is a good reminder to me how I need to practice a perfect pose to correct and prevent future pain. Also a perfect pose might give me an extra inch of height if I will stand up straight.

Photos give good reminders!

Bumble Bee Zeroing In on Lavender Flower

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We do not usually consider bees as fuzzy creatures. Most of us think about the stinger on a bee and wanting to get away from this flying insect.

This photograph shows us the softer side of the bee with it fuzzy exterior. It reminds of a cuddly stuffed animal since this bee is round in shape. The photo also shows the bee’s wings in action and the long pair of antennae on top of the bee’s head.

This bee has a nice orange chunk of pollen collected in its pollen baskets on the hind legs. Bees are goal oriented to take care of the needs of their hive. I do not know where their hive is, but the bees are pretty regular to return to sip from my flowers.

It is important for us to also show our “fuzzy” side to other people. Do we show compassion? Do we seek to help people with their needs if it is within our capabilities or if we have the resources? Or are we too focused on our own world to be sensitive to the needs of our family, friends or other people we are in contact with.

Let’s hope the people in our lives see our fuzzy nature and not our “stinger”.

Photos Teach!