February abstract

budding trees
I realized this morning that I had no worthwhile candidates for this month’s abstract, except for something very similar to images I’ve shot before, so I ventured out to try and correct this shortcoming. I consider this one of my weaker examples, since it’s not terribly abstract, plus it gives an unrealistic impression of what it’s like around here – lining up two trees that were in bud could be accomplished from only one position that I came across, because nearly everything remains bare branches. But it’s Monday, so you can consider this Monday Color if you like. Even though the previous post had more.

Great blue heron Ardea herodias hiding among longneedle pine branchesWhile I was out, I naturally chased whatever other types of compositions might appear; this one I liked because it’s slightly subtle, though it could have easily been more so. Taken at the nearby pond, this great blue heron (Ardea herodias) has been a resident all winter, and we’ve played stalking games several different times now. It appears to be a juvenile, and it was rather antsy today – or more so than normal – because there was a gas leak over the weekend and the area is filled with construction vehicles and workers shouting things to one another. When I approached too close for its liking, the heron took flight but only went a handful of meters up into a tree, so I played around with those compositions as it watched me warily. A slight change of position and a different focal length brought out a better portrait, and in both images you can see sparse evidence of more buds, out of focus in the foreground.

Great blue heron Ardea herodias radiating distrust of photographers
Once it had flown off out of sight (perhaps still only a short distance away,) I returned to the back yard to see if any frogs were venturing out of the pond, since the day is bright and warm. When they failed to materialize, I started poking around, and overturned an old landscape timber to reveal two old snail shells. Both were unoccupied, one of which quite old and decrepit, but that one came with an attachment that I couldn’t see from its original position, so I placed it gently onto the fence and waited for an ‘action shot.’ There’s something philosophical about this image, but I’m not exactly sure what it is. Perhaps you can tell me…

small black snail on decayed snail shell