Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Not So Obvious Destinations....

We all have our favorite go-to places for nature & bird photography. When seeking photo subjects it's also energizing to find new places through travel or local jaunts. What the years of birding (before diving in to photography) taught was that some of the best nature sights are not always in the 'destination wedding' locations.

Take the Pretty In Pink dragonfly....brilliant colors along side a beautiful blue water setting. Yet, this image was captured at the Hornsby Bend Water Treatment facility in Austin, Texas. Check out the Hornsby Bend Observatory website.

Of all the lovely places to visit in the Live Music Capital of the World...a few hours were spent amidst slightly odorous waters, muddy, buggy, yet very safe conditions. Other sitings here have included Glossy Ibis, Pintail Ducks, Yellow-headed blackbirds, Black Noddy, Sora rails and amazing insects and butterflies. A definite go-to spot for nature enthusiasts.

In a Marietta business park near Atlanta last fall, there were hundreds of monarchs just flitting and hanging out in the beautiful landscapes - tremendous photo opportunities. (Sadly, a business trip so no camera). Typically, we don't think of going to a business park on the weekend. Your neighboring business parks may have created nature friendly areas filled with flowers, shrubs that attract beautiful subjects. In Birmingham, Alabama it was a pleasant walk through another business park's landscaping watching Brown Thrashers and Eastern Towhee's flitting about closely as they are not shy of the daily influx of people.

Grooved-bill Ani's hang out in a "Dump" site in SouthTexas near the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.   Check out Friends of South Texas National Wildlife Refuges where you'll see Great Kiskadee's, Chachalaca's, etc..   On the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan, Snowy Owls are seen on farmlands in winter.  Now, that was an awesome, chill-bump experience!  I'll share that one in a later blog.

Recently at a baseball diamond beside Crescent Lake, Monk Parakeets fussed and groomed on the chain link fence in St. Petersburg, FL.

It takes a little detective work on the internet, networking with other photographers and reaching out to local birders and nature groups. Just this week via Google+ photography networking, I discovered a nature area one hour away that is on my radar for this weekend.

You can readily find new local gems where nature all but waits for the camera. Happy shooting!