Debs Creative Images: Blog en-us (C) Debs Creative Images [email protected] (Debs Creative Images) Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:24:00 GMT Fri, 31 Mar 2023 00:24:00 GMT Debs Creative Images: Blog 94 120 Red-tailed hawk in flight Hello everyone! I know it's been a few weeks since I've last posted and I'm so sorry for the delay. Life has been busy! But, I'm here now, so here it goes.

Over the past few months I've spent almost every weekend at the grasslands hoping to photograph short-eared owls, but it wasn't the greatest season for them. We only had roughly 6-8 of them and most evenings they didn't fly until light was gone or if they did fly in the good light, it was often too distant. It was a bit of a bummer, but thankfully we had two other raptors that were super cooperative. One was this gorgeous red-tailed hawk. People believe that the hawk is a female due to her larger size and so somebody named her Mildred. We've calling her Millie for short. 

Generally red-tailed hawks are not all that cooperative and will fly off at the first sight of a human. However, Millie was the exact opposite. It almost seemed as if she was fascinated by us because the more photographers around, the more active she would be and the closer she would get to us. As soon as the crowds showed up, so did Millie. She had some favorite spots she liked to perch and hunt from and she basically flew in a loop. It was almost predictable where she would go next. Her flight missions were generally for hunting for voles and she would fly straight towards the photographers and land on the ground in front of everyone. She caught so many voles that half the time she wouldn't even finish them. Sometimes she stayed on the ground to eat them and sometimes she brought them up on a post or onto a tree branch. She gave the photographers plenty of opportunities to photograph her with her prey. I personally had the privilege to photograph her from all angles and in some of them I was able to nicely capture those stunning reddish tail feathers of hers. She was a real treat and kept us all entertained.

Red-tailed hawks are one of the most common hawks to be found in North America and can be found anywhere there is open grassy areas. They thrive in various types of habitat and can be spotted in trees, on poles, electrical wires, in the country, the city, and especially along the highways. Their main food source consists of rodents, small mammals, snakes, small birds and many other small species of animals. 

Here is Millie showing off her stunning tail feathers. She's likely the most photograph red-tailed hawk in New York state!

red-tailed hawkred-tailed hawkA red-tailed hawk at the Shawangunk Grasslands in the Hudson Valley Region of New York State.

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Cormorant in a tree We are experiencing extremely low temperatures this weekend and last nights temps dropped to roughly -5 degrees. Unfortunately, I forgot to get up and run both the hot and cold water every couple hours to avoid pipe freezing and my hot water pipe was frozen when I woke at 5:30 in the morning. Luckily it is only that pipe as I do at least still have cold water flowing. Now, I patiently wait for the guys to get here with the salamander heater to thaw it out. When I called at 8 am, I was already number 27 on the list, so I'm expecting it to be a while before they get here.

As I sit here and wait, I've been working on my pictures from my Florida trip last April. And when I got to some shots of a cormorant I photographed, I thought it was a good time to take a break and write up a blog post. 

It was the afternoon of my last night in Florida and I went to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. There was so much activity going on there and I got to enjoy so many different animals. Although, there were so many animals there, there were only a few cormorants and when this one cormorant sat in a really nice spot for me, I couldn't resist snapping away. The sun was hitting it so nicely, which was great because it made the beautiful markings of the cormorant really stand out. When they are in the shade, you really can't see how stunning they are and they appear to be just a brown blob. But, with the right light, they really shine.

Cormorants are an aquatic bird in the phalacrocoracidae family. They are a medium to large sized bird and can weigh in up to 11 pounds. They have dark brown feathers with stunning markings and webbed feet between their four toes. They are a diving bird and they dine primarily on fish. Cormorants will nest in colonies in trees and along the shoreline of a body of water. They brood once per year and their eggs are a chalky-blue colour.

Most people I talk to tend not to have much interest in them. As for me, I love them. I think they are a stunning bird and fascinating to watch. Especially when they first come out of the water and spread their wings to dry.

CormorantCormorantA cormorant perched in a tree at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Boynton Beach, FL. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Eagle on ice It's February 2nd, AKA, Groundhog Day... and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, which means we should expect another 6 weeks of winter. If this was a typical cold and snowy winter in the Hudson Valley region, I would have been annoyed with the stupid groundhog. However, we've had such a wild winter with higher than normal temps and NO snow. I've actually been disappointed because as a wildlife and landscape photographer, I do enjoy getting a few inches of snow here and there. And we have not gotten that this year, so I feel like we've been a little gipped. 

Snow not only looks pretty and makes for some nice landscape photo's after the storm, but it also brings the hawks, owls, and eagles down from the north. The owls and hawks will migrate south once it is difficult for them to hunt rodents in fields due to deep snow. And bald eagles need open water for fishing, so as the rivers, lakes, and ponds start to freeze up north, that pushes them south. With the lack of snow and freezing temps, we don't have nearly the amount of owls, eagles and hawks that we usually would this time of year.

February 2021 was the last time I had an opportunity to get eagles on ice on the Hudson River. I was fortunate to get out on one of those days. It was a bitter cold day and the wind made it feel even worse. We were all standing facing the wind and wow, it was brutal, but I sucked it up and just stood there and waited for some good activity. It was a relatively slow morning, but when we did get activity, it was good. First we enjoyed a distant chase as a couple of eagles chased after one who had a fish. Nobody won as the eagle who had the fish dropped it back in the water. After that, we watched as eagles kept trying to grab this mallard duck in the water. They took turns, each circling around and swooping down. The duck was grabbed a couple of times, but kept getting dropped. Then, out of nowhere an adult bald eagle came swooping in and got the duck. He then proceeded towards the photographers and landed on an ice flow and floated down past us with his prize. That sure was exciting. Then, not long after, an immature bald eagle flew onto an ice flow with a fish. We got a relatively close up view of that too. Although activity was relatively slow, it was a pretty good morning out and I thought I would share the immature bald eagle on the ice with all of you. At this point, I doubt we'll get this type of opportunity this year, so fingers crossed for next year!

Immature Bald EagleImmature Bald EagleAn immature bald eagle hitching a ride on an ice patch on the Hudson River. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


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Rose-breasted grosbeak in the Adirondacks Wow, I can't believe it is already February 1st. January went by so fast, like a blink of an eye. I'm guessing it went by so fast because I've been so focused on my over demanding and extremely busy new job. I look forward to the arrival of spring and camping season and hopefully the ability to take a little time off for R&R.

Now that we are in the 2nd month of the new year, camping season is really on my mind. I have a huge shopping list of things I need to purchase and bring up. A bunch of the items are for my two new kitties (Minnie and Cooper) as they'll need all of the basic essentials they have at home, plus toys and kitty condo's. Although, I'm not sure yet how I'll get things set up for them in the camper. It will be interesting taking them on the road trips and bringing them up there. I hope they love it as much as my boyz did.

With camping season burning in my brain, I figured I would share another one of my shots taken from my camp site. Tonight's shot is of a rose-breasted grosbeak. They don't really stick around and visit like the evening grosbeaks do, but I do get a few sightings during the season. Although they don't stick around, they still count as one of my roughly 20 species of birds that visit me in the Adirondack Mountains during camping season. 

Rose-breasted grosbeaks are part of the cardinal family. Their diet consists of seeds, berries, insects, and nectar. During the spring-fall months they can be found in the open wooded areas of Canada and in the northeastern regions of the United States. In winter, they migrate south to Central America and the Caribbean. Their life spans are roughly 7 years in the wild and up to 24 years in captivity. The most common threats for them in the wild include collisions with object such as buildings and cars. 

Here is one of the beautiful rose-breasted grosbeaks that have visited my feeders in the Adirondacks.

Rose-breasted grosbeakRose-breasted grosbeakA rose-breasted grosbeak in the Adirondack Mountains. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Blue Jay with a Peanut Hello and Happy Monday to all. It's hard to believe how fast the weekend goes, partially because the weekend is always so busy. This past weekend I got out with my camera for a bit on Saturday, but then was busy with family stuff Saturday evening and most of the day Sunday. Due to how busy I was and how tired I was last night, I didn't get a chance to post anything.

As each day passes we get closer to camping season and me getting closer to nature and wildlife. One of the things I love about camping season is the variety of birds that visit my feeders right there at the campsite. I really do get a stunning display of the most colorful birds. One of my favorites is the blue jays. They not only love the seed I put in the feeders, but they will also fly into the trees around my site and wait for me to toss a peanut out for them. Naturally, they are battling the chipmunks so sometimes a chippy will run in and snatch it before a blue jay has the opportunity to swoop down. It's so fun to watch, especially when the blue jay swoops down as a chippy is running in. They will then hop around and let the chipmunk get the peanut. Which is completely different than at the feeder because they can often be a little aggressive towards other birds. But, when it comes to a chippy, they will back down.

Blue Jays can be found in the eastern and central parts of the United States, Canada, and Newfoundland. They live and breed in forests or residential areas and are a common bird to be found in the backyard at any bird feeder. They enjoy eating seeds, peanuts, fruit, grains, insects, berries, and corn. Blue Jays are generally bonded pairs that mate for life, with mating season beginning in mid March and extending into July. On average they have 4-5 eggs with an incubation period of 16-18 days and the young fledge roughly 17-21 days after hatching.

Although many people don't like blue jays because they are often a bit more aggressive towards the other feeder birds, I still like them. I just make sure they have plenty of food to try and avoid that behavior. Providing peanuts and fruit for them away from the feeders helps a lot.

Here is one of my camp blue jay's with a peanut!

Blue JayBlue Jay

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Harbor Seal along the coast It's Friday and I am not only happy the weekend is here, but I'm completely beat. For the past few months I've been working very long days, much longer than I would like. Part of the problem is that I'm working for someone on the west coast and I think he forgets there is a 3 hour time difference and so I wind up with some pretty late meetings several times a week. I'm really hoping this is just a temporary situation and that I will get through it without losing my mind.

Anyhow, I missed my blog last night because there was some drama going on in my neighborhood that diverted my attention, so I'm happy to be able to post something tonight. I'm creeping up on a month of being back to blogging and this new approach I'm taking is interesting. I'm trying so hard to post something different each day and so that is keeping me on my toes. Tonight I was browsing through my pics from my trip to Maine in 2019 and stumbled upon images I had taken of harbor seals and I instantly knew I had to choose one of those for tonight. Getting to photograph the seals was such an unexpected and awesome opportunity. 

My friend and I went to Maine to see the puffins and we were so thrilled to get on the island and have such an amazing opportunity with them. After we got off the island and back to our boat, the Captain took us around the island to enjoy the views. He had not mentioned that we would potentially see harbor seals and as we approached and saw them, it was a great moment. He was so good about taking a slow approach with the boat to get us closer and give us an opportunity to get some nice pics. Here we all had thought our tour was over and we were heading home and instead we got a surprise opportunity. It sure was cool.

Harbor seals are a marine mammal that can be found on both the eastern and western coasts of the United States. They can often be found resting on rocks as well as on the beaches along the shore.

Here is one of the many I saw in Maine.

Harbor SealHarbor SealA harbor seal lounging around in Machias, Maine. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


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Lil Red It's Wednesday, Happy Hump Day to you all. I was so excited when I checked the weather this morning and saw they were predicting three inches of snow. As much as I don't necessarily like the cold, I absolutely love the snow. The gloomy winter always looks so much prettier when everything is covered in a blanket of glistening white snow. Plus, the wintering owls are always so much more cooperative after a good snowfall. Simply put, snow is a huge plus for anyone who does wildlife or landscape photography. Unfortunately, we did not get the snow they were predicting. It's been such a bummer of a winter as we haven't had a single good snowfall here in the Hudson Valley.

This mild winter is really making me miss camping season because I don't have my usual winter distractions. With that I decided to browse through pictures I've taken at camp and found a cute one of an animal that gets under my skin. The red squirrel. In past years I would see one here and one there. When I saw them, they were cute to watch as they didn't show up that often. However, last summer they completely took over throughout the campground. They were very aggressive little critters and they chased off the chipmunks and the birds. They were simply everywhere and they were being incredibly destructive. They would pee on my outdoor furniture, one bit through the plastic bin I put the bird feeders in at night, they would try climbing up my screen door, and one was persistent about trying to take up residency in the underbelly of my camper. What some of us were experiencing with them was awful and so I've been praying all winter that they move on and I get my chipmunks and birds back when I get up there in May.

Red Squirrels are also known as tree squirrels and can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They tend to be solitary animals that are extremely territorial. They mate twice a year and will either build nests in a fork in a tree or take over woodpecker holes or tree hollows. If they survive their first winter, then they have a chance to live 3-7 years.

Although red squirrel may look cute and sweet, they are nasty little critters. My enemies!

Red SquirrelRed SquirrelA cute little red squirrel eating an orange in the Adirondack Mountains. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Stunning Male Cardinal Well, if I thought yesterday was a long work day.... today was even longer.... I started it at 8am and my last meeting of the day didn't end until 7pm. I truly hope these hours are not the new norm because I don't think I can handle this for an extensive period of time. 

Here it is 9:30pm and I am just getting started on my blog, even though I am tired and had considered skipping for today. However, after a quick scroll through some photos, I found one I would like to share. It is of a male cardinal, one of my favorite birds that I get to see year round. Naturally, my favorite time to see them is in winter when we have a fresh coat of snow on the ground and the tree branches. The vibrant red of the male cardinal is a stunning contrast with the beautiful/twinkling white snow. But, another thing I really like about them is how they are always the last birds to hit up my feeders. I noticed this at camp several years ago and they have been consistent ever since. It's a nice fact to know during camping season because I have to bring the feeders in at night since we do have a bear who likes to make his rounds in search of food. Knowing that they are the last ones to show up leaves me feeling confident that I can bring my feeders in after they leave and not leave any of the birds out.

The northern cardinal is known by so many different names: red cardinal, common cardinal, redbird, or just simply a cardinal. They can be found in North America and in parts of South America and their habitant includes: gardens, shrublands, wetlands, and woodlands. Like most birds, the male is prettier with a vibrant red coloring while the female has a reddish olive color. They eat insects, seeds, and fruit. Cardinals are stunning feathered friends to visit feeders in the back yard. They tend to have two to four clutches per year and each clutch generally has three to four eggs. 

Here is a male cardinal I had the pleasure to photograph at my campsite in the Adirondack Mountains!

CardinalCardinalA male cardinal with a seed in his mouth at my campsite in the Adirondack Mountains. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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American Mink Monday's are brutal. Especially when you work 10 hours and 7 of them was in meetings. The nice part of it though was seeing the snow fall every time I looked up. It didn't accumulate to anything, but it sure did look pretty out there.

In addition to working a long day, I am still recovering from all the activities of the weekend. I was so beat last night that I was in bed at 8pm, with the lights off my 8:45. I must have crashed because the next thing I knew the cats woke me up at 12:30 am. They were running around and being all crazy until after 2am, keeping me up. Eventually I did fall back to sleep and before I knew it the alarm went off.

At this point we are less than four month away from camping season and I can't help but start to feel excited. I have a bunch of stuff I still need to get as I will have to get all the necessities required for bringing the cats up and making them comfortable. In addition to thinking about all the things I need to get, I think about the wonderful selection of wildlife I get to see up there. On several occasions over the years I've had opportunities to see American Mink, which is really awesome as they are an elusive animal that I hardly ever get to see at home and I just love seeing them.

There was one day in particular that really stands out for me. I was kayaking in a pond and photographing a pair of common loons with their two chicks, when out of nowhere they started calling out this sound I've never heard before. I'm guessing it was a warning sound as they were yelling and quickly moving in another direction with their chicks. As much as I wanted to move along and stay with them, something in my gut told me to head towards the land we were near because there had to be something going on over there. Sure enough, there it was, an American Mink. And then, a second American Mink. I couldn't believe my eyes. As much fun as I was having with the loons, I had to take a break and enjoy the mink. I didn't want to startle them, but wanted to stay close, so I paddled as delicately as possible to follow along and stay along side them. One disappeared, but the other hung out with me for almost a half hour. It gave me many opportunities to take pics. It even came in towards me and gave me some nice opportunities for close up shots. It almost seemed as curious about me as I was about it. It clearly was a special moment.

American Minks are a semiaquatic species that are native to North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. They are carnivores who tend to feed off of fish, rodents, frogs, birds, and crustaceans. They have a breeding season of roughly 3 weeks and the females will often mate with more than one male. Mating is rather vicious as the male will pin down the female and bite at the nape of her neck. Mating can last anywhere between 10 minutes to 4 hours. The gestation period for minks can last 40-70 days and the litter will consist of roughly 4 kits who are born between April-July. 

The saddest thing about American Minks is that they are the most hunted animal for their fur.

Here's to hoping the hunters stay away and I get to see more of these critters during the upcoming camping season. 

American MinkAmerican MinkAn American Mink along the side of a pond in the Adirondacks. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


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Eastern Bluebird My weekend was really nice, but it went by too quickly. My sister Tammy, her family, and their two dogs spent the weekend at my house so we could help my parents out with some stuff. We worked very hard helping my parents, we went to breakfast one morning, and we enjoyed pizza one night and taco's another. Our time with my parents Saturday and Sunday were very busy and it was good that we could help them. Our evenings were a lot of fun as we hung out at my house, the adults drank a few beverages and we chatted away, while enjoying many laughs. My sisters kids are very entertaining and they love coming to my house, which is a fraction of the size of theirs. My living room was transformed into wall-to-wall bed and so it was really cozy hanging out.

Sadly, I skipped a blog last night because I was simply too tired and living life with my family. Sometimes you just have to skip things and enjoy the moment. With that, I'm excited to sit down and share something with you all today. 

The different seasons often offer a different variety of wildlife and so I love them all, even winter when it is cold and the days are short. One of the birds I see often in winter is Eastern Bluebirds. They generally make a nice distraction for me while I'm sitting around at the park and waiting for bald eagles to photograph. They hang out close and I get to see them in trees, on weeds, and even on the ground. Although the brown grass may not be too pretty in the winter, it is really nice to get them on the ground when there is a nice layer of snow. In today's post I'm going to share a pic of an Eastern Bluebird perched in a tree. Their colors are so pretty, which is why I thought they should get a little attention.

Eastern Bluebirds are a North American bird that can be found in open woodlands, orchards, and farmlands. Their diets consist of insects, invertebrates, fruits, and berries. Their preference is generally crickets/grasshoppers, beetles and katydids. However, they will also eat millipedes/centipedes, worms, spiders, snails, and sowbugs. They tend to mate and nest in spring and summer and they will generally have two broods each season. The male eastern bluebird is generally darker and brighter than the female, making them a bit prettier, which is a common trait in many species of birds.

Here's a nice close up of a male. I hope you all enjoy it!

42 bluebird (AF3A6940) January 23, 2021 copyEastern BluebirdAn eastern bluebird perched in a tree in Poughkeepsie, NY. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Northern Harrier Yay, it's Friday and my sister is here with her family and two dogs for the weekend. The cats are nervous and are both hiding under my bed. For the longest time they were curled up side by side, which is the closest they've hung out together yet. Great progress and hopefully soon they'll willingly snuggle together. My family and I are having fun, we had pizza for dinner and played Uno flip. What a great twist on Uno. If you haven't tried it, you should.

Every night I scroll through pics to find one for the blog and I realize that I sure do have a lot of photos to choose from. Tonight I figured I would go with a Northern Harrier as this is the time of year I get to see them. In fact, every time I go to the grasslands I see them. The shot I'm sharing today is from the grasslands a few years ago. It was a beautiful, sunny winter day and this harrier flew by me several times, giving me great opportunities to photograph it. The harriers are often very cooperative at the grasslands and the running joke between my friends is.... "it's just a harrier". Meanwhile, we all wish it were a short-eared owl flying in so close.

Northern Harrier's are known as a marsh hawk or a ring-tailed hawk. they breed in Canada and the most northern parts of the United States. In the winter they migrate south and will go as far as the southern parts of the United States, Mexico, and Central America. Their hunting patterns are very similar to their competitor, the short-eared owl. They will fly low to the ground and their diets consist of rodents, small birds, insects, and reptiles. 

Here is a shot I got of one with the beautiful blue sky as a backdrop.

Northern HarrierNorthern HarrierA northern harrier in flight at the Shawangunk Grasslands in Wallkill, NY. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Happy Flappy Canada Goose I'm so bummed I missed a blog post yesterday, but it's been a tough week. I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday and this week will soon be behind me.

I was scrolling through my photos and came across some shots I had taken of Canada Geese and I just knew I had to share one of those today. I took these shots in March '22. It was a bit of a cool day, but the sun was shining and it felt beautiful. My first stop of the day was along the Wappingers Creek in the Poughkeepsie area to look for Bald Eagles. I found a couple, but they mostly stayed distant. While I waited and hoped for eagles, this pair of Canada Geese flew in just off the shore from me and were bathing. They hung around for a good half hour and put on a nice show, giving me a great opportunity for photographs. A few times they came in a little too close and I had to back up in order to fit them in the frame. It was a nice morning and I enjoyed hanging out with them.

Canada Geese are often times a huge nuisance. Especially during nesting season when they spend a lot of time on land, pooping all over the place and being aggressive towards humans. I remember one day going out to lunch with my friend Tim, and when we returned there were a bunch of geese near the entrance of our work building. We both ignored them and started to approach the building, when suddenly one of the geese decided to run after me. It's now a comical story to tell as I was running from it, towards the door of the building, yelling.... "HE'S CHASING ME, HE'S CHASING ME"..... It probably doesn't sound as funny in the blog, but when I look back and think about the moment, it sure was hilarious.

Canada Geese are native to the arctic as well as North America. During migration, they can cross the Atlantic and be found in Northern Europe. Their diet consists mostly of plant material or marine algae, however, they will also eat small insects and fish. Canada Geese will generally find a mate in their second year of life and will generally mate for life, living amongst other geese and ducks. They tend to nest on elevated land or on a beaver lodge near water (lakes, ponds, creeks, etc). Both parents will take care of the eggs and incubate them, with an incubation period of roughly 24-32 days. Once the eggs hatch, the goslings are immediately able to walk, swim, and eat on their own. However, they do stay with the parents and will often line up to following the parents around. Hatchlings are super cute little yellow fuzzballs, but they do eventually grow to be the pretty, yet annoying adults they came from.

For today, I will share a shot I got of an adult Canada Goose. Perhaps another blog post will be about a hatchling. Definitely something to keep in mind. Have a great night!

Canada GooseCanada GooseA Canada Goose bathing in the Wappingers Creek in Poughkeepsie, NY. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Dromedary Camel at the Adirondack Animal Land Oh my gosh, today was a long and exhausting day. I didn't sleep well last night and woke up not feeling well with an upset stomach, allergy issues, and my left arm in pain as it has been injured and hurting for weeks. It was one of the days where I would have liked to of stayed in bed and instead, I worked 11 hours with no lunch break. I'm surprised I'm here to share a blog post. Anyhow, here it goes.

For several years I've wanted to go to the Adirondack Animal Land in Gloversville, NY, but I hesitated because I could only go during camping season and I didn't want to leave the boyz (Bailey and Bandit) alone in the camper for such a long day with no attention. Without them this summer, it seemed like something I should finally do and I'm happy I did as it was a pretty cool experience.

The Adirondack Animal Land offers an area that you can go in and walk around and get close to many animals, many of which you can hand feed and a petting zoo area. It also offers a drive through safari area. As much as I liked the area you could walk through, the drive-through area was much more exciting. As soon as I got through the gate, big animals started approaching my vehicle and sticking their heads in. I had to quickly clear the stuff off my passenger seat and toss it in the back because a camel reached in and tried to slobber all over the camera I had sitting on the passenger seat. It was rather gross and a bit slimy. The beginning section had dromedary camel and emu. They were not at all shy and did not hesitate to stick their heads in my windows. It was such a weird thing and made me instantly understand why the drive-thru safari is an enter at your own risk area. I quickly realized that it was best to keep my car at a very slow crawl. Don't dare stop or I would be totally harassed and don't drive to fast because I wouldn't want to hurt any of the animals.

After I got through the first area, I crossed over a barrier that put me into the zone where there were albino deer, fallow deer, ostrich, and alpaca. This area was cool and there were so many animals approaching my vehicle and walking along side me. This area was wooded and a bit dark for photographs, but I did my best. It was really cool to see albino deer as I've never before seen them. As I left this area, I went through another barrier and ran into buffalo, zebra, pot bellied pigs, watusi, and a few other types of animals.

It was really cool to do the drive through and have animals in my face. And I literally mean, in my face as they had no shame in putting their heads right in with me. A few of the animals made me a bit nervous. I wasn't sure if they would try to bite me or not, but I'm guessing they are pretty much domesticated as the only reason they were reaching in is because many people feed them as they go through the drive.

For today, I thought I would share a funny pic I took of one of the dromedary camels. It was tough to get anything more than a head shot because they didn't get the memo about social distancing.

For more information about the dromedary camel, you can check out the nice write up they have on the Adirondack Animal Land page for dromedary camel.

Dromedary CamelDromedary CamelA dromedary camel at the Adirondack Animal Land in Gloversville, NY. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondack animal land adirondacks animal arabian camel camel canon photography debbie quick debbie quick image debs creative images drive-thru African safari dromedary camel hoofed animal nature outdoors women photographer your best shots Wed, 18 Jan 2023 01:47:08 GMT
Osprey with a fish Hey all, sorry I missed a post yesterday. I was so busy all day that by the time I sat down, I was too tired to pick a photo and write about it. Today however, was a much easier going kind of a day after a rough start. 

I spent 26 years as a dog mom and now I am a relatively new cat mom. Wow, what a difference. I had no idea it was going to be so different to have kitty babies than having lil pupper nutters. One thing I'm learning is that these crazy kids will sleep all day and then play all night. This morning, they woke me up at 3:30 am while they were wrecking our home. I got up a couple of times to deal with the issues and by 4 am I knew I wasn't going to get any sleep, so I made coffee and snuggled up on the couch with my coffee while playing games on my cell. By 6 am they settled down, so I went back to bed til 9. Interrupted sleep sure is a challenge and so I basically chilled at home before going out to photograph short-eared owls.

While I was driving to my location I was once again thinking about camping season and all the things I need to start gathering before I open the camper. With that, I thought I would share another one of my favorite things about camping season.... Osprey! There are so many osprey nests near where I camp, but I do have a few favorite spots I like to stop at. One in particular is my absolute favorite and I've been following that nest for a good 8 or 9 years now. I've seen so much and I've learned so much watching that nest.

When I first started following it, the pair was so cooperative. They were never bothered by my presence and they just did their thing. Then, roughly 4 or 5 years ago, I returned in the spring to check on them and things were different. The female was not at all tolerant. I had to be very cautious about keeping my distance and learning what her comfort zone was. It was very obvious that something must have happened to the original female and this was a new one. I've continued to periodically watch the nest over the past few years, and she has not gotten any more tolerant. With that, I don't go nearly as often as I once used to and I keep that distance that I know she is comfortable with. The male however, he doesn't care that I'm there to see them. He puts on a great show and he'll fly in close to me before going to the nest. The photo I chose to share today is one of him bringing a big fish back to the nest this past season for the three young they had. He circled around several times and gave me a nice look at the prize before he dropped it off to his family. I was so thrilled about that.

Osprey are also known as a fish hawk, a sea hawk or even a lake hawk. The males have a very white chest while the females have a white chest with brown speckling that makes it look like she is wearing a necklace. Osprey's diet consists mostly of fish. In fact, I've never seen the osprey bring anything but fish to the nest. Because their diet consists mostly of fish, they can be found near bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. Like other raptors, they do mate for life and they generally have 1-3 hatchlings every year. In the fall, they do migrate south, especially those in the Northeast because as the waters freeze, they need to be where there is open water for fishing. They are beautiful and large raptors. And as pretty as the adults are, I do find their young to be even prettier and naturally so much fun to watch.

Here you have it. The male osprey bringing a very nice sized fish to the nest for his family.

Osprey with a fishOsprey with a fishA male osprey in flight with a fish in his talons to bring back to the nest. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Evening Grosbeak in breeding plumage Hello and Happy Saturday. I hope you all had a good day!

Mine was good and busy. I got up late and then hustled to get my chores done before having a friend over for dinner. I made a crockpot full of turkey chili that was awesome.

When Tim first arrived, Minnie was so excited to see him. She was right there at the door to greet him and as soon as he sat on the couch, she was all over him. She climbed all over him, snuggle up to him, and then finally settled on his lap, looking up at him with the most adorable gazing eyes. It was so cute to see how much she enjoyed having her Uncle Tim over for a visit. Cooper on the other hand stayed hidden. He's still very shy and wasn't ready to meet his Uncle Tim. Hopefully he'll come out of his shell soon, I have been working on that and he makes a little progress each day.

I was hoping to do my blog post earlier today, but I was so busy that I never got a chance to sit down and write it. Keeping with the camp theme the past few days, I thought I would share another camp photo. Today's photo is of a male evening grosbeak in summer plumage (aka breeding plumage). The evening grosbeaks showed up at my camp site 3 years ago and have continued to return each year. The first year it was a male and female showing up at my feeders and I was so in awe with them as I had never seen them before and I don't get them at home. Then one summer day, they showed up with all three of their young. I was so happy to see that they brought their kids to my campsite and I watched as the adults got food from the feeders and brought it to the kids who were all perched nearby. They showed up every day, multiple times a day before they disappeared for their fall migration. I enjoyed every moment of it and have been happy that they returned a second and a third year. This past year, I had three pairs showing up which was so much fun. Sadly though, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, the red squirrels showed up and took over. They chased away my chipmunks as well as many of the birds. My fingers are currently crossed that the evening grosbeaks return in May when I do.

Evening Grosbeaks are a larger sized bird in the finch family. They can be found in Canada, the United States, and Mexico and they nest on horizontal branches or in the forks of a tree. Their diets consist of seeds, berries, and insects. Like most birds, the males have more vibrant colors and both the males and females have green beaks while in their summer plumage (breeding plumage). They are a beautiful bird to watch and I always enjoy seeing them at my feeders.

Here's a shot I got of one of my males. He's clearly a stunning bird!

Evening GrosbeakEvening GrosbeakThis is an image of a male evening grosbeak at camp in the Adirondack region. It was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


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Loon with chicks Yay, it's Friday and the weekend is here. It's time to relax and unwind before starting it all over again next week. 

This evening I talked to my mom and two of my sisters. My sister Tina was my last call of the day and just like me, she has a camper at a seasonal campground and so naturally part of our discussion was about camp and camping season. We are both itching to get back to our camps, for so many reasons.

One of the things I love about camping season is that I get a different variety of wildlife to photograph compared to what I get at home. Some of the wildlife is right there at my campsite, but then there are also a few locations I like to go to. Some of the locations I hit are by foot on land and others are on different bodies of water in my kayak. One of the best experiences I get to enjoy is kayaking with the common loons. They can be found in Lake George as well as in ponds and lakes throughout the Adirondack region. I've found loons at three different locations, but one is my absolute favorite as it is in the most remote area I've yet to find. The tough thing about it though is that it is a very long dirt road that goes up hill and when there are heavy rains, it washes out and I can't get up there. But, when I can, it is a real treat. And in 2021, I was up there many times. In fact, I had finally gotten photos I kept hoping to get of loons..... loon chicks riding on their parents backs.

Loon chicks can swim and dive as soon as they are hatched, however, they will often ride for free on a parent for many reasons. One because they do snooze a lot and two, they are safer from predators if they are hitching a ride with a parent. The parents are so attentive to them and it's sweet to see the relationship.

Common Loons are aquatic birds and they can be found throughout North America and in the northern regions of Eurasia. They have beautiful color and markings and a very distinct call that distinguishes them from other aquatic birds. In New York State, they can be found in the Adirondack region in spring and summer months, where they will nest and raise their young. They generally migrate south in early fall. Their diets consist mostly of small fish, however, they will all dine on amphibians, crustaceans, and small to mid sized aquatic fauna. Loons are excellent swimmers and very good at flying, however their ability to walk on land is more challenging as their feet are located so far back on their bodies.

They are truly a fun bird to watch and photograph. And it is so cool how they will swim along the side of my kayak. As long as they don't feel threatened, they will just swim along with me as I paddle and they'll put on a great show while I just sit and enjoy them. Here is one of my favorite shots from 2021 when I finally got to witness chicks riding on an adult's back.

Common Loon and ChicksCommon Loon and ChicksAn adult loon swimming in a pond in the Adirondack Mountains with her young on her back. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Adirondack Chippy The workday was good, long, but good. I was so busy all day that the day went by very fast, even though I worked until just after 6pm. Then, I took the plunge and went to the gym. The first time I've been to the gym since before the pandemic. I've been slowly getting back to normal life and getting back to the gym was a huge leap toward getting back to it. Yet, a much needed thing to do since I was always a gym goer before the pandemic. And now, almost 3 years without it, I'm clearly out of shape. Partly because this past year was so tough after losing my boyz and then starting a new job within my company. Working out fell to the bottom of my list, but, now it's time to take charge and get back into things. It felt great to be there. 

In addition to getting my life back to normal, there have been many things on my mind lately and one of them is "camp" and "camping season". There's still four more months until I get up there an open, but all I can help wonder now is... "Will the kitties like it? Will they be ok on the 3 hour drive there and back? How much are they going to love watching chipmunks come up to the sliding glass door and look in?". So many thoughts crossing through my mind, including, what are all the things I need to get for the kitties for camp. I'm sure I'll spend the next four months shopping for that long list of items I've identified needing for them.

As I think about the kitties going to camp and their new friends, my chipmunks, it makes me think about my lil friends. I hope they are having a good winter and are staying safe. I'm also hoping that the red squirrels don't take over again like they did last season. Last season was tough as I witnessed an ermine kill and take away two of my chippie friends, one of them being my favorite chippie. That was devastating. Then after the ermine moved on, the red squirrels moved in and chased my chippies away. By the end of the season, I hardly had chippies left as the red squirrels had completely taken over. So now, all I can do is hope those squirrels moved on over the winter and my chippie friends all return in early May when I get back up there.

There are so many things I like about my chippies. For starters, they are so easy to work with. All I need are peanuts and sunflower seeds and I can win over their trust. Over the years, I've had so many that would hop on my lap and let me pet them. The best is when I first arrive after being away all winter and the warm greeting I get from the ones I tamed the previous year. They are just so happy to see me. They'll hang out on my deck and they'll even come up my stairs and look into the camper for me. Last year, I had two accidentally run into the camper. It sure was a challenge to get them back out after they accidentally got in. Clearly, they've given me a lot of material to tell some good stories.

Mid season last year, my neighbors up there got me an Adirondack Chair bird feeder and I thought it was the sweetest and cutest gift. My first thought was to remove the pieces to hang it and use it as a chair for my little furry friends. What a great idea and so much fun watching the chipmunks go to it to get peanuts. I took tons of photo's. I'm even planning to share one of those shots for today's blog. It was such a great prop for my friends since we are in the Adirondack Mountains.

Chipmunks are small and cute rodents found in North America. They are a burrowing animal and make very impressive tunnel systems underground that generally have more than one entry/exit. They tend to nest twice a year, first in spring and then in late summer. In the really hot summer months, they may spend a little more time underground as it is a natural air conditioning system and then in winter, they will spend most of the winter underground. In anticipation for their hibernation, the spend all spring, summer, and fall collecting and storing food for those long and cold winter months. Chipmunks diet consists of nuts, berry's, and grubs. Although they are part of the rodent family, they are really cute and sweet natured towards humans when humans take out the time to work with them. I do consider my chippies to be my outdoor and semi-independent pets. They sure do bring me joy!

ChipmunkChipmunkA chipmunk sitting in an Adirondack Chair in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. This Image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Snowy Owl I don't know what the deal is, but all day I've been confused on what day of the week it is. For some odd reason, I kept thinking it was Tuesday. But, it's not, it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day, it's half way through the week day. Only two more work days before the weekend.

Anyhow, I sat down tonight reflecting on my day and what to do this weekend and all I can think is how much I've missed the snowy owls this winter. Last winter was an irruption season, meaning that we had a large population of snowy owls who travelled from the Arctic Tundra to the Northeastern region of the United States. We get them every winter on Long Island, but I have no interest in driving there, so I only see them when they hit the Connecticut shore, which often times only happens during irruption years. 

The photo I chose to share today is very special to me for many reasons. The first, of course, is because it is a snowy owl and it is so rare when I get to see them. That in itself is an amazing and special moment. However, the second reason this photo is so special is because usually there are a ton of photographers lined up to photograph a snowy owl and I got to sit and watch this snowy owl for well over an hour all by myself. When I first spotted it, it was sitting on the ground with a messy and partially obstructed view, but that was ok to me because no matter what, it's a special moment. With that, I sat down on the sand and quietly watched. There was a small tree stump roughly 10 feet from the owl and I just kept looking at it and wishing the owl was sitting on that instead of the messy area it was sitting. After a good 15 minutes of hoping, the owl took a few steps towards the stump and hopped up. Wow, I couldn't believe my eyes, it was like a miracle and a special moment between only me and the owl. While on the stump, the owl preened, stretched, and napped. Periodically I got some opportunities to photograph with partially open eyes, but not full wide eyes as the owl was comfortable and relaxing. After some time others spotted me watching the owl and joined in. By that time, I had lost what was left of the little bit of gloomy day light and so I moved on and went back to the first owl I had seen that day, which was in the direction of the parking lot. There were a bunch of people there and roughly 10 minutes of me sitting down next to two other photographers, the owl lifted off to begin the evening hunt. It was a great day to spend time with two owls, but even better to have one all to myself for a while.

Snowy Owls spend spring through fall in the Arctic regions of the Palearctic and North America and breed mostly in the Arctic Tundra. Their diet in the tundra consists mostly of lemmings, just like with short-eared owls. However, when they are in other areas, they will adapt to whatever prey is available, which could be small mammals or birds. In winter months they migrate south, often times hitting the Northeast region of the United States and during irruption years, they show up in large numbers and can be more easily found. They say irruption years tend to happen roughly every 3-5 years and the reason behind the irruptions is because lemmings were plentiful and that assisted in a really good breeding/nesting season. Resulting in a higher number of hatchlings and fledgling. Those of us in the Northeastern region of the United States absolutely love irruption years.

This here is clearly one of the reasons why I love winter in the Northeast. 

Snowy OwlSnowy OwlA snowy owl sitting on a stump on Long Beach in Stratford, CT. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Atlantic Puffin This morning was a little hectic as Cooper (my new kitty) had an appointment with his new Dr. He still doesn't come to me and he doesn't like to be picked up or held, so it was a bit of a challenge to scoop him up and get him in the carrier. On my first attempt he fought me and scratched me, so that prepared me for the second attempt which was successful. His visit at the vet went very well. He was well behaved and everyone thought he was so beautiful. One of the ladies said he's so soft he feels like a rabbit. I thought that was really cute.

The day went on and I worked until almost 6:30, so now it's time to throw together a blog post. I was a little stumped at first on what I wanted to share and then the Atlantic Puffins came to mind. Way back in 2019 a friend invited me to go on a trip with her to Maine to see the Atlantic Puffins. I was a little hesitant at first, but then the more I thought about it, the more I realized it would be a fantastic opportunity. So, we planned our trip and then in June, we went to Cutler, Maine.

The beginning of the trip was frustrating as our connecting flight got delayed by several hours, which put us into Bangalore at 10pm (hours later than we were originally scheduled to arrive). Then to top things off, my luggage did not arrive. And nothing was open on the almost 2 hour drive to our hotel in Cutler. Thankfully, I was able to get a few key items before leaving the airport and then my friend was so kind to loan me a few things. It was frustrating, but I survived and the puffins helped me to overcome the challenge.

We were booked to take the tour boat to Machias Seal Island for three days straight and somehow the weather cooperated and we got onto the island all three days. One of the days we got to spend 90 minutes in the blind and the other two days we got to spend 45 minutes in one. There were four blinds in total and we arranged it so we got to try out a different one each day. It was spectacular. There were thousands of birds all around us and dancing on our heads (on top of the blind of course, lol). There were Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, and Common Murre all around. We even got to see one of the razorbill pairs mate while we were there. All three days the water was calm enough for getting onto the island, the sun shined brightly, and the water had the most beautiful blue hue. It was an amazing backdrop for photos. Each day after we spent time on the island, the captain took us for a little spin around it before heading back to port. Two of those days we got to see the Harbor Seals lounging in the sun. That was such an unexpected bonus!

Atlantic Puffins is a species of seabird who are native to the Atlantic Ocean. They breed in many different countries that surround the Atlantic Ocean: the United States (on the islands just off the coast of Maine), Iceland, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Russia, France, and the Faroe Islands. They spend all of fall and winter out to sea and arrive on land in early spring to begin their breeding season, which ends in mid summer. When out at sea, they lead solitary existences, yet when on land they tend to nest in clifftop colonies. They nest in burrows and the female lays a single white egg. Once the chicks hatch, the parents tend to feed them mostly fish until they fledge, roughly 6 weeks later. After the young fledge, they head out to sea for several years before going back to land. 

Watching the puffins was so much fun as they are probably the goofiest birds I've ever seen. Perhaps some day I'll get another opportunity to see Atlantic Puffins. Or perhaps one of the other species of puffins, since there are two others: the tufted puffin and the horned puffin, which can both be found in the northeastern Pacific.

Atlantic PuffinAtlantic PuffinThis is an image of an Atlantic Puffin at Machias Seal Island, just off of Maine. It was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Bald Eagle - National emblem of the U.S. Hello and Happy Monday to you all. Clearly, my least favorite day of the week as it is the first day of my five day work week.

I thought I would take a break today from my Florida pictures and share an image of a Bald Eagle, the National emblem of the United States and the animal who got me hooked on Wildlife Photography. I remember the first time I saw a bald eagle and how I was awestruck by its beauty and regal appearance. At the time all I had was a low end 70-300 mm lens and I was so fascinated by the pair of eagles that I just snapped away. My photos were not that great, but I had so much fun watching them in action. It didn't take me long to upgrade my lens to a 150-500mm and that is what I used for a very long time.

The bald eagle is not bald. The term derives from an old meaning, "white headed". Bald eagles are a large raptor with a wing span of roughly 6-7 feet. The females are roughly 25% larger than males and can weigh up to 12 lbs. Adult bald eagles have brown bodies with white heads and white tail feathers. Immature bald eagles are all brown with mottled white spots. Bald eagles don't reach full maturity until 5 years of age and once they reach full maturity, they generally pair up and mate for life. They can generally be found near areas with bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, marshes, creeks, etc as more than half of their food source consists of fish. In addition to fish, they will also enjoy snakes and small mammals. In the winter months, eagles will migrate south in order to survive. A good indicator for finding a large number of eagles in winter months is by keeping an eye on the river as they'll often congregate in areas where the water is not frozen. Winter months in the Northeast is often a great time to see large numbers of them.

With that, here is a shot I took of one of my local eagles during nesting season last April. 

Bald EagleBald EagleAn image of a bald eagle in the Hudson Valley by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

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Wood Stork Rookery It's a beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning here and I'm just kicking back and relaxing with my coffee. I plan to head out later with my camera, so I figured I would enjoy the down time this morning and hang with my two kitties before I go out.

I've been weeding through my Florida pics for months now and am getting close to finishing them up. Hopefully by spring I'll be all caught up and working on the photos I took since then. One of the things I really enjoyed about this last trip to Florida was all of the Wood Storks I got to see. In past trips I went to locations that listed having them, but I had not seen a single one. This trip, I had the pleasure to see them at several locations. However, none of them were like the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. 

The Wakodahatchee Wetlands is just a few miles from the Green Cay Wetlands and Nature Center, so it was really easy for me to enjoy both locations each day. Wako offered a 3/4 mile boardwalk that went through a few different terrains: open water pond, wooded area with cypress trees, and islands with shrubs for nesting. It was a huge rookery with many different types of birds, big alligators, lots of iguana's of various sizes, and marsh rabbits. However, the majority of wildlife there were the wood storks. They have nearly taken over the rookery. The wood storks were all nesting and they had young at various ages. Some were so little and fuzzy that they were still considered hatchlings, while others were already starting to branch and venture out a little. Sadly for the branching ones, if they were low enough, they did become alligator food. And yes, I did witness this a couple of times. I quickly learned that if an alligator was lurking around under a nesting area, it was likely going to feast off of a young bird. There's nothing like seeing the circle of life in person. This location was good both morning and late afternoon as I got to focus on different parts of the boardwalk at the two different times of the day. 

The funny thing about wood storks is that as I kid, I was told that wood storks deliver babies to mom's and dad's. I'm guessing many children were told this old tale, so naturally I couldn't help but to think that while I was there. To my surprise, wood storks were extremely loud, making this constant honking sound and since they were all around me, it was like listening to wood storks in Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound.

Wood Storks are a large wading bird in the America's: North America, South America, and the Caribbean. They have the ability to adapt to tropical and subtropical wetland habitats. They nest in trees that are surrounded by water and can often be found in rookeries, similar to the one at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. Their diets consist of mostly fish, but they will also eat insects, frogs, and crabs. 

It was such a pleasure to see the wood storks as they were busy grabbing branches and twigs for their nests and taking care of their young. I even found an area where the water level was lower and they took some time out to bathe themselves. Overall, a very good time, although some type of hearing protection would have come in handy.

Anyhow, it's time for me to get moving. Enjo

Wood StorkWood StorkThis is an image of a wood stork who was just returning to its nest at the rookery at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird breeding season canon photographer debbie quick debbie quick image debs creative images delray beach florida florida birding trail fyp nat geo nature nesting outdoors rookery shrubs stork wading bird wakodahatchee wetlands wetlands wild wildlife women photography wood stork Sun, 08 Jan 2023 14:50:41 GMT
Juvenile yellow-crowned Night-Heron I'm just loving this lazy Saturday morning after working all week. It's overcast, drizzly, and cold here in the Northeast and I'm just chillin in my warm home in the comfort of my soft jammies. The plan is to eventually get moving and meet up with a friend later, but for now, here I am relaxing and working on my photography.

My trip to Florida was spectacular and it is so hard to choose just one photo to share each day, but here it goes. Today I decided to share an image I took of a juvenile yellow-crowned night-heron. This youngster and its parent was coming and going from one of the areas I was hanging out at while at the Green Cay Wetlands. They made several appearances and even perched for a while in a tree above where some anhinga and green heron were nesting. The trees were large in this area, so they were high enough to not disturb the other families. Watching them was fun and I'm glad they put on a show one of the mornings I was there as that was the only day I saw them. I kept hoping they would land in the dead tree that all the other birds and the one iguana would hang out in, but that never happened. They did give many nice opportunities for photos, so that made me just as happy.

Yellow-crowned night-herons are a small a stocky heron that can be found in the Americas in the same types of areas other herons can be found: wetlands, marshes, mangroves, ditches, fields, forests, and swamps. They are wading birds that are often along the edge of the water foraging for food and will also perch in trees. Pictured here is a juvenile and they take roughly three years to acquire the markings and colors of the adults. Yellow-crowned night-herons winter in the warmer climates, but will migrate north when the weather gets warmer. Their diets consists mostly of crabs and crayfish in the coastal areas. They'll also feast on on insects, fish, frogs, and mollusks. Those residing on inland waters may have a more varied diet. They are a more solitary bird and they are generally more active at night, so I was very pleased to get a nice show for a few hours one morning.

Happy Saturday, enjoy your day!

This is an image of a juvenile yellow-crowned night-heron at the Green Cay Wetlands in Florida. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.Juvenile yellow-crowned night-heronThis is an image of a juvenile yellow-crowned night-heron at the Green Cay Wetlands in Florida. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird bird in flight boynton beach florida canon photography debbie quick debbie quick image debs creative images elite birds feathers flying for your page fyp green cay wetlands heron in flight juvenile nat geo nature night heron outdoors wading bird wetlands wild wildlife wings women photographers yellow crowned night heron your best shots Sat, 07 Jan 2023 15:03:44 GMT
Burrowing Owl in Southern Florida Hello all and Happy Friday! It was such a busy week and it went by fast. I can confirm, I really do like four day work weeks. If only they were all like this, lol.

I keep looking at my Florida pics and all I can think is that I could probably do a blog every day this year with a Florida pic, but I promise not to do that. Although, I may use Florida pics for a bit.

I spent one of my days driving an hour south of the area I was staying in with hopes to see the burrowing owls and their young. The adults were in and out of the burrows, but I only got to see one youngster. I thought for sure the youngsters would be out, but they were apparently running a little late this past year. The adults were fun to watch, I got to see them on the ground, in trees, and on the posts that were used to fence in the burrows. There were 6 or 7 active burrows and I split my time up so I could spend time with each of them. Mostly the adults just sat around guarding their burrows, and periodically they would hunt and bring food back for the kids. They didn't catch anything too exciting while I was there, mostly bugs/grubs.

Burrowing owls are small owls that can be found in open landscapes in the southern part of North America and in South America. They are ground birds and so they nest in burrows. If the ground is soft enough, they may excavate their own burrow, however, they will also take over unused burrows that were made by other ground animals. They can be found in open areas with low vegetation. In Florida, they can be found in neighborhoods, near sporting fields, in parks, and in public areas such at the locations around libraries, town halls, etc. Due to their locations being in public areas, they tend to be more tolerant of humans as long as humans respect their personal space. Their diet consists mostly of insects, small rodents, and frogs. 

Here is my shot for today. I wish you all a Happy and Fun Weekend!

This is a photo of a burrowing owl, taken in Davie Florida by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.Burrowing OwlThis is a photo of a burrowing owl, taken in Davie Florida by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird bird lovers birds of prey burrowing owl canon photographer davie florida debbie quick debbie quick image debs creative images florida florida birding trail for your page fyp nat geo nature outdoors owl raptor travel vista view park wild wildlife your best birds your best shot Sat, 07 Jan 2023 00:44:20 GMT
Tricolored Heron on the move Hey everyone! How is your week going? Mine is good, it's going fast. Things have started to pick up at work and I'm getting back into the swing of it. Naturally, the first week back after time off is brutal, but I seem to be holding my own.

I keep thinking about my trip to Florida last April and how much fun it was. I've contemplated going again this winter, possibly in March, but I'm hesitant as I'm still going through my April 2022 photos. I have such a tremendous backlog, which is a really good problem to have because it means that I've clearly had fun out with my camera. I'm even finding that going through my pics months after taking them is so much fun because it brings back the memories of my time spent out there and I'm surprised with shots that I didn't realize I had.

Keeping with the theme this week, I have another shot from the Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Florida. It is a shot of a tricolored heron. I had the pleasure to watch several of them each time I went to Green Cay. They stayed relatively close to the boardwalk as they were hunting for food. It was a small bay area and they would try a spot for a few minutes, then move to another. Although there were several there, I tried to focus on one at a time so I could catch the movement and get some shots of their wings spread for the movement. They were so pretty and yet so goofy to watch.

Adult tricolor herons are really pretty with feathers that are blue/gray, purple, and white with long lanky yellow legs. They are a medium sized heron with a long thin neck and small head. They can be found in marshes, lagoons, mangroves, on the edges of rivers and lakes, walking in grassy areas, and perched in trees. Their diet consists mostly of small fish, but they will also eat insects, reptiles, worms, leeches, worms, or any other small edible object in the water. They have a very large region and can be found in the northeastern United States, along the coast of the south, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and even in the northern part of south America.

As you can see here, the tricolored heron is beautiful and fun to watch. Although a bit slow moving, it's worth having the patience to sit and wait for them to make a move.

Enjoy the remainder of the week!

A tricolored heron at the Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Florida. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.Tricolored HeronA tricolored heron at the Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Florida. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird bird lover birding canon photographer colorful conservation debbie debbie quick debs creative images feathers florida for your page fyp green cay wetlands and nature center heron image" nat geo nature outdoors planet earth quick trail" travel tricolored heron wading bird water waterfowl wild wild planet wildlife women photography your shot photographer Thu, 05 Jan 2023 23:30:18 GMT
Whistling Duck Trio - The Three Amigo's Two work days down and two more to go. I sure do prefer a four day work week over the typical five day week. Yesterday was a nice easy transition getting back into the groove, but today picked up a little more speed. I was so busy all day that it went by extremely fast. 

To continue on with the Florida theme from the past few days, I decided I would use another photo from my trip this past April. Again, it is another shot taken from the boardwalk at the Green Cay Wetlands. I have so many great photos with an amazing variety of wildlife, so it is easy to find something.

The first time I ever saw a black-bellied whistling duck was when I went to Texas a few years ago. I really enjoyed them and how pretty they were, but I didn't get too many shots of them on that trip. When I ran into some in Florida, I was extremely excited and thankfully there was a huge abundance of them as I saw them at several locations. 

There are eight different species of whistling ducks, with black-bellied whistling ducks being one of them. They can be found in several southern states in the United States and are slowly beginning to make their way northward. They are also known as a "tree duck" or a "mexican squealer". They can often be found perched in trees as well as in fields, near ponds, and in marshy areas. Their diet consists mostly of plant material (rice, corn, millet, weeds, and grasses) as well as insects, spiders, snails, and tadpoles. Unlike most other ducks, the black-bellied whistling ducks tend to mate for life, just like geese and swans. They generally nest in cavities (trees, nesting boxes, chimney's, etc.), but will nest on the ground if necessary.

The shot I decided to share is one I really liked of three in flight as it reminded me of "the three amigo's"!

This is an image of three black-bellied whistling-ducks in Florida. The three amigo's. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative whistling-ducksThis is an image of three black-bellied whistling-ducks in Florida. The three amigo's. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird black-bellied whistling-duck canon photography debbie quick debbie quick image debs creative images duck flight florida flying for your page fyp green cay wetlands and nature center Mexican squealer nat geo nature outdoors tree duck wild wildlife your best birds your shot photographer Thu, 05 Jan 2023 01:06:50 GMT
Best pileated woodpecker opportunity Today was my first day back to work after a very nice 17 days off. The time off was great as I got to relax, be lazy, hang out with friends, visit with family, go out with my camera, and work on the pics I took in Florida last April. I'm finally making progress on those photos and am getting close to being finished going through them.

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, I went to a bunch of different locations while in Florida. However, what I didn't say is that one of my favorite spots was the Green Cay Wetlands and Nature Center in Boynton Beach. The nature center was big and had a lot to offer: information about the wetlands, programs and events, a gift shop, a live screech owl on display, and so much more. The best part though, was the 100 acres of wetlands and a 1.5 mile boardwalk that looped around and through the wetlands. The boardwalk went through various habitats and offered amazing opportunities to photograph many different varieties of wildlife. I got to see shore birds, wading birds, ducks, songbirds, alligators, iguana's and so much more. I even had the opportunity to see nesting birds and the various stages of the different young birds. Some of the birds were still sitting on their nests, some were beginning to branch, and some had even fledged. I'm not even sure how many different species of birds I saw, perhaps at some point I'll go through my pics and do a count.

One of the fascinating birds I had the pleasure to see was a pileated woodpecker that landed on one of the dead trees not far from the boardwalk. It was such a great opportunity as this was the first time in all my years as a wildlife photographer where a pileated woodpecker cooperated so well for me. It hopped along the branches, pecked at the tree, left and returned a couple of times, and even had a little conflict with an anhinga.

The pileated woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in the United State, very beautiful, and can usually be found in wooded areas. They can be found year round in the eastern and southeastern part of the United States as well as in the southern areas of Canada. Their main source of food is ants and insects which they find when pecking at trees and leaving behind rectangular holes. Those large holes they make often provide shelter for other birds such as: owls, swifts, bats, pine martens, and ducks.

Seeing the pileated woodpecker up close and to get opportunities to photograph was one of the many highlights of that particular day. I have so much to share and will do my best to do so over the next few weeks.

Thanks for following and be sure to return to see what I post next!

This is an image of pileated woodpecker taken at the Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Florida by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.Pileated woodpeckerThis is an image of pileated woodpecker taken at the Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach, Florida by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beautiful bird canon photography debbie quick debbie quick image debs creative images florida florida birding for your page fyp green cay wetlands and nature center large nat geo nature outdoors pileated woodpecker planet earth red head songbird wild wild planet wildlife woodpecker your best birds your shot photographer Wed, 04 Jan 2023 02:53:08 GMT
Fascinated with the Iguana's Hello everyone! It is the second day of 2023 and the last day of my 17 days off of work. The 2022 year was a challenging one between losing both my boyz (Bailey and Bandit - the cutest and sweetest chihuahua's ever) and starting a new job within my company. This time away from work was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed. Actually, I could easily get used to living life like this as it gave me time to work with my two new kitties (Minnie and Cooper), get out with my camera, and work on catching up on pics from my trip in Florida last April. With thoughts of Florida, I decided today I would share one of my photos from that trip since I have so many great ones to choose from. I took just over 19,000 photos and it has been a bit of a chore to get through them all.

I've been to Florida many times over the years and my last three trips were all photography related. Each time I've focused on a different part of Florida and each trip was very different. This last trip I took I split between Orlando and the Southeast region. The first few days I met up with my sister, Desiree, and my niece, Emily. I enjoyed time with the girls at the pool, in the hot tub, going to Emily's cheer competition, and of course visiting some hot spots for photographing wildlife. 

When I was about to leave the Orlando area and head Southeast, I realized my car rental had a flat tire and so I found a garage. Surprisingly, it was open on a Sunday and they got me in and back on the road right away. Amazing place, they plugged the tire and didn't charge me a penny. Such amazing hospitality that I made sure to write them an awesome review.

After my little glitch, I headed down to an area where I had a blast. I was out every morning and every afternoon visiting various locations. I had the pleasure to see such an amazing variety of wildlife and the one animal that really fascinated me were the iguana's. I had seen some little iguana's on Sanibel Island a few years prior, but they were so tiny compared to the ones I was seeing in the Southeast area. 

Iguana's are a herbivorous lizard and can be found in warmer/tropical regions such as: South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Iguana's lengths range between 1.5 inches - 6 feet. Yes, I said that correctly, they can get as big as a dog. They can be found on the ground, climbing trees, or resting on tree limbs. They tend to have various shades of either green or brown and they blend in very well with their environment, which makes them a little more challenging to find. Iguana's have keen vision and forage on vegetation and foliage and have a strong bite force.

I had the pleasure of seeing iguana's in various locations, including in the Target parking lot and a tree right outside the window of my hotel. It was so funny to look up from eating lunch and see an iguana in the tree, looking in and watching me.

Although I didn't have to go far, my favorite places to see and photograph them were at the Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands and Wakodahatchee Wetlands. The first one I saw on my trip was first thing at Green Cay. In fact, there were three of them in that same tree and every morning I went to Green Cay, they were there. I didn't see many others at Green Cay, but at Wakodahatchee, I found them everywhere. All different sizes and colors. They were mostly slow moving and munching on the grass. I was in my glories. Some were even relatively close and I was able to get a really good look at their markings. They are simply beautiful creatures! However, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to attempt to pet one or get into a tango with one as they do have a strong bite and sharp teeth, which could be painful. Thankfully in both locations, I was able to enjoy them from the safety of the boardwalk. It was so much fun that I do want to go back and see them again. With that, here is a close up I got of one at Wakodahatchee. Check out those markings and how fierce that guy/gal looks!

Enjoy the day!

This is a photo of an iguana at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Florida. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.IguanaThis is a photo of an iguana at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Florida. This image was taken by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal best photographs of 2022 canon photographer debbie quick debs creative images florida for your page forages on vegetation fyp herbivorous iguana keen vision living life lizard nat geo nature on the ground outdoors reptile scales strong bite force travel travel photography tree climber tropical wildlife wakodahatchee wetlands wild wild planet wildlife wildlife photographer your best shot Mon, 02 Jan 2023 16:32:53 GMT
Happy New Year Hello, Hello, Hello!

Happy New Year to you all!

It's been several years since I've blogged and I've wanted to get back into it for some time, so here I am, taking my first shot at getting back into the swing of things. In the past, I've tried to do a "photo of the day", but that was super challenging as it's not easy to always get out with the camera. Especially during the winter months when the days are so short. So, this year I would like to try things a little different and use photos I may have already taken.

In my first post of the year, I've decided to go with an image of a "short-eared owl" since they are currently in season in the Northeast, although, they haven't been all that cooperative this season. 

The short-eared owl is a bird that resides and nest in the Arctic Tundra during Spring, Summer and early fall. In the late fall, they being their journey south for the winter. Short-eared owls have the ability to travel very long distances and across large oceans and can be found in many areas of the Northern United States in winter. Thankfully, I have the pleasure to photograph them right here in New York state. They are a ground raptor and they often hunt very low to the ground at dawn and dusk for rodents such as: lemmings, mice, moles, and voles. Sometimes they will even go for larger prey such as: rabbits, gophers, and muskrats.

Here is a photo I took of a short-eared owl in the Hudson Valley region on December 21, 2022. It was a beautiful, sunny day in New York and I met up with my friend, Amanda. We arrived on location early and lucked out with the opportunity to get a blind. We sat inside of it for several hours waiting and hoping the owls would fly early and they did. It was roughly 2:45 in the afternoon when they rose and we enjoyed a total of five short-eared owls flying throughout the refuge. Most importantly though, we had one owl that very generously put on a show for us. It flew up and down the field and gave many people an opportunity for photographs and when it flew past us, it came in relatively close. This owl gave many opportunities for us to get some great shots. As always though, it isn't as close as it appears in the photo. Between using a telephoto lens and cropping the image, I have the ability to make it look like the owl was so close.

Equipment: Canon EOS R5, Canon 500mm f/4.0, 1.4x teleconverter 

Settings: 700mm, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec, ISO 1600

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year! Be sure to follow my blog, like it, comment on it, etc. I do love to hear back from my followers!

This is a photo of a short-eared owl, taken at the Shawangunk Grasslands in the Hudson Valley by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.short-eared owlThis is a photo of a short-eared owl, taken at the Shawangunk Grasslands in the Hudson Valley by Debbie Quick from Debs Creative Images.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal arctic bird beautiful bird birds of prey canon photography debbie quick debs creative images elite raptor feathers flight flying hudson valley living the life nat geo nature nature photography new york outdoors owl planet earth raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl wild wild planet wildlife wildlife photography wings your shot photographer Sun, 01 Jan 2023 18:20:26 GMT
Merry Christmas Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to all of my family, friends, and followers! I hope you all had a wonderful day!

My day was pretty darn awesome! My dogs and I slept in until 8:30 and then I goofed off at home for a little while before heading over to the grasslands in hopes the owls would rise early for photographs.

At roughly 2:15 the first set of owls rose up near the parking lot and far corner (way too far for those of us who were at a blind). We watched as they owls put on a great show for the people up there and thought we chose the wrong spot. When that happens, I've learned to just stay put because the activity could shift and sure enough it did. 

We only had one short-eared owl doing circles around us, but that is all we needed as the owl put on a great show. It came in close a bunch of times and even landed on a post twice. Not the close post, but still a respectable distance to get some nice shots. It caught three voles during its time flying around and it even chased a Northern Harrier.

It was a wonderful day out in the field with friends! 

Here is one of the shots of the Short-Eared Owl chasing the Northern Harrier. I really like this shot because you can see both of their faces and their feet are hanging down! If you look closely, it appears the hawk must have eaten a meal just before as his feet are still bloody.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal arctic bird beautiful bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images flight flying hawk hudson valley natgeo national geographic nature natures best shots nocturnal northern harrier owl pattern raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl wild wildlife Wed, 25 Dec 2019 23:59:45 GMT
Best Day of the Year I've been going to the Grasslands for the past 5 or 6 years trying to get good photographs of the short-eared owls. During those years, I've gone almost every Saturday and Sunday for at least 3 months, spending roughly 4-5 hours each visit standing around and hoping to get good shots. Many of those days the temps were below freezing and I left with frozen fingers and toes that hurt so badly and would still be cold hours after getting home and being in the heat.

In the past years I've gotten some decent shots with only one award winning shot. That never deterred me from going. In fact, it has encouraged me to keep going in hopes of finally getting a bunch of award-winning shots.

It's very early in the season for the short-eared owls and so far I've had numerous excellent days. And even a few days where I went home without a single shot. Today however turned out to be my best day ever there as I got shots I've dreamed of getting all these years.

The day was gorgeous! Sunny and temps that reached 45 degrees. A perfect day for winter photography. And for once, I chose the best spot ever. Only one owl flew the entire day and that owl was extremely generous to fly in circles around me. It came in so close on several of the laps and at one point it landed on a post right in front of me.

The post landing was very brief as the owl flew in, landed, heard the shutter of my camera clicking away, then it looked at me and with this "oh crap" attitude, it flew off like a bat out of hall. The opportunity lasted only seconds and I was thrilled that I was on my game and didn't screw it up.

At the end of the day, I left the grasslands a truly happy camper and anxious to get home and look through my photos. What a great way to finish off the year!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal arctic bird beautiful bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images flight flying hudson valley natgeo national geographic nature natures best shots nocturnal owl pattern raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl wild wildlife Mon, 23 Dec 2019 04:11:13 GMT
Shortie I've been going to the Shawangunk Grasslands for roughly 5 or 6 years and today was clearly my best day there ever!

My friend (Jack) and I arrived just before 1:30 and the owls were already up in the air and flying, so we quickly headed down the trail to get to the spot we negotiated going to during the drive over. Our spot wound up being an awesome spot today as the owls came in relatively close several times throughout the afternoon. 

At most we saw three short-eared owls in the sky, but if I were to guess there must be at least four or five of them in the area. The owls flew in front of us, behind us, they snuck up over our heads, and even landed in areas near us. They landed in the trees behind us, on a post that was just a little too distant for good shots, and distant on the ground directly in front of us. For most of the afternoon, we had at least one owl in our sights. It was the best thing ever.

As the sun started to go down and we started to lose our light, we headed towards the parking lot. We wound up staying in the trail close to the parking lot for the last half hour of relatively decent light. While standing there we had six deer running towards us and then they crossed right in front of my friend. They almost looked like they were charging straight towards him. It was a beautiful site to see at the end of our day.

As always, I took way too many pictures, so I have tons to go through. I took a quick browse and here is my favorite shot of the day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal arctic bird bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images flight flying hudson valley nature new york nocturnal owl raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl wild wildlife Sun, 08 Dec 2019 03:57:25 GMT
Twofer at the Dam What an amazing day at the dam! The light was good for the first half of the day and the action was good throughout the day!

The day started long before sunrise as we were out the door at roughly 5:20 and at the dam by 6. The crowds were already rolling in, so we had to quickly reserve our spots and get set up. Once set up, we relaxed for a bit and then the beautiful sunrise got our attention and shifted our focus into photography.

While I was walking around to get some sunrise shots, I noticed that a gentleman fishing was wearing a bald eagle suit. I thought it was really cool and couldn't resist grabbing a shot.

After we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise, we all waited for the light to get better and then that's when our fun began with the eagles and the gulls. The gulls were so close and fishing like mad all day and the activity with the eagles was a tad more sporadic. Although sporadic, they didn't disappoint. They fished, they chased each other, they dropped fish, and many even got to eat their catch.

In all my years of going to the dam, this was the first time they were landing behind us in really open spots that made for clean shots of them perched. There was one tree in particular that was fantastic that they were really enjoying. Throughout most of the day there was an eagle in it and a few times there were two.

The temperature was a bit cooler today than the past two days, but the sun felt good and the activity helped us keep our minds from thinking about the cold. 

In addition to enjoying the eagles, it was really fun running into friends we new from other locations, friends we made at the dam in previous years, and making new friends. We shared so many stories and so many laughs while chatting about eagles, photography, and various other topics.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adult animal bald eagle bird birds of prey chase chasing conowingo dam darlington debbie quick debs creative images eagle fish fishing maryland nature subadult susquehanna river water wild wildlife Sun, 24 Nov 2019 01:47:13 GMT
Annual Conowingo Trip I took a long weekend off work to go on my annual trip to the Conowingo Dam with some of my photography friends!

Yesterday started extremely early as I was up at 3:40 and out of my house by 4:20 to meet up with my friends to carpool. We drove the 4 hour trip down to Maryland and then spent the remainder of the day at the dam. It was a slow day, but we had some nice opportunities. I was a little off my game as a photographer, so I was slightly bummed by that. I haven't gone through my photos yet, so hopefully I have more keepers than I realize.

Today start a tad later than yesterday as I was up and ready to go for a 5:15 departure to the dam. It was dark when we arrived and there weren't as many people as usual piling in (probably because of the expected weather). The morning started off nice with some beautiful light, but that didn't last long before the clouds rolled in and then the rain. We stayed for a little bit and then decided to take a break and head over to the visitors center to see the photos that were entered into the last photo contest. 

Upon arrival to the visitors center we first looked at the photos they had chosen to print and put on display. There were so many awesome photos on the wall. Some names I recognized and others I did not. Either way though, it was a really tough competition with so many amazing shots. After we looked at all the photos on display, we sat and watched the slideshow. Apparently there were over 200 photos entered last year. It was nice to view all the admissions.

After enjoying the slideshow, we headed back to the dam and the rain and had let up, so we set back up and stayed for a bit longer. By the time we left, I felt pretty confident that I got some better photos today than I did yesterday, so that clearly made me feel a little better. 

Although we dealt with some yucky weather, we still had a great time and some really nice opportunities with the eagles. I considered using a shot of a bald eagle as the subject for my blog, but as I was browsing I thought it would be nice to share the view of the dam just before the rain fell. It was really pretty with the light hitting it perfectly and the dramatic clouds heading our way.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) bald eagle scenic water landscape clouds" conowingo dam darlington eagles hydroelectric maryland storm susquehanna river Sat, 23 Nov 2019 00:45:35 GMT
Wolf in Fall Fall is an amazingly beautiful time of year in the Northeast. Plus I get to celebrate my birthday in the fall, so this year I decided to gift myself a Photography Tour at Lakota Wolf Preserve in New Jersey. It truly was an amazing experience and the perfect birthday gift to myself.

I arrived at the Preserve around 7:15 to embark on my 7:30 tour with the wolves. My tour guide (one of the owners), Becky, arrived on time and we went over the guidelines and headed up to the wolves. She brought me into the wolf area and guided me in between the enclosures and opened portholes in the fencing for me to shoot threw. There were four different enclosures and they housed Timber, Arctic, and British Columbian Wolves. The wolves were all so beautiful. They each had their own unique personality as well as different colors, markings, and sizes.

Becky was so awesome about working with me and the wolves to make sure I would get the best possible photo opportunities. She worked hard to bring them in close, move them back, and get them to howl. It was truly an awesome experience and the beautiful fall colors helped to enhance my shots.

After my two hour window at the Preserve I headed to PA to enjoy a zoo near my sisters house. The zoo was smaller than I expected, but still very enjoyable. My favorite exhibits were the Otters and the Penguins. I probably spent a good two plus hours with the Otters. After the zoo I went to my sisters house and surprised my niece and nephew with my visit. We had an awesome evening hanging out, having tacos for dinner, then my sister and I snuck out to a winery.

It was truly a great day to begin my long weekend and my birthday celebration!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal columbia debbie quick debs creative images fall fall foliage mammal nature new jersey preserve wild wildlife wolf wolves Fri, 25 Oct 2019 03:57:50 GMT
The Three Amigos It was slated to be one of the hottest days of the year, possibly the hottest, but that didn't stop me from going out to check on my local Osprey family. Upon arrival I found all three kids in the nest and both parents perched in the favorite tree keeping an eye on things.

I went over to watch the nest and get some shots of the youngsters. One even gave me a great opportunity with a wing flapping session. I watched excitedly thinking that it won't be long before they fledge. Then Mike from the garden came over to chat with me for a minute and he mentioned that they all fledged last week. It seems early and I was sad that they fledged without me, but I stood around watching and hoping they would give me some action opportunities.

I waited for the longest time and nothing much happened. They had a small fish in the nest and one ate some of it, then moved away and one of the others took a few bites. It was later in the morning when one of them finally finished off the remains of the fish. After roughly 45 minutes of me watching, mom took off towards Lake Champlain and was still gone when I left.

Then around 11:00 a group of people showed up at the gardens and the Osprey seemed a little annoyed by it. They started yelling and flapping and one took flight, giving me fantastic opportunities for some photos. After his 5 minute fly around, a second osprey decided to take flight and stretch his wings. The third osprey just sat in the nest, flapping away, but never took off for me.

It was almost an hour later when another osprey decided to take flight and he/she headed straight towards me and over my head. It came so close I couldn't even photograph it, so I watched in awe. I'm not sure if the osprey was trying to scalp me or was just curious of me and checking me out. All I'll say though is thankfully I still have all my hair!

That kid didn't stay out for long before heading back to the nest and then one of the others flew out. This time, the kid landed in a pine tree nearby instead of going back to the nest. I went over and got a few shots, then returned to watch the youngsters in the nest. By 12:30 I had enough of the sun and the super hot temps, so I called it a day. Two kids were in the nest, one was in the pine tree, and dad was still perched nearby keeping an eye on things!

It sure was a fun morning and I wish I could have stayed longer, but the heat and I don't get along, so I went back to camp and hung out with my dogs in the AC!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images nature new york osprey outdoors raptor sea hawk ticonderoga wild wildlife Sun, 21 Jul 2019 13:18:14 GMT
Common Loon Flap My original plan for today was to get up around 5am and hit the water early with my kayak, but sadly that did not happen as this girl is not at all a morning person. Instead, I slept til 8:30 and then goofed off around my campsite all morning. It was almost 2:00 when I finally headed out for my paddle. I was ready to go much earlier than 2:00, but the afternoon light stinks for photography, so I continued to goof off and head out a little later.

I road the rocky and windy road up to the pond and worked my way over to the water. There was a huge group of people sitting around on the rocks, enjoying the beautiful day when I approached. They were very kind to ask me if I needed help and when I told them I was all set, they were impressed with my setup and how quickly and easily I got into the water.

I then proceeded to the other end of the pond to look for the loons. I eventually found three of them, in a different area than I had spotted them on Monday. Two of them stuck around at a distance and the third quickly disappeared and wasn't seen again. I floated around and let the loons come in closer to me until they felt comfortable being around me. It took almost 90 minutes and once they did build up the trust in me, they were very cooperative for photographs. One still maintained a little bit of a distance, but the other one stayed right with me and swim along my side as I kayaked. It even turned into a frantic lunatic doing all this weird stuff. It was dunking in and out of the water, rolling around putting it's belly and feet in the air, skimming on the water, and engaging in other not normal behavior. I have no clue what was going on. It almost looked like something under the water may have had a hold on it and was trying to pull it under. I'm not really sure what was going on, but eventually it stopped the behavior and started bathing and preening. At one point, the other loon yelled and then disappeared for a good 5-10 minutes.

Eventually they both were close by and cooperated for one final photo opportunity before they both heading away and disappeared.

It was a really awesome experience as I've never been so close to loons before. Now if only one of them would show up with babies!

After my amazing kayaking excursion I stopped back at camp to take care of my dogs, have dinner, and a quick shower before heading out to the fireworks. As always, the Ticonderoga fireworks show was fantastic. It's always long with a really nice variety of fireworks! It was the perfect way to end a hot summer day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) 4th of july adirondacks animal bird common loon debbie quick debs creative images fourth of july jabe pond loon natgeo national geographic new york outdoors pond water waterfowl wild wildlife Fri, 05 Jul 2019 03:10:30 GMT
Portrait of a Puffin Today is my last full day in Maine and my third and final day of doing the Puffin Tour on Machias Seal Island. It's been so much fun and I am happy to go home tomorrow and return to my normal routine, but I sure will miss hanging out with Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Common Murres, and Atlantic Terns.

The morning started out cooler than the previous mornings at a whopping 55 degrees, the sun was shining, and once again the water was smooth as glass. A good sign for another day out on the water. 

We arrived at the dock and boarded with another group of people. We met and chatted with three of the other people on the boat yesterday and met new people today. Once again we were able to try out a different blind, which was really nice because we got to enjoy a different perspective each day. We really lucked out getting three perfect days in a row and the ability to get to the island as roughly only 70% of the scheduled tours actually make it to the island each year.

Today's visit not only gave plenty of opportunities with Puffins and Razorbills like the past two days, but we also had a fantastic opportunity with the Common Murres. We had close-up opportunities with all three species as well as distant. We also had lots of opportunities of wing flapping and of fish being brought into the burrows. Getting the shots of the birds with the fish was an extremely difficult task as they would come in so fast and quickly dip down into the burrows. I think I managed to get a few opportunities with birds with fish, so I am excited and do look forward to posting them at some point.

After we spent almost 90 minutes in the blind, we proceeded to sit on the patio for a little bit before heading back to the boat. While sitting on the patio I had an opportunity to see one of the Arctic Tern chicks and I got to watch one of the parents come in with a fish and feed it to him. It was super adorable and after the chick ate his meal, he went back to the nest. In addition to seeing that, I found a good seat and was able to photograph the Arctic Terns as they were dive bombing people who walked across the boardwalk to go use the restroom.

Eventually we boarded the Barbara Frost and Captain Andy was extremely generous to give us a ride around the island to see many of the birds up close. Then he finished our tour by bringing us out to go see some seals that were resting on Gull Rock. He very slowly and as quietly as possible (as quiet as a boat can get) got us in closer and closer. Once he was content with the distance, he shut off the engines so we get some shots in without disturbing the seals. It was really cool to see them up so close!

After out visit with the seals, we went back to shore and thanked Captain Andy and his assistant, Brian, for everything that they had done for us. On all three of the tours they were so helpful and so kind to everyone on board. Their hospitality, kindness, and efforts to go out of their way to make sure the tour was the best it could possibly be was amazing. 

Since we still had the better part of the afternoon free, we went to Campobello Island in Canada to see the Roosevelt Cottage. The grounds were gorgeous and the home was very nice. A very nice way to end the day before going to dinner and the motel to relax before the big trip home tomorrow.

For a vacation finale, I thought it would be nice to share a close-up of one of the Puffins. They sure are beautiful and sweet little creatures. They new we were sitting in the blind and not once did they ever show signs of being bothered by us. In fact, they often seemed intrigued by us and would stick around and watch us in the same fashion that we watched them. It really was an awesome experience and I wouldn't mind coming back again some day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal atlantic puffin bird coast cutler debbie quick debs creative images feathers machias seal island maine natgeo national geographic nature ocean portrait puffin sea bird seabird wild wildlife wings Wed, 26 Jun 2019 01:07:54 GMT
What's better than one puffin.... TWO PUFFINS! Today is day two for me in Maine and my second day of going on an Atlantic Puffin tour with my photography friend. We woke early and arrived at the boat launch in Cutler, Maine around 7:15 for our 8:00 tour. The morning was beautiful with sunny skies, no wind, and a perfect morning temp. As we waited to board the skiff for our taxi to the Barbara Frost, we got eaten up by a variety of bugs. They were biting me so badly, that I was bleeding and I had to bend down to the water and rinse my hands and face off. The water was refreshing and looked like glass in the bay. In addition to being eaten alive, we enjoyed watching two bald eagles flying to the right of us near the tree line. With an eagle sighting first thing in the morning, we knew it would be a great day!

Our wait was short and Captain Andrew got us to the boat quickly. Once we boarded he went through the same routine as yesterday, with one exception. Yesterday he pointed out the cormorants to everyone on board and today he pointed out the bald eagles. The 45 minute ride went smoothly as the water was so calm even after we left the bay and got into the open waters. We chatted with other people on board, mostly with a very nice couple from Ohio and so the ride seemed to go pretty fast.

After we got to the island, we were informed that since our group was smaller today than yesterday they were going to put 4 of us in each blind and give us over an hour. It was really nice to have the longer time in the blind, but it sure was cramped with four people in there. Much more so than yesterday when there were only 3 of us in each blind. 

Since we are doing the tour multiple days in a row, we thought it would be nice to see if we could get a different blind each day and so we asked if that was possible. The tour group people were very accommodating and so we were very happy and grateful. The blind we went to today wound up being far more active than the blind we were in yesterday and so that was truly amazing. Although, it did make it a bit more challenging as to keeping focus on one bird and waiting for that one bird to do something cool/different.

We got to see puffins and razorbills bring in fish, but it was so tough to get the shots as they dipped down into the burrows with them so quickly. We also noticed that the puffins had a flight pattern going on as they would come out of their burrows and hop onto one rock after another and then take off from the upper most rock. It was almost like an airport the way they would like up and follow the same pattern. If only they would follow a pattern when they returned with the fish. I got a few shots with puffins and razorbills with a beak full of fish, but not the shot I've been hoping to get. Good thing we have another day tomorrow as I'll have another opportunity to try and get the shot I want more than anything on this trip.

In addition to the additional activity in the birds, there were also a lot more puffins and common murres around. The puffins were often close and we could get 2+ into a shot, which wasn't something we could do yesterday. Although there were many more common murres around today, they did stay rather distant.

Being in the blind and watching the activity was a true blessing and we all left the island happy and full of smiles. Upon return to the boat, Captan Andy mentioned that he would give us a close-up tour around the island before returning back since the water was so calm. During the close-up tour we got to see so many seabirds in the water and on the rocks along the edge of the island. We even got to see a seal along the edge of the island. Sadly, there were no seals on Gull Rock today as the researchers were previously on that island and the seals had left.

We enjoyed the quick boat ride back to shore and then went to Lubec to check out the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse and the small town. It was tiny, but nice. And when we got into town, we were able to see the Mulholland Lighthouse on Campobello Island which is in Canada. Before heading back to Machias, we decided to eat dinner on the balcony of a restaurant in Lubec that overlooked the Lubec Narrows and had a straight on view of the lighthouse on Campobello Island. 

It truly was another magnificent day in Maine!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal atlantic puffins bird debbie quick debs creative images machias seal island maine nature ocean outdoors puffins sea bird seabird water wild wildlife Tue, 25 Jun 2019 00:11:06 GMT
Fun with Puffins Sixty eight days I ago I booked my airline reservation to go with a photography friend to Northeast Maine to see the Atlantic Puffins. At the time I booked my reservation it seemed like the trip was so far away. Then last week came and I realized I was two days away from my trip and so I scrambled to get my chores done and get my gear together.

Yesterday, the day was upon us and so I drove my dogs out to my parents house and then proceeded to Drive to Leesa's house so we could take a taxi to the airport. When I arrived at Leesa's house something didn't seem right and I had a gut instinct that I was in the wrong place. Sure enough, I wound up waking up a drunk guy at 12:30 in the afternoon after he spent the night partying with his Military buddies. I felt so bad that I had woken him up, but he was very kind and assisted me into getting to where I needed to be which was 15 minutes away.

Eventually I met up with Leesa and we headed to the airport. Our flight had an initial delay because it arrived late to the airport. Then after we boarded, one of the engines wouldn't start and so they had us get off the plane so that the maintenance guys could take a look at things. In the end we wound up departing 3 hours late and arrived at the airport in Bangor, Maine very late. That was a bit of a hassle, but tolerable. The bigger problem wound up being when my checked bag didn't arrive with us. We wound up leaving the airport almost an hour later than expected, minus one bag. It was a slightly stressful trip, but then today came quickly and the amazing opportunity assisting in alleviating the pain from yesterday.

We arrived at the bay roughly a half hour before our tour with Bold Coastal Tours to Machias Seal Island and proceeded to board a skiff (a shallow, flat-bottomed open boat with a sharp bow and square stern) that took us to the boat to that would make the roughly 50 minute (10 mile) journey to the island. Once all passengers were onboard our tour boat (Barbara Frost), Captain Andy introduced himself and went over some info about the area of Maine we were in and some of the safety info. We then proceeded on our amazing journey.

The tide was low, there was a slight breeze, and the water conditions were great for the journey. It was a pleasant ride over to the island and we even had an opportunity to photograph a lighthouse on the way. There wasn't much to see on the journey, but as soon as we got close enough to the island we could see all kinds of birds. There were Atlantic Puffins, Arctic Terns, Common Terns, Razorbills, and Common Murres. 

Once we got close enough to the island, Captain Andy put out the anchor and prepared the skiff to get us to the island. There were 18 of us on board and he brought us to the island in groups of 6-7. Once we got over to the island we had to hold onto the handrail and very slowly and carefully walk up the path. Since the tide was low, the water was out, and the walkway was extremely slippery. Once we made it up to a safe area we waited until everyone from the boat was on land before we had a quick briefing of the rules and went up to the waiting area. As soon as we went through the magic gate we were walking past Arctic Tern nests and they were dive bombing us. I'm not sure if anyone else found it comical, but I was a bit amused. Once we got up to the waiting area, we were split up and half of us got to go to the blinds for our 45 minutes of fun while the other half of the group waited for their 45 minutes of fun.

Being in the blind was a truly amazing experience. We mostly saw razorbills, but did get many opportunities with puffins and just a small handful of opportunities with the common murres. There were birds everywhere, so many that I couldn't possibly count. Easily thousands of birds. They were in front of us, to the sides of us, and even dancing around on the roof. Not only were the birds everywhere, but they would come in so close and some would even stop and look inside the blinds at us. They new we were there and they didn't hesitate to pose and put on a show. We didn't get to see any interactions of the puffins pairs together, but there were many instances of the razorbills grooming and preening each other. They seemed so in love and happy to have such a relationship.

In some ways the time in the blind seemed too short as we couldn't get enough. There was so much activity and it was completely amazing. On the other hand though, it did stink in there and my back and arms were hurting from the way we were positioned and from the weight of the camera.

Eventually we all met back up in the waiting area and then headed back to the boat for our journey back to shore. Before leaving the island, Captain Andy drove us in close to get shots from the water. Then he proceeded to gull rock (which was another tiny island nearby) that was filled with seals. Many seals were laying on the rocks and a bunch were swimming around in the water. It was difficult to photograph them between the rocky boat and their fast moves, but I still snapped away.

By the time we began our journey back, the tide had come in and was much higher. Also, the water was relatively choppy. Not scary choppy, but just enough that Captain Andy had to make the trip back slower and he had to strategically work with the water and winds.

It was an amazing and special day and I'm excited that we are booked for 2 more tours. Here is a sneak peak of one of my shots of the Atlantic Puffin. They were small, fast, and completely entertaining to watch. 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal atlantic atlantic puffin bird bold coastal tours coast cutler island machias seal island maine nature ocean outdoors puffin sea bird seabird water wild wildlife Sun, 23 Jun 2019 23:10:30 GMT
Osprey Family Today was another beautiful day up in the North Country! 

The boyz and I slept in a little and then I headed out to the Fort to check on my favorite osprey family. Upon arrival I saw mom sitting in the nest and dad in a tree close by watching. Eventually, I saw one little osprey head pop up, then a little while later I was excited to see a second one. For almost an hour, I was beyond thrilled with excitement that I would get to enjoy two young osprey this year. Then out of nowhere, I realized there was a third youngster in the nest. At that point, my level of excitement went through the roof.

I stayed and watched for a few hours. The male left and returned with a fish that he ate in a nearby tree. The whole time he ate, the female yelled at him to bring food to the nest for her and the kids. After he ate, he went out fishing and returned with a small fish for them. He dropped the fish off, then went back out again and returned with another small fish almost a half hour later. After the second delivery, he sat back in his tree again before heading back out for a third fish. The third fish he returned with was large and so he ate some of it before bringing it to the nest.

During all this time I also watched as an adult bald eagle came into the territory and the female chased it away. In addition to the bald eagle visiting, another osprey came in to check things out just after the delivery of the first two fish. There were some really slow moments and some really exciting moments while I was visiting the nest. The best moment though was the opportunity I had to photograph both parents in the nest with all three kids. Getting a family portrait of wildlife is never an easy task, so to be able to get this today was beyond exciting. At that point, I was completely satisfied with the time I spent with the osprey family and so I packed things up and went back to camp.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images natgeo national geographic nature new york osprey raptor ticonderoga wild wildlife Sat, 15 Jun 2019 23:53:42 GMT
Nursing Fawn My day started a little late as the boyz and I took advantage of having no commitments and sleeping in a little. Part of me regretting sleeping in on such a gorgeous day, but my body just wasn't ready to get up and every once in a while, I need to listen to what my body says.

I had many plans for today, but I wound up ditching most of them to enjoy the precious little fawns as I didn't see them at all during the work week. As soon as I arrived on location, I spotted fawn #1 snoozing under a tree. I took a quick photo of the fawn and then proceeded to park my car far away to avoid disturbing it. When I got out of my car, I spotted a mockingbird on the tip of a branch in a tree. I positioned myself best as possible with the sun behind me to get a few photos of it. Once I was done, I lowered the camera and began to look around. It was then that I spotted the mama of fawn #1 in the bushes below the mockingbird, just staring at me. I felt bad that I hadn't noticed it upon approach as I would have left, without photographing the mockingbird. So, as soon as I realized she was there, I left the area and began my journey to look for the other fawn.

It didn't take me long to find fawn #2 as it was a short walk away from fawn #1. It was in a terrible spot for late morning pics as it was in complete shadow, so I adored it for a minute and then continued on to walk and get in some steps. I walked for a maybe a minute down the path and there I spotted mama #2 who was apparently the mama of fawn #2. I've always known that the moms are always nearby to keep an eye on their babies and it was so cool to actually witness them both being within sight of their young. I spoke to her for a minute and thanked her for letting me get to see her beautiful young fawn. I even took a few shots of her before saying goodbye and continuing my walk.

I spent most of the day just walking around and checking in on fawn #1 and fawn #2, making sure not to stay too long watching either of them. I even saw mom #1 and mom #2 several times as they both stayed in the same areas for the majority of the day either grazing on the grass or simply laying in the shade keeping an eye on things. I had many opportunities to photograph both mamas as well as both fawns. I even had the opportunity to speak to both moms and thank them for sharing their beautiful babies with me.

In addition to enjoying all the deer on site, I also had fun photographing the groundhogs, mockingbirds, and northern flickers. The northern flickers were a real treat as I've never gotten to get so close to them to get photos. The groundhogs simply cracked me up the way they would waddle away as quickly as possible. And I must say that I never realized how many mockingbirds we have on site. They too were hilarious to watch and listen to. I think many of them had nests nearby as they were constantly yelling and chasing other birds. It sure was entertaining to see all the activity.

Eventually I went to my car and moved it to a location so I could sit and observe the area with the sun behind me. This was in the area where fawn #1 and mama #1 were both resting. The fawn was snoozing under a tree and mama was chilling under a bush keeping an eye on things. Both were distant from me so I took a couple of shots, but mostly just watched and enjoyed the beauty. It wasn't long after I got comfortable in my car when I saw mama #2 approaching the area with fawn #2 following behind her. Both did a quick run through and headed into a small wooded area. Shortly after, mama #1 got up and signaled for her baby to come over. Fawn #1 got up and ran towards her. It nursed for a minute, then they both began to proceed towards the wooded area where mama and fawn #2 had went. Half way there and they both stopped and the fawn began nursing again. This time it was really distant, so I quickly threw on my 2x teleconverter to make my lens turn from 500mm to 1000mm. It was still a bit distant, but such an amazing blessing to see. So here it is, the precious fawn nursing off of mom. Very distant, even with 1000mm, so this shot is a bit of crop. Either way though, such a joy to see. In fact, the biggest highlight of my day. I could not have asked for anything better!

Additional pics from my day will soon follow on my facebook page!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby debbie quick debs creative images deer fawn hudson valley mammal natgeo national geographic nature new york outdoors poughkeepsie white-tailed wild wildlife young youngster Mon, 10 Jun 2019 01:08:00 GMT
Waiting for Mama, again... What a fantastic day out with my camera. The day began early when I picked up my photography buddy at 8:30 am. We first went over to check on the Fawn I got to photograph yesterday. The fawn was in a different spot and just laid there in the shade while we took a bunch of photos. We didn't stay for too long because mostly it was resting and we didn't want to disturb it.

We then continued our day by heading down to the Creek to check on the Great Blue Heron and the Red-Tailed Hawks nests. There were two great blue heron nests and it was impossible to find a clear opening to photograph them, so we just simply watched and enjoyed their beauty. The red-tailed hawk hatchling was in the nest all alone and the parents never came in to join it. We watched it look around, preen, and even hop up onto a branch. It flapped its wings a few times and we both took many shots. The nest was rather far away, so it was difficult to get amazing shots, yet still so fun to watch.

After roughly an hour at the creek, we decided to go check on a bald eagle nest we watch. The youngsters in that nest were not in locations for us to get photos of them, so we left to go check in again on the fawn before heading down to NJ to check on a pair of peregrine falcons we enjoy to watch. The fawn was still in the same spot, so we simply did a drive through and left.

By the time we got to NJ, the day had warmed up to 80 degrees and we were rather hot in the direct sunlight. It felt good to know that my pasty white skin was getting a little color (even with the globs of sunblock I put on), yet it was hot and sticky and made me feel yucky. The first few hours things were really slow, but our last hour in NJ was very entertaining. The female peregrine caught a bird and flew by us to show off her prize. She then dumped it somewhere. We couldn't tell if she brought it back to the nest or stored it elsewhere, but our assumption is that she brought it to the nest. Then both falcons flew around for a bit, mostly high and far. Eventually, the male peregrine flew into the favorite perch with a bird and began to eat. He ate roughly half of it, then flew out over the river and exchanged it to the female in mid air. She then flew to the favorite perch and finished it off. It was a really cool thing to see.

After our grand finale with the peregrine falcons we decided to head back towards home and check on the fawn once more before calling it a day. The fawn was still resting in the same spot its mama left him/her in this morning. This time though, the late afternoon light hit the fawn so beautifully. We didn't stay too long. Just long enough to watch the fawn get up once to stretch and reposition itself. Then we watched as the bugs annoyed the fawn and the fawn got up once more to scratch and bite at the bugs. It didn't stand for long before laying back down and preening. We watched as it cleaned itself for a minute or two, then thanked it for being so cooperative and wished it a good night.

We got to see so much today. Not all of it made for good photo opportunities, but still a real blessing to see. The best photographic opportunity of the day was the late afternoon visit with the fawn. I generally like my blog posts to be a good mix of wildlife, but with the awesome light on the fawn this evening, I just simply couldn't resist using the fawn for a second day in a row! I hope you all are in love with this fawn just as much as I am!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby debbie quick debs creative images deer fawn hudson valley mammal natgeo national geographic nature new york outdoors white-tailed deer wild wildlife young youngster Sun, 02 Jun 2019 02:05:01 GMT
Waiting for Mama As I was walking to the cafeteria today to get a cup of tea, I ran into a friend/colleague. She mentioned to me that we had a newborn fawn on site and that she would show it to me on the way back to our building. As soon as she said that, I was thrilled with excitement. I quickly grabbed my tea and we headed back. And sure enough, there was the fawn laying just outside the windows of the building. We went inside and walked along the windows to get a closer look at the tiny/precious little fawn that lay out there on the rocks and in the shade. It didn't look all that comfortable on the rocks, yet it didn't budge. It just lay there, facing the window and looking inside.

The adorable little fawn was the highlight of the day for many and everyone who heard about it took a trip to the window isle to take a peak and grab a pic with their cell phones. The fawn didn't seem too phased by any of it and just laid there... snoozing, yawning, grooming itself, and watching people walk by. So many people walked by on the walkway and didn't even notice it there.

I worked late so that I could go out and grab some photos after things settled down and there weren't too many people left on site. I was able to grab photos from a few different angles and even met and chatted with a few new hires while I was out there. Everyone was in awe at the precious little life that we all got to enjoy today. Personally, I instantly fell in love with the beautiful baby. I stayed for just over an hour and sat at a distant bench watching. Mama strolled through once to check on her youngster, but didn't stay as there was still a flurry of activity with people leaving the office for the day.

Last year we had two fawns and they stuck around for several weeks before following mama, so I'm hoping this precious little one will also hang out for a few weeks and give me the opportunity to watch it grow.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby debbie quick debs creative images deer fawn hudson valley mammal natgeo national geographic nature new york poughkeepsie spots white spots white-tailed deer wild wildlife youngster Sat, 01 Jun 2019 01:24:44 GMT
Portrait of a blue jay Today is my fourth day at camp and my first day that I haven't been working as I finished up around 8:30 last night. Now that the work is done, it is time to relax and have fun. This morning was really chilly and my poor dogs were so cold. I turned on the heat in the camper and snuggled with them for a bit.

Eventually, I made it out of the camper and I relaxed out on the deck hand feeding chipmunks and photographing my chipmunks and blue jays. I now have three chipmunks who will come up and take peanuts from my hands. It's super cute how they will put their paws in my hand as they reach up to grab the peanuts. I could never get enough of their cuteness and I miss them every winter when I'm home.

While playing with the chipmunks, I also enjoyed watching the blue jays come in for peanuts. They won't come as close to me, but they do come close enough for me to get great photographs of them and so that is what I did this morning. I sat quietly on the deck, handing peanuts to the chipmunks running up to me and I watched as the blue jays fly in and take peanuts from the chippy feeding station. At one point I counted 6 of them and enjoyed their activity in my yard. While photographing them and the chipmunks I also spotted robins, a pair of cardinals, and two hummingbirds. I didn't get any shots of the other birds, but it was nice to see them.

After I goofed off in the yard, I went to the park to walk the loop around the ball fields and along a portion of LaChute River. The water level is extremely high and the hydroplant is running at full force, so there wasn't much to see. A few gulls were hanging out and I got some shots of them and a cormorant flew in briefly, but not long enough for photos. 

After goofing off in town, I went back to the campground for lunch, a nap, and dinner with my parents. Then after dinner, I went for another long walk. It feels so good to be in the Adirondacks, enjoying the fresh air and nature. Now it's time to relax by the fire and try to go through some photos.

Here is one of the blue jay portraits I was able to get.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird blue jay debbie quick debs creative images nature new york outdoors peanut songbird ticonderoga wild wildlife Wed, 22 May 2019 00:29:06 GMT
Meet Woody The best part of the month of May is that camping season begins. I spent Friday evening and Saturday morning loading up the car with everything I needed to open my camper. Because I had the kayak on the top, I took the long way which is roughly 3 hrs and 45 minutes to avoid the highway. The long way is only 45 minutes longer than my usual way, but very scenic and beautiful. The drive up went well and was rather enjoyable.

Once I arrived at the campground, I dropped my dogs off at my parents and began opening. Opening is so much work as everything needs to be connected, cleaned, and put away. Lots of time is spent working both inside and outside to prepare for the season. By 6:30 last night I was done working for the day and relaxed with my family for a bit. Sitting by the fire with cocktails was the best way to end the day before going in and crashing. I was out like a light so early.

This morning I got up and I finished getting things done inside the camper, then I went outside with my nieces to play with my chipmunks. I was excited to see that Woody and Stubby who have their homes on my site were still here with me as this is my third year with them. For chipmunks, that is old. While my nieces were here, Stubby was running over to take peanuts out of our hands, but Woody was a little nervous and would come just close enough for us to toss the peanuts to him/her. While the girls were handing out peanuts, I grabbed my camera and grabbed a few shots. Several times Woody went up onto the back wall of my fire pit and gave me some great opportunities for photos. After the girls left, he wasn't as nervous and ran right over to me to grab a peanut out of my hand. I was thrilled to already have two chipmunks coming in so close. I even got a quick opportunity to rub Woody's back. It's unbelievable how soft chipmunks are.

After playing with my chipmunks, I ran a few errands and returned to work in the yard. I got a little work done, but not as much as I wanted before the thunderstorms rolled in. I'm getting there slowly, tomorrow is another day and hopefully I'll soon have the outside done. I was hoping to pick up some annuals for the garden at Wallmart, but they had a poor selection and they all looked horrible, so I'll have to bring annuals up from home (from Adams) on my next trip.

Since Woody did such a great job posing for pics, I figured he had to be the center of attention in my blog. Meet my adorable little buddy, Woody!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal chipmunk chippy debbie quick debs creative images nature new york outdoors rodent ticonderoga wild wildlife Mon, 20 May 2019 00:51:25 GMT
Family of Geese Over the past few months, the weekends have been filled with rain and even more rain, making it difficult for me to get out with my camera. Today, the sun finally decided to shine bright, giving me a great opportunity to get out.

I started my day a little slowly as my belly wasn't feeling so well and I had a headache that kept coming and going. Since I got out later than I planned, I only had 20 minutes to look for the great horned owlets who had fledged. I found one and he was in a terrible spot, making it difficult to get a nice shot. After I took a few shots, I headed out and towards Kingston for the Raptor Event I was helping Annie at.

Today's event was an indoor event with a room packed with people. Lots of young children and adults who listened carefully to Annie's program. She brought 3 screech owls, a barred owl, a broad-winged hawk, a red-tailed hawk, a barn owl, a peregrine falcon, and an american kestrel. The crowd was in awe at all the birds and lots of people took advantage of taking photos of the raptor's up close.

After the event, I headed home to walk my dogs and feed them dinner before going out with my camera. They were thrilled to see me and get out for a walk on such a beautiful day. Once I had them all taken care of, I ran out to one of my favorite local ponds. The light was so perfect and there were so many birds to photograph. Four pairs of the Canada Geese had goslings and they provided wonderful opportunities for photographs. In addition to the geese, I enjoyed mallard ducks, killdeer, spotted sandpipers, robins, and tree swallows. I spent 2 hours at the pond having fun and eventually tore myself away to check on swans at another pond. No cygnets yet, but I could see the eggs in the nest when the adult stood up. Sadly though, I was shooting into the sun and so I wasn't able to get any good shots of that.

Now as I sit here relaxing with my dogs and reflecting on my day, it sure was wonderful!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal birds canada geese canada goose debbie quick geese grass hudson valley natgeo national geographic nature new york outdoors pond water waterfowl wild wildlife Sun, 12 May 2019 03:09:29 GMT
Great catch for both of us After work today I was putzing around in my yard with my landscaping when I heard my bluejays yelling like crazy across the road from my home. I stopped what I was doing and went over to see what the fuss was about and as soon as I got around my car I saw a hawk on the ground with a bluejay in his talons. I quickly ran in and grabbed my camera in hopes of getting some shots.

As I got over there with my camera, I realized I didn't have my monopod, so I rested my camera on my neighbors garbage can and started shooting. Sadly, the bluejay in the hawks talons was not dead and I was a bit (and still am) traumatized by hearing the bluejay scream. As I stood their shooting, the other bluejays were all yelling and periodically one would dive bomb at the hawk and the hawk sat there holding onto its meal very tightly.

Eventually the bluejay went quiet and was no longer fighting back and some of the neighborhood kids stopped to see what I was doing. They sat next to me and asked a few questions. One of the kids was a little grossed out, but he continued to ask about the situation.

At first I wasn't sure if the hawk was injured because it tried to fly twice and only made it short distances. Perhaps it is because the bluejay was a bit heavy for it. I sat quietly for a bit and watched as the hawk dug in, then it eventually flew up into a tree with its meal.

The photographer in me was really excited to catch the hawk with the bluejay. Yet, the animal lover in me was so sad to hear the last cries of the bluejay. It was a pretty intense opportunity and I took so many photos. Later tonight I will post a handful of shots from my moment with the hawk and his meal.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey bluejay coopers hawk debbie quick debs creative images hawk hudson valley nature new york outdoors pleasant raptor songbird the circle of life valley" wild wildlife Mon, 29 Apr 2019 23:31:05 GMT
Easter Eagles My Easter Sunday began with a slow start as I got up earlier than I usually would on a weekend and was very slow moving. I first made coffee and relaxed with my boyz before hopping in the shower and getting out for the day. It was close to 9:00 when I finally ventured out of my home to head towards my favorite bald eagle nest.

I arrived on location by 9:30 and found my friend John already in position and a 17 year old named John also in position. The viewing windows for watching the nest are extremely small and tough to get to. Because everything was muddy, I was nervous about trying to get down the hill into a decent spot and so I sat in a spot that wasn't all that great. After a good hour or so being frustrated by how tough my spot was, I finally ventured down into a better spot.

The spot I got to for better viewing was beyond uncomfortable. I sat in the mud at an angle that made my whole body hurt and parts of my body go numb. The first part to begin hurting was my back, then my butt started to hurt and it eventually went numb. Not long after my left leg went numb and then my right foot. As I sat there hurting, all I could think was how in the heck am I going to get up from this position. 

The majority of the activity I got to enjoy happened while I was in the not so great spot as by the time I got to the better spot, the eaglets were well fed and snoozed. I've only looked through a small handful of shots, but I was thrilled that I got a family portrait and so I thought that would be fun to share in the blog. Both parents were in the nest for maybe a minute and I didn't think I got a family shot, so I was thrilled when I saw that I had gotten it after all.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal babies bald eagle bird chicks debbie quick debs creative images eagle eagle family eaglets family family portrait hudson valley nature nest nestlings new york raptor wild wildlife young Mon, 22 Apr 2019 01:37:36 GMT
Rare Duck in NYC For the past few months there has been a beautiful male Mandarin Duck hanging out in Central Park and today I finally had the opportunity to go down and photograph it. 

A few of us met at the train station at roughly 9:30 to catch the 9:50 train. We boarded it and headed out on time. Upon arrival to Grand Central Station, we stopped to get Metro Cards and then proceeded to catch a bus up to the park. When we first arrived at the park we had an opportunity to photograph an adult red-tailed hawk, then we proceeded to the pond to look for the Mandarin Duck. We had no luck spotting it, and then a woman mentioned to me that it was hiding under some brush, so we waited for it to come out. While waiting, we took a walk around to look for other wildlife to photograph and found some small birds and squirrels. Eventually we made it back to the area of the Mandarin Duck and waited some more. It eventually came out for a swim and swam three times for us over the remainder of the afternoon. It was a beautiful sighting to see and the people standing around were all in awe each time it made an appearance.

In addition to the Mandarin Duck we had opportunities to photograph an American Coot, male Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, some songbirds, squirrels and the red-tailed hawk. We even saw a Black Crowned Night Heron, but he didn't cooperate for photos.

The Mandarin Duck was a really amazing treat as they are rare to our area. They were originally native to China and can now be found in in South East England, North England, Wales and Scotland. It is a medium sized, exotic looking duck that perches in trees over water. Their diet consists of insects, vegetation and seeds and they generally reside on park lakes and other wetlands with overhanging trees.

Although the Mandarin Duck originated in China, they are now an endangered species in China due to large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat. It is estimated that the population of Mandarin Ducks in China are now well under 1000 pairs and Japan has roughly 5000 pairs. 

Just like the Wood Duck, the Mandarin Duck nests in tree cavities that are up high and a long way from the water. During incubation, the female does all the work. Once the ducklings hatch, the female will coax them to jump from the nest and head towards the water. At that point, the male will join them again and assist in protecting their young.

It was a fantastic trip to NYC and I'm thrilled that the Mandarin Duck gave us fantastic opportunities for photos!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird central park debbie quick debs creative images duck mandarin duck natgeo national geographic nature new york city outdoors pond rare duck water waterfowl wild wildlife Thu, 28 Mar 2019 01:22:55 GMT
Officially Spring Today's weather screamed... "YAY, it is officially spring"! The morning started off cool, in the 20's with a bright sunshine and beautiful blue sky. As the morning went on, it got warmer and warmer and by mid afternoon it hit 61 degrees. It was a perfect day to be out and about looking for wildlife to photograph.

Bob and Jack joined me on today's outing and we hit two different locations. At our first location we had the pleasure of enjoying a bunch of different waterfowl. There were a bunch of pairs of wood ducks, mallards, geese, and one solo american wigeon. The waterfowl came in close and gave us some fantastic opportunities for photographs. In fact, as we moved around the pond, they followed us and stayed close. In addition to having fun photographing the waterfowl, we ran into a bunch of people we knew and had fun chatting. When photographing waterfowl, it is best to lay down and shoot from their level, so it was amusing to see photographers all lined up on the ground photographing the ducks. By the time we left, my neck and shoulders were so sore from being in that position for so long.

Once we wrapped things up at the first location, we headed down to New Jersey to photograph the Peregrine Falcons. The activity was a bit sporadic, but both falcons gave us great opportunities for pics. We were really hoping for mating, but sadly that didn't happen. Either way though, it was fantastic to see the peregrines and so nice of them to give us fantastic opportunities. While we were on location I ran into several people I've gotten to know over the years and I got to meet photographers who I've chatted with on Instagram and Facebook. 

It was truly a pleasant day and I took almost 1400 photos, Yikes. I haven't looked at all my shots yet, but I did a quick browse and chose one for the blog. At first glance of the following shot I just new I had to use it for my blog. I just love how the shot came out and hope I have a bunch more just as good.

I'm currently on cloud 9 over the great weekend and I'm kinda sad it is just about over and I have to report for duty at work tomorrow! lol

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images downing park duck hudson valley mallard nature new york outdoors pond water waterfowl wild wildlife Mon, 25 Mar 2019 00:21:37 GMT
Natural Camouflage My day started a little later than normal as my dogs and I slept in since I new the morning weather would not be so great. We rolled out of bed at 8:30, then my young friend, Jack, was dropped off at my house around 10 so we could go out and look for wildlife to photograph.

The first half of our day was spent driving around looking for owls and foxes and the second half of our day was spent at a location waiting for the appearance of bald eagles. During our travels looking for owls and foxes we found a Gray Phase Screech Owl and some Bald Eagles. We both got a bunch of photos of the screech owl, but only Jack got a shot of an immature bald eagle on the ground (in the snow) as I was too slow to get it.

Then on the second part of our trip we had the opportunity to see bald eagles, eastern bluebirds, robins and a skunk. We had lots of photographing opportunity at our stationary location.

For my blog today, I decided it would be nice to share the Eastern Screech Owl as they are not as easy to find. They have the best natural camouflage and blend in so well with their environment. They are the smallest of owls and they come in two different phases: gray morph which are gray in color and red morph which are red in color. They are short and stocky with no neck and big yellow eyes. Their feather patterns are designed for them to perfectly blend in with tree bark, making them difficult to find. Just like all other owls, they are nocturnal so they tend to sleep during the day and hunt at night. They tend to roost in tree cavities or in nesting boxes in the woods near water. They are very skittish raptors and it is best to view them from a blind or from the car (using it as a blind). Their diets consist of rodents, bugs, small birds, frogs, crayfish, and other small creatures. During incubation most of the work is done by the female while the male is the main provider of food for the female. After there are hatchlings, both the male and the female will provide food for the young. The youngsters will leave the nest roughly 4 weeks after hatching and both parents will continue to provide them with food for some time.

I hope you've enjoyed learning a little about Screech Owls. I don't get to see them too often, so when I do stumble upon one it is a real treat. I never stay long and I never leave my car when stopping to photograph them as I don't want to disturb them.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bark bird birds of prey camouflage debbie quick debs creative images hudson valley natgeo natural nature nature lovers new york outdoors owl screech owl tree wild wildlife Sun, 24 Mar 2019 02:51:41 GMT
Not just a dog I've been away on girls weekend since Friday and have been having a great time.

This morning I got up early and headed to the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, NJ. The wether was a bit cooler than yesterday and so I forgot to grab my coat and gloves from the car. I couldn't go back to get them as I didn't realize I had forgotten them until after I had taken the very scary bus ride through the campground and up the hill to where the Preserve was. It was rather cold, but I think eventually I lost feeling as it was no longer bothering me.

The layout of the preserve was really cool as there were red foxes and bobcats very close to where we got off the bus. Once the owners got everyone up there, they opened the gate so we could go in, in between the four spaces of wolves. There must have been roughly 100 people in the space and it was impossible for me to see the wolves in two of the spaces. Although I only got to see 5 or 6 wolves, up close it was still very cool The male owner gave an educational lecture the entire time we were in the space. It was fascinating to hear so much about wolves and their behaviors. After he finished his educational lecture, his wife called out some words and got the wolves to howl. It was truly a magnificent experience. In fact, it was so magnificent that I'm planning to go back and splurge on the photography tour.

After I finished at the preserve, I headed towards the outlets and met up with my sisters for shopping. They had gotten such a late start that I only missed one store. And it was a store I had no interest in anyway. I'm not usually a shopper, in fact, I never go out shopping and today I went all out and spent a small fortune on stuff I didn't really need. It was kinda fun to splurge for once on some fun stuff. The big joke now is that I bought two brand name purses and wallets and have no money to put into either. Either way, it was fun. I'm sure both handbags will last me a long time, so eventually I'll get my money's worth out of them.

Here is one of the beautiful wolves from the preserve. I had to shoot through a fence, so I'm pretty happy with the way it came out considering the obstacle.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal canine debbie quick debs creative images dogs furry lakota wolf preserve natgeo nature new jersey preserve wild wildlife wolf Sun, 17 Mar 2019 01:22:19 GMT
My new pal Skunky Poo For the past week many of my photography friends have been posting amazing shots of a skunk that has been coming out during the day. I've been so busy with work and other outings that up until today I had not gotten a chance to get there and wait for the skunk.

I went to the park during my lunch break today and had no luck with the skunk. I saw an immature bald eagle as soon as I got out of my car, but I did not have my camera in hand yet so I just enjoyed watching it circle through and leave. I couldn't stay long, so that was pretty much all I saw before heading back to the office. I can't complain though, because I was happy enough to be out in the sun on a 50 degree day.

At the end of the work day, I went back to the park in hopes of seeing the skunk. I waited and waited and waited and no signs. I got to see a couple of bald eagles and some red-tailed hawks. The eagles weren't too cooperative for photos, but I think I may have gotten a few shots of the red-tailed hawks. As the sun was starting to go down, I headed towards the parking lot to leave. I was almost there when someone yelled over to me that the skunk had made an appearance. It was in a terrible spot with horrible light and in mud. Either way though, I tossed out a few peanuts and waited for him/her to come out for a few shots. 

It was awesome to finally see the skunk and get a few shots, but I am hoping to get it in better light so I plan to go back again tomorrow. Here is the beautiful little critter with one of the peanuts I tossed out!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal black and white creature debbie quick debs creative images furry hudson valley nature new york outdoors pepe le pew poughkeepsie skunk smelly wild wildlife Tue, 12 Mar 2019 00:57:07 GMT
Peregrine Falcon giving the photographers her fist What a gorgeous day today was! It was so nice to finally have a day off with blue sky, sunshine, temps in the mid 40's and subjects to photograph. 

I got up early and headed out to pick up friend Jack. Before we got on the road to head down to NJ, we made a brief stop to check on the local bald eagles we watch. There was no activity with the eagles, so we wound up grabbing our friend Bob and the three of us headed out to NJ to test our luck with a pair of Peregrine Falcons.

As always, the falcons did not disappoint. They were active throughout the day and several times chased other raptors (another peregrine falcon and a red-tailed hawk). They even mated once for us, but it was way too distant and it horrible light. Not all moments were photographical because we were shooting into the sun, but it was still fun to watch. Both the male and the female gave us a few nice opportunities for pics which was rather fun. At one point the female sat in a perfect spot on a dead tree with the beautiful blue sky behind her. She is so tolerant and just sat there looking around at all the activity of people walking and the dogs. She didn't seem overly thrilled with the dogs, but she didn't flee either. In addition to watching her look around at the activity, she stretched and gave us photographers her fist! 

We all took a ton of shots of her sitting in the tree. Probably way too many as she sat for so long and we just kept shooting. Eventually, she turned her back towards us so we moved to another angle hoping that whenever she took off she would head towards us. Sadly though, when she did eventually take off, she went in the opposite direction and headed across the river. We waited a while to see if she would return, but she didn't, so we left feeling very thankful about how great of a day it was!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images falcon feathered feathers hudson valley natgeo natgeoyourshot national geographic nature new jersey outdoors palisades interstate park peregrine falcon raptor stateline wild wildlife Sun, 10 Mar 2019 00:56:11 GMT
Nesting Great Horned Owl I woke this morning to a few inches of wet snow on the ground. I cleaned up the dog pen and the driveway, then sat at my desk to work for a bit. Eventually, I decided to head to the office and I made a couple of stops along the way. I was really hoping to find a red fox in the beautiful white snow, but I had no luck with that. Instead I stumbled across a pair of bald eagles sitting side by side in a very tall tree and a great horned owl sitting on eggs in a tree cavity.

Great horned owls generally roost in trees, on man-made structures, ledges, thick brush, and in tree cavities. They are nocturnal creatures that are mostly active at night (especially at dawn and dusk). Just like many other raptors, mated pairs mate for life and are very territorial of their territory. The will defend their territory by hooting and will respond to intruders by hissing, screaming, bill-clapping, and guttural noises.  They will even spread their wings and strike with their talons if necessary. Smaller birds such as songbirds, crows, and ravens tend to harass great horned owls by dive bombing and chasing them.

The diet of a great horned owl consists mostly of mammals and birds. They will go after small rodents (mice, moles, voles, chipmunks, squirrels, etc), waterfowl (ducks, loons, etc), songbirds, ravens, crows, hawks, smaller owls, and even reptiles. When in hunting mode, they may hunt from a perch above or they may walk around on the ground while stalking younger prey. Most hunting happens at night, but sometimes they will hunt during daylight. Especially if they have young to feed and need to capture more food than when caring only for themselves.

During nesting season, great horned owls generally do not build their own nest. They tend to take over a nest that was built by another species, use a tree cavity, a deserted building, man-made platforms, or on cliff ledges. Sometimes they may choose to line the nest with leaves, feathers (their own or feathers from prey), shreds of bark, or pellets. Due to the fact that they don't build their own nests and that nests eventually deteriorate, they will move on to a new nest at some point.

Nesting season happens only once per year and the female tends to lay 1-4 eggs. The incubation period is generally 30-37 days and the female will sit on the eggs the whole time to keep them warm and safe from predators. Once there are hatchlings, the young ones will stay in the nest for roughly 42 days before they fledge. While they are small and young, the female will not leave them unattended, but once they get large enough and the nest gets too crowded, she may take breaks outside the nest and keep an eye out from close by. If the hatchling leave the nest too early and can't fly, they will often climb up the tree to get back up.

Some things to keep in mind about owls is that if they feel disturbed or threatened, they will abandon their eggs. Due to this sensitivity, I will keep my distance and check in again closer to hatchling time as they are less likely to abandoned children than they are eggs. Additionally, due to the sensitivity, I will not disclose the location of the nest. 

Please enjoy the post and once there are hatchlings, I will give an update on how things are going.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images great horned owl hudson valley natgeo national geographic nature nesting new york nocturnal outdoors owl raptor tree cavity wild wildlife Tue, 05 Mar 2019 01:56:30 GMT
Harbor Seals in the Bay Today I began my day very early in Seaside Heights, NJ. It was my first time ever being on that island (I think, at least as an adult and from what I can remember) and it was pretty cool. It was off season, so getting around the island was very easy and many locations were closed. I could imagine that during the summer that place must be mad crowded, with completely packed streets and difficulties finding parking.

My journey began when I headed down to Island Beach State Park to look for birds to photograph (raptors and waterfowl). I walked over 7 miles and logged over 15,000 steps walking the beaches. I stopped at many of the parking lots and took the trails to the beach and I went to the South end and walked the entire South end of the beach, all the way to the point and back. I had no luck finding the bird I was in search of, but I did get some great opportunities with different waterfowl and a shorebird.

Even though I didn't find the bird I was looking for, the biggest highlight was stumbling across 10 harbor seals in the bay. It was a very long and tough walk on sand while carrying all my heavy equipment, but totally worth it to see such an adorable sight! The seals laid on the rocks stretching, yawning, scratching themselves, and laying like dogs with their bellies up in the air. They were a bit distant from the shore, but so fun to watch through my telephoto lens. For the most part, they stayed in the spot they had chosen, but at one point one of them swam over to another on a rock and kicked him off. It was rather entertaining to watch him steal somebody else's spot.

After I got home this evening I learned that the bird I was looking for made an appearance around 3:40 this afternoon. Sadly, I was already on the road heading home. Oh well, maybe next time. For now, I will enjoy the beautiful scene of the harbor seals running through my head!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beach debbie quick debs creative images harbor seal island beach state park natgeo natgeowildlife natgeoyourshot nature new jersey seal seaside heights shore water wild wildlife Mon, 18 Feb 2019 03:14:22 GMT
Life Bird - Snow Goose Today was a very busy and super exciting day!

Let me first backtrack and say that 2 days ago I received a phone call and an email from Nicole at the Conowingo Dam Visitor Center asking me if I was going to attend the Unveiling of the 2018 Conowingo Dam Bald Eagle Photo Contest. At first I said I couldn't make it, but then Nicole told me I was a winner within the top four and that they really hoped I would make it. After thinking about it and really wanting to go, I made arrangements to take Friday off of work, have my parents watch my boyz and have a friend join me on the journey.

So, today my day began with my buddy Bob and I going over to the Conowingo Dam Visitor Center to attend the unveiling of the 2018 Conowingo Dam Bald Eagle Photo Contest. We arrived a few minutes early and there were already a ton of people there. We went in and enjoyed the very nicely catered breakfast that they offered. We then went into the room with the monitors on display with all the contest entries on one big flat screen tv and the winners of the 2018 Wildlife Photography contest on the other flat screen tv. By the time we finished watching all the stunning photos scroll through, it was time to head downstairs for the unveiling.

The room for the unveiling was packed and Fred from the Conowingo Dam began the announcement ceremony. He announced two People's Choice Awards, an Honorable Mention, and the top three. I felt so honored to win 3rd place as the contest is super competitive with so many awesome photos that are entered every year. I was even blown away at how beautifully they printed and framed my photo. Additionally, it was really cool to see in person the winning photos and the photographers behind the photos. A few of the names were names I've seen on facebook, so it was really nice to put faces to the names I see regularly.

The unveiling was really cool and put me on cloud 9! What a great way to begin the day. After, Bob and I headed up to New Jersey to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. It was my first time going there and it was really cool. It was so big and beautiful and it took us a very long time to do the 8 mile drive as we kept stopping to photograph ducks that we don't get back at home. At first, I was really excited to see a ton of snow geese sitting out in a distance. But then, it got better when we stumbled upon a single snow goose swimming in the water and then ahead it came out onto land. I've been hoping to get shots of a snow goose for roughly 3 years, so it was really awesome to finally get some shots of one today.

It was a truly awesome day winning 3rd place in a photo contest and checking off a bird from my bird wish list, aka "life bird"!



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick edwin b. forsythe national wildlife refuge goose life bird migratory bird nature new jersey outdoors snow goose waterfowl wild wildlife winter migration Sun, 17 Feb 2019 01:39:00 GMT
Bitter Cold Day at the Grasslands Today is my beautiful Bailey's 13th birthday (my older chihuahua) so I stayed home for the first half of the day to spend it with him and my little Bandit who turned 12 just over a week ago. We slept in until 8:30 and just putzed around the house together.

Around 12:00 I began getting my gear together and headed out to the Shawangunk Grasslands. It had been a very windy morning, so I knew it was going to be bitter cold at the grasslands, and it sure was!

Upon arrival I hung out around the parking lot for a bit and enjoyed a couple of relatively close fly-by's of the Northern Harriers. Eventually I got on the trail and headed for the open blind. It's a bit of a walk to get down there, but completely worth the journey because being inside a blind is much better than standing out in the strong winds. While I sat in there I had a few really close fly-by's from the Northern Harriers and I had an immature bald eagle circle high above my head.

I stayed at the blind until just after 4 when the Short-eared owls rose from the ground. There weren't nearly as many up as last weekend, but it was still fun to watch them. I headed on the trail back and enjoyed the beauty of the owls. They didn't come close enough for pics and light wasn't exactly good enough, but I still enjoyed their show and the barking noises they make. In addition to watching the owls, I had a distant peregrine falcon fly by with a bloody meal in his talons. The amusing part was that he was eating it on the fly. A short-eared owl flew by just behind him and surprising didn't chase or try to steal his meal.

The sun made it look absolutely beautiful at the grasslands, giving that beautiful afternoon golden glow, but the winds made it fiercely cold. My fingers and toes were beyond numb during my walk back to the parking lot, but I still enjoyed the show. Overall it was a really good day. I still didn't get the shot I want, so I will continue to go in hopes that I eventually do.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images harrier hudson valley nature new york northern harrier outdoors raptor shawangunk grasslands wallkill wild wildlife Sun, 10 Feb 2019 02:33:41 GMT
Stalking my bird feeders On Saturday night we had our first storm of the year. The expectation was 7-10 inches of snow, instead we had roughly 4 inches with a solid layer of ice over top. It was heavy and brutal to shovel and my dogs clearly were not amused by it. Then last night temps dropped to zero degrees. That caused everything to not only ice over, but ice within. With the temps being so low, I had to get up every few hours and run the water to make sure my main pipe coming in didn't freeze. Although there is heat tape and really good insulation around it, when temps get below 15 degrees there is need to worry.

Due to the temps still being so low this morning, I decided to work from home so I could continue to run the water throughout the day. All went well, I got lots of work done and I had no issues with pipes freezing (unlike some of my neighbors who woke to no water this morning). Later in the day I took a little break and went outside to throw something out when I saw a hawk fly into the pine tree over my neighbors home. I went back in and grabbed my camera. There was no time to put on cold weather gear, so I froze my butt off trying to find a good spot to get a couple of photos. After maneuvering around a bit, I found a spot with the sun behind the bird. Luckily, there were enough branches between the hawk and the sun that the sun behind it wasn't too much of a problem.

I sat and watched the immature red-tailed hawk as it eyed the birds in my yard. Periodically it would glance at me, but then it would shift its gaze back at my feeder birds. I waited in a good position for it to swoop down and get one, but that never happened. After roughly 10 minutes of freezing and watching the hawk, it swooped down off the tree branch straight at me. I was startled and ducked as I watched it swoop back up and over another neighbors home. I've never had a hawk swoop at me like that before, it was a very uncomfortable feeling.

While watching the hawk, I noticed there is also a big nest in the tree it was perched in. I couldn't see it well from the angle I was at, but it looked like one made of sticks, so I'm hoping it could possibly be a new nest being built. Possibly constructed by hawks as it is very nice size. Once the weather is a little warmer, I'll try to see if I can see it better.

In the meantime, I hope to see that immature red-tail again!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images feathers hawk hudson valley nature new york outdoors perched pleasant valley raptor red-tailed hawk tree wild wildlife wings Tue, 22 Jan 2019 00:21:58 GMT
Fun with the swans It was a long night as I didn't sleep well. I went to bed at 1:00 am and was still awake when the clock struck 2:05. I dozed off for a bit, but then I watched the clock hit 3:05. I dozed for a bit more, again not sure for how long before I saw the clock strike 4:05. After that I just tossed and turned, in and out of sleep and resisted checking the clock again until 8:30 when I got up to use the bathroom. I was completely exhausted and the dogs hadn't stirred, so I went back to bed. I continued to toss and turn until 10:10 am when the dogs and I finally rolled out of bed and I still felt completely exhausted. I'm not sure why I had such a rough night, but I did.

Still exhausted, I made coffee and chilled on the couch with my boyz while I sipped my coffee hoping to gain some energy. It must have been around 11:30 when I finally hit the showers and decided to begin my day. I contemplated going over to the Shawangunk Grasslands, but once I saw the sky I figured I would just bum around locally.

I first stopped over at Overlook Park to see if there was anything going on. Not too much today, but there were a bunch of gulls near the parking lot and some Canada Geese out in the field. I got my camouflage gear on and went to sit and photograph the gulls when they all decided to up and leave. I wound up not getting much of anything there by the water, so I took a walk back towards the trail. Not much there either, so I started heading back to my car. On my way back I watched as a woman got out of her car with her dog and headed to the trail for a walk. Her dog was a very laid back and cool guy, so she walked with him off leash. What she didn't realize was that as she was heading towards the trail, he was heading over to say hello to me. I pet him and enjoyed his attention, then called over to his owner to inform her that he was socializing with me instead of walking with her. We chatted from a distance for a minute and he eventually returned to his owner for a walk! It was really cute!

From there, I went over to James Baird State Park to go for a walk and see what I could find. As I was walking I could hear a red-tailed hawk vocalizing, then I watched as it flew from a tree, towards the ponds, and kept going. I followed behind it (even though it was quickly out of my site) to the ponds and photographed the pair of swans that have been hanging out there for the past few weeks. There wasn't much else going on, so I walked the grounds and left.

There really wasn't much to see today and the light wound up being horrible with only a minute of sunshine here and a minute of sunshine there, so I was glad I stayed local and didn't waste my time and gas driving far. At the very least it was fun watching the swans, even if they didn't like me around and would yell at me and swim away every time I tried to go near the water.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images hudson valley james baird state park mute swan natgeo national geographic nature new york pond swan water waterfowl white wild wildlife Sun, 06 Jan 2019 23:45:10 GMT
Goodbye 2018 Wow, it's hard to believe that today is the last day of 2018! It's been a busy year full of activities and making memories.

January and February started off cold, but that didn't stop me from getting out with my camera and looking for wildlife to photograph. I spent most of my time during those two months going to the Shawangunk Grasslands to photograph the Short Eared Owls and the Northern Harriers and going to the Connecticut Shore to photography Snowy Owls. In addition to the grasslands and the shore, I spent time along the Hudson River photographing the Bald Eagles who migrated down for winter and I enjoyed a few other local parks as well as the critters who visit my yard. There weren't any family activities during this time period, so I concentrated on Wildlife Photography.

Then came March and it was still bitter cold. A friend from Texas came to visit me and was blessed with a NY Winter Storm. I don't think he enjoyed it as much as I did, lol. We spent time in my local parks, stopped by some of the local Historic Sites, made a trip to Westpoint, and spent a day in Central Park where we enjoyed the park and the zoo. Later in the month, my niece, Emily, came to visit me for her annual visit and she made friends with my neighbors daughter. I inherited two kids for the weekend and had a great time. In between the time with family and friends, I continued to enjoy going to the grasslands and hitting up some local parks. 

April was a slower month for wildlife, but I did get a few nice opportunities. Mid month I took a trip to Texas to visit my friend and he was a great host. He brought me around to all the local wildlife places and took me out to eat all the different amazing food in Texas. We had Mexican food (which was prepared differently than here in NY), BBQ Beef Brisket, Tamale's, and we went to a Brazilian Steakhouse. It was a really nice trip and my two favorite locations were South Padre Island and Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. I wouldn't mind going back and spending more time at both those locations.

In May spring slowly started to approach and the weather started to get a tad better. I had some nice opportunities with ducks and their ducklings and I got to open my camper for the season. Once camp opened, I balanced my free time with wildlife photography and family. I also signed a contract with Fort Ticonderoga to photograph on their grounds with my good photography equipment. That wound up being an awesome arrangement as I got so many awesome photos of osprey, hummingbirds, and flowers. They even used two of my images as cover photos to the Spring and Summer Newsletters. That itself made the agreement very rewarding.

The summer was fantastic as I made many memories with my family up at camp and I had lots of photography opportunities. I got to enjoy red fox kits in Dutchess County and in Ticonderoga (near camp). The Ticonderoga experience also introduced me to a new couple and allowed me to make new friends. In addition to red foxes, I had the opportunity to photograph two white-tailed deer fawns, adult deer, bald eagles, Canada Geese and their goslings, ducks and their ducklings, as well as many other raptors, songbirds, frogs and other wildlife. The summer was really hot so I didn't get out as much as I would have liked, but I did get out and also enjoyed kayaking in the Adirondacks.

Fall fell upon us quickly, but it still felt like summer to me. The Adirondacks had some awesome foliage after I closed up camp and the Hudson Valley had a very drab and not so good fall. That was a bit of a bummer as I purchased a full frame camera in hopes of getting out for some landscape shots of the fall foliage. Oh well, I'll try again in 2019.

The fall didn't give me many opportunities for photographing as there was lots of overcast and rain on the weekends while I was off. I made it down to the Palisades Interstate Park for my birthday weekend and got to see the Peregrine Falcons, so that was a huge plus. Since I've closed up camp in October, I haven't been out as much as I would have liked because of the doom and gloom, but I have walked a few of my favorite local parks and I have started to go to the Shawangunk Grasslands again. The owls haven't been coming up until after dark, but the Northern Harriers have been putting on a great show. This has been my first year getting some good shots of them.

November was a busier month as I enjoyed the local parks and took my annual trip to the Conowingo Dam with friends to photograph Bald Eagles. This years experience was much different than the past as the water levels were so high and the generators were constantly pushing water through the dam. The lower levels were closed off which allowed the Cormorants and the Great Blue Heron to come in much closer than usual. The weekend after my Conowingo trip I enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving with my family and my nephew, Branden, went home with me for our annual weekend tradition of picking out the Christmas Tree and decorating my house.

Then in December I continued to enjoy some wildlife opportunities and I got together with my family again to celebrate Christmas. It was nice being with everyone and making memories together. Since then I've been sick, so I haven't gotten out much. I managed to trade in my car for a new Mini Cooper Countryman and today I finally took the new car out for a countryside drive with my camera. I wasn't out long, but it was rewarding.

For the last day of the year, I had an awesome opportunity with an immature red-tailed hawk who decided to hunt and catch a meal right in front of me. It was a fantastic way to end the year!

I would like to say "THANK YOU" to all of you who have been following my blog for the year! I know I didn't post as much as I would have liked, but that's life!

Tonight I wish you all a Wonderful, Safe, and Happy New Year Celebrations!

It was a fantastic year and I look forward to 2019 and continuing to blog for all of you!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) 2018 animal bird birds of prey celebration debbie quick debs creative images elite birds elite raptors feathers flight flying happy new year hawk hudson valley james baird state park national geographic nature new york outdoors predator raptor red tailed hawk wild wildlife wings Mon, 31 Dec 2018 23:23:06 GMT
A Gull's Beauty Life has been so hectic and so busy and so the boyz and I decided to sleep in. It was roughly 9:15 when we rolled out of bed to pull the drapes aside and find the sun shining. The sky was the prettiest blue I've seen in what seems like forever, so I quickly took care of the dogs and got myself ready so I could head out.

My first stop was to walk Vassar Farms and as I went to go in I spotted a sign stating that they will be closed from 12/23/18 - 1/20/19. It said not to try and enter at any of the trail heads or violators will be prosecuted. It was a very strict sign and I was so sad that my favorite "go to" place would be closed for a while. Briefly I was at a loss of what to do, but then I decided to go hit up a few of my favorite locations in Poughkeepsie.

I stopped at two places before going to my favorite park where I ran into my buddy, Bob. I first met him at the pond and we walk continued to walk the grounds. We saw four distant bald eagles and several distant hawks. The only photographic highlight was a squirrel perched in a tree eating a nut. Most people wouldn't be too excited over that, but I was because it was sitting in a fantastic spot (with no branches obstructing the view) and the sun hit it perfectly. We took a few photos and then continued on our way. 

After Bob and I walked the grounds of the park, I figured I would head out and check on a couple of other favorite local spots. The first place had a bunch of gulls, so I sat and enjoyed them. It was funny to watch them pick at the ground and throw the leaves around. Periodically one would fly and move to another spot and I got to enjoy one take a bath and flap its wings after. I stayed for roughly an hour, hoping that another animal would join us, but not much more happened so I continued to one last spot of the day.

At my final location I spotted a red-tailed hawk fly from the ground to a tree so I found a place to park my car and got out to walk the grounds. The hawk must have spotted something in the woods because as I was walking I saw it fly deeper into the woods. The pond had a pair of swans and a ton of geese. I thought of going over, but I didn't want to disturb them so I watched from afar for a bit and then decided to head back to my car. As I was walking I caught a glimpse of a red fox out of the corner of my eye. As soon as I noticed the fox, it noticed me and ran off into the sun, giving me no opportunity for a photo. It looked very healthy and I hope to see it again.

Although I was all over the place today, things were rather slow. I didn't see anything too exciting, but I was very pleased with my photo opportunities with the squirrel and the gulls. It was a tough choice on which photo to use for the blog, but the gull won!

Happy Holiday's and a huge thanks to all of you who follow me!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images gull nature new york outside pond the hudson valley water waterfowl wild wildlife Mon, 24 Dec 2018 03:31:33 GMT
Harrier kind of day I used my final vacation day of the year today and I took advantage of sleeping in just a bit. It was roughly 8:30 when the boyz and I finally rolled out of bed and we took our time starting the day.

It's been a while since the boyz had their nails cut, so I figured today was a good day to get them to PetCo for their pedicures. On our way to PetCo, we stopped at IBM and I brought them in to see my co-workers. There weren't too many people in the office, but everyone who was there got an opportunity to say "hi" to them. It was really great because they were so happy to get out of the house and socialize and everyone at the office who got to see them enjoyed their visit. We didn't stay in the office for long and then they went to get their pedicures. Bailey wiggled and struggled, giving the girl a bit of a tough time, but she eventually got through all four of his paws. Bandit was a perfect angle on the table. He was in out real quick.

After our little journey out in the morning, we went back home so I could have some lunch and prepare for my afternoon out. I had some soup, I changed into appropriate clothing and I got some hot tea ready to take with me since I was planning to head to the Shawangunk Grasslands where I knew it would be cold.

Sure enough, as soon as I got out of the car at the grasslands, the cold temps and strong winds hit me. Northern Harriers were already flying, so I figured I would head out to one of the open blinds. 

Upon arrival at the blind, I put my bag in and I stayed outside next to the blind. The Harrier's flew relatively close and gave me some nice opportunities. Eventually though, I had enough of the cold winds and went inside. This was my first time ever staying in the blind and photographing from there. That wound up being the best idea ever as the Harrier's came in real close after I went into the blind and gave me some nice opportunities for photos. I stayed in the blind until the sun shifted and my entire area was in shadow and then proceeded on the walk back to the parking lot. 

Upon arrival at the parking lot I ran into a couple other photographers I know. I chatted for a bit, hoping the owls would come up, but they didn't. I left around 4:15. A little bummed because the owls didn't rise in the good light. Yet a bit thrilled because I had some great opportunities with the Northern Harriers. I'm thinking I may head back over there again this weekend.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images hawk hudson valley nature new york northern harrier outdoors shawangunk grasslands wild wildlife Sat, 08 Dec 2018 01:26:39 GMT
Christmas at Vanderbilt I got up early today and headed out to Vanderbilt Mansion thinking that today was the day for the free tours. As soon as I arrived on the property I realized I must have gotten my days mixed up because there were very few cars in the parking lot. At first I contemplating leaving and coming back tomorrow, then I figured I might as well do one of the regular tours since I was already there. What a great idea that turned out to be because it was only $10 and there were only four of us in the group for the tour. 

The tour was really good as we first entered the mansion through the main entrance in the front. It felt so grand walking up those big steps and entering into the enormous wood doors. We stepped into a small foyer, then the next set of doors opened up into the enormous living room. There was all kinds of wood, marble, beautiful wall sconces and a living space elegantly decked out for the holidays. The room was spacious with a ceiling far higher up than the traditional cathedral ceiling I've ever seen.

The theme of the home was a dark red and gold. Everywhere I looked, I saw those colors. All the rooms on the first floor were blocked off, but we could peak inside and take photos. There was a huge formal dining room that had a dining table to fit 30 chairs and two fireplaces. A tea room which was elegant, yet a bit gaudy for my tastes that was used by Mrs. Vanderbilt. A beautifully decorated study that was used by Mr. Vanderbilt. And a second huge living room.

From there, we went up this beautifully decorated staircase to the second floor. The second floor was just as beautifully decorated as the first floor. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt each had their own rooms, then all the other rooms on the floor were for their guest. Apparently, the room closest to the Vanderbilt suite was highly sought after as only those with highest ranking got to stay in that room.

We didn't get to go on the third floor, but we did learn that the third floor is where all the bedrooms were for the servants who travelled with the Vanderbilt's and the guests with lower rankings.

After we finished browsing the second floor, we took the servants staircase down to the basement. That staircase was a very narrow spiral down and not at all fancy. Well, maybe the banister was a tad fancy. On the way down we got to see the Butler's Pantry and we got a small peak at the elevator that was installed when the mansion was first built and then upgraded when Mr. Vanderbilt was in his 80's and needed it. Our tour guide used it, so it was really impressive that it still works today.

The basement was rather interesting. Half of it was closed off to us, but we were told that behind door #1 was the servant women's washroom and #3 was the servant men's washroom. I completely forget what was behind door #2. Oops, I was busy taking pictures. On the other half of the basement was the kitchen which was used by the chef for the Vanderbilt's as well as the local chef who was hired for the servants. The servants also had their own small dining/sitting space. Instead of a refrigerator, there was a space the size of a small walk in closet that was used as a big walk in ice chest. Apparently Mr. Vanderbilt would have had to fire two servants to get a real refrigerator, so he instead chose to keep the ice box which had to be stocked regularly with ice.

It was really cool to finally take a tour of the inside of Vanderbilt Mansion as I've lived in the Hudson Valley area for more than half my life and I used to walk the property ALL the time with my dog Jasmine.

If you're ever looking for something to do on the weekend, you should head over and take a tour. It doesn't cost much, the tour last just over an hour, and it is pretty cool. Our guide did a wonderful job summarizing the history of the property as well as the generations of the family before the mansion was built on the property. Some of the facts were pretty cool and yet other aspects were pretty interesting. What a very different lifestyle and culture!

If you are interested in learning more about Vanderbilt Mansion, the property, and the family behind it all, here is the link to the website: Vanderbilt Mansion

The photo I've decided to choose for my blog was from inside the Guest House / Museum. If you're liking the looks of this, then you really need to go on a tour of the mansion!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) celebration christmas debbie quick debs creative images decoration estate guest house holidays home hudson valley hyde park mansion national historic site new york vanderbilt mansion vanderbilt state historic site Sun, 02 Dec 2018 02:30:02 GMT
Too Much to Swallow Today was the second full day at the dam and it was a lot slower than yesterday (not that yesterday was all that busy). We got there before sunrise and sat in the cold and dark before anything took place. It looked like it would be a really active day as there was a lot of flying in the early morning and we could see a lot of eagles across the river on rocks, on the ground and in trees. Sadly though as the day progressed we had a lot of cloud coverage, the wind got stronger, and there wasn't much activity.

In the mid-late morning our biggest action was the juvenile bald eagle that the locals named Scooter. He/she stayed on the side of the river where all the photographers were and flew up and down the side. Scooter landed in the trees and fished in the area's below the trees he had landed in. His fishing skills were really good as he always caught something. Today most of his catches were small, but he at least had a catch. After many of his catches he was chased by another eagle who had tried to steal it from him. In some of the cases he dropped his catch and in others he got away with it. He was fast and always on a mission, often times tough to photograph as in addition to being fast he was too close to the shoreline and the photographers.

The other big highlight of the day was at the very end of the day when the light had gotten crappy and we had a great blue heron land along the shoreline with the photographers to hunt. We witnessed the heron catch three enormous fish, none of which he ate. He either flew off with them and lost them because eagles were chasing him or he dropped them back into the water because they were simply too large. When he caught the second one we thought for sure it was going to go down that hatch as the heron had it in his mouth and in position, but he didn't eat it. It wound up back in the water.

All in all.... the day was slow and mostly overcast. My toes were really cold through most all of it as the only times they warmed up was when I made the long walk to the overly heated restroom and stayed in there for a few minutes before walking back to my post.

I got some really awesome shots of Scooter, but since I posted an image of him yesterday I thought I would change things up and post one of my shots of the great blue heron with his seriously large catch! Here's to hoping tomorrow will be a more active day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird conowingo dam conowingo hydroelectric station darlington debbie quick debs creative images great blue heron heron maryland national geographic nature nature lovers natures best shots outdoors photography planet birds river susquehanna river water waterfowl wild wildlife Sun, 18 Nov 2018 01:55:18 GMT
Scooter, the Immature Bald Eagle We arrived in Maryland yesterday, just before the storm began and so we checked into the hotel early and spent the day goofing off. It was a bit boring, but at least we didn't get caught driving in any bad weather. We contemplated going to the dam first, but since we knew it would be a wintry mix (including ice), we opted out from going.

This morning we got up super early and headed out around 6:15, arriving at the dam at roughly 6:45. Because the light wasn't yet good, we took our time getting into position and getting set up. Once set up, we realized there was a great blue heron sitting on the rocks below and so we photographed him while the water splashed up on the rocks around him. The early morning light shined on him so nicely, giving us a great opportunity to get some portraits of him. While watching him, I noticed that he looked like he was fishing, so I positioned myself a little further away and with the sun a little more behind myself. I stood and waited and eventually he caught a very large fish. I thought he would eat it in front of us, but instead he took off and flew across the channel with it. 

After our nice encounter with the great blue heron with a fish we waited for the next good thing to happen and that happened to be a cormorant with a big fish. The fish the cormorant caught was way to large and so he wound up dumping it back. Shortly after, we had a very close encounter with an immature bald eagle. An eagle who has been named Scooter. I'm not sure who gave him the name or why they gave him the name, but from what I hear he is a two year old who was born at the nest at the dam and is extremely cooperative. I hear that he likes to perch in the trees near us annoying humans and he will come close and put on a nice show. Apparently, they call him "Scooter the Vicious".

My opportunities with the great blue heron, the cormorant and the immature eagle were the biggest highlights of my day, but not the only highlights. There was  a pretty fair amount of opportunities... not non-stop, but evenly paced. The sun shined for most of the day, the winds were moderate, and the temps were tolerable. All in all a pretty good day!

Here he is.... Scooter the Vicious.... The "star" of Conowingo this year!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bald eagle bird bird photography birds of prey conowingo conowingo dam conowingo hydroelectric station darlington debbie quick debs creative images eagle maryland migrants nature nature photography natures best shots perched predator raptor susquehanna river tree wild wildlife wildlife photography winter winter eagles Sat, 17 Nov 2018 00:34:17 GMT
Harrier's on the Go Lately I've been one heck of a blog slacker, but that is only because I've been a photographer slacker. We've had so much doom and gloom on the weekends that I haven't been able to get out and photograph wildlife. Things really turned around this weekend. I got out with my camera yesterday, but didn't have much luck finding anything to photograph. Today however, was much better.

I began my day by taking a walk at Vassar Farms. As I walked the trail down to the ponds I saw some small birds and some distant hawks. Three of the hawks were red-tailed hawks and I'm not sure what the forth one was. I have seen a sharp-shinned hawk there in recent weeks, so I'm thinking that is what it was. The ponds were very quiet and so I continued the trail into the woods to check along the creek. I stumbled across a bunch of mallard ducks who fled as soon as they realized I was there and then that too was quiet.

Since there was nothing going on at the creek or ponds, I decided I would head back and then go across the river to the grasslands. During my walk back I got to see all three red-tailed hawks again. This time they were flying lower and circle around. They stayed low for a few photos, then began to gain altitude, so I continued back to my car.

The ride over to the Shawangunk Grasslands was nice and peaceful. Actually, a fun drive in the loaner car. Once I arrived I went to the observation platform and watched to see if anything was going on. I noticed that the Northern Harrier's were hanging out mostly by one of the blinds, so I hopped on the trail and headed out. It was a nice walk to the blind and it was fun to see the hawks flying about. As soon as I got there, I put my bag down and got into position. The hawks were very active and they came relatively close on several occasions. It was really nice as they gave me some really good photo opportunities. 

At one point the harrier's went down in the grasses and I got to photograph two Great Blue Heron that decided to do a fly by. As I was distracted with them, the Grey Ghost decided he would come up from behind me and fly right over my head. He was so low and so close to me. Almost impossible to get a photo, but I think I may have gotten lucky with a shot.

There was no indication of short-eared owls and hopefully they'll show up soon. At the very least, the Northern Harrier's were very cooperative which was a first for me. So fun to see!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images grasslands harrier hawk hudson valley nature new york northern harrier outdoors raptor shawangunk grasslands wild wildlife Sun, 11 Nov 2018 23:35:25 GMT
Fall Day Out As you all may have noticed, I've been a blog slacker in recent weeks, but that is only because the sun is never out when I finally get some time off of work. This morning started out just like most weekends do with the doom and gloom of overcast and rain. The rain finally stopped by 10:30 and the sun tried several times to peak out, but sadly the overcast took over. 

Regardless of the fact that the sun didn't come out today, I decided I still needed to get out with my camera. I first started my day by heading to New Paltz for the Owl Event by Wild Mountain Birds. I was running a tad early for the event, so I decided to make a quick stop at the Mohonk Preserve Gatehouse first. Light wasn't that great and the trees weren't as colorful as I hoped, but it was nice to finally stop and get a photo. I only stayed for a few moments, then continued to the Owl Event.

The Owl Event was really nice as Annie from Wild Mountain Birds had two Barred Owls, four Screech Owls, a Barn Owl, an American Kestrel and a Peregrine Falcon on display. All the birds were so beautiful and so well behaved on display. The Kestrel had a little mouse on its perch for the longest time and never ate it so Annie tried to feed it to one of the Barred Owls. The Barred Owl kept spitting it back out and it was really amusing as a young girl was completely grossed out by the mouse. I couldn't resist giggling every time she said, "ew".

After the event I took a ride over to the Nyquist Harcourt Preserve, but wound up leaving since there was a movie being filmed there and I didn't want to get in the way. From there I went to the Esopus Lighthouse Park, but the tide was high and it was quiet, so I figured I would move along. I headed back to the east side of the Hudson River and made a quick stop at Wayras Park before heading to Vassar Farms. While I was at Wayras, a friend sent me a message to let me know a fox was seen at Vassar Farms so I didn't stay long at the Park before heading over to the Farms.

As soon as I arrived at Vassar Farms, I spotted the fox frolicking in the field. It looked like it caught and ate one, possibly two little rodents. It eventually settled down and curled up for a nap. I waited for 2 hours for it to hopefully get up and play or hunt again, but it never did. I even walked over towards it and it couldn't be bothered that I was there. It looked up at me for a brief second, then put its head back down to snooze. During my time there, it scratched a few times and got up to pee once, but that was all. I eventually was too bored of waiting and the light was getting even dimmer, so I decided to leave.

Although the sun never shined, it was still a nice day out. All the raptors I saw today were educational birds. As much as I prefer to see them in the wild, it is nice to get an up close and personal viewing of them. Even though they live in captivity, they still are so fun to watch as they each have their own unique personality.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images educational raptors fall foliage fox hudson valley mammal mohonk preserve gatehouse nature new york owl scenic vassar farms wild Sun, 28 Oct 2018 23:58:00 GMT
Adirondack Balloon Festival Every year I try to get to the annual Adirondack Balloon Festival for one of the launches. Usually I catch an evening launch, but this time, for the first time ever I caught a morning launch. I was up at 4:30 this morning and out the door by 5:30. For those of you who know me well, and know that I am NOT a morning person, you are not reading this incorrectly. I actually got up and out long before the sun was up.

As I am not a morning person, it was not an easy task to be up and out by 5:30, but I did it. My first stop was at Dunkin Donuts to get coffee, then I proceeded onto my journey to Queensbury, NY for the annual balloon festival. It was very dark for most my drive and I ran into a lot of areas of thick fog. I generally don't drive in the dark, so I took my time and sipped my coffee as I tried to wake up my brain and be ready for the balloon launch.

I arrived at the airport at roughly 6:40 and like always I was amused by the feeling of my car driving on the runway. I've driven on the runway several times now over the years, but I still remember my very first time as it felt like being in a plane just before take off. I know my car doesn't have the ability to fly, but as I drive down the runaway I always get the feeling that there is a possibility that it may lift off.

Anyhow, I got there just in time before the first balloon launched and I did my best to position myself so the sun would be behind me and I could photograph the balloons illuminated by the beautiful rays of the sun. There was a teaser balloon that was up in the air and tethered down. I originally thought that would be the first balloon to go up, but it never did, it stayed tethered throughout the entire launch. I wasn't in position for long when the first balloon ascending into the sky. It stayed close by for a while before moving behind me towards the sun. Then suddenly, out of nowhere they all started to lift and head over me and past me. There were even balloons launching from behind me. I quickly realized that they were all heading to the direction behind me so I tried to quickly move back. Actually, I wound up moving so far back that I was completely outside the airport getting pics.

I enjoyed standing outside the airport and watching and photographing the balloons because this was the first time they ever flew towards me and over my head. All the times I've gone in the evenings, they've always flown away so it was really cool to have them right over my head.

As they went by, the one thing I noticed was that the special characters don't seem to get as high or fly as far as the balloons with the regular shape that we see. Two of the special shapes landed in the field/parking lot just behind me. One of them had a very graceful (prepared) landing, but the other one made me a bit nervous as is looked like it was going to land on a car or possibly even a group of people.

Once the majority of the balloon had gone over my head, I went back into the airport and photographed the balloons that were expanded, but didn't go up. I didn't stay for long after and continued on to stop in at the Lake George Village and I did a quick drive up Prospect Mountain. I got back to camp around 10, spent a little time with my nieces, had some lunch, then was passed out on the couch with my boyz around 12.

It was really tough getting out of my warm and cozy bed so early this morning, but totally worth it to see the beautiful balloons in the sky! The part I liked best today is that by the time there were a bunch of balloons in the sky at once, the light was really good. In all my times of going to an evening launch, light was dim and not so good by the time I could get a bunch of balloons in the frame together. So here it is, a shot of many balloons in the beautiful blue sky!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) 2018 adirondack balloon festival adirondacks balloon balloon festival blue sky color colorful debbie quick debs creative images flame flying hot air balloon new york outdoor magazine outdoor photography outdoors queensbury sky Mon, 24 Sep 2018 02:45:48 GMT
Out with my new camera Today is the first day of fall and it has been absolutely beautiful. The sun shined all day, there was a light breeze, and the temps stayed under 70. It was absolutely perfect.

I began my day by going to Fort Ticonderoga to get some pics of the fort. It was a bit busy there as there was some kind of convention going on so I tried to walk around and get my pics in while most of the crowd was watching the musket demonstration. I began at the entryway and got some shots of the canons and the view of Lake Champlain. The area of Lake Champlain I got photos of is the area I come out to when I kayak La Chute River, so it was really cool to get an arial view of the location I usually kayak. Once I finished in that area, I took the short tunnel through to the courtyard and got some photos from there. I then continued on to get photos from the two upper levels. It was really beautiful as the morning sun lit the fort up so nicely.

After my outing at the Fort, I went back to camp for some lunch and to prepare to go apple picking with my sister and nieces. I cleaned out my car and gave them a ride in the Mini. The orchard I like to go to is the Champlain Orchard in Vermont so we got to take the ferry across Lake Champlain.

There were many apples in season and ready for the picking. We walked all the way up the hill and worked our way down. Finishing off with the "Silken" apples which are my absolute favorite. They are juicy, sweet, and they have a thin skin which makes them easier to eat than many other apples. I love them so much that I splurged on the 10 lb bag. I've given a few away, but do plan to chow down on the rest of them.

It's been a fantastic day and now the temps are beginning to drop so I turned on the heat for the boyz. NOAA says that it is going to drop to 38 degrees tonight, so I'm sure we'll need to leave the furnace on.

Here's to a good fall. I hope you enjoy the shot I chose of the Fort with my new Canon 5D Mark IV and my Sigma 24-70 f/2.8. I'm absolutely loving how wide of an angle I can now get with the new camera!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks architecture building cannons debbie quick debs creative images doors fall first day of fall fort fort ticonderoga historic history new york old outdoor magazine outdoor photography outdoors stone ticonderoga windows Sat, 22 Sep 2018 22:37:31 GMT
A Day at the Track Today I had the pleasure of joining my buddy, Bob, on an outing to Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT to watch and photograph the auto races. Every Labor Day weekend they have the biggest race of the season. This year was the 36th Annual Historic Festival and the theme was "The Beauty of Bugatti - Lime Rock pays tribute to French elegance". 

There were eight different groups and each group had the opportunity to race twice. Sadly two of the races were cut short due to unsafe track conditions that needed to be cleaned up. That wasn't too bad as we did get to watch 14 full races. The groups present at this weekends event included:

  • Group 1: VSCCA at 60 - Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the VSCCA
  • Group 2: Kent's Domain (Not Quite Street Legal) - Named after Kent Bain, noted restorer and vintage racer
  • Group 3: Tin Top Dreams - Swift sedans
  • Group 4: From Abingdon & Elsewhere - Small bore sports
  • Group 5: Bugatti Grand Prix - For some of Molsheim's finest
  • Group 6: Formula Very Libre - Fast but not too furious
  • Group 7: Muscle vs. Sinew - Big bore sporting cars
  • Group 8: Eric's Choice (Finely designed sports racing cars) - Named after Eric Broadley, founder of Lola Cars

We arrived at the track shortly after 9:00 and missed the first group on the track. We set up our chairs then headed down to the paddock to check out all the cars on display. I couldn't believe it as there were so many Bugatti's and it was so much fun to look at them up close. In addition we checked out many of the other cars and then began to make our way back up to our seats. On our way up, the announcer was introducing Group 4 and I heard that the Austin Healey Sprite was in the group, so we quickly made it back so I could watch it on the track as that is always my favorite car at Lime Rock. It is an orange and yellow car with round features. Every time I see it, I think it is the absolutely cutest car ever.

We stayed in the area of the hill for the remainder of the morning and enjoyed the cooler temps, overcast skies and the nice breeze. All went well up until Group 7 when something happened on the opposite end of the track that we couldn't see. From what I heard there was an accident and the driver of a 1965 Chevy Corvette, Jim Glass, from Kingston, NY was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. I don't know how bad the accident was, but my prayers are with Jim for a speedy recovery.

After group 8 raced, we enjoyed a nice little lunch break and took another walk through the paddock where we got to enjoy an air show and we met a beautiful little dog named Enzo. The funny part of this trip to the paddock is that we were there for the National Anthem and had the pleasure of hearing Enzo howling along to it. It was so cute and so funny that we just simply had to go meet him. We then stayed in the paddock area and watched the second race of the first group before headed back towards our seats. By this time it was a lot warmer and the sun was beginning to beat on us.

We spent the remainder of the races up on the hill and enjoyed it as the sun shifted behind a tree giving us shade. It was really nice to relax and enjoy the afternoon from the hill. I stepped away once to get some Italian Ice and totally missed the formula car that went off track and had the passenger side wheels go completely off the ground. From what I hear, the driver did well to correct it and get the car back on the track. My friend Chuck got some pretty cool pics of the incident and I look forward to seeing them in closer detail when he uploads them to FB.

The saddest part of the afternoon was when something happened to Austin Healey Sprite and he wound up getting towed off the track on the last lap of the second race. I hope all is well with Sprite and that he makes it back on the track on Monday. My pal Bob said he would let me know since I probably won't go back.

The day was fantastic! It was an excellent event with good friends and really nice weather. The best part of it though, which is always my favorite part, is seeing the Mini Cooper's on the track. There were three of them in Group 3 (Tin Top Dreams) and two of them stayed relatively close together for most of the race. #61 is a yellow 1961 Austin Mini Cooper S driven by Donald Racine from Grass Valley, CA and #177 is a red 1966 Morris Mini Cooper S driven by Dennis Racine from Grass Valley, GA! Way to go guys, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to get you both in the frame together!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) auto racing automobile big bore sporting cars bugatti cars connecticut debbie quick debs creative images dennis racine donald racine event formula race cars historic festival lakeville lime rock park mini motor on motor sports motoring outdoor photography outdoors race cars racing small bore sports swift sedans track vintage vscca wheels Sun, 02 Sep 2018 00:47:23 GMT
Announcement for Debs Creative Designs I'm excited to announce that I've been self teaching myself graphics design - much like I self taught myself photography. My skills are not that strong yet, but I've been learning more and more each day by watching video's on you tube, video's on the adobe website, and by trying to create designs in the adobe software. I haven't learned much yet and have so much more to learn. I love keeping my brain sharp and building my skills by learning and venturing into new areas of life. I think it is pretty safe to say that I am beyond excited about this new journey I've just started to explore.

I've begun creating products on zazzle under a new store name and hope that you'll check it out: Debs Creative Designs Zazzle Store.

As of this point, I only have two collections started. One is for coffee mugs and the other is for wedding gear. I'm hoping to add many more collections to include: Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, and so forth. It takes me a while to create a design and then design the products, so I expect it will be a long time before I have a diverse portfolio of products available.

In addition, I've purchased a domain name for Debs Creative Designs and will soon be working on the website. As of right now, there is nothing there, but hopefully within the next month I'll be able to get it started. At this point, this link will not work, but I'm hoping soon it will so make sure to bookmark it for future reference: Debs Creative Designs Website

Here is a sneak peak of some of the designs I've created at this point. I hope you like what I've created and will stay tuned for many more products that will soon come!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) coffee mugs custom made products debs creative designs debs creative images for sale gift ideas gift suggestions gifts gifts for her gifts for him graphics design graphics designer memorabilia party supplies pillows products tote bags wedding gear Sat, 25 Aug 2018 20:15:11 GMT
Precious Fawns Hi everyone, I know I've been a bit of a blog slacker lately, but it has been simply too hot and humid out for me. Yesterday afternoon we had a thunderstorm and the humidity finally broke enough so I could get out. I contemplated going out after the storm, but by that time I always already involved in stuff at home, so I waited until this morning to grab the camera and go.

Lately, I've been at a loss as to where to go and what to photograph because I am getting a little bored of going to the same places and seeing the same stuff. Today however, I decided I would check out the Creek where my friends have all been getting photos of Great Egrets. By the time I got on location, light was a bit tough, but I made the best of it. I saw a total of 9 egrets and had 5 come in relatively close for photos. Two came in really close. In addition to enjoying the egrets, I also had an opportunity to photograph great blue heron and cedar waxwings as they also came in close enough for photo opportunities. I had other visitors that didn't come in close for photos, so I just watched them. There were two red-tailed hawks, two cormorants, a green heron and a mama duck with her big ducklings in tow. I sat at the creek for roughly 2 hours and enjoyed the sunshine, the breeze, and all the wildlife that decided to make an appearance.

After I left the creek, I figured I would stop in at the IBM site and see if I could find the deer. I did a very slow circle through the entire site and just as I was about to give up and leave, I saw them hiding in the woods. There were two females and two fawns. One female stayed close to the fawns and the other was a distance away. I strategically parked my car so I could wait and see if they would come out of the woods.

I was there for just over two hours when the sun decided to shine and the doe with the fawns came out of the right side of the tree line. I very slowly and quietly grabbed my camera and walked to the back of my car and got a few shots of her before she noticed me and decided to go back into the woods. Then a few moments later, the other doe came out of the left side of the wooded area and started to head away. I watched her for a bit and took a few shots of her even though she was a bit distant. As I was watching her, I noticed the two fawns come out of the wooded area and they began to head over to the open sunny spot I hoped they would go to. At that point, my attention left the doe and my focus was on the two beautiful fawns.

As the fawns walked towards that sunny area, they nibbled on the grass. One of them didn't pay any attention to me and continued on to hang out under a tree and eat grass. The second fawn was very curious about me. It was staring right at me, wagging its tail, and moving it's front legs in away as if it wanted to charge at me. I was a very good distance away, but a little nervous. After a few minutes of this behavior, it ran past the first deer and stood in another spot where it proceeded to watch me. Then, to my surprise, it started walking towards me and checking me out. At this point, the mama deer came out and so the fawn maintained its distance. I quickly turned my focus to mom and got a few pics of her before she and the kids grouped up and headed back into the woods. 

I waited over two hours to see them and can honestly say it was worth the wait. Although the moment with them was short, it was magical. After they retreated to hiding in the woods, I packed up my gear, said thank you and proceeded to go home with a big smile that went from ear to ear. 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography babies children day debbie quick debs creative images deer mammal nature nature lovers nature photography natures best shots outdoor magazine outdoor photography outdoors spots summer sunny white spots white-tailed deer wild wildlife wildlife photograph young Sun, 19 Aug 2018 22:21:02 GMT
Hummingbird enjoying the Bee Balm Wow, I've just realized it's been a long while since my last blog post. I've been out taking photos, but I'm so far behind on processing them that I haven't had a chance to blog.

Today I went to hang out at the gardens at Fort Ticonderoga. The staff there has been working very hard all summer and it really shows now as the gardens are absolutely spectacular. I took a few photos of them recently because they are so stunning. Although today I didn't get any shots of the gardens as I focused on single flowers and hummingbirds.

There must be at least 8 hummingbirds hanging out in the gardens, possibly even nesting in the crabapple trees. I stood there for a while and it was amusing how it would be really quiet, then out of nowhere these tiny little creatures would be buzzing about and chasing each other. One of the females has a favorite branch on the crabapple tree straight across from where I was standing and so I often just watched her sit there and preen. It was a dark spot she sat in, so the photo opportunities there were impossible. 

As I photographed the hummingbirds, I eventually realized that I was only getting photos of females. Perhaps the males weren't hanging out in that area or maybe it was just one female I was getting over and over. I'm not really sure. In addition to the hummingbirds buzzing around, I got to see three different butterflies and a chipmunk. The butterflies didn't stop on any of the flowers, they simply fluttered on through, so I just enjoyed their beauty as they passed. Also, the chipmunk didn't cooperate for photos either, so I just watched him best I could as he disappeared into the garden.

It was a beautiful day there. Not only did I see the small creatures in the gardens, I also watched three osprey very high up soar above my head and an immature bald eagle did a very quick fly by. The eagle and osprey didn't give much of a photo opportunity, so I just watched and enjoyed their presence. 

As always, it was a nice day out and I'm happy to share one of the beautiful shots I got of a female hummingbird.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) action adirondacks animal beautiful beauty bee balm bird colorful debbie quick debs creative images flight flower flying garden hummingbird insect monarda natural nature new york outdoors photography ticonderoga wild wildlife Thu, 09 Aug 2018 22:31:49 GMT
The Osprey Kids have Fledged I thought I was getting an early start and getting to the location of the Osprey right at opening, then when I arrived I realized they opened early for a special event. The parking lot I usually park in was filled and so I found a spot to make my own parking spot like many others had also done.

I got out of my car, grabbed my gear and headed over to the osprey nest. Upon arrival I was shocked to see an empty nest as they Osprey Kids usually don't fledge until the end of July / early August. The female was sitting in the tree the male is usually sitting in and so I watched her while eyeing the area to see if I could find the fledgelings. Eventually one of the fledgelings made some noise and flapped its wings and I spotted it at the very tippy top of a pine tree.

I watched the youngster for a little bit, then tried to find the other one with no luck. While I waited to see the fledgeling launch and fly, I goofed off and photographed flowers, insects, hummingbirds, and butterflies in the garden. The youngster sat there for several hours and I lucked out by being in position for the take-off when it finally happened. He flew a few circles, then I spotted him trying to land in a dead tree. At the same time I noticed the other fledgeling already perched in that same tree.

The fledgeling that was coming in for a landing wound up landing on the fledgeling that was already in the tree. They looked like a tangled mess and I was so nervous for them as the one who was already perched looked like he was dangling. They both appeared to be in a bad position. Eventually, the one on the bottom fell out of the tree. I tried walking around the tree line to see what was going on and I spotted him getting untangled from the tree he fell in. He got out and flew off and landed in another tree. His flight and landing were a bit awkward, but he did manage to get to the other tree safely.

I stayed for a while longer, hoping the parents would lure them back to the nest, but that never happened. Eventually I wound up leaving because I was overheated and feeling nauseous. I felt a little nervous for them because it seemed as though they fledged earlier than they should have. At this point there is nothing I can do except know that their parents are keeping an eye on them and will keep them as safe as possible.

Overall, my day on location was really nice and I went home with so many great photos. Hopefully the kids will do well and I'll get more opportunities with them before they leave the area.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images essex county juvenile osprey mama osprey national geographic nature nature lovers nature photography natures best shots new york osprey raptor ticonderoga wild wildlife Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:02:56 GMT
The Greenies are Back Oh boy, I just realized how long it has been since my last blog post. Sorry about that. My inability for getting out has been a combination of two things: Some days it is far too hot out and I stay in the AC because when it is that hot out I simply feel sick to my stomach. The second reason I haven't been out is because my schedule has been busy. There were a couple of days I would have really liked to have gotten out, but I had other stuff going on that prevented me from doing so.

Either way though, I did manage to get out for a paddle in my kayak after work today and it was really awesome. We are currently in a drought up here in Ticonderoga and there are many reasons that the drought stinks. However, there is one blessing when we have a drought. That means the water level on La Chute River and Lake Champlain is low and I can find all different kinds of wildlife I wouldn't ordinarily see. I didn't get photos of everything I saw, but I got enough and it was still so fun to see so much wildlife.

I launched my kayak from The Falls of Carillon in Ticonderoga and paddled down to Lake Champlain. I was on La Chute River for only 2 minutes when I spotted my first green heron. At that point I instantly knew it was going to be a fantastic paddle. The first greenie wasn't cooperative for photos, but the second and third ones were. The second greenie only hung around with me for a few minutes, but the third one was super cooperative. I hung out with him for at least 20 minutes before waving goodbye and heading off. 

Shortly after my time with the third greenie, I stumbled across two beavers. They were fun to watch as they swam about and ate the greens along the side of the river. A couple of times they popped up near my kayak and swam right by. After getting by me, they realized I was there and hit their tails in the water. I was incredibly amused by their behavior. After I left them, I found another beaver who had behaved in a similar fashion.

After enjoying the beavers, I continued on towards Lake Champlain. I saw two muskrats, a cormorant, lots of turtles, and several great blue heron along the way. Instead of stopping for photos, I continued to paddle to get to the Lake. As I approached the lake I started to see Osprey and as I got even further along I could hear the eaglets yelling for food or whatever it is eaglets yell for. 

As soon as I got around the bend and into the Lake, I could feel that the wind was stronger out there. It immediately started moving my kayak around and making it difficult to paddle. I briefly considered continuing on so I could go and see the eaglets, but instead I figured I would turn back. That wound up being a good call as I was able to take my time and get back before it got too dark on the river. Although sunset isn't until after 9, it does get darker earlier in that area because the sun is behind all the trees that make that area so beautiful and secluded.

I got many fantastic pics out there on the water today, so I thought I would share one of the super cooperative Green Heron. I absolutely love it when wildlife realizes that I will maintain a good distance and not be a threat.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal animal photography debbie quick debs creative images green heron heron la chute river lake champlain national geographic nature nature lovers nature photography natures best shots new york outdoor magazine outdoor photography outdoors ticonderoga wild wildlife wildlife photography Sat, 21 Jul 2018 02:15:24 GMT
Female Osprey with a fish This morning started out wet as we had thunderstorms overnight, so my friend and I slept in. When we got up, we took things easy and hung around camp enjoying the cooler temps and breeze. It felt so good to have such nice weather after a brutally hot week. It was after 1 when we finally decided to venture out into the world.

Our first stop was a drive up Mount Defiance to take in the view of Lake Champlain and enjoy lunch. It was the perfect day to head up there as not only were the temps down, but so was the humidity and we didn't have that thick haze in the sky. It made for a great opportunity to get some photos. We didn't stay long before heading out to go check on an Osprey nest.

We arrived at the osprey nest around 2:30 and as we were getting out of our car to head up, we could see four osprey flying around and nobody in the nest with the youngster. While the female was occupied with the chase, we got into position and got ready. This is a new female at the nest and she is not at all tolerant of people, so it was good that she was out and we were able to sneak in and park under a tree. She eventually flew back in and was so nervous of everything.

The winds were very strong today, so it was a little tough to photograph the birds. However, the winds worked in our favor in another sense as the birds were far more active than yesterday. The female flew out several times and the male did some flying around as well. We watched as the songbirds harassed the female osprey, the vultures, and the ravens. There were several opportunities where the male chased intruders, one of them being super awesome as they came in close and went right over our heads. They were too close to photograph, yet so fun to watch.

The youngster barely sat up today as the wind was so strong, but did give a couple of opportunities for photographs. Both parents returned to the nest with food. The female came in with a very small sunfish and even left once with it to fly around. She is such a nervous creature and instead of feeding the youngster immediately, she spent almost a half hour looking around before finally digging in. Roughly a half hour after she fed herself and the youngster, the male came in with a fish. He sat in the nest with it for a minute before leaving with it and going to a tree to feed himself.

Although super windy, it was a beautiful day out. At one point I even got a little cold when the sun went behind the clouds and the wind blew hard. It felt really good after this incredibly hot week.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick debs creative images fish national geographic natural nature nature lovers natures best shots nest nesting new york osprey outdoors photography raptor sunfish wild wildlife Sat, 07 Jul 2018 01:38:57 GMT
Cormorant on Lake Champlain This morning wasn't nearly as hot as it was all week long, so I thought I would head out on the kayak before it got hot. I started in LaChute River and did the two mile paddle down to Lake Champlain. While on the river I saw a muskrat, a great blue heron, a green heron and lots of turtles. The only thing I got photos of was the muskrat as it swam straight towards my kayak and right past me.

As soon as I got around the corner and onto Lake Champlain I could see there were hardly any power boats and the water was smooth as glass. It was so calm and so peaceful, probably the first time I've ever seen the lake that calm. I paddled around and watched the osprey fishing in the distance, none came close enough for photos so I just watched and enjoyed the view. As I paddled south of the fort, I ran into a cormorant who was swimming and fishing. He swam along my kayak as I paddled for a while and caught two fish while he was close by. Eventually, I spotted some gulls and went over to photograph them. As I was sitting there, a different cormorant flew in and hopped up on a rock in front of me. It sat there sunning himself, drying his wings and posing for me for at least a half hour. He eventually flew off when a motor boat came in and scared him off. By this time it had gotten so hot out there, I decided to start heading back.

I began my return, but didn't make it too far when I spotted an adult bald eagle in a tree. It was sitting in the old nest tree and so I paddled in and got a few pics. I stayed for maybe 10-15 minutes hoping it would fish, but that didn't happen and I was too hot so I said goodbye and continued on my return.

On the return I saw three additional great blue heron, a couple of osprey and a muskrat. By this time I was overheated and already had almost 900 photos, so I just paddled back.

It was a fantastic paddle and the wildlife was relatively cooperative. I couldn't ask for anything more.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird cormorant debbie quick debs creative images kayaking la chute river lake champlain national geographic nature nature lovers natures best shots outdoor magazine outdoor photography outdoors paddling water waterfowl wild wildlife Wed, 04 Jul 2018 21:59:55 GMT
My first Loon photo I knew today was going to be a super hot day, so I headed out early to kayak. My goal was to find a mama loon with babies, but sadly that did not happen. I spent 90 minutes looking for loons on a pond where I was given a tip to find them and only saw a water snake, a bunch of Canada Geese and a distant Great Blue Heron.

I paddled almost the whole pond and for the most part I was the only one out there. A couple of the remote campsites were occupied, but the campers were out, probably hiking the trails. I even stumbled upon a couple who was clearly skinny dipping and not so happy with me being in their secluded area. After I paddled past them, I could hear them quickly getting out of the water to go get dressed. As tempting as it was to look back and laugh, I managed to move forward and not look back to give them their privacy. But deep down I sure was amused, lol. 

I was about to give up looking for loons and bam, suddenly out of nowhere I found a pair of loons. They didn't have babies and they clearly weren't nesting. And to top it off, they were not at all cooperative for photos. I had to anticipate their movements and get into location to sit as quietly as possible and hope for them to pop up close enough for me to photograph them. I wound up with one very brief moment where one popped up close enough for a few shots, but that didn't last long as he/she caught on to me quickly and moved along.

By the time I returned from kayaking it was so disgustingly hot that I simply went into my camper and enjoyed the AC with my boyz for a bit. I had a light lunch and was itching to get back out and enjoy the sunshine, so I went to the beach to swim. I spent a good two hours there, mostly in the water trying to stay cool. But since nobody else went with me, I got a little bored and headed back to camp. I was originally planning to hang out with some friends this evening, but the hot weather was making me cranky and nautious, so I stopped in briefly to say hi to them and went back to enjoy some AC. 

I went out briefly in the evening to have dinner with family, but even that was short and I was in early. As much as I love hanging out and socializing, I have a tough time dealing with the heat and so I was in very early tonight.

Despite the heat, it was a really cool day. Although I didn't spend much time with everyone I wanted to see today, I did at least get a little time with them all. And to top it off, I finally got my very first shots ever of a Loon. Such beautiful and interesting little creatures. Hopefully I get more opportunities with these guys!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird debbie quick debs creative images feathers loon national geographic natural nature natures best shots new york pond putnam pond putts pond swimming water waterfowl wild wildlife Mon, 02 Jul 2018 02:21:26 GMT
Eagle Fledgeling with a fish It's been a while since I've stopped by to check on my favorite pair of bald eagles, so today I stopped in during my lunch break and then later in the afternoon. The activity/action during both my visits there today was awesome, but the light was super tough to work with, especially when I popped in during my lunch break.

When I popped it at lunch I first headed to the northern end of the park and back, with no luck of finding either adults or the two fledgelings. When I returned to where I started, I decided to check the south end and as soon as I rounded the bend I saw both eagle fledgelings perched side by side in a tree. The light was awful, but I continued to make my way around to get a little closer. I was up on a hill and almost at eye level with them, but distant. Then I spotted another wildlife photographer friend and slowly made my way towards her. She was much closer, but down the hill looking up at the eaglets in the tree. I eventually made it to her and as we were chatting, one of the adults flew in with an itty bitty fish in his beak. Just after landing, he dropped the fish and both eaglets yelled and yelled and yelled at him. Eventually he took off. Then one of the eaglets left and landed in a nearby pine tree. At that point, it was time for me to leave and go back to work.

At the end of my work day, I went back and found my buddy Bob watching one of the eaglets that was in the same tree they were both in when I stopped by for lunch. We sat and chatted for a while and nothing happened. Eventually we took a short walk to check on it from another angle. That other angle wound up being better! As we were standing there, the male adult flew in with a big orange fish. Possibly a goldfish, possibly a koi fish, possibly a carp. I couldn't tell you for sure which it was, just that it was a very bright orange fish. The one fledgeling took it and the other was very angry and hungry. The male eagle eventually had enough of being yelled at and left to go fishing. Not much time had passed when he returned and was eating the fish he returned with. The hungry eaglet without a fish flew over yelling at him and he flew off and landed elsewhere in the tree. The hungry eaglet then flew, did a few circles while yelling, then landed in next to his dad and knocked him off the branch and took the fish. The male eagle took off and both kids were content with their meals.

The activity with the eagles was really awesome. Sadly, I struggled a little with the tough lighting. Either way it was extremely fun to watch all the activity. In addition to the eagle activity and hanging out with friends, I also got to meet two beautiful dogs. One was a pitbull mix and the other was a toy breed dog. Not sure what breed, but super cute. And to top it off, I got to meet and pet a 65-70 lb tortoise. It was clearly an awesome day with some photography fun in the middle and at the end of my work day.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bald eagle bird bird photography birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images eagle national geographic nature nature lovers nature photography nature up close natures best shots new york peekskill perched predator raptor the hudson river the hudson valley tree wild wildlife wildlife photography Sat, 23 Jun 2018 02:16:48 GMT
Fawn just after the Storm When I went to the cafeteria this afternoon to grab some lunch, I spotted one of the fawns hiding under a bush in the courtyard. I peaked out on it twice between then and the end of my work day and planned to go out and photograph it after work. Finally, my work day ended and as I was walking out to my car to go to where the fawn was, the dark storm clouds started to roll in. As soon as I parked the car in the courtyard and got out, the rain started to fall and forced me back into the car. I was so bummed as the fawn was laying out in the open on the lawn.

As soon as I got in and put the windows up, the rain began to fall very hard. The fawn was scared and jumped to his feet very quickly. Then out of nowhere was a very loud boom of thunder and the poor fawn jumped a mile in the air and began to run, confused as to which direction to head in. I lost it out of site and sat for a bit. It didn't seem like the storm was going to last long, so I figured I would sit tight and make sure the fawn was ok after it was over. As the rain started to die down, I saw it peek around a bush and then run back behind it.

Eventually the rain stopped and I went out with my camera. The temperature had dropped roughly 10 degrees from what it was before the storm, but the humidity increased significantly. It was absolutely disgusting out, so I sucked it up and got myself into a good position to wait for the fawn to come out of the bushes. It came out within two minutes and was soaked and so scared. I felt so bad for the little one. I took a few shots before it ran off and hid back into some bushes and so I took that as my cue to leave. As I was driving away, I spotted mom who was nearby to check on her fawn and so I very slowly drove by and told her that her baby was safe, I watched it through the storm. She just stood there, looking at me and listening to what I was saying. It was such a precious moment.

Before leaving, I took a ride around the complex to see if I could find the other fawn, but I had no luck. I'm assuming it was scared and hiding under some bushes somewhere. I finally left the site and as I drove home I couldn't believe how badly the storm had hit the Poughkeepsie area. It was really sad to see how bad the damage was as I went down Wilbur Blvd, Hooker Avenue, then past the Vassar College Campus. Huge trees were down and so many of them, it looked like a tornado must have gone through. I felt so sad as I witnessed people standing around outside, looking around, with expressions on their faces that looked like they weren't thinking... what the hell just happened here. At the same time, I felt very blessed that I decided to stay at work and keep an eye on the fawn during the storm instead of rushing out to head home.

It is sometimes hard to believe how life and nature can be so beautiful one minute and so scary the next. 

Here is my adorable fawn, all wet and scared (with his tail between his legs). I wanted nothing more than to go over and comfort the poor lil guy!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby cute cuteness overload debbie quick debs creative images deer fawn hudson valley mammal national geographic natural nature nature lovers natures best shots new york photography poughkeepsie shy white-tailed deer wild wildlife young youngster Tue, 19 Jun 2018 00:33:05 GMT
Red Fox Kits Playing I took a four day weekend to go to camp and it has been such a good time. My first day which was Thursday was overcast and gloomy so I took care of errands and lounged around with my boyz. 

On Friday, I went out to check on a couple of osprey nests I've been watching. The first one is right here in Ticonderoga. It is an established nest, but a new nest for me to watch. The other nest is one I've been watching in Crown Point for several years. The nest in Ticonderoga was really fun to watch and it looked like they had one / possibly two chicks inside. When I got to the Crown Point nest I was extremely disappointed as it seems there is a new female in there. She was not at all tolerant and did not want me anywhere near the area, so I wound up leaving.

Later in the day I went to somebody's home to view the fox kits in their yard. Often times there were two kits that would come out and pose with some slight interaction between them. They were very laid back and so cute to watch. I took lots of photos between the osprey and fox and was hoping to do a blog post last night, until I realized I had forgotten my card reader and battery chargers at home. Sadly, I couldn't upload any of my photos, so today I decided I would purchase a card reader to leave at camp so I won't have to worry about packing the one and only one I have at home.

Today I began my day by going to the Osprey nest in Ticonderoga. I was happy to confirm that there are indeed two itty bitty chicks in the nest. The female osprey stayed in the nest with them the whole time and the male perched in a nearby tree. He left twice to hunt. The first time he returned with a small fish that he kept to himself and ate. The second time he left, he returned with another small fish that he brought to the nest for the female and the kids. The behaviors of this pair seem very similar to the behaviors of the pair I've watched in Crown Point for several years. The only difference was that when he wasn't off hunting, he was perched nearby in a visible tree.

After watching the osprey, I picked strawberries than went back to camp to walk the boyz and hang out with them. It was really nice chilling at the campsite as it was 82 and hot out and the campsite is nicely shaded and feels so much better. My original plan was to kayak after my afternoon break, but instead I decided to go out and see if I could get some more pics of the red fox kits and save kayaking for tomorrow morning.

I arrived on location for the kits around 4 pm and it was sunny and hot. There was no shade where I stood and I wasn't so sure the kits would even come out. I sat contently and periodically I did have one come out to pose, eat grass and snooze. After a good 90 mins of sweating and not seeing too much, I decided to set up camp in the shade, under a tree that was on the backside of the garage they were using as a den. What a great idea that turned out to be as I stayed a little cooler and the foxes came charging out to play. All along I was under the impression that there were only two kits, but at this point I learned there were really four kits and they were absolutely adorable and fun to watch. They only played for about 5-10 minutes before returning back into the garage, but it was a really fun few minutes. I considered sticking around to see if they would come back out, but I figured they were probably snoozing after all the fun and that it would be a long while before I would see them again, so I headed back to camp.

As soon as I got back to my site and got out of my car, I realized my sister had decided to make a surprise visit to camp. That was a nice surprise as I got to end my day spending some time with her and my nieces. 

Now that it is the end of the day, I can say it was truly an awesome day! It was tough to pick a photo for the blog, but after a quick peak through of what I had taken, I new it had to be an action shot of the kits playing. It's so amazing to watch these guys and I'm so sad I'm going home tomorrow and probably won't see them again. I'm so thankful for the little time I got. What a blessing to see wildlife in their natural environment!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal animal photography debbie quick debs creative images fox fox kit kit mammal national geographic nature nature lovers natures best shots new york outdoor magazine outdoor photography outdoors red fox ticonderoga wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 17 Jun 2018 02:10:23 GMT
Yep, It is the Fawn again I got up early this morning so I could get an early start and hit up a couple of locations. I first started out along the Wappingers Creek where I get to enjoy Red-Tailed Hawks, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Ducks, Osprey, Canada Geese, Beavers, and all other kids of smaller birds. Today was relatively quiet along the creek and all I saw were Red-Tailed Hawks and Great Blue Heron. I spent a couple of hours there chatting with a photography friend and enjoying the hawks and herons before moving on to my next location.

My second location was back at the IBM site to see if I could find the fawns. I did almost a full circle around before finding one of them snuggled up in the grass under the trees. I got out my chair and sat and watched for a while. Mostly it laid their snoozing and I enjoyed watching how peaceful it looked. On a couple of occasions it either stretched or cleaned itself and once it stood up. Sadly though, all I got was a butt shot of it when it stood up, turned around and then snuggled back up in the lawn. I sat and watched for roughly two hours, then decided to try another loop around the complex.

On my second loop around I had no luck finding the other fawn. As I returned, I noticed that the fawn I was originally watching had moved to lay under a different tree. I grabbed a few shots, then decided I would call it a day and go home. Today I finally got some really nice shots of it looking at me. I was hoping to get shots of it standing/walking/frolicking, but that didn't happen. Perhaps when it gets a little older I'll see some more of that. 

While watching the youngster today, I realized that it is much better to observe it on the weekends when everything is so quiet. As I watched today, I could tell that it was so relaxed and at peace laying in the grass. Yesterday when I watched it, it was constantly on the alert with all the different noises and the people/cars moving about. As exciting as I am to see the fawn, I think I'm going to try to concentrate on only watching it on the weekends.

Now, if I could just confirm that there really are two of them there. I would love to see them together, playing!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal debbie quick debs creative images deer dutchess county fawn hudson valley mammal national geographic nature nature lovers natures best shots new york outdoor magazine outdoors photography poughkeepsie white-tailed deer wild wildlife Sat, 09 Jun 2018 20:47:31 GMT
A very shy Fawn I was sitting in my office doing my work, when my buddy Joe stopped by to tell me he had just seen the fawn in the courtyard. As soon as I finished what I was working on I got in my car and drove over to see if I could find it. Sure enough, it was laying in the shade under a tree. It blended in so well that as people walked by, they didn't even notice it. Only those who spotted me pointing my camera in the direction saw it laying there. I tried moving around a bit to see if I could get a shot of its face, but it was being super shy and looking at the tree. I stayed for maybe 5 or 10 hoping it would look over, but it didn't and I had to get back to work so I left.

After I went back to the office, I told another coworker about the fawn and she decided to take that route to the ATM so she could see it. Unfortunately, it had moved and she couldn't find it anywhere.

At the end of the work day, I went back up to look for it. At first I didn't see any signs of it and when I got out of my car to go into the building, I spotted it between some really tall grasses and a big bush. It was in an impossible spot for photos. I went back to my car and grabbed a chair so I could position myself in the shade and hide under a tree to wait for it to come out. I wound up waiting for 3 hrs and had to keep moving as the sun shifted. Sadly, it never came out of hiding, so the only half decent shot I got was earlier in the afternoon when it wouldn't look at me. I may try to stop in at work over the weekend when things are quiet. Perhaps my luck will be a little better than!

Enjoy how precious this lil youngster is!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby cute cuteness overload debbie quick debs creative images deer fawn hudson valley mammal national geographic natural nature nature lovers natures best shots new york photography poughkeepsie shy wild wildlife young youngster Sat, 09 Jun 2018 00:26:16 GMT
Canada Goose Gosling It was a long and busy day at work, so on my way home I decided to stop at the park with all the Canada Geese and Goslings to relax and unwind.

When I arrived at the park all the Geese and their Goslings were sitting out on land or just at the edge of the water near the shore. I sat in the car and watched for a few minutes, then they all came towards me and walked past my car, causing me to have to get out and walk to the other side of them so I could keep the sun behind me. I sat in the grass and watched them graze for a bit. One even found the remains of an apple and several geese and goslings fought over it until one of the adults finally won and ate what was left of it.

I watched for a bit, but wasn't too excited as I prefer when they are closer to the water, so I got up and headed towards my car to leave. To my amusement, the geese all stopped what they were doing and followed me back towards the water. I just simply couldn't believe it so when I got back over there, I sat on one of the concrete strips that signifies where cars are supposed to park. As I sat there, the geese walked around both sides of me back towards the water. They walked relatively close by me and weren't at all concerned that I was sitting there. Some of them plopped down on the ground to snooze and some hopped in the water and swam for a few minutes before getting back out to rest. I sat and watched them for maybe 45 minutes, enjoying all the youngsters and their super goofy poses.

The one thing that surprises me most at this park is that every evening I've stopped by, I've been the only person there. Not only am I enjoying the adult Canada Geese and their Goslings, but I'm also enjoying the peace and quiet that allows me to focus solely on them. It is truly an amazing spot to relax and unwind after dealing with the many stresses life throws at me.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby bird canada geese cute cuteness debbie quick debs creative images goofy gosling hudson valley lagrange national geographic nature natures best shots new york overlook park photography waterfowl wild wildlife young youngster Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:34:40 GMT
I found Bambi On Monday, a coworker/friend informed me that there was a fawn near one of the buildings where I work. Sadly, I did not have my camera with me and it was in a spot that was too far for me to walk to with my sprained ankle, so I didn't get to see it. I really wanted to see it, but because I didn't have my camera I figured I would just be patient and wait for another opportunity.

Since I knew there was a newborn fawn on site, I brought my camera to work both yesterday and today. Each time I came to or left the site, I drove a loop around the area where the fawn was spotted on Monday. Today as I was leaving to pick up some lunch, I spotted two doe's near the area, but no fawn. Then on my way back from picking up lunch I spotted this tiny little brown spot in the grass so I parked my car in the closest parking lot and walked over to check things out. Jackpot, I found the fawn.

I very carefully made sure to keep my distance and maneuver into a spot where I could get a few photos. Thankfully there was a tree with a fairly wide trunk, so I positioned myself behind it and watched the fawn for roughly 4-5 minutes. I took a few shots and I was hoping it would try to stand, but that didn't happen. In fact, I was lucky enough that it lifted its little head up and perked his ears. I couldn't stay long because I had to get back to the office and quickly eat my lunch before a meeting. Plus, I figured the mom would be back at some point for her young one and I didn't want to be in the way.

This was my first time ever seeing such a little fawn and it was a real treat. It totally made my day and I went back to the office to share a photo of my little treasure with my coworkers/friends! It truly is the little things in life that make life so wonderful.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby debbie quick debs creative images deer fawn hudson valley mammal national geographic natural nature nature lovers nature up close new york photography poughkeepsie wild wildlife young Wed, 06 Jun 2018 23:04:40 GMT
Great Blue Heron looking for a meal Today was completely uneventful. I had tossed up the idea of going to the Birds of Prey Event at Green Chimney's or hit up a local hotspot first thing in the morning. As much as I wanted to go to the Birds of Prey Event, I decided against it because I knew my ankle wasn't going to be able to handle all the standing around and walking. Due to overcast skies I decided to opt out of checking in on my local hot spot and took care of chores at home, ran some errands and brought the boyz to PetCo for their pedicures.

Because wildlife photography is such an addiction, I did manage to check in on a local pond on my way to go grocery shopping. All the geese were at the other side with their goslings, so I took a small walk around the grounds to check it out further. It appears there are some walking trails that I'll have to check out after my ankle heals and I can walk for more than 5 minutes at a time. On my way back to check on the geese before leaving a great blue heron flew in. He landed in the grass and walked over to the water. He was eyeing the water for a meal and even dove down once to try and grab something. He came up with nothing, sat for a minute, then flew to the other side where all the geese were. If the sun were shining, I would have stayed longer to see if anything would happen, but since it was overcast I figured I would go get my groceries and get home at a decent hour.

Check out the beautiful Great Blue Heron who entertained me for a whole two minutes and gave me the opportunity to do a very short blog post.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images dutchess county great blue heron heron hudson valley lagrange national geographic nature nature lovers natures best shots new york outdoors overlook park photography planet birds pond water waterfowl wild wildlife Sun, 03 Jun 2018 22:49:21 GMT
Double-crested Cormorant in Action! I woke early this morning and was surprised to see the sun shining as I was expecting it to be rainy and overcast. I wanted to get up and get an early start, but my foot and ankle hurt so much from the little bit of walking I did after work yesterday and so I wound up sleeping in.

Eventually, I got up and headed out. I first checked on the swan family I was watching and noticed that they only had one cygnet left out of the four they had. That was a little sad and I couldn't help but wonder what happened to the other three. I wanted to get some photos of the swans, but they were in a bad spot so I decided to leave. While heading back to my car I was startled by a big water snake who was also startled by me and took off back into the water. I couldn't believe how quickly it could move. After a slight freak out, I left and did a drive through James Baird State Park and Cary Institute of Environmental Studies. I didn't see much of anything at either of those locations, so I went back to check on the swans before going home.

The swans had moved and were in a decent spot. I took a seat and watched them. They swam around and ate and came so close to me. The youngster stayed very close to his parents. I kept hoping he would hop on one of their backs, but that didn't happen. Perhaps he is now too old to be doing that. I stayed with them for roughly 90 minutes before going home to chill for a bit.

After my little break at home, I headed out to the pond where I discovered all the Canada Geese and Goslings last night. When I first arrived, I spotted a snapping turtle in the road. I took pictures of it before it headed off into the grass where I then proceeded to get more pics. It wound up going under my car and hanging out in the shade there for roughly 2 1/2 hours. When it was time for me to leave, I had to ask someone to keep an eye on it so I could pull forward without running it over.

The Canada Geese and Goslings were all there hanging out. The goslings were a hoot to watch as they are so awkward and funny. In addition to them, I had a cormorant fly in and hang out for a bit. The cormorant gave me some wonderful opportunities for photos and I enjoyed the time it spent at the pond. Eventually he left and some killdeer came in nice and close for pics. In general, everything was so close that I had to keep moving back.

It was tough to decide on a photo to use for the blog today, so I went with a cormorant shot since I haven't posted one of those guys in a long time! Enjoy my blog post and stay tuned as I plan to add a handful of shots from today on my Facebook page!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird cormorant debbie quick debs creative images hudson valley lagrange national geographic nature natures best shots new york overlook park photography pond water waterfowl wild wildlife Sat, 02 Jun 2018 22:38:51 GMT
The cuteness of a Gosling This morning started out rainy and overcast and as the afternoon started to set in, the sun decided to come out. By the time I finished working for the day, the sun was shining strong and the sky was a beautiful color blue. It was clearly a perfect afternoon for grabbing the camera and going out to look for wildlife to shoot. I made three different stops and saw a nice variety of animals. Spring is always the best time to get out and find a nice variety.

My first stop was to check on the bald eagles I watch. Neither of the adults were around. One of the eaglets was in the nest and the other was perched just above the nest on a little stub that used to be a perch, up til a few days ago. The youngster who was perched on the stub did a little stretching, preening and wing flapping. The spot he was sitting in was tough to photograph because it was dark and there were so many leaves around him. One of the adults eventually did a fly but, but didn't stick around. I didn't stay for too long because it was really hot and my sprained ankle was hurting.

My second stop was to a pond near the bald eagles. There wasn't much going on in the pond, but there were a couple of groundhogs nearby. I quietly maneuvered my way in and enjoyed watching them. At first there were two, then a third came out of the woods. They hung out for a bit and I took a ton of photos of them before moving along.

From there, I was planning to go check on the swans I've been watching and made a slight detour into a park where I knew there was a small pond. Holy jackpot. There were two great blue herons, a ton of Canada Geese, and a ton of Goslings. The goslings were of various ages. Some were still small and yellow. Others were slightly bigger and darker. Then there was a family that goslings that were even older, they were starting to get the colorings of an adult Goose. I had a blast watching the adults hiss and chase each other and then watching how awkward all the kids were. They were eating, resting, bathing, running and flapping their stubby little wings. I look forward to stopping back in there and seeing all those kids in action.

It was nice to finally get out with my camera and so fun to see so many different animals. I wound up taking 675 photos this evening and thought it was going to be tough to decide which to use for the blog. After I took a quick peak through them, I couldn't resist using a gosling who realized he ventured too far from his family and quickly ran to catch up to them. It was so funny to watch!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal baby canada goose cute cuteness overload debbie quick debs creative images gosling hudson valley lagrange natural nature new york overlook park photography pond running water waterfowl wild wildlife young Sat, 02 Jun 2018 00:52:08 GMT
They have hatchlings What a weekend.... Wow, I can't express that enough.... I got away and headed up to camp after having a super stressful week at work with hopes of having lots of fun and getting out with my camera. Instead, I began it by spraining my ankle on Friday night. I woke up Saturday morning and WOW.... the pain was so intense, I couldn't put any weight at all on my left foot. It was so hard to do anything. I had to hold onto things and bounce on one foot to get around and the only way to get down my three little stairs was to do it on my rear end. Luckily my sister was at camp and she was able to help me get my boyz in and out. I wound up driving myself to the ER (since my right foot still worked), calling into the ER asking if they could come out with a wheel chair and leaving it in the wheel chair and a pair of crutches to get around with.

By Sunday, I was doing a little better and could put some weight on my foot. Thank goodness because it was completely impossible to get around on the crutches or to do anything. I wound up spending my day with my leg up and icing it, but also tossing the crutches to the side and doing my best to use my left foot as little as possible. By today, the swelling had gone done and I was so cooped up, I couldn't stop myself from getting out.

I decided I would go check on the new osprey nest I'm watching as it is on private property and they have picnic tables set up for me to sit at. I had only a very short walk to get there and once I was there, I could relax and take it easy. Sadly, I have yet to check on my usual osprey nest, but I was thankful to have this one for today since I couldn't handle a long walk or a lot of standing.

As I arrived at the nest, I could see both parents were in it and mom was feeding young ones. It was impossible to see how many she was feeding, but it did look like it could potentially be two or three. Dad stayed in the nest until she was finished feeding, then left with the fish and sat in a nearby tree. He sat there and waited for a while. Eventually, she called him back in so that she could feed the young ones again. After feeding, she took off and grabbed a stick to bring to the nest. He then left and flew to a nearby tree where he sat for a long while. While he was sitting in the tree, another female osprey flew in, around the nest and left. He yelled the entire time. Shortly after she left, he left.

He was gone for a long period of time, then out of nowhere I saw him fly by to check on things, then towards Lake Champlain. I was assuming he had gone out fishing to bring food home to the family. I waited roughly 45 minutes, but he didn't return. Mom flew out of the nest twice and landed in a nearby by tree for a moment, then back to the nest. I was assuming she was looking for him, but I'll never know for sure. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I had to get back to camp to pack up the car and head home.

Hopefully next time I go, I'll see the kids and know how many they have. I'm also hoping to check on the nest I've been watching for a few years now.

Here is dad, the first time he left the nest with the remains of the fish, while mom is bent over taking care of her young. Such proud parents!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal animal photography bird bird photography birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images essex county fish lake champlain male natural nature nature photography new york osprey outdoor magazine outdoors raptor ticonderoga wild wildlife wildlife photography Tue, 29 May 2018 01:23:52 GMT
Swan and Cygnets For the past few weeks I've been driving past this pond with a pair of swans and seeing one of them sitting on eggs. Every time I've driven by, I've prayed that they would have cygnets for me to photograph. Today, I had time to go check the pond and sure enough, the pair of swans were swimming around with the cygnets. Most of the time the cygnets were snuggled in on moms back, but they did periodically get off and stay very close.

When I first arrived, they were far out in the pond, but I took shots anyway because I didn't know if I would have any luck on them coming in closer. While I waited for them to come in close, a muskrat popped up out of the water near me. It was tough to photograph the muskrat because of all the tall grasses, but hopefully I got a couple of headshots of him.

When the muskrat finally disappeared, I realized the swans were heading my way and getting closer! The light was really tough to work with, but I did my best and enjoyed watching as they approached me and went by to head over to the other side of the pond. As they first began to approach, one of the cygnets was swimming along side the adults, then I watched it climb up onto mom with his siblings. By the time they got in nice and close, all four cygnets were on moms back.

After they went by, I worked my way around to the other side and to my surprise there were two pairs of Canada Geese with their goslings. Their were five goslings in total. Three of them belonged to the one pair and the other two belonged to the other pair. I had so much fun watching the three families, but at this point they were too close so I tried backing up as much as possible. I crossed the road and stood at the very edge of the lawn. I wasn't there for long when this nasty man came around the corner with his dog and was extremely rude about me standing on his property. Seriously? What the heck is wrong with people? Why can't people be friendly or nice. l was shocked he could even see me standing there through the thick tree line and space between his house and the side road. Oh well, I moved the one step off and back onto the road. 

I stayed for a bit longer and watched the three families. At this point I was just watching and enjoying the wildlife, not really getting any pics because everything was too close. Also, I already had in mind the photo I wanted to use for my blog today, a shot of mom giving her cygnets a ride. It was my first time (in person) seeing cygnets on mom's back and it made my day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) anatidae animal bird cygnet cygnini cygnus debbie quick dutchess county hudson valley mute swan nature new york photography pleasant valley pond swan water wild wildlife Sun, 20 May 2018 19:34:05 GMT
My new friend, Woody It's that awesome time of year and I am now back at camp in the Adirondacks. I opened up my camper on Friday and spent 2 1/2 days getting things cleaned up and set up for the season. I have a few minor things to finish off, but there is no rush on that.

Now that things are set up and ready to go, I was able to take my camera out and play. This morning I photographed chipmunks, blue jays, hummingbirds and squirrels right here at the camp site. Then in the late morning I had a meeting with somebody to sign a contract so I can watch an osprey nest on a particular piece of property. This is a nest I discovered last year, but do need special permission to do so. It's really cool because I got a badge that say's "Authorized Photographer" on it and I have to where it anytime I'm on location. I'll still continue to watch the nest I've been watching for the past four years, but will probably put more focus on this one as it is roughly 20 miles closer than the other nest I watch.

It feels really awesome to be back in the Adirondacks and I spent yesterday evening and this morning working with my chipmunks. I have three that live on the front side of my site and one that lives just behind my camper. So far I've named the three that live on my site. The one near the wood pile is Woody, the one closer to my deck is Stubby as he only has half a tail, and the one near the fire pit is Spooky. I'm not sure this is the same Stubby from last year or a different one as last years Stubby disappeared towards the end of the season, so I'm thinking this must be a different one. And Spooky got his name from my mom. He is an extremely nervous chipmunk, afraid of me and afraid of the others chipmunks. He doesn't venture far from his home so in a sense, he spooks easily. My mom chose a perfect name for him.

I got a bunch of really nice shots today so it was hard to choose which to use as a blog post. I wound up going with an image of Woody since he is the first chipmunk to take a peanut from my hand this season. I'm now working on earning his trust so that hopefully soon he'll let me pet him. Being able to pet chipmunks is always so fun!

I've had a truly awesome day photographing wildlife, hanging with my dogs, enjoying the awesome spring weather we're having and having a nice dinner with my mom!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal animal photography camping chipmunk debbie quick debs creative images essex county mammal nature nature photography nature up close natures best shots new york peanut rock rodent stone ticonderoga wild wildlife wildlife photography Tue, 15 May 2018 00:19:33 GMT
Mama Fox feeding her family Hi peeps, Happy Cinco de Mayo! I hope you all have had as wonderful of a day as I have.

I woke this morning to temps in the upper 50's and it felt great. I turned off the central air I had running for 2 days and opened the windows as I prepared for the busy day ahead of me. My day involved heading to Newburgh to photograph ducks and geese, then home for lunch and to take the boyz for a walk, then to Rhinebeck to look for the red foxes and then back home to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with my neighbors.

Because I had so much planned for today, I was out of the house before 8am to head to Newburgh. I arrived to find my buddy, John, already there and so I joined him in photographing the ducks and geese. Only one of the mallard pairs had ducklings to photograph. Mostly it was a lot of male ducks as the females were probably still sitting on eggs. I was hoping for more ducklings, but I guess I went a little too early, so I will try again in a couple of weeks. Generally when I go to photograph I sit on the ground, but many of my friends lay down, so I tried that today. It wasn't very comfortable laying on my belly full of coffee, but after a quick peak at my photos, I sure do like the effect and will try that again.

The weather was so perfect when I left the first location and went home to get the dogs out. We took a walk around the neighborhood and they enjoyed it much better than the walks we took the past two days. I hung out with them for a bit on the porch and felt a little guilty when I left to head out for the foxes.

The last time I went to check on the foxes, they were no longer in the den they had been in, so I wasn't so sure what my luck would be today. As I arrived into the neighborhood I saw one of the kits near the foundation of the house and mom and others a little further away. After scoping out the area, it seems she has the kids split between two dens. One is at the house that is difficult for getting pics and the other is in the woods. My buddy, Tim, was really nice to hang out and explore the area with me. I think he's enjoying watching them almost as much as I am, lol. During my 3 1/2 hour visit there we watched mom bring three squirrels back for the kits. One was on the smaller side (you'll see in the pic I'm planning to use for today's blog) and the other two were rather plump. As much as I love seeing her bring back the meals for her family, I can't help but wonder.... "is she bringing back a mama squirrel who has kids of her own to take care of?". It is a tough world out there and as much as I love watching wildlife, some of the activities do give me mixed emotions. Either way though, it was a blessing to see mom and the kits. The kits are starting to wander a little further at this point, so I suspect that soon it may be difficult to get any shots of them. Today's shots were mostly of mom as they slept. I think the heat in the late afternoon kept them in hiding.

By the time I left Rhinebeck, I was ready to go home and call it a day, but I knew I had to pop into my neighbors Cinco de Mayo party for a little bit. They were actually having a big celebration, 3 parties in one. In addition to the Cinco de Mayo celebration, they were also celebrating their daughters 13th birthday which was earlier in the week and her first communion which happened this afternoon. It was really nice of them to invite me, so I went for a bit. I socialized with their family, had some delicious home cooked Mexican food and a couple of margarita's. It was fun to hang out and I wish I had the energy to stay longer, but since I had spent the entire day out in the sun, the sun drained all my energy. 

Today was a really awesome day! Between perfect temps, somewhat cooperative wildlife, friends to hang out with, a good dinner and some drinks.... who could ask for more?  :-)

Wishing you all a happy and safe Cinco de Mayo!!!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography celebration cinco de mayo debbie quick debs creative images dutchess county fox hudson valley kits meal nature nature lovers nature photography nature up close red fox squirrel wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 06 May 2018 00:57:46 GMT
Mama Fox and her Kits The past couple of days were rainy, so I took full advantage of today's sunshine and went out after work to watch the fox family I've been checking in on this past week. When I arrived on location, I strategically parked my car so I could sit in it and use it as a blind. There were two kits sleeping in the yard and nothing happened for the longest time. Eventually, they both dropped down into the hole they were using as a den and I sat there texting a friend and playing games on my phone while I waited.

Roughly 40 minutes later mom came in with a meal and all 7 kits popped out of the hole and fought over it. The first one to get out was the one who got it, but he/she had to run around in circles and fight off all the siblings. Mom hung out for a bit and gave me some nice opportunities for photos before she ran off to go hunt for another meal. All kids were active for a while before heading back down the hole for another nap.

An hour after the first delivery a state trooper came into the neighborhood and stopped to ask me if I heard an alarm going off. I mentioned that I heard something in the distance, but wasn't really sure which direction or how far off it was. He proceeded past me then turned around and sat behind me for a while (I'm assuming to watch me and see what I was doing). Just as he was pulling off from chatting with me mama fox came in with another meal and stirred up the crew once again. She stuck around for a couple of minutes and a couple of the kits nursed off of her. Eventually she crossed the street and left. I missed some of the photo opportunities because the cop had stopped, then another car went through, but that is ok, it was still fun to watch.

After mama ran off, the state trooper who was obviously watching me to see what I was doing pulled up next to me and stopped to chat. He made a comment along the lines of, "ah, I see what you're up to". And so I chatted with him for a minute about the foxes before he left, completely unconcerned with what I was doing in the neighborhood.

A few minutes later somebody pulled into the driveway of the home the foxes are living under and glared at me before going into the house. Shortly after, she came back out with a pen and notepad to write down my license plate number. I got out and tried to make friendly conversation with her and to let her know I was enjoying the beauty of the foxes, but she was so nasty to me. I'm assuming she went in to call the police and complain, but no police came. Instead she came back out a few minutes later and very rudely asked me to leave. Again, I tried to be polite and let her know that I was just photographing the foxes. By this time, the light stunk and I was gonna leave soon anyway, so I figured I'll just go for today. Little does she know, I will be back. I'm not at all in front of the home as I parked back away from it. In fact, I'm parked at the edge of the lawn of the person who invited me into the neighborhood. It's really horrid that someone would be so nasty to me. I'm not there to cause any trouble, I'm just there to enjoy the beauty mother nature has given us. I've done everything possible to respect both the neighbors and the foxes. I've even chatted with many of the people in the neighborhood and they've all been so nice and welcoming. In fact, one of the neighbors comes over to my car each time I'm there to say hello and chat about the foxes. I wish this woman would understand that I'm only there for the foxes.

Anyhow, it was a blessing to watch mama bring in two meals, the kids playing and the brief moment I got to witness a couple of the kits nursing off of mom. I got a bunch of nice shots today, but I couldn't resist using a nursing shot for the blog since it is such a sweet moment! I hope you all enjoy this shot as much as I do!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal babies close county creative debbie debs dutchess eating feeding fox furry hudson images kits love mama mammal nature new nursing pups quick red rhinebeck spring sweet the up valley wild wildlife york young Fri, 27 Apr 2018 01:27:30 GMT
Red Fox Kit with a Meadow Vole My morning began early and my day was long, but it was completely awesome! I was out the door at 7 this morning to head up to Troy for my nieces first communion. The church service was very nice and Julia looked so beautiful and grown up. She recently got a hair cut just like mom and her dress was full and beautiful. She looked like a little princess.

After the church service we all went to the Hilton Garden Inn for a reception/luncheon. It was nice to hang out with the family and to see my brother-in-laws family. In addition to hanging out and chatting with the adults, I also made sure to spend time with each of the kids. It's hard to believe how fast they are growing up.

By the time I left, the temps had reached the low 60's and the sun was shining so brightly so I thought I would stop in at Tim's neighborhood on my way home to see if the foxes were still around. Sure enough, I immediately saw three of them at the new den they moved to yesterday so I strategically parked my car so I could sit inside it and watch/photograph them. The kits played and snoozed and were so entertaining to watch. Then suddenly out of nowhere, a bunch of little red foxes appeared. Apparently they popped out of a whole they were in and there were six of them. It sure was a pleasure to watch six of them in action.

I waited and waited forever hoping mom would show up and when she finally did, she made it worth the wait as she came in with a meadow vole in her mouth. She ran onto the front lawn, dropped it and one of the kits immediately ran over to scoop it up. The kit ran a little further from the den with the squirrel in his mouth and hid behind a tree to eat it. I couldn't believe how quickly the kit ate the meadow vole, then came out of hiding.

While the kit was dining, mom took off with one of the other kits following her. I could see her in the distance than I saw her running back, chasing a squirrel with her kit in tow learning to hunt. Unfortunately, she did not catch it as it went up a tree. She then disappeared and the kit goofed off for a bit before returning to the den. I waited roughly 10 more minutes for her to return, but nothing happened so I wound up leaving to go home and take care of my dogs.

It truly was a wonderful day seeing my niece make her first communion and then watching the beautiful little red foxes. I got some cleaner pics of the foxes, but I couldn't resist sharing a shot of the kit with the meal in his mouth. I could easily watch the foxes all day if I had the opportunity. In fact, it's too bad I have to work tomorrow because I want nothing more than to go back and watch them again. Perhaps I'll try to start my day early so I can leave a little early to go see these guys.

In addition to taking pics, I also took a video of the kits playing: Kits Playing Video

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal lovers animal photography beautiful debbie quick debs creative images dutchess county fox furry kits mammal nature nature lovers nature photography nature up close new york outdoors pups red fox spring the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 22 Apr 2018 23:46:04 GMT
Playful Fox Kits Today was a gorgeous and busy day! The sky was a beautiful blue and temps reached a high of 59 degrees making it absolutely perfect to be outdoors. Thankfully I started early so I could hit up a bunch of locations. I left the house before 7:30 and headed towards the river to photograph bald eagles. From there I went over to a creek where I got to photograph a red tailed hawk, great blue herons and an osprey. By the time I finished there, it was time to go home for lunch and to walk my boyz. I took a short break before heading back out for an afternoon of photographing.

The second part of my day was the absolute best as my buddy, Tim, had invited me over to go photograph a red fox mama and her kits. As I was driving to his house I saw the mama laying in somebody's yard with two kits romping around in the background. It was tempting to stop, but I figured I should first go get Tim. The funny part is that we've been friends for many years and this was my first time at his apartment.

After I got the grand tour of Tim's place, we headed out to go see the foxes. The mama was no longer laying in the front yard, but the two kits were still there. It was a dark area in front of a slightly unkept home, so we continued to the location where he originally spotted the foxes. That was a fantastic spot as the afternoon light hit so nicely and there were three kits coming and going and romping around. At one point mama came in to check on things and then she disappeared. We stayed for a bit and I got some fantastic photos of the kits. Eventually they went into the den for a nap, so we left to get a bite to eat.

While returning from grabbing a snack, we spotted mama running to the new location with two kits following her. We grabbed my camera and went back out to watch. I was a little concerned about getting too close, so I found a nice area to hide in some brush and watch. Eventually we realized that she was moving the kits from the original den which was under somebody's shed to a new den which was under the porch of a house. We strategically placed ourselves so we could watch her return with kits and I was so lucky to get her returning carrying two of them. One was a lot smaller than the other she transported back.

It was such an awesome afternoon and I feel so blessed that I had an opportunity to see a mama red fox and kits. I've been searching high and low and walking all kinds of trails and thanks to Tim, I finally got to see some!

Check out the kits playing. They didn't do this for long, but it was really cool to see.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography cute debbie quick debs creative images dutchess county fox furry kits mammal nature nature lovers nature photography new york outdoor playful playing pups red fox spring the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 22 Apr 2018 00:36:38 GMT
Monk Parakeet Today was my 6th and final full day in Texas and it sure was a busy one. Rafael and I got up early and headed out to Quinta Matzlan to walk the trails and do some bird watching. The home and the property was very beautiful and we ran into the couple I met from Wisconsin at Las Palomas yesterday.

We began our journey walking south on the trail towards the pond and the bird feeding station. We first stopped at the pond where we saw an egret, lots of grackles and one other bird. We sat there for a bit, but not much activity happened, so we continued to move along and find the bird feeding station. As we were approaching the bird feeding station we saw two chachalaca's. The chachalaca is a common bird in southern Texas that is very loud. Often times people hear them, but never see them as they stay hidden in the thicket and eat all the berries off the mulberry trees. In fact, Rafael hears chachalaca's all the time, but today was the first time he's ever seen them. We even got some really nice photos of them.

We eventually stumbled upon the bird feeding station and it was set up so nicely. The feeding station was on one side of the trail and on the other side was theater seating made out of rock. It was a really cool setup and we sat and watched for a while. We only saw a few species of birds, but it was really cool. We saw the chachalaca's, red-winged blackbird, white tipped doves and great kiskadee's. We stayed for about a half hour and enjoyed watching the birds come in and feast and then fly away.

While talking to the couple from Wisconsin, Rafael learned of a place we could go for monk parakeet's, so when we left Quinta Matzlan, we headed towards the parakeets. The parakeets were in a neighborhood in Hidalgo near the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse Museum and World Birding Center. There were seven nests on transformer boxes, but one nest in particular was absolutely huge. It's shape was long and somewhat narrow and it was more of a nest complex than a bird nest as there were at least four different nests for the monk parakeets and at the bottom the sparrows had their nests.

This was my first time ever seeing monk parakeets and it was truly awesome to watch. We watched them going in and out of their nests and collect nesting material to bring back. 

The monk parakeet is also known as the Quaker parrot. It is a small, bright green parrot with a grayish breast and green/yellow abdomen. It is native to South America, yet popular in the pet trade. The wild population was established in the 1960's. They are the only parakeets to nest communally with dozens living together year-round in large, multifamily stick nests that are built in trees and on power poles. These group nests allow for the survival of the parakeets who go as far north as Chicago and New York. Their bulky nests provide a year-round home for the colony. The insulation is what makes it possible for the birds to survive the cold winters. A monk parakeet nest generally contains up to 20 nest chambers and in extreme cases can house more than 200 nests. Monk parakeets who live in captivity can learn to mimic human speech. Their live span is generally 6 or more years in the wild and as long as 15 years in captivity.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird photography bright-green parrot debbie quick debs creative images monk parakeet myiopsitta monachus nature nature lovers nature photography natures best shots old hidalgo pumphouse museum and world birding center parakeet quaker parrot texas wild wildlife wildlife photography Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:44:35 GMT
Roseate Spoonbill at Estero Llano Grande State Park It's hard to believe that today is my 5th full day in Texas and I only have one more day here before I travel back home to NY. I'm having a really good time hanging out with Rafael and photographing the wildlife, but I am missing home and my boyz.

Today Rafael had to work, so I had to venture out on my own. I was a little hesitant to go far, so I went back to Estero Llano Grande State Park (Las Palomas) in Weslaco. The park is a 230 plus acre refuge in the Rio Grande Valley and it has shallow lakes, woodlands and thorn forest, which attracts a spectacular array of South Texas Wildlife. There is a visitor center/store, viewing decks, boardwalks, an observation deck and over five miles of walking trails. There are three larger ponds and two smaller ones. The three larger ponds host the majority of the wildlife: Ibis Pond, Dowitcher Pond and Alligator Lake. And, in case you were wondering.... Alligator Lake is indeed where I saw a very large alligator on 2 different occasions.

Once again the morning was windy and so the activity was a bit slower than I had hoped. However, don't let that fool you as I saw all kinds of wildlife: tricolored heron, ducks, stilts, spoonbills, turtles, ibis, egrets, songbirds, an alligator, etc.

My favorite opportunity was with the pair of roseate spoonbills who flew in, made a very brief appearance and then flew back out. One of them didn't stick around, but the other landed in Dowitcher Pond for about 2-3 minutes. It was a bit distant, but I snapped a few shots anyway and had a fantastic opportunity when it flew off (crossing right in front of me).

The Roseate Spoonbill was common in parts of the southeast until the 1860's when they were virtually eliminated from the United States from a side effect of the destruction of wader colonies by plume hunters. In the early 20th century they began to take up residency in Texas and Florida. They are still uncommon, local and vulnerable to degradation of feeding and nesting habitats. They can be found in lagoons, mudflats, coastal marshes and mangrove keys. They forage in shallow water that has a muddy bottom in bot salt and fresh water (including tidal ponds, inland marshes and coastal lagoons). They tend to nest in colonies, in the red mangroves in Florida and in willows or on coastal islands in low scrub in farther west willows.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird lovers bird photography bird watching birding debbie quick debs creative images elite worldwide birds estero llano grande state park las palms nature nature lovers nature photography natures brilliance rio grande valley roseate spoonbill texas wading bird weslaco wild wildlife wildlife photography world birding center Mon, 16 Apr 2018 20:32:58 GMT
Tricolored Heron on South Padre Island Today was my fourth full day in Texas visiting my friend, Rafael, and I sure am having a good time. It's been really nice catching up with my friend from the Navy and enjoying the great outdoors in his area.

Today we visited the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center on South Padre Island. Upon arrival to the nature center we first encountered a pond with a waterfall. There were songbirds, butterflies and hummingbirds all around. We entered through the main building and out the back door. The center had over 3300 linear feet of boardwalk, 5 bird blinds, a 5 story tower (with views of Laguna Padre, the beaches, the dunes of South Padre Island, the Gulf of Mexico and the South Padre Island Skyline) and an auditorium showing a documentary about the wildlife of the Island.

The birding and nature center is a non-profit organization that was created by the town of South Padre Island's Economic Development Corporation in response to the researched desire of their residents and visitors. Their goal is to provide one-of-a-kind birding opportunities coupled with interpretive tours of the site, as well as educational opportunities to learn about birds on the island. And their mission is to educate the public about the birds and its environs (the flora, fauna and natural environment of South Padre Island and the Laguna Madre Coastal area).

Although the South Padre Island and Nature Center is an environmental center that was manmade and is well maintained, it has so far been my favorite location. It was so incredible that there were so many different types of animals to see. We saw all kinds of wildlife: herons, white ibis, ducks, cormorants, shorebirds, gators, turtles, songbirds, hummingbirds, etc. Some of the birds were first time birds for me, or as a birder would say, "a life bird". Meaning a new bird that I can add to my list of birds seen in my life. Some of them I will even have to look up the ID on. So far I looked up an all red one and I was shocked to see that it is a Cardinal as it looks completely different than the Northern Cardinals I see in NY.

After we left the Island, we went to a BBQ joint and had some Brisket for lunch. I believe that was my first time ever having brisket and I really enjoyed it. We then continued on and Rafael brought me to a park where they have Mexican Ground Squirrels. It was so foreign for me to think that there are squirrels who live under ground like chipmunks as I've only seen squirrels who live in trees. But, sure enough there is a such thing as a ground squirrel and they sure are cute. Rafael was telling me they have ground squirrels and tree squirrels and a few days ago I learned that the tree squirrels in Texas are actually fox squirrels. We discussed the other types of squirrels that I knew of and so he googled squirrels. We quickly learned that there are well over 200 species of squirrels in the United States. At this point I'm thinking, not only do I need a list of "life birds", but I may also need a list of "life squirrels". lol

After our long day out, we went back to Rafael's house to clean up and relax before going to his sisters house for dinner. Because I'm a little shy, I was a little nervous to go meet his family, but when we arrived they were so welcoming and nice. I had a really good time! His family is really sweet and they made me feel right at home. The company was fantastic, the food was fantastic and I really enjoyed meeting their chihuahua. Actually, I felt a bit like a traitor because I miss my boyz so much. Although, I think they would like the pretty girl.

By the end of the day I had taken roughly 1800 photos and so it was impossible for me to go through all my photos to choose my best shot for a blog. Instead, I did a quick search and decided I would use a species that I've never blogged about before. I decided to go with the Tricolored Heron as that is a heron that I just checked off my list this week. The tricolored heron is a medium-sized, slender heron of the southern United States. It was formerly known as the Louisiana Heron. According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the populations declined slightly between 1966 and 2014. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a U.S. breeding population of less than 194,000 birds.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird watching birding debbie quick debs creative images heron nature nature lovers nature photography nature up close natures best photos south padre island south padre island bird and nature center texas tricolored heron water wetland wild wildlife wildlife photography Mon, 16 Apr 2018 04:39:25 GMT
Green Jay at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Today is my third full day in Texas and we headed towards the gulf to go to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge to do some bird watching. The wind was very strong and I have to admit that I didn't plan properly and had the wrong attire on. I spent half the day trying to keep my skirt down so I wouldn't flash anyone, lol. Other than that, the day was pretty good. 

We walked all the trails around the visitor center and stopped at the bird blind as well as all the observation stops. At the bird blind and a couple of the observation points they had small pools of water, bird seed and bananas out for the birds so that made it very easy to see them. However, most of the areas were relatively shaded so it did make photographing the beauties a little difficult. I finally got to see the green jay which was one bird that was a must see on my list. We also got to see a long-billed thrasher, couch's kindbirds, bronzed cowbirds, red-winged blackbirds and great-tailed grackles.

After we walked all the trails around the visitor center, we went to the Osprey Overlook to see shorebirds and raptors. Sadly though, the wind was so strong that every time I tried to snap a pick the wind would blow the lens away. It was completely impossible to photograph at the overlook, so we walked the trail to the alligator pond. Unfortunately, the alligator pond was completely dried out and had no gators, so we walked back and spent a little more time observing birds near the visitor center.

Eventually I had enough of photographing, so we left to grab food at Whataburger. The food was good, tasted like a burger, lol. 

The green jay is an absolutely stunning tropical bird found primarily in Mexico and South America. Their range has been expanding into Texas and according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey their populations increased between 1966 and 2015. The green jay has a blue head, a green body, and a tail that is teal on top and yellow on the underside. In Texas, the green jay utilizes open woodland and brushy mesquite thickets. In Mexico and South America they can be found in humid forests. Their diets consist of: arthropods, vertebrates, seeds, and fruit.



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) bird bird photography buena vista blvd debbie quick debs creative images green jay laguna atascosa national wildlife refuge los fresnos nature nature lovers nature photography natures perfection songbird texas tropical bird wild wildlife wildlife photography Sat, 14 Apr 2018 22:38:47 GMT
Black-bellied whistling-duck at Las Palomas WMA Today is my second full day in Texas and so my friend and I got up and out early to go look for wildlife. The morning was overcast and the winds were very strong, so we decided to stay local and only go out for a few hours. We went back to Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area and checked out all three larger ponds as well as the couple of smaller ponds.

Light wasn't the best and the strong winds (up to 33 mph) made the birds not very cooperative and photographing difficult for me. We spent a little time at each of the ponds. The first pond had all kinds of ducks and shorebirds. The second pond had ducks, shorebirds, a snowy egret, a glossy ibis and a tricolored heron. Then the third pond had an egret, a black crowned knight heron, a green heron and an alligator. It was really tough to shoot the animals at the third pond because the sun was in a bad position and the glare was awful.

Today was a short day out in the field, but it was still really fun to see so many different birds I've never before seen. Plus, it's always fun to find a gator while out exploring. Wish I could have gotten some better shots of the gator, but at least I saw one so that made me rather happy.

Enjoy my shot of the black-bellied whistling-duck. I thought this would make a great shot for the blog as it is a new species for me. Plus, I really like the markings and coloring in this bird. What a beauty!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography black-bellied whistling-duck debbie quick debs creative images duck duck lovers duck photography las palomas wildlife management area nature nature lovers nature perfection nature photography natures best shots texas weslaco wild wildlife wildlife photography Fri, 13 Apr 2018 19:13:37 GMT
First encounter with an American Avocet Yesterday I spent the day traveling to Texas to go meet a friend and enjoy some wildlife photography. I was up before the crack of dawn and at my parents house to drop off my dogs by 7:30 am. My dad brought me to the train station where I began my journey by train to Manhattan, then walked two blocks to take a shuttle to Laguardia Airport. My flight from Laguardia to Houston went really well and we landed early. When I arrived I was extremely lucky to catch a ride from the arrival gate to the gate of my connection departure. I say lucky because there must have been at least a mile between the gates. I got there and had over an hour to goof off to wait for a flight that wound up being delayed by three hours. I wound up chatting and making friends with two of the other passengers which was really nice. All three of us had common interests in photography and rv camping. Having nice people to chat with sure did help make the time go quicker until we got on our flight to our destination in McAllen, Texas.

Because I arrived late last night, my friend and I slept in a tad bit later than I originally expected. We took our time getting ready and having coffee before we headed out to Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. Santa Ana was really pretty as there were many hiking trails to choose from. Some went through the wooded/thicket areas and others were more open. There were ponds and lots of birds around and I got to see the Rio Grande River and Mexico from one of the trails. Sadly, I had no opportunities at photographing birds as they mostly hid in the thicket or were perched in areas of bad light. We walked almost four miles there and I was totally in love with all the lizards that were running around throughout the trails. Some were very tiny, while others were a bit larger. They were all so cute and fun to watch. It kept reminding me of how I watch chipmunks run around my campsite in the Adirondacks. We also had a nice opportunity with a beautiful little fox squirrel who was eating and posing. This was my first time ever seeing a fox squirrel and I was impressed by his beautiful orange coloring. His behaviors seemed similar to squirrels I see in NY, but his coloring was different and impressed me.

After Santa Ana we took a little break and then eventually made our way to Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area. I really liked Las Palomas as it wasn't as large of a location and there were all kinds of ducks, herons, wading birds and shorebirds. Apparently alligators can also be found there, but we did not see one. We saw all kinds of birds that I've never seen before as well as a few that I have. I'm probably going to have to look up and try to figure out what many of the birds were. There was a wader bird in particular that I really liked because it had a pretty color pattern and a unique bill. Since there were other birders there at that moment, I was able to ask what type of bird it was and one of the ladies said it was an American Avocet. So, here it was my first time seeing an American Avocet and I was thrilled. I thought it would make for a nice blog photo.

Now it is time to relax as tomorrow is going to be another fun filled day out and about. 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american avocet animal animal photography bird bird photography birds of texas debbie quick debs creative images las palomas wildlife management area natural nature nature lovers natures perfection texas wading bird weslaco wild wildlife wildlife photography Fri, 13 Apr 2018 03:26:24 GMT
Happy Flappy - Female Wood Duck I woke up super early today so I could meet up with some friends at Downing Park in Newburgh, NY. My first stop along the way was to pick up a friend to bring with me so that we could meet the others on location.

When we first arrived at the park the sun was shining, but the temps were a little cool. Since the sun was shining so nicely, it felt warmer than it actually was. There were all kinds of ducks and geese around, so we set up camp and started photographing the birds. They came in close and the light shined on them so nicely, giving us an opportunity for some good photos. 

Generally this time of year the ducks are mating and a little crazy. I was a bit shocked that they were very calm today and there was no mating from what I could see. In past years during mating season, there are often a lot of fights and ducks chasing one another. Today, there wasn't much of that so I was slightly disappointed as I was hoping to get some good action shots. My only opportunities for action was when the ducks did some wing flapping and the geese did a little a hissing.

Today's blog shot is a female wood duck doing some wing flapping. She looked so gorgeous out there with the light shining on her.

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Short-eared owl in flight I woke up to a beautiful morning with the sun shining and the most beautiful blue sky. I planned to spend the entire day out with my camera and new I would be out late, so I took my time getting ready and hanging with the dogs before going out. I first stopped in two locations along the Hudson River in hopes of seeing some bald eagles, but they did not cooperate. By mid afternoon, I headed out to the Shawangunk Grasslands in hopes of seeing short-eared owls.

I arrived at the grasslands at roughly 3pm and ran into a bunch of photography friends. I chatted for a few minutes, then around 3:15 the owls came up. Considering the time change, this was really early to see the owls up and flying. They were extremely vocal and put on the best show I've seen this year. Most of the activity was far, but it was incredibly fun to watch. Mostly the owls chased each other, but I did get an opportunity or two with a short-eared owl interacting with a northern harrier. It was so fun to watch.

There was one owl in particular who kept circling relatively close, near a post. Several times it looked as though the owl would perch on the post, but it never did. We all kept hoping over the course of 3-4 hrs as we watched.

The day was fantastic. It was nice to run into some photog friends, meet some to photography peeps and to watch the beautiful birds putting on an awesome show!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird birds of prey birds of the northeast debbie quick debs creative images elite birds elite owls feathers grasslands nature nature photography natures best shots owl owl photography raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography wings worldwide birds Mon, 12 Mar 2018 02:52:54 GMT
Snowy kinda day My day began super early as I woke at 4 and was out of my house by 5 to drop my dogs off with my parents before heading to the Connecticut Shore. It was so dark and incredibly foggy on my way to my parents house, that it was really tough to see the road. I had to drive extremely slow and carefully follow the lines in the road. My dogs chilled in their travel seat by my side and were excited to be going to my parents house. I always feel lucky that they are so go with the flow.

The first half hour to forty five minutes after dropping my dogs off was still very dark and a little foggy. I hit a bad pothole roughly 5 minutes into the drive and was concerned about my tire popping, luckily it was fine and I was able to continue on. I arrived at the beach at 7:15 and the fog was extremely thick and the sky overcast, but that didn't stop me from beginning my journey down the beach to look for a snowy owl. I got roughly a mile down and spotted three photographers who already had their lenses on a snowy, so that made the search easy, lol. Once I joined them I was chatting with them and they mentioned there was another one just a little further out, and sure enough when I a walked to the left a bit, I could see it. I wound up staying with the three guys and photographing the extremely cooperative snowy owl that we believe is a female. As we stood there another woman joined us, then she continued on to the other snowy owl that we believe to be a male. He let her get relatively close, then flew, giving us a nice opportunity for some flight shots. 

People came and went throughout the day and even I left for a bit in the early afternoon to make a pit stop and grab my lunch from the car. I saw two of the woman I know from the Waterman Bird Club, I believe their names are Adrienne and Sharon. And I met a photographer that I've chatted with on line, Will. It's so nice to run into people I know and to meet new people while out in the field (or the beach in this case). The owl I watched all day (for 7 hrs to be exact) didn't do much.... snoozed, preened, scratched, yawned and periodically walked around.

I wound up leaving the beach around 4 pm because light stunk and there was nothing much going on. I went to check into my hotel and then walked the shore near the hotel for a bit. Then when I went in to relax and order food, the clouds dispersed and the sun came out. So, I decided to put my food to the side and head back over to the beach. The two owls were extremely distant while the late afternoon light was really nice, but then as I was leaving I spotted the third owl of the day on a vent on a roof. Light was really stinky by this time, but I took a few shots anyway. Maybe I can tweak one enough to post.

It was truly a glorious day and I am excited/wiped out. I look forward to getting back out there first thing in the morning!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) arctic bird arctic raptor arctic wildlife bird bird lovers bird photography birds of a feather birds of a feather flock together birds of prey elite owls elite raptors elite worldwide birds nature nature lovers nature perfection nature photography natures best shots owl raptor snowy owl wild wildlife wildlife lovers wildlife photography your best shots Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:21:17 GMT
Starling near an old barn I was planning to get up and out early this morning because I knew the window for sunshine would be short, sadly I didn't sleep well last night and so the idea of getting up early didn't happen. It was just after 8 when I forced myself out of bed to get started on my day. I took a quick shower and took care of the dogs before rushing out.

I first went to Vassar Farms to walk my favorite trail. As soon as I got out of my car, I spotted a starling sitting on a pipe in front of the old barn. Generally I wouldn't want to see wildlife on pipes or wires, but in this situation I envisioned a cool opportunity as the pipe was just as old and rustic as the barn. I positioned myself to get the sun behind me and took a few shots of the starling. There was another starling just to the right, sitting on a nesting box that didn't seem as creative of a shot, so I didn't bother to take one. I stood and watched the starlings for a few minutes as they didn't budge when cars drove by, nor did they budge when a runner went past. I was shocked by how tame they seemed.

From there I walked down to the ponds I drive past on my way in. There wasn't much going on there. Three pairs of Canadian Geese, a pair of mallard ducks and a distant pair of common mergansers. Nothing that struck me for a photo, so I decided to leave and walk my favorite path down to the ponds. On the way I saw a pair of red tailed hawks circling high above an open field, then a little further were some deer. I was hoping to see the muskrats or beavers at the ponds, but nothing showed. By the time I got there, the skies had completely clouded over and light stunk anyway, so I turned back. I didn't see much of anything on the way back and a light drizzle started, so I figured that was my cue to go home. I was pleased to see such a nice variety of wildlife and really happy about my shots with the beautiful starling. So excited, that I figured it would make a great blog photo!

Enjoy the weekend. It looks like the rest of today and all of tomorrow will be gloomy and rainy here in NY, so I'll probably try to catch up on other stuff.

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Immature Red Tailed Hawk I woke early today to a blanket of heavy/wet snow and beautiful blue skies. I new it would be a nice day to get out so instead of goofing off and being lazy, I shoveled the driveway and got ready immediately to get out and enjoy the day.

I went to three different areas and saw a bunch of bald eagles, an immature red tailed hawk, northern harriers, gray ghosts (hawks) and short eared owls. Not all of the birds were close enough for good photo opportunities, but it was still really nice to see and watch them.

The biggest highlight of my day was the immature red tailed hawk who was hunting in a field. He moved around a few times and landed on the ground a few times. The branch he landed on in one of the trees was a really nice snow covered branch and he looked so beautiful sitting there. His second landing to the ground resulted in him getting his feet caught in the grass, but after a little wiggling and tugging, he got free. Then in his third flight from a tree to the ground he flew so close to me that I couldn't get pics, then landed so hard on the ground making this big thumping sound. It sounded painful to me, but he didn't seem at all phased by it. After his third attempt at trying to hunt in the field, he moved on to another area to try again so I left to move on to another location.

At my final location I saw the northern harriers, gray ghosts and short eared owls. The northern harriers gave a few nice fly by's, but the other birds stayed very distant. Although far, it was still an amazing site to see and fun to watch. Plus the noises the short eared owls make is rather amusing.

It was a great day out as I saw so much and the sun shined all day. With the sunshine reflecting off the beautiful white snow I got sunburn on my face. Oops, ouchie, it doesn't feel that great so I do hope it goes away quickly, lol.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images field grass ground hawk hawk photography hunting nature nature photography natures beauty natures best shots new york poughkeepsie predator raptor red tailed hawk snow taking off the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography winter Mon, 19 Feb 2018 03:20:51 GMT
Eagle Filled Day Over the past two months I've been focused on getting shots of snowy owls and short-eared owls. Since I haven't put much time into looking for eagles lately, I thought today I would shift my focus on going out to photograph the wintering eagles in our area.

I first started my day by going down to Peekskill to meet up with a new friend. He was fantastic as he showed me around the area and directed me to all the hot spots. We cruised around Peekskill and Verplanck, staying in areas along the Hudson River and saw eagles everywhere. There were eagles of all different ages and they were so entertaining to watch. They perched in trees along the roads giving us fantastic opportunities for perched shots with the beautiful blue sky in the background. We also watched eagles fishing in the distance and we watched so many chases. The young eagles looked like they were having fun goofing off with one another.

At one point one of the youngsters caught a fish and landed on the train tracks to eat it. I was so nervous the whole time it sat there eating and with the other eagles joining him on the tracks. It was there for a while and I kept on eye on it while hoping it would move elsewhere, but it didn't. Then we heard a train approaching and I was really nervous for him and the other two eagles that joined him and watched him eat. I watched as the train got closer and closer and held my breath while praying for them. Eventually the conductor honked and honked the horn. I was so relieved as the sound of the horn made them flee the tracks. Sadly though, after the train went by, they returned. Luckily all went well and they eventually got off the tracks.

By early afternoon the winds had picked up and the sky quickly turned to overcast, so I figured I would head back towards the Poughkeepsie area and check some of my favorite hotspots there. That too was plenty full of eagles as I saw 4 or 5 more before calling it a day and heading home.

With so many eagle pics to choose from it was tough to pick one out for the blog, so I figured I would use one of the shots of the first eagle I photographed this morning. My guess is that this youngster is around 3-4 yrs of age as it has a lot of white on his head and tail feathers. What struck me most about this guy is his striking eyes. Intense and beautiful!


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Along the Hudson River I got up early today and headed down to Westchester County to hang out along the Hudson River. I ran into a couple of friends and made a few new ones. It was a bit chilly at roughly 29 degrees, but it was worth it as we watched the eagles on the ice. For the most part, they were rather distant, but I saw 20+ eagles so that was really nice. The best of the activity happened between 8:30 and 9:30 in the morning. I missed the first pass of eagles, but caught the second part of the show.

As we stood around waiting for the eagles to return and do something interesting, we suddenly heard a loud commotion amongst the gulls. Apparently one got a piece of bread and flew off with it, with at least 20 gulls chasing it in hopes of stealing the meal. Then there was a lag of quiet time when a great blue heron came around the corner and flew straight towards as and continued past us. The great blue heron gave a fantastic opportunity for fill the frame shots.

After sitting around there for a bit with nothing happening, I decided to move along to another location. On my way to my 2nd location I stopped to pick up a burger and some fries. Upon arrival, I was eating my fries and a gull flew over near me, looking at me with an expression that simply meant he/she would really like a fry. I tossed one out and the gull hopped over and gulped it down. It continued to sit and ask for another, so naturally I tossed another out. Sadly, I only had a small order and I was already at the bottom of the pouch, so the gull only got 5 fries out of me. At that moment, I was wishing I had more to share. After we were done sharing my fries I realized, I probably could have tried to hand feed it one. Perhaps next time I get such an opportunity, I will give it a try.

Other than my bonding experience with the gull, not much happened at the 2nd location. There were 4 eagles out on ice, extremely distant so I left and headed for my third location.

My third location is a nesting spot for bald eagles and as soon as I arrived I spotted the male heading for the nest with a twig. He sat in the nest for a while, rearranging things before flying off and going to get another stick. After his second attempt at nest rearranging, he left and was greeting by the female. They both did a fly by. She kept going and he got a branch to take to the nest. While he was sitting in the nest doing some more rearranging, she returned and perched in a great spot for photos. Eventually he left and so did she. At that point the sky had become complete overcast, so I figured it was my cue to leave as well.

It was a fantastic day out and I was so thrilled with the opportunity with the great blue heron that I thought that would make a nice photo for my blog.

As always, thanks for reading my blog and hearing about my photography opportunities! Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird photography debbie quick debs creative images great blue heron heron nature nature photography new york the hudson river the hudson valley verplanck waterfowl westchester county wild wildlife wildlife photography Sat, 27 Jan 2018 21:51:32 GMT
I finally scored at the Shawangunk Grasslands I've been going to the Shawangunk Grasslands for the past 3 or 4 years and never seem to have much luck. Usually the short-eared owls will fly when the light is too dark and they usually stay very far away. Today though, things turned around for me and I had a wonderful experience.

When I first arrived at the grasslands, I saw the blind I wanted was already taken because the flag was up and so I took my 2nd favorite blind. I was there for roughly a half hour and I didn't see any human activity happening at my favorite blind, so I put my flag down and walked over. As I got close, I saw that there was indeed somebody sitting inside it, so I turned around and headed back to the blind I was originally in. On my way back, I ran into this lovely woman named Karen. We were walking and chatting and I invited her to join me at the blind. Moments after we got to the blind, the short-eared owls rose from the ground and started to fly around (while the light was still really good).

At one point I counted 5 of them in the air and it was so fun to watch them fly and interact with each other. They chased each other and yelled at each other. On occasion a Northern Harrier rose and mingled with them. They came relatively close to us a couple of times and also landed on a distant pole that was still relatively visible. At one point, one even caught a vole. Sadly though, when it took off with its meal it headed away from us and not towards us. The best moment was when one flew right over our heads. It was far too close for me to get any photos so I simply watched in awe. I was so in love with the moment and the close up view of such a stunning raptor.

As the light started to dim Karen's friend, Mary, approached the blind and hung out and walked back to the parking lot with us. It was an awesome day enjoying wildlife and meeting new people. I told Karen she was my good luck charm as this was by far the best opportunity I've ever had with the short-eared owls.

Chatting with the ladies on the walk back to the parking lot was really nice. We stopped several times to enjoy the beauty of the owls flying nearby and we saw the silhouette of one perched, looking out over the setting of the sun. At one point we had a flock of ducks fly towards us and over head. It was amusing as they sounded like a plane going over our heads.

Over the past 3 or 4 yrs I've been to the Grasslands at least 3 dozen times trying and hoping for some nice shots of the short-eared owls. Persistence (and my good luck charm) have finally paid off!

Thank you for following my blog, I hope you enjoy the beauty of this magnificent bird as much as I do!

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Gull Reflections After my long day on the CT shore yesterday, I decided to take things easy this morning. My dogs and I slept until almost 8:30 and I took my time getting my gear packed up and hitting the road. The weather forecast for the day was mid 40's and sunny, so I knew I had to spend the afternoon out. I had a few places in mind and eventually decided I would head south and look for eagles on the Hudson River in the Westchester County area.

I first stopped at Fleischmann's Pier, but the whole area around the pier was completely iced over and the eagles were sitting extremely far out. There must have been 8-10 of them out there, but too far. Since I didn't think the opportunities would be good, I left and headed for Verplanck. As soon as I arrived, I spotted some of my photography buddies and set up with them and chatted. We saw many eagles, but they were all way too far out for photographs. The gulls however, were very close, lit up nicely by the sun and very active. As we waited and hoped the eagles would get closer or do something cool, I had fun photographing the gulls. At one point one of my friends spotted a harbor seal. She got a couple of shots of it before it ducked back under water and moved further out. We could see it periodically pop out of the water, but it stayed distant after my friend first spotted it.

Eventually we all decided to pack it in and head down to George's Island. There were 10+ eagles there, again all very distant. At one point there were 6 of them flying and two sets of juveniles chasing each other and interacting. It was really fun to watch, yet no good opportunities for photos because they were distant. 

Although I went down there for eagles and didn't get any decent eagle shots, I'm not at all disappointed because the gulls gave a great show! I've decided to use one of my shots of a ring-billed gull (at least I believe that is the type gull it is) as my blog. I've titled it "Gull Reflections"!

Thank you for following my blog! I hope to get some new and interesting posts out there this year!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird photography debbie quick debs creative images flight flying gull nature nature photography reflection reflections ring-billed gull scavenger shorebird the hudson river the hudson river valley the hudson valley water wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 21 Jan 2018 22:18:20 GMT
Third times a charm I woke this morning and got my gear together to head to the CT shore. My drive there was a little crazy, but not too bad. On Rt 84 I was in the middle lane and almost got hit by this fast and furious kid who was in the right lane and crossed over to the left lane with barely no space between us. I don't think there was even a half inch between our cars, I was so annoyed with the kid. Then I stopped at a Dunkin Donuts to make a pit stop before my destination and I walked in on a man going to the bathroom. So embarrassing. Why would someone use a public bathroom and not lock it? Then, the final part of my journey included getting stuck behind a student driver going 15 mph below the speed limit. I was really shocked that the instructor had her on such a busy road right before it turned into a freeway and not learning in a more appropriate area for her current skill level.

Anyhow, I finally made it to the CT shore. I first took a drive over to Long Beach and saw many photographers, but no snowy owls so I decided to go to the Stratford Lighthouse Park. As I was leaving there, somebody told me that there was a close Snowy Owl at Long Beach and so I decided to go back. By the time I had gotten back over there, it wasn't close. However, I did manage to spot three very distant snowy owls and that was cool. One came in somewhat close to the road, but still not as close as I had wanted.

While standing around there, I ran into a couple who said that if I walked almost two miles down the beach there was a very cooperative snowy owl, so guess what I did. Yep, that's right, I took the almost two mile hike down the beach to see the fourth snowy owl. I made it all the way to the very end of the beach and sure enough, there was the snowy in a tree. It was looking around at the ground and took off within 3 minutes of me arriving. I continued to watch and saw that it had caught a meal and went to another area to eat it. At that point there were roughly 4 of us watching it and so we maneuvered over to watch it eat. I'm not really sure what the meal was as we weren't close enough to see it well enough, but when the owl scooped up the last of the meal to gulp down, I noticed a yellowish foot dangling from the owls beak. It was really cool to watch.

After the owl ate the meal, it sat and preened for a bit and then flew into a tree. It sat in that tree for a while before moving to a post right next to the tree. It didn't sit on the post for too long before it decided to fly of. At that point, we were all excited and decided to call it a day and head back to the parking lot. As we were walking, the guy I was chatting with spotted the owl on the ground. We were so close. Completely unintentionally close, but why move if the owl didn't care. We sat there for at least a half hour watching the owl and then it headed back to the end of the beach where it was originally. At that point I was completely thrilled with the opportunities the owl gave us and so I continued to head back to my car and go home. 

The sky was completely overcast through all of this which kinda stunk, but the opportunity was awesome and I'm thrilled. This was my third time heading to the CT shore and I finally had a pretty awesome opportunity. As they say.... either three strikes you're out or third times a charm and I'm completely happy to report that in this situation... third times a charm!!!

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Day out on the CT Shore My plans for today were to head out to the Connecticut shore, but I started the day unsure if I would be able to do so as I was unable to get the door to my gas compartment opened last night. Generally, when I lock my doors it locks that door as well and when I unlock the doors it unlocks that door. I'm assuming the lock must have gotten stuck as I couldn't get the door opened last night, then again this morning I continued to have troubles. Eventually, out of complete frustration, I simply locked and unlocked the doors several times and bam, it finally unstuck the door to the gas compartment.

I headed out a bit later than I expected, so I skipped the first location I had on my itinerary and met a friend who studies at Vassar College in Stratford, CT. We first met near an airport, then went to the Stratford Point Lighthouse Park, Milford Point, Silver Sands State Park, and finally to Long Beach in Stratford. The temps hit a high of 21 degrees and winds were calm in some areas, yet whipping at 10mph in other areas. Since we walked roughly 6 miles, we hardly felt the cold. In fact, I was sweating most of the day as I was over bundled for all that walking.

We saw all kinds of birds that were way too far out for photographs. There were two or three snowy owls (hard to tell since we were looking from different perspectives), a couple of northern harriers, lots of ducks of many species, canadian geese, brants, gulls of different species and snow buntings. The majority of these birds were at a great distance, but there were two opportunities that really stuck out with me today. 

For a while I was completely amused by a ringed-billed gull who was at the edge of the shore looking for a meal. It pulled a clam out of the water and went onto the beach with it where it proceeded to drop it and pick it up, then it flew off with the clam and not long after it returned without it and was again looking for a meal. It came back out with another clam and followed the same routine I watched it do previously. By the third time it was back looking for a meal, we decided to move along. As we continued to walk back off of Long Beach I spotted two little birds on the ground and my friend informed me that they were snow buntings. They were so little and cute and it was my first time seeing this species so I was pretty darn excited. They were comical as when I was walking and approaching they sat relatively still, but every time I stopped to try and get pics, they would run in the opposite direction from me. We played this little game for a little while, then they moved into some shadows, so I gave up. It was rather fun to watch their slightly neurotic behavior.

Because I had so much fun photographing the ring-billed gull with the clams, I decided I should use one of those shots as my blog. So, here it goes, the most cooperative bird of my day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography beach beak best wildlife photography bird bird photography clam debbie quick feathers flight gull long beach long island sound nature nature photography nature shooters natures best natures best photography ocean ring-billed gull sand sea shells seabird stratford connecticut water waterfowl wild wildlife wildlife photography wings Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:26:07 GMT
Red Shouldered Hawk It's now been over a week that I've been battling this head cold and I still lack energy and feel super cruddy. Due to the head cold I slept in til 8:30 and didn't venture out into the cold til roughly 10.

I didn't see anything at my first stop and decided to go back home to check on my dogs and make sure I still had running water in these super cold temps. On my way back I spotted a red shouldered hawk in a tree and turned back to find a safe place to park my car. I parked the car, got out and got some shots of the hawk. I stayed across the road from it so that I wouldn't disturb it and did my best to maneuver to get a few photos while not getting too close and not getting hit by traffic. I watched the hawk for maybe 5-10 minutes while my fingers and toes quickly froze. I could barely stand the frigid temps and saluted a goodbye to the hawk and hopped into my car and left while it just sat there looking around.

I went back to my home to run my water and get the dogs out. After taking care of my responsibilities at home, I decided I would go for a country side drive. I headed out and I drove forever. I saw hawks and eagles flying in a distance, but nothing worth any photos. I even tried getting out of the car to walk for a bit at one of the locations I stopped at, but between the cold temps and strong winds, it was brutal. Eventually I got back into my car and decided to go home. 

As I was heading home, I decided I should stop at my favorite local park and I'm so glad I did as half way in I discovered a juvenile cooper's hawk sitting on a snowy tree branch. I pulled my car over into the snow as far as possible, shut it off and watched the hawk. I sat there watching as it was intently listening to the sounds of the songbirds. Every time one chirped, the hawk turned its head into the direction of the bird. After roughly 15-20 minutes of watching it listen to the birds, it turned and flew towards the woods. It landed in the woods and it looked like it caught a meal as it kept biting down onto something. Eventually it took off from the ground with its meal and disappeared from my view so I figured that was my clue to go home.

Since I recently used an immature cooper's hawk as my blog post, I decided I should use a red shouldered photo for today. I hope you all enjoy the shot as this bird caused all my limbs to freeze and for my toes to feel frozen for the remainder of the day. I'm just now at 11:30 pm starting to feel thawed!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bird bird photography birds of prey hawk hawk photography hawks of the hudson valley la grange nature nature photography natures best photo new york raptor red shouldered hawk the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife photography Sun, 07 Jan 2018 04:40:53 GMT
Bitter Cold Day It was a short, 4 day work week, but it seemed much longer due to me being sick and the seriously cold spell we've been having.

I began the week with a head cold that I caught from my sister last week and have been dealing with some unseasonably cold weather. On Sunday night I had a pipe freeze and spent the first two days of the new year with no water and brutally cold temps. Then Thursday we had a nasty snow storm that dropped roughly 5 inches of snow with some heavy winds. I went outside during my lunch break to photograph my feeder birds and was totally frozen when I went back in only 45 minutes later. Although I froze, it was so worth it as I got some great shots of my cardinals and blue jays with the falling snow.

Again today, I thought I would go out at lunch to photograph the birds. The sun shined beautifully, but the temps only reached 10 degrees and the wind whipped and whirled around me, giving a wind chill value as low as -8 degrees. Although it was brutally cold, I still enjoyed seeing and photographing the birds in my neighborhood. I had a really nice opportunity with a white-throated sparrow who was eating this red stuff off of the weeds. I don't know what it was called, but it was fun to see the red all over the birds beak. Then I stumbled across an area where a whole bunch of robins were flying in and out of the pine trees and eating the berries off of them. Just as I was leaving, I realized there were a bunch of starlings in another area. They stayed fairly hidden in the pine trees, but I did get a few shots of one that emerged from the center of the tree.

I watched and photographed the birds for roughly 20 minutes, then out of nowhere they all flew. My first thought was that there must be a hawk around. Sure enough, a few seconds later I spotted a red-tailed hawk circling above. It was rather high, so I didn't get any shots of it, but I enjoyed watching it circle and the way all the songbirds fled when it entered into their territory.

The weekend has now begun and I hope to get out tomorrow, but after looking at the weather I'm not so sure I will. The high for tomorrow is a whopping 8 degrees with a wind chill value of -16. It's only the beginning of January and I'm already longing for Spring. I think it is going to be a very LONG winter.

I hope you all enjoy the shot of the Robin I thought I would share on this bitter cold winter day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american animal animal photography beak bird debbie quick feathers nature nature photography natures best photography natures perfection pine tree robin snow songbird wild wildlife wildlife photography wings winter Sat, 06 Jan 2018 01:18:37 GMT
Immature Cooper's Hawk The final week of the year and I've been completely under the weather, battling a really bad head cold. My second one of the season (heck, the second one this month). Besides being sick, the temps haven't rose above 20 degrees fahrenheit and so I've spent the week bored out of my mind inside my home. Today I finally broke and went out for a few hours, despite the fact that I feel so miserable.

I stopped at five of my favorite local hot spots and didn't see much. At my second spot, I parked my car and walked the grounds for almost an hour. When I approached my car and started to pack up, I spotted something in a tree and grabbed my camera to see what it was. Low and behold, it was a gorgeous Immature Cooper's Hawk. I slowly maneuvered into a spot for better viewing and spent roughly 15 minutes watching and photographing the hawk. At first it was sitting with its back towards me looking around. After roughly 7 minutes of watching, the bird pooped and turned to face me. It continued to sit and pulled one leg up and tucked it under its feathers. It sat there looking around, then out of nowhere it lunged off the branch, straight towards me and over my head. I turned to see it land in a tree with a squirrel scurrying to get away. I figured it was hunting and that was my cue to leave, so I did so very happily with the shots I got of it posing for me.

I made three other stops after this and didn't see much of anything. In my last stop I saw a few Northern Harrier's, but they didn't cooperate for pics and I was so cold that I decided to leave. I do plan to go back on a warmer day to see if I can get any good photo opportunities with them.

Being the last day of the year, I would like to thank all of you who have been following my blog all year. I'm hoping to keep up with it again next year. Have a happy and safe New Year! See you all in 2018!!!!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) accipiter animal animal photography bird birds of prey cooper's hawk dutchess county hawk nature nature photography nature's best nature's best photography natures perfection new york poughkeepsie raptor the hudson river the hudson river valley the hudson valley wild wildlife wildlife perfection wildlife photography Sun, 31 Dec 2017 23:24:45 GMT
2018 Calendars It's so hard to believe Christmas has come and gone and we are nearing the end of the year. It's been a really awesome year and I have so much to look back and reflect on.

Early in the year I took a trip to Florida to visit my family who moved down there a couple of years ago. Not long after, camping season began and I spent as much time as possible at camp. In addition to my parents camping there, one of my sisters decided to take a spot this year with her family, which was really fantastic as it gave me more time to spend with them. Camping season goes so quickly and before we new it fall was here and then the holiday season. Yikes, it goes so fast!

Throughout the year I enjoyed family gatherings, time with friends, going to the auto races at Lime Rock Park, the balloon festival in Queensbury, the annual trip to the Conowingo Dam, running around to different locations to photograph wildlife, and many other fun activities. I had opportunities with many new animals this year, which was really awesome: I spent time with Alligators in Florida, an American Mink over the summer and I finally got to see Snowy Owls this winter.

It's been fabulous and I've made so many memories in 2017. I'm hoping for much of the same in 2018. But, before the new year gets here, I thought it would be fun to remind you all to get your new calendars. In addition to all the fun activities I've been enjoying outside the home, I've also designed many new calendars to sell. If you're interested, feel free to check out the calendars I have available for sale for 2018! Just click on the following link:

2018 Calendars

Today only, save 50% with code: ZENDOFYEAR60

Have a Happy and Safe New Year's Celebration and thank you for your support and following my blog!!!!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) 2018 calendar alligators animal photography animals bald eagles best animal photography best nature photography best wildlife photography birds birds of prey calendars chipmunks florida geese herons historical buildings horses maryland nature nature perfection nature shooters natures best photography new york osprey owls pelicans raptors reptiles small birds songbirds swans the adirondacks the hudson river the hudson river valley turtles wading birds wildlife wildlife perfection wildlife photography Tue, 26 Dec 2017 22:37:28 GMT
Photo Shoot with the Cheese I worked the first half of the day and now have the second half of the day to goof off and do whatever. I'm still waiting for one gift to arrive and figured I might as well use my free time to wrap all the rest of the gifts I have here on hand. After getting things wrapped and under the tree I figured it would now be a good time to do a photo shoot with my boyz.

I first began by prepping the area. I got the gifts into position, the tree skirt straightened out and the pine needles cleaned up best as possible. I continued to get my camera together and sat on the floor and grabbed a test shot. I looked things over and thought, ok I'm ready to get my boyz into position. Little did I know, all I had to do was call them and they went straight to the tree and posed. No effort at all on my part to pose them. I took a few shots and then I grabbed a basket for them to sit in. No struggle, no fuss, they hopped right in and posed for their pictures.

It's amazing how well trained my boyz are for a photo shoot. I don't think it took even 2 minutes to get a few shots and I can't resist using the first shot I snapped for my blog as it is simply perfect! These boyz are truly the best. Always well behaved and cooperative. Every day I think I'm the luckiest person to have these little cuties in my life!

The boyz and I reach out to you all and say:

Merry Christmas

We hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography chihuahua chihuahuas christmas christmas gifts christmas tree companions dogs furry friends gifts holiday k9 love merry christmas pets pooch presents pups Fri, 22 Dec 2017 20:07:26 GMT
Life Bird - Snowy Owl Tis the season for raptors to migrate south and one that I've been on the search for for 3-4 yrs now is the "Snowy Owl". I've followed and kept hoping one would eventually come to my area, but none ever have. On a few occasions I've driven to locations where they were spotted and had no luck. Well, today luck was finally on my side as I drove almost 2 hours away to look for a Snowy Owl that has been being seen by others. When I first arrived at the beach someone in the parking lot told me it was indeed around and that I had to walk at least a mile down the beach to go see it. So, I got my cold weather gear on and grabbed my equipment and headed down the sandy path.

On my way out, I passed several people. The first person was relatively close to the parking lot and informed me I was in for a very long walk. Then I saw the second person roughly half way out and he said I still had a long way to go, close to 20 more minutes of walking (which was an exaggeration, lol). Then the third person was shortly before I arrived to the small crowd of photographers. She was heading out because she was freezing and it showed.

I approached the group of 5 photographers and I got this feeling of being unwanted there. I said hello and introduced myself, but most of them pretty much ignored me. Only one of the guys engaged in small talk. Whatever, not a big deal as I wasn't there to see any of them anyway. LOL. A couple of other people came and went and at the end of my time I did come across two nice people to chat with.

Anyhow, the Snowy Owl was sitting on the ground, in front of a wooden post with chains and a buoy. The ground was filled with shells that had washed ashore and the bird was in a spot that protected him from the wind. Although, he did periodically get splashed by the water that was hitting against the rocks.

The light was really harsh as it was behind the owl and not behind us and the background wasn't the prettiest, but luckily he did move away from the post for a little while for photos. He was a gorgeous bird, although a bit dirty as he had mud on his feet and underbelly. He didn't do much during my time there. He pooped two or three times, coughed up a pellet, yawned and slept a ton. In fact, he snoozed during most of the 2 hours I was there watching. A couple of times he perked up and looked around which gave us hope he would do something, but he never did. He just sat and posed. In fact, he was still sitting there when we all left.

It was truly an amazing experience and I'm so glad I took some time off of work and drove down to see the beautiful owl. It took me so many years to finally see one in the wild and it was clearly worth the wait as this species of bird is simply magnificent. 

Snowy Owl facts:

The Snowy Owl is a large owl (the largest owl in North America) that resides in the Arctic Tundra. It's white coloring provides as camouflage during winter and often times the Snowy Owl will migrate south during the cold winter months in search of food (sometimes below the Canadian boarder). They have a bulky body and round heads with no ear tufts. They often will sit on or near the ground in wide-open areas and they perch on sand dunes, fence posts, hay bales and telephone poles. When in flight, they are often close to the ground and in hunting mode. They generally eat small mammals such as voles, mice, squirrels and rabbits. And when they are in coastal areas, they may feast on birds such as ducks, geese and grebes. Due to these beautiful birds not being from the United States, when one is spotted all kinds of people flock out to see the rare bird. It surely is a beauty to see!

Do remember, if you head out to find one of these beauties it is important to respect them and give them proper space. Also, make sure to use proper birding etiquette by observing quietly and not doing anything to disturb the bird. Having these beautiful specimens is such a treat so please make sure to show proper respect if you come across one!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) beach connecticut feathers sand shells talons tide water wings animal animal photography arctic best bird shots bird birds of a feather flock together birds of prey nature nature lovers nature photography natures best photography natures best pics nuts about birds owl raptor snowy owl tundra wild wildlife wildlife perfection wildlife photography Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:01:53 GMT
Conowingo Dam - Day 3 Today was day 3 at the Conowingo Dam. Once again we left the hotel at 5:30 so we could arrive and set up by 6. As we arrived and were driving down the hill to the dam we noticed the sirens were already going off which meant they were opening the larger turbines. Generally speaking that would encourage the eagles to fish, but since it was still dark, they held off until the light started to shine. By that time it was almost 7 and not only did we notice the eagles in the trees behind us, but we also noticed that the parking lot was full.

The morning starting off strong with some good fishing and chases, but the light was bad. I was hopeful for a good day because the action started so strong so early and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. However, as the morning progressed, the wind picked up. Although the sun was shining so nicely, the wind made the temperatures feel more bitter. Even though the temperature rose as the morning progressed, it actually got colder as the wind picked up. Although sunny in the 40's, the wind was roughly 7-12 mph with gusts up to 20 mph and that made things feel more bitter.

We hung tight and endured the lack of eagle activity for a few hours. Then later in the afternoon when the winds died down, the eagles began to move. We got to enjoy watching them fish and then watch those who were hungry chase after an eagle with a fish fish. We saw many chases, but there were two that really stuck with me. The first memorable one happened right in front of us. There were two eagles chasing after the one who had caught the fish. It was amazing to see all three eagles fill the frame of my photos as they flew near me and then away. In fact, my blog photo is one where they got close enough so I could get one of them chasing the other. This shot is not at all cropped.

There were many chases between that chase and the second memorial chase. The second memorial chase was a little distant, but probably the most entertaining chase I've ever watched. It started when this adult bald eagle came into view and dove down to catch a fish. Once it caught the fish other eagles began to chase it and caused it to drop its catch. The adult then flew off and a juvenile bald eagle swooped down to catch the same fish. That juvenile then proceeded to the rocks along the island to eat and other bald eagles started to dive bomb him/her. Eventually an adult bald eagle won and stole the fish (I'm thinking the same adult who originally snatched it out of the water). There wound up being one heck of a fight on the rocks while several other adult and juvenile bald eagle tried to come in and steel it over the course of 10-15 minutes. Eventually, the adult who ultimately claimed it won and got to enjoy it.

Although we froze through most of the day, the action in the mid-late afternoon made up for it and we all walked away happy little campers with plenty of photos to go through.

Once again, our time at the Conowingo Dam was very well spent!



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bald eagle bird birds of prey conowingo dam day debbie quick debs creative images eagle fish fishing flying maryland nature raptor sunny wild wildlife Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:32:13 GMT
Conowingo Dam - Day 2 Today was our second day in Maryland and we got up very early to head over to the Conowingo Dam before sunrise. I was out of bed at 4:30 and we had the car packed with wheels rolling by 5:30. We arrived at the dam at 6 sharp and got the car parked and immediately claimed our spots along the fence. 

The morning began a little cool, but not too bad. We lucked out by not waking to frost or bitter cold. As the day progressed it got warmer and the sun shining on us felt really good. The first half of the day was very sunny with beautiful blue skies and in the afternoon we had some dramatic clouds roll through that made the scenery interesting. The dam looked beautiful when the sun shined right on it and the dramatic clouds rolled through over the top. I was too lazy to switch lenses and put on a wild angle, so I at least took a shot with my cell.

The activity during the nice light in the morning was really awesome. The fishing shots were too far away, but that's ok because many of the eagles headed right towards us and over our heads with their catch. Some of the fish were big, others small and on a few occasions we witnessed some good chases. One of the chases happened right over our heads making my 500mm lens too much lens. I could have used something smaller at that one and only instance. Just after they moved from being overhead, the eagle with the fish dropped it in the parking lot. It was extremely fascinating to see a chase so close. In fact, I could easily make out the details in their feather patterns.

The activity was so good that I took 2000 photos today. I browsed through the first few hundred and had several candidates for my blog. It was tough to choose one, so I decided to go with the eagle who had the biggest fish. It looks like an early Thanksgiving for this bird!  :-)


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bald eagle bird birds of prey conowingo dam day debbie quick debs creative images eagle fish fishing flying maryland nature raptor sunny wild wildlife Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:36:43 GMT
Conowingo Dam - Day 1 Today was an early day as I got up at 3:30am so that I could be out of the house by 4:30 to go pick up my buddy, Bob. I arrived at his house right at 5am and we packed up and headed down to the Conowingo Dam for our annual trip with friends. The ride down went smoothly. There was a bit of traffic in a few areas, but nothing too bad to delay us. We made one pit stop and arrived at the dam by 9am. Parking was horrendous as they currently have a parking lot closed off and so we were parked way up the hill, on the side of the road in the mud.

Once we got the car safely parked, we took out everything we needed for the day and headed down to meet up with our friends. We found both of them right away, chatted for a minute and then set up for the day. The sun shined nicely, the temps were good and the eagles gave nice shows throughout the day. There was a bit of an afternoon lull, but the activity before and after was really nice. The eagles caught fish and often times had to protect their meals from the other eagles and vultures who where trying to steal them. They flew in front of us, over us and along both our right and left sides. They gave us plenty of opportunities to photograph them.

It was a great day and I look forward to what the eagles do tomorrow!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) bald eagle birds of prey conowingo dam darlington fish flight flying maryland predator raptor talons Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:54:28 GMT
Squirrel in a tree Today was a work day, so I was only able to get out with my camera for roughly 15-20 minutes during my lunch break. Due to my opportunity out being so short, I stayed in my neighborhood and photographed my funny squirrels and they did not disappoint.

As I was walking out my door I watched one squirrel chase another across the street and they continued their chase up a tree in my neighbors yard. They would chase for a bit and then separate and enjoy their own space for a bit. Once one decided to leave their space and move, the chase would happen again. This happened three times while I was out there watching and photographing them. Sadly, I was too close to capture the chase, but I did get some nice shots of them sitting on the branches in the tree. I also got some good shots of them either on their way up or down the tree trunk.

Both the squirrels in the chase this afternoon are squirrels that visit my bird/squirrel feeder. Neither of them were Squirrely Jo, the squirrel who approaches me and lets me hand feed her peanuts. One day, I will get a shot of Squirrely Jo to post. Hopefully one day soon as she is my favorite of the neighborhood squirrels.

I know many people don't like squirrels because they are known to knock down the bird feeders, but I've fount that squirrels are simply another one of gods creatures who is simply looking for an easy meal. Once I started putting feeders out for them, they've completely stopped knocking down my bird feeders and now all of my feathered and furry friends get to enjoy a good meal in my yard, in an environment that functions for each of them!



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal branch cute debbie quick debs creative images furry nature new york outdoor pleasant valley rodent squirrel the hudson valley tree wild wildlife Sat, 04 Nov 2017 01:53:58 GMT
Possibly an American Racing Pigeon Over the past two weeks I've noticed this beautiful bird in my neighborhood that reminds me of the cross between a pigeon and a dove. It has the personality of a pigeon, but some beautiful dove-like white feathers. I've tried to photograph it since the first time I saw it, but every time I've run back into the house for my camera, it was gone when I went back out. Today though, was a different story. I first spotted it outside my window and took a couple of shots of it from inside the house before going outside.

After taking the shots from inside, I went outside and ran into my pal, Squirrely Jo. I first hand fed her a peanut, then tried to quietly get into position to photograph this unique pigeon that had caught my eye. Since the first time I saw this pigeon, I knew there was something special about it and I couldn't help but get some photos. I got into position and photographed the pigeon while also hand feeding Jo every time she returned. It was a fantastic opportunity. 

While photographing the pigeon, I noticed it had a green tag around it's right leg. I tried my best to get photos of all angles to see if there was a number on it. As soon as I had an opportunity this evening, I uploaded the pics to my computer and scanned through them to see if I could find anything on the band, but it seems as if the band is simply a solid green with nothing on it.

Since photographing the bird and noticing the green band, I've been even more convinced that there is something special about this bird, so I contacted one of my birding friends. Her response to me is that it is possibly an "American Racing Pigeon" and that it is potentially a domesticated bird that is not able to survive on its own. Now, I'm determined to find out who this bird belongs to and I feel the need to try my best to catch it to get it either back home or to somebody who can help it survive. Now, I reach out to my readers and I ask that if you have any info on what I should do or how you can help, that would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, I will continue to put out bird seed like I always do, in hopes of helping to keep this beauty fed (if it even shows at my feeder, which I hope it does). Please, feel free to reach out to me if you know who is missing this bird or how I can help it get to where is should be. Thanks!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american racing pigeon animal bird domestic dutchess county feathers nature new york pigeon pleasant valley the hudson valley white wild wildlife Fri, 03 Nov 2017 02:31:12 GMT
A Great Blue Heron kind of a day It's late fall here in NY and today was probably the nicest day of the year. The sun shined beautifully, the sky was a gorgeous blue and the temps reached 75 with humidity that wasn't too bad. I originally planned to spend the first part of my day out with my camera and the second part home doing some cleaning, but it was far too nice for cleaning and so I spent the whole day out!

I went to two different locations this morning, stopped home for a late lunch and to walk my boyz, then hit up one other spot this evening. My first location was a bust as there was nothing to photograph, my second location was absolutely fantastic, and my third location was another bust.

I spent roughly 3 hours at my second location and took just over 400 photographs. I watched the kingfishers fly about and do a little fishing, lots of songbirds sang and flew around, there were 3 red-tailed hawks that circled overhead at one point, the turtles basked in the sun and the chipmunks and squirrels were busy collecting food and scurrying about. I even watched a squirrel drink water from the creek.

That activity alone was fun to watch, but the biggest highlight was the amazing show the Great Blue Heron put on for me during most of my time there. He sat and hunted (even caught a few small fish), preened, posed and moved locations several times. He came in close for portrait shots and he entertained me by diving into the water for his meals. Each time he came out of the water he was a disheveled mess, but provided excellent opportunities for photographs. I took a quick peak at a couple of my photos of this guy and am happy with what I've seen so far. It was fantastic observing and photographing him. I've photographed this same heron many times in the past, but never did he put on a show like he did today!

I posted the shot I decided to use for my blog to two different Facebook pages and the comments I've received back from viewers are super awesome! Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to check out my photos, read my blogs and especially for the awesome feedback you provide. I couldn't possibly have a blog without all you amazing readers!

Thank you! I hope you all are enjoying this gorgeous fall day! 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal autumn bird branch creek daytime debbie quick fall flight flying great blue heron landing new york poughkeepsie predator prehistoric season the hudson valley vassar farms wading bird water wild wildlife wings Sun, 22 Oct 2017 22:03:14 GMT
Birthday celebration with Peregrine Falcons It's a birthday tradition that I go to New Jersey with my friend Bob to photograph raptors and so I picked Bob up at 8am this morning and we headed out for our annual trip. I'm not much of a morning person, but I did get up and pick him up on time.

We spent the day at the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey and had the pleasure of photographing the resident pair of Peregrine Falcons all day. It was a mostly overcast day, which is perfect for the situation, and the falcons were in and out of the area throughout the day. They both posed so nicely and preened, giving some nice opportunities for perched photos. They occasionally chased the vultures and one of them chased another falcon away. 

The biggest highlight was that the male brought in two meals and ate them in front of us. Although, he did have his backside to us so it was a little difficult to see what he was eating. The second time though, he did show us his meal before turning around and sadly it was this beautiful palm warbler that I took photographs of just minutes before he became the falcons dinner.

It was a fantastic day hanging out with Bob and photographing the falcons. We also ran into our mutual friend, Dan, and some other photographer friends we've met throughout the years.

Since I took just over 700 photos, it will probably be a while before I get through them all, so I quickly did a quick scroll through and decided to share one of the male falcon for my photo of the day. 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey feathers new jersey palisades interstate park peregrine falcon predator raptor state line lookout the hudson river the hudson valley region wildlife wings Sun, 15 Oct 2017 23:24:05 GMT
Adirondack Balloon Festival - 45th Anniversary Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. The temps started cool in the morning (in the 50s) and rose to roughly 80 by mid day. The sky was a beautiful blue and the winds were calm. It was a little warmer than I would like for this time of year, but that's ok, I'll take it!

My day started slow since I had a bad headache that kept me up half the night, but by mid day I started to feel more like myself. I spent the morning hanging around the campground and took the boyz for a nice walk. By mid afternoon, I packed up my camera gear and lots of water and headed down to Queensbury to run a couple of errands and attend the balloon festival. It was really crowded getting into the festival and so it took roughly 15 mins to go less than 3 miles. I got in just before the balloons started to launch and I got to watch as they set up and prepped.

Balloons were scheduled to go up between 5-6:15, however, the first balloon didn't launch until almost 5:45. From there, they quickly launched and there were so many beautiful/colorful balloons in the sky. It was really fun to watch them float around in the air and to hear the kids around me full of excitement. I stayed to see most of them rise, but left before the end so that I could beat the traffic out. What a great idea that was because even at that time the traffic had already started to back up.

It was a really fun time watching the balloons and since there were so many, I decided to use the first one I photographed as my blog photo. This balloon never launched, it just rose up and down through the festival. Even though it didn't launch, it was still fun to photograph because of how pretty it was. I have no idea how many shots I took, but I have a feeling it will take me a while to get through them all and post my favorites.


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Greenies at Esopus Meadows Lighthouse Park I got up early so I could head out and meet up with my buddy Bob for a trip to the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse Park. We arrived at the park around 9:30 and the tide was starting to go out and the light was iffy along most of the water. We walked down the path to see what was going on in the river and we came across a green heron, a great blue heron, a cormorant and a pair of grebes. Most of the birds were far, but the green heron was relatively close in bad light. He was tough to photograph as he was backlit from the sun that was behind him, but we continued to watch him and do our best.

As the day went on, the light got better. There weren't too many birds there so it was a lot of waiting around to see if anything would come in close. In addition to the birds we found upon arrival, we also got to see bald eagles, a butterfly, lots of grasshoppers and a few kingfishers. There was only one green heron who bounced around and occasionally was in a nice spot, but there were several great blue heron and several cormorants. At one point a great blue heron was sitting on a branch and when a cormorant got too close, it chased the cormorant away. We saw one of the great blue heron catch a little fish, the green heron caught a few little fish and one of the grebes caught something long and skinny. I couldn't really tell what it was as the grebe was a bit far away. I even tried to examine my pics, but I'm still unsure. I'm thinking maybe a baby eel as it was silver in color.

There weren't too many really good opportunities for photographing birds, but it was still a nice day. It's alway awesome sitting by the river while the sun is shining and there is a nice breeze. Although the wildlife was lacking a bit, it was fun to watch all the boats going by. It seemed as though there were more than usual out there. There were speedboats, yachts, a barge being pushed by a tug, a few sailboats, the RIP Van Winkle and the Clearwater all went by. I think Bob could easily fill a calendar of boats passing the Lighthouse.

Here is the green heron with one of his catches from today!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird county esopus fish green heron hudson lighthouse meadows natural nature park river the ulster valley wading water wildlife Sun, 17 Sep 2017 01:25:44 GMT
Bald Eagle on Lake Champlain was another beautiful day in the Adirondacks so after I finished my morning chores, I went back out on the lake in my kayak! The water was so flat today, that it was like kayaking on glass. 

As soon as I got off of LaChute River and onto Lake Champlain, I saw both adult bald eagles. They were both sitting in a tree near the old nest tree, one a little higher than the other. I slowly worked my way over and got some photos. I sad there for about 15 minutes when one flew off, then I sat for another 10 minutes before I decided to move along. I got just a few feet away and the second one flew and fished in Lake Champlain a bit of a distance away. The juvenile immediately took off chasing the adult. The adult caught something and flew off to go eat, leaving the kid to land in a tree and yell for food. I made my way around the corner and saw the youngster sitting in a tree. I didn't stay for long and moved on in hopes of seeing some action in the lake. What a big mistake as the adult came in with a fish and landed on the ground (right near where I was sitting) to give the fish to the juvenile. I tried to paddle over as quickly as possible, but the adult did not wait and took off. The kid was still on the ground, trying to get the fish in his talons and then he eventually flew off to go eat his fish in a tree. I so wish I were closer for pics, if only I had stayed where I was.

The adult who delivered the fish landed in a tree for a few minutes and then moved on to the dead tree on the island. I slowly made my way over and sat and watched for at least 20 minutes before the adult decided to take off and return to the tree it was in when I first saw it this morning.

The osprey weren't nearly as active as they were yesterday, but I did see a larger number of great blue heron and green heron than I did yesterday. That means that the herons are finally starting to migrate to the area for the fall. The heron are so fun to watch, so I'm totally looking forward to fall kayaking and watching the wildlife.

Here is the eagle posing for me in the dead tree! What a treat!

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Bald Eagle passing the Fort I woke up this morning and thought it would be a great day for a paddle, so I loaded up the car and drove into town so I could hit the water. I was out there by 10:15 and enjoyed the cooler temps of the morning. It took me roughly a half hour to paddle the two miles down LaChute River and into Lake Champlain. By the time I got out there, the wind had picked up, making the water a bit choppy and the temps had increased making it very hot in the sun. The wildlife was extremely active, making the trip completely worth it.

On my way down LaChute River I saw lots of turtles, a green heron and a couple of great blue heron. My first stop was in a bay area off Lake Champlain where I finally dove into my breakfast and relaxed, waiting for the wildlife to come to me. I enjoyed watching great blue heron and osprey. A couple of the osprey fished in the distance and it was really fun to watch. Eventually, an osprey went into the eagle territory and I watched as one of the adult eagles chased it out. Shortly after, I heard the juvenile eagle yelling for food so I left the bay and went around the corner to where the eagles tend to hang out. 

I found the adult perched in a tree and I positioned my kayak so I could watch and take photos. He or she did not sit there for long before flying out to the middle of the lake to fish. Once the adult took off, the juvenile immediately followed and circled around, eventually landing in a tree. From a distance I watched as the eagle did several circles and eventually went down for fish. After the adult eagle caught the fish, he landed in the dead tree on the island and started to eat it. The juvenile immediately flew over and landed just behind and below the adult. After much yelling from the juvenile, he flew up to the adult and snatched the fish out of the adults talons. The adult flew off and flew past the fort, giving me an awesome opportunity to get a shot of him with the fort in the background. I watched the juvenile for a minute and he eventually flew off to eat his meal elsewhere.

By that time, I had been in the water for roughly 5 1/2 hours so I slowly started to make my way back to the dock. I watched the osprey for a little longer and I got some nice shots of a great blue heron before proceeding on my two mile journey back.

The day was awesome and there was so much to see. My two biggest highlights were getting to photograph the bald eagle with the fort in the background and the opportunity to photograph an osprey with the American flag from the fort in the background. The day was so awesome that I'm thinking I need to kayak again tomorrow!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bald bird birds champlain county debbie eagle essex flight flying fort historic kayaking lachute lake nature new of paddle predator prey quick raptor river ticonderoga water wild wildlife wings york Sun, 20 Aug 2017 01:32:18 GMT
Osprey Kid defending his meal Last summer as I stood at the boat launch in Ticonderoga, I watched as Osprey came and went from land to the lake and back to land. I assumed there was a nest in a particular area and I intended to check it out this summer. I finally went and did so today and to my surprise it was very easy to find and in a fantastic location. One minor problem though, camera's with telephoto lenses and monopods/tripods are not permitted. One of the friendly staff on the grounds approached me and went over the rules with me and I was sad, but very respectful as the person giving me the message was only doing her job. I was respectful of the rules, I thanked her and explained to her that I'm a wildlife photographer and that I would leave. She then proceeded to tell me that she would make a call and see if she could get permission for me to stay in the gardens and photograph the wildlife. Minutes later she returned with a phone number and the name of a person I could call and speak to. I made the called and understood and respected the contract I needed to sign to be able to hang out for the day with my camera. As I sit here this evening, I'm still so grateful that I was given the opportunity.

Once the morning negotiations were established, I got to enjoy nature and my surroundings. I hung out near the lake and in some absolutely beautiful gardens and had the opportunity to photograph osprey, a hummingbird, a couple of butterflies, a goldfinch and some beautiful flowers. The osprey didn't move much, but the kids sure did do a lot of yelling for food. One kid flew once when I first arrived, but then sat in the nest the entire time guarding the fish he had in there. The other kid moved around from tree to tree and tried to go to the nest once, but was chased out by the kid in there with his meal. Eventually in the mid afternoon, the female went to the nest with a fish for the other kid and he followed mom into the nest. Mom turned the fish over to him and he flew to a nearby pine tree to eat it while mom flew to another nearby tree to watch.

In addition to watching the osprey and enjoying the garden, it was also nice to talk to the tourists who all came through and had questions about "the birds" in the nest and the trees. Some of the people knew they were osprey and others weren't sure what they were. It was nice to chat with people and share my knowledge.

The osprey were fun to watch and they landed in a few different trees. That was really nice to see, in fact, it was really nice to get a different scenery with the osprey from the scenery I've had from the past four years with the other osprey nest I watch. It was definitely a fantastic day and it was only 10 minutes from the campground as apposed to the 30 minutes I travel to the other nest. I'm really hoping I'll be able to work out a seasonal contract for next year so I can keep a closer eye on this nest.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adult animal avian bird birding birds of prey carnivore claws feather fierce fight fighting fish flapping gardens hunter intense juvenile lake champlain natural nature nest new york osprey outdoor powerful raptor sea hawk talons ticonderoga wild wildlife wings Thu, 10 Aug 2017 01:42:12 GMT
Osprey Dad - The Ultimate Fishing Bird Today was another full day spent in Crown Point with my favorite Osprey family. The temps were really nice with a fantastic breeze coming off Lake Champlain and the light was iffy throughout the day as the sun kept going in and out of the clouds. Changing light is a tough challenge while out photographing because it means having to continuously change camera settings. I would much rather have a steady good or steady average light.

When my friend and I first arrived at Crown Point, the kid was in the nest and mom was perched nearby. The kid was yelling and yelling and yelling for food, so we hoped it wouldn't be long before dad would deliver something and sure enough he did. Dad didn't stay for long as he dropped the fish and left. Mom sat in the same spot for almost the whole day and the kid ate his meal and continued to yell after. He took flight out of the nest at one point and landed in a tree on the jetty, overlooking Lake Champlain. He stayed for a while and eventually left when a big group of people (including children) approached the area to hang out and fish.

After that nice opportunity of watching the kid in a tree, he sat in the nest for a long time. Dad eventually returned with a fish and brought 4 or 5 more into the nest in a short period of time. It seemed rather odd that dad was stock piling fish in the nest at this point as this is the time when the parents are usually luring the kid away from the nest. Mom continued to sit in that same tree while he was in and out with the fish. Eventually he came with one and left with it so he could enjoy it for himself. He took it to his favorite tree and mom yelled and yelled. I'm assuming she may have wanted him to deliver one to her. Eventually, she took flight and got close to the nest and he left his tree and went back to the nest with his meal, almost as if he was guarding the kid and all the fish in the nest from her. It was extremely odd behavior. She landed on a nearby post and stayed there for the remainder of our time on site and he went back to his tree with his fish. Meanwhile, the kid eventually left and landed on another post. We waited for roughly 45 minutes to see if something else would happen and nothing did. At this point, the light wasn't so great and my friend needed to get back to camp so he could pack up his car and head home.

Once again it was a great day osprey watching and it was so cool to see how many fish dad could catch in such a short period of time. Most of them were on the smaller side, but the shot I decided to choose for my blog was his biggest catch of the day. It's always so cool to watch these guys!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adult animal avian bird birding birds of prey carnivore claws crown point feather fierce fight fighting fish flapping hunter intense juvenile lake champlain natural nature nest new york osprey outdoor powerful raptor sea hawk talons wild wildlife wings Sun, 06 Aug 2017 22:04:35 GMT
Osprey kid out and about I was first awakened at 5:55 this morning by some seriously heavy rain that startled me out of my deep sleep as it began to hit the camper very hard. Once it registered that the loud noise I was hearing was simply the rain, I rolled over and went back to sleep. The boyz and I wound up rolling out of bed after 8 and it felt so good to sleep in. Although the morning began very rainy, it eventually passed and turned into a gorgeous day.

I was in no rush to get out this morning because I was waiting for a friend to join me at camp and because I was busy setting up my new Mac as I waited for his arrival. He arrived around 11:30 or so and we immediately headed out to go see my favorite Osprey family. When we first arrived on location, all the osprey were out and about, so I went to check on the sheep. The sheep were so funny as when I was approaching their pen they were nervous and ran away. I stopped and watched them and they must have felt comfortable because they all started to head towards me (near the electric fence). I was so tempted to try and reach over and pet one, but I refrained since I didn't want them or me getting electrocuted.

I didn't stay with the sheep too long before heading back up to my friend and the osprey. As I was heading back up, the kid and one of the adults flew into the nest. The adult didn't stay long, but the kid hung out for a while. Eventually the kid flew and headed towards the water. He wound up landing in a really nice spot on a dead branch that was low to the ground and overlooking Lake Champlain. My friend and I got some great shots and even watched as a robin harassed him and chased him away. 

The kid was in and out of the nest only a few times today, but when he went out he landed in some great spots. Later in the afternoon he landed in a tree overlooking the lake. It was really breezy and he landed on a very thin branch, so it was fun watching him try to balance and hang on. I got some great shots of him flapping his wings to try and maintain balance.

Not much else happened. Mom flew into the nest a couple times with the kid and dad brought him two small fish. The light was nice most of the afternoon as clouds came and went.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers first flight fledgeling nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings Sun, 06 Aug 2017 02:12:53 GMT
Osprey kid on the rocks Once again, the boyz and I woke up to a cold camper in the upper 50's. We got up late, but got moving a little quicker than yesterday. After I took care of their need this morning, I headed back out to my favorite osprey nest.

As I was walking up to the nest, I could see the kid was out flying around. He was out for a bit and was venturing a little further than yesterday. In fact, he looked like he was trying to land in the trees, but didn't know how to do so and eventually went back to the nest. As I got closer, I could see that mom was sitting in the same tree she was in yesterday.

The kid was in and out of the nest all day long and provided some awesome opportunities for photos. A couple of times he landed at the tippy top of trees and had a hard time balancing and wound up leaving and heading back to the nest. Apparently he hasn't yet realized that you have to land on a branch and not the top of the tree like a tree topper. On one of his times out, he landed on some rocks on top of hill, overlooking the lake. That was a fantastic spot as I was able to get up on the hill and sit on the ground and get pics of him at eye level. Mom and dad were so unhappy that he had landed on the ground and were yelling and yelling and yelling at him. He ignored them and they both flew into the nest and continued to yell at him to get off the ground and back to the nest. The parents yelled for at least 5 minutes before he obeyed and went back. 

The light was fantastic and the sky was a beautiful blue all day. It was nice to have cooperation from both him and mom. Mom did a few fly arounds, landed in the nest twice and chased two or three other ospreys out of the area throughout the day. She even chased after a great blue heron who did a fly by, right over the nest.

It was a fantastic day and I thought I would share a pic of the kid on the rocks! I'm still so thrilled with that opportunity! In fact, I was so close that this shot is not at all cropped. 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers first flight fledgeling ground lake champlain nest nesting new york osprey raptor rocks the adirondacks wild wildlife wings Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:18:40 GMT
Osprey kid fledged The boyz and I woke a little late this morning and we weren't too anxious to get out of our comfy bed as it was only 59 degrees in the camper. We eventually rolled out from under the warm blankets and shivered for a few seconds as we adjusted to the cool morning.

After getting the boyz out for their morning walk, I eventually loaded up the car and headed to Crown Point to check on my favorite Osprey nest. As I parked the car and started to head towards the nest, I watched as dad flew a fish into the nest for the kid and quickly left. Upon closer arrival, I spotted mom in one of her favorite trees, yet on a branch I've never seen her on. A really great spot! I sat with the kid for only a minute before I headed over to get a few shots of mom sitting in the tree. I approached very slowly and went up the hill to get more at eye level with her. She was extremely cooperative and I sat and watched her for at least 20 minutes before heading back to the nest. While I watched her, she periodically called out. I wasn't sure if she was calling for dad or trying to lure out the kid. I later realized she was trying to get that kid out of the nest.

After enjoying some time watching mom perched in the tree, I decided to head back over to the nest to watch the youngster. As I was heading back, mom decided she was also going to head to the nest and I found her sitting in there with the kid when I got to my viewing spot. She sat there for maybe a half hour or so before going back to the tree she was in earlier. Once again, she sat and tried calling the kid out, but he didn't budge. Eventually I went over and got a few shots of her as she was in another really nice spot. She sat for a bit and then flew south along Lake Champlain.

I then decided to head back to the nest and watch the youngster in case he decided to stretch or do some wing flapping, but that never happened. Instead he walked towards the edge of the nest and made me so nervous. I watched and prayed that he would be safe and wouldn't fall out of the nest. Then, to my surprise, he took off and flew a few awkward circles before he decided to land back in the nest. It was such a beautiful moment to see this guy out of the nest for the first time. After he landed back in the nest, I noticed that his body language had changed and he appeared to have a little more confidence in himself. Both mom and dad made an appearance after he fledged and mom landed back in the nest for a bit. Eventually she left and he once again took another flight. He then continued to fly in and out of the nest during my last couple of hours there

The first outing for this guy was a bit long as I'm sure it took a bit of effort to get back to the nest. Then the next few times out, his flight was short and there was a long break in between for some rest. By his sixth flight out, he was out longer and went a little further from the nest. On many of his flights, he flew towards me and right over my head. So close that I couldn't get focus because he was too close. 

It was a fantastic day watching this youngster learn to fly and land and I can't wait to go back tomorrow to watch some more. I feel so blessed that I get to observe and capture these special moments. It really is an amazing thing to see! Here is a shot of one of him landing back in the nest, perhaps the 5th or 6th try which was far more graceful than his first landing or two!



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers first flight fledgeling nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings Sat, 29 Jul 2017 22:58:26 GMT
Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park My day started early as my buddy, Bob, picked up up at 7:30 am to head to Lime Rock Park to watch the Northeast Grand Prix. We arrived at the race track around 8:30 and had a busy day. We walked around the track throughout the day to observe and photograph the races from various viewing spots along the track. We got to watch the Qualifying Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda and three races. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport and Street Tuner was a 2 hour race, the Continental Road Race Challenge for the Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda was a 45 minute race and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Northeast Grand Prix was a 2 hours, 40 minutes race. 

It was really awesome being at the track and watching all the beautiful cars out there. We got to enjoy four different classes of cars on the track and close-up in the paddock: The GT Le Mans (pro), the GT Daytona (pro-am), the Grand Sport and the Street Tuner. The cars were driven either by professional drivers (pro) or a pair of drivers consisting of one professional and one amateur driver (pro-am).

There were many cool and expensive cars out on the track and they were fun to watch. It was hard to pick a favorite car today because the cars consisted of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, BMW, Acura, Audi, Mercedes, Mini, Aston Martin, McLaren, Ford and Mazda. The cars all had beautiful decals and looked really awesome.

I considered using one of the Mini's as my blog post since I own a Mini, but in the end, I couldn't resist a beautiful Mercedes that had caught my eye. The Mercedes AMG GT3 driven by SunEnergy1 Racing with Kenny Habul and Tristan Vautier as the drivers. The colors and the design of the car made it a real eye catcher. I enjoyed the contrasts of the purple, orange and yellow and the energy that the colors gave me. It wasn't the fastest car on the track, but in my eyes, it was the most beautiful one to watch. I could have taken photo's of this car all day long!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) acura audi auto racing automobiles btw cars continental tires corvette ferrari ford grand sport gt daytona gt le mans ipsa weathertech sportswear championship jcw lamborghini lexus lime rock park mazda mclaren mercedes mercedes amg gt3 mini mini cooper northeast grand prix porsche pro pro-am race street tuner track Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:25:29 GMT
Juvenile Caspian Tern on Lake Champlain Today was a gorgeous day in Ticonderoga, NY. Sunny with a high of 82!

My buddy, Justin, and I went kayaking on LaChute River and into Lake Champlain. We paddled 6.5 miles and saw a ton of wildlife, some far and some close. The wildlife we saw included: turtles, bald eagles, osprey, gulls, terns, red winged blackbirds, grackles, kingbirds, kingfishers and probably some other stuff. 

The bald eagles seem to have only one fledgling this year, which is a slight disappointment because over the past three years they've had three fledgelings each year. The parents and the eaglet hung out in an area that was a bit distant from the nest and not where I've ever seen them hang out in the past. The eaglet yelled and yelled and yelled all day for food. The adults seemed to ignore him/her.

The smaller birds were seen throughout the day, mostly on LaChute River and the terns hung out in a part of Lake Champlain that was a bit choppy. Justin and I did our best out there to get shots of the terns, but the speed boats kept throwing off a lot of wake which bobbed us around and quickly moved us out of our position. We tried our best and took a bunch of photos. Three of the terns were adult Caspian Terns and one was a juvenile Caspian Tern. Because the juvenile tern was so pretty, I decided it would make a fantastic blog pic! I hope you all enjoy!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird common day debbie quick debs creative images feathers juvenile caspian tern lake champlain new york shorebird sunny tern ticonderoga water waterfowl wild wildlife Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:47:18 GMT
Albino Robin in Crown Point I feel bad as I haven't posted in while, but life has been busy!

My buddy Justin is with me up at my camper for the weekend and we went out today to enjoy wildlife. Our main mission was to head north and watch my favorite pair of osprey! We arrived at our location at roughly 8:30 this morning, parked the car and started walking towards the nest when we both saw something white flying low to the ground. We quickly went over to observe what we got a quick glance of and soon realized it was a baby albino robin. The robin must have recently fledged as it wasn't yet good at flying. It was extremely beautiful with its white feathers and red eyes. I've never seen anything like that. In fact, it seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity as only 1 in every 30,000 robins are albino. 

We spent roughly 30-40 minutes watching the albino robin and we even got to see the mama robin come in and feed it worms. Eventually the mama robin lured the baby albino away and so we moved on to spend time with the Osprey. As we continued to walk to the osprey nest, the male flew out and left the mama in there with the chick. The mama sat with the kid the entire day while the papa was out. In fact, we observed that he had fishing line hanging from his legs and a hook on the end of it. We both worried about him throughout the day and we were thrilled when we saw him in the evening and the fishing line was gone.

We didn't observe much activity with the osprey, but it was still fun to sit and watch. The mom fed the chick a couple of times throughout the morning, but then they had no food all afternoon. The male came through with a fish in the mid afternoon, but he didn't go to the nest with it because he was being harassed by an eastern kingbird. Instead he went to a dead tree and ate it. The female was very mad at him and when he showed up to the nest much later she yelled and yelled and yelled at him. He left and we thought for sure he was going to get some food for mom and the chick, but we waited for over an hour and he never returned with anything. By 5pm we got tired of waiting and left.

The day was mostly quiet with little activity, but the excitement of the albino robin made it a completely awesome night!

For products created with this image, see: Albino Robin Products


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks albino animal bird crown point debbie quick debs creative images essex county natural nature new york osprey outdoors park robin songbird wild wildlife Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:56:46 GMT
Mama Osprey I've spent most of the weekend with family and snuck away today for a little time to myself. I packed my travel cooler full of water, grabbed my camera and headed to Crown Point to check on my favorite Osprey family.

When I arrived there were a bunch of guys cutting the overgrown grass with weed trimmers. As I got closer to the nest I could see that both parents were in there with the kid and mom was feeding. I got to my usual viewing spot, set up my equipment and watched for a few hours.

Many people came through while I was there and they all stopped to chat with me about the Osprey. Some thought it was a hawk and others thought it was an eagle. As always, I was very happy to talk about the Osprey and educate people best as possible. Everyone seemed so interested to learn more about them.

Just like past years, the female stayed with the chick and the male came and went as he saw necessary. The female sat with the chick the entire time, although she did do a fly around when somebody walked by with a dog. She's relatively tolerant of people as long as the group is small and the people are quiet, but if a dog goes by, she does yell and fly in circles until it passes. I always feel bad when she's disturbed by a dog walking past, but I do secretly enjoy the opportunity to get some shots of her in flight. Today she put on a nice show and I got some good stuff of her landing back in the nest.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adult animal avian bird birding birds of prey carnivore claws crown point debbie quick feather fierce fight fighting fish flapping hunter intense juvenile lake champlain natural nature nest new york osprey outdoor powerful raptor sea hawk talons wild wildlife wings Tue, 04 Jul 2017 01:49:01 GMT
Papa Osprey delivers a Fish This morning started out gloomy, overcast and raining, but that didn't last long. By 10:00 the sun was shining and the sky was blue with a promise for a beautiful day ahead. Since we've had so much doom and gloom over the past few months, I didn't hesitate to grab my camera and head out to check on my favorite pair of Osprey.

It's roughly a half hour drive to to get to their location and I pass at least 10 other nests on the way, but that's ok because I feel like I have a small connection with the pair I watch. As I drove, I sipped my coffee and couldn't help but wonder how many kids they would have this year. I knew today would be the day I would find out and I secretly kept hoping for three since they usually have two.

It felt like a really long drive, but I finally arrived and set up to watch them. After roughly 15 minutes of observation, I came to the conclusion that they only had one kid this year. I'm slightly bummed because the interaction between osprey siblings is so fun to watch and I know I won't get that this year. Either way though, I thoroughly enjoyed my time watching the pair with their chick. The female sat with him/her all day and the male came and went throughout the day.

Within my first hour being there, the male came through with this big fish. He was chased by a smaller bird and he circled the nest before heading to another tree to eat the head. Once he finished eating the head of the fish, he brought the remainder to mom and the kid. Mom fed the kid and ate a little herself before dad left with what was left of the fish. He stayed relatively close and held onto the fish for a few hours before he brought it back to the nest for the next feeding. Again, he sat in the nest while mom fed the youngster and then herself. This time there was nothing left when they finished and he left. He stayed close and perched in his favorite tree and was still there when I left.

I feel so lucky to have another opportunity with this beautiful pair of Osprey. This is just the beginning and I look forward to all the opportunities I'll have with them as I watch their child grow!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:51:35 GMT
Why did the chicken cross the road? The weather today was absolutely gorgeous and I had my nose buried deep in work trying to get done to meet a big deadline that is quickly approaching.  It was mostly sunny, with temps in the mid 70's and a fantastic breeze. All day I kept wishing I could play hooky, but that just simply wasn't an option.

The good thing is that I decided to work remotely today so that I could concentrate with the fewest possible interruptions. That was a great idea for several reasons. 1. because I got a lot of work done and 2. because I was able to take the boyz out for a quick walk at lunch time and enjoy some of the gorgeous weather.

After work I decided to take a really long walk. I brought a camera with me in hopes of seeing some interesting wildlife, but all I saw were some very distant small birds, a great blue heron and a vulture. The biggest highlight was of the chickens. One was hiding under a bush as if I couldn't see him under there. I giggled and said, "sorry honey, but I see you". I must have startled another chicken because she quickly ran up the embankment and under the bush with the other one. I got two shots in before she was under shade and was so amused. I wanted to stay longer and watch, but out of nowhere this big dog was barking and sounded like it was coming towards me. He must have been tied up in the back as I never saw him come around the house, but that noise was all I needed to make me move along.

Here's one of the shots I got of the chicken who ran up the embankment to hide under the bush from me. Far too funny! I guess ya never know what you may see on a walk!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird chicken essex county farm animal feathers grass nature new york pet ticonderoga walk Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:30:39 GMT
Portrait of a Great Blue Heron Oh boy is it a scorcher out there today! I left my house at 8:00 this morning and was back by 1:30 because the sun and heat were simply too intense. I met up with my buddy, Bob, this morning and we headed to Downing Park where we met up with our friend John.

As always, the geese and the ducks were too cooperative as they kept getting too close to us. The mallard ducklings have gotten so big in the past two weeks and currently look like small versions of their mom. This was my first time seeing the mallards at this age and they were so fun to watch. Mostly they stuck together and they did not venture too far from mom or each other. The wood ducklings still look the same, just slightly bigger than they were two weeks ago (yellowish fuzz balls). They too stuck together, but not as closely as the mallards. They seemed to be slightly more adventurous. 

After we left Downing Park, we headed over to Vassar Farms. It was so hot upon arrival and all we saw were turtles sunning themselves on the logs. We decided to walk the trail in the area to kill some time and wait for some of the waterfowl to show up. As soon as we started on the trail, I spotted the great blue heron in a tree. We stopped for a few photos and then continued on our way. We looped back around and the heron was still there, just on another branch and as we got out of the trail we could see that the Canadian Geese and their goslings were very close to the area where we would stand. We enjoyed watching them and photographing them for a while when I heard and saw the heron had decided to return to the water. The Heron came in super close at one point and I was really hoping it would catch a fish. We watched and the heron moved around several times and caught two fish for us. Both orange and a bit distant both times. 

By 1:15 Bob and I were both drenched in sweat from just standing in the sun, so we decided to call it quits. It was a fantastic day! Lots of fun hanging out with Bob and enjoying all the beautiful wildlife out there. I just wish it wasn't so hot. Here is a portrait of the Great Blue Heron when he was so close to us!

For products created with this images, see: Great Blue Heron Products

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird canadian geese debbie quick ducklings ducks feathers geese goslings great blue heron mallard natural nature new york outdoors poughkeepsie vassar farms water waterfowl wild wildlife wings wood duck Sun, 11 Jun 2017 19:03:31 GMT
Swan Family What a busy and awesome day! I spent it across three different locations, saw so much wildlife and baked in the sun. I was supposed to go home after my second stop, but I couldn't resist the third stop and am so glad I did because there was a bunch more opportunity there.

At my first stop, I saw Canadian Geese with their goslings, Swans with their cygnets, two green heron, a great blue heron, a garter snake, a water snake, turtles and a bunch of songbirds (mostly red winged blackbirds).

At my second stop I had the pleasure to photograph an adult bald eagle and I watched some geese and a pair of mallards. I didn't take too many pics at the second stop, but I sure did a lot of walking up and down hills in the hot sun. By the time I left, I was so hot, hungry and exhausted, but instead of going home I stopped at a third location.

The third location was extremely fun, but difficult with the position of the sun. I watched a bunch of starlings bathing in a mud puddle, then went to a different area of the location and saw all kinds of stuff. There was a great blue heron fishing, four green herons, a pair of Canadian Geese with their goslings, a bunch of turtles and an American Mink. The waterfowl was not at all pleased by the appearance of the American Mink. The geese spotted it and started yelling and moving away. Then it got close to a green heron and all the green heron and the great blue heron yelled. Everyone yelled, screamed and carried on until the mink was well enough away.

My day out viewing wildlife was really awesome and I got a lot of blog worthy photo's. Because I've never seen cygnets in person, I figured I had to use my swan family photo! They didn't come too close, nor did they stay in view for long, but I enjoyed every minute that I had with them!

For products with this image, see: Swan Family Products

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american mink animal babies bald eagle beautiful canadian geese creek cute cygnets debbie quick ducks fuzzy garter snake great blue heron green green heron kids snakes songbirds swans swimming turtles water water snake waterfowl wild wildlife yucky Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:23:08 GMT
Out came the Groundhog Finally, the sun came out today and it was such a gorgeous day. The only thing wrong with the day was the fact that I had to spend most of it indoors, at work.

I snuck out at lunch time and enjoyed some time photographing Canadian Geese with their adorable little goslings. The goslings had the goofiest movements and all stayed together and close to the parents. This was the first time I've ever spent time with Canadian Geese and their goslings. My biggest surprise was that both the mom and the dad stayed together with them. It was really cute to observe their behaviors as a family.

As I was leaving work to head home, I saw a baby groundhog run over the hill right next to the building I work at. Thankfully I had my camera, so I went to my car and parked near the hill to see if the baby groundhog would come back out of his hole. He eventually did and so did the parent who was in there with him. After roughly 10 minutes of watching him sitting with his head out of the hole, another baby came running through and hopped into another hole that was part of their tunnel system. I sat back and watched for roughly a half hour. Both kids eventually came out and so did the parent. The kids chomped on the grass and I watched the adult collect a mouthful of grass and bring it back to their tunnel system which I'm assuming is their den/nest. I hardly get to observe groundhogs in their natural habitat, so this was rather fun. I might try to spend a little time with them again tomorrow if possible.

When I finished watching the groundhogs, I headed towards home and made a stop at Cary Institute of Ecological Studies. I didn't stay there long as I had to get home to the dogs. I first went up to Fern Glen to browse around and see what I could find, all I saw was a turtle on a log. From there, I went to the north bridge and didn't see much there either. As I was leaving, I saw three baby rabbits, but as soon as they heard my car, they ran into the tall grasses. I parked for a few minutes and turned off the car in hopes they may come back out, but they didn't.

It was really tough to choose a blog photo as the goslings and the baby groundhogs were all adorable. I wound up deciding to go with a baby groundhog shot since he is an extremely adorable little creature!

For products with this image, see: Groundhog Products

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal birds canadian geese debbie quick geese goose gosling groundhog mammal waterfowl wildlife Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:56:14 GMT
The Osprey Switch I've been on vacation all week and the weather has been rather yucky with lots of overcast, rain and horrible thunderstorms that included hail. The sun finally appeared today and so I had the opportunity to get out. It wasn't as sunny as I expected, but that's ok, I'll take what we got since it was way better than what we've had all week. 

I relaxed and hung out with the boyz this morning and was out of the camper by 10ish. I first headed to Crown Point to check on my favorite pair of Osprey. When I arrived, the female had landed in the nest for a couple of minutes and since the male had no interest in getting up and leaving, she decided to take off. I sat and watched for a long while as he sat on the eggs and periodically got up to rotate them. Such an attentive dad as he must have rotated them 7 or 8 times while I was there watching. Eventually he was ready to leave and he called for her return. In fact, he called a little here and there over the course of a half hour before she finally returned with a small stick for the nest. Once she returned, he sat for a minute, then took off. 

By that time, it was rather overcast and the light stunk, so I took off for a drive into Vermont. I cruised around Vermont and checked out some of my favorite Wildlife Management Areas. At one of them I witnessed all kinds of fish jumping. Wish I could get a photo, but it would happen so fast and I never knew where it would happen. I also watched a Great Blue Heron catch a nice sized fish. That was kind of distant, so I'm sure I didn't get any good photo's of it, but it was fun to see.

After my drive around Vermont, I stopped back in and took a quick look at my Osprey. One of them was in the nest, but I'm not sure which. I considered staying longer to see a turnover, but since I didn't know how long the wait would be, I figured I would head back to camp and hang with my boyz.

My photo for today is of the male leaving right after mom returned with the stick. They are such an amazing pair to watch! This is now my third year hanging out with them and I'm anxious to see how many kids they have. In the past two years, they had two kids each year. I keep hoping they'll have three, but the realistic side of me is expecting two. As soon as I know, I'll make sure all my blog followers also know!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings Fri, 02 Jun 2017 01:26:02 GMT
Bunnies are cute It's only the beginning of the work week and I can't help but think about the weekend and my vacation plans next week. 

Things at work have been extremely busy as I've been trying to finishes up the final touches to meet the big deadlines that are quickly approaching. It's been rather exhausting and stressful and causing me to work longer hours than usual, so my upcoming vacation will be much needed time off.

At the end of the work day today, I took a quick drive through Cary Institute. I saw a couple of bunnies, some turtles and some small birds. I didn't stay long, but I did stop to photograph one of the bunnies I saw. It wasn't a very exciting trip out, but it was a nice break and it allowed me to clear my head and relax.

The bunny I photographed sat so still for me and let me get relatively close. I kept hoping it would turn and look at me, but that didn't happen. So, here it is, a nice profile shot of the cute little bunny!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bunny cary institute of ecological studies debbie quick fur furry mammal millbrook nature new york rabbit wild wildlife Tue, 23 May 2017 23:21:31 GMT
Portrait of a Barred Owl Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your day has been as good as mine! I made a few stops today and got to see lots of birds. 

My first stop was in Staatsburgh where I went for a walk through the Hopeland trail looking for birds to photograph. I heard a bunch of birds and saw a lot of stuff, but I only took a few shots of warblers. After I completed my walk through the trails, I went over to Norrie Point to goof off. I walked around the educational building and I only saw loud/obnoxious children and then fisherman on the pier. After not seeing any wildlife there, I headed over to the marina. I walked up the hill to the picnic area and didn't see anything, so I headed back down to the docks where I got to see a bald eagle come around the corner and fly past the marina. It happened so fast and was a bit too distant for pics, but still a vision to watch. I didn't stay long before heading out.

As I was leaving Norrie I thought it was a perfect time for some lunch, so I picked up a subway sandwich and headed to the Cary Institute of Ecological Studies. I ate lunch while walking and exploring. I saw lots of songbirds, turtles and frogs. Just as I was considering leaving to go home, I stumbled upon a Barred Owl. I looked up as I was walking and it was literally over my head. I had to back up to get a shot of it (a portrait). And I had to back up even further to get the whole owl in the frame. I stayed and watched it in the tree for roughly 45 minutes, hoping it would hunt and catch something, but it didn't. It just sat and snoozed. Then it moved to another tree where it was sitting more in the sun. I continued to hope it would hunt, but it never did. It sat, looked around, snoozed and preened. It didn't care that I was there watching and it didn't care when this teenage couple walked right passed it. I thought for sure it would fly, but it didn't. I watched for another 45 minutes, then snuck up closer for some portrait shots and the owl was too busy snoozing and wouldn't even bother to look at me. Eventually I thanked it for letting me get some great shots and I left it sitting there snoozing. It isn't often when I get such a fantastic opportunity, so I feel rather blessed for this one today!

Here is the beautiful Barred Owl who snoozed and preened without caring about me watching and photographing him! Definitely one of life precious moments!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal barred owl beak bird birds of prey cary institute of ecological studies day debbie quick dutchess county feathers nature new york outdoors outside owl perched predator raptor sunny the hudson valley tree wild wilderness wildlife woods Sun, 21 May 2017 23:25:40 GMT
The beauty of a Great Egret Weekends are always the best because I can get out with my camera and photograph wildlife.

This morning was drizzly and overcast, but I still met up with Bob and Justin and we went to Downing Park to photograph the mallard and wood ducklings. When we arrived, we ran into Dan and a bunch of other photographers. Not long after, Dwight joined us. The light creamy colored mallard had a bunch of ducklings and three of the female wood ducks had ducklings. There were lots of kids to photograph, but they mostly stayed a bit distant. The Canadian Geese population was outrageous. I don't know where they all came from, but wow, there were so many and they kept getting too close, into my personal space. Other big highlights were the Great Egret and the Great Blue Heron who hung out and put on a nice show for us. There were also a bunch of robins (some catching worms), tree swallows, sparrows (who were collecting geese feathers for their nests, gulls, turtles and pigeons.

Mostly I wound up focusing on the Great Egret and the Great Blue Heron. They both looked like they were hunting for a meal, so I was hoping to catch them with fish. The Great Egret did eventually get one, but it chose to do so that moment I got up to go grab my coffee from the car. Seriously? I took my eye off the prize for about 30 seconds and that is when the action happened. So devastating. Anyhow, watching the Great Egret and the Great Blue Heron was really fascinating. The Great Blue Heron eventually left, chasing another Great Blue Heron, but the Great Egret was around the whole time we were there.

I took almost 1000 photos in Newburgh and it was hard to choose one for the blog. I eventually decided to go with one of my Great Egret shots! I hope you've all had a fantastic day and have enjoyed my blog photo!

For products with this image, see: Great Egret Products

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick downing park ducklings feathers flight flying great blue heron great egret mallard duck new york newburgh orange county the polly waterfowl wild wildlife wings wood duck Sat, 20 May 2017 23:38:02 GMT
Barn Swallows make an appearance Work was hectic today with a bunch of meetings and trying to tie up loose end for my big deadline that is quickly approaching. I took a walk during my lunch break to clear my head so I would stay focussed throughout the afternoon and it was incredibly hot. It must have already been close to 90 degrees out. 

After work, I stopped home to take care of the boyz, then I went out to Cary Institute of Ecological Studies. It was extremely hot and buggy there. The bugs kept flying into my ears and eyes and one even flew up into my nose and got lodged for roughly 2 minutes. That was very uncomfortable and hurt a little bit.

Because of all the bugs flying about, the birds were also pretty active. I saw barn swallows, a baltimore oriole, grackles, eastern bluebirds, pigeons, and a few other types of birds I don't know. The muskrat made a cameo appearance and mama merganser came through with her kids. I kept hoping they would cooperate for pics, but they never did. I had a fantastic opportunity with a grackle taking a bath and a male barn swallow who posed very nicely and even flapped his wings for me. I had a tough time choosing between a bathing grackle and the barn swallow flapping his wings and decided to go with the little swallow since I liked the shot so much!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal barn swallow branch cary institute of ecological studies debbie quick feathers flapping natural nature songbird tree wildlife wings Fri, 19 May 2017 00:26:59 GMT
Osprey with a stick This past Friday, I drove up to the Adirondacks with my dogs and opened camp for the season. There was a ton of work to be done and I worked the entire day Friday and part of the day on Saturday. The mice got into my camper and left me some horrible surprises, but I got things cleaned up and got past it.

I had a four day weekend planned and hoped to get out with my camera, but the weather was horrid on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It was so gloomy, rainy and then on Monday the winds picked up and were very strong. I wound up deciding to work on Monday and take today off instead. What a great idea that was because today was absolutely gorgeous. The sun shined so nicely, the temps were perfect and the wind stayed away.

I got up early and headed to Crown Point to check on my favorite Osprey couple. They looked fantastic and were sitting on eggs. When I first arrived mom was on the nest and shortly thereafter dad came in to give her a break. She left, but wasn't out for long when another female osprey came in and was circling low around the nest. She went back to the nest and dad left to chase the intruder away. Roughly a half hour later, he returned with a very nice sized stick and gave mom another break. I stayed and watched for a bit. She first flew to a tree near Lake Champlain and let me approach for some tree shots. She sat for a bit and then went to one of the favorite dead trees that she likes. She sat and preened and I watched for a bit, but then decided to head back to camp.

When I got back to camp, I took the boyz for a nice walk and then we returned to the campsite so I could have some lunch. They spent the remainder of the afternoon lounging in their pen, while I sat next to them and photographed my chipmunks and birds. Somehow, I wound up taking roughly a 1,000 photo's today. So many cute photos to go through.

I had roughly 5 or 6 chipmunks coming to see me today. A couple of them actually remembered me and ran straight towards me for a peanut. Two of them even let me pat them. Oh, how much I love petting my chippy's! Currently my favorite little guy is "Stubby", named for his half a tail. He is one from last year and will follow me around the yard until I give him a peanut, I absolutely love it!

It was hard to decide on a pic today since I got so much cute stuff, so I decided to go with a shot of the male osprey bringing a big stick back to the nest! I hope you enjoy, I'm so thrilled to be back at camp with all my furry and feathered friends.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks bird birds of prey branch camp camping chipmunk crown point debbie quick essex county nest new york osprey predator raptor ticonderoga twig Wed, 17 May 2017 01:53:35 GMT
Immature Great Horned Owl Happy Hump Day! The work week is almost over for me as I'm taking a long weekend to go open camp!

Today was another wonderful day of enjoying wildlife. I had the opportunity to go out for a short bit during my lunch break and had some really good luck. As I arrived at my intended location and headed to park my car, I instantly spotted a great horned owlet very high in a tree. It was very visible, but did have a bunch of branches around it, so I had to maneuver around a little to get a half way decent shot. The owlet was very sleepy, so I had to wait a minute or two to get a shot of it with its eyes partially opened. It was perched so high that I really had to look up to see it. I wish great horned owlets would perch a little lower, but they never seem to do so. I watched it for just a minute or two, then moved on to photograph some Canadian Geese. The geese were relatively cooperative and my favorite white goose put on a nice show for me with lots of wing flapping.

After my lunch break was over, I headed back to work and dove deeply into things. We have a very big deadline coming up at the end of the month, so the pressure sure does seem on. It's really nice to be able to take a little break in the middle of the day, because that really does help me stay focused through the afternoon to plunge through the workload.

After work, I stopped home briefly to take my dogs for a quick walk before heading out to one of my favorite hot spots near home. Things were very quiet when I first arrived, but then the American Mink came out and finally walked across the dead tree, giving me a fantastic opportunity to get some nice full body shots. It swam around for a bit, then swam away. It made several appearances. While it was out swimming and probably hunting, a muskrat came through and gave a nice opportunity for photo's. Shortly thereafter, the mink gave another opportunity.

It was such a fantastic day and I got so many nice photos during lunch break and after work. It was hard to choose a photo for the blog because I was in tossup between the mink and the owl. Eventually, I figured the owl shot had to win since I recently used a mink shot for my blog.

I hope you all enjoy my chosen shot and that the remainder of your week is nice!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick feathers great horned owl new york owlet perched poughkeepsie raptor the hudson valley tree wild wildlife Thu, 11 May 2017 01:41:12 GMT
Precious lil Duckling Wow, today has been a long and amazing day!

I got up early and headed off to work. We are now in crunch time as we have a big deadline coming up and so I've been working very hard to meet that date. By the time lunch time arrived, I desperately needed a little break and headed out towards the Hudson River with my camera. I heard a bald eagle yelling and followed the sound to see what was going on. Two immature bald eagles left the area, then I saw what all the noise was about. An adult bald eagle was perched in a pine tree with a striper (fish). The immatures must have chased her there after she caught the fish and she yelled and yelled and yelled until they left. I watched her eat the entire fish, then she flew out of the tree, straight towards me and landed in another pine tree, right over my head. I couldn't even see her and had to reposition myself to get a few shots. I wish I could have stayed longer to watch her, but by that time I needed to head back to work.

After work I met up with my friends Bob and Carol and we headed down to Newburgh to see the ducks and ducklings! We arrived and immediately found the beautiful cream colored mallard with her kids in tow. They were so adorable to watch as they stayed close to mom and would run/swim really fast to stay together. They came in really close and so it was hard to get pics. Especially since the Canadian Geese kept getting in the way.

We slowly made our way around the pond and got to see two male wood ducks sitting in the trees. That was a real blessing as it was the first time I've seen them in a tree. The light was harsh and they sat in relatively dark spots, so we had to manipulate our settings best as possible to get the shots. As we continued, we ran into our friend Dan who told us about the female wood duck and her adventures of trying to get out of the area with her kids earlier in the day. Apparently they had succeeded in their escape as they were nowhere to be found this evening.

As we walked around the pond, we witnessed the crows harassing and chasing the wood ducks. I felt so sorry for the ducks as they are nesting and trying to raise their young. By the time we got three quarters away around the pond, we ran into the female mallard and her kids again. She was sitting in the grass with the kids snuggled underneath. The geese and gulls kept going over and disturbing her and so my friend Dan tried very politely to get them away from her, it was rather entertaining to watch. Eventually, she and the kids got up and started moving about. I tried very hard to get photos of the ducklings in the grass, but must admit that it was extremely challenging as the blades of grass were taller than the adorable ducklings.

Although I had to work most of the day, my biggest highlights were during lunch and after work. Both outings with my camera were completely amazing and now I'm totally wiped out (so tired, I couldn't even finish my dinner this evening)!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adorable animal baby cute downing park duck duckling fun fuzzy grass mallard new york newburgh the polly walking waterfowl wild wildlife Wed, 10 May 2017 01:07:05 GMT
Eastern Bluebird Oh how I live for the weekends and being able to get out with my camera! Since it was a little rainy this morning, I got a slightly later start than I usually would for a Saturday.

I didn't see much at my first stop, so I went to Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (CIES), one of my new favorite locations. I spent time at both bridges, at Fern Glen and in various areas in between. The weather was weird with the sun going in and out of the clouds and the wind getting heavy at times, yet being gentle at other times.

While I was up at Fern Glen, I had the opportunity to see some turtles, two frogs and a couple of little toads. I was hoping the northern water snakes would be out, but I guess it wasn't warm enough for them. While down by the bridges and in the wetland area is where I saw the best variety of wildlife. A muskrat did a nice swim around for me and went up on land around 11:45, then the american mink came through around 12:00. The mink is nearly impossible to photograph as he/she tends to stay in extremely brushy areas while moving at a rapid speed. I got a fantastic shot of the back of his/her head.

I also had the pleasure to see a male wood duck, a pair of mallards and a female hooded merganser (one solo and one with 5 ducklings). At one point, I had a female mallard sitting on a tree branch preening. Then a female hooded merganser came in and took the female mallards spot. The merganser had swam in so close and sat preening on the branch for a while before she moved on. This was the first time I've had such a wonderful opportunity with a merganser.

In addition to the reptiles, water rats and ducks, I also got to see a bunch of songbirds. There were red winged blackbirds, tree swallows, barn swallows, a yellow warbler, a baltimore oriole, a phoebe, a grackle and a male eastern bluebird. I got a lot of fantastic shots today, so it was really hard to choose which shot I wanted to use for my blog. I eventually decided that it had to be the eastern bluebird because it is just too pretty of a bird to not share!

As I write my post, I'm sitting on my porch amused by the wildlife I get right here at my feeders. I've had a pair of cardinals, a bunch of bluejays, a woodpecker, some starlings, sparrows and of course my friendly lil squirrels out there. My dogs keep going bonkers when a squirrel comes for a peanut! LOL, what a fantastic day with wildlife! What more could a girl ask for!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american mink animal birds bluejay cary institute of ecosystem studies cies ducks eastern bluebird grackle mallard merganser millbrook muskrat nature new york songbirds water wildlife Sat, 06 May 2017 22:29:04 GMT
Mockingbird on a Tombstone Happy Monday and Hello May!

My day started far earlier than I ever would have expected. At roughly 2:50 this morning I had an itch on my arm and I scratched it. Within seconds, I had an itch on my leg and reach down to feel something odd. I quickly grabbed it and turned on the light to realize I had a tick crawling on me. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I was so grossed out, I immediately flushed it down the toilet and started grabbing the dog blankets and threw them in the wash. For my first time ever, I did laundry at 3 am. I went back to bed all grossed out and couldn't fall back to sleep. I was still up when the washer finished and moved the blankets into the dryer. It must have been around 5:30 when I finally dozed back off.

It wasn't long after when the alarm went off for me to get up for work. I woke the boyz and first dug Bailey out from under the blankets and snuggled with him for a moment before digging Bandit out. As soon as I pulled Bandit out, I saw a tick crawling on his cute, white belly. I quickly grabbed the tick off of him and flushed it down the toilet. At this point, I was totally grossed out and worked from home so I could wash the bedding and anything else I could possibly fit into the machines.

In between working and getting everything washed, I was able to sneak out to look for wildlife during my lunch break and again after work. I didn't see what I was on the hunt for, but I did get to see a nice variety of birds, ducks and a relatively cooperative muskrat. I saw a robin who was collecting dried grass to bring back to its nest, a few mocking birds and morning doves. After going through my photo's, I deciding that my photo for today should be one of the mockingbirds that I photographed during my lunch break! Although common in this area, I do find them to be absolutely stunning!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick dutchess county feathers mocking bird new york poughkeepsie songbird the hudson valley wild wildlife wings Tue, 02 May 2017 02:26:33 GMT
American Mink passing a turtle Happy Monday Peeps! The most dreaded day of the week because it means the start of 5 whole days of working! Thankfully though, the days are getting longer and now I have more of an opportunity to get out with my camera on a work day than I did during the winter.

Yesterday, for the first time ever I had the most amazing opportunity to see an American Mink. It was an absolutely awesome opportunity. The mink is extremely fast, stays mostly in brush and zig zags as apposed to moving about in a straight line. In general, minks are nocturnal, but they do come out occasionally during the day. With all these obstacles, the mink is extremely difficult to photograph, so I'm thrilled that I got a couple of halfway decent shots yesterday. So thrilled that today I was extremely motivated to get back out and try again to hopefully see and photograph him/her.

The light was rather yucky today as it was mostly cloudy, but I tried my best. I got to see the mink on two different occasions and both times he/she moved so quickly. I only got shots of it going away in the water. All my land shots were on the return and it was under so much brush. I even got to watch it clean up both times after swimming. It's too bad though that it cleaned itself deep in the brush. Fun to watch, but so tough to photograph!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american mink animal carnivorous cary institute of ecological studies conservation creek dutchess county environment mammal millbrook new york swimming the hudson valley turtle water weasels wildlife Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:15:37 GMT
Gray Morph Screech Owl Happy Easter to all my family, friends and blog followers! I hope you all had a wonderful day! My day was fantastic as I get to spend it outdoors, enjoying the beautiful weather and photographing wildlife.

I got up early and was out the door by 8:15am. My first stop was CIES in hopes of seeing the barred owl again, but I had no luck. In fact, I spent almost 2 hrs there roaming the grounds and didn't have much luck during my entire time there. At the very least, I did enjoy walking the trails and taking in the beauty around me as well as the amazing weather.

After my lack of luck at Cary, I went for a countryside drive where I had an opportunity to photograph a Screech Owl in a tree. I watched the owl for roughly 4-5 minutes as it sat there snoozing and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine. It looked so content up there in the tree cavity and all I kept hoping for was him to open his eyes. Finally, he did. But, I think he only opened his eyes because somebody in a nearby house was taking out their garbage and closed the lid rather loudly after dumping the bag in.

After enjoying my countryside drive, I decided to pop in at home and check on the dogs. We sat on the porch and enjoyed the breeze while I ate lunch. After lunch, I took them for a nice walk around the neighborhood. I think it was a bit warm for them because they panted through most of the walk! When we returned from our nice walk, I got them in and turned on the AC so they could relax in a comfortable home while I went back out.

Because I've been having so much fun at Vassar Farms lately, I decided to go back. It was a quiet afternoon there and I enjoyed hanging out by the ponds and the creek. I spent my time watching the geese, a couple of muskrats, lots of turtles and a snapping turtle that was swimming laps in the pond where all the muskrats are. I didn't get too many photo opportunities today, but at the very least I really enjoyed being off of work and out enjoying the gorgeous weather. During my travels I ran into a couple of friends and I met/chatted with people I've never before met. It was a great day!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick dutchess county feathers nocturnal owl raptor screech owl the hudson valley wild wildlife wings Mon, 17 Apr 2017 00:35:37 GMT
Barred Owl showing off the Talons Today was another beautiful spring day in the Hudson Valley. I was up before 8am and out of the house by 9. I had a full agenda planned for today, but only made it to two of the locations as I got tied up at my second stop.

I first went to the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve to see what I could find. I hopped onto the trail and headed to the ponds and creek. I didn't see too much, only a pair of geese, a bunch of turtles, a few palm warblers and a male mallard. The male mallard was yelling the whole time and I was a little concerned for him as yesterday I had seen a pair of mallards hanging out. All I could think was, "where is the female and why is he yelling so much". As for the palm warblers, they were bouncing around on tree branches above the pond and there was one branch in particular I kept hoping one would land because it was a clean shot where I could perfectly blur the background. I waited roughly 15 minutes and one finally landed in the spot I was hoping for. After spending over an hour near the ponds waiting and hoping something good would happen, I decided to walk one of the trails. The sun shined nicely and the trail was super quiet. When I got near the end of it, I saw a few baltimore oriole's, but they stayed hidden in the brush and didn't cooperate for a single picture. 

Eventually, I left and stopped home so I could take the dogs for a walk and change into some lighter clothing. I was so hot from my 3.5 mile walk at Vassar Farms and thought it would be nice to get the boyz out while the sun was shining and the temps were so nice. After I took care of things at home I headed out towards Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Things at Cary started off slow, but I did see a Phoebe (bird) as I first drove in and was excited as this was my first time ever photographing a Phoebe. From there I took a drive around the wetlands and saw a pair of mergansers (ducks). They were a bit far for photographs, but I took a few shots with hopes that maybe one or two might be half way decent. It was at that time when I met up with a fellow from the Waterman Bird Club who I've heard of, but never met. I hung out with him for a bit and helped him look for the American Bittern that had been spotted in the area last weekend. We had no luck looking together, but he was still looking when I left to meet up with my friend, Justin. Justin had spotted a Barred Owl in an area where we had seen one last weekend and had a nice view of it. I wound up staying there with Justin from roughly 1:30-5:45pm. Mostly the owl just sat and snoozed, but we did witness it preening, yawning, stretching and pooping. It even moved once from one tree to another. The light wasn't the greatest for pics, so we had to manipulate our settings best as possible. It was a fantastic experience to sit and watch this raptor, even though it didn't do anything too entertaining. Mostly, it was exciting to sees how it blends into its natural environment so well. If one was not looking for the owl, they probably would never see it.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal barred owl beak bird birds of prey branch cary institute of ecosystem studies dutchess county feathers flight flying leaves owl perched portrait raptor span spread talons the hudson valley tree vassar farm and ecological preserve wild wildlife wings Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:08:58 GMT
White Goose with a lot to say Yipppeeeee, I had the afternoon off and it was beautiful and sunny. I couldn't resist grabbing my camera and heading out the door to look for wildlife to photograph. I made several stops today and got to photography many different animals.

My first stop was along the Hudson River where I had an opportunity to photograph bald eagles. I didn't get much of a show, but I did get a quick opportunity for a few shots. From there I moved on and went for a walk so I could get some steps in. During my walk I saw lots of robins and I had an opportunity with a mockingbird who had caught a caterpillar. I've never seen a bird catch a caterpillar before, so I was rather fascinated by that.

After my walk, I hit up a local pond that has geese who I like to photograph. It looks like two of them are sitting on eggs, so hopefully it won't be long before I can get some gosling shots. Some of the other geese in the area were extremely cooperative for photo's and even got too close to me for my liking. In fact, I even got an opportunity to get some open mouth shots from the white one. My shots are cropped a bit, but I couldn't resist because their mouths and tongues are so unique looking.

After I finished playing with the geese at the pond, I moved along to another location that requires lots of walking. As soon as I arrived, I hopped onto the trail and headed towards the ponds. I saw a muskrat in the first pond, then nothing in the second pond so I continued on towards the creek. While walking along the creek I spotted another muskrat and some geese. One goose was honking away, I'm not even sure what he was honking on. I didn't stay long before turning around and when I got back to the ponds I saw two muskrats swimming around. They even got into a little fight or something, it was kinda cute. I walked around the pond and sat quietly for a bit watching to see if they would put on a show. All was quiet for a while then all of a sudden I heard some rustling to my right. I quickly realized there were baby muskrat. I sat very quietly and eventually the babies started to come out and swim around. They were so stinking cute! I just might have to go back tomorrow and wait quietly in hopes of seeing them again.

I got so many great shots today, but couldn't resist sharing the inside of a gooses mouth since I'm rather intrigued by how interesting it looks!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird canadian goose day debbie quick dutchess county goose grass new york poughkeepsie relaxing sitting sunny the hudson valley waterfowl wild wildlife Sat, 15 Apr 2017 01:35:26 GMT
Muskrat on the go This morning started off a bit gloomy and it rained on and off throughout the morning and early afternoon. By 2pm the clouds started to break and the sun started to shine. By the time I got out of work the sun was shining nicely and temps were roughly 70 degrees. It was perfect for getting out with my camera.

I made a couple of stops on my way home, but I put most my focus on walking around the Vassar College campus. I saw lots of small birds, a muskrat and an immature red tailed hawk. The hawk sat in a tree overlooking the golf course and allowed me to get relatively close for pics. He even sat there and watched as two other hawks flew circles above him and took off. In fact, he was still sitting there when I left to get out of the golfers line of fire.

As I approached the pond, I saw a muskrat swimming along the edge near the water. I followed him and tried to get in front of him as to keep the sun behind me so I could get some shots. As soon as he got close, I would run up ahead for another opportunity. This continued to happen as he swam the entire length of the pond and when he got to the other end, he hopped up onto the land, crossed the walking trail and ran down towards the creek that continued south. I tried to get shots of him running across the trail, but between his quickness to get across and the fact that I was shooting into the sun, I had no luck of getting a good shot of him on land. I did at least get some nice shots of him swimming. What a little cutie pie!

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Bald Eagle passing by I'm absolutely loving these longer days and the nice weather that comes along with it. Although, I have to admit that I am not ready for temps as high as they were today (low 80's). I do prefer a nice transition in the seasons and since spring is my favorite time of year, I do appreciate springlike weather.

With the nice weather, I was able to sneak out for just a little bit today with my camera. As usual, my time out was fantastic as I saw a nice variety of animals. Animals ranging from bald eagles, great horned owls, lots of robins, other songbirds, some turkey's and geese. Although I wasn't out long, I somehow managed to take roughly 100 photo's.

I'm still going through my shots, but my favorite for today was of a bald eagle who had flown past me extremely close! Not once, but twice! I watched as this eagle landed on the ground, moved to a tree, back to the ground and then to another tree before it took off out of sight. In one of the trees it had landed, it was framed really nicely around some tree branches which I think gives the image a really cool look. I'm not using that shot as my blog post because there is a flight shot I like better, but if you are interested in seeing it, feel free to check out my FB page: Debs Creative Images FB Album on 4/11/7

Here's my favorite shot of the day. I just love the colors, the angle and how incredibly close this beautiful raptor was to me.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bald eagle bird birds of prey debbie quick feathers flight flying poughkeepsie new york predator raptor the hudson valley wildlife Tue, 11 Apr 2017 23:20:24 GMT
Froggie along the trail I got up early this morning and headed to the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area in Mamakating, NY. The Bashakill is over 3000 acres, has the largest freshwater wetland in southeastern New York and is an an area designated as a Bird Conservation Area. In addition to the vast array of birds, the land includes a chestnut oak forest, fields, ponds, marshes and swamps.

I arrived at roughly 9:15 and was expecting to meet up with my friends Justin and John. Both wound up running late as they made other stops before heading down, so I just goofed off and took in the beauty of the area while I waited. Once they both arrived we set off on our journey to explore the territory.

Our first stop was down a dirt road and through some fields where we saw many songbirds in the distance. We got out and hiked a short way on the trail in search of a red screech owl and raccoons. Sadly, neither the owl or the raccoon presented themselves to us. We did see some wood ducks flying off in a distance and we stumbled across a bunch of feathers on the ground. Our only thought was that a raptor must have gotten a female wood duck. The feathers were very pretty and I couldn't resist taking a couple home with me for my feather collection.

We left that area and moved on to one of the boat launch sites where we parked and sat on a rock to enjoy lunch while overlooking the water. We chatted and enjoyed the scenery as we ate and when we finished, we proceeded to a nesting box the trees swallows were using. We must have parked there for roughly 20-30 minutes and enjoyed watching the beautiful metallic blue/white birds as they landed on the box, took off and had arguments with each other. There were two that clearly looked like an old married couple as they would sit quietly, then bicker back and forth. This activity was repeated many times as we watched and photographed.

While we were in that area we could also see a very distant bald eagle nest and the eagle was sitting just above the nest and keeping an eye on whatever was going on inside the nest. We even got to see the other eagle fly in and take over the duty while the one who was previously sitting there left. In addition to seeing the two adult eagles, we also witnessed an osprey flying nearby and an immature bald eagle.

Eventually we decided to walk the trails and as we were returning from the one trail that wound up being water blocked, Justin found this cute frog sunning himself in the brush. We all couldn't resist grabbing a few shots of this cutie! Honestly, I think he was my favorite find of the day! When we finished that trail, we headed into the trail on the other side of the parking lot. We didn't find too much in there: small birds, lots of turtles and two snakes. We tried hard to get pics of the snakes, but they were both in very bad spots. The best opportunity we had in there was an extremely distant bald eagle who was hovering over the water. We watched it hover like a kestrel then drop to the water and come back up with empty talons. It circled around, then went back into the hovering position. Eventually it dipped down again and came back up with a meal. Surprisingly, a duck. We think a wood duck, but it was so hard to tell as the activity happened way to far away for decent photo's.

The day was really awesome! The sun shined so brightly and temps hit 70! It was a really fun day out with friends.

Enjoy the adorable frog we all couldn't resist photographing!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) amphibian animal frog grass green reflection reptile slimy water wildlife Sun, 09 Apr 2017 23:42:52 GMT
Groundhogs enjoy bananas It was a sunny day, but a bit cool with temps in the 40's and a constant breeze. I began my day by meeting my buddy, Justin, at 8:30 am and we ran all over Dutchess County looking for wildlife. It was a relatively quiet day, but we did see a few things: bald eagles, red tailed hawks, american kestrels, great horned owl, screech owl, ducks and a few different songbirds. Some of the animals were near and others were far, some cooperated for photo's and others did not!

Around 3 pm we decided to go our separate ways and I decided to go home and spend a little time with my boyz. As always, they were happy to see me and hang out. They enjoyed some belly rubs and head scratches and we went for a little walk before I decided to head back out in the search of wildlife.

I wound up finishing my day at James Baird State Park. It was relatively quiet there too, but I did find a few animals to photograph. I first found a groundhog just outside of his hole. I tried getting closer for shots, but he quickly hopped in his hole to hide. He periodically poked his head out and I got some great close up shots of him sticking his head out. After, I walk the property near the ponds and saw some ducks and geese. Then on my return, stumbled across some robins and northern flickers on the ground eating. As I was photographing them, a red tailed hawk came flying by, doing circles, right over my head. 

While I was at James Baird, I kept seeing signs for a new restaurant on the property "Eighteen by Coppolla's". I know my dad is a huge fan of the Coppolla's Restaurants and was upset when the one on IBM Road closed, so I went up to the restaurant to get a menu as a reminder to call my dad when I got home. On my way out of there I stumbled across a groundhog on the side of the road. I pulled my car over into the mud and got out with my camera. I quickly realized he was eating the remains of a banana! It was really cute and I couldn't resist watching and capturing. I only wish I were a little closer, but I took what I could get. When he finished and moved along, I took that as my cue to leave and when I got in my car to go, I realized I was once again stuck in mud. I got a good laugh at the mud flying up as my wheels spun. This was my third time getting stuck in mud over the past few months and I seem to be a pro at getting out of it!

When I got home, I looked at my pics of the two groundhogs I photographed and had a tough time choosing which one I wanted to use for my blog, so I asked my buddy, Justin, for his opinion. He said I definitely had to go with the one eating the banana, so here it is! I hope you all get as much of a kick out of it as I did!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal banana debbie quick debs creative images eating golf course groundhog mammal nature songbirds wildlife Sun, 09 Apr 2017 01:06:15 GMT
Educational Barn Owl and other Raptors Today was a beautiful spring day. Lots of warm sunshine and temps that hit 60 degrees. Such a great change after all the cold and gloom we've had over the past few weeks.

I began my day by meeting up with a friend and photographing Bald Eagles. From there, we went to Wild Mountain Birds in Rosendale to see the rehabilitator who took in the injured red tailed hawk I stumbled across a few weeks ago. She took out many of her educational birds for us to see and photograph. Some of them had names, others did not. They all had their own personal story that had led them into Annie's care. 

We saw birds of many ages and many different species as Annie brought out several different owls, hawks and an american kestrel. The hawks all seemed thrilled to be outside and soaking in the warmth of the sunshine. All the birds were beautiful and amazing to watch and observe. It was interesting to see their behaviors with each other as well as with other birds they saw or heard in the wild. The young red tail was fascinating to watch as she observed all the song birds that flew around, carefully watched a vulture that was flying around and had a conversation with a red tail in the wild. 

Annie is a very busy and amazing woman! Everything she does to rehabilitate injured birds is amazing. And all the time and effort she's put into her educational birds and getting them out to educate others is really awesome! The love and dedication that she puts into her raptors is truly inspiring. 

I have many photo's that I will eventually post to my Facebook page, but for now I want to share this beautiful Barn Owl in my blog post. The Barn Owl is extremely rare in our area and is a nocturnal bird. They require large, open areas for hunting and typically roost in tree cavities, barns and silo's. They hunt by flying low and searching for their prey (small rodents) by sound and low light vision. The oldest known Barn Owl lived to be 15 years old.

I'm still in awe by this amazing opportunity I was able to experience today! 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal barn owl bird birds of prey debbie quick feathers owl raptor wild wild mountain birds wildlife wings Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:20:28 GMT
Canada Goose As I was typing in the date for my blog post title, I realized this year is already cruising by. Where is the time going? How is it possible that we are almost into the fourth month of the year?

Besides being shocked by how quickly time is going, I'm also a little disappointed in how much gloomy and overcast weather we've been having this season. It seams as though I need to do my best to get out when the sun is shining because chances are it isn't going to shine long. The morning started out really pretty with beautiful blue skies and temps a little cool in the 30's. Work was busy and I heard some disturbing news, so I decided to enjoy a little of the sunshine and take a nice long walk during my lunch break. By that time, the temps had risen into the 40's, but it felt rather cool as there was a pretty steady breeze. As long as I stayed in the sun it wasn't too bad, but in the shade it was a bit brisk. Thankfully I took that walk in the sunshine as when I got out of work in the late afternoon it was already completely overcast and gloomy.

During my walk I didn't see too much. I had an adorable little robin posing for me by a pond and a Canada Goose laying in the grass looking super comfy. I considered using one of my robin shots with the blurred water as a backdrop for my post today, but then realized I recently used a robin image, so I decided to go with the goose relaxing in the grass and enjoying the warmth of the sunshine!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird canadian goose day debbie quick debs creative images dutchess county goose grass new york poughkeepsie relaxing sitting sunny the hudson valley waterfowl wild wildlife Fri, 31 Mar 2017 01:27:10 GMT
Rabbit in Snow I stepped out of work today and quickly realized that I missed out on a gorgeous day by being stuck in the dungeon (my office is in the basement of the building). The sun was shining so brightly and it was almost 60 degrees out. I got home as quickly as I could and took the boyz for a walk around the neighborhood.

Our walk was really nice and it was funny how they did their best to avoid walking in puddles. There wasn't much grass exposed, so they looked hard for the small areas where they could do their business. Roughly half way through our walk Bailey had spotted one of my neighbors and all he wanted to do was go say hi. He shocked me completely when he ran through a big puddle to get over and see her when he usually avoids puddles like the plague!

Upon our arrival to our yard, I spotted a cute bunny in the back standing on his high legs. I quickly got the dogs in the house and grabbed my camera. I generally don't hand hold my camera with the 500mm on it, but I had no time to waste. Luckily, the bunny was still standing up and let me get a few horizontal and vertical shots before he sat down and ran off. He didn't go far, so I went back in and quickly changed my lens to the 100-400mm since it is easier for hand holding and went back out and got a few more shots. I slowly approached and he let me get within three or four feet. I got some nice shots before he finally took off. I was beyond thrilled with the nice opportunity since bunny's tend to run off as soon as they see me coming, even if he was in the shade and the light was a little tough to work with. 

Here's one of him when he was standing so tall and cute!

For products with this bunny, see: Bunny Products

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) adorable animal brown bunny cute dutchess county ears easter fur furry mammal nature new york outdoor pleasant valley rabbit season seasonal snow standing tall the hudson valley vertebrae whiskers wild wildlife winter Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:04:21 GMT
Wood Duck Drake on Snow Today was a fantastic day out with friends and photographing wildlife. The morning began a little cool with overcast, but the clouds quickly broke and the sun was shining so nicely by 10 am. With the nice blanket of white snow on the ground, the light reflected so strongly and made everything very bright.

My friends and I started our day by going to Downing Park in Newburgh, NY. The pond was mostly frozen over with two areas of water for the ducks and geese to swim in. We saw wood ducks, mallards, hybrid ducks, canadian geese, lots of gulls and a red tailed hawk who decided to perch in a tree nearby. When the hawk landed, all the ducks quickly fled (while squawking loudly) to the other side of the pond. They did return shortly after the hawk left. In general, wood ducks are extremely skittish and will flee at the sight of humans. However, in this park they are super cooperative. I'm sure that is only because they know the humans will feed them here. In fact, as we were getting out of the car, the ducks and geese all came running towards us looking for a free meal. 

One of the funnest things to do at Downing Park is to feed the  ducks and geese since they do appreciate it so much. Most people have the misconception of giving them bread, however, bread is terrible for them as they do not properly digest it and it has no nutritional value. I can't stress this enough, but please "do not feed ducks bread"! If you're interested in going to the pond to feed the ducks and geese, bring bird seed or waterfowl pellets. You don't need anything fancy, a cheap bag of wild bird seed is all you need.

We only spent 3 hours at Downing Park, but I somehow managed to take roughly 1300 photos. After we left, we headed back to the Poughkeepsie are to look for bald eagles. We found them too and had a few nice opportunities with them. In addition to waterfowl and eagles, we also had some amazing opportunities with red tailed hawks and eastern blue birds. It was a magnificent day hanging out with friends, enjoying the sunshine and photographing beautiful wildlife. It was a long and awesome day and now my face is a bit sunburned from all the sunshine and my body/mind are exhausted, so I went home a bit early to kick back and relax with my boys!

I've only gone through a handful of shots and it was hard to choose one for my blog, but I decided to go with a male wood duck ion the ice!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beautiful bird colorful day debbie quick debs creative images downing park duck flapping frozen new york newburg orange county pond pretty snow stretching sunny water waterfowl wild wildlife wings winter wood duck Sun, 19 Mar 2017 23:50:27 GMT
Bald Eagle with an air freshener for the nest Wow, I think I'm still shocked by the events of today as the entire day went completely different than planned. Not even a week ago, I had planned to work half a day today, then head up to Keene Valley for the weekend to hopefully photograph the Great Gray Owl that has been up there. Then we got a horrendous snow storm on Tuesday that dumped just over two feet of snow in our area and just over three feet of snow in the Keene Valley area. I wound up cancelling my trip up north because the owl hadn't been spotted in days.

During my trip planning up north, a meeting was scheduled for 10am today to discuss the memorial of our beloved eagle who was killed by a train a few weeks ago. During the first five minutes of the meeting, some new information was brought to our attention that was completely shocking. The eagle who was banned 21 years ago along the Delaware River in Sullivan County and determined to be a female due to size and measurements (which tends to be roughly 85% accurate) was discovered during the necropsy to be a male. The activities of this eagle have been monitored for the past 16 years in the Hudson Valley Region by the DEC and wildlife photographers. As for myself, I've only been watching, observing, and photographing this amazing eagle for four years. It was very shocking to learn that she was really a he. The news threw me off completely.

Over the course of the week I had worked many extra hours so I could take this afternoon off without having to use vacation time, but then when my trip cancelled I figured I would just work. Well, after hearing this shocking news, I was rather glad I had already put in over 40 hours of work time because when I went back to work after the meeting it was difficult to concentrate. I managed to finish the project I've been working on for the past three days and decided I might as well take the remainder of the afternoon off and go and enjoy the pair of bald eagles I've been watching. One may or may not be the female from the old pair. We believe it is because the behaviors are still the same, but who really knows since neither of them are banded. The afternoon wound up turning out fantastic. There was a lot of slow time, but then when the activity happened, it was awesome. We saw several red tailed hawks fly through the area (an immature who had flown threw relatively close), a pair of falcons flew thew at a distant and we watched the eagles bring three different sticks back to the nest. The last was awesome as it was a relatively big branch from a pine tree.

Although today's events wound up being completely different than expected, it turned into a good day of hanging out with some fun friends and enjoying time watching magnificent bald eagles.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey branch carrion day debbie quick eagle feathers majestic new york outdoors pine pine branch pine tree portrait power predator pride strength sunny symbolic wappingers creek wappingers falls wild wildlife wings Sat, 18 Mar 2017 03:45:37 GMT
Robin with a Worm It was another cold and windy day in NY and I spent roughly 6 hours of it out hoping to see bald eagles. Temps stayed in the low 20's and luckily the sun shined on me most of the day. There was a little eagle activity here and there, mostly too high and too far, but I did have one or two really nice opportunities.

Although I was out there hoping to see the eagles, I was mostly excited in the late afternoon when a bunch of robins came in and landed on the ground relatively close to where I was standing. There must have been at least 30 of them and they landed and started looking for worms. Most robins disappear in the winter and we usually only have a few around, so to see such a big group was a promise that spring will soon be here! While watching the robins, I saw one pull a huge/fat worm out of the ground. It played with it for a minute or two before slurping it down and gave me a fantastic opportunity to get a few shots.

Nothing says spring will soon be here like a robin slurping down a fresh worm!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images eating feathers grass ground natural nature robin songbird spring wild wildlife winter worm Mon, 13 Mar 2017 01:10:02 GMT
Woodpecker during a snow storm I woke this morning to an empty bed (no dogs) and to find the snow falling outside. It was really pretty as it was sticking to the trees and grass and not so much the roads. As for the lack of dogs in the bed, they weren't there because they stayed with my parents while I went up to the Adirondacks yesterday. My trip to the Adirondacks was to see and photograph a Great Gray Owl that is extremely rare to the area. Sadly though, it was a complete waste of a day as the owl did not cooperate and come out. It was very frustrating as I was up before 3am and on the road by 3:30am. A very long day as I didn't get home until roughly 8:30pm. I know it is rare to see an owl during the day, but reports have shown this owl out every evening hunting before dusk. Although I'm frustrated, I do plan to go and try again.

As for today, it was very quiet and lonely as I worked and missed having the dogs here. The snow falling was very pretty and fun to watch. As always, it drew in all kinds of birds to my feeders and at lunch time I took a 20 minute break to go out and photograph them. I saw bluejays, cardinals, starlings, grackles, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, morning doves, finches, sparrows, and chickadees. The variety was amazing and at one point I must have had around 100 small birds in my pine tree and forsythia bushes. The birds were not cooperative for photo's, so I had to think really fast just to get a handful of shots. I wish I had more time to spend out there with them, but I'm thankful for the time that I had and the chance to see such beautiful little creatures in the snow.

This here is one of the red-bellied woodpeckers who stopped by to enjoy the tasty food I had put out for them.

For products with this images, see Red-bellied woodpecker in the snow Products

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beak birds cold debbie quick debs creative images dutchess county feathers natural nature new york outdoors perched pine pine tree pleasant valley red bellied woodpecker season snow snowing songbirds the hudson valley wild wildlife wings winter woodpecker Sat, 11 Mar 2017 01:33:41 GMT
Peregrine Falcon putting on a show I had a management directed day off today and I used it to go to Alpine, NJ with my friend, Bob. It's a bit of a drive, but is always worth it as we usually see cool stuff. Today we lucked out and had an awesome opportunity with the Peregrine Falcons.

Thing were quiet when we first arrived, but it wasn't long before the male peregrine came in and perched for us for a bit. We watched and photographed him for at least 15 minutes, if not more. He eventually flew off and we saw both him and the female flying around. Eventually, she landed on a different branch and basically kept her backside to us for a long time before she took off on the hunt and chased another bird. Sadly, she didn't catch the meal.

She disappeared for a bit, but eventually came back and posed for us the reminder of the day. She came and went a couple of times, but didn't stay away for long. She sat and posed, stretched, yawned and even coughed up a pellet at one point. She was beautiful to watch and we watched her all afternoon. The light was beautiful on her most of the day day, but then roughly an hour before we left the light quickly turned bad as it became completely overcast. In fact, it looked like snow was on the way. Thankfully it was too warm for that. We eventually left, while she continued to sit there. We never saw the male again, but we didn't exactly go looking for him either.

It was a fantastic day and I took a ton of photo's. I'm roughly a month behind on going through photo's, so hopefully one day I'll get through all my shots from today. For now, I thought I would share one of my favorites with her tail fanned out and her wings arched so beautifully. It was a pleasure to watch her all day while hanging with my buddy, Bob!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey cliffs debbie quick debs creative images fanned tail feathers hunter natural nature new jersey palisades interstate park perches peregrine falcon predator raptor rocks state line wild wildlife wings Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:41:01 GMT
Forever in our Hearts, N42 For the past four years I've been watching, observing and photographing a beautiful pair of bald eagles in The Hudson Valley! I've made new friends during this journey, I've learned a ton about eagles and I wrote and illustrated a children's picture book about them.

Roughly three weeks ago "mom" (the female of the pair) went missing. We've all worried about her and all the different possibilities of what could have happened have run through our heads. Today we learned that an angler (fisherman) found her body floating in the Hudson River. (I would like to take a moment and say thank you to the angler for getting her to the right place.) The DEC has picked her up and brought her to a pathologist for a necropsy. It has been an extremely sad day and we've all been mourning her loss. On and off today I've shed some tears thinking about my wonderful memories of her and for the sadness that I won't see her again. Thankfully, I'm left with many memories of her. I wound up leaving work a little early to meet up with my friend, Kate, to pick up some flowers. We brought the flowers to her favorite pine tree where she liked to perch and keep an eye on her territory. We said a few words and wished her peace.

We never really knew much about her mate "dad" because he was not banded. All we knew of him is what we've learned over the years of watching him. As for "mom", she was banded in 1995 with a blue band with N42 on it. She came from a nest in Sullivan County, along the Delaware River. She's been with her mate for roughly 16-17 years and successfully fledged 16 eaglets. Last spring we celebrated her 21st birthday which is a nice old age for an eagle in the wild. We expected to have a few more years with her, but sadly that isn't the case.

May "mom" rest in peace and know that she was very loved. We all will miss her dearly and hold onto the wonderful memories she gave us!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion day debbie quick dutchess county eagle feathers majestic new york outdoors portrait poughkeepsie power predator pride strength sunny symbolic the hudson valley wappingers creek wappingers falls wild wildlife wings Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:02:56 GMT
The Bald Eagle Couple My weekend with my cute little niece ended at noon today when I returned her to her dad. We had a really good time and I must admit that I am slightly exhausted from taking care of a very active little 6 year old. Because we didn't have much time today, we took things easy and hung out at home before I brought her to her dad.

After I dropped off my niece, I headed out with my camera to look for bald eagles. The sky was blue and the temperature was perfect, increasing til almost 70 degrees. I was shocked that it turned out to be such a beautiful, short sleeved kind of a day. It was awesome!

I saw roughly 5-6 eagles today and a bunch of hawks. The eagles and the hawks flew separately and also in pairs. I also witnessed two eagles perched together in a tree (I'm assuming a pair). The activity was constant through the afternoon and so fun to watch. I often don't get this much eagle activity when I go out, so it was a real treat to enjoy. Although it was fun to see all this eagle activity and watch this new pair, there is a little sadness in my heart as the female from the pair I've watched for the past four years has been missing since late January. Several of my friends who were out viewing and enjoying this activity today were also sad that it wasn't our regular pair of eagles hanging out.

Watching eagles is magnificent and fun, but when you follow a particular pair for so long, you feel a connection towards them. Some of us have made comments along the lines of them almost being family and we are a bit heartbroken not to have them around. We assume to see the male periodically trying to defend his territory, but don't know for sure. Our thoughts and prayers are with the female we've known and loved for so many years, so please find it in your hearts to say a prayer for her safe return to us. In the meantime, I will continue to watch this new pair and hope to see our old pair together again. Our assumptions are that the eagle on the left is the female and the eagle about to take off on the right is a male. This guy seems to have a dark outline around his eye and so some are trying to call him "Skunk Eye". I don't at all like the name for this beautiful bird and have been defending him all afternoon. Maybe at some point we'll find something to refer to them as, but for now, I'll call them the male and female.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion day debbie quick eagle feathers majestic new york outdoors portrait power predator pride strength sunny symbolic wappingers creek wappingers falls wild wildlife wings Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:13:20 GMT
Immature Bald Eagle in flight Last night I picked up my niece, Emily, who has been staying with me for the weekend. We've been having such a fantastic time.

We started our morning with a nice breakfast, then we headed out to the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum. While at the museum, Emily played with many of the different activities and had a grand time. She made hand prints in the needles, built a block tower, built a dinosaur, dressed up as a fire lady, drew a picture and did so much more. After almost three hours at the museum, we went home to have lunch and get the dogs out.

After we finished up at lunch we headed out to a playground so Emily could have some more fun. She enjoyed the slide, the swings, the monkey bars, the snow and so much more. She even made a friend who she hung out with and played in the snow with. 

During our travels out today, we were also blessed to see several bald eagles. An immature bald eagle flew right over our heads and landed in a tree close-by, giving us a nice opportunity to watch it and get some photo's. It sat there for almost 10 minutes before it decided to fly off. It was a beautiful sight and my niece was thrilled to see a bald eagle so close.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion day debbie quick eagle feathers majestic new york outdoors portrait power predator pride strength sunny symbolic wappingers creek wappingers falls wild wildlife wings Sun, 19 Feb 2017 02:20:40 GMT
February 14, 2017 My week in Florida went by way too quickly. I haven't even been home for 24 hours and I'm already missing my family and the warm/sunny weather. While I was there I tried to balance my time with family and photography. I used my time during the day exploring local parks and looking for wildlife to photograph and was amazed by how much wildlife I was finding. Then I spent the evenings hanging out with the family. Once I came home a little later than I originally said, but the remainder of the nights I wound up coming in earlier than expected. 

On Saturday the family and some friends joined me at a local park for roughly 3 1/2 hours. We enjoyed a picnic lunch, the kids played and then I showed them around the park. We saw gators, a black racer who was going after a frog, two great horned owls and a barred owl. Then on Sunday I spent the whole day with the family at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. 

During the evenings I helped my sister a little with dinner and cleanup, but mostly I used that time to hang out with the kids. We played card games, put puzzles together, watched kid tv, colored, I photographed them swimming (also taking action shots of them jumping I'm), made smores by the fire pit and enjoyed time snuggling. It was really fun spending time with the kids and hard to say good bye. One night my sister and I got slightly tipsy together and had a grand old time. It was a really good week.

Here are the two adorable kids who kept me well entertained every night (my niece and nephew)! I took this shot at the very end of our day at Homosassa Springs while we were walking the tram trail back to the parking lot! As you can see, even after a long day of walking around the park in the hot sun, these kids still had lots of energy to burn! I'm already missing these two little love bugs! 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) children day debbie quick debs creative images florida homosassa springs wildlife state park kids outside palm trees playful playing sunny trail trees walking wilderness Tue, 14 Feb 2017 23:34:55 GMT
February 13, 2017 It's my final day in Florida and I'm not yet ready to go home. I had a really good time hanging out with my family and looking for wildlife. I was out everyday hiking the trails at the parks and looking for animals to watch and photograph. I saw so much awesome stuff and took roughly 7300 photos. I'm assuming it will take me several weeks to go through these and I'll probably delete roughly 80% since there are so many duplicates and probably stuff that isn't as good as I want.

With today being my final day, I got up early so that I could spend some time with the kids before I had to leave. Tyler was up first since he leaves early for school and so we sat and snuggled on the couch before he had to go. I laid back down for roughly a half hour and waited for Kayla to get up. She had me put minions on the tv for her and we worked on a puzzle as she ate breakfast and got ready for school.

After the kids went to school I spent a little time with my sister and their dog. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone. I could have stayed a bit longer, but I still hadn't found a roseate spoonbill or an armadillo, so I went park hopping on my way to the airport in search for either/both of these animals. People say they both are all over the place in Florida, but they seemed so rare to me, LOL.

I first went to Hammock Park in Dunedin (pronounced as.... done edin). It took me a while to grasp that one because I kept botching the name of the town. I hiked around there for roughly 1.5 miles and didn't find a spoonbill or an armadillo so I continued on. I then went to the causeway and hung out for a bit, but things were slow there so I went to Kapok Park in Clearwater. That park didn't have any cars in the lot and it seemed wide open in the sun, so I left and headed to Cliff Stephens Park. By that time it was after 1 and I was hungry so I sat at a picnic table and enjoyed my sandwich. Once I was done I took a little walk and finally stumbled upon a roseate spoonbill. I quickly went back to my car and got my camera. As soon as I got back over to it, it flew and hid in a tree. I had to maneuver myself to hide behind a tree and it finally came out and landed on the railing of a boardwalk. I carefully shimmied my way over and finally got shots of the one and only spoonbill I was able to find.

I stayed for a bit longer and scanned around the pond to find other wading birds and a roughly 8-9 foot gator. After I got a few shots of him, I was rather satisfied and headed towards the airport. I probably could have goofed off for another 30-45 minutes, but I figured I would just get to the airport and relax. It was a very busy week and although I had so much fun, I am a bit exhausted. I'm gonna miss it here in Florida with my family and all the awesome wildlife, but I do look forward to getting home to my boyz since I miss them so much!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird boardwalk clearwater cliff stephens park debbie quick debs creative images dunedin florida hammock park kapok park natural nature pond roseate spoonbill wading bird water wild wildlife Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:55:33 GMT
February 12, 2017 Today was a family day and we went to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The park had a combination of animals they take care of because they can't be released into the wild and wildlife that comes and goes on their own free will. We saw all kinds of animals, most of which I believe were residents of the park.

There are two different places to park at to get it. One place is right there at the main entrance of the park and the other location is a little further away and requires you to either walk a short walk, take the tram or take the boat ride. We decided to take the very nice boat road over. We saw gators that were both wild and residents, birds of prey, manatees, a hippo, green heron, great blue heron, white ibis, pelicans, a bobcat, a panther, red foxes, and many more animals. The park wasn't all that big, but it was really nice. 

I took far too many pics while we were there and had a hard time choosing a photo to post, so I decided to use a shot of an Otter since the family was mostly amused by them. There were three otters and they swam, played and even ran on land. The kids had a blast watching them disappear under water and then finding them wherever they decided to pop up next.



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal debbie quick debs creative images homosassa springs wildlife state park natural nature otter park playing smiling swimming teeth water wild wildlife Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:10:50 GMT
February 11, 2017 Today was the first day since I've been in Florida where we all slept in and it sure did feel good. I got up at roughly 7:45 and was out of the house around 9. I was originally planning to go to the Weedon Island Preserve, but I thought I would stay closer to the house and decided to go back to the John Chestnut Park. I first went over to the boardwalk to watch the baby gators and see what other wildlife I could find. Upon arrival I found the American Bittern and took a few shots with my 500mm. Since that lens was too much I headed back to my car to get my 100-400mm. When I returned, she was gone and I focused my attention on a moorhen who was swimming around relatively close and putting on a nice little show for me. Just before noon my old friend from the Navy met me there with his wife and daughter (Jason, Stephanie, and Allison) and my sister met me with her husband and kids (Tammy, Jeff, Tyler, and Kayla). We enjoyed a packed lunch and the kids played on the playground.

After the kids played for roughly an hour, we went over to see the baby gators. At one point there were four little gators soaking in the sun and periodically moving about. We all stood around and watched and enjoyed the gators for at least a half hour. Eventually we started to leave when we noticed a small black racer snake in the grass so we stopped to look at it. While watching it we also noticed a frog nearby and out of nowhere the black racer leaped in the air toward the frog. All three of us grown woman screamed like scared little girls. We were suddenly mesmerized and stood there gaping as if we were sitting at the edge of our seats watching a scary movie. Minutes later the snake lunged again and the three of us once again squealed like scared little school girls. We then continued to watch for a bit longer and nothing else happened. The frog sat there and we didn't see the snake again.

We proceeded towards the southern end of the park so we could walk the Peggy Park trail. As we began on the trail, we spotted two great horned owls. The female was sitting in the nest (presumably on eggs) and the male was sitting high in a tree keeping an eye on the nest and the surroundings. Roughly half way through the trail we found one of the barred owls. She was sitting in a nice spot at eye level, but was slightly camouflaged by palm tree leaves. 

After the walk everyone left me and I went back up to watch the baby gators. Not much else happened with them, but I did see and photograph an osprey who circled around and snatched a branch off a tree to bring back to the nest. 

Since I've been here in Florida, I've been trying to use a photograph of different animals for each day as my blog. Most of the animals I saw today where animals I've already posted pics of so I decided to use a shot of a Moorhen. I don't see these guys in New York, but they seem to be everywhere in Florida. 

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) Sun, 12 Feb 2017 03:16:03 GMT
February 10, 2017 My day started at 5:30am when the alarm went off and I nearly jumped out of my skin as I was out like a light. I hit the snooze button only once and quickly got ready so I could head down to Fort De Soto County Park before the traffic got too bad. The route down was interesting and it was filled with early morning commuters. Thankfully I got out early enough that it wasn't too bad.

When I arrived at Fort De Soto the wind was very strong and it was a little cool out. I was dressed far warmer than I have been since I arrived. I first did a drive through the park and scoped out a few spots that I thought looked interesting and eventually parked and began to explore the most northern end of the North Beach. There weren't too many birds in the protective cove like area, but what was there was extremely fun to watch. They moved about in the water, they flew and they caught fish. I'm not sure how long I spent there, but it had to of been at least two hours.

After I finished at the northern end of North Beach, I went to an area along the Gulf of Mexico where I saw a large number of osprey. The osprey seemed like they were all over the place and chasing each other out of their territories. In addition to osprey I saw a ton of gulls and a bunch of pelicans. The pelicans were flying in and dive bombing down to the water, but it was really tough to get photo's as I was shooting into the sun. The gulls were amazing as they didn't care when humans walked by them, so unlike gulls in the area I live in New York.

By 1:00 I had taken a TON of photo's, so I thought I would beat the traffic and head back to my sisters a little early. That was such a fantastic idea as the traffic back was much lighter than in the morning and it gave me time to hang out with my niece and nephew. They decided to go swimming and I snapped photo's of them jumping into the water. It was really fun and I got some great shots of them airborne. We all had so much fun looking at them after I uploaded them to the water. At some point I will go through them and post them for everyone to enjoy. For now though, I can't resist sharing a shot of a Pelican since that was the animal I was hoping to see at Fort De Soto.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beach bird debbie quick debs creative images feathers flight florida fort de soto fort de soto county park ocean pelican sea seabird water wild wildlife Sat, 11 Feb 2017 02:58:25 GMT
February 9, 2017 Today was my second full day in Florida and I had so much fun. I got up early and headed out to Honeymoon Island State Park to look for wildlife. I arrived shortly after 8am and parked at the North Beach and headed onto the trails. It was extremely windy where I parked by the beach, but once I hit the trails the wind wasn't so bad. I first started on the osprey trail, then shot over to the pelican trail and had to backtrack back to the osprey trail to continue. I completed all of the trails and saw a TON of osprey. 

The pelican trail wasn't exactly what I expected as I expected to see pelicans and I didn't see a single one. However, I did see osprey and even a bald eagle or two. The osprey trail completely held up to its name as there were over 20 different osprey nests. I saw osprey perched in trees and flying by (some with fish, some with nesting material and some with nothing at all). I even saw a pair of osprey mating which was really awesome!

As I was finishing up the trail, the rangers who worked at the park stopped and pointed out where the great horned owls were. The female was sitting in an old crows nest and the male was perched high in a tree, just above the sign for the great horned owls. It was hard to see the the female in the nest because she was ducked down. In fact, we could only see her tufts when the wind blew and moved the leaves out of the way. The male was in a relatively decent spot, however, he never looked at me, so I only have photo's of the back of his head. At that point my sister met up with me with her daughter and I was able to show my niece the owl. I think my niece enjoyed seeing it as she had a big smile as she looked at it on the lcd screen of my camera.

After we watched the great horned owl for a couple of minutes, we headed over to the playground and enjoyed the shade and swings. My sister couldn't stay long as she had to go pick up her son, so I then left and headed back over to John Chestnut Park.

My afternoon at John Chestnut was really awesome. I first went over to check on the gators and found two babies close to the boardwalk. They must be roughly 12-18 inches long and are so cute. While I was on the boardwalk watching them I also saw a green heron, a snake bird (Anhinga), a little blue heron, both male and female boat tailed grackles, turtles, osprey, and bald eagles. I was only there for roughly 90 minutes and started to head out and back to my sisters house when I saw a red shouldered hawk on the road. The hawk was incredibly cooperative for me and didn't even care that I was there. It first started on the ground, then went on the handicap sign, back to the ground, into a tree, back to the ground, onto a rock and back to the ground again before it finally flew off. I was so impressed by how cooperative the beautiful hawk was and thought I would share a shot of him today.


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) america animal bird buteo debbie quick debs creative images feathers florida hawk john chestnut park nature predator raptor red shouldered hawk talons united states wild wildlife Fri, 10 Feb 2017 04:13:15 GMT
February 8, 2017 I spent most of the day yesterday traveling to Florida. My flight was good and I was thrilled with the free upgrade from a compact car to a fully loaded mid size car. My trip down went smooth and I arrived at my sisters house just before dark as I expected.

With today being my first full day in Florida, I couldn't resist planning a trip to a park with Alligators since I've never seen one in the wild. My brother-in-law suggested I go to the John Chestnut Park as they usually have them there. When I first arrived and did my walk through I didn't see a single one, but when I went back to one of the boardwalks a second time, I totally hit the jackpot. I wound up seeing 6 gators. Most of them were small (young gators) and were super cute. I must have spent at least 3 hours hanging out on the boardwalk and watching the gators as well as the other birds that flew through.

John Chestnut Park was absolutely amazing with all the wildlife. As soon as I entered the park I saw a hawk fly over my car, then I passed by a group of 8-10 deer. I parked my car and walked the trails and saw all kinds of other wildlife: immature and adult bald eagles, osprey, great blue heron, american bittern, great horned owl, barred owl, turtles, gators and bunch of other birds (some of which I can't identify and will have to figure out).

It was really hot out there, I think it hit 80 today, but it was super fun. Although I saw lots of great stuff, I'm super stoked about seeing the gators. They were really neat to watch! In fact, that boardwalk drew in the crowds. Many of the people that came through were regulars who go there daily/weekly to check on the gators. I was out by myself, but I must have talked to over 20 friendly people. It was pretty darn fantastic and I'm sure I'll be dreaming of gators tonight!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) aggressive alligator animal beautiful big danger deadly debbie quick debs creative images gator john chestnut park muscular natural nature outdoors predator reptile strength water wild wildlife Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:45:20 GMT
February 5, 2017 I started my day very late today because I was so tired from yesterday and didn't roll out of bed until almost 9 am. Due to it being an overcast day, I didn't mind too much that I slept in.

I took my time getting ready and didn't leave my house until around 10. I stopped at a couple of my favorite eagle viewing locations and saw some eagles. Mostly far and with the low light, it was tough to get pics. I got some, but nothing of high quality.

On my way home from eagle watching I stopped at Vassar Farms and did a little drive through. I saw a car parked near some bushes and watched as a male cardinal hopped on and off the driver side mirror. I parked my car and got out to take pics, but he was not comfortable with that and darted back into the bushes. I waited a minute and he stayed there so I decided to get back in my car and position my car so I could take pics out of the drivers window. That worked like a charm because he did not hesitate to come back out and get on the mirror. I snapped several shots of the bird when the driver of the vehicle walked up to my car to chat with me. She was a lovely woman and she told me that any time a car is parked there, that bird (probably always the same male cardinal) hops up on the mirror and hops down to look into the mirror. She said she's witnessed this behavior from the bird many times.

I took the photo's hand holding my 500mm and resting it in the window. I wasn't so sure I would get any good shots because I was not only hand holding the camera, but because the light was awful and the ISO was a bit higher than I would have liked. Luckily though, I was actually pretty happy with a few shots and thought I would share one today. This guy was so beautiful and so fun to watch. I'm definitely gonna have to go and scope him out on a nicer day with better light.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal avian bird car mirror cardinal debbie quick debs creative images male natural new york perched poughkeepsie red song bird songbird the hudson valley vassar farms wild wildlife winter Mon, 06 Feb 2017 03:11:36 GMT
February 4, 2017 For the past few days, my buddy, Justin, and I have been excited for the expected sunshine for today and we discussed going to State Line to hopefully see the Peregrine Falcons. For whatever reason, I was a little flakey and unsure, but by the end of the work week I knew I just had to go down.

Today finally arrived and we were both excited to get out early and enjoy the sunshine and beautiful blue skies since it has been weeks since we've had gorgeous weather on the weekend. We got on the road just after 7am and we were in New Jersey by 8:30. it was a bit of a ride, but it didn't feel all that long as we chatted all the way down. 

As happy as we were about the sunshine and blue sky, we soon realized that the area where we were hoping to see the peregrines had the harshest of light. In addition to the harsh light, there was heat radiating off the cliffs which made focusing on our subjects extremely tough.  It was a bit disappointing as we've been seeing all these fantastic shots from other photographers in that area. 

The morning progressed slowly and the male peregrine falcon flew in and landed on the famous branch twice. Due to the harsh light and the focussing issues, my photo's in that area turned out to be a bit too soft for my liking. Luckily though, that wound up being only a small part of our day. Both the male and the female peregrine landed in some really awesome locations along the cliffs (on the rocks and in the trees). Each time allowing us to get fantastic shots.

The day wound up being so busy that I'm not even going to try to pin point the exact moments from the day. Instead, I'll give an overall highlight.

The female peregrine sat twice for us on the rocks. Both times for at least 20 minutes. The first location she stopped at, there were some branches in the way in front of the bottom part of her body, but that wasn't too bad as we got clean shots of her face and upper body. The second location she stopped at was absolutely fantastic as it was on the rocks in a really clean location with a backdrop of the water that we were able to blur out and make look real nice. She must have sat there for at least 20 mins (if not longer). At some point while watching her, the male had flown in and landed in a tree to the right of us. We couldn't get shots of him there as we were looking into the sun at him. Both sat for the longest time and out of nowhere started yelling and getting upset. We soon realized that there was an immature peregrine circling around and causing them to get angry. Instead of it moving along, it kept circling and circling until eventually the male took off to chase it and then the female followed after. It was amazing to watch the chase and the dives, yet impossible to get pics as there were too many trees in the way. No biggie on the pics though as it was so fun to see the interaction.

After that the female left and didn't give us any further opportunities for the day. However, the male entertained us for the remainder of the afternoon. He landed in the same tree he was previously in and we were able to position ourselves south of him to keep the sun behind us. He sat there forever.... preening, scratching and posing so nicely for us. After a good half hour of watching him, he took off with no warning. The perfect take-off, straight towards us with no obstacles in the way for nice photo's. At least 7 or 8 of us there and not a single one of us got a shot of the perfect take-off. He eventually returned and perched in a spot that wasn't as nice as the original spot, but still good enough for photo's. He stayed for at least another 20 minutes and flew off, just to return for a third time (in that same not as good spot).

After his third take-off, that was it for us seeing the peregrine's for the remainder of our time at State Line. Rumor had it that they both went across the river and that was the last anyone had seen of them up til the time we left.

The day was truly amazing and fun. I'm thrilled that Justin and I went all that way and had some awesome opportunities with the pair of peregrine falcons. Hopefully we'll make it back down there in a few weeks!

Here is the beautiful female sitting in the most amazing spot on the cliff. This shot was taken of her yelling at the immature peregrine just moments before she took off after the male and the immature (the intruder).

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey cliffs debbie quick debs creative images feathers hunter natural nature new jersey palisades interstate park perches peregrine falcon predator raptor rocks state line wild wildlife wings Sun, 05 Feb 2017 00:33:55 GMT
January 30, 2017 My gosh, I don't know how to begin my blog tonight and will keep it short because I am so sad......

I want to first thank everyone who read my blog post yesterday about the immature red-tailed hawk I rescued with the help of my amazing friends: Justin, Janice and Gregg. I also thank my amazing friends for their assistance and being a part of this experience.

Sadly, the hawks injuries were far too serious for her to be saved. Not only did she have a compound fracture in her right wing, but she also had bone and tissue that was badly infected. She was a young hawk (probably hatched last spring) and had a very short life which really saddens me. I'm not only sad by how short her life was, but by how her life ended from such a bad injury. Although I am very sad for her situation, I also feel blessed that I found her and with the help of my friends I was able to get her to a safe place. In her final hours of life she was warm, comfortable and well taken care of by Annie (an amazing person who has devoted herself to saving and protecting injured raptors) from "Wild Mountain Birds".  Please feel free to check out her FB page and keep up with all the amazing things she does for wildlife.

As a wildlife photographer, it is so fun finding beautiful animals to photograph, but then we also face the challenge of finding hurt animals. I have so many mixed emotions going on right now.... so sad about the outcome of such a beautiful young hawk, yet I'm thankful I was able to help her and be a part of her having a comfortable ending.

I learned a lot from this experience and I want to spread the word to others to please be mindful of what is going on around you. If you see a hurt animal, please take the time to help. If you don't know what to do or who to contact, please feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to help guide you in the right direction. 

Thank you for reading my posts and being as compassionate as I am about wildlife. I only took a few shots of the beautiful hawk before I realized her situation and dumped my camera to be by her side. Here is a close-up of her beautiful face! I will always remember her.

RIP beautiful baby girl!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey ground hawk immature natural nature new york poughkeepsie red-tailed hawk rehabilitator rescue rescued road side talons wild wildlife wings Tue, 31 Jan 2017 01:52:41 GMT
January 29, 2017 My day started out very slow and quiet and quickly turned into a very eventful experience that I will never forget.

I went out this morning in search of hawks and bald eagles to photograph, but I saw very little and what I did see was so distant. I decided to give up early and just go home. By the time I got home, the skies started to clear up and I felt guilty for not being out and so I headed into another direction to go scope out an area where I usually find bald eagles.

On my way out there, I drove past an immature red-tailed hawk sitting on the ground, at the very edge of somebody's property and in the road. I quickly pulled my car over and grabbed my camera for some pictures. As I was getting pics, I noticed something didn't seem right about this beautiful hawk. It just looked at me all fluffed up in a defensive way. I was very nervous for the hawk and immediately put my camera to the side of the road and walked towards him. As I approached, I soon realized it couldn't fly and needed my help. I thank god I went that way and found this guy.

My first reaction was holy crap, what do I do. But, within seconds I gained some smarts and I immediately contacted my friend Justin because I knew he knew a rehabilitator who could possibly help. Then I called my friend Janice and asked if her husband, Gregg could come and help. Everybody was so amazing in responding so quickly. Justin immediately sent me the number to the rehabilitator and I called her to make arrangements. As I waited for Janice and Gregg to arrive, I stood between the hawk and traffic and used hand gestures to ask people to slow down. Everybody who went by and saw what was going on was so good about being slow and respectful.

When Janice and Gregg arrived, they came well equipped with a box, gloves and something to put over the hawk. Gregg was amazing and handled the situation like a pro. He first put the blanket over the hawk, then he used one hand to gently hold down the hawk and his other hand to grab the hawks legs. He very carefully lifted the hawk and placed it in the perfect sized box that he brought. After he got the hawk safely in the box, he placed the box on the floor behind my passenger seat of my car so that I could keep an eye on it while driving to go meet Annie, the rehabilitator.

As soon as I got in my car, I turned the radio off so the ride would be as peaceful and quiet as possible. My ride to meet Annie was only 20 mins long, but I was a nervous wreck the whole time. When I arrived at our agreed upon location, I waited for her to arrive and greeted her so thankfully for being able to come and help with the rescue of this beautiful bird. She was professionally equipped with a proper carrier, gloves and a heating pad. She put the carrier in my car and very carefully moved the hawk out of the box and into the carrier. Her initial observation of the hawk is that it is very thin, it has an infection and a broken wing. 

Annie has since gotten home with the hawk and given it a proper exam. Unfortunately, things are not looking good as he has an infected compound fracture of the right wing. She currently has him comfortable and will be getting him to the vet to see if pinning is possible.

I want to first thank everyone who assisted in the rescue of the Immature Red-Tailed Hawk: Justin, Janice, Gregg and Annie. It was a team effort and I could not have done this without all of your help! I'm very thankful that I have such amazing friends in my life. 

And now I want to ask all my blog followers to please pray for the Hawk! He's in pretty bad shape and needs all the prayers he can get. Also, when your out and about in your travels, please keep your eyes peeled for animals that may need your help!

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my post. I'm very sad to have come across an injured animal today, but so thankful that I took the route I did and with the assistance of friends I was able to get this animal to the right place for help!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey ground hawk immature natural nature new york poughkeepsie red-tailed hawk rehabilitator rescue rescued road side talons wild wildlife wings Sun, 29 Jan 2017 22:45:39 GMT
January 28, 2017 I spent all day out and about. I left the house at 9:30 this morning and returned home at almost 4pm. I started my day by heading to Wappingers Falls and looking for Bald Eagles. I saw 4 (3 adults and one immature). The one adult and the immature were too far off for photo's, so I just drove through slowly and enjoyed their beauty. The other two adults were very close to the road and I didn't want to flush them, so I drove very slowly around them twice and also enjoyed their beauty. I didn't bother to take any photo's because I have thousands of photo's of bald eagles and I just wanted to see them today.

From that location, I stopped briefly at another one of my favorite bald eagle locations but didn't bother to stay, I only used the restroom and chatted with a friend briefly before moving along. As much as I love seeing and photographing bald eagles, I felt the need to search for something else instead. 

I stopped by a marina and enjoyed watching the gulls, some ducks and some Canadian Geese. I got a ton of photo's of the gulls and had one cooperate extremely well for me. He posed and gave me many angles. It was fantastic. I wanted to stay longer to watch him, but my fingers and toes got numb, so I hopped in the car and continued on.

My next stop was along the Hudson River near the Ice House Restaurant in Poughkeepsie to see what kind of waterfowl I could find. Again, I found a ton of gulls, a couple of ducks and some Canadian Geese. I focused on the gulls and had a blast. They were on rocks, on posts, on the ground, on the ropes and flying around. Most of them were very mild mannered and just sat and took in their surrounds. A couple others were a bit vocal and yelled anytime another gull got to close to them. Then, there was a fight or possibly a mating ritual (hard to tell). One gull went right up to another and bit on his bill. They started flapping around and fighting, it was very interesting to watch. After the entertaining display, I stayed for a bit and photographed other gulls until my fingers and toes were once again frozen and forced me to get into my car and head out.

I continued to follow Rt 9 north into the Staatsburg area. I stopped at Norrie Point and Mills Mansion, but didn't see much of anything in either location. Norrie had a couple of very distant ducks in the water and Mills had over 20 deer very far off and in the wooded area. The highlight of my time in that area was when I was in between the two locations and had the opportunity to photograph an immature red tailed hawk and a very funny family of squirrels. The squirrels were comical and I wish they stuck around longer.

On my way home from Staatsburg, I saw a gorgeous adult Red Tailed Hawk on a wire. I pulled over into the parking lot across the street from it and got out of my car as quietly as possible, grabbed my camera and tripod and got some shots. I was really impressed at how this guy new I was there, but wasn't too concerned. I spent a good 15 mins getting shots of him from a few different angles and watched how it watched traffic go by and looked around in the nearby field for a meal. I wanted to stick around and see if it caught anything, but I was so thrilled by how cooperative it was that I figured I should show some respect and leave to allow him/her to hunt without distraction. Happily, I put my stuff away in the car and gave the beautiful hawk a little wave and thank you as I drove off.

I continued home, taking all back roads and saw three other hawks along the way. I drove slowly past them and smiled as I was thrilled with my earlier opportunity.

As I was approaching home I realized I was starting to get a bit of a headache. I think it was from the bouncing in and out of the hot car and into the cold. For the past 90 minutes I've been wishing it would go away instead of getting worse like it has, but I'm not too upset because I had such a fantastic day out.

I took a TON of photo's today and had a hard time deciding which to use for my blog. I narrowed it down to the "battle of the gulls" and a close up of the adult red tailed hawk. After a little debate, I decided to go with the shot of the gulls since I hardly post shots of them and it was such an interesting moment. I hope you all have enjoyed hearing about my day and that you enjoy the photo I've chosen.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) bald eagle bills birds debbie quick debs creative images eagle eagles eyes fight gull gulls hawk hudson river intense mills mansion new york norrie point poughkeepsie red tailed hawk staatsburg wappingers falls water waterfowl wildlife Sat, 28 Jan 2017 22:41:36 GMT
January 15, 2017 All winter I've been dealing with beautiful, sunny days during the week while I've been stuck at work and weekends full of overcast. Well, things finally changed today and I had an awesome day! Temps reached 40 degrees and the sun shined so brightly all day, giving me a beautiful blue sky!

I began my day a tad bit later than I intended, but that was ok as things worked out well and I saw all kinds of wildlife. On my way to my first stop I spotted a Red Shouldered Hawk sitting on a post. I took a few shots from the walkway parking lot and then I tried to get onto the walkway to get shots at his level. However, once I turned my back and started to walk away, the hawk decided it was gonna leave. I was so bummed as several people walked by on the walkway and had a much closer observation than I had. But hey, at least I saw it and got a few shots in before he decided to move on.

I continued on to one of my favorite local parks. I did a lot of walking there and saw deer, red tailed hawks, a mockingbird, and a morning dove who posed so nicely for me. The light was beautiful at the park, but the activity was a bit slow, so I decided to go for a drive and check out the river and creek. Wow, I'm so glad I made that decision. I saw roughly 4-6 eagles, ducks, and then at the very end of the day I came across some more deer.

The wildlife was plentiful today and a few of the animals gave me amazing opportunities. I wish more weekends could be as perfect as today was! The eagle shot I decided to use today was taken from the driver's seat of my car. I generally prefer to have my camera mounted on my tripod, but I couldn't resist missing this opportunity, so I simply pulled over, grabbed my camera, and fired away! Eventually, I did get out of the car and put the camera on the tripod and the eagle stuck around for a good 10 minutes or so..... preening and shaking out its feathers. It was amazing to watch.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion day debbie quick eagle feathers majestic new york outdoors portrait power predator pride strength sunny symbolic wappingers creek wappingers falls wild wildlife wings Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:44:35 GMT
January 13, 2017 Happy New Year to all my blog followers!

The new year has started off very slowly for opportunities to photograph wildlife and so today is my first post of the year.

Being Friday the 13th, it seemed like a day to stay home, but I couldn't resist and decided to go out for a few hours since it was so sunny and a little warmer than it has been. I went to a location that has been really good for some in terms of Short-eared Owls, however, they didn't cooperate so well for me. In fact, it was after 4 when they finally made an appearance and to top things off they were rather distant. Luckily though, it wasn't a completely wasted trip as the Northern Harriers and an American Kestrel put on a fantastic show for me.

The Harriers flew throughout the day, mostly far, but a couple of them did some really close fly-by's. It was spectacular to watch. The Kestrel kept hovering in the air very close and in front of me. He even landed twice relatively close to where I stood. The first time he landed on some tall weeds and the wind was so strong I could see him holding on for dear life. I even took a short video clip of it. The second time, he was right in front of me and gave me a nice opportunity for perched shots as well as a take off shot.

The Owls were stubborn and didn't come up until the light wasn't so great and they were at a bit of a distance. I doubt if I got any good photo's of them, but it was still a pleasure to watch them.

Eventually, I decided to head out and continued on the dirt road to avoid all the traffic of going back the way I went in. Wow, what a huge mistake that was as it resulted in "The Dark Knight" (my mini cooper) battling mud bogging. I got stuck twice and had an extremely hard time getting out. The second time was much worse than the first and resulted in me getting mud all over the inside and the outside of my car. Both times I had to get out and do my best to pack down the mud in front of my tires to get traction to go. The second time I had to do that and I had to rock my car back and forth by switching from reverse to forward until I finally got moving. The mud flew up from the tires all over my windows, the side of the car, and even onto the roof. The experience was frustrating, yet slightly fun. I'm really shocked and impressed that I managed to get myself out of the predicaments. Also, slightly annoyed by the two men who drove past without even considering to ask if I was ok.

Anyhow, that sums up my afternoon and I hope you all enjoy the shot of the Northern Harrier I thought I would share with you all.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) afternoon american kestrel, bird, animal birds of prey bogging" day dirt road feathers flight flying hawk mud northern harrier short-eared owl sunny wild wildlife wings Sat, 14 Jan 2017 01:24:40 GMT
December 25, 2016 Hello and Merry Christmas to all my blog followers! I hope you've all had a fantastic day!

I celebrate Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve and we had an awesome day yesterday. We hung out at my sisters house in the Albany region and did all the stuff normal families do: we ate a ton of food, drank lots of wine, laughed, maybe snuck in a few small/silly arguments, took pictures, and enjoyed watching the kids open their Christmas gifts. It was a really fun day!

Since I did the family thing yesterday, I was able to take it easy today and head out with my camera. Once again I went to the Shawangunk Grasslands in hopes of seeing the Northern Harriers and the Short-eared owls. Thankfully the weather cooperated with sunny skies and temps in the 40's. The harriers were rather generous by putting on some really good shows. I had four different super fantastic close fly by's and I got to watch some chases in the distance. At one point, there was a Northern Harrier and a Red Tailed hawk chasing one another. The activity was sporadic with a lot of down time, but the activity that did happen was really awesome! 

Sadly though, the Short-eared owls didn't come out while I was there. I will continue to try again another time and in the meantime, I'll share one of my Northern Harrier shots.

Merry Christmas!!!!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beautiful bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images flight flying merry christmas northern harrier shawangunk grasslands wild wildlife Sun, 25 Dec 2016 23:26:59 GMT
December 17, 2016 YAY! We finally got a few inches of snow. We never got this much last year, so I'm pretty excited to see it in all its beauty. One of the things I love about snow is the way the light reflects off it and throwing off some great light for photography. Sadly though, the one thing I dislike about it is that the owner of my community is not on top of getting our neighborhood cleaned up. So, when it snows I am pretty much snowed in for the day. However, I won't let that get me down because I look at it as an opportunity to be snowed in and photograph my feeder birds.

Just after it stopped snowing, I set up camp on my porch (using it as a blind) to photograph the birds. I usually use my 100-400mm lens, but lately it hasn't been functioning properly and today it didn't want to function at all. So, I wound up setting up my 500mm on the tripod. It sure was overkill for what I was trying to do and mostly all I was able to get were beautiful headshots.

I didn't get as much of a variety of birds as I was hoping, but I did get a few. Naturally, I got my beautiful bluejays. They always come through and never disappoint. As you can see here, my beautiful little bird posed so nicely with a peanut in his beak!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird bluejay colorful debbie quick debs creative images eating feathers natural nut peanut snow wild wildlife wings winter Sat, 17 Dec 2016 20:49:48 GMT
December 16, 2016 It's been two whole weeks since I've been out with my camera and when I saw the crumby weather expected for the weekend, I decided I would cut out of work a little early today to get over to the grasslands. I almost decided not to go because the temps were bitter cold with the morning starting in the single digits and the high being only 24 degrees. After debating if I really wanted to go out there in the cold or not, I decided I needed to suck it up and put on several layers of clothing and just do it. Thankfully, I did a perfect job at layering up because I was rather comfortable out there in the freezing cold.

I'm extremely happy that I sucked it up and went because I had some nice opportunities with the Northern Harriers and the Short-eared Owls. Generally the owls don't come up until just before dusk or right at dusk, but today they had other plans and were up at 2:15. They put on one heck of a show chasing each other, chasing the Northern Harrier's and I had one chasing a Crow. The one chasing the crow eventually came really close to me and flew around nearby as well as right over my head. It was so awesome.

I even had one sneak up from behind me and fly right past me. Unfortunately though, it happened so fast that I didn't get a single photo. I'm still in disbelief by how close it was to me! Wow, what a day.

Because I had such a great time with the Short-eared Owls, I thought it was only fitting to do a blog post with one of my shots. What a beauty! I hope you all are enjoying this guy as much as I did today!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images feathers flight flying grasslands hawks natural natural wildlife refuge nature new york owl shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl walkill wild wildlife wings Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:16:07 GMT
December 4, 2016 My past few weekends have been extremely busy with very long days, so today I decided to sleep in and get a late start on things. What a fantastic idea! The boyz and I slept until 8:45 and I didn't venture out until 11:40.

I met up with a friend and we went over to the Shawangunk Grasslands in Walkill, NY. The grasslands is an area that is protected for bird life as well as uncommon plants. Our hopes were to see the Northern Harriers and the Short-eared Owls. The weather was sunny, yet a bit cool around 40 degrees. The sunshine did a great job keeping us warm, but once the sun dropped all my limbs went numb, regardless of the multiple layers of clothing and the hand warmers.

The Northern Harriers flew throughout the day. Most often they were too far for photographs, but we did get one really good opportunity for relatively close shots. The hawk came in from our left and went by the front of us as we were set up on the ramp near the parking lot. It wasn't too close, but close enough for relatively decent shots. 

Then close to 4pm (as it was getting dark), the Northern Harriers started flying again and the Short-eared Owls started popping up. Most of the time the activity was too distant for photographs, especially since it was quickly getting darker and darker. It was really fun watching the way the owls and the hawks interacted and chased one another. We did have one Short-eared Owl fly past, relatively close. If the light were better, it would have made for a great photo opportunity, but since the light stunk, it was impossible to get anything too good.

Because my shots of the owls were not so good, I've decided to use a Northern Harrier shot as my blog post. If you are interested in seeing two shots I got of the one owl, feel free to check them out on my Facebook page: Debs Creative Images.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images feathers flight flying glow golden grass grasslands hawk nature new york northern harrier owl shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl walkill wild wildlife wings Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:16:07 GMT
November 21, 2016 Today was our fifth and final day at the Conowingo Dam. Somehow, Bob and I were the first photographer's on location and we had ALL the spots to choose from. Because we enjoyed standing on the rocks in front of the water the day before, we decided to go down there again today.

The day started off cold, windy, and overcast. The wind wasn't nearly as bad as yesterday, but it was still cold. And the overcast slowly broke up through out the day. Once again, the eagles weren't too active and the majority of their activity was far and high, but we did get a few nice opportunities. Apparently, the eagles were still full from all they ate on Friday and Saturday.

Although the eagles weren't all that cooperative doesn't mean the day was dull. We had a cormorant who hung out near us and caught and ate at least 4 fish. A couple of them he played with for a minute and gave ample opportunity for pics. The other one or two went down the hatch rather quickly. We had to be quick with the shutter!

Around 12:30 in the afternoon the sirens went off and we had to move up. Thankfully there weren't too many photographers there, so we had no issues finding new spots. I believe they opened two big generators along with 2 or 3 small generators. The water level rose over time and the gulls put on one heck of a show feasting. A few eagles came out to fish, but they were far and not as cooperative as we would have hoped. One very distant eagle caught an eel. 

Even though the eagles didn't put on the best show, I was thrilled to have such a great experience with the cormorant. I got some really fantastic shots I was hoping for.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal aquatic bird chain conowingo conowingo dam cormorant debbie quick eat eating environment feathers fish lunch maryland predator river survival susquehanna river water waterfowl wild wildlife Tue, 22 Nov 2016 04:00:17 GMT
November 20, 2016 Today was day 4 at the dam and it was extremely brutal with heavy winds and wind gusts up to 50 mph. It was really cloudy most of the day and the light was constantly changing. Eventually it became all overcast and then around 3pm the clouds finally started to break up when the sun was disappearing behind the mountain.

For the most part, the activity with the eagles was high and far (as I had expected it would be). They really didn't give us much opportunity and so I was focusing on photographing gulls and cormorant. Just after 1:00 I decided I would make my lunchtime sandwich and just as I finished we had some really nice activity. First with an immature eagle, then with an adult eagle. My favorite shot of the day was with the immature eagle in a position I've been really hoping to get an eagle in. Talons out in front and ready for the strike! And yes, this bird did get his/her fish!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) acrobatics amazing american animal aviary bald eagle beak beautiful bird birds of prey carrion closeup conowingo conowingo dam day debbie quick eagle feathers fish fishing flight flying majestic maryland outdoors portrait power predator pride raptor strength sunny symbolic wild wildlife wings Sun, 20 Nov 2016 21:51:58 GMT
November 19, 2016 Day 3 at the Conowingo Dam was absolutely AMAZING!!!!! I'm in shock that we've had two full days of non-stop activity. This is my third year going to the Dam and by far the BEST experience I've ever had.

Again today the eagles put on one heck of a show between fishing and chasing each other. We watched as eagles made off with their catch and we also watched eagles lose their catch. Honestly, I've never seen so many flying fish in my life. Sometimes the fish would fall back into the water and either the same eagle or a different one would swoop back around and get it. Other times one eagle would drop the fish and another eagle would catch it. And on only a couple of occasions, the fish fell on land where the vultures swooped in for the meal.

There was a nice variety of action happening too far, action happening at the perfect distance, and action happening too close. Too close, whoever would have thought I would make that comment and yet that happened several times today. At one point, I had a three eagle chase so close it was impossible to get any of them into the frame. They were close and they were fast. I even had a banded eagle come so close I was able to read the numbers on the band! I'm super excited to report that and find out the info on that eagle.

The shot I've decided to use as my blog post today is of an immature eagle that came right over our heads with a fish. There is NO crop on this shot. This shows exactly how close these guys were getting to us today, so close it was impossible to get the entire eagle in the frame. It was absolutely amazing and I feel incredibly lucky to be witnessing such awesome activity!


[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) acrobatics amazing american animal aviary bald eagle beak beautiful bird birds of prey carrion closeup conowingo conowingo dam day debbie quick eagle feathers fish flight flying majestic maryland outdoors portrait power predator pride raptor strength sunny symbolic wild wildlife wings Sat, 19 Nov 2016 21:36:46 GMT
November 18, 2016 Today was day 2 at the Conowingo Dam and it was absolutely FANTASTIC!

I got up at 4:45 this morning and was out the door by 5:30. I filled up both of my 18 oz coffee thermos's because I knew I would need that extra dose of caffeine.

We arrived at the dam shortly after 6 and the sun had already begun to rise. There was fog coming off the water and birds covered the towers (black vultures, turkey vultures, and a bunch of beautiful bald eagles). There were eagles of many different ages and shortly after we arrived we could hear their chatter as we watched them take off from the towers and begin their day. Fishing started around 7:00 this morning and went on throughout the day. The light was amazing and there was a TON of eagle activity between fishing and chasing each other. We saw eagles catch and drop fish immediately, we saw them catch them and drop them in a chase, and we saw them catch them and get away to go and eat them. We saw them get away with fish in their talons and a few eagles had small fish hanging from their beaks. We even had one in the early morning land in a tree behind us to eat the fish.

By the end of the day I had taken 1913 photo's. Don't fret though, I'm sure I'll be extremely picky and delete a majority of them (only posting a handful). 

I may have taken far too many photos, but, I do have to share with you the shot that is probably my favorite from today. I've titled it: "The one that got away!"

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) acrobatics american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion conowingo conowingo dam day debbie quick eagle feathers fish fishing flight flying flying fish majestic maryland outdoors portrait power predator pride raptor strength sunny symbolic the one that got away wild wildlife wings Fri, 18 Nov 2016 21:49:53 GMT
November 17, 2016 It's that time of year, my annual trip with friends to the Conowingo Dam. YAY

I woke at 3:40 this morning and was out the door by 4:30 to pick up my buddy, Bob. We were on the road by 5 and at the dam by 9 where we met up with our friend, John. Traffic seemed a little heavier than usual, but not too bad as there were no delays.

Other friends were at the dam last week and they commented that there were roughly 75+ eagles. Sadly, we didn't have that many today. If I were to guess it was roughly 30-40. We had a lot of down time with no activity, but when the activity did start there was often 3-5 eagles flying about and making it hard to decide which one to watch. We got to see a little bit of fishing and a bunch of chases.

In addition to the eagle activity, it was fun watching the gulls and the cormorants catch fish. At one point I watched a gull catch a rather large fish in its beak and drop it because it was too heavy. That poor fish was caught and dropped so many times by several different gulls. In the end, I don't think any of them got it because it was simply to large for them.

On three separate occasions I got to see cormorants with fish. The first one was with a smaller fish, then the other two instances the cormorants had caught pretty good sized catfish. The first one dropped his a bunch of times, scooped it back up, and even ducked under water many times to avoid other birds coming at him for his meal. In the end, he never got to eat it because it was simply too large. Later in the day when we saw the next cormorant with a catfish, it had gone through many of the same motions with the exception that it did get to enjoy his meal. It was so fascinating to watch this activity.

Although it wasn't too busy of a day with eagles, there was still plenty of activity to make the day fascinating and fun!

Here is a shot of one of the immature eagles who was doing aerial acrobatics for us!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) acrobatics american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion conowingo conowingo dam day debbie quick eagle feathers flight flying majestic maryland outdoors portrait power predator pride raptor strength sunny symbolic wild wildlife wings Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:32:12 GMT
November 14, 2016 It has been an extremely busy and fun year. So busy that I haven't had the time to blog as often as I hoped I would. Although I haven't had many blog entries for the year, I do tend to keep it up and hopefully do better next year. One of the reasons I haven't had time to blog is because in my spare time after work I've been incredibly busy with my photography. I generally try to spend my weekends out in the field looking for wildlife to photograph. I don't hesitate to drive all over the northeast to find what I'm looking for. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

When I'm not at work or not out looking for wildlife, I'm busy going through pictures, organizing them, and creating products on zazzle. My zazzle store has come a very long way over the past two years. I currently have over 10,000 products to choose from that were created by either my photography images or designs I created. I have many different products to choose from: calendars, puzzles, postcards, mouse pads, canvas prints, home goods, electronic covers, gift bags, clothing, accessories, etc. As we move into the holiday season, I thought it would be nice to promote my 2017 calendars. All of my calendars have been created by photographs I took in The Hudson Valley, The Adirondack's, or at the Conowingo Dam! I have 35 different calendars to choose from. Roughly 15 of them are repeats from last year and the other 20 are brand new this year. 

I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do because I've put a lot of hard work, attention to detail, and love into each and every calendar I've created!

Check out my calendars at the following link: 2017 Calendars by Debs Creative Images

And if you like them, please don't hesitate to share them with your family and friends!

Here's to hoping you all have wonderful and safe holiday's!!!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) 2017 accessories animals bald eagles balloons birds of prey calendars canvas prints chipmunks clothing debbie quick ducks eagles electronic covers foxes geese gift bags hawks historic home goods hot air balloons hyde park mouse pads natural nature osprey owls port henry postcards poughkeepsie puzzles sites small towns ticonderoga wild wildlife Tue, 15 Nov 2016 01:22:03 GMT
November 13, 2016 It's unbelievable how quickly weekends go by. I took Friday off due to it being Veteran's Day and even with that extra day off, it went fast! I went out both Friday and Sunday to look for wildlife to photograph. Both days I hit up multiple locations and did a ton of walking. On Friday I walked over 6 miles while carrying all my heavy equipment and today I walked over 7 miles with that same equipment. It's official, my feet and arms hurt!

I spent both days searching high and low for wildlife to photograph, but didn't have too many opportunities. It's a quiet time this time of year, although, hopefully that will soon change.

Although, I can't complain because I did have a really good highlight this afternoon. After I left Peach Hill Park to go home and take a little break, I saw an immature red tailed hawk on the ground. I pulled my car over and stood behind it with my camera. The hawk didn't stay on the ground for too long when it flew up and landed on a road sign, right in front of me. It posed so nicely and I snapped a ton of shots before it decided to move higher up onto a utility post. I repositioned myself and got some shots of him/her posing for me in the second spot. After a short while, it flew again, this time right over my head and landing on another post right above me. I was so nervous to move because I didn't want to scare it off, so I very slowly walked by and tried to walk away from it so I wasn't looking directly up. Apparently I was successful because it just stayed there and posed for me while I took a few more shots. Eventually I walked away and just left it sitting there. It was such a glorious moment.

After I got home and uploaded my photo's, I noticed a little blood on his/her beak. Yep, this hawk must have just finished a meal and was content to pose for the photographer! Not much else happened today, but this one fantastic opportunity made my day out and about a true success!

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird birds of prey blood debbie quick feathers immature red tailed hawk meal natural nature new york poughkeepsie red tailed hawk talons wild wildlife wings Sun, 13 Nov 2016 23:22:49 GMT
November 11, 2016 Over the years I've always worked on Veteran's Day, but today I thought I would take the day off. I spent the day reflecting on my military experience (my role in the military, the lifelong friends I made, etc.) and I went out to look for wildlife to photograph. I truly hoped to have a good opportunity with a bald eagle (as that is our national bird), but that didn't happen. All I saw was one immature bald eagle far and high in the sky.

It was a beautiful day out, mostly sunny, yet extremely windy! I bounced all over the place and most of what I saw was far in the distance. The highlight of my day was at my last stop, Vassar Farms, where I ran into some Eastern Bluebirds who were landing on colorful stakes. Although a mostly quiet day, I did enjoy the bluebirds. They are small, fast, and beautiful.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird bluebird eastern bluebird feathers natural nature perched songbird vassar farms wild wildlife wings Sat, 12 Nov 2016 01:36:00 GMT
November 4, 2016 After work yesterday I took my boyz for their daily afternoon walk and we ran into a cat who was batting at a snake. I was so amused and was hoping to get a pic of that, so I brought the boyz home and grabbed my camera. When I went back, the cat was more interested in getting attention from me and kept rubbing up against my legs, inviting me to pet him. I got a couple of photo's of the cat and a few of the snake, but none of them together. Plus, I got to pet and snuggle a cute gray kitty.

This evening, I took my boys for their same evening walk and I was sad to run across the snake who was apparently recently killed. It was roughly 50-60 feet from where it was yesterday and it had three or four puncture wounds with fresh blood on the pavement. As much as I don't like snakes, I was very sad to see this. That same cat, was sitting nearby. Sadly, I can only assume that he had killed the snake and it makes me very sad because it isn't as though he killed the snake because he needed the meal to survive. I completely understand the way the food chain works and survival of the fittest, but I don't like to see that an animal was killed.... just because.

Rest in peace poor/harmless lil garter snake (gardener snake)! You obviously didn't stand a chance against the mean 'ol kitty.



[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal black cat common garden gardener snake garter snake harmless pavement reptile scary small snake thamnophis wild wildlife yellow Sat, 05 Nov 2016 00:38:14 GMT
September 24, 2016 My buddy Bob picked me up this morning in his Fiat 500 Abarth to go to the Lime Rock Park in CT to see the Ferrari Challenge. The day was absolutely beautiful with temps around 70, low humidity, and a sunny blue sky with various white/fluffy clouds.

We arrived around 9:30 and went down to the paddock to check out the cars. There were so many and they varied from the 1940's - present. While admiring the vehicles, I couldn't help notice that I liked some from certain time frames better than those from other time frames. There were two cars in particular that I really liked because of their style and design. One of them was purple and had an orange print of some kind of cat face with its fangs and paws. It surely was colorful and cool. The other was more of a gray tone and it had skulls and bones. Both vehicles were designed really cool.

After we spent some time down in the paddock, we went back up to watch what was going on on the track. We watched two different groups do a 20 minute Ferrari challenge (Shell and Pirelli AM), the Ferrari Classiche (Classics), and two Ferrari Challenge Races. We spent time at various parts of the track and enjoyed watching the cars and listening to the engines roaring. I only got to see one of my two favorite cars on the track. It was numbered 134 and was driven by Michael Watt who was part of "Ferrari of Atlanta".

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) 134 CT atlanta beautiful challenge day driving ferrari lap lime of paddock park race racing road rock stallions sunny track Sun, 25 Sep 2016 00:15:35 GMT
September 21, 2016 I've been home from camp for a few days now and trying to catch up with some of my responsibilities that I haven't had time for. Today, I decided to take a break during lunchtime and meet up with my friend to shoot butterflies at a local garden.

As I was heading out to meet him, he told me the place was mobbed and to meet him elsewhere. We met at the alternate location, but not much was going on there... only geese by the pond. We did a little walking and some chatting, but no photographing so we decided to leave and try again at the originally planned location.

When we got to location number 2, the butterflies did not disappoint. We had an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and three Monarchs that made a presence. One of the Monarchs was extremely cooperative for photo's which was really awesome as up until now, I haven't had any opportunities for shots of Monarchs this year. It sure was my highlight of my day.

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal butterfly color colorful creative debbie debs flower garden images insect monarch natural nature pretty quick wild wildlife Thu, 22 Sep 2016 01:00:36 GMT
September 16, 2016 My original plan for this weekend was to stay home and do some photography related things with my friends at home. However, after looking at the weather and thinking about how camping season is quickly coming to an end, I decided to travel the 180 miles (3 hrs) north to my campsite. When I first arrived last night it was rather chilly, well over 15 degrees cooler than it was when I left the mid hudson valley. I actually turned on the heat. Not so much for me, but more so for my two adorable little chihuahua's.

Anyhow, I'm so glad I came up because for weeks I've been trying to get a decent photo of the beautiful raccoon who stops by my campsite every night. He/she is very scared of me, but will tiptoe around to check my bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, and suet feeders. In general, I try to make sure they are all empty at night, but every once in a while I forget and the raccoon gets a very small meal.

This evening while sitting by the fire, I saw my little friend checking out all the potential hot spots. After not finding anything, he or she continued to lurk around my spot. I quickly ran into the camper to grab my camera and sat in the doorway. I threw a few chips out on the deck and sure enough, the raccoon came up to get them. I was in such amazement watching at how close he/she was and how pleasantly plump it was. Apparently, this guy/gal has been eating well. My visit with the raccoon didn't last long, but I finally got a half way decent shot. If only the backdrop were a little nicer! Meet my precious, yet very timid new pal that I probably will never get such a fantastic opportunity with.

On a side note, this shot was taken after dark with LED lights on the deck and an external flash mounted on my camera, facing up and bouncing off a white card (to reduce the look of crazy animal eyes).

[email protected] (Debs Creative Images) animal bandit brookwood camp camping closeup creative creature cute debbie debs face fat forest fur images mammal natural new night plump quick raccoon resort rodent rv ticonderoga whiskers wild wildlife york Sat, 17 Sep 2016 04:13:37 GMT
September 11, 2016 Today was officially my last day of vacation and it was a fantastic day! The boyz and I got up surprisingly early, much earlier than we did all week, at 7am. It was gloomy and rainy out in the morning, so I stayed in to do some chores and work on getting things put away that I brought home from camp.

I made arrangements with my friend, Bob, to go up to the Esopus Park to photograph wildlife in the afternoon. When we arrived up there, we ran into my friend Justin and his pup, Holly. We all hung out all afternoon and it wound up being a fantastic day. We hung out and chatted and we enjoyed all the photography opportunities that came our way. 

It started of slow, but then we were entertained with a green heron who was really close and stayed close for well over 3 hours. In fact, we left before he did. We watched him catch and eat small fish and baby eel. We had five different swans that hung out and got close, first it was a group of three and when they moved on, it was a pair that came in and bathed, preened, and put on a nice show. In the distance we wa