Debs Creative Images: Blog https://debscreativeimages.com/blog en-us (C) Debs Creative Images debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:39:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:39:00 GMT https://debscreativeimages.com/img/s/v-12/u422674491-o327319943-50.jpg Debs Creative Images: Blog https://debscreativeimages.com/blog 120 109 Merry Christmas https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/12/25 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/12/25 Wed, 25 Dec 2019 23:59:45 GMT
Best Day of the Year https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/12/22 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/12/22 Mon, 23 Dec 2019 04:11:13 GMT
Shortie https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/12/7 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/12/7 Sun, 08 Dec 2019 03:57:25 GMT
Twofer at the Dam https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/11/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/11/twofer-at-the-dam Sun, 24 Nov 2019 01:47:13 GMT
Annual Conowingo Trip https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/11/22 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) bald eagle scenic water landscape clouds" conowingo dam darlington eagles hydroelectric maryland storm susquehanna river https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/11/22 Sat, 23 Nov 2019 00:45:35 GMT
Wolf in Fall https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/10/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!


 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal columbia debbie quick debs creative images fall fall foliage mammal nature new jersey preserve wild wildlife wolf wolves https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/10/wolf-in-fall Fri, 25 Oct 2019 03:57:50 GMT
The Three Amigos https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/7/20 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/7/20 Sun, 21 Jul 2019 13:18:14 GMT
Common Loon Flap https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/7/4 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/7/4 Fri, 05 Jul 2019 03:10:30 GMT
Portrait of a Puffin https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/25 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/25 Wed, 26 Jun 2019 01:07:54 GMT
What's better than one puffin.... TWO PUFFINS! https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/whats-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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/whats-better-than-one-puffin-two-puffins Tue, 25 Jun 2019 00:11:06 GMT
Fun with Puffins https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/23 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. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/23 Sun, 23 Jun 2019 23:10:30 GMT
Osprey Family https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/15 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/15 Sat, 15 Jun 2019 23:53:42 GMT
Nursing Fawn https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/9 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/9 Mon, 10 Jun 2019 01:08:00 GMT
Waiting for Mama, again... https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/6/waiting-for-mama-again Sun, 02 Jun 2019 02:05:01 GMT
Waiting for Mama https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/31 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/31 Sat, 01 Jun 2019 01:24:44 GMT
Portrait of a blue jay https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/21 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird blue jay debbie quick debs creative images nature new york outdoors peanut songbird ticonderoga wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/21 Wed, 22 May 2019 00:29:06 GMT
Meet Woody https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/19 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal chipmunk chippy debbie quick debs creative images nature new york outdoors rodent ticonderoga wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/19 Mon, 20 May 2019 00:51:25 GMT
Family of Geese https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/11 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/5/11 Sun, 12 May 2019 03:09:29 GMT
Great catch for both of us https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/4/29 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/4/29 Mon, 29 Apr 2019 23:31:05 GMT
Easter Eagles https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/4/21 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/4/21 Mon, 22 Apr 2019 01:37:36 GMT
Rare Duck in NYC https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/27 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/27 Thu, 28 Mar 2019 01:22:55 GMT
Officially Spring https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/24 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/24 Mon, 25 Mar 2019 00:21:37 GMT
Natural Camouflage https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/23 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/23 Sun, 24 Mar 2019 02:51:41 GMT
Not just a dog https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/16 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal canine debbie quick debs creative images dogs furry lakota wolf preserve natgeo nature new jersey preserve wild wildlife wolf https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/16 Sun, 17 Mar 2019 01:22:19 GMT
My new pal Skunky Poo https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/my-new-pal-skunky-poo Tue, 12 Mar 2019 00:57:07 GMT
Peregrine Falcon giving the photographers her fist https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/9 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/9 Sun, 10 Mar 2019 00:56:11 GMT
Nesting Great Horned Owl https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/3/nesting-great-horned-owl Tue, 05 Mar 2019 01:56:30 GMT
Harbor Seals in the Bay https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/2/17 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/2/17 Mon, 18 Feb 2019 03:14:22 GMT
Life Bird - Snow Goose https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/2/16 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"!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/2/16 Sun, 17 Feb 2019 01:39:00 GMT
Bitter Cold Day at the Grasslands https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/2/9 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/2/9 Sun, 10 Feb 2019 02:33:41 GMT
Stalking my bird feeders https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/1/21 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/1/21 Tue, 22 Jan 2019 00:21:58 GMT
Fun with the swans https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/1/6 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2019/1/6 Sun, 06 Jan 2019 23:45:10 GMT
Goodbye 2018 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/31 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/31 Mon, 31 Dec 2018 23:23:06 GMT
A Gull's Beauty https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/23 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images gull nature new york outside pond the hudson valley water waterfowl wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/23 Mon, 24 Dec 2018 03:31:33 GMT
Harrier kind of day https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/december-7-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images hawk hudson valley nature new york northern harrier outdoors shawangunk grasslands wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/december-7-2018 Sat, 08 Dec 2018 01:26:39 GMT
Christmas at Vanderbilt https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/december-1-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/12/december-1-2018 Sun, 02 Dec 2018 02:30:02 GMT
Too Much to Swallow https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/11/november-17-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/11/november-17-2018 Sun, 18 Nov 2018 01:55:18 GMT
Scooter, the Immature Bald Eagle https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/11/november-16-2018 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/11/november-16-2018 Sat, 17 Nov 2018 00:34:17 GMT
Harrier's on the Go https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/11/november-11-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/11/november-11-2018 Sun, 11 Nov 2018 23:35:25 GMT
Fall Day Out https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/10/october-28-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/10/october-28-2018 Sun, 28 Oct 2018 23:58:00 GMT
Adirondack Balloon Festival https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/9/september-23-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/9/september-23-2018 Mon, 24 Sep 2018 02:45:48 GMT
Out with my new camera https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/9/september-22-2018 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/9/september-22-2018 Sat, 22 Sep 2018 22:37:31 GMT
A Day at the Track https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/9/september-1-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/9/september-1-2018 Sun, 02 Sep 2018 00:47:23 GMT
Announcement for Debs Creative Designs https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/8/august-25-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/8/august-25-2018 Sat, 25 Aug 2018 20:15:11 GMT
Precious Fawns https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/8/august-19-2019 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. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/8/august-19-2019 Sun, 19 Aug 2018 22:21:02 GMT
Hummingbird enjoying the Bee Balm https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/8/august-9-2018 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/8/august-9-2018 Thu, 09 Aug 2018 22:31:49 GMT
The Osprey Kids have Fledged https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-21-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-21-2018 Sun, 22 Jul 2018 23:02:56 GMT
The Greenies are Back https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-20-2018 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-20-2018 Sat, 21 Jul 2018 02:15:24 GMT
Female Osprey with a fish https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-6-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-6-2018 Sat, 07 Jul 2018 01:38:57 GMT
Cormorant on Lake Champlain https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-3-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-3-2018 Wed, 04 Jul 2018 21:59:55 GMT
My first Loon photo https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-1-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/7/july-1-2018 Mon, 02 Jul 2018 02:21:26 GMT
Eagle Fledgeling with a fish https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-22-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-22-2018 Sat, 23 Jun 2018 02:16:48 GMT
Fawn just after the Storm https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-18-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-18-2018 Tue, 19 Jun 2018 00:33:05 GMT
Red Fox Kits Playing https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-16-2018 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-16-2018 Sun, 17 Jun 2018 02:10:23 GMT
Yep, It is the Fawn again https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-9-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-9-2018 Sat, 09 Jun 2018 20:47:31 GMT
A very shy Fawn https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-8-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-8-2018 Sat, 09 Jun 2018 00:26:16 GMT
Canada Goose Gosling https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-7-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-7-2018 Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:34:40 GMT
I found Bambi https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-6-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-6-2018 Wed, 06 Jun 2018 23:04:40 GMT
Great Blue Heron looking for a meal https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-3-2018 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-3-2018 Sun, 03 Jun 2018 22:49:21 GMT
Double-crested Cormorant in Action! https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-2-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-2-2018 Sat, 02 Jun 2018 22:38:51 GMT
The cuteness of a Gosling https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-1-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/6/june-1-2018 Sat, 02 Jun 2018 00:52:08 GMT
They have hatchlings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-28-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-28-2018 Tue, 29 May 2018 01:23:52 GMT
Swan and Cygnets https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-20-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-20-2018 Sun, 20 May 2018 19:34:05 GMT
My new friend, Woody https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-14-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-14-2018 Tue, 15 May 2018 00:19:33 GMT
Mama Fox feeding her family https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-5-2016 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!!!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/5/may-5-2016 Sun, 06 May 2018 00:57:46 GMT
Mama Fox and her Kits https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-26-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-26-2018 Fri, 27 Apr 2018 01:27:30 GMT
Red Fox Kit with a Meadow Vole https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-22-2018 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-22-2018 Sun, 22 Apr 2018 23:46:04 GMT
Playful Fox Kits https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-21-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-21-2018 Sun, 22 Apr 2018 00:36:38 GMT
Monk Parakeet https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-17-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-17-2018 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:44:35 GMT
Roseate Spoonbill at Estero Llano Grande State Park https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-16-2018 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-16-2018 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 20:32:58 GMT
Tricolored Heron on South Padre Island https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-15-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-15-2018 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 04:39:25 GMT
Green Jay at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-14-2018 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.

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-14-2018 Sat, 14 Apr 2018 22:38:47 GMT
Black-bellied whistling-duck at Las Palomas WMA https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-13-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-13-2018 Fri, 13 Apr 2018 19:13:37 GMT
First encounter with an American Avocet https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-12-2018 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. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/4/april-12-2018 Fri, 13 Apr 2018 03:26:24 GMT
Happy Flappy - Female Wood Duck https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/3/march-31-2018 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images downing park duck feathers female nature new york pond the hudson valley water waterfowl wild wildlife wing flapping wood duck https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/3/march-31-2018 Sun, 01 Apr 2018 01:48:23 GMT
Short-eared owl in flight https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/3/march-11-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/3/march-11-2018 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 02:52:54 GMT
Snowy kinda day https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-26-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-26-2018 Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:21:17 GMT
Starling near an old barn https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-24-2018 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography barn bird bird photography colorful debbie quick debs creative images nature nature photography new york old poughkeepsie rustic songbird starling the hudson valley vassar farm and ecological preserve vassar farms vassar farms ecological preserve wild wildlife wildlife photography https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-24-2018 Sat, 24 Feb 2018 17:59:17 GMT
Immature Red Tailed Hawk https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-18-2018 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-18-2018 Mon, 19 Feb 2018 03:20:51 GMT
Eagle Filled Day https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-17-2018 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal animal photography bald eagle bird bird photography birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images eagle migrants nature nature photography natures best shots new york peekskill perched predator raptor the hudson river the hudson valley tree wild wildlife wildlife photography winter winter eagles https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/2/february-17-2018 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:20:47 GMT
Along the Hudson River https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-27-2018 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!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-27-2018 Sat, 27 Jan 2018 21:51:32 GMT
I finally scored at the Shawangunk Grasslands https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-26-2018 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) bird bird photography birds of a feather birds of a feather flock together birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images elite owls elite raptors grasslands national wildlife refuge nature nature photography new york owl photography raptor shawangunk grasslands short-eared owl the hudson valley wild wildlife your best birds https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-26-2018 Sat, 27 Jan 2018 00:55:08 GMT
Gull Reflections https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-21-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-21-2018 Sun, 21 Jan 2018 22:18:20 GMT
Third times a charm https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-20-2018 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) arctic bird arctic raptor arctic wildlife beach bird bird lovers bird photography birds of a feather birds of a feather flock together birds of prey coastal barrier elite owls elite raptors elite worldwide birds long beach long beach park long island sound nature nature lovers nature perfection nature photography natures best shots owl raptor shore snowy owl stratford connecticut wild wildlife wildlife lovers wildlife photography your best shots https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-20-2018 Sun, 21 Jan 2018 01:43:39 GMT
Day out on the CT Shore https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-14-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-14-2018 Mon, 15 Jan 2018 03:26:07 GMT
Red Shouldered Hawk https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-6-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-6-2018 Sun, 07 Jan 2018 04:40:53 GMT
Bitter Cold Day https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-5-2018 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2018/1/january-5-2018 Sat, 06 Jan 2018 01:18:37 GMT
Immature Cooper's Hawk https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-31-2017 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!!!!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-31-2017 Sun, 31 Dec 2017 23:24:45 GMT
2018 Calendars https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-26-2017 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!!!!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-26-2017 Tue, 26 Dec 2017 22:37:28 GMT
Photo Shoot with the Cheese https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-22-2017 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-22-2017 Fri, 22 Dec 2017 20:07:26 GMT
Life Bird - Snowy Owl https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-7-2017 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 ebird.com 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/12/december-7-2017 Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:01:53 GMT
Conowingo Dam - Day 3 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-17-2017 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!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-17-2017 Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:32:13 GMT
Conowingo Dam - Day 2 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-16-2017 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!  :-)

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-16-2017 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:36:43 GMT
Conowingo Dam - Day 1 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-15-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) bald eagle birds of prey conowingo dam darlington fish flight flying maryland predator raptor talons https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-15-2017 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:54:28 GMT
Squirrel in a tree https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-3-2017 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!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-3-2017 Sat, 04 Nov 2017 01:53:58 GMT
Possibly an American Racing Pigeon https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-2-2017 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) american racing pigeon animal bird domestic dutchess county feathers nature new york pigeon pleasant valley the hudson valley white wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/11/november-2-2017 Fri, 03 Nov 2017 02:31:12 GMT
A Great Blue Heron kind of a day https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-22-2017 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! 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-22-2017 Sun, 22 Oct 2017 22:03:14 GMT
Birthday celebration with Peregrine Falcons https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-15-2017 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. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/10/october-15-2017 Sun, 15 Oct 2017 23:24:05 GMT
Adirondack Balloon Festival - 45th Anniversary https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-23-2017 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adirondack adventure air aviation balloon basket blue colorful festival floating flowers fly freedom fun hot new parrot queensbury round sky soar tourist usa york https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-23-2017 Sun, 24 Sep 2017 01:45:46 GMT
Greenies at Esopus Meadows Lighthouse Park https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-16-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird county esopus fish green heron hudson lighthouse meadows natural nature park river the ulster valley wading water wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/9/september-16-2017 Sun, 17 Sep 2017 01:25:44 GMT
Bald Eagle on Lake Champlain https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-20-2017 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) american animal bald eagle beak bird birds of prey champlain county debbie determination eagle essex flight flying hay kayaking lake new patriotic pride quick spread symbol talons ticonderoga wild wildlife wings york https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-20-2017 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:31:05 GMT
Bald Eagle passing the Fort https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-19-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-19-2017 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 01:32:18 GMT
Osprey Kid defending his meal https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-9-2017 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-9-2017 Thu, 10 Aug 2017 01:42:12 GMT
Osprey Dad - The Ultimate Fishing Bird https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-6-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-6-2017 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 22:04:35 GMT
Osprey kid out and about https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-5-2017 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/8/august-5-2017 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 02:12:53 GMT
Osprey kid on the rocks https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-30-2017 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. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-30-2017 Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:18:40 GMT
Osprey kid fledged https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-29-2017 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!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-29-2017 Sat, 29 Jul 2017 22:58:26 GMT
Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-22-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-22-2017 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 02:25:29 GMT
Juvenile Caspian Tern on Lake Champlain https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-16-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-16-2017 Sun, 16 Jul 2017 23:47:18 GMT
Albino Robin in Crown Point https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-15-2017 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

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-15-2017 Sun, 16 Jul 2017 00:56:46 GMT
Mama Osprey https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-3-2017 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/7/july-3-2017 Tue, 04 Jul 2017 01:49:01 GMT
Papa Osprey delivers a Fish https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-24-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-24-2017 Sun, 25 Jun 2017 00:51:35 GMT
Why did the chicken cross the road? https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-21-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal bird chicken essex county farm animal feathers grass nature new york pet ticonderoga walk https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-21-2017 Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:30:39 GMT
Portrait of a Great Blue Heron https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-11-2017 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-11-2017 Sun, 11 Jun 2017 19:03:31 GMT
Swan Family https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-10-2017 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-10-2017 Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:23:08 GMT
Out came the Groundhog https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-7-2017 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal birds canadian geese debbie quick geese goose gosling groundhog mammal waterfowl wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-7-2017 Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:56:14 GMT
The Osprey Switch https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-1-2017 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey crown point debbie quick feathers nest nesting new york osprey raptor the adirondacks wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/6/june-1-2017 Fri, 02 Jun 2017 01:26:02 GMT
Bunnies are cute https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-23-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bunny cary institute of ecological studies debbie quick fur furry mammal millbrook nature new york rabbit wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-23-2017 Tue, 23 May 2017 23:21:31 GMT
Portrait of a Barred Owl https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-21-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-21-2017 Sun, 21 May 2017 23:25:40 GMT
The beauty of a Great Egret https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-20-2017 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-20-2017 Sat, 20 May 2017 23:38:02 GMT
Barn Swallows make an appearance https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-18-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal barn swallow branch cary institute of ecological studies debbie quick feathers flapping natural nature songbird tree wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-18-2017 Fri, 19 May 2017 00:26:59 GMT
Osprey with a stick https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-16-2017 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-16-2017 Wed, 17 May 2017 01:53:35 GMT
Immature Great Horned Owl https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-10-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-10-2017 Thu, 11 May 2017 01:41:12 GMT
Precious lil Duckling https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-9-2017 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)!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adorable animal baby cute downing park duck duckling fun fuzzy grass mallard new york newburgh the polly walking waterfowl wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-9-2017 Wed, 10 May 2017 01:07:05 GMT
Eastern Bluebird https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-6-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-6-2017 Sat, 06 May 2017 22:29:04 GMT
Mockingbird on a Tombstone https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-1-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick dutchess county feathers mocking bird new york poughkeepsie songbird the hudson valley wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/5/may-1-2017 Tue, 02 May 2017 02:26:33 GMT
American Mink passing a turtle https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-24-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-24-2017 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:15:37 GMT
Gray Morph Screech Owl https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-16-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick dutchess county feathers nocturnal owl raptor screech owl the hudson valley wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-16-2017 Mon, 17 Apr 2017 00:35:37 GMT
Barred Owl showing off the Talons https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-15-2017 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-15-2017 Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:08:58 GMT
White Goose with a lot to say https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-14-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-14-2017 Sat, 15 Apr 2017 01:35:26 GMT
Muskrat on the go https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-12-2017 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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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal dutchess county fauna mammal muskrat nature new york pond poughkeepsie sunset lake swimming the hudson valley vassar college water wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-12-2017 Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:36:29 GMT
Bald Eagle passing by https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-11-2017 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bald eagle bird birds of prey debbie quick feathers flight flying poughkeepsie new york predator raptor the hudson valley wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-11-2017 Tue, 11 Apr 2017 23:20:24 GMT
Froggie along the trail https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-9-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) amphibian animal frog grass green reflection reptile slimy water wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-9-2017 Sun, 09 Apr 2017 23:42:52 GMT
Groundhogs enjoy bananas https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-8-2017 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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal banana debbie quick debs creative images eating golf course groundhog mammal nature songbirds wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-8-2017 Sun, 09 Apr 2017 01:06:15 GMT
Educational Barn Owl and other Raptors https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-2-2017 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! 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal barn owl bird birds of prey debbie quick feathers owl raptor wild wild mountain birds wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/4/april-2-2017 Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:20:28 GMT
Canada Goose https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-30-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-30-2017 Fri, 31 Mar 2017 01:27:10 GMT
Rabbit in Snow https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-21-2017 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-21-2017 Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:04:21 GMT
Wood Duck Drake on Snow https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-19-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-19-2017 Sun, 19 Mar 2017 23:50:27 GMT
Bald Eagle with an air freshener for the nest https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-17-2017 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-17-2017 Sat, 18 Mar 2017 03:45:37 GMT
Robin with a Worm https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-12-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird debbie quick debs creative images eating feathers grass ground natural nature robin songbird spring wild wildlife winter worm https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-12-2017 Mon, 13 Mar 2017 01:10:02 GMT
Woodpecker during a snow storm https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-10-2017 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

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/3/march-10-2017 Sat, 11 Mar 2017 01:33:41 GMT
Peregrine Falcon putting on a show https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-27-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-27-2017 Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:41:01 GMT
Forever in our Hearts, N42 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-24-2017 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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-24-2017 Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:02:56 GMT
The Bald Eagle Couple https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-19-2017 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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-19-2017 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:13:20 GMT
Immature Bald Eagle in flight https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-18-2017 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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-18-2017 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 02:20:40 GMT
February 14, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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! 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-14-2017 Tue, 14 Feb 2017 23:34:55 GMT
February 13, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-13-2017 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:55:33 GMT
February 12, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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.

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-12-2017 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:10:50 GMT
February 11, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-11-2017 Sun, 12 Feb 2017 03:16:03 GMT
February 10, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-10-2017 Sat, 11 Feb 2017 02:58:25 GMT
February 9, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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.

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-9-2017 Fri, 10 Feb 2017 04:13:15 GMT
February 8, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-8-2017 Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:45:20 GMT
February 5, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-5-2017 Mon, 06 Feb 2017 03:11:36 GMT
February 4, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/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).

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/2/february-4-2017 Sun, 05 Feb 2017 00:33:55 GMT
January 30, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/january-30-2017 Tue, 31 Jan 2017 01:52:41 GMT
January 29, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/january-29-2017 Sun, 29 Jan 2017 22:45:39 GMT
January 28, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/january-28-2017 Sat, 28 Jan 2017 22:41:36 GMT
January 15, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/january-15-2017 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:44:35 GMT
January 13, 2017 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2017/1/january-13-2017 Sat, 14 Jan 2017 01:24:40 GMT
December 25, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/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!!!!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beautiful bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images flight flying merry christmas northern harrier shawangunk grasslands wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/december-25-2016 Sun, 25 Dec 2016 23:26:59 GMT
December 17, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird bluejay colorful debbie quick debs creative images eating feathers natural nut peanut snow wild wildlife wings winter https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/december-17-2016 Sat, 17 Dec 2016 20:49:48 GMT
December 16, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/december-16-2016 Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:16:07 GMT
December 4, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/12/december-4-2016 Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:16:07 GMT
November 21, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-21-2016 Tue, 22 Nov 2016 04:00:17 GMT
November 20, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-20-2016 Sun, 20 Nov 2016 21:51:58 GMT
November 19, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-19-2016 Sat, 19 Nov 2016 21:36:46 GMT
November 18, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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!"

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-18-2016 Fri, 18 Nov 2016 21:49:53 GMT
November 17, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-17-2016 Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:32:12 GMT
November 14, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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!!!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-14-2016 Tue, 15 Nov 2016 01:22:03 GMT
November 13, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-13-2016 Sun, 13 Nov 2016 23:22:49 GMT
November 11, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird bluebird eastern bluebird feathers natural nature perched songbird vassar farms wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-11-2016 Sat, 12 Nov 2016 01:36:00 GMT
November 4, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/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.

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal black cat common garden gardener snake garter snake harmless pavement reptile scary small snake thamnophis wild wildlife yellow https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/11/november-4-2016 Sat, 05 Nov 2016 00:38:14 GMT
September 24, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/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".

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) 134 CT atlanta beautiful challenge day driving ferrari lap lime of paddock park race racing road rock stallions sunny track https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-24-2016 Sun, 25 Sep 2016 00:15:35 GMT
September 21, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/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.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal butterfly color colorful creative debbie debs flower garden images insect monarch natural nature pretty quick wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-21-2016 Thu, 22 Sep 2016 01:00:36 GMT
September 16, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/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).

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-16-2016 Sat, 17 Sep 2016 04:13:37 GMT
September 11, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/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 watched the great egrets, a juvenile bald eagle, and a red tailed hawk. Towards the end of the day, we had a peregrine falcon land in the dead tree and eat a cedar waxing. He let us get really close to watch and photograph, but the light was really bad. Not so sure what kind of photo's I actually got of him.

In addition to all the bird activity, we had some B17 bombers fly by, a firefighter boat, and other water vessels. The photographing opportunities were endless. The opportunities were so fantastic that it was hard for me to choose a blog photo, but after going through some of my shots I couldn't resist making it one with the green heron with one of his many catches.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird creature feathers flight flying green heron hudson river new york sunny ulster county water waterfowl wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-11-2016 Mon, 12 Sep 2016 00:47:12 GMT
September 7, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-7-2016 My vacation week has been really nice up to this point, but it feels like it is going too fast. I thought I would take it easy and hang out at the campground with the boys today. We slept in and I cleaned up the campsite a little to prepare for closing next month.

After, I spent a little time adding the final touches on my "Osprey Family Photographs" book that I've been working on for the past month or two. It is a book with 26 pages of the osprey family I watched this summer (mom, dad, and the two kids). After much time of going through my many, many, many photographs.... I finally chose some of my favorite shots and put the book together in chronological order so that you can see the growth of the kids and how they went from sitting in the nest with mom to taking flight. My newest book is now available for sale on blurb and amazon. Just follow the handy link I've provided below if you're interested in purchasing a copy.

As always, thanks for following my blog. I've been putting in extra effort these past few months to keeping my posts different and showing off some of the different wildlife I've been enjoying and photographing.

Purchase the book

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds book family fierce fish hawk hunter intense nature of osprey powerful predator prey sea wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-7-2016 Wed, 07 Sep 2016 21:27:42 GMT
September 5, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-5-2016 Late summer days are amazing! The mornings start off cool, then the afternoons get warm, with a nice cool evening. The boyz and I were in no rush to get up and get moving today, so we slept in and enjoyed our warm and cozy bed. I think it was almost 8:30 when we finally rolled out. I must say, I'm seriously lucky to have such lazy dogs.

I believe I rolled out of camp around 10:30 to go out for my paddle on LaChute River and Lake Champlain. As always, the beginning of my paddle was filled with Turtles, then I approached Heron land, and finally I got into Bald Eagle and Osprey territory. I saw a lot of fantastic wildlife, I paddled at least 9 miles, and I spent over 6 hours on the water. But my favorite was the one beautiful little Cormorant who tolerated me for at least 2 hrs.

I approached him slowly and took pictures before each of my movements thinking he would fly at any moment. The nice thing was that he never did. I sat and watched him and he posed for me not caring that I was there. I was with him for roughly an hour when a boat with two fisherman approached and scared him off. He didn't go far and I paddled around and kept an eye on him. Eventually, the fisherman left and the cormorant went back to his territory. I went back into position and watched him pose and dry off his wings. A canoe went by with a couple and a dog and they were in shock with the way the cormorant just kept posing for me and putting on a little show. I watched him go for two additional swims and kept hoping he would catch a meal, but after 2 hours of watching him, I suspected that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. Although, I really hoped he would catch a fish and didn't, I still had a fantastic time watching him. What a beauty and what an awesome first time experience with a cormorant up close and personal.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal avian bird cormorant day feathers lachute river lake champlain new york rock ticonderoga wading water waterfowl wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-5-2016 Tue, 06 Sep 2016 00:18:40 GMT
September 2, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-2-2016 It's official, my vacation week started at noon today! HOORAY

Usually, I would go and check on my favorite Osprey family in my free time, but after checking on them last weekend it appears they have moved on. In fact, they've possibly started their migration south for winter. Since I couldn't go see them, I decided to kayak and check on all the wildlife out on the water. What a fantastic idea that turned out to be.

I started my journey on LaChute River at the Bicentennial Park. I wasn't even a half a mile into my trip and I saw this absolutely gorgeous cat near the water. I took a few photo's, but it was in a very shaded area so my shots aren't of the highest quality I would have liked them to be. I really wish the kitty was in a better spot because he/she was absolutely stunning. Probably one of the prettiest cats I've seen in a long while. It's fur was white with various shades of grey and long. It's ice were a stunning ice blue.

After I took a few shots of the beautiful kitty, I continued on my way and had fun with the painted turtles. I don't get it, all I want to do is photograph them and move on and yet they hop into the water as soon as they see or hear me coming. All I want to do is tell them to "hang tight, there is no way I'm gonna get too close or even try to touch you". It really cracks me up at how quick they are to move away from someone who has no interest in even getting too close to them.

On my way down LaChute River towards Lake Champlain I also saw great blue heron, green heron, osprey, and eagles. I stopped and took many photo's on the way, but my main mission was to to get to Lake Champlain and head north towards the ferry dock. When I finally got to Lake Champlain, I worked really hard fighting against the wind and current to get up there, but when I made it to the last and final bend, I just simply couldn't get around it. The wind, current, and white caps made it completely impossible for me to turn that bend. It was so bad I had to put my camera into the dry sack because I thought for sure I would get soaked or possibly even capsize. Eventually I gave up and headed back south.

On my way back to LaChute River I hardly had to paddle. In fact, all I had to do was steer the kayak and to be honest, that wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. On the way, I had a gull drop down into the water exactly in front of my kayak, no more than five feet and pull out a roughly 6 inch sunny in it's beak. Holy cow, totally awesome. And I'm totally kicking my butt because I missed the shot as my camera was still sealed away in my dry sack. I kicked my butt all the way back to LaChute River. 

As I got close to LaChute River I could see that there was an area that was a hot spot for Osprey fishing. More than anything I want to get a shot of that and I tried, but the winds and current were so hard to fight through that I finally gave up and went back to LaChute River and hung out in the area with the great blue and green heron. I wound up hanging out there and getting many opportunities to being up close and personal with the heron. I even had an opportunity with a great blue who caught a fish.

I'm at a point where I have a ton of photo's of great blue heron, but, I still can't resist getting up close and personal with them and watching them. They seem like they are a prehistoric species of waterfowl as they look and sound so odd. Here is a shot of one of the great blue heron that was incredibly cooperative of me hanging out so close and watching him.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal avian bicentennial park bird cat creature day debbie quick debs creative images essex county feathers great blue heron heron kayak kayaking kitty la chute river lake champlain new york osprey painted turtle prehistoric seabird sunny ticonderoga wader wading water waterfowl wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/9/september-2-2016 Sat, 03 Sep 2016 01:37:33 GMT
August 29, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-29-2016 As the days are getting shorter all I can think is that I need to take advantage of getting out after work before that is no longer an option. With that in mind, I headed out to La Chute River and launched the kayak to get in a little paddle and look for wildlife.

It was a beautiful evening out on the water and I headed down the river towards Lake Champlain. As I paddled past the painted turtles sunning themselves on the logs, I giggled at how quickly the would plop into the water. A few actually stayed and let me get a shot or two before I continued on. In fact, for the first time I actually had a larger painted turtle pose for a photo. The bigger ones are usually the first to plop into the water.

I really enjoy seeing the turtles, but I didn't pay too much attention to them because I was hoping to run into waterfowl or birds of prey. As I paddled I looked up at a tree and thought about how I saw a female osprey on it on Saturday. As my eyes followed the branch, I quickly realized there was a male osprey sitting there. He stayed for a few shots then moved to another tree. I followed behind him and positioned myself in with some fallen trees and watched and waited for him to dive into the water after a fish. I wound up watching for roughly 90 mins, feeling hopeful that it would happen, when a canoe came through with two fisherman who scared him off. What a bummer because he kept looking and watching the jumping fish, I thought for sure I would get a shot of him in the water.

Well, after the disappointment of him being scared off I decided to continue on to the "heron hot spot". On my way there I saw several great blue heron and then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a juvenile black crowned night heron. Since I have tons of photo's of great blue heron, I decided to wedge myself in and watch the night heron. Not much happened while I watched him and I was running out of time, but it was a fantastic opportunity to be up close and personal with him until I had to start heading back before dark.

Here is the juvenile black crowned night heron yawning. He looked like he was settling in and preparing to roost for the night.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal avian beak bird branch debbie debs creative images feathers heron juvenile black crowned night heron kayak la chute river lake champlain, kayaking, seabird, perched quick" tree water waterfowl wild wildlife yawning https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-29-2016 Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:53:01 GMT
August 28, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-28-2016 Today started as a lazy Sunday. The boys and I didn't roll out of bed until 8 am and then we just sat around and relaxed. The morning was beautiful with a light breeze and low humidity, so I was in no rush to leave the campground. We sat outside for a bit and went for a nice walk around the campground.

It must have been close to noon when I finally ventured out. I first went to Crown Point in hopes of seeing my favorite Osprey family, but they seem to have moved on. That made me a little sad, so I left and took my first drive up to Port Henry. Something that has been on my list of things to do all summer.

The drive up was fantastic as I enjoyed the beauty of Lake Champlain on my right almost all the way up. When I got there, I was a little surprised to see how quiet the little town was. It almost felt partially abandoned which is really sad as I stumbled across so many beautiful buildings and the view the town has of Lake Champlain. With a slightly increased population, Port Henry would be a really charming little town.

The first building to capture my attention was this adorable little diner on a side street off of Main Street. I couldn't resist parking my car and walking around for some photo's. Although most of the other businesses on the street seemed abandoned, the diner seemed to be the only happening place throughout town. Just looking at this little gem put a really big smile on my face. I didn't stop in, but it is on my list of places to check out.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) 1920's adorable american flag building charming colorful debbie quick debs creative images diner eatery historic main street mariah miss port henry diner new york nice port henry quaint rustic https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-28-2016 Sun, 28 Aug 2016 21:51:33 GMT
August 27, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-27-2016 After work yesterday, I went out for a paddle on La Chute River and Lake Champlain. It was a fantastic journey as I ran into so much wildlife. In fact, it was so much fun that I decided to go back out today. 

My trip out today was such a blast that I spent roughly five hours out there. I saw great blue heron, night heron, green heron, osprey, bald eagles, painted turtles, and gulls. Everywhere I turned I saw something knew. Most of the wildlife split as soon as it saw me coming, but some of it cooperated and let me get photo's.

My favorite was a great blue heron who sat in front of me and posed for well over 90 minutes. He/she periodically moved a bit, but never too far (and often times moved closer to me). I kept hoping this guy would catch a decent sized fish, a frog, or pretty much anything else neat that would create a cool photo. Sadly, all he/she caught was the worlds smallest fish. I sat forever in the hot sun and watched, but no luck. Eventually I decided to leave and he/she also decided to go.

The shot I decided to share today of the great blue heron I watched for a very long time is a fill the frame shot (no crop whatsoever). I almost felt like this bird liked me because it cooperated so well.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images eagles great blue heron green heron la chute river lake champlain new york night heron osprey raptors spread ticonderoga water waterfowl wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-27-2016 Sun, 28 Aug 2016 02:11:37 GMT
August 21, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-21-2016 Today was another wonderful day out with my camera. Since I had so much fun yesterday with the green heron and mute swans, I decided to go back to the same location. Wow, was that a fantastic idea.

When I first showed up, it was drizzling a little so I was hesitant to take my equipment out of the car. I simply walked around and counted the green heron while sipping on my iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. The swans were nowhere to be seen, but the green heron were relatively close and I could easily see three of them.

It wasn't long before the rain stopped and I grabbed a camera and went out to photograph them. One of the green heron caught a nice size fish and ate it. He was relatively distant and I haven't yet looked at those shots, so I don't really know what I got. Not long after, the swans flew in and slowly made their way closer. Meanwhile, one of my photog buddies also showed up. At first he seemed not so interested in photographing the green heron, but quickly came around and enjoyed the show they put on.

As the morning continued, the green heron population grew. At one point we had five of them and they were all relatively close. Some of them came in so close that they filled the frame (a nice treat for wildlife photographers). As we photographed the green heron, we could see the mute swans getting closer, although nobody paid much mind to them.

We wound up with a passing rain cloud that produced heavy winds and made us take a little break, luckily under a pavilion. As we waited, we watched the green heron take off and move further away. They never came back in close (at least not before we left), but the swans were relatively cooperative and also came in really close.

It's been a fantastic weekend and I'm sad that it is almost over and back to the grind tomorrow.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird debbie quick feathers floating mute swan new york the hudson river ulster county water waterfowl wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-21-2016 Sun, 21 Aug 2016 21:30:43 GMT
August 20, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-20-2016 As always, today was a fantastic day out with my camera and lenses! I began the day by stopping at historic sites and ended it enjoying wildlife.

My first stop was at the FDR home and library in Hyde Park. I checked out the grounds for my first time and photographed the main home, the library, and another building on the grounds. While there, I stopped at the rose garden and took in the beautiful flowers, birds, and butterflies.

My second stop was at Vanderbuilt Mansion. I wound up not staying because there was major construction going on around the mansion and there was a huge fence with lots of equipment. I'll have to go back some other time after the construction is complete.

After leaving Vanderbuilt, I stopped very briefly at Norrie Point, then stopped briefly to photograph a church I've eyed many times over the years, and then continued on to Mills Mansion. I took a few shots of the mansion, then went down to the river and enjoyed a picnic lunch while enjoying the beauty of the day.

Eventually, I made it to Wilderstein for my first time ever. The building was beautiful, but I should have gotten there a little earlier because I was battling with the suns positioning to try and get a couple of decent shots. All in all, I'm glad I stopped.

Finally, I headed across the river to sit by the river and enjoy wildlife. What a fantastic way to end the day. I had excellent cooperation from a pair of swans, a green heron, and a bunch of ducks. There were also great blue heron, egrets, and an osprey off in the distance. I got a bunch of shots, but I am super excited to share one in particular of the Green Heron who cooperated so well.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird creature feathers flight flying green heron hudson river new york sunny ulster county water waterfowl wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-20-2016 Sun, 21 Aug 2016 00:39:29 GMT
August 9, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-9-2016 After work today, I decided to go check in on my favorite Osprey family. I arrived to find both kids in the nest yelling for food and no parents around. I set up my camera and watched and listened to them for roughly 20 minutes when dad flew in with a fish.

The kids immediately started fighting over the fish and I could see mom fly past while dad was trying to let go of the meal and leave. As soon as he did, he hit the road. The one kid grabbed the fish immediately while the other one yelled, fought, and eventually jumped on the head of the kid who initially took it. I watched and was so nervous as they both flapped around while the one kid was on the head and neck of the other. Eventually he jumped down and grabbed the fish.

I was so nervous for the kid who was jumped on as he looked hurt and continued to yell for food in a hunkered down position while the meanie ate the meal. This took place for roughly 20 minutes when a truck with a trailer full of kayaks decided to drive past and make the kids nervous. The kid with the fish tried to fly off with the fish, but dropped it in the nest as he went. The kid who was literally walked all over moved over and began eating while the other kid was out.

After a few minutes, the kid who flew out returned and watched the other kid eat while calling out for more food. Dad finally flew in and landed in a nearby tree and sat there for a while. The mean kid flew over to him and harassed him in hopes that he would bring more food. During this time, mom dropped off a fish to the kid that was still in the nest and he pushed aside the leftovers of the first fish to eat the one mom had brought in.

Eventually both kids wound up in the nest and dad flew off, leaving mom nearby to keep an eye on the youngsters. The truck that went by earlier came by again and the kid who was beaten up flew. Watching him eat and fly made me feel better because he showed signs of not being hurt. Eventually, I decided to leave since the light was getting bad. Both kids and mom were around, no clue where dad was. Possibly out trying to get another fish. It was an interesting evening with my favorite osprey family and I was so relieved that the kid who got beaten up was ok. I'm sure I'll head back over to check on them on Thur or Fri after work.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (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 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/8/august-9-2016 Wed, 10 Aug 2016 01:41:12 GMT
July 25, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-25-2016 I woke up for work this morning and realized the weekend wasn't long enough, so I decided to use one of my personal choice holiday's and head out to see my favorite Osprey family!

What a fantastic choice that turned out to be. I was there for maybe a half hour when one of the kids started flapping its wings and getting air. Maybe two minutes later, the kid flew from the nest, did a few circles and returned back with its mom and sibling. Naturally, I have no idea if that was the first fledge or not as I didn't go to the nest yesterday. From my observation, it seemed too smooth to be the first time.

I was so excited and was hoping to stay for a few hours, but an hour and half into my visit, big thunderstorm clouds kicked me out and sent me back to camp. Which wound up being a good thing because I wasn't feeling so well and went back to camp to take a nap.

I'm now up and feeling a little better, yay! The thunderstorm has since passed, but the sky is still complete overcast. I'm not sure if another storm is yet to come or not, so I will probably just stay in for the day.

Here is the first shot I got of the one kid leaving the nest. What a fantastic surprise as I was not expecting either of them to fledge for roughly another week.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal aviary bird birds of prey carrion crown point debbie quick eagle family fledge fledgeling flight flying lake champlain nature new york osprey power predatory raptor strength sunny symbolic talons wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-25-2016 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 18:55:02 GMT
July 24, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-24-2016 Today was another fantastic day in the North Country. I began it by being lazy and sleeping in since I knew the morning was going to be overcast with gradually clearing skies. When I did get up and moving, I headed out towards La Chute River for a six hour paddle.

Before I reached Lake Champlain, I came across an immature bald eagle who came flying in with a fish in his talons and a red winged blackbird chasing him. He landed on a tree very close to me and did not care that I was kayaking relatively close below. I must have watched that eagle for almost two hours. I watched him eat his fish, clean his beak, and preen. I even watched how he watched every move of the boats that floated through with fishermen fishing. It was interesting watching him watch the fisherman cast their rods and roll them reel back in. Not a single movement got past this eagle. Several boats with fisherman came and went and this eagle just sat there looking around while occasionally being harassed by red winged black birds.

We weren't too far from Fort Ticonderoga and this weekend was the annual reenactment at the fort. I thought for sure that when the war broke out, the bird would fly... but, he didn't. I could tell he was very nervous of all the noise and the loud bangs of the guns being shot, but he just sat there.

Not long after the war ended at the fort, the eagle finally flew. Unfortunately, it did not fly towards me, nor did it catch a fish in front of me. It did in fact catch a fish rather far from me and as I paddled towards the eagle, I could see it had a nice sized catch. I got a few shots of him taking off with it and then I moved on to look for other wildlife.

The shot I'm showing today is of him with his first fish in the tree I sat and watched him in for almost two hours. It was really cool how he felt comfortable sitting there with me floating around so close by. What a beauty and yet another fantastic opportunity! I'm loving my weekends in the North Country. Wish I had more free time to get out and enjoy the beauty of the nature and wildlife up here.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bald eagle bird birds of prey blue debbie quick debs creative images eagle essex county fish fort ticonderoga la chute river lake champlain leaves nature new york perched predator sky talons ticonderoga tree war reenactment wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-24-2016 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:56:58 GMT
July 23, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-23-2016 Today has been another fantastic day in the North Country. It's been really HOT, yet really good.

I started the day by going to visit my favorite Osprey Family in Crown Point. As always, they delivered fantastic photo opportunities. I was only there for roughly 45 minutes when dad came flying in with a huge large mouth bass. The fish must of been a good 4 1/2 - 5 pounds. As always, mom yelled at him as he came in and once he landed she was grabbing the fish and trying to pull it out of his talons. He let go of it a little quicker than he usually does and took off to go hang out on his favorite utility post nearby.

I stayed and watched mom eat and feed the kids for a little bit, but the heat and sun were very strong and making me not feel so well, so I decided to move around. I went for a short walk on the grounds, which turned out to be a big mistake because the hike back up the hill in that heat made me feel a bit sick. Oh well, I got in my car and headed over towards the nearby campground and parked just outside it so that I didn't have to pay the day fee. As I started walking along Lake Champlain, I found a male osprey in a tree eating a fish. Due to the light and all the leaves, it was tough to find a good spot to get pics from, so mostly I watched. I also met a nice couple who was camping there and they too enjoyed watching the osprey after I pointed it out to them.

Eventually, the heat got to me so I headed back to the campground to take care of the dogs and prepare to go to the beach. The boyz enjoyed their short time with me and laying out on the deck in their pen for a bit while I got things ready to head out.

I wound up going to the Mossy Point Beach in Ticonderoga to relax, eat lunch, and swim a few laps. The second time I went in the water to swim laps I was minding my own business and doing my laps when out of nowhere an adult bald eagle came swooping down and grabbed a fish out of the water, right in front of me. He got chased by two small birds and dropped his fish. Poor thing. It was not only exciting to see this while swimming, but I also enjoyed the excitement out of the crowd at the beach while they witnessed the eagle fishing right in front of us all. 

All in all, it was a fantastic day and here is a shot of the male osprey bringing in the large mouth bass for his family to feast off of.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal aviary bird birds of prey carrion crown point debbie quick eagle family fish flight flying lake champlain large mouth bass meal nature new york osprey power predatory raptor strength sunny symbolic talons wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-23-2016 Sat, 23 Jul 2016 21:46:01 GMT
July 17, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-17-2016 This morning I woke up and thought it would be a great day to go check on my favorite Osprey family. What a fantastic idea that wound up being!

Upon arrival at the location of the nest at 10:30am, I could see mom was out of the nest flying a few laps. She landed back in the nest just before I got to my spot. Then a few minutes later a family decided to walk past the nest on the trail and mom flew out, doing a few more circles before landing back in. It must not have been five minutes later when dad arrived with a half eaten fish and all four osprey cooperated for a family portrait. YAY, I'm so excited about that.

From there on out though, the osprey weren't all that entertaining. Occasionally one of the kids would flap its wings to build up wing strength or mom would call out for dad to bring food, but he never arrived with any. Out in the distance I watched as an adult bald eagle flew by and dad launched from his perch to chase it away. Shortly thereafter a great blue heron flew by and landed in one of the trees between myself and Lake Champlain.

After that little bit of activity, it got really quiet and I got bored, so I decided to walk around a little bit. What a great idea that was as I found a pair of bobolinks. Imagine my excitement as I've never seen a bobolink in the wild and here I found a mating pair. How awesome!!!

After photographing the bobolinks, I went back to the nest and waited and waited and waited. Eventually dad flew in with a stick and mom yelled at him like there was no tomorrow. He left without looking back and still had not returned with anything when I left at 4pm.

My photo for today is probably not my best shot of the day, but surely the shot that gave me the most excitement. The female bobolink is on the left and the male is on the right.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal avian beak bird birds bobolink crown point debbie quick feathers female male mating pair natural nature new york outdoors pair perched together wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-17-2016 Sun, 17 Jul 2016 21:46:59 GMT
July 16, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-16-2016 I decided to sleep in til 9am today as I really needed to rest up and I knew my only plans for the day were to kayak and grill teriyaki chicken. What a great plan that was as I opened my eyes and enjoyed a little snuggle time with both my chihuahua's before rolling out of bed. After my feet hit the floor, I glanced out the window to find 7 bluejays and a bunch of chipmunks fluttering and running around my yard. I instantly knew it would be a great day!

I got the boyz out, showered up, then loaded the kayak on the car before taking the boyz for a short walk. After, I proceeded to the boat launch site just below the waterfalls in Ticonderoga, on LaChute River. I launched my kayak and quickly realized that the water was moving rather rapidly. I wound up kayaking the 2 miles down LaChute River towards Lake Champlain with no effort at all. Actually, all I had to do was steer. This made me rather nervous about the return.

On the way to Lake Champlain I came across two Green Heron (very early in the trip) and a whole lot of dragon flies. As I was in the bay just before Lake Champlain I could see a bald eagle in a dead tree I always hoped to see an eagle in. Somehow though, I was so in awe with the dragonflies that I did not rush to get there.

Eventually, I did paddle out to that tree and the adult bald eagle sitting in it was so patient as I maneuvered my way around and got photo's from many angles. Eventually, I had gotten to the best angle (with the sun almost behind me). I got so many shots and was so thrilled. After about 15 minutes, the adult eagle flew off and I continued on my way. At first I found 2 of the recently fledged eagles and then out of nowhere the third one joined the two that were already hanging out there. I sat and watched the three fledglings for well over 2 hrs before things got interesting.

Finally, one of the adults flew into the area of that dead tree and landed on the ground near it. Two of the fledglings headed in that direction and landed over there. I did my best to make my way over for some photo's. I got some, but do wish I had gotten a little closer. After, the adult and the two fledgelings headed back over to the area where I had initially found the two fledglings and bobbed around Lake Champlain for two hours (fighting the winds to stay as still as possible).

After all the eagle activity ended, a Great Blue Heron landed pretty close to me and hung out for a long time, letting me get so many shots. I watched him fish and catch these itty bitty fish (probably tadpoles) before it eventually flew off and then I spent at least another hour with another Great Blue Heron who hung out and fished so close to me and just below the adult eagle. I know eagles don't go after Heron, but I kept hoping as I was positioned so well. I know that is a bit morbid, but I would have gotten some really awesome shots. Yes, honest words from a wildlife photographer.

Eventually, I decided it was time to head back (even though I really didn't want to because I was having so much fun). The return was really tough as I was working against that tide that made my trip to Lake Champlain so easy. I ran into the guy who works at the campground with his wife and two kids. I chatted with them for a a few minutes and learned that the reason the water was moving in such an uncharacteristic way was because the Hydropower Plant in Ti was running. Wow, that was the first time in 4 years I've ever experienced that. The two mile return was brutal. A few times I considered calling the campground owners to come and rescue me, but I didn't because I knew with strong will and determination I would make it.

During the brutal trip I came across two Osprey's with really big fish. And, to my surprise, I did finally make it back. And now I'm going through my pics (over 1,100 shots I took while kayaking) and am sharing my pic of the adult on the dead tree (the tree I've always hoped to find and photograph and eagle or an osprey).

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) bald eagle bird birds of prey, animal, debbie debs creative images eagle essex county kayak kayaking la chute river lake champlain nature new york perched quick" sitting spread ticonderoga wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-16-2016 Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:58:04 GMT
July 5, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-5-2016 The boys and I slept in this morning and I took my time getting out to go see the Osprey. It was roughly 11:30 and beautiful out when I first arrived. Dad was perched in a tree nearby while mom sat in the nest with the kids. Periodically she called out to him and he communicated back. I thought for sure she was asking him to bring some food back, but he didn't rush to do so.

I waited and waited and waited for roughly 3 hrs. There must have been about 4 or 5 intruders who flew by in the meantime. Some were relatively close, but one was far too close to the nest for mom's liking. She yelled at each one of them as they flew by.

As the time passed, the temps increased and it got hotter and hotter. It had gotten so hot that I started to give up on dad when he finally flew in from Lake Champlain with a nice sized Small Mouth Bass. He landed in the nest with it as mom yelled at him. Mom and the kids were all shuffled about as dad caused chaos bringing the fish in. Eventually, mom tried grabbing it from him, but he was holding on real tight. She yanked and yanked and yanked. She yanked so hard I was nervous she would fall out of the nest. Eventually he let go and she began feeding the kids. He left and landed on a post nearby. Before leaving the area, I went over and got a few shots of him as he sat and preened. I eventually left because it was far too hot for me to continue standing in the sun, so I went out in search for some shade. I found some, but didn't stay for long. 

As I was leaving I could see mom was still feeding the kids and dad was still perched on the telephone pole. He sure does a fantastic job at bringing food home to the family.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) bash bird birds of prey debbie quick debs creative images fish flight flying natural nature osprey outdoors sky small mouth bass talons wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-5-2016 Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:38:10 GMT
July 3, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-3-2016 I've been up at camp for two weeks now. The first two weeks I had to work, but I was able to enjoy time with family in the evenings and on the weekends.

On Friday I began my vacation week and a friend arrived for the 4th of July holiday weekend. Since he arrived, we've been very busy photographing stuff. Mostly we've been photographing the Osprey family I watch here, but we also stopped at a few of my favorite barns and my favorite stone chapel. In addition, Justin has been having fun feeding and photographing my chipmunks. For his final night here, we went down to Hague and watched/photographed the fireworks.

We arrived at the beach in Hague early to make sure we got a decent parking spot and a nice spot for viewing. We waited forever and had to deal with a lot of annoying stuff. Eventually the fireworks started and we were really disappointed as they were happening behind these huge trees. We started to leave and I had this feeling that those fireworks couldn't possibly be the ones we had waited for. So we went back to a spot closer on the beach. Thankfully we did as the first set of fireworks weren't the real ones and the real one did eventually start close to 10pm (which was far later than we had anticipated the start time to be). The fireworks only lasted about 15-20 minutes, but they were very nice as they were shot from a barge on Lake George and so all the low ones lit up the water below.

I have over 150 shots to go through, but I took a really quick peak and saw one that I thought was worth sharing. 

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!!!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) abstract celebration entertainment evening explosion festival fireworks fourth of july fun hague hauge illustration independence lake lake george new york night show sky water https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/7/july-3-2016 Mon, 04 Jul 2016 03:39:00 GMT
June 27, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/6/june-27-2016 My last blog was of a Mallard Duckling, and in that blog I mentioned two things... The first thing I mention was that life is really busy and so I don't get to blog as often as I wish and the 2nd thing I mentioned is that the location I photographed the mallard duckling, there were also wood ducks.

The male wood duck is absolutely beautiful with all the metallic coloring his feathers have. I've taken many photographs of wood ducks over the past couple of months and have enjoyed them all. The female is very pretty, but the males have absolutely stunning colors. The photo I'm sharing with you tonight is a close up shot of a male Wood Duck at Downing Park in Newburgh, New York.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adult animal avian beak beautiful bird birdwatching color colorful debbie quick debs creative images downing park duck exotic feathers fowl migration natural nature new york newburgh outdoors pond pretty water waterfowl wild wildlife wings wood wood duck https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/6/june-27-2016 Tue, 28 Jun 2016 02:55:44 GMT
June 23, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/6/june-23-2016 Life has been crazy busy and so I haven't had a chance to post any blogs in a long while. In fact, for the past 3 months I've been so far behind on post processing photo's and getting them posted. I haven't even backed up my hard drive in many, many, many months. Something in which I hope to do within the next week or two.

In late May and early June, I went with some friends on a few different occasions to Downing Park in Newburgh to see the Wood Ducks and Mallards. I've seen and photographed many mallards over the years, but these were some first opportunities with the wood ducks. Holy Cow are they stunning birds! After a few visits, we finally got to see the mallards and the wood ducks with babies. They were all so adorable!!!

Attached for your viewing today is a beautiful mallard duckling. I simply could not resist sharing this adorable little creature!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal baby beak bird downing park duck duckling feathers kid mallard new york newburgh park pond water waterfowl wild wildlife young https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/6/june-23-2016 Thu, 23 Jun 2016 23:12:02 GMT
May 20, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-20-2016 I spent the past week up at camp, getting things opened up and set up. I worked with the chipmunks I feed and was lucky enough to have two of them let me pet them. One in particular is really sweet as he/she eats from my hands and enjoys a chippy massage. I tried to pick that cute lil guy up, but he wasn't having it and squirmed to get away. I tried several times and thought for sure I was gonna get bit, but thankfully that never happened. While at camp, I also went to see my favorite Osprey family. They are doing really well and appear to be sitting on eggs. Hopefully later in the month I'll have pics to post in my blog.

I returned home from camp on Tuesday and have since checked on my favorite pair of bald eagles and also searched for some barred owls in an area where I felt confident I would find some. I haven't gotten too many photo's since I've been home, but I did today get a shot of a barred owl that I absolutely love. This image may seem like I'm right next to the owl, but I wasn't. I took this shot with a 500mm lens and a 2x extender, plus my camera body has a crop factor of 1.6.... meaning, this shot was taken at roughly 1600mm. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal barred owl beak bird birds of prey day dutchess county feathers nature new york outdoors outside owl perched predator raptor sunny the hudson valley tree wild wilderness wildlife woods https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-20-2016 Sat, 21 May 2016 02:41:32 GMT
May 9, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-9-2016 We've had rain for over a week here in New York and that puts a real damper on things for someone who enjoys wildlife photography on their free time. Due to all the rain and the fact that I knew today was going to be a completely gorgeous day, I used a vacation day to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. 

I took full advantage of having the day off by beginning my day first thing this morning and getting out of the house before 7:30am, I stopped home for the afternoon to enjoy lunch and take my dogs out for two walks, then I went back out in the evening to make several other stops. Throughout the day I saw many different types of birds: eagles, a bunch of song birds, and a barred owl. 

For the first time, I decided to take my big camera out for the entire day. The camera, lens and tripod weigh a total of 16 pounds and so now I'm completely exhausted and my entire body hurts from lugging it all around. If I were to guess, I carried it for at least 4 miles. Although my whole body may hurt, it was all worth it because I got to photograph so many different birds. The biggest highlight of my day was a barred owl since it is very rare when I come across one of them and to be able to photograph it at roughly 1600mm with fantastic light made it even better!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal barred owl beak bird birds of prey branch feathers flight flying leaves owl perched portrait raptor span spread talons tree wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-9-2016 Tue, 10 May 2016 01:46:11 GMT
May 8, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-8-2016 Yesterday was a big day as I took a break from wildlife photography and went with my buddy, Bob, to Limerock to see the Limerock Driver's Club and VSCCA alternate time on the race track. The weather was very interesting as it continuously changed from raining, not raining, hot and humid, chilly and back and forth and back again.

Regardless of the odd weather, it was a really fun day as there are so many things I love about going to the track. I really enjoy seeing the variety of cars and how they are each painted and decorated..... taking notice to which cars are faster... and of course, I LOVE the sounds of the engines rouring. Listening to them excel when they are in a straight away and the winding down of them as they are approaching a bend is so much fun to hear. 

In addition to enjoying see the cars and watching them race, I really enjoy photographing them. The technique we use is called panning and is probably one of the most difficult techniques I've tried. It involves using a really slow shutter speed while tracking the vehicle to get the vehicle in focus and blur the background to show the speed. Whenever I go I take hundreds of pics and only keep a handful.

There were two cars yesterday that really grabbed my attention. A yellow Lotus (because the Lotus is by far my favorite vehicle) and this really awesome Austin-Healey Sprite. Every time I saw this car, it grabbed my attention and I didn't notice much else around it.

As always, my day at Limerock was a really awesome time! Thanks Bob for inviting me to join you on a day filled with fun auto racing!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) 33 Austin-Healey Sprite austin austin-healey auto british car classic club competition driver driving historical limerock luxury old orange racing retro roadster sports sports car vehicle vintage vintage car club of america vscca wheels yellow https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-8-2016 Mon, 09 May 2016 02:11:48 GMT
May 6, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-6-2016 The weather this past week has been really crappy.... incredibly rainy and gloomy. In fact, I think it rained several days straight with no breaks. Well, we finally had a break in the rain yesterday afternoon and again this evening. It was still completely overcast with no decent light, however, I still took a little time to get out both days.

Yesterday I went out and photographed mallards and wood ducks with their ducklings. OMG, how stinking cute. I'm hoping to get back out there on Monday when I'm off and the sun will finally be shining.

After work this evening, I went out for a short hike on a relatively flat trail that I really like. It wound up being my lucky evening as I found not one, but two barred owls to photograph. One wasn't in the best of spots, but the other one was incredibly cooperative for me. It moved around a couple of times (possibly hunting for food). One of the times it moved, I thought it was going to land on the ground, instead it landed in a spot extremely close to me with a completely unobstructive view. I was in heaven standing there as quietly as possible and photographing the gorgeous owl. It didn't stay for long before moving along, but I got a half way decent shot of it as it took off. I'm currently beyond excited over my wildlife experience this evening!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal barred owl beak bird birds of prey feathers flight flying owl raptor span spread talons tree wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/5/may-6-2016 Sat, 07 May 2016 02:21:30 GMT
April 30, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/4/april-30-2016 I left my house early today to go spend some time with my favorite eagle family. It started out as a beautiful day with really nice light for photography. Sadly, the eagles were very quiet and didn't provide much opportunity for photographs.

By noon, my buddy Bob and I decided we would go out for a drive and check out the local area for some wildlife. Our hopes were to find an Osprey, but we knew how small those chances were so we had no expectations. Good thing, because we did not find an Osprey. However, we did spot a Great Blue Heron nest. We spent over 2 hrs watching the nest and the area. Now that we've found the nest, we'll keep an eye on the area as this is going to be a whole new experience for us.

We weren't sure if it was the male or female on the nest, but we watched and enjoyed this interesting creature. In many ways, the Great Blue Heron looks like a prehistoric animal. Not nearly as attractive as a Bald Eagle, yet very interesting to observe. The nest they've built is very wimpy looking, so we are both hoping it is going to hold out through the duration of the nesting season.

As we continue to monitor this nest, I will do my best to post about it and keep you all up to date.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal bird blue day daytime debbie quick feathers great blue heron heron interesting leaves nest nesting stare tree water wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/4/april-30-2016 Sun, 01 May 2016 03:26:08 GMT
April 27, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/4/april-27-2016 Today was such a fantastic day! Lots of sunshine, warmth, and a new Mini Countryman to get around in. Between the fantastic weather and being so excited about having a new/fun car, I decided to go out with my camera after work. I went to my favorite viewing spot for bald eagles and was happy with the choice I made.

Both eagles cooperated a bit for photo opportunities. The female eagle even brought a fish back. Sadly, we all walked away and missed the shot because none of us were expecting her to return so quickly and with a meal. Although we all missed that opportunity, it wasn't a complete wash because we got to photograph both eagles and also two osprey who decided to float through and circle around the area for a few minutes.

In addition to having raptors to photograph, I also played with the robins. I had one robin on the ground very close to me looking for a meal. I kept a close eye on him and lucked out capturing him catching and eating a worm. They usually slurp the worm down so fast, but this one took his time and gave me an awesome opportunity for photographs. In fact, he was so close that this shot is not at all cropped, which is rare for wildlife photography. I got lots of photo's today, but my shot of the robin with the worm was by far my favorite. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beak bird cute eating feathers feeding grass ground robin song bird wild wildlife worm https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/4/april-27-2016 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 01:58:35 GMT
March 28, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-28-2016 Like always, I'm a bit behind on photo's and am trying to play catch up.

Roughly a week ago I went out to play with my new lens. Since the eagles often don't cooperate and I wanted a subject I knew would, I decided to go to a local pond where I know there are some Canadian Geese. As expected, the geese cooperated and I got a bunch of photo's. However, the light was really bad so it was tough to get good photo's. Luckily, I hit things right and got a really awesome shot of my favorite White Goose who was floating back and forth and putting on a really good show for me.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) Canadian Goose animal beak bird debbie quick debs creative images feathers floating goose ripples water waterfowl white wild wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-28-2016 Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:02:04 GMT
March 27, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-27-2016 As always, my weekends are spent enjoying my biggest passion in life... photography. Not just any photography, but wildlife photography.

Last weekend I went with a friend to photograph waterfowl and it was so much fun that this weekend we went again and brought other friends with us. The location we went to is fantastic as there are so many birds to concentrate on: wood ducks, mallards, hybrid ducks, gulls, geese, pigeons, etc.

We spent around 2-3 hours there yesterday morning and each walked away with roughly 1,000 photographs to go through. I haven't even gotten through a quarter of my shots yet, but so far I have one shot in particular that I'm absolutely in love with.

Here ya go, meet the absolutely stunning "Wood Duck" (male) up close and personal.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beautiful beauty colorful duck natural nature outdoors portrait stunning vibrant waterfowl wild wildlife wood wood duck https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-27-2016 Sun, 27 Mar 2016 13:15:46 GMT
March 22, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-22-2016 This past weekend was absolutely amazing as I got to test out my new lens at my local spots and get lots of fantastic photo's. I was out and about all day Saturday and Sunday and had two awesome days!

On Saturday I went down to Newburgh with my buddy, Bob, to photograph waterfowl before hitting up some of my favorite spots in Dutchess County. Our time in Newburgh was a lot of fun as we ran into two other photog friends and we got to photograph a nice variety of waterfowl. There were mallard ducks, hybrid ducks, wood ducks, geese, and gulls. This was my first opportunity at photographing wood ducks and so I was super excited. They were absolutely beautiful.

My blog pic for today is of one of the wood ducks who was stretching and flapping his wings. What a beauty! It was so exciting that I plan to go back again with some photog friends this coming weekend!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beautiful bird colorful duck flapping pond pretty stretching water waterfowl wild wildlife wings wood duck https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-22-2016 Wed, 23 Mar 2016 00:59:26 GMT
March 8, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-8-2016 I was able to get out of work at a somewhat reasonable hour this evening, so I headed over to my favorite place for eagle watching. I only had 30-40 minutes to spend there so I wasn't really expecting much to happen.

Apparently, it was my lucky day as the female eagle came through and landed for a few minutes before swooping down for a wad of hay. That was too far away to see and photograph, but after she launched from the ground she flew low and very close by. In fact, for my first time ever I can honestly say that she flew TOO close. My friends and I watched and photographed her. She stopped twice before dropping it off at her final destination. It was really cool to watch!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) american animal bald eagle beak bird birds of prey determination eagle flight flying hay patriotic pride spread symbol talons wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/3/march-8-2016 Wed, 09 Mar 2016 01:00:03 GMT
February 28, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-28-2016 I knew today was going to be a gorgeous February day with lots of sunshine and temps reaching a high of 60, so I planned a day full of stops along the Hudson River to look for bald eagles and other wildlife. I hit 4 different stops before 12:00 when I finally stopped and stayed at my final destination for the remainder of the day.

The first couple of hours were rather slow as there was no close up action, mostly birds of prey flying too distant for pics. Finally at 2:30 there was a little action. Then again around 5:00 there was some really good eagle action. All close, providing excellent opportunity for fantastic photographs. By the time the day ended I had taken over 600 pics. Many of which are pretty awesome.

I have yet to get through all of my pics from today, but so far one of my favorite's is of a "Fluffed Bald Eagle". Therefore, I could not resist sharing this shot from today!

Although the day started of slow, it finished with a bang... making it all completely worth it!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) bald eagle beak birds of prey blue debbie quick debs creative images eagle feathers fluffed perched preening raptor sitting sky tree https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-28-2016 Mon, 29 Feb 2016 01:42:16 GMT
February 23, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-23-2016 I took yesterday off as a management directed day off for celebrating my 13th anniversary with IBM. It was a cool, yet sunny day with beautiful blue skies. Because the day was so beautiful I thought I would drive around and hit a few spots along the Hudson River before going to my "favorite location".

While out and about, I completely lucked out as I found an adult bald eagle eating a gizzard shad in a tulip tree. I approached very slowly, using a method I've found eagles will sometimes tolerate. Don't look at them and don't do a straight on approach. I zigged and zagged, looking at the ground and pretending not to see the eagle. By the time I got into the position I wanted, I stood very still and quietly, and the eagle did not seem at all alarmed by my presence. I spent the next 15 minutes or so watching the eagle eat the fish right in front of me. (Although, keep in mind I still wasn't all that close as I do use a 100-400mm telephoto lens for photographing wildlife.) The positioning of the sun wasn't the greatest as it was nearly behind the eagle, but luckily I was just barely close enough that it didn't matter too much.

It was an awesome opportunity and one I never thought I would get to experience. I must have taken well over 100 still shots and a few video's. A day later and I'm still completely amazed by such an awesome opportunity. Honestly, it's these spectacular moments that make we want to keep getting out there and being patient for that perfect picture. 

If you would like to see a video of the eagle eating the fish, feel free to check it out here: 

Video of bald eagle eating a fish

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion day debbie quick dutchess county eagle eating feasting feathers fish gizzard shad majestic outdoors portrait power predator pride raptor strength sunny symbolic the hudson valley tree tulip tree wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-23-2016 Wed, 24 Feb 2016 01:49:01 GMT
February 14, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-14-2016 We've truly lucked out in NY this winter as we've had the mildest winter ever. At least up until this weekend. This past weekend we've had temps that ranged from roughly -7 to 18 degrees with high winds giving us a wind chill as low as -25. With this being the case, it has not been ideal for me to be out in the field looking for wildlife to photograph. Instead, I've thought of a new way to vamp up my online store on zazzle. And with today being Valentine's Day, it makes sense to advertise a collection based on Love on a day that people everywhere are celebrating Love!

This weekend, I began to create my "Wedding Collection" of gear that people tend to purchase as they are excited to be getting closer to that very special wedding date that they have thought about all their lives. My collection is fully customizable: names, dates, colors, even fonts can be changed. In addition, some of the products have space to add an image of that special couple or anything else one may choose.

As of the moment, I have t-shirts, pillows, bags, cosmetic cases, flasks, etc. To choose from. This collection will be ongoing as I plan to add products as time permits.

Feel free to check out the collection and if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see, let me know!

http://www.zazzle.com/debscreative/products?dp=0&sr=250665410691598032&cg=196820660908142617

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) black bridal bridal shower bride chic classy customize debbie quick debs creative images elegant engagement engagement party fancy fiancé girl girly groom hip husband love marriage married modern new ornate party script shower sweet trendy wedding white wife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-14-2016 Sun, 14 Feb 2016 16:19:03 GMT
February 6, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-6-2016 I had an absolutely fantastic day out today watching and photographing bald eagles.

At my first location I saw one bald eagle and one red tailed hawk. The bald eagle I saw was circling around close and low. In fact, I think it was sitting in a nearby tree and took flight because it spotted me. Wish I had seen him/her beforehand. The red tailed hawk I had seen in that location was also low, but far.

After, I went to a second location. Another one of my favorite locations in the area. I was there for almost 5 hrs and experienced some really fun action. Most of the time there it was slow going with a lot of walking around and waiting. Around 12:30 or so an eagle made an appearance, preened and poised for some pics, then flew off around 20 minutes later.

Sometime in the afternoon there were three red-tailed hawks circling in the sky. A little too far for pics, but still fun to watch.

Later in the afternoon (early evening) three eagles came flying in with a lot of yelling. Two were of the pair I watch and the third was an intruder who entered into their territory. The pair worked together, chasing the intruder out. After, the female eagle landed on a dead tree and poised for some pictures. She would have stayed longer but a couple came up with their dog off the leash and the man whistling for the dog to come back. The female eagle was not comfortable with this and flew off.

Here is one of the 50+ shots I got of her as she sat on the dead tree. It was truly a fantastic day out in the wild.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) american animal aviary bald eagle beak bird birds of prey carrion day dutchess county eagle feathers majestic outdoors portrait power predator pride strength stump sunny symbolic the hudson valley tree wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/2/february-6-2016 Sun, 07 Feb 2016 02:53:12 GMT
January 24, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/1/january-24-2016 The weather hasn't been the best over the past few weekends, with gray and gloomy skies so when I saw the report for today called for sunny, blue skies I knew I had to make the best of it and get out with my camera. My day started early as I was out of the house before 8am. In general, I'm not a morning person, but photography sure does help motivate me.

I felt like I was all over Dutchess County. I started my journey in Pleasant Valley, then went to Dover Plains, Pawling, and finally Poughkeepsie. I saw all kinds of eagles and hawks throughout the day, but the best present ever was the Red Fox I saw later in the afternoon.

I was walking along with a friend and I commented that it was roughly the time for the red fox to make an appearance as he had been popping in at roughly this time a few times this past week. We proceeded to walk and I looked up to see the fox sitting in the tall grass, blending in really well. I quickly blurted out to my friend, "he's here, he's here"! Although a distance away, that was ok because I was so happy to see the beautiful animal.

We both stood there and took a few shots, even though the tall grass was completely in the way of getting a clear shot of the foxes face. Eventually he started moving around. At first moving away from us. Then, all of a sudden the fox started running towards us. I was a little closer than my friend and I snapped pictures while also noticing this beautiful animal was getting closer and closer and closer to me. I actually started to get nervous because of how close he was getting. I had to pull my camera away from my face for a second to look and realize it wasn't exactly as close as it felt because my telephoto lens made it feel like the fox was just about on top of me. 

As we were photographing the fox, some other friends showed up and got to share the experience with us. We all stayed quiet and enjoyed watching and photographing the fox for at least 10 minutes when somebody with a dog walked up and scared it away. We were a little upset, yet so happy to have those few precious minutes with such a beautiful animal.

Here is a close up shot of the beautiful fox. He came so close that this shot is not at all cropped.

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) alert animal canine carnivore debbie quick debs creative images dutchess county fur grass grassy mammal outdoor predator pup red fox wild wildlife youthful https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/1/january-24-2016 Mon, 25 Jan 2016 01:46:24 GMT
January 21, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/1/january-21-2016 I generally spend every weekend out and about looking for wildlife to photograph. Mostly I look for birds of prey (eagles, hawks, osprey, owls, etc....), but I am not at all prejudice and will photograph any animal I come across. Even a domesticated cat or dog.

Roughly, a month or so ago, I found pheasants and became really excited and obsessed with photographing them. Although they may not be on a popular, must see list, I have to admit that I find them to be extremely beautiful and look forward to coming across them. Well, I do have to admit that the males are much more beautiful than the females with their vibrant/bright colors. 

I've gotten some really nice shots of the pheasants over the past month or so. And there is one shot in particular I liked so much that I decided to create a variety of products for sale with that image on it. If your interested in purchasing products with this gorgeous pheasant, feel free to check out the collection at: 

http://www.zazzle.com/collections/portrait_of_a_pheasant-119125261919529475

Here is the gorgeous male pheasant that makes me smile every time I look at this shot! I simply can't resist a beautiful animal, no matter what the species is!

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) agriculture animal blue bright color colour country countryside debbie quick debs creative images farm farming feathers fowl green hunt hunter new york pheasant prey red rural shooting sporting the hudson valley https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/1/january-21-2016 Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:55:28 GMT
January 19, 2016 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/1/january-19-2016 For the 1st time in weeks, many weeks, I went for a walk during my lunch break. I was hoping to see some eagles, but none were around. However, I was blessed by a sighting of a red fox frolicking out in a field. As soon as I spotted him, I stopped and watched to see what he would do. He was rather far away, so imagine my enthusiasm as he started running towards me. Sadly that didn't last long as he spotted me and quickly changed his direction to move further away. He stayed out further and watched me for a while (as I also watched him) until he finally ran into a wooded area. He was rather far, so this image is heavily cropped. But, still beautiful enough that I couldn't resist sharing my sighting. 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animal beautiful canine carnivore dutchess county field fox frolicking furry grass grassy new york poughkeepsie predator red fox the hudson valley wild wilderness wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2016/1/january-19-2016 Wed, 20 Jan 2016 00:45:22 GMT
December 22, 2015 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/12/december-22-2015 It has been an extremely busy and fun year. So busy that I haven't had the time to blog like 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 year. I currently have over 7500 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, accessories, etc. As we close on the new year and head towards beginning a new one, I thought it would be nice to promote my 2016 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 hope you all enjoy as 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: 2016 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!!!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) 2016 accessories adult animals bags bald eagles birds birds of prey blue jay calendars chipmunk debbie quick debs creative images ducks feathers fish fishing flight flying foxes gifts grass gulls hawks home goods hot air balloons immature juvenile mallards new york osprey owls pine postcards products puzzles sky small birds store swimming the adirondacks the conowingo dam the hudson valley tree water water foul wildlife wings zazzle https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/12/december-22-2015 Wed, 23 Dec 2015 01:48:36 GMT
November 27, 2015 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/11/november-27-2015 This is the third year running where my nephew, Branden, has stayed with me for the Thanksgiving weekend. The big tradition that we have is that on Good Friday we sleep in (unlike the crazy shoppers out for the deals), then when we are ready we go out to find an awesome Christmas Tree to bring home and decorate. In addition to the tree hunting and decorating, we try to mix in some other fun. Although, every year we mix up what the other fun will be to keep it interesting. Today, after we enjoyed our annual tradition, we took my boyz (my chihuahua's) for a walk around the neighborhood and then we went out to the playground at Bowdoin Park.

The park was a lot of fun as Branden got to jump around and try out all the fun activities the park has to offer. He enjoyed the monkey bars, the various slides, and some other jungle gym fun that I have no clue what to call. Although the park was fun, it was a bit overcrowded for our liking. Between the fact that it was an unseasonable warm day in the upper 60's in November and a HUGE track meet, the place was beyond super crowded. We still had a great time.

By the time we got home, had dinner, and cleaned up for the night... we were completely exhausted and just chilled in the living room. When Branden is here, he gets to choose the tv programming while he is up and he watched a few episodes of a series he seemed to really like. Although, he enjoyed watching is show, he also enjoyed looking over my shoulder and watching what I was doing on the computer. He was really impressed with how fast I could type and he was enjoying the products he saw me creating for my zazzle store. I explained to him that I tend to work on my zazzle store several nights each week and he was pretty excited. He was even more excited to see that I was creating products with an image I had recently taken of my boyz. His response was, "they are so cute, they should be models". He really knows what to say to bring a big smile to my face. I surely do love hanging out with my Branden.

If your interested in seeing what my zazzle store is about, you can feel free to check it out at: www.zazzle.com/debscreative

My blog photo for today is the image I was using to create products.... Branden was so excited to see me creating so many products with this image:

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) animals bows canine chihuahua christmas debbie quick debs creative images dogs fireplace good friday holiday lights monkey bars portrait slide tradition tree https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/11/november-27-2015 Sat, 28 Nov 2015 04:06:38 GMT
November 17, 2015 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/11/november-17-2015 I just returned from a fantastic weekend with my friends at the Conowingo Dam. The dam is a hydroelectric dam that is located on the Susquehanna River in Darlington, Maryland. In the late fall/early winter the dam becomes home to a large number of migrating eagles as it provides a fantastic supply of food to feed these large birds of prey. Due to the large number of bald eagles that can be found at the dam, it attracts wildlife photographers from all over the country. On any given day during the months of November and December you can find photographers lined elbow to elbow. 

My weekend their with my friends was amazing. We had perfect weather with lots of sunshine and blue skies. The mornings started off rather chilly, but by noon we were all warmed up. The first day was a little slow, but things picked up on the second day (which also happened to be the third annual Eagle Day at the dam). The third day of our trip was out of this world as eagles flew, fished, and chased each other from roughly 8 am - 1:30 pm. I hardly put my camera down or had time to chat/eat as there was one photo opportunity after another. In fact, there were many times when I couldn't even tell which eagle I should follow. It was truly a day that exceeded my expectations. Then the fourth day was good, but much slower than the third day. That was completely expected as eagles are known to fill up on food one day, then take the next day off from chowing down.

During the four days at the dam, I took well over 7,000 photographs. No worries though, I have no intentions on keeping all of those. Attached here is one of the fantastic shots I captured during our wonderful trip to the Conowingo Dam!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) Bald Eagle Birds of Prey Conowingo Conowingo Dam Darlington Maryland Susquehanna River animal bird fish flight flying hydroelectric dam shad wildlife https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/11/november-17-2015 Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:59:47 GMT
October 24, 2015 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/10/october-24-2015 The year seems to be quickly coming to an end and I've realized that I've hardly kept up with my blog. This year has been incredibly busy with work and photography and I haven't put enough time into blogging. Hopefully, I'll be better next year.

Anyhow, I spent the day with my buddy Bob enjoying fall foliage. The sun stayed hidden and the sky gray, but we didn't let that stop us. We first cruised along the west side of the Hudson River, then along the east side. We saw a lot, including a bald eagle. I haven't yet gotten through all my photo's, but so far the one I liked most was one I took at Gomez Mill in Marlboro, NY. Bob and I have heard about the place and seen pictures of it many times over the past year and we kept saying.... "gotta put that on the list". Meaning, we have a very long list of places we want to go and photograph and someday we may or may not get through the list. Needless to say, we finally went to Gomez Mill today, so I thought I would use one of those photo's as a blog post.

Thanks for following, hopefully I will get better about posting more frequently. I know I shall try!  :-)

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) HDR brick bridge building fall foliage gomez mill rocks scenery scenic the hudson valley wall water waterfall wheel wooden https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/10/october-24-2015 Sun, 25 Oct 2015 01:24:15 GMT
August 12, 2015 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/8/august-12-2015 Hello everyone!

Today I thought I would take a slightly different route and utilize my personal blog to boost my most recent professional accomplishment!!! I hope your all just as excited as I am!  :-)

Today, I've shared the following post on several other social sites and thought I would take an opportunity to share it with you all as well.

Extra, Extra, Read all about it..... z/OS Hot Topics, issue 29 is hot off the press and has reached the newsstands. I had the wonderful opportunity to lead this issue as the Executive Editor and I worked with an extremely fun and creative team. If your interested in checking it out you can either order a hard copy or check out the PDF online.

To order a hard copy, go to the following IBM Web site, select your country, and search on order number GA32-0892-02: http://www.ibm.com/shop/publications/order/ 
Or if you prefer to download the PDF, go to the Hot Topics Web site: 
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/os/zos/bkserv/hot_topics.html

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) CAMSS Hot Topics IBM analytics cloud magazine mobile newsletter publication published security social technical z/OS z/OS V2R2 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/8/august-12-2015 Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:22:12 GMT
August 2, 2015 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/8/august-2-2015 Hello everyone! How are you all?

Sadly, this is only my second blog post for 2015 and I do need to improve on my blogging skills. I guess you could say I've been busy enjoying life!  :-)

My summer has been really busy bouncing back and forth between home and camp. When I'm home I watch my favorite pair of Bald Eagles and when I'm at camp I watch my favorite pair of Osprey. This year I've had the pleasure of watching the Osprey pair as they laid eggs and had babies. It's been an incredible experience watching the behaviors of the Osprey and watching the babies grow up. Today I was blessed to experience seeing the baby Osprey's fledge from the nest.

As I was walking towards the nest to set up, I saw dad deliver a fish to them and leave. I was too far away to take pics, but watched from a distance. When I arrived to my spot and set up I watched as the one baby took the fish and was eating it. The other baby yelled and yelled and yelled for dad to bring another one. Unfortunately, he didn't. The baby without the fish move around the nest a bit and then started flapping his wings. Before I new it, the baby lifted off and left the nest while the other one continued to eat the fish. When baby #2 finished eating, she pooped and then she started flapping and left. 

I'm not sure if this was their first time out or not. When I was there on Friday, they both remained in the nest and I wasn't there on Saturday. It was really amazing to see them fly. My picture for today is of the first one I saw fledge from the nest. It was so amazing!!!!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) adirondacks animal avian babies beak bird birding birds blue brown carnivore chase claws closeup creative crown debbie debs feather feathers fierce flapping fledge flight flying gliding hawk hunter hunting images intense juvenile marine nature nest new of osprey outdoors point powerful predator prey quick raptor sky span spread talons wild wildlife wing wings york https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/8/august-2-2015 Sun, 02 Aug 2015 21:42:26 GMT
March 29, 2015 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/3/march-29-2015 Hello everyone! I know it has been forever since I've posted. Heck, I think this might be the first post of 2015. Apparently I'm a blogger slacker, lol.

Why have I been too busy to blog? Well, let me tell you some of the things I've been up to.

Last November I published my children's book about bald eagles. It is titled "The Journey of a Bald Eagle Family In the Hudson Valley". It is a children's picture book geared towards children in the 4-10 year old age range. The story tells describes the cycle of mom laying new eggs, learning about their hatching, how the babies grow and progress and the types of things they experience when they fledge and learn how to make it out there on their own. 

Once I completed that project, I started working on my second project which is a "Bald Eagle Coffee Table Book". It is a book that contains 41 images of bald eagles of various ages and it was published last week. A majority of the eagles in the book are eagles in the wild (in their natural state). A couple of the images (the ones with the American Flag) are of an eagle who can not be released in the wild and is used for educational purposes.

In addition to getting my two books published, I created a FB page for the children's book and I created a website for myself as an author. This website has information about both books, bald eagles and myself. If your interested in checking it out, the url is: www.debquick.com.

Lastly, I've also been working on creating products for my zazzle store. As of today I have roughly 2500 products available. I created these products from my own images: eagles, hawks, falcons, dogs, cats, flowers, horses, hot air balloons, etc. There are tons of products to choose from: postcards, greeting cards, puzzles, playing cards, canvas prints, regular prints, sleeves and cases for gadgets, business cards, labels, magnets, gift bags, etc..... To help advertise, I created a FB page for my zazzle store. Feel free to check it out and make sure "like" it so you stay posted on what new products are available. www.facebook.com/pages/Debs-Creative-Zazzle-Store/785905518157391?fref=ts

In my spare time from working at my full time job and working on products based off my images, I am out in the field looking for wildlife to photograph. My biggest interest is observing and photographing bald eagles, hawks and other birds of prey. However, I am not picky and will photograph anything I find interesting. Here is a shot I got this afternoon of a bald eagle with a fish!

Hope you enjoy and I promise to try harder at keeping up with blogging!!!! Have a great night!!!!

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) Facebook air and animal bags balloons beak business canvas cards cases cats day dogs eagle falcons feathers fish flight flowers for gadgets gift greeting hawk horses hot labels magnets outdoors outside playing postcards prints puzzles regular sleeves span spread sunny talons trees wild wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2015/3/march-29-2015 Mon, 30 Mar 2015 01:26:46 GMT
November 10, 2014 - Day 73 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2014/11/november-10-2014---day-73 EXTRA, EXTRA, Read all about it!!! 

I've written and illustrated a children's picture book about Bald Eagles!

The expected age range for my book is 4-10. However, adults seem to enjoy it and I think kids older than 10 may also enjoy it. This has been the most exciting and rewarding project I've ever worked on. It took me roughly 10 months to gather the photo's and knowledge and roughly 3 months to put it together. When I first started observing and photographing bald eagles, I had not at all thought of a book. It was roughly 6 months into my journey of spending hours upon hours out in the field watching and observing them when I realized I wanted to share my knowledge and excitement with others. It was that time when I knew I just had to create a children's book.

I'm so excited and proud of my work. I don't have my own final copy (copies) yet (they are on order), but I do have the latest proof and I can't seem to put it down! I really hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I am enjoying it!!!

The story describes the journey of two eaglets from being eggs in the nest to being juveniles who fledge into the world. The pictures coincide with the story. 

If anyone is interested in getting their own copy, here is the link to do so. And if you see me and want me to sign it, I would be more than happy to!  :-)

https://www.createspace.com/4962490

 

 

 

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) babies bald birds book branching children's eagles eaglets feathers fish fishing fledglings flight juveniles nature nest of picture pictures prey raptor raptors sky spread talons trees wildlife wings https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2014/11/november-10-2014---day-73 Sun, 16 Nov 2014 18:57:23 GMT
November 9, 2014 - Day 72 https://debscreativeimages.com/blog/2014/11/november-9-2014---day-72 Wow, this has been an incredibly awesome weekend. I've been in Maryland since Friday with a bunch of my eagle photography friends and we've been having a blast. We've been spending all day, everyday, at the Conowingo Dam watching the Bald Eagles and other birds in the area. The activity at the dam today was absolutely amazing. So amazing, that I'm not even sure I can put it into words. Eagles were catching fish and other eagles were chasing and trying to snatch their fish. There were little scuffs in the air and chases. It was absolutely amazing. The way the eagles dove down to the water to catch the fish was amazing. At one point, I had an adult dive down head first for a split second and somehow, I managed to capture it. I haven't really gone through many of my photo's as I have taken roughly 1000 pics a day and today is now day 3, so I think it will take me a while. However, I do think this dive down is probably going to my favorite of all my shots. And don't be scared, I'm not going to keep or post all those photo's, I'll only keep and share with you all the "best of the best". 

I've decided to call the photo I'm posting today: "Dive, Dive, Dive". There is a very logical reason for this...... yesterday when at the dam people were yelling out all different types of this and at one point all we heard was... dive, dive, dive. Well, there you have it... this eagle decided to dive!!!  :-)

Hope you all enjoy! Have a great night!

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debscreativeimages@gmail.com (Debs Creative Images) air bald beak beautiful bird diving eagle feathers fishing flight majestic patriotic prey raptor