Up Close – from Marco to Telephoto

Have used my macro lens enough since spring started, I switched to my 400mm telephoto lens last weekend shooting Birds at a wildlife refuge.  I don’t know if wildlife refuges are common in other countries, I certainly appreciate what we have here for wildlife inhabitants and migrated birds.

Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States. It can only be found in North America. Both male and female has white head, yellow beak, yellow feet, and distinctive dark brown feather. It’s named bald eagle, but it is actually not bald.  Bald only means white head in this case. American people adore this bird that represents freedom and power.  Bald eagles are not common. Every once a while, we might spot one perching on a treetop. It is usually so far away that all we can see to identify the bird is its white head and its soaring style. Although I can easily find a picture from Internet, I was determined to capture one shot myself that I can have a close look at its face.
Bald Eagle (telephoto)

Wildlife is so easily intimidated by human’s presence. We need to be able to spot them from distance and be ready for the shot as we come closer. I am not very good scouting, but I surely spotted this bird far ahead and had time to have my 400mm lens ready. Well, just have to give the best shot using what I have.  I started to shoot from about 100ft away and gradually came closer to about 20-25 ft. This tree is about 50 ft tall. For that distance, my 400mm lens is manageable but it is not a fast lens. I could use tripod to station the lens better, but I was afraid too much movement would stir up the bird, so I hand-held the heavy lens and shot continuously. This is the first time when I am able to capture a bald eagle shot which is clear enough for me to examine its details and give my respect to this American symbol of freedom and power. I was thrilled.
There were quite a few Pelicans swimming on the lake. When I was ready to take some shoots, they must have seen me and decided to take off. I saw these birds flipping their large wings flying over me, one after the other. I was stunned for a second, and immediately picked up my camera and aimed at them. They reacted so quickly, I could barely fire my shoots, but I got a few. There are shots with whole body shown, but I like this one better. I like the expression on its face, and I was surprised at their ‘aged’ look.
Pelican (telephoto)
Back home. I was walking in a shrubby area nearby.  A whole row of small yellow poppy forms the border of the path. They are what I like to call it, ‘no-name solders’. They don’t have dramatic appearance, but they do a good job thriving on their own and provide a nice backdrop for the environment.  There was this humongous bumble bee enjoying poppy’s nectar without noticing my presence for a second, immediately when it saw me, it stood up and ready to run. Doesn’t it look like a warrior? I have never known that cute bumble bee can turn into a small monster-looking creature. 
Bumble Bee on Poppy (Macro)
About a month ago, I acquired this strawberry flower plant because of its stunning color. When I was designing fashion handbags, I followed seasonable color palette for Strawberry color, but I have never seen actual strawberry flowers till now. In addition, there is one thing that I have not noticed (or I was napping in high school classroom). Berry is the original stigma portion of the flower. After flower is matured, stamen portion dies down and stigma becomes the fruit. Do you know that? I cannot believe that there are so many things that I did not know till now. I guess I have to go back to high school, study the textbook and also make sure that I have seen the actual stuff, not just the pictures from textbook book.  It is amazing how we can learn from a single shot of picture!
Strawberry flower (Macro)
I think it is never too late to learn new things or refresh the memory of old things. Life is an ever-learning experience and I thoroughly enjoyed the exploring and discovering process.
My discovery journey continues and more mystery is being unfolded.

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