Cold Corpulent Harris Hawk

Cold Corpulent Harris Hawk

Quotation MarksCold corpulent, you ask? Why yes, that is my new term for the avian response to algid conditions causing them to appear, shall we say, avoirdupois. This normally sleek Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) is nearly three times her normal amplitude because of the plethora of air trapped amidst the fibrils of her down feathers, and insulated by her contour feathers. If only our own “abridgement” were as effortless as a bit of deflation.

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/500 | F9 | ISO 250 | 220mm

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Written on October 9th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Cactus Wren Depredating a Pine Cone

Cactus Wren Depredating a Pine Cone

Quotation MarksThe Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus), the largest North American wren, is anything but demure, so depredating a pine cone is certainly nothing extraordinary. However, it was still amusing observing its ebullience, which seems to be the hallmark of everything it is and does. I can never get enough of the audacious and charismatic cactus wren!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/200 | F5.6 | ISO 200 | 270mm

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Written on September 24th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Great-horned Owlet Awaiting "Morning" Repast

Great-horned Owlet Awaiting “Morning” Repast

Quotation MarksI love this photo of Square, a Great-horned Owlet (Bubo virginianus), awaiting his “morning” repast conveyed by his mother. He and his sister would perch in squat mesquite trees as Mom and Dad snared the usual desert cottontails (Sylvilagus audubonii) and round-tailed ground squirrels (Xerospermophilus tereticaudus). His expression is quite anticipatory, no doubt quickened by his diurnal fast, but because his parents are such effective hunters, he shan’t endure any prolonged hunger.

My favorite features of this photo by far, however, are those feet. Just check out those magnificent flocculent mukluks that seem to emerge directly from his belly—no legs required!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/320 | F6.3 | ISO 320 | 180mm

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Written on September 22nd, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets, Owls
A Roadrunner Malocchio

A Roadrunner Malocchio

Quotation MarksRoadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) are charismatic and sociable “earth cuckoos,” but are not above casting the old world malocchio (mal = bad, occhio = eye), as pictured in this photo. Although traditionally, the giving of the evil eye is not visible to others, the malice in this roadrunner’s eyes is glowing most luminously. Seriously, the purpose of these post ocular patches is unknown, but an idiom containing “eyes” and “back of head” comes to mind. (Idiom Origin) My supposition is that any enemies, the children AND the spouse are all much more tractable and cooperative under the gaze of the malocchio.

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/640 | F5.6 | ISO 500 | 420mm

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Written on September 18th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Mojave Fringe-tailed Lizard

Mojave Fringe-tailed Lizard

Quotation MarksSolomon wrote in Proverbs 24:26, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,” which may be true, but I am undecided how honest I care to be with this Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma scoparia), regardless of its sumptuous maquillage(d) lips that seem to beseech snogging! Of course Judas betrayed Jesus Christ with a kiss, and that vitiates any benevolent or noble association or intention of such affection.

Still, both Paul and Peter enjoin us respectively to, “Greet one another with a holy kiss,” (2 Corinthians 13:12) and “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (1 Peter 5:14) In all honesty, he does not appear any more delighted to endure my kiss than I to bestow it. Perhaps I will postpone it until our next encounter.

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/500 | F13 | ISO 200 | 300mm

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Written on September 14th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Latest Tweets, Reptile
Great-tailed Grackle Portrait

Great-tailed Grackle Portrait

Quotation MarksGrackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) are not the most popular of birds, mostly for their convocational habits that create a proliferation of egesta and caviling. However, they are indubitably pulchritudinous in their shimmering ebony and indigo raiment! This gallant fellow is a stunning example of God’s aestheticism and virtuosity.

—A. deLeeuw

“Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Psalm 45:11

Arizona, U.S. | 1/320 | F8 | ISO 200 | 300mm

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Written on September 12th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Western Gull: A Coastal Bloom

Western Gull: A Coastal Bloom

Quotation MarksGulls are notoriously difficult to identify, and because I am a complete neophyte to seabirds, my identification could be mistaken. However, I believe this is a 2nd Cycle Western Gull (Larus occidentalis), meaning that although it is an adult, it has not reached its adult plumage or breeding age.

Western Gulls acquire their adult plumage in their 4th year (or 8th molt), and generally begin breeding at the same age. Interestingly, western gulls who begin breeding at this age have a higher annual mortality rate than gulls who put off their first breeding a year or two (Cost of Reproduction and the Evolution of Deferred Breeding in the Western Gull). They do generally live for 15 years, but can live up to 25 years in the right conditions, so they still have many breeding years left.

Gulls are definitely ubiquitous along California’s coast, but is still one of God’s blossoms!

—A. deLeeuw

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” Isaiah 35:1

California, U.S. | 1/640 | F13 | ISO 320 | 420mm

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Written on September 10th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Female Black-Chinned Hummingbird in Flight

Black-Chinned Hummingbird in Flight ♀

Quotation MarksI was excited to capture this shot of a female Black-chinned (I believe) hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), seemingly hanging in mid-air. She was flying in bright sunlight, so when I adjusted the shutter speed for exposure, the background disappeared into blackness, providing this cool effect. The yellow bits on the top of her beak is pollen from the flowers upon which she had been feeding.

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/640 | F5.6 | ISO 200 | 300mm

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Written on August 29th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Vermilion Flycatcher Romance

Vermilion Flycatcher Romance

Quotation MarksThis Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) couple was so endearing in both their rearing of their first clutch, and their continuing romance as they brooded their second clutch. Mr. V was a most diligent and successful provider, and incredibly sweet about bringing constant gifts to Mrs. V as she doted on their progeny. You can clearly view the delectable green insect Mr. V is feeding his missus, and although it would not be an offering I would welcome, from the twitterpated expression in Mrs. V’s eyes, she is received it with the adoration with which it is proffered. God’s Love is manifest all around us if we buy look!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/500 | F13 | ISO 320 | 300mm

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Written on August 20th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Costa's Hummingbird Hen Preening

Costa’s Hummingbird Hen Preening

Quotation MarksWatching birds preen, like watching fish glide through an aquarium, is one of the most mesmerizing and calming displays. This little beauty (Calypte costae) is performing her noontide ablution after multiple luncheon feedings of her doublets, which I found totally mesmerizing. Such beauty and precision in her aligning of her glittering pennae. The hues in her surroundings are almost as stunning as is she!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/400 | F6.3 | ISO 400 | 240mm

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Written on August 13th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets

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