Thursday, September 8, 2016

Crops & Clips: The Golden Hour

Storms threatened one morning as we walked into our local south Florida birding patch:

Storms building over Keys HDR  20160813

Looking towards the west, opposite the rising sun, cloud tops were bright but darkness persisted over the lake:

Clouds over Pine Bank HDR 20160815

A full Moon will soon settle opposite the rising sun:

Moon HDR 20160819

Cloud tops break up the rays:

First rays HDR 20160813

The rays converge on the western horizon creating the illusion of a second sunrise, with the sinking Moon on an apparent collision course with the virtual Sun:

Moon setting into mirrored sunrise DPP 20160819

A Great Egret forages before sunrise. The rays have not yet hit the surface of the lake, and light reflecting from the clouds bathes the scene in gold. Low light provides both a challenge and a reward to the photographer:

Great Egret at dawn HDR 04-20160820

Out across the lake the shape of another Great Egret sharply contrasts in the semi-darkness:

Egret landing HDR 20160821

A smaller Snowy Egret also stands out:

Snowy Egret 02-20160716

Shooting into the low sun creates glare which can spoil many an image. The finer plumage details of this Spotted Sandpiper are softened, but the overall effect is nonetheless pleasant:

Spotted Sandpiper HDR 03-20160823

Sunlight touches the trees at the far end of the wet meadow, but another Great Egret is still in shadow:

Great Egret in wet meadow HDR 20160822

Sun rising behind this American Redstart produces a mere silhouette but also illuminates its colorful tail feathers: 

American Redstart HDR 20160822

Warm morning light enhances the colors of a Red-shouldered Hawk:

Red-shouldered Hawk 03-20160823

Clouds rise at the dead end of "The Road to Nowhere" at the north end of our patch. Guard rails were placed before construction of the road ceased ten years ago.:

Road to nowhere HDR 20160815

The planned completion date for the road is uncertain, but it will transect the patch and run right along this shoreline:

East shoreline HDR 20160819

For now, beauty overcomes progress. The white flowers of the Duck Potato (Sagittaria latifolia) stand out against a golden sky: 

Duck Potato - Sagittaria latifolia 20160821

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Hello, lovely sky images and a beautiful moon. Great birds and photos, I love the egrets and the hawk. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  2. wow, the light in several of those egret/bird shots is truly amazing! wonderful reflections. wow...

  3. Love all your photos, especially the Egrets!

  4. What a wonderful post. It was filled with so much beauty. I just enjoyed scrolling down through each delightful photo.

  5. Oh, my gosh - you are an artist. Love your photos. Lived in S FL for many years and your photos take me to a special place. Your skies and birds are exquisite.

  6. Your photographs of the sky are breathtaking - the cloud formations you have captured are so striking. I saw my first American Redstart a couple of weeks ago here, and took a photo, but it isn't a very good one - just a "record" of the sighting. I hope to see more so I can get better pictures! Duck potato is a new plant for me - I'll have to see if it grows this far north!

  7. These are amazing pictures -- every photo is perfect ... I don't have the skiills or the camera for early morning light, but I still love that time of day -- especially in Florida. So lovely -- thank you for each perfect picture. I hope progress on that road is permanently delayed.

  8. I just came in from taking sunset photos. We have some beautiful clouds here in Florida and they look amazing every night. I love your big hawk and all of the other birds. It can be so hard to get good definition in the feathers of white birds. Yours are always amazing!

  9. Wow what beautiful photos. I love the second one best. I can almost see the water moving!!

  10. Gorgeous sky shots! I like those pinkish rays of light.

  11. Absolutely fantastic photos!

  12. Thank you so much you share this images with me (us). It is a real pleasure for me to drink my cappuccino and read your blog. Super. Thanks!

  13. Such a great post Kenneth. Love the Spotted Sandpiper, the Snowy Egret, Great Egret, American Redstart and the Red Shouldered Hawk, taken in that gorgeous lighting. Your moonshot is impressive, as are all those skies and incredible scenery. And I also enjoyed the Duck Potato flower. A new one for me. Thank you for sharing with Today's Flowers and have a great weekend.

  14. These are top notch images. Unbelievable captures! I am in awe. Have a great week-end.

  15. What a lovely set of photographs, Ken! Our Florida skies can be almost boring at times, but once in awhile there are some spectacular special effects! You captured them well.

  16. Wonderful shots! I love the sandpiper reflected on the golden water.

  17. The reflections are phantastic, but I love the gorgeous pictures of the skys.

  18. The reflections of the birds in the water are astounding.

  19. Wow! Birds reflecting water photos are great! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Love your sky shots, and the birds are beautiful.

  21. love your sky shots especially the moon with the pink and blue.

  22. As ususal Kennth all your shots are outstanding and the lighting in them is amazing. The ky shots aremagic as are the birds and their reflections in the water. Pity that there is going to be a road across that wonderful stretch of water. Progress i think not! Have a lovely weekend.

  23. Hello Ken, gorgeous variety of birds and photos. I love the egrets. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  24. Lovely photography of nature ~ Red tail hawk is outstanding ~

    Happy Creating ~ ^_^

  25. First, I have to say the clouds and sun rays in your photos are phenomenal!! Such beauty everywhere.

    Now I understand your 'lesson' given to me in words from the comments section a few weeks back, from you, about the Spotted Sandpiper and the white by the wing!!

    Great photos and reflection captures, Ken, all the way around!! [love the hawk!!!]

    I will thank you again for participating in our birdin' experiences at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

  26. Love that egret shot in the "golden hour." All of the birds look extra amazing in that light and your photos are wonderful! Plus, your sky shots are always to-die-for!

  27. Lovely variety of photos! They all are well done and I love all the subjects!

  28. Hello Ken!:) It's always difficult for me to visit on Saturdays, as my family come here for lunch every Saturday, and spend the day. so I always leave your post till Sunday morning, when I can fully appreciate all the beauty in your posts at leisure. This one is truly outstanding, as you took us through the various light changes of the sunrise, in these beautiful captures of the birds and landscapes. I also like that unusual looking flower, the moon shot, and the spectacular Hawk image.

  29. Gorgeous photos of the skies and the moon is spectacular!

  30. Stunningly beautiful photos.
    Thank you so much for sharing at

  31. the sky and the reflection pictures are absolutely fabulous... loved them :)

  32. the clouds in the first photo are amazing!! Love all your bird shots(i also posted egret shots this week!)


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