Thursday, August 13, 2020

August: A soggy start

As Tropical Storm Isaias was tracing an uncertain path towards Florida, our morning walks were often interrupted by the threat of rain. Heavy clouds sometimes added to the mood, if not to the technical perfection, of my photographs. Further, I could not operate my usual camera because I did something that was... well, not too smart. 

These photos of a Great Egret, a butterfly and threatening skies may well be the dying "last gasps" of my trusty DSLR camera, taken on July 29, before thunderstorms moved in to shorten our walk:

Great Egret 03-20200729

Great Egret 02-20200729

White Peacock:

White Peacock 02-20200729

Morning Clouds 2-20200729

While cementing a loose rubber surround on the mode dial of my Canon 80D, I took care to dispense the adhesive in tiny quantities on a paper clip. However, a larger bit of the CrazyGlue dripped unexpectedly on the knob and bonded it (and the camera's on-off switch) to the camera body. An internet search revealed that acetone might loosen the glue, but I worried that it would turn to gum and solvent might find its way into the camera's vital mechanisms. 

I called Canon repair and the representative said they could fix it, for an estimated price, subject to increase depending upon what other damage they might encounter. After paying the estimate I shipped the camera to Virginia, which happened to be on the projected path of Isaias.

My back-up camera is a mirrorless Olympus E-M10 Mkii with a 75 to 300 mm zoom lens. It had come in handy for traveling, but as a "KISS" (keep it simple, stupid) kind of guy, I found its settings menus to be terribly complicated and easy to forget. Actually, it served me quite well, even before sunrise when a Spotted Sandpiper was back-lit by reflections:

Spotted Sandpiper 20200730

Although it is rather soft, this photo of a Little Blue Heron conveyed a morning mood:

Little Blue Heron 20200730
Mourning Doves against the eastern sky were just short of silhouettes:

Mourning Doves 01-20200730

A little bit of blue sky helped me out with this Loggerhead Shrike:

Loggerhead Shrike 2-20200801

A lazy American Alligator watched from just offshore as the rising sun caught his eye:

American Alligator 02-202007730

American Alligator 01-202007730

The restricted range of the zoom lens system of the Olympus was not appropriate for landscape photos, but I tried a few, one of a somber western sky as the sun rose behind clouds...

Somber sunrise 20200801

...and this, from my early morning vantage point overlooking the south wet prairie:

 South wet prairie 20200801

These are the cloud tops to the south just before sunrise on July 31:

Clouds at Sunrise 20200730

Fast-moving bands of heavy rain and high winds preceded Hurricane Isaias on the morning of August 1. I made it to home as the wind picked up but just before the rain started: 

Storm band approaching 02-20200801 

The view from our back yard:

Storm band approaching 03-20200801

On the morning of August 6, out in the wetlands, I used my iPhone 11 Pro Max to capture images of the converging array of anti-solar (anticrepuscular) rays opposite the sunrise. The nearly-full Moon was part of the picture.  The Sun is about 5 minutes below the ENE horizon, so the Earth casts a curved shadow just under the vanishing point of the rays. 

Conditions must be just right-- (1) A clear sky to transmit the solar rays all the way from the Sun to the opposite horizon (2) Atmospheric conditions which reflect  light to illuminate the rays, such as moisture droplets, smoke or dust  (3) Storm clouds offshore and low in front of the sun to create shadows which break up the sun's solar (crepuscular) light.   

Anti-solar rays 03-20200806

Anti-solar rays 02-20200806

Isaias weakened and we experienced little more than a breeze and a few light showers. However it regained hurricane strength and pummeled the northeastern coastal area. In the meantime, my camera was delayed for more than a week because of the effects of the storm on Newport News, the home of the Canon Repair Center.  

So, I rationalized that putting more money into my heavily-used 3 1/2 year old camera would not be a sensible option. (Notice that I did not say "reasoned," meaning that I drew my conclusion after considering all the evidence, but rather "rationalized," starting with the conclusion and fitting in the supporting facts!). My new baby is the next one up in the EOS progression, a Canon 90D. Can't wait to try it out!

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:

Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters


Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday


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


  1. Hello ken,

    Your sky images are just gorgeous. I love them all. Take care, enjoy your day!

  2. you always make me say wow over and over - your birds, butterfly and gorgeous sky are art

  3. I really like your sky photos.

  4. Wow, amazing sky shot!! (#4). Interesting story about the crazy glue. It's formidable stuff! Excited for you that you are getting a new "baby"! My camera came to market in 2008, so I'm using ancient technology in camera years.

  5. Those are all amazing photos, especially that sky.

  6. I just love that white peacock butterfly and the sky shot under it is amazing. Hope you get the camera problem sorted. I went through a lot of dramas at the end of last year when my favourite lens decided to have intermittent focus problems!! Stay safe, Diane

  7. Your photos are absolutely amazing! I'm a year round Florida resident but sure would like to migrate north in the summers. Have a great weekend :)

  8. Hello,

    Beautiful birds and photos, one of my favorite is the Spotted Sandpiper. But, I still love the Egret, Heron, Doves and the Shrike is awesome. I mentioned on my earlier comment that I always enjoy your sky photos. The new camera sounds great! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care and enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend.

  9. Magnificent sky, very impressive shots!
    I also like the bird pictures very much
    My sly

  10. All of those photos are amazing! Sorry about the loss of your old camera but hooray for getting a new one. I'm astounded by that last series of sky photos. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  11. Speechless after seeing that last image!

  12. I bet you're overjoyed with the up-coming new camera. Always exciting! Love all the beautiful sky images...incredible colors! And, my favorite is the heron in the soft morning light. Thanks so much for taking time from your day to share your birding with us at IRBB this week.

  13. Hello
    I still like the photos, I really like them
    Have fun with the new camera

    Greetings Frank

  14. Hi Kenneth :) What a great post, but I'm so sorry about your camera, what a freak accident!!! But a new one on the way, how fun! Your photos are incredible, I love those sky shots, especially the first one from your backyard, gorgeous! Mourning Doves are my favourite birds! And wow! Alligator! The Egret is stunning! :)

  15. Hello Ken, sorry to read about the side effects of the attempted glue repair, hopefully the cost will not be excessive although with such delicate mechanisms . . .And hopefully it made it to Va despite the hurricane! The Olympus backup seems to have done a capable job taking over from your trusty DLSR and now that you have a new replacement on the way it may be sidelined again, still nice to have a spare one. The shorebird photos reminded me of similar ones I would take when we lived on the VA eastern shore, thanks for the memories. And, those sky shots were simply amazingly beautiful. Looking up is always a great idea as you have shown here. Finally, many thanks for your visit and comment on my recent post. If you have no objection, I would like to include your blog on my side bar, which makes it easy for me to revisit and for others as well.

  16. We have all done something like that in one way or another, if that makes you feel any better! Intentionally or not, I think the photograph of the heron is very pleasing indeed. It conveys the atmosphere of a wetland so perfectly to my eyes.

  17. My husband and I both read your post today and he understood more about the cameras you've mentioned and the rationalization analogy. lol My Canon was started to jump or shudder just a bit when I zoomed in. (and we still plan to send it to Canon to be repaired) But when we started searching online for a 'new' camera, it was just too tempting! I don't have an expensive camera but I do have a brand new Canon SX 70 HS. I really love it too. So easy to use and lightweight too. Love your photos. The Sandpiper really does stand out and the alligator photos are great. We love to spot one. And we have had some of the most beautiful color in the sky this summer! Enjoy your week!

  18. Hi again, forgot to add that my hometown is Plainfield, NJ, and also lived in South Plainfield, Somerville and Beachwood. After 12 years on the VA eastern shore, we relocated to NH several years ago.

  19. Terrific series of images, Ken, considering broken camera, mix of devices used and even a hurricane!

    Love those storm-influenced skies!

    Have fun learning the new camera.

  20. These are fascinating, wonderful animals and landscape photos!

  21. WOW. The light in the last 4 shots is fabulous. What pictures! And I had been impressed with the Alligator until the light stole it's thunder!

  22. Wonderful photos! Loved the blue heron and the ending sky shots.

  23. Beautiful photos!
    So glad you joined us this week at

  24. All your photos are beautiful, but the ones of the anti-solar rays took my breath away. Stunning!

  25. My dear friend Ken, i really adore all your sky shots so much! They are all very beautiful and strikes feelings of inspiration in the heart! Those doves remind me of earlier when a bird that we usually call as bato-bato, I just find out that they are called "zebra doves" in English. bato in our language means stone and it is said that they are called like that because they can stay still like stone.That peacock butterfly is so gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photographs to Timeless Thursdays Kenneth :) Sending you hugs from the Philippines!

  26. Gorgeous photos! Congrats on getting a new camera.

  27. It's always a pleasure to scroll through your photos! That first sunrise (or set) is superb.

    Your link is a wonderful addition to 'My Corner of the World'!! Thanks for being here this week.

  28. Your photos are absolutely beautiful.

  29. Beautiful photos! Always like seeing Shrikes since we don't have them here.

  30. Awesome captures. I hope your Canon gets fixed well and soon.The view from the backyard is to dies for and the solar light is brilliant. Loved going through your bird sightings too Ken!

  31. Dear Ken,

    Apologies for running awfully late to comment on your yet another magnificent link up.
    I was a bit under the weather and I’m catching up on the posts.

    All the shots and the nature and wildlife are mesmerising and it’s a privilege to host you.
    Hope your birthday was happy happiest.
    Cheers to health, abundance, joy and many wild adventures.



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