Tree Swallows

I had been away from home for the last week.  When I returned home there were a lot of things going on around the house with the birds.  First, the bluebird eggs had hatched and they were feeding the babies on a regular basis.  Then there was a robin nest in the front yard.  Finally, the tree swallows had started working on a nest in one of the other nesting boxes.

I always watch the birds with binoculars from my garage or porch.  When I was watching them Friday I saw the tree swallows bringing in nesting material like crazy.  I put the binoculars down, ran inside and grabbed the camera, which stays at the ready on my Sirui Tripod and Gimbal Head, and setup in the bird blind.

It only took a few minutes before they started bringing in more and more nesting material.  I spent the next hour or so photographing these tree swallows.  I watched as they built a nest, watched guard and even battled other birds over territory.  It was a great experience...especially for birds that have not nested in my yard before.

Aperture-priority , 1/1,250 sec, f/8, ISO 800, Compensation: +2/3, 380 mm

Click on the image to view it larger.  Hover over the image to view camera settings.

Here's an image of one of them bringing in a few items for the nest.  This went on and on the entire time I was photographing them.  At times, I was photographing them flying into the nest box, too.  So I tried to keep my shutter speed at 1/1000th of a second or faster.  That was pretty easy to do on this particular day.  I only had to raise my ISO to 800 in order to achieve that desired shutter speed.

Image was created using my Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens mounted atop my Sirui tripod and Gimbal Head.

Bluebonnet Dance Tavern

After much consideration I have decided to have the Lasik Procedure done.  I've been in glasses or contacts since I was about 8 years old, so I am excited about not having to mess with either of those again.  I'll be having this done tomorrow morning, so you probably won't see any blog post tomorrow.  If things go wrong I may never see another one.  C'mon, that was a good joke.

Last week, whilst in Texas hunting their ever popular wildflowers, we stumbled upon this little abandoned building.  I could not have lived with myself if we didn't go back and at least snap off a few frames.  

ISO 400, 45mm, F/8 @ 1/400th

The Bluebonnet Dance Tavern.  This thing spoke to me in many ways.  First, we can't skip the name of the place, okay.  Awesome name!  Well played, person that named this place...well played.  Second, there are a lot of different textures going on here.  I love textures.  The bricks, the doors, the stucco wall and even the grass and asphalt all have different textures.  

I made this image using my new Sony A6300 camera, LA-EA3 adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  I must've been living on the edge here, because this image was handheld.

Regretfully, we didn't dance at the dance tavern, but hopefully if everything goes well tomorrow I can dance around the house...without my glasses.