Dog Days of Summer
Yes we are in the Dog Days of Summer . . it is August, we just broke a heat wave record of the most consecutive days of temps above 100 degrees (we were in the 104 – 105 range for the most of it) 22 days . . . I will tell you this, that 99 degree day really did feel cooler ( psychologically is did). And now, well now we are in August . . . Central California forests are burning, smoke and haze are in the air making breathing difficult . . . and yep it’s nasty outside the ol’ kitchen window So what’s with the photo of the Hummingbird, well right now is migration time for those tiny creatures . . . winged jewels flitting about. I have many at my feeder(s) right now. I have to fill them daily (1/2 Gallon of sugar water) as the hoards travel through . . . but I am grateful . . . along with them I have a few summer resident Hooded Orioles that visit the same feeders.
I currently have 3 of the four sub-species of Hummingbirds at my feeders. Most common is the (1) Anna’s Hummingbird , then we have (2) Rufus Hummingbird , and (3) Black Chinned Hummingbird , if I am lucky I might see an Allen’s Hummingbird, and a Costa’s Hummingbird visit . . . one can hope 😉
The Anna’s Hummingbird is like the East Coast’s Ruby Throated Hummingbird which would be rare to see here and likewise the Anna’s would be rare on the East Coast.
I have several Black chinned HB’s that winter over at my feeders.
I only get these during their Spring and fall migrations . . . a Allen’s male will look something like this but the back will be very much an emerald green.
Well there you have it . . . I take these photos from my kitchen window as the light is usually very good early morning and late evening. I use my old Nikon D7000 and an old Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens (at f/5.6) with the ISO usually set between 1000 ~ 1600, no flash (I like the wing blur) as the light kicks back off the house wall and provides good fill light (wall color is a light tan which colors the light making it a bit warm which I prefer. I shoot in manual mode to keep f/stop and shutter speeds constant, I will occasionally use a tripod and also will use an 11mm extension ring to reduce the close focusing distance, this also has the happy effect of softening the background even more (think beautiful Bokeh) and keeps the DOF shallow up to f/8 . . . I also tend to underexpose slightly to get richer color saturation . . . there you have it . . . my secret shooting formula . . . I might tell my post editing formula one day 😉
ok, that’s it . . . go forth and . . . make photos
de . . . . Digi . . . aka (Tim)