I’ve fed birds for a lot of years. It’s fascinating watching them at the feeder. But, of course, there are a lot more birds than come to the feeder, so going out in the field is always a good idea. There’s a lot to see out there.

I hooked up with a group from the Yellowstone Valley Chapter of the Audubon Society for a little jaunt into the field yesterday. Birding, it’s called. Used to be birdwatching, but that was a long time ago and things change. The one thing that doesn’t change in a hobby like this is the fact that the people who do it are full of knowledge and passion about birds. And to make things perfect, they are generous with their knowledge and extremely welcoming to a newbie to their hobby. I really appreciate that.

I knew I didn’t really have the equipment to do a lot of good photography, but took the camera along anyway. Glad I did. We stopped at the home of an artist who lives in the mountains. He invited us to have lunch on his porch and watch the hummingbirds. There were quite a few, of several varieties. The people I was with could tell by looking what they were. I couldn’t. Nick said the birds were only rented, not his. They come in in May and leave in September, but while they are in Montana, he feeds them and welcomes them while they visit. I tried a few images and got a couple that weren’t awful. Here’s one (as always, click to enlarge and see the right colors):

 

Hummer at feeder

Hummer at feeder

 

Nick had a couple Labrador Retrievers, too. I love labs. They’re great dogs and someday if I ever retire, I’ll get one to share the house with me and the cats. I decided the yellow one was a good candidate for a portrait (sorry, I’ve already forgotten her name), and took two or three. Then I found out one of the settings on the camera got inadvertently changed and the image was just awful. Well, the old cliché goes that if you’re handed a lemon, make lemonade. So I did. Here’s the badly-exposed image turned into a high-key black-and-white. Now it’s deliberate, and I like it!

 

Yellow Lab

Yellow Lab

 

All in all, a good day and I expect I’ll have more adventures with the birders!

 

More to follow,

Bob