Track And Field – Crew Gonzaga http://crewgonzaga.com/ Wed, 21 Jul 2021 20:08:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://crewgonzaga.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon.png Track And Field – Crew Gonzaga http://crewgonzaga.com/ 32 32 5 tips for telephoto landscape photography https://crewgonzaga.com/5-tips-for-telephoto-landscape-photography/ https://crewgonzaga.com/5-tips-for-telephoto-landscape-photography/#respond Wed, 21 Jul 2021 19:02:40 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/5-tips-for-telephoto-landscape-photography/ Landscape photography is, in some ways, synonymous with capturing large scenes with a wide-angle lens, but what about more intimate landscapes? Using a telephoto lens almost exclusively on a recent trip through Colorado, I came up with five tips that might help you try it out for yourself. It may not be obvious how important […]]]>

Landscape photography is, in some ways, synonymous with capturing large scenes with a wide-angle lens, but what about more intimate landscapes? Using a telephoto lens almost exclusively on a recent trip through Colorado, I came up with five tips that might help you try it out for yourself.

It may not be obvious how important a telephoto lens is to landscape photography when you are just starting out. It is very reasonable that the first lens you will be drawn to when immersing yourself in landscape photography should be a wide angle lens as it will capture the entire landscape in front of you. I actually have my 70-200mm telephoto lens longer than my wide angle lens, but I never considered it my main lens until recently.

In this article, I’ll briefly go over a few tips I found on my trip that might help you try it out Telephoto lens for themselves.

1. Robust tripod

The first tip is a sturdy tripod. If you’ve taken wide-angle shots and got away with a bit of budget or an inferior tripod, a telephoto lens just won’t cope. Not only does the lens become significantly heavier, but the wider the focal length, the more any small wind or vibration movement becomes visible when a lighter tripod is used.

An example is when you shoot with slower shutter speeds during the golden hour while trying to keep your camera at ISO 100 and an aperture below f / 8, even if you have some kind of image stabilization. If you use a sturdy tripod, you will simply get more successful pictures. Because of this, I’ve personally botched a lot of pictures, and you will really see a difference switching from a lightweight tripod to one with more stability.

2. Timer or trigger

The next tip seems to come up in almost every series of tips I do, but using a trigger or trigger cable is mandatory. If your shutter speed is really slow, i.e. a little slower than 1/4 s while you also zoom in, then you probably need a 5 or 10 second timer if you don’t have a trigger. This will help reduce the vibration caused by your hands on the camera while you are taking the photo. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take the same photo twice to make sure the shot doesn’t vibrate. When capturing a panorama, be patient between shots, which I talk about quite a bit in my article on capturing a panorama.

Another bonus tip is to make sure nothing is hanging or dangling from your camera. I have never attached a camera strap to my camera, which in my opinion is not the norm. If you have a camera strap that you can’t remove, make sure you clip it somewhere on the camera or look for a strap that is easily detachable. If you use a shutter release, the same applies: don’t just leave it hanging on the camera. Any wind that has something hanging from your camera will cause micro-movements and will be absolutely noticeable in your last shots.

3. Polarizer

Polarizers are great for all types of landscape photography, no matter what lens you use. When it comes to using telephoto compositions, you will often find yourself far from your compositions, which means you will encounter haze in your shots, and a polarizer is one of the best ways to remove some of that haze from yours Picture.

I wrote an in-depth article on how to use a polarizer here. Keep in mind that it mainly focuses on wider shots, but still applies when a telephoto lens is used. If you want a recommendation for a polarizing filter, I highly recommend this magnetic It’s easy to switch between lenses when you’re in a hurry. I also wrote a full article on magnetic filters here if you are interested in even more information on it.

4. Review the critical focus

Next, you should review your critical focus. You should do this for every shot you take, but it’s especially important for telephoto because the focal plane is much smaller than you’re used to from a wide angle lens. To do this, after using autofocus, all you have to do is zoom in on your camera’s live view with the magnification button, set your lens or camera to manual focus, and then move your focus ring back and forth slightly until the scene looks sharpest on live view.

Often times, the autofocus will do a fine job with this, but it will depend somewhat on your camera and the quality of your lens. I have to admit that I don’t do this as often as I should and rely heavily on autofocus, but in practice and when I have time, I try to follow this rule as best I can.

5. Just shoot

The last tip I have for you is not to worry about the tips I just told you. Have fun taking photos with a telephoto lens, remove the camera from the tripod when you have a lot of light, and don’t worry too much about everything I mentioned above. The lens I keep on my camera when I’m just driving down the street often has a longer focal length, and it’s fantastic to just jump out of the car and take some pictures.

Remember, trying to capture those beautiful moments just before sunset or right after sunrise, you won’t have this luxury, but you can get away with holding hands for most of the day. Remember, have fun and don’t get stuck on one setup every time you want to take a photo.


As I photograph more and more intimate landscapes with a telephoto lens, I realized how versatile longer focal lengths can be. The ability to capture landscapes from a distance mixed with almost macro-like shots of things you might find along the road can completely transform your perspective and the way you capture your surroundings. The ability to camp on a ridge surrounded by changing light and record many different compositions is not possible with a wider lens.

When you’re standing by the fence or even thinking about your first landscape lens, don’t go for a wide angle just because it captures everything in front of you. Find out what you like to take and what kind of photos you want to take. This should help you decide what you need. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I hope these tips have been helpful for your trip. As always, thanks for reading and hope for more great tips in the comments below!


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Dealing with rough light in landscape photography https://crewgonzaga.com/dealing-with-rough-light-in-landscape-photography/ https://crewgonzaga.com/dealing-with-rough-light-in-landscape-photography/#respond Tue, 20 Jul 2021 20:00:52 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/dealing-with-rough-light-in-landscape-photography/ No doubt most of us love the soft, warm light of the golden hour, but simply put, you often go outside with your camera and are greeted with bright, unforgiving light. That doesn’t mean you should just pack up your camera and go back inside. In fact, you can get pictures that are just as […]]]>

No doubt most of us love the soft, warm light of the golden hour, but simply put, you often go outside with your camera and are greeted with bright, unforgiving light. That doesn’t mean you should just pack up your camera and go back inside. In fact, you can get pictures that are just as good in harsh light and this awesome video tutorial explains what to do when you run into that light.

Come to you from Adam Gibbs, this great video tutorial explains how to deal with harsh light in landscape photography. While many of us don’t particularly like such light, I don’t think it’s any less useful than soft light. In fact, I really believe that you can take great pictures in any light, but that we often get stuck with taking certain photos that the available light is not conducive to. If we learn to use the available light at a specific time and place, and take photos that make sense with that type of light, we can always come home with something of value. Check out the video above for the full review of Gibbs.

And if you really want to immerse yourself in landscape photography, check out “Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi”.


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Australia has over 30 buildings shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival https://crewgonzaga.com/australia-has-over-30-buildings-shortlisted-for-the-world-architecture-festival/ https://crewgonzaga.com/australia-has-over-30-buildings-shortlisted-for-the-world-architecture-festival/#respond Tue, 20 Jul 2021 06:57:22 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/australia-has-over-30-buildings-shortlisted-for-the-world-architecture-festival/ It is such a reflection of the anomalous times we are going through that so many of the wonderful Australian projects that were shortlisted Tuesday to the annual International Architecture Olympiad, the World Architecture Festival, are currently closed for the duration of the Eastern State lockdown . Amazing, expensive and imaginative buildings that have been […]]]>


It is such a reflection of the anomalous times we are going through that so many of the wonderful Australian projects that were shortlisted Tuesday to the annual International Architecture Olympiad, the World Architecture Festival, are currently closed for the duration of the Eastern State lockdown .

Amazing, expensive and imaginative buildings that have been built for hospitality, entertainment, office work, shopping, health, athletics or armies of students and that have just been selected as being of world class design are for visits or the use they were intended for , made blocked.

As with the Tokyo Olympics, the WAF was postponed last year by the pandemic, and selected 2020 participants have been bundled with those of the 2021 competition, which will hopefully meet in Lisbon in early December to make the decision overall winners.

The striking new roof of the Ken Rosewall Arena by Cox Architecture. Photo: Cox Architecture

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The delay has resulted in some of the buildings that represent Australia now being familiar to us and much celebrated in our own award systems: The remarkable arts center that shows that brick can almost become fluid, Sydney’s Phoenix Central Park, competes in the cultural class alongside JPW’s square-shouldered and very concrete Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney.

Of the 17 entries in the culture group, eight come from China. It is noteworthy that China emerges as the greatest force in the 20 different categories of this increasingly prestigious competition, now in its 13th year – overwhelmingly numerically in almost all groupings.

waf2021
The UTS Central on Broadway by fjmt. Photo: fjmt

But Australian sports facilities, all from Cox Architecture and various partners, including the renovations of the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney and the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, and in the expanded basket of the two-year shortlisted entries, the rather beautiful Queensland Countryland Bank Stadium in Townsville, name three possible winners among the narrow ranks of international stadiums.

Always trying to reflect the zeitgeist – which of course also includes the adapted thinking introduced by the global pandemic – this year’s WAF theme is “Resetting the City: Greening, Health and Urbanism”.

China is also strong on sustainable and nature-conscious projects, with 10 of the 14 nature-based landscape entries shortlisted.

Law_firms_mpomze
Woods Bagot’s “Pantscraper” building in Melbourne.

But in the class of urban landscapes, Australia has two starters: Lyons with the Prahran Square project from ASPECT Studios in Melbourne and the Sydney Park Water Re-Use project from Turf Design Studio, a beautiful new public park with the dual function of a recreation room and being a purge and diverting rainwater rivers that polluted Botany Bay.

China represents half of the 14 other entries in this group.

In the international shortlist of 478 projects from 62 countries for 2021, Australian shapes are as amorphous as many new residential and commercial buildings around the world.

Sydneypark
Sydney Park’s water recycling project was shortlisted for the Urban Landscape class. Photo: Ethan Rohloff Photography

Wood Bagot’s Collins Arch building, already known to melburners as the “Pantscraper”, was shortlisted twice – mixed use and residential.

Terroir’s fantastically diverse Penguin Parade Visitor Center is just as structurally demanding as Kirk’s Mon Repos Turtle Center near Bundaberg, both in the exhibition category.

Fjmt’s UTS Central Building, which opened as a student center in 2019, is such a distinctive multi-circle building on Broadway in Sydney that it has become a landmark at the gateway to the city center. Next to it in the higher education category is Grimshaws Monash University Woodside Building for Technology and Design.

waf2021
Artist’s impression of the Zayed National Museum by Foster + Partners in Abu Dhabi. Image: Foster + Partners

Overall, Australia has more than 30 buildings on the shortlist for 20/21 completed buildings. While some are conventional, square, and tailored to the sidewalk and boundaries, others just as unconventionally explore the warps and deviations in shape that new material technologies make possible.

One of the side events of the annual WAF are Future Projects, which look at buildings on the drawing board or just recently built from scratch around the globe.

If you look at the pictures by Foster + Partners for the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi, the future of architecture looks increasingly daring and ingenious.

The WAF will take place from December 1st to 3rd in Lisbon, Portugal.

worldarchitecturefestival.com/2020-2021-shortlist

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Master of the creative – Saanich News https://crewgonzaga.com/master-of-the-creative-saanich-news/ https://crewgonzaga.com/master-of-the-creative-saanich-news/#respond Mon, 19 Jul 2021 16:00:00 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/master-of-the-creative-saanich-news/ – Story by Sean McIntyre Photography by Don Denton Russell Papp can remember the thrill of being given a new roll of masking tape for his fourth birthday. While most children are likely to stare at their parents in disbelief – in anticipation of the punch line to what is certainly a cruel joke – […]]]>


– Story by Sean McIntyre Photography by Don Denton

Russell Papp can remember the thrill of being given a new roll of masking tape for his fourth birthday. While most children are likely to stare at their parents in disbelief – in anticipation of the punch line to what is certainly a cruel joke – Russell went to work transforming discarded pieces of cardboard, egg boxes, and other household scraps into elaborate sculptures that sprang from his imagination.

Russell’s mastery of masking tape would be his gateway to larger, more elaborate projects.

“It starts with masking tape, then comes the hot glue gun, and from then on there is the nail gun and table saws and MIG welders, and it just keeps evolving,” he says. “My imagination grew as my toolbox and skills expanded. The eclectic nature of my work came from my interest in materials and how things are made. “

Nowadays, the work of the landscape architect and sculptor from Oak Bay is in great demand with corporate clients and private individuals who yearn for a distinctive creative flair that merges with the inspiration of the iconic landscape in the south of Vancouver Island.

“I often look for sculptural inspiration in nature and in the sea,” he says during an interview in the back yard of his house on Bowker Avenue in early spring.

In the midst of well-tended hedges, a colorful palette of plants and blossom-laden branches in which the twittering of birds can be heard, it becomes clear that Russell’s landscape work in itself is a sculpture that is alive and constantly changing over the course of the day. Seasons and years. When done correctly, the results are aesthetically appeasing and have numerous health and social benefits.

“When I look at a landscape project, I always take the existing trees into account. You are usually the first to go for simple solutions and clear the path of least resistance, when the trees are actually the most important thing. A good landscape arises around the trees, ”he says. “Many people can never imagine what is going on underground and the harmony that is created within the entire ecosystem. It’s so important to work with what you have to create an environment and that means taking your time, listening and taking the time to be a part of it. “

Russell studied fine arts at Camosun College and Ecological Landscape Design on Royal Roads. He also attended the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and gained his first experience at GRLA Landscape Architects in Nova Scotia. Russell paid for his tuition by working with the father-son duo Bill and Timothy Ball. The Ball family, along with landscape architect John Olmsted, helped lay out many residential gardens in the Uplands and Oak Bay. Notable properties include the houses of the famous architect Francis Rattenbury and the original gardens of Riffington Manor. One of the most inspiring places in Russell’s formative years was the garden of the sculptor Elza Mayhew.

“I didn’t know then, but I developed a whole new ability and appreciation of plants, trees and rocks as an art form in my own right.”

After graduating, Russell began working in the film and stage industry, creating elaborate props and sets. It was the same passion of using masking tape and scrap to create ideas that he had had since he was four, but on a whole new scale. In the midst of the stage work, however, Russell kept returning to landscaping. One day, on the advice of his boss Timothy, he bought a 1993 Suzuki Carry mini truck and started his own business.

“It was four-wheel drive so I could drive right into the property, across the lawn and up the hill with big trees in the back,” Russell recalls. “We went back to the hole we had dug and dropped the tree right into it.”

Working for himself gave him new flexibility to take on a variety of creative projects, including landscaping, sculpture, and commercial art installations. Russell has since been able to focus on the diverse aspects of art and creativity that he loves.

If you’ve walked Oak Bay Drive last year, you may be familiar with Russell’s creative work. “Between Us” is a sculpture located near the penny farthing between Hampshire Road and Monterey Avenue. Russell created the piece last year as part of Oak Bay’s annual ArtsAlive program, which gives artists the opportunity to showcase their work while giving residents better access to public art. Russell says the program is a refreshing opportunity for artists to inspire one another and the general public.

“Art in the landscape is so important; it can arouse a sense of wonder, stimulate the imagination or stimulate thought, ”he says. “I would love to see sculpture parks that are integrated into the natural surroundings of Oak Bay and Victoria. As in many cities around the world, outdoor walking areas only enrich the atmosphere and the outdoor experience through nature with sculptures as anchor points. “

If music festivals and beer gardens are your scene, then there’s an equally good chance you’ve seen Russell’s work as a carnival-like backdrop for elaborate sets and displays. One of his most notable and memorable pieces, he says, is a 12-foot refrigerated semi-trailer truck that he turned into a 32-tap beer garden known as a gypsy wagon. Russell recalls the reaction from Phillips Brewery owner Matt Phillips when he showed him a sketch of the project which consisted of loading the trailer with barrels and then decorating its sides with crane-mounted removable panels. He was met with head scratching and disbelief and then immediately received the green light to proceed with what became a huge crowd-pleaser and signature fixture at local events.

Whether in the public area of ​​a festival or in the private world of a customer’s backyard, Russell’s colorfully structured creations are a balance between the modern, built urban landscape and the organic backdrop of sea, mountains and forest. His style is imbued with this place and this moment, but also with centuries-old principles. It is a kind of elegant intensity that invites the viewer to discover, celebrate and imagine.

“Art Nouveau meets Art Deco meets a Turkish puzzle ring full of complexity and layers,” he says.

However, Russell’s favorite aspect of his job is helping clients blend their living spaces into the natural landscape. To this end, he has started to shape the “courtyard landscapes” of the region himself. One of his proudest accomplishments is a landscaped garden on a Beach Drive property that was completed in 2011. Today he works on projects in the Cook Street Village area and on Ardmore Drive in North Saanich.

“Whether it’s a single sculpture or an artistic setting in the landscape, the process involves clear communication,” he says. “It’s a great way to get to know someone, hear all their ideas, and find a way to make their dreams come true. It may not be so clear to them, but I can translate what they say into something they may not have thought possible. ”

Visit Russell’s website here.

ArtBusiness



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A search for the dark side and better astrophotography https://crewgonzaga.com/a-search-for-the-dark-side-and-better-astrophotography/ https://crewgonzaga.com/a-search-for-the-dark-side-and-better-astrophotography/#respond Sun, 18 Jul 2021 19:13:05 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/a-search-for-the-dark-side-and-better-astrophotography/ One of the Holy Grail quests for astrophotographers is finding the dark sky. Few of us are fortunate enough to live under an ideal dark sky, but most of us are mobile enough to get anywhere better than the center of an urban area. In 2006, John Bortle published an article in Sky and Telescope […]]]>


One of the Holy Grail quests for astrophotographers is finding the dark sky. Few of us are fortunate enough to live under an ideal dark sky, but most of us are mobile enough to get anywhere better than the center of an urban area.

In 2006, John Bortle published an article in Sky and Telescope describing an informal scale for rating your sky, now aptly known as the Bortle Scale. On its scale, 1 is best, 9 is worst. Bortle 9 is what I live under – I don’t bother with a flashlight when I go to my garden at midnight.

The high-contrast image above was taken after midnight with no moon in the sky. Personally, only a few stars were visible when I took the picture. On the edited image, I circled the three bright stars of the striking summer triangle. The other bright object on the left of the picture is Jupiter.

My local solution is a 100 mile (161 km) drive to my observatory at an altitude of 4,300 feet (1,310 meters), after which on a good night I’ll be under a sky that may be Bortle 4+ sky. The above shot was taken towards the southwest, where the glow of San Diego dominates the central horizon and the glow of the nearby city of Temecula and more distant Los Angeles begins to the right.

The cover photo (repeated above) was taken in the first quarter moonlight at a location in San Pedro de Atacama at an altitude of 2,407 meters in northern Chile, which would likely be classified as a very good dark place (perhaps Bortle 1+). . Despite the first quarter moon, the Milky Way is clearly visible. The volcanic peak in the background is Licancabur, which lies on the border between Chile and Bolivia. The top of the cone is 5,916 meters long.

Above is a mosaic in the (by far) darkest place I have ever visited (Namibia). It is located on a dry high plateau on the edge of the Kalahari Desert with excellent conditions for astrophotography, but is a real journey to get to. The image of the southern Milky Way is a 5-panel mosaic of 40-minute recordings on medium format film.

A more accessible place is Haleakala on the island of Maui. At an altitude of 3,055 meters, the air is very transparent and even, but as you can see in the picture above, the light pollution is clearly visible nearby. Tourism-focused resorts and businesses outline the island’s coastline to the left and right, with central light coming from the cities of Wailuku and Kahului, where the airport is located. On the one hand, the top of the volcano is easy to reach with normal vehicles on a wide, paved road and is a national park. On the minus side, the summit is now so crowded that the National Park Service needs reservations to see the sunrise.

Jump into the search

To help find a suitable dark place, there are now several light pollution maps on the internet, as well as recommended lists of public places with dark skies. The IDA (International Dark Sky Association) is also a source of information if you would like recommendations for reducing the light footprint of your own property.

While reading through the light pollution maps can be helpful, it is wise to remember that, like a map of the average cloudiness of the sky, these are averages. Like the actual weather, the local conditions in a given location are highly dependent on several factors:

  • Brightness of the lights in your immediate area
  • Lighting technologies
  • Air pollution (atmospheric dispersion)
  • height

The first point is the obvious one that comes to my mind first. Nearby lights can shine directly into your lens and cause reflection artifacts or affect your night vision. Seasonal effects are wind, fire and fog. Holiday lighting is increasingly becoming a source of light pollution as cheap LED string lights are available.

A more subtle problem is the average glow of distant cities, which is particularly annoying for landscape astrophotographers. Even in deep sky photography, these distant domes of light limit the direction and the minimum height of the image. Wide-angle shots, in which clear color gradients disturb the photo, are particularly affected. But these effects also vary. At my observatory, low coastal fog suffocates the skylights of the surrounding cities at certain times of the year, which significantly improves the Bortle rating.

Lighting technologies

The type of lighting also plays an important role in the severity of light pollution. Many older types of lighting are in specific spectral bands, which at least allows the use of filters to block some of the interference. Unfortunately, from an astronomical point of view, the ugly low pressure sodium street light spectrum was the easiest to block, but it was so solid orange that it was difficult to find your car in a parking lot!

With the widespread availability of low power LED lighting, many lights have been converted to take advantage of reliability and low cost. Unfortunately, to encourage the move to LED lighting, manufacturers created bluer, more natural lighting, and with that we shot ourselves in the foot. LEDs are inherently very narrow-band light sources, but phosphors have been added to absorb and re-emit the light to cover a wider spectrum. In doing so, we have succeeded in swiveling the light pollution spectrum in the direction of blue, which scatters more strongly in our atmosphere than reddish lighting, as described in a recent study.

Air pollution (atmospheric dispersion)

The problem of blue light scattering also increases the role of particles in the air (whether or not viewed as pollution). The light sources themselves would not be such a problem if the light had no way of scattering and bouncing back on us. Smoke and urban smog are the most obvious factors, but moisture and wind-blown dust can also subtly affect the contrast in our images, even though individual layers of haze may not be visible to the eye.

During the day, you can get an idea of ​​how problematic the scattering is for you by blocking out the sun and seeing how blue the sky looks as you get closer to the sun. Ideally, the sky looks dark blue up to the edge of the sun. At night you can do the same test with the moon. At my observatory location, the sky can often look clear, but as soon as something bright like Venus or Jupiter rises, it immediately becomes clear that there is celestial nebula. With long exposure times, large halos (not in connection with chromatic aberration) become visible.

height

To get around this problem, one solution is to go up high to get over the low-lying air pollution as well as the clouds. With thin and sufficiently clear air, it is possible to photograph the Milky Way even when the moon (the worst natural source of light pollution) is outside. But even that may not be a good solution when a global event like a major volcanic eruption has brought ash high into the atmosphere. Your personal sensitivity to great heights can also limit this option.

The Simons Observatory (above) in northern Chile is at 5,182 meters and the air is clear enough to see the Milky Way even with a moon in the first quarter of the sky.

plane

Another often ignored source of light pollution is air travel. These cause a double blow – light pollution as well as air pollution. Air traffic exists at any time of the day or night. At night they fly with bright navigation lights. A good strategy is to review not only light pollution maps but also aircraft flight path maps and choose a suitable location.

In addition to the navigation lights of aircraft, engine exhaust gases are emitted high enough to linger for long periods of time, often in the form of visible contrails (altitude ice crystals).

What about satellites? They are not a problem for amateur astronomers. They are much darker than airplanes, have no navigation beacons, and the low-flying ones are mostly visible at sunset or sunrise. They could be a problem for professional astronomers, but amateur astronomers are facing bigger problems.

Other astronomers and astrophotographers

Finally, I have to say that we are our own worst enemies at times. When taking our own astrophotographs, we have to keep in mind that another astrophotographer may be trying to do his own thing 50 meters away. Illuminating the landscape with your flashlight can interfere with the next person’s exposure. The back screen of your cellphone or camera can be just as bad. Even the self-timer countdown flash or memory card write light could be an issue, so have some black tape handy to block out those light sources.

As an astrophotographer, it is also a good idea to avoid groups of amateur astronomers engaged in visual astronomy. You often have groups of people with flashlights pointed everywhere, including straight at your camera. Green laser pointers are often a problem too, and are bright enough to fit in photos (see picture above) even when they are moved. For this reason (as well as for eye safety reasons) I strongly advise against using them as polar finders or pointers to targets.

Do you have a good location to recommend? Please add your comments below!



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In the Mennonite community of the lost time in Belize https://crewgonzaga.com/in-the-mennonite-community-of-the-lost-time-in-belize/ https://crewgonzaga.com/in-the-mennonite-community-of-the-lost-time-in-belize/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 23:01:00 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/in-the-mennonite-community-of-the-lost-time-in-belize/ After a “weary and tiring” journey in 1957, a community of Mennonite Christians reached the southern bank of the Belize River in the Caribbean country then called British Honduras. “Neither bridge nor ferry awaited them,” wrote the Mennonite Gerhard S. Koop in 1991. “On the north bank of the river was a dark and forbidding […]]]>


After a “weary and tiring” journey in 1957, a community of Mennonite Christians reached the southern bank of the Belize River in the Caribbean country then called British Honduras. “Neither bridge nor ferry awaited them,” wrote the Mennonite Gerhard S. Koop in 1991. “On the north bank of the river was a dark and forbidding jungle with its strange noises and smells. Giant snakes and jaguars have found their home under the thick bush. “

The Mennonites had traveled from Mexico to what is now Belize on the last leg of a cross-generational, cross-continent journey. Believing in self-sufficiency and autonomy from the state, the group came from Germany and moved to Poland and Russia to escape the threat of integration or persecution from mainstream Christian institutions.

In the late 19th century, a splinter group of 7,000 moved to Canada and then to Mexico. When the Mexican government threatened to include the group in its social security system, the group moved further south and settled in a few small communities in Belize, where the government more or less allowed them to live according to their own rules in return for food to produce the local market.

Hills and plains where every family “had their piece of paradise”

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

A boy happily playing with his dog

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

Life is about community work

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

Although alien, the population is not insular

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

Although they feared their new home in the jungle, the Mennonite agricultural communities soon flourished. American photographer Jake Michaels visited the Little Belize, Indian Creek and Blue Creek settlements in 2018 and found that little had changed since the first settlers arrived.

“Homesteads line the lush green hills; in each of them a family had their piece of paradise, ”says Michaels. “The landscape was reminiscent of the simple agricultural society of the American Midwest in the 1950s. I was impressed by the quiet of the land, only interrupted by the sound of horses’ hooves and wooden wheels. These buggies were often driven by small children with surprising authority. “

Michaels spent a week photographing the church after a pastor gave him permission. “Everyone I dealt with was very nice and hospitable,” he says. “I spent as much time socializing as I did taking photos. Almost every house we visited offered us a meal and, if it wasn’t time to eat, a piece of milk cake. ”Michaels, whose work in the New York Times and time, has collected the series in a new book, around 195019, published by Setanta Books.

Pictures reflect the strong sense of community

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

The Mennonite world is based on a shared vision

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

The population grows to around 12,000

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

The children have surprising authority over the environment

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

Some Mennonites still speak Plauttdietsch German

(Jake Michaels / Setanta Books)

His pictures reflect the strong sense of community and tradition that persists in a landscape that is so different from its beginnings. Although there are differences within each small community, many Belizean Mennonites still speak Plauttdietsch or Mennonite Low German and dress in long, homemade skirts, headgear and overalls. Life is about community work; Families are big. Their population grows to around 12,000 people.

But although the Mennonites have retained their autonomy, they are not entirely untouched by modernity. Michaels says: “The Belizean culture is intertwined with the Mennonites. The Mennonites are driven into the city by the neighboring Belizeans who live in the surrounding villages. Orange Walk, the largest city in the area, is a mixture of Mennonites and Belizeans. ”

Reggaeton music can be heard from the radios. Many pictures show boys holding cameras and photographing Michaels. He says: “The camera was a means of communication for both of us.

“Despite modern nuances, family and tradition connect this community and their way of life is richly preserved. Their simple vision of society provides a mirror to the rest of us: one is more amazed at how our own lives are changing than how theirs stays the same.

“I hope that around 195019 reminds us that it is people who shape their social world on the basis of a common vision and another is always possible. “

c.1950 is published by Setanta Books



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Climate art sets sail for the Poles https://crewgonzaga.com/climate-art-sets-sail-for-the-poles/ https://crewgonzaga.com/climate-art-sets-sail-for-the-poles/#respond Fri, 16 Jul 2021 20:10:32 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/climate-art-sets-sail-for-the-poles/ Weather change by Julie Heffernan There is a lot to consider when curating an art exhibition that features 50+ artists working in a variety of media, including drawings, paintings, videos, sculptures, and soundscapes. Now imagine making it onto a ship headed for Antarctica, a ship that could face a 35-foot wave in the notoriously unforgiving […]]]>


Weather change by Julie Heffernan

There is a lot to consider when curating an art exhibition that features 50+ artists working in a variety of media, including drawings, paintings, videos, sculptures, and soundscapes. Now imagine making it onto a ship headed for Antarctica, a ship that could face a 35-foot wave in the notoriously unforgiving polar waters. (Pro tip: work closely with the ship’s engineers and forget about showing free-standing parts.)

change is a unique polar art exhibition that is permanent on board derboard National Geographic perseverance, a new polar expedition ship designed to carry adventurous passengers to the Arctic and Antarctic. It is also Zaria Forman’s curatorial debut. Her only requirement for the pieces she commissioned for the show was that they be inspired by the cold lands and seas at the northern and southern extremes of our planet. Similar to Forman’s own work.

Zaria Forman is working on Disco Bay, Greenland

The Brooklyn-based artist creates hyper-realistic pastel drawings of glaciers and sea ice that make the poles of the planet – and the effects of climate change, which is rapidly devastating them – haunting and terrifying.

Forman’s fascination with remote places began while traveling with her family as a child, who inspired her mother, photographer Rena Bass Forman. The younger Forman also takes photos while traveling – thousands of them. Then, back in the studio, she draws her large-format compositions from a combination of memories and photographs.

“Occasionally I’ll reshape the ice a little or simplify a busy background to create a balanced composition,” she says. “But 90 percent of the time I depict exactly the scene that I saw because I want to stay true to the landscape that existed at that point in time.”

Arctic landscape, dismantled, by Virginia Wagner

Forman has not lacked opportunities to witness the melting poles. In 2015 she traveled as Artist in Residence on board the National Geographic Explorer. She then accompanied flights on NASA’s Operation IceBridge, a program that conducts annual airborne surveys of the polar ice. In 2016 and 2017, Forman and the IceBridge crew completed 95 hours of flight time over Antarctica, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic and flew just 1,500 feet – five soccer fields – above the ice.

Working with NASA scientists changed Forman’s perspective on both her subject and her approach to drawing it. “They’ve been flying exactly the same routes, at the same time of year, for over a decade, and they all talked about seeing the changes in ice, especially sea ice, with the naked eye from one person.” Year to the next, ”says Forman. “This experience shaped and improved my own ice-watching practice, and in return my drawing technique evolved into increased precision and nuance.”

Forman sees the exhibition “Change” as an opportunity to reach people beyond one’s own art, to move passengers to a different and deeper examination of the region that they see in front of the ship’s windows and on their excursions.

LN 6910 from the series “Terminus” by Reuben Wu

Among the many works in the exhibition are paintings by Virginia Wagner depicting giant ice peaks surrounded by derricks and scaffolding that are being dismantled and hacked for human use. Then there is the photography of Reuben Wu, who used a drone equipped with LEDs to photograph a glacier under the night sky, the ice of which gleamed like a memory in the darkness of oblivion. Andrew Bearnot’s “Whale Bells” and NRDC’s artist-in-residence Jenny Kendler, inspired by the songs of the humpback whale, are also on display, while a sculpture by John Grade imagines what it feels like to swim on the sea ice. Guests can stand in it and hold onto it even in rough seas.

“It’s an exhibition with unexpected perspectives that explores light, magic, geometry, turbulence and calm,” says Forman. “For passengers on board the endurance, this creates a deep understanding and connection to places that are at the forefront of climate change. “

The endurance should originally go into service in April 2020. After waiting for the pandemic in Norway for more than a year, the ship finally got it sails to Iceland and Greenland on July 21, 2021.


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Bicentennial photo exhibition in Ste. Genevieve | history https://crewgonzaga.com/bicentennial-photo-exhibition-in-ste-genevieve-history/ https://crewgonzaga.com/bicentennial-photo-exhibition-in-ste-genevieve-history/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 23:36:51 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/bicentennial-photo-exhibition-in-ste-genevieve-history/ The My Missouri 2021 photo exhibition will be held at Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center until July 27th. Nikki Overfelt The My Missouri 2021 photo exhibition is now at Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center. The exhibit features 200 photos taken in Missouri by professional and amateur photographers to celebrate the state’s bicentenary. It will be at the […]]]>







The My Missouri 2021 photo exhibition will be held at Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center until July 27th.


Nikki Overfelt



The My Missouri 2021 photo exhibition is now at Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center.

The exhibit features 200 photos taken in Missouri by professional and amateur photographers to celebrate the state’s bicentenary.

It will be at the Welcome Center, 66 S. Main Street until July 27th. They are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to an introduction to the exhibition, it shows the geographic and cultural landscape of the country across the seasons.

“To mark the bicentenary of Missouri, they are an opportunity to reflect and broaden our understanding of the rich diversity of Missouri while recognizing many of the commonalities that people have in common,” says the introduction.

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The 200 photos were selected from almost 1,000 images submitted to the State Historical Association in 2018 and 2019.

Local areas included in the exhibit include the Missouri Mines State Historic Site, Pickle Springs Natural Area, Johnson’s Shut-Ins, Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, and Castor River Shut-Ins.

Jan Trautman from the Welcome Center said the exhibition was originally in Ste. Geneva in February.

“The snow was the reason we didn’t get it,” she added. “It wasn’t COVID.”



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Restoration of nature, restoration of joy | Bird life https://crewgonzaga.com/restoration-of-nature-restoration-of-joy-bird-life/ https://crewgonzaga.com/restoration-of-nature-restoration-of-joy-bird-life/#respond Tue, 13 Jul 2021 07:40:40 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/restoration-of-nature-restoration-of-joy-bird-life/ Restoring nature is a wonderful thing. It’s great for wildlife, of course, but it’s also of great benefit to humans. My name is Felipe Gonzalez Sanchez and I want to tell you about a restoration project that I worked on as a conservationist and that has brought great social benefits to the local people. It’s […]]]>


Restoring nature is a wonderful thing. It’s great for wildlife, of course, but it’s also of great benefit to humans.

My name is Felipe Gonzalez Sanchez and I want to tell you about a restoration project that I worked on as a conservationist and that has brought great social benefits to the local people. It’s called Eco Astillero XXI.

El Astillero is a town in Santander Bay in Cantabria, northern Spain, known for its shipyard (“astillero” is the Spanish word for shipyard). It is also surrounded by swamps, which are ancient nesting sites for migratory birds. These swamps suffered immense damage over the course of the 20th century. The mining of iron and the deposition of excess sediment completely destroyed the landscape. In addition, auxiliary industries occupied land along the estuary and after the mines were closed; the ancient swamps have been taken over by invasive, non-native plants such as eucalyptus and pampas grass.

The place was in a terrifying state. And it was completely inaccessible to the local population.

At the turn of the century, the young mayor of El Astillero wanted to do it differently. He wanted to restore the destroyed landscapes and create a large public space for everyone. This idea was to become the Eco Astillero XXI project: a new, sustainable future for a new century. The project is carried out in partnership with El Astillero and SEO / BirdLife, the conservation NGO I work for.

We have restored 60 hectares of severely degraded land. We have invasive species like pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), restored the tidal area by opening dikes, creating new lagoons, remote landfills, building a network of 25 ponds and replanting native vegetation. We planted 40,000 trees in total! We have also created a 21 km long network of paths and cycle paths. The project started in 1999 and we still maintain the site today.

As you can see, it was a lot of work! But it was worth it: What used to be an inaccessible and degraded landscape in a crowded city is now a lush green space that everyone can enjoy. It’s hard to overestimate how important it is for humans to have nature in their lives – both for their mental and physical health. Today people go walking, cycling, picnicking and just enjoying nature! I think anyone who has experienced the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic knows the value of having access to nature close to their home.

The Eco Astillero XXI project benefits the community in a number of ways. Thanks to funding from the regional government, unemployed people are hired every year to work on the site: removing invasive plants, digging ponds, planting trees, setting up nesting boxes and more. The project has so far employed 560 people!

Workers in El Astillero

Another great benefit is that people’s interest in biodiversity is growing. I notice more people with cameras and binoculars every day. In fact, we hold an annual biodiversity photography competition that attracts over 100 participants each year.

In terms of biodiversity, one of our greatest achievements was the creation of a new colony of common terns (Sterna Hirundo). They started breeding in 2011 in rafts that we created for them. During the breeding season, you can see them from all over the world thanks to the webcams we have set up. We keep seeing new species coming to El Astillero, such as otters or even the Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). In addition, the ponds we dug now house seven different species of amphibians: three newts and four frogs.

I hope that our success with Eco Astillero XXI will inspire other post-industrial cities to make way for nature; and inspires the European Commission to fund such projects. There is enormous potential for improving people’s quality of life, creating jobs and healing nature in the process. In addition, our experience has shown that restoring nature can be achieved on a relatively modest budget compared to the benefits that come with it.

I would like to thank everyone who was involved in bringing Eco Astillero XXI to life and keeping it running to this day: the people of the El Astillero community and SEO / BirdLife. I would also like to thank our donors: the Cantabrian regional government, the national authorities, the LIFE program of the European Union and local private donors.

As a conservationist, I feel really privileged to have had the opportunity to take part in this project and see its brilliant results for both wildlife and humans.

Felipe Gonzalez Sanchez, Cantabria Regional Representative, SEO / BirdLife

Beyond Astillero

The history of Astillero is unique, but at the same time it is one of many projects where the restoration of nature brings great social benefits to the local population.

The renaturation of the wetlands in the Le Bine nature reserve in northern Italy consisted in part of reclaiming an area that was previously used intensively for agriculture. Today, Le Bine runs an educational program with local schools to teach children the benefits of nature-friendly farming.

Fen Drayton Lakes in Great Britain was formerly a sand and gravel quarry. In 1992 mining was stopped and the quarries flooded. Today the place is full of life: it is a complex of lakes, lagoons and ponds where wildlife can be found all year round – otters, dragonflies and many different birds. It’s a wonderful place to forget your worries and just connect with nature. There is so much to see, the place has become an eco-tourist destination! Bring your binoculars: Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Eurasian bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) and Eurasian hobbies (Falco Subbuteo) waiting for you.

The Carpathia Project, funded by the Endangered Landscapes Program, amid the dramatic landscape of Romania’s Făgăraş Mountains, aims to create a world-class wilderness reserve to protect both local wildlife and some of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe while restoring and habitat Wildlife populations that have been lost to unsustainable logging, hunting and overgrazing. The project works closely with local communities to monitor human and animal coexistence, with teams on the ground working to prevent and respond to conflict, for example by installing electric fences to deter bears from targeting problem animals from villages expel and shepherds with traditional with guard dogs. They also create tangible economic benefits by supporting the development of nature-based businesses, including ecotourism, sustainable forestry and food production – which benefit the local economy and the countryside.



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12 Amazing Birds winners of the Audubon Photography Awards 2021 https://crewgonzaga.com/12-amazing-birds-winners-of-the-audubon-photography-awards-2021/ https://crewgonzaga.com/12-amazing-birds-winners-of-the-audubon-photography-awards-2021/#respond Sun, 11 Jul 2021 11:33:29 +0000 https://crewgonzaga.com/12-amazing-birds-winners-of-the-audubon-photography-awards-2021/ Sandhill Crane, Amateur Award Winner, Johns Lake, Winter Garden, Florida. A newborn Sandhill Crane … [+] Foal on his mother. Photo: Robin Ulery – Audubon Photography Awards 2021 From the finest details to the largest patterns, this year’s winners of the Audubon Photography Awards, chosen from 8,770 images and 261 video clips, offer an irresistible […]]]>


From the finest details to the largest patterns, this year’s winners of the Audubon Photography Awards, chosen from 8,770 images and 261 video clips, offer an irresistible spectacle of the wonders of bird life.

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The annual competition, organized by the Audubon Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting birds, is open to professional and amateur photographers from the United States and Canada.

Now in its 12th year, the 2021 competition includes a new category for videos and is awarded the Female Bird Prize for the first time to raise awareness of female birds that are often overlooked in both bird photography and conservation and be underestimated.

MORE FROM FORBESFor Bird Lovers: 10 Inspirational Photos, 2020 Audubon Photography Awards Winner

The winning photos and videos will be presented in the 2021 summer edition of Audubon Magazine and in a virtual Audubon Photography Awards exhibition.

“As these photos and videos enchant people with the beauty of the birds, two-thirds of North American birds are threatened with extinction, according to Audubon’s 2019 climate research report,” warn the organizers.

Carolina Fraser won the 2021 Grand Prix for her photo of a taller roadrunner, a member of the cuckoo family (below), taking a dust bath in Cotulla, Texas.

In the middle of an evening dust bath, a Greater Roadrunner stands proudly in the backlight of the sun. Brilliant golden light exposes white tail feathers that contrast with down feathers that fan out from the sides. Dust from a recent role in dirt remains in the air.

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An iconic bird from the American Southwest that is uniquely adapted to life on the ground in arid regions. It can travel considerable distances at 20 miles per hour and get the moisture it needs from lizards, rodents, and other prey.

When water is available, it is easy to drink, but rarely, if ever, uses water for bathing.

Instead, frequent dust baths and sunbathing on cool mornings are the norm.

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A red-tailed hawk holds an open-mouthed chipmunk in its yellow claws, the head and front paws of the rodent peek out from a snow-covered pole. The bird of prey’s head bends low as it looks at its chipmunk prey, a piece of fur in its blue, pointed beak.

The redtail is the most widespread of the soaring hawks in North America and also has the most widespread diet: it hunts all prey from squirrels or rats in city parks, snakes in high desert areas, or hares on sagebrush plains.

Chipmunks are frequent prey in some places. Although they only provide a small meal, they are relatively easy to catch.

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A red male northern cardinal appears to hover over the snow-covered ground. The comb feathers on his head blow backwards in the wind while he flies in profile in front of gray plant stems. The bird’s three wing feathers touch the white carpet of snow, its shadow connects below.

Beak deep in a partially open yellow flower emerging from the water, a gray female red-shouldered blackbird stands balancing on a lily pad, her wings partially extended and showing the touch of red on her shoulders.

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When male red-shouldered blackbirds picked dragonflies from the air to feed their nestlings, the females hopped from lily pad to lily pad looking for insects in the yellow and white flowers. It sticks its beak into the closed flower and then opens its beak wide to disperse the flower and expose insects that hide in it.

In summer, the North American swamps are animated by red-shouldered blackbirds. Males stand out when they sing and defend territory, while the more cryptically colored females do most of the actual work of rearing youngsters.

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Standing on a rocky cliff dotted with feathers from past killings is a peregrine falcon with a red-crested acorn woodpecker in its bloody claws. The light brown and dark gray falcon holds a feather in its beak, while two other feathers, black above and white with blood stains below, cross in midair.

As masters of the skies, peregrine falcons are capable of catching virtually any bird, from high-speed fliers like swifts to geese larger than themselves. Peregrine falcons are best known for spectacular high-altitude dives, plummeting at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour to strike prey from the air.

But they have other hunting methods. These hawks are likely to pick up a bird like a woodpecker in a short, powerful level flight.

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A female Northern Harrier flies over a wetland, her broad wings raised above her head, her long tail striped white and brown like a fan.

Northern Harriers hunt by gliding deep across open swamps and fields to watch and listen for prey. When the slender birds of prey spot a small mammal or bird, they turn around abruptly, hover briefly, and then drop.

Even a seasoned adult may only get the catch about a third of the time. Pups like this young female, identified as female by her brown eyes, may have a much lower success rate at first, but their skills improve with practice.

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More than a dozen purple flowers on a Pride of Madeira plant obscure everything but a blurry wing and an Anna hummingbird eye. The hummingbird stands opposite the viewer with a clearly visible eye between two flowers and seems to be making eye contact with the photographer.

Hummingbirds are often described as having a preference for red tubular flowers. While many of these flowers evolved specifically to be pollinated by hummingbirds, that doesn’t mean the birds are ignoring other species.

Anna’s hummingbirds have to adapt to all available flowers. You will quickly learn which flowers will provide nectar at any given time and focus on them, regardless of color or shape.

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Soaring in a stiff wind, a red-tailed hawk appears to soar in mid-air with its wings outstretched as it tilts its head to one side to search the ground for prey.

Redtail hawks mostly hunt from an elevated perch, as flying low enough to search for prey usually requires more hitting and more energy. Sometimes wind conditions are such that they can hang motionless, barely move their wings, and rest in the air while examining the ground.

The brown, cylindrical tip of a cattail stands upright, while a green Anna’s hummingbird, half the size, pulls out seed fibers, the fluff of which extends from its beak to the tip of the plant.

Hummingbird nests are amazing structures: tiny, strong, but flexible, stretchy as the baby birds grow. To build them, females must seek out the most delicate materials in nature – cobwebs and planting in between – to build felted walls.

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When the cattails’ heads begin to crumble to scatter their seeds in the wind, they are a perfect source of the kind of flake light the hummingbirds need.

On a wet, rocky shore a sandpiper sits with its beak under its brown-gray wing, in the background the blurry blue sea waves.

No other member of the sandpiper family has such a northern range all year round as the sandpipers. These hardy birds thrive in the toughest of conditions. From their arctic breeding grounds, they drift south in late autumn to places where icy ocean waves crash violently on coastal rocks.

The sandpipers are at home in this turbulent scene, climbing in search of tiny crustaceans and even sleeping peacefully among the boulders.

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In a quiet wetland with green grass and brown reeds in the background, a Canada goose flies out of the water with its wings outstretched and beak open, while another Canada goose honks back with its wings angled at 90 degrees.

Canada Geese can be very aggressive and their instinct to defend their territory is intense during the breeding season, when pairs are actively driving away their own species as well as other large intruders.

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Snow gently falls over a wintry gray landscape with a large gray owl perched on a thin branch. The owl slowly turns its head to reveal piercing yellow eyes and a blood-stained beak. Snow has accumulated on the face as it examines its surroundings. The owl slowly spreads its wings and flies away silently.

Winter conditions don’t seem to bother the Great Gray, North America’s largest owl. Feathers make up much of its apparent mass, and its thick plumage allows it to thrive in sub-zero temperatures. It will plunge 18 inches into drifts to catch mice and other prey, its sharp ears sensing how it moves beneath the deep snow.



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