This post documents our September 16, 2017, arrival and sojourn in Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s also the continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise which began in November 2017. The documentation began in November of 2017; the cruise itself was in September 2017. With any luck, I’ll wrap this up this year.

Anyway, current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a gallery at the end of this post and a SmugMug gallery HERE(link) for photos from this day. Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. The SmugMug Folder Containing all of the Alaska 2017 galleries is HERE(link).

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. I’m breaking up photos into multiple posts in an effort to keep them manageable. Meaning, composing long posts in the Block Editor (ptui!) is still an exercise in frustration.

On December 11, 2021, I shot this image of the moon with the Nikon P900. I cropped the sides a bit, and output the image with a maximum dimension of 1200 pixels (for the purpose of what I’m posting, there’s no advantage in viewing the original size).

This has no processing other than mentioned above.

Yes, the sky was blue because I shot this a little after 4:00 pm, when it was still light. Let me show you two versions, one post-processed with Topaz DeNoise AI, the other with Topaz Sharpen AI, and then both processed using Lightroom to turn them into Monochrome images.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Welcome to the third bird feeders bird post. This post has photos (Nikon D7500) and videos (Nikon P900) from December 16, 2021. Also, videos from the 15th.

The 16th was another warmish — if wet — day, and I sat outside for a few hours watching the wildlife. I shot 99 photos, and I managed to pare them down to 64.

Because I’m still working out the whole embedding thing, these will be loaded as I usually do, which means I’ll have galleries to help readers speed through the photos as opposed to having readers wear out the scroll wheel of their mouse. I calculated that based on the amount of storage I have left, the actual number of photos I can upload might be as many as 4,500 (depending on the sizes). That’s more than I’d estimated before, so that’s nice.

I’m also breaking with tradition and not presenting the photos in the order they were shot.

Tufted Titmouse using my Nikon D7500

Much like the last post, this is not a super-great photo of a Tufted Titmouse. What can I say? Sometimes, my luck runs out and my lack of talent shines through, even if I’m using the Nikon D7500 with the excellent 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I could blame the poor lighting and the rain, but it’s all on me. However, I got luckier after that . . .

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Welcome to the second bird feeders bird post.

The weather having been unusually warm (we had a few days in the 70s and a number of days in the middle and upper 60s … in December) I have lots of photos to share . . . and if it’s anything like my cruise photos effort, I’ll probably finish sharing them sometime in late 2024.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with the bird attendance at the feeders, this being winter and all, and I look forward to more of a showing once Spring rolls around, which, at this rate, will probably be in the middle of January.

Sneak peek of a Tufted Titmouse using my Nikon P900

I’ll have more off those guys in future posts. They are cagey and seldom sit still long enough for a shot when at the feeders, hence why the P900’s long zoom came in handy for that opportunity.

I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but — weather permitting — I sit outside with a cup of coffee and the two cameras (Nikon P900 and Nikon D7500 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens) for a few hours during the time the birds are most active. Even if there’s little avian activity, I still shoot photos of shrubs, rocks, leaves, etc.

Most of those photos get blown away (yes, I occasionally get rid of photos), but what I’m doing as I wait for birds, is trying different settings, learning what the cameras can and cannot do, and finding the best settings for the conditions.

American Robin photographed using my Nikon P900

And, what are the conditions?

Well, this set of photos are samples from two days — December 14 and 16 — and both days were overcast and featured an occasional raindrop or two (a few raindrops are visible on that photo, and you can see water drops on the bird’s tail).

In that particular photo, the bird was about twenty feet away. This next bird was about 160 feet away.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

A little over a week ago, I broke down and bought a few bird feeders.

In Michigan, I used to have multiple feeders. In Colorado, I sought to duplicate my bird-feeding habits but ran into a problem with field mice getting into the house and garage (field mice droppings contain some nasty stuff), not to mention one had to bring feeders in at night lest one attracted bears.

I’m pretty sure I won’t have bear problems in my backyard, and I’m hoping field mice stay in the fields. Wait, I take that back. There was a confirmed bear sighting about 30 miles north of us (LINK).

Fortuitous capture of a White-throated Sparrow using my Nikon P900

Anyway, that White-throated Sparrow was one of the first birds to arrive at the feeders.

Well, actually, on the ground. I spread some no-waste feed on the ground to attract the ground feeders. The thinking was that other birds would then investigate.

Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco photographed using my Nikon P900

The other first arrivals were one of my favorite bird species, Dark-eyed Junco. I’ll have more to say about them below.

I should note a few things about me, cameras, and birds. Because the weather has been warm enough (if a bit cloudy and wet), I sat outside for a few hours at a time just so I could observe and photograph the birds. The feeder is about 15 feet away from where I sit, but the edge of the patio — where those two birds were photographed — is about 25 feet away. My neighbor’s bushes are about 45 feet from my chair.

So, there’s me, my coffee, and both the P900 and the D7500 with either the 70-200mm or the 70-300mm lenses on it. You might thus notice a difference between various photos, with the DSLR photos perhaps (but not always) offering better quality. And, that’s all I’ll probably say about photography and cameras.

. . . zero birds in the hand is worth eight in the bush.

That’s right, mes chers lecteurs; there be eight identifiable birds in that bush. Meaning, you can definitively recognize them as birds (having recognizable bird characteristics).

Now, you have to be a bit careful because the milkweed seed pods, tend to have bird-like shapes depending on their orientation, but they don’t have legs, beaks, tails, or feather markings.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Regular readers will recognize the above from the videos shared in THIS<<link post. I now aim to share the photos I snapped when I wasn’t shooting video.

I debated how to best present the photos and decided on chronological order. That means that photos from the D7500 and P900 are mixed in together, and I won’t bother identifying which is which, although one could probably guess based on the composition. That said, if you are curious, click the “i” button for the photos in the SmugMug Gallery and it will bring up information about the given photo.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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There will be a separate post for the photos, but for now, a quick post of the videos

I thought all the pelicans had left the area, but during a drive to Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on October 25th, I happily saw that was not the case.

This first video is a compilation of a few clips (not in slow motion – 1080p) of Pelicans at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on October 25th. It shows incoming pelicans joining a group of gathered pelicans, some shoveler ducks (I think), seagulls, and the little birds flying around are Tree Swallows.

The last bit of that video shows another group of pelicans roughly 0.7 miles from where I was filming.

Edited to Add: the caca Block Editor’s Paragraph Block is — for some probably stupid coding reason — highlighting all the text in yellow. I’ve tried to fix it a number of times, and I’ll keep trying, but if you see the distracting and unwanted yellow highlight, please curse whoever coded the editor (I do).

Edited to Add: Apparently, per the response I received, this is a recent and known bug. They are “working on it” without a current estimate for when it will be fixed. Yes, yes . . . the caca Block Editor is great!.

Edited to Add: One of the support people sent me this email, and the fix appears to have worked (except the text color is not what I had specified when I created the post); the yellow highlight is no more. Below, I include the directions and the piece of code to add to your site (use the customize link provided) as directed by the support team:

BELOW THIS LINE IS FROM THE SUPPORT TEAM

Can you add the following CSS code to your site?

/* -- fix text highlight issue | 4377763-zen (DZ)-- */
mark {
  color: unset !important;
  background-color: unset !important;
}

Please browse to Customizer ( https://wordpress.com/customize/ ) > Additional CSS and add the code at the bottom there below any existing code.

ABOVE THIS LINE IS FROM THE SUPPORT TEAM

This post continues my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise which began in November 2017 (the documentation began in November of 2017 — the cruise was in September of 2021 2017). How’s that for running a bit late?

Anyway, current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a SmugMug gallery HERE(link). Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. I should also mention many of these photos are of lesser quality than I would like as they are primarily taken with my then Note II. Not that the Note II didn’t take excellent photos; the poor quality is a combination of low-lighting and a bit of carelessness on my part.

From the ship’s souvenir shop . . . reminders of excursions (we did not take any of those).

Voting is still slow, but that’s usual for this challenge, and I expect a few more votes will trickle in as next week’s deadline nears. Still, here’s another reminder that the voting for the SDS Challenge ‘Wrath’ Stories is underway.

If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Wrath, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

This post has photographs, but the main impetus is photography equipment. Reader beware, some might find it a long slog unless interested in the topic.  

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

I purchased the Nikon P900 in 2017 and for that year, it was my primary camera. Meaning, I took twice as many photos with the P900 than my then camera, the Nikon D7000, including using it almost exclusively on our 2017 Alaska cruise (which, I’m still documenting!), and wrote a lot about it.

For the next few years — until 2020 — I managed at least as many photos with the P900 as with the DSLR. And, I wrote about it (LINK). I especially revisited the issue of cameras at the beginning of 2019 when I was looking to make a change to my DSLR … and wrote about it …

Yup, still busy . . . these days are just flying by and before I know it, it’s late at night. So, more samples of photos that will appear in future posts (with others, of course). Yesterday morning, a few Northern Mocking birds frolicked in my backyard . . .

They gave me lots of opportunities to get decent photos both with the D7500 (above) and the P900 (below).