Readers’ wildlife photographs

May 16, 2015 • 8:00 am

As per the new policy, we’ll have a shorter selection of photographs on Saturday because Caturday Felids counts as photographs! But today we have three nice space photos from reader Tim Anderson in Oz. Click twice (with a break in between) to see the pictures enlarged, and by themselves:

This is a nightscape showing part of the Milky Way rising in the south-east from Tumut, New South Wales. The light near the horizon is sky glow from Canberra on the other side of the Brindabella Ranges. The picture is a 15-second exposure taken with a Canon 70D and a Tamron wide-angle lens.

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For comparison with the nightscape picture I just sent, here are two longer exposures: the first is 3 minutes, the second is 15 minutes. By the look of the second picture, it takes 15 minutes on a dark night to collect as much light as a person sees in 100th of a second in full daylight.

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Tim, who seems to be a photographic polymath, also sent a picture of a gorgeous bird:

This is a common ground-feeding bird in southeastern Australia – the double-barred finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii). This one is part of a flock that spends its mornings sparring with firetails, parrots and sparrows in a Tumut garden.

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And from reader Charles Brown, who had a large saguaro cactus put into his front yard in Arizona:

Here are a few photos showing the blooming saguaro cactus [Carnegiea gigantea] in my front yard and some of the animal life it attracts, including a Gila woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) looking for breakfast and assorted bees and insects. Our cats (Tony, Abigail, Milo, Penelope, Maggie, and Oscar) love to bird watch from our upstairs window but remain frustrated hunters. (No squirrels – sorry.)

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8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. I used to live far enough from towns to see the night sky like that, but now there is always a yellow glow from the city that spoils the view. My relocation plans aught to take that into account.

    1. Yeah me too. The city got built up around me but years ago, you could see the milky way clearly.

  2. Very interesting. I would very much like to try the night sky photographs but I do not have a stacking program. It is interesting to see that one can do a pretty good job with just one long exposure.
    In the first sky picture you can see a trail of closely spaced dots in the lower right. Since this is a continuous exposure then this must be a distant plane passing by during the exposure.

  3. Spectacular night-skyscapes! The choice of what land forms to show and how much of them is just right to conjure the vastness around us. That experiment with exposure length is also fascinating, something I’m now interested in trying myself.

    And what a neat little bird! Tim, please tell Australians to set up more live-streaming bird cams–I know of only a handful for the entire continent!

  4. Charles, wow, that’s a fantastic plant to have in one’s yard! Looks like saguaros are important to the local honeybees.

    It’s really a treat to see the Gila woodpecker right at home in what looks like such a hostile habitat.

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