Flora & Fauna

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  • A Noble Curiosity

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    This is a beautiful bald eagle I found at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. I love the eagle's head was craned, looking as me as if wondering what a big guy with a camera was doing there through the glass. Could be the status of these birds as a national symbol, but something about them is truly regal and noble, no matter what they do. Still, one amazingly beautiful bird!

  • A Short Break

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    My phone died. I needed it to try and find my girl, who I was hoping to meet at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. The only option, rather than giving her a call, was to walk around the building and try to find her. Along the path, what do I happen to come across but this cute little guy! I love squirrels, they're so perky and twitchy and fluffy. This little thing just looked like he wanted a nut. It's too bad I didn't have any, else I'd gladly have provided!

  • Annoyed Yet Comfortable

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    I spotted this cute little guy at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA, and am struck by how how...annoyed...he looks. Something about those eyes, almost like I'm peeking into the shower and he's just giving me the stink eye. And yet, he's comfortable and all fluffy and plump. Just happy, and yet not happy, to be where he is. Aren't birds fun?

  • Azure

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    At the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA, in the Rainforest open air room, I spotted this amazingly beautiful bird fluttering around, and he landed on a perch nearby. I don't know what kind of bird this is, but I am awestruck by the sheer COLOR displayed in this wonderful little bird. An interesting little tidbit though; I do have another photograph of this guy, that didn't turn out as well as this one did, but in it you can clearly see his beak opened up, with his tiny little tongue visible, no thicker than a toothpick.

  • Best Friend

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    My entire life, I've been around dogs; my mother owns a dog grooming business, after all! So, I've felt a kinship with them for as long as I can remember, and it never fails to amaze me just how devoted, precious, and loyal these creatures are to us. Nowhere have I really seen a more pure display of that than when I was recently on the beaches of the Outer Banks, NC. There were just so many dogs, and every one of them was happy and active, running alongside the crashing waves and the footsteps of their best friends. I managed to find this beautifully-preserved paw print freshly placed in the sand, and caught a photograph of it an instant before it, like everything else on the shore, was washed away into memory.

  • Caught in the Moment

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    Another beautiful photograph from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. This one I'm particularly proud of; the focus is caught in such a curious place, the little guy taking one last look at me before taking off. I can't get over how colorful some of these birds can be! I'm also particularly proud of the bokeh in effect in the background, with the blur becoming an intriguing mix of circles. Such a pleasing effect, isn't it?

  • Coalescence

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    So, it was a beautiful day in central Ohio, and I was out visiting family. We were having fun, everyone running around the park or sat around the benches so that they might escape the bright, sweltering sun...and yet there I was, hunkered down on my stomach, camera pointed at this one tree for what felt like a solid half hour. Every shot, it felt, was a mistake. Was this one good? No, the aperture was too wide and the sky was washed out. Was this one good? Nope, too dark. How about this one? Gah, it's blurry! Photography is a test of patience, I swear. There was something about this singular tree though, as unassuming as it was on the surface...it just attracted me to it. I kept trying, kept shooting...and by the time I got home, I very quickly figured out what I wanted to do. What you see is the result!

  • Colorful Blossom

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    This was a beautiful, multicolored flower I had found while strolling about inside of Phipps Conservatory at Schenley Park, in Pittsburgh PA. Thanks to Heather over on Etsy (where I started my business) , I now know this is a "confetti lantana". It has become one of my favorite flowers, without a doubt! Seriously, go and visit Phipps; there's so much more there than just these pretty flowers!

  • Colorful Blossom 2

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    This was another beautiful, multicolored flower I had found while strolling about inside of Phipps Conservatory at Schenley Park, in Pittsburgh PA. Thanks to Heather over on Etsy , I now know this is a "confetti lantana". It has become one of my favorite flowers, without a doubt! If you're ever in the area, take a trip down there. Don't do what I did, and wait 27 years to take a visit. :)

  • Crisp and Crimson

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    In the autumn of 2015, my step-grandfather passed away in his sleep, after a long and difficult battle with cancer and diabetes. He had lived a long and fruitful life, and is the source of a tremendous number of memories throughout my life; he'll certainly be missed! As a final parting gift, he had brought the family together for a military funeral deep in the hills of Pennsylvania, at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, where he was to be given a soldier's funeral. The grounds of the cemetery were stoic and calm as cemeteries tend to be, but sprinkled throughout the grounds were these incredible trees, caught in the very zenith of their autumn beauty. I don't believe I had ever seen anything so vibrantly RED in all of my life, and fortunately (expecting this kind of beauty during the autumn months) I had my camera with me. I angled to the bright blue October sky, beneath that gorgeous red tree, and captured the image you see here.

  • Fawns

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    I live right next to a peaceful Pennsylvanian forest; acres and acres of relatively unspoiled, hilly land I spent a sizable portion of my childhood exploring. Sometimes, beautiful things step out of that forest...and this year, I noticed a doe had started moving bravely out from the woods, into the field across from our house...with her two cute little fawns in tow. Virtually every day this beautiful little four-legged family would come out from the woods, peacefully grazing on the grass. One stormy day I even caught the briefest glimpse of these two little cuties pouncing around in a puddle of rainwater, bleating happily. (Boy, do I wish those photos turned out better!) Still, I managed to catch this sight you see here; the two little fawns in a rare moment apart from their mother, enjoying a sunny day.

  • Flamingorgeous

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    What else could I name it? This is a very pretty flamingo! I have a real soft spot for flamingos; they're such strange, otherworldly birds, and yet here they are, goofy legs and weird beaks, right before our eyes. This one in particular stood still and patient for me, using its crooked beak to scratch at its long, tubular bendy neck. This was taken several years back at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, one of my favorite places to go. It's difficult to get tired of watching these beautiful creatures, and even more difficult getting tired of photographing them.

  • Fleeting Vigil

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    This small, colorful bird was photographed in the rainforest open air room at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. I don't know exactly what kind of bird this was, but he's a beautiful little guy, and I was lucky to catch him as he fluttered around the big room, with all those other birds they kept there. Maybe he's the one who pooped on my head while I was walking around in that room! True story! I walked in there, dreading it...thinking that a big, open room full of birds was a recipe for disaster. Lo and behold, hours after walking out of that room, running my hand through my hair...I noticed it. That was still a fun day, and the birds were still beautiful!

  • Gentle Giant

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    Virtually every year, I make a pilgrimage to the Pittsburgh Zoo; I have done this ever since I was a little kid. What kid *doesn't* love the zoo, really? Well, that fascination with the animals there never left me, and these days I travel there once per year with camera in hand, hoping to catch something magical. This year I got lucky, as this beautiful silverback gorilla had decided to take a seat right beside the glass at the edge of the enclosure. I patiently sat, camera in hand, waiting for just the right moment for him to turn his head toward me...and I managed to snag this shot, as our eyes connected. Here's a fun fact for you. Did you know gorillas are one of the strongest animals on the planet, capable of lifting 10 times their own body weight? Considering that they usually weigh in at around 800 or so lbs, that's a frightening amount of muscle packed into a relatively small space! I would rather not mess with anything capable of lifting 8,000 lbs, when I get tired lugging around my 10 lb camera bag all day.

  • Glance

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    On an unseasonably hot and sunny day in October 2017, the family and I had taken one of our many trips out to the zoo...only this time, it was at the world-famous Columbus Zoo, a place with easily a much wider variety of animals in it than our own back home in the 'Burgh. While wandering around the African Savannah exhibits, I came across this beautiful cheetah resting lazily, as cats do, against the glass. Of course, every single child within a three hundred foot radius was scrambling to see the 'big kitty' themselves, which made getting this shot particularly challenging! Well, that and the highly-reflective glass. Still, I managed to pull through and nail the shot! I can't get over those eyes, and the steely, golden glance I was given in that fleeting moment...

  • Glass and Foliage

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    Phipps Conservatory on the inside is a meandering, twisting trip through many of the plants living on this Earth that make it so beautiful. Interspersed through the foliage, are these sculptures made of glass, that add shine and intrigue to the plants; they are beautiful, and they made an easy target for my camera. Pay a visit to Phipps Conversatory, in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh PA sometime! You won't be disappointed! And hey, if it's extra incentive, I got to try a freshly-picked banana, grown right there from their huge banana trees. Completely delicious! As for the glass? No, we shouldn't try eating that. It is pretty though :)

  • Gullwings

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    We took a whale viewing tour in Depoe Bay; an experience that everyone, given the opportunity, simply MUST try. (It's extremely difficult to take photographs on these tours due to the rough waters, mind you!) After the tour, pulling into the bay itself on our tour boat Morning Star, I caught this seagull stretching his wings out in preparation to fly. Photogenic bird, isn't he? I might not have gotten any great whale photos, but at least this guy posed well for me!

  • Hydrangean Bloom

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    Touring the Oregon coast was truly an all out assault of beauty on every one of my senses, most of all the things that I could see there. Right along the side of Highway 101 was this small rest stop, where parts of the film The Goonies were shot. (Marking the location, funnily enough, was a spraypainted 'truffle shuffle' marking on a door) Right by the road, away from the ocean itself, was this collection of incredibly blue hydrangeas that I just had to snap a few shots of.

  • Jellegence

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    At the Oregon Aquarium near Newport, Oregon, there was a portion of the place with a huge, cylindrical jellyfish tank. Inside the tank were these moon jellyfish, dozens of them...and I have wanted for as long as I can remember to get a decent photograph of a jellyfish. I think I finally nailed it! Just look at the detail...that interesting web-pattern in the jellyfish's 'skin', those thin filaments of tentacle that would beg to be caressed were they not tipped with those nasty stingers...Jellyfish are strange creatures, but nonetheless truly beautiful!

  • Jubatus

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    This is the Acinonyx jubatus, or the African cheetah. Everyone knows that pattern of spotted fur, coupled with the alluring black 'tears' trailing from the inner corners of the eyes. Did you know that cheetahs are one of the only types of big cats that can purr, and that in general they are not hostile to humans? They also are one of the very few types of cats, big or small, that do not have retractable claws. I'd always wanted to have the opportunity to photograph a cheetah, and I finally got my chance just this past October, on a trip to the world-renowned Columbus Zoo, on what had to have been one of the hottest and sunniest October days I can remember.

  • Life and Death

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    Pennsylvania's mountainous regions hide many beautiful little secrets, such as this one I saw before me, as we explored the wooded countryside. Near the town of Ashland, PA, there is a miniscule but wonderful little place called Fountain Springs. Hugging the small town is a graveyard nearly as large as the town itself; hundreds of graves dating from long ago dotted the landscape, with one of Pennsylvania's many rolling mountainous hills looming in the background. The striking thing I noted as I passed by, however, were the large patches of daylillies growing all around the cemetery. They were beautiful, and begged a photograph or two. Thankfully, I was able to come away from there with this wonderful, selective color photo. An interesting fact, by the way? This photo was taken very close to the historic coal mining town of Centralia; where a coal fire has been burning out of control beneath the city since 1961, forcing its residents to evacuate, leaving the area itself a ghost town of trees and deteriorated roads, pockmarked by gas and fume vents. While I did get to travel to Centralia itself, it's amazing how little there really was to take photographs of there; the town is little more now than barren roads criss-crossing through overgrown fields and brush.

  • Locked Away

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    This picture was taken at Alligator Adventure, in Myrtle Beach, SC. In the park there, they have several varieties of birds in very large cages. This blue and gold macaw I managed to catch at just the right time, to capture the feeling of being stuck inside a cage. The sun was in the right position to put the shadow of cage bars over this poor guy, and only several weeks after I'd taken the photo, did I realize how sad a picture this really is. If this cute guy is still down there in Alligator Adventure, I hope they're giving him all the love a macaw could ask for!

  • Mischievous Kitty

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    More kittens! Here we have my brother and his fiancée's other kitten, the bobtailed orange wonder, Kingsley! He's a cute little snuggle factory, fuzzy and fluffy and somewhat tuckered out after spending an afternoon in my product photography tent playing with an off-camera ball of red yarn. Just look into those cute little eyes and, like us, you will want to adopt him and be surprised at how expensive adopting and owning a cat actually is. Still, he and Phil were both worth it, and make my trips over to visit my brother's house a real joy. I just love playing with these little guys!

  • Pennsylvanian Autumn

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    Living in Pennsylvania, it's only natural that I live close to a lush deciduous forest; the kind that changes colors during the fall. One morning I decided to get up, grab my camera, and take a little hike back into the woods, to see what I could find; the result is here before you, a warm palette set against the cool sunlight of a mid-autumn day. It's just a shame the colors don't last very long! You're lucky to get maybe two weeks of prime time, before the leaves fall from their branches, and the forests are left bare and brown.

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