View 420: Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Last summer, my daughter, who minored in Woman’s Studios in college, wanted to visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York. I enjoyed her enjoying the exhibits and sharing her knowledge of the past and current heroines of the Women’s Movements throughout history.

Women's Rights National Historical Park

Young woman enjoying her visit to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/40s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 98mm Focal Length, Cropped.

For more information, you may wish to visit my past article about the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls back in 1848.

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View 419: Cory Conacher

Cory Conacher of the Syracuse Crunch is a player you love to have on your team as a player or fan. If you play or root against the Crunch you, well, do not like him but probably respect him. For his size of 5′ 8″ and about 180 pounds after a good meal, Cory is fast, strong and unrelenting in how he plays.

I recently photographed him in a battle in front of an opponent’s net for about 2 minutes. Three different defenders including the goalie tried to move him but was unable to.  This photo is one from the series.

Cory Conacher Battle

Syracuse Crunch Cory Conacher (89) battles for position with Toronto Marlies Mac Hollowell (81) and goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo (30) in American Hockey League (AHL) action at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, January 3, 2020. Syracuse won 8-2. Nikon D500/18-140VR, 1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV +1.7, 116 mm (174mm DX) Focal Length.

As you can see, he is a battler. What you do not see is Cory lives with Type 1 Diabetes.  Last year, a documentary called Miracle, Baby was released about how Cory overcame the disease to play professional hockey. You can watch the trailer and the complete film for free with registration here: Miracle, Baby at SupreConent.

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View 418: Summer Weekend in Upstate New York

Summer in Upstate New York took its time to arrive this year. Spring was one of the wettest on record so last weekend’s hot and humid weather was most welcome. My wife and I celebrated by driving over to Sylvan Beach, New York for dinner at Captain John’s before walking the beach and enjoying a summer sunset over Oneida Lake.

Oneida Lake Sunset

A pair of jet skis on lifts in Oneida Lake as the Sun sets from Sylvan Beach, New York on July 6, 2019. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/50s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 120mm Focal Length, Cropped.

The next day we meet up with the Syracuse Shelby Mustang Club for a cruise to the Watkins Glen International race track for pace laps and lunch. After the second of three laps, all of us lined up at the Start/Finish line for photos of our cars on one of the most famous race tracks in the world.

Watkins Glen International Finish Line

Syracuse Shelby Mustang Club members lined up behind the Start/Finish Line at Watkins Glen International race track near Watkins Glen, New York on Sunday, July 7, 2019. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 30mm Focal Length, Skylum Intensify CK Soft HDR filter.

The clouds hid the Sun but it was still warm and a great time with fellow Mustang enthusiasts.

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View 417: Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

I finally got over to the Lake Apopka North Shore while visiting Florida earlier this year. This area is part of the St. Johns River Water Management District or SJRWMD, for short. The SJRWMD covers an 18-county region in northeast and east-central Florida and is tasked with the management of the water and land related resources to benefit people and

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Location

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive central Florida location.

the environment. One of the benefits for people is outdoor recreation and the Lake Apopka North Shore has hiking trails, picnic areas, kayaking, boating and wildlife viewing. Lake Apopka North Shore also offers extraordinary bird-watching and photography opportunities. It is one of the top three birding areas in the entire state of Florida. During the winter months, more than 150 species can be seen.

The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, which is only open between sunrise and sunset on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on U.S. federal holidays, was the reason for my interest. The drive is an 11 mile (17.7km) one-way, well maintained gravel road through wetlands filled with wildlife from birds to reptiles.

Riding in the back of an SUV driven by my daughter while my wife rode shotgun, I was accompanied by my 2 year old grandson who took great delight in grandpa’s maneuvering around to photograph out the windows on each side of the vehicle. Nevertheless,  I did accomplish to get a few good photos along the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.

Great Egret

Great Egret (Ardea alba) photographed on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive near Apopka, Florida on Friday, February 8, 2019. Nikon D500/80-400VRII, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 270mm (405mm DX) Focal Length.

There were many Great Egrets (Ardea alba) about hunting along the shore line. Vegetation was lush making for nice backgrounds behind the white wading birds.

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) photographed on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive near Apopka, Florida on Friday, February 8, 2019. Nikon D500/80-400VRII, 1/1000s, f/4.8, ISO 220, EV 0, 125mm (187mm DX) Focal Length.

I have rarely seen Tricolored Herons (Egretta tricolor) in upstate New York and was thrilled to see several along the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.

Green Heron

Green Heron (Butorides virescens) photographed on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive near Apopka, Florida on Friday, February 8, 2019. Nikon D500/80-400VRII, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV 0, 400mm (600mm DX) Focal Length, Spot Metering.

This Green Heron (Butorides virescens) was leaning in for a strike which I missed “by that much”. This bird was not in a good position to the Sun so I switched to Spot Metering.

I have been photographing Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias), or GBH, for decades and I have never witnessed the behavior you see below.

Great Blue Heron Cooling Off

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) with wings drooped to cool off along the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive near Apopka, Florida on Friday, February 8, 2019. Nikon D500/80-400VRII, 1/1000s, f/6.3, ISO 100, EV 0, 220mm (330mm DX) Focal Length, Spot Metering.

The explanation is simple. Birds do not sweat or pant so they need ways to cool off. This GBH is cooling off by drooping his wings and letting air movement to do so. Maybe it’s hotter in Florida than where I live in upstate New York.

Great Blue Heron with Fish

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) with fish photographed on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive near Apopka, Florida on Friday, February 8, 2019. Nikon D500/80-400VRII, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 400mm (600mm DX) Focal Length, Spot Metering.

This GBH had his mouth full of a fish still very much alive and not liking his current position in life. Eventually, the fish would stop struggling and would be eaten whole.

All these photos were taken between 11am and 12:30pm on a hot day. I hope to visit this place again far earlier in the day in the future for better light and more wildlife subjects.

The links in the first paragraph will take you to websites with more information and maps for planning a trip to the Lake Apopka North Shore and Wildlife Drive.

 

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View 416: A Day at the Zoo

I recently spent a day at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York. Here are some of its citizens I photographed during my visit.

A family favorite, this Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) was very active seeking out and munching on some Spring greenery inside its enclosure.

Red Panda

Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Monday, April, 22, 2019. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 180, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length, Intensify CK Soft HDR Filter.

Nearby, I noticed these Snow Leopards (Panthera uncia) huddled close together. There was no Zoo people nearby to confirm this but I think the two leopards facing left were the twins born at the Zoo last Spring.

Snow Leopards

Snow Leopards (Panthera uncia) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Monday, April, 22, 2019. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

Inside the Social Building, I photographed this sleeping Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) who looked very comfortable in his tropically heated enclosure.

Green Tree Python

Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Monday, April, 22, 2019. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1100, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

The building houses many monkey species including this Black-and-white Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza) who was as interested in watching the people as the people watching him were.

Colobus Monkey

Black-and-white Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Monday, April, 22, 2019. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.8, ISO 1250, EV 0, 68mm Focal Length.

The reason for my visit was to share the zoo with my grandson. He is the subject of my favorite photo of the day. It is not technically good but the moment is something I will enjoy forever.

Jaguar Face-Off

Little boy coming face-to-face with a Jaguar at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Monday, April 22, 2019. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 2000, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Intensify CK Soft HDR Filter.

There were many families with young children at the zoo that day enjoying themselves and bonding with all the animal species on display. All of which need help to survive in this world where humans are more often the enemy of wild animals and places. My hope is some of them will go on to make the world better for all living creatures, not just Man.

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