FEATURED: Survival

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  • #49381
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    ASSIGNMENT DETAILS:
    Publisher: Nature Friend is a creation-based monthly nature magazine for children.
    Purpose: Nature Friend would like to publish some articles in their magazine featuring photography enthusiasts’ photos and their “stories behind the photos”!
    Request: We’re looking for photos of plants or animals surviving harsh conditions. Whether it’s heat or cold, fire or snow, the object is to readily illustrate in a photo the idea of how God has designed His creation to survive in all kinds of extreme conditions. When submitting your artistic, quality photos in reply to this topic, include a written caption, paragraph, or short story that creatively recounts how the photo was taken or narrates an event that took place around the taking of the photos. (Here are some past examples of short stories and a long story.) Kevin, our contact from Nature Friend, encourages photographers to use associated written text to “give us a reason to want their photograph.”
    Special Instructions: Nature Friend is about wild nature! Very rarely do they use domestic animals or pets; obvious zoo backgrounds are not useful to them and photos with fences and buildings in the background are less likely to be used.
    Orientation: Any orientation or crop ratio is welcome!
    Photo Specs: Highest quality possible since being used for printing. Edit your photos however you like. No watermarks.
    How to Submit: Members can follow the A, B, C process outlined here. Don’t forget to submit your write ups too! (Instructions for non-members can be viewed here.)
    Submission Guidelines: You may submit multiple photos with your written story. You may submit more than one story. You may pull photos from your archives.
    Remuneration: Lenspiration members will receive a hard-cover copy of North American Owls if their photo/story is chosen!
    Terms: By submitting your photo(s) on this forum, you agree to the terms outlined in the STS Photo Assignment Agreement. Multiple winners may be published. There may or may not be a winner(s) for this assignment. Prizes will not be delivered to winners until after Nature Friend has finalized that their submission(s) will be published. Nature Friend may choose to publish submission(s) at any time in the future, often between 6 months to a year after submission. You may use the photos you took for this assignment without the permission of Nature Friend.
    Deadline: Midnight Saturday, March 28, 2020 (or until this topic is no longer highlighted yellow).

    LEARN HOW:
    Watch how I shot this assignment and get related training on how to shoot it yourself at More Than Just a Picture of a Bluebird.

    WATCH CRITIQUE:
    Watch the photos submitted for this assignment get critiqued live by registering for the March 31 Photo Critique Webinar!

    Shoot and/or Submit

    #49437
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    I was really surprised no blue birds came to the natural perch we put right there next to the bird feeder. I suppose they just needed some time to get used to it. 🙂 However, here are some photos I took that I do feel still give the impression we’re looking for with this assignment.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by James Staddon.
    Attachments:
    #49544
    Frazer Family
    Participant

    It was a gorgeous day for hiking in the White Mountains. A light breeze was blowing, the sun was shining, and in the surrounding trees was the twitter of a multitude of birds singing for the sheer joy of life. As we neared the top of Mount Moosilauke, the weather-beaten trees became gradually smaller and smaller until they disappeared altogether. When our family had attained the summit, we sat down on some rocks to rest our legs. Easing our backpacks from our sweaty backs, we fished out our sandwiches and some well earned Powerade™. I fumbled in my bag for my Nikon D3100. The top of the mighty Moosilauke commanded an amazing panorama of the surrounding land.

    Looking east, I gazed down into the valley. Four thousand feet below me lay the tiny town of Lincoln. Along the valley, snaked the Pemigewasset river and beyond this stretched ranges upon ranges of mountains. Far to the northeast, Mt. Washington was a pale blue triangle rising above the other Presidentials. Turning to the west, I observed that the mountains slowly petered out to a flat, featureless land.

    Cautiously, I scrambled over the wind and storm swept rocks looking for the perfect angle to photograph the wide landscape. I was amazed at the fact that although the rocks seemed so bare, yet life struggled on. It was as though a mighty hand had designed the foliage up here to thrive on these barren slopes. Cradled in a crevice, the picturesque petals of a flower peeked out at me. The many small white flowers at the tips of slender stalks rose from tufts of basal leaves. From these leaves rose a faint but sweet aroma. The white blossoms opened to the sun as if to soak in its rays with all its energy.

    This special little bloom, commonly known in the White Mountains as Smooth Sandwort has more than half a dozen names. From the Latin term Minuartia groenlandica, we get the common name Greenland Stichwort. Ranging from Nunavut, in northern Canada, all the way down to South Carolina, USA, this tough little flower grows on rocky ledges in areas of high elevation where the bedrock is exposed. Uncommon in warmer climates, this little flower seems to thrive in colder zones. As I think about this little flower, so hardy, yet so little known, I marvel how God sustains life even on the seemingly bare mountain tops.

    Attachments:
    #49571
    Frazer Family
    Participant

    Taking these pictures was a challenge. Driving mist, biting cold, and a strong wind conspired to make conditions on a windswept, rocky shore of New Brunswick, Canada as miserable as possible for photographers. But these gulls have not only survived these conditions, but also thrived in them.

    I experimented with adding catchlights in the eyes of two of these gulls, in Gimp.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Frazer Family. Reason: Some of the pictures didn't upload
    Attachments:
    #49651
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Beautiful illustrations, @frazer-family! Like you how you incorporated a catchlight in the gulls eye. 🙂 Very realistic looking. How did you know what shape to use? Did you look off another picture?

    #49670
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    I grabbed the DSLR as my family and I headed out the door early one morning to do some yard clean-up for a local ministry. It wasn’t that I thought the yard-work was going to be something to photograph, but I didn’t know if we might stop by some scenic spot on our way back home when we were done.

    When we arrived, the sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon, giving a warm current to the fresh, summer air. We scattered all over the property and jumped into our assigned tasks. I was supposed to help my Mom and sister weed the over-grown garden beds.

    As I knelt down and started pulling the strangling offenders out from among the flowers and bushes, I glanced to my right and my eyes lit on a solitary weed growing in the crack of a sidewalk. Its small yet shapely form rose valiantly over the hardened cement turf through which it grew.

    I called to my sister, “Look over here! Isn’t that the most adorable weed ever?!”

    She surveyed the weed with scrutiny then looked back at me, a patient smile on her face. “It’s…a weed. Just pull it out.”

    But I couldn’t pull it out. It was just too cute!

    I ran over to the truck and got my camera. My sister laughed as I laid on the ground and set up a shot. Even after getting up and going back to my garden bed, I couldn’t quite bring myself to pluck the green sprig from the ground.

    I was reminded that even the most ordinary and over-looked of plants still beckon us to marvel at the Creator’s handiwork. Yes, even little weeds.

    Attachments:
    #49672
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    I thought winter in Connecticut was gone. It had been an unusual, snow-free winter for all of January and February. Now that the crocuses and daffodils were starting to bud, I had resigned myself to the thought that it was a done deal.

    But then there was the morning that I awoke to the sound of my sister’s voice at the window, “Ohhh! It’s beautiful!” Somehow, that just sounded like snow to me. And sure enough, it was. A wet, soppy coating, but snow nonetheless.

    I looked out the window and saw the birds hopping around, just the same as they would on a warmer day. I immediately re-arranged my early morning schedule to accommodate an hour of bird-watching with my camera outside, and I was glad I did!

    Attachments:
    #49674
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    A mid-March snowfall beckoned me outdoors. As I walked around outside with my camera in hand, I marveled at the sights of winter and spring combined. One would think that the wet cloak of snow would be enough to put all thoughts of new life to rest, but the small, delicate leaves told a different story. By the next day, winter had once again retreated, leaving spring to unveil itself in full splendor.

    Attachments:
    #49676
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    Each spring, I’m amazed at how strong crocus buds really are. They rise from earth that is softening, yet still firm. They drill right through last fall’s leaves that coat the ground. Whether rain or snow comes along to pelt them, they persist in an unabashed manner. So this rainy morning, I took my camera out and witnessed the strength of the crocus yet again.

    Attachments:
    #49724
    Frazer Family
    Participant

    Burning rays from the sun, freezing temperatures down to -45, frequent snowstorms from September through June, merciless wind year in and year out, little or no topsoil. The top of Mt. Washington is considered to have one the harshest climates in the world. What can survive in this inhospitable place? Not much, you might think. Yet in this formidable location, lichen grows and has grown century after century. The lichen in this photograph is called Rhizocarpon geographicum because of its resemblance to a map. Lichen is one of the most common and yet one of the most overlooked organisms in the the plant kingdom. So next time you walk outside, stop and marvel at this tiny plant that God designed to grow in almost every climate.

    Photo courtesy of Robert Frazer

    Attachments:
    #49731
    Sonja Grace
    Participant

    I looked into my backyard. Snow was everywhere. Birds were flocking our feeders trying to get some seeds. A fox squirrel scurried up the stairs of my deck with snow covering his face. Most of the birds that normally would be feeding on the ground were scratching through the thick snow trying to find some fallen seeds. This was not what most people imagine for the first day of Spring.

    But this is Colorado after all. We can get snow from September to May here. I am always amazed by the way that the animals and birds still manage to survive the cold weather and lack of food.

    I saw a great opportunity to work on photography. I opened my backdoor just wide enough for my camera to fit through and started taking pictures. Snow started blowing into our house surrounding me with puddles of melting snow. I was very cold but kept taking pictures anyways.

    After I was too cold to take anymore photos, I grabbed my computer and edited all the photos I had taken. As I looked at these photos I was reminded of why I love to watch and photograph birds. They remind me of God’s faithfulness to us. It is very clear that God is the one that takes care of the birds and gives them the instincts they need to survive. I love Matthew 6:26 where it says: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

    Attachments:
    #49800
    Erin Phillips
    Participant

    Here’s my submissions!

    Caption for brownthrasher_ep.jpg:
    In the hot, setting sun of South Georgia, a Brown Thrasher enjoys an enormous, juicy blueberry for a nutritious snack while the farmer watches on.

    Caption for whitetaileddeer_ep.jpg:
    During mid-summer, at Peaks of Otter in the Blue Ridge Mountains, God has provided this deer a plentiful supply of forage. It will eat much grass, leaves, and apples so it can have enough weight and nutrients to survive the winter.

    Caption for swallowtail_ep.jpg:
    These Tiger Swallowtails are enjoying sipping sweet nectar on a hot, sunny day.

    Caption for wildhorse_ep.jpg:
    Cumberland Island National Seashore is home to many wild animals, including wild horses. The grasses and climate on the island are not extremely healthy for a horse, but they have adapted to their surroundings after living on the island for nearly 300 years. In this young stallion’s eye you can see the glint of determination and courage, even while calmly grazing.

    Caption for monarch_ep.jpg:
    This Monarch Butterfly is resting on a clump of flowers after drinking the sweet nectar which it relies on for survival.

    Since I’m submitting photos, do I have to be watching the critique live on March 31st, or can I watch it later? We have evening farm chores, so I’m not sure if I can fit that in!!

    Attachments:
    #49845
    Esther M
    Participant

    Do I hear bees? In early January? I knew spring was coming early this year, but I was surprised to walk by our Mahonia bush and see honey bees everywhere! There were also little wasps and other odd flying creatures.

    The Mahonia plant normally blooms with small yellow flowers in the winter, followed by grape-like bunches of blue-purple berries in the summer. So, the second week of January our bush was covered with tons of these cute flowers! But what was different this year was, it was really warm and there were just as many bees as flowers on the plant!

    I just had to take time to photograph the little diligent workers. Since the bush is right next to our porch, I went out with my macro lens and was able to get up super close to the bees. Also, it was perfect lighting. Golden hour!

    Although it was January, because it was warm, the bees were out gathering their nectar. I am amazed how the honey bees have a flexible time schedule and adapt well to the weather!

    Attachments:
    #49857
    Ernest Lloyd
    Participant

    The black-capped chickadee in my viewfinder hopped around excitedly as though he really was enjoying this early spring day.
    Even through all the cold and snow, he kept alive by eating the nuts, berries, and bugs that he rummaged around for all winter.
    I photographed this one on a magnolia branch.
    Seems like a pretty hardy bird to me!

    Attachments:
    #49859
    Ernest Lloyd
    Participant

    The bright red cardinal flew back and forth between his nest and a nearby bush as he gathered bits of food, nest materials, and other pieces of unknown material. Even through the difficulty of sharing the food supply with tons of other types of birds around him, he still managed to survive through the winter and feed his family!

    Attachments:
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)

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