International Polar Bear Day

My humble contribution to International Polar Bear Day.

We’re with Lazy Bear Expeditions on a Zodiac in Hudson Bay watching these two and their Mama relax on the rocks north of the Fort.

In retrospect, thinking back, it was a complex day.

The photographer in me is silently cursing, because this otherwise ideal scene is horribly backlit.

The human in me is realizing a dream come true in seeing this family lounging in the sun.

The adult in me realizes how lucky Mrs. Frog and I are to be there.

The adult in me worries about the cubs and how they will fare in a changing environment where things aren’t changing in their favor, and can’t help but feel helpless about it all.

The child in me thinks they’re cute and cuddly.

The adult in me recognizes they are a natural and efficient killing machine.

The child in me is awestruck to be in Hudson Bay.

The blogger in me thinks it looks good in black and white.

Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchill MB.Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchill MB.Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchi

Two polar bear cubs lounge on the rocks on the coast of Hudson Bay north of Churchill MB.

I can’t say enough about Churchill.  Beautiful, unique, special.  If you want to go, it’s not the easiest place in the world to get to, nor is it necessarily an inexpensive trip.  But it is perhaps the trip of a lifetime and well worth whatever it takes to get there.

i hope to be able to go back, and I can’t decide if that would be a late fall trip when the polar bears gather to go out onto the ice or a winter trip hoping to see newborn cubs.  One can dream (and save).

There are more polar bear images and more of our Manitoba meanderings in the Manitoba gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for stopping by and spending a few minutes.

You’re also invited to subscribe to share in my photographic and sometimes philosophic meandering through life.

The wild horses of Assateague Island

I’ve photographed the wild horses of Assateague Island, Maryland and Currituck, North Carolina.  These are two of the herds of wild horses on barrier islands along the east coast.  Actually, they’re feral, but that’s kind of a technicality, and we’re going to stick with “wild” because that’s how they’re commonly referred to.

I’ve been most successful on Assateague.  I have to admit that photographing these critters requires as much luck as it does skill.   Well, to be honest, maybe luck is actually more important.

A wild horse pauses to ponder its' next move on Assateague.

A wild horse pauses to ponder its’ next move on Assateague.  Click on the image to be taken to the Gallery.

Why do I say that luck might be more important?

The wild horses of Assateague have been there a long time, and have adapted to the sometime harsh realities of their island home.  Humans are (tolerated) visitors that they don’t seem to give two hoots about.

We’re limited to where we can go on the island, but it’s their home, and they go where they want, when they want.  Despite what we might want when we’re on a quest for “that” image.

You can go there and see 20+ horses in a day.  You can go there and not see a horse. When they’re in the brush, they can be virtually impossible to see and photograph.

And, they seem to have a tendency to rotate their posteriors to the paparazzi (that’s us humans)…

You can learn more about the feral horses of Assateague Island and the Assateague Island National Seashore from the National Park Service website by clicking here.

You can learn about Maryland’s Assateague State Park by clicking here.

You can also check out Wikipedia’s page on Assateague Island by clicking here.

If you get the chance to go, you can do just fine photographically speaking with almost any camera with a zoom lens.  Just remember to stay at least 40 feet away from the horses.  The images in this Gallery were taken with either a 28-300mm or 18-270mm zoom lens.  Obviously, the more time you can spend there, the better your chances of seeing the horses and getting “that” image.  For the best lighting, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you can.

And, for your enjoyment and photo art, you can check out Laughing Frog Images by clicking here.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Everyone likes a cracker

At least this little guy (or gal) did!

Mrs. Frog and I were at a great museum that exceeded expectations – the Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, NC.  There’s a recreation of a 16th century sailing ship, exhibits of the Native American inhabitants of the area, and interactive exhibits of the early settlements, among other things.  You know how sometimes you go to a museum with reservations (about going – not a scheduled time)?  I went in with a little bit of that attitude, and left with a different view.  This was well worth it, at least to us.

Anyway, besides all of the history stuff, there are friendly little critters running around the grounds.  Like squirrels.

WP_20150709_14_52_38_Raw LFI 400 wm

This guy/gal wasn’t the least bit bothered by the big two-legged things that invaded its’ home.  Indeed, it was quite content to have what appeared to be a mini-Ritz cracker or two.  As you can see, I was right there with my Icon as the cracker was carefully rotated and consumed.  As I’m sitting here typing this, I’m thinking to myself that this would have made an entertaining short video.  Maybe next time.

A couple of different images from this impromptu wildlife shoot will end up in the “peaceful (for the most part) critters” gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Wander on in and check it out.  And maybe create a coffee mug or something else for yourself while you’re in there.

Happy browsing.  Enjoy!