Jason, the UPS Driver: What Brown Did For Me! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Jason, the UPS Driver: What Brown Did For Me!

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This image was created at Indian Lake Estates with the tripod-mounted Canon Telephoto EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM Autofocus lens and the and the Canon EOS-5D Mark III. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/8 sec. at f/16 in Av mode.

Manual focus on the chick’s eye (AF is so bad with this lens that sometimes it works and sometimes it does not). Click on the image to see a larger version.

Here I used the macro techniques that I developed on the Tulip IPT: 2-second timer with Live View for Mirror Lock.

Jason, the UPS Driver: What Brown Did For Me!

Good pictures are where you find them. Or where someone else finds them. Jason, our current UPS driver is about one of the nicest folks you could ever hope to meet: dependable, helpful, and pleasant. And he is interested in the birds and animals that he sees on his rounds. He shared a few tidbits with Jim and me one afternoon recently: “I have seen the male panther several times within a few blocks of your place.” (Note: Jim saw what is likely the same animal on his early morning walk about 2 years ago.) “I saw a strange bird nesting right in the middle of a grassy road way back in ILE. Here’s a photo of it that I took with my cell phone.” The bird in the image was surely a nightjar. I am not sure why but I assumed that it was a Chuck-wills-widow.

Jason gave us directions to the nest but called back and gave Jim corrected directions. After my ice bath and dinner, I went out to look for a panther–heck, a guy can dream, no?–and for the bird and the nest. As it turned out his first set of directions were right on the money. That said it was a total miracle that I found the bird. I was driving slowly past the spot that Jason had indicated when I saw a small chunk of wood or bark. I did not even bother to stop for a closer look. But I quickly realized that that was not too smart. So I backed up and was amazed to see the bird sitting on its nest. Jason had told me that the bird was stupid tame so I walked slowly towards the nest with the 200-400 in hand. I planned to sit and make some images but the adult flew off the nest, landed on the opposite side of the road, began doing her nest-distraction display, and then flew off into the woods.

I looked for the nest but it was so well camouflaged–just a scrape in the gravel–that I could not find it at first. Then I was stunned to see two tiny nightjar chicks in the scrape, each no larger than a silver dollar. I took a single record shot with the 2-4, got back in my car, and headed home to grab my 180 macro lens. When I returned to the nest I was surprised to see that mom had not yet returned to the nest. I worked the tiny chicks for about ten minutes and then headed home (checking for panther on the way of course). The image above was the best of the lot by a wide margin.

Thanks a stack Jason!

Image Clean-up and Optimization

I will share details of the image clean-up and optimization with you in an upcoming blog post. Doesvanyone see anything suspect? Stay-tuned.


Please know that artie will be traveling to and from the Galapagos until July 19th. He will not have any internet access while aboard the Samba from July 3-16th. He will be home briefly July 19-20 before flying to Long Island for the sold out Nickerson Beach Baby Birds IPT. Jim will be in the office every weekday to help you with your mail order purchases and Jen will be here handling IPT registrations. The blog will continue to be active as he has prepared more than a few posts for you in advance for you to enjoy during his absence.

If you have a gear or an image processing question please e-mail me after July 19th.

Images copyright 2012: Denise Ippoltio & Arthur Morris. Card design by Denise Ippolito. Click on the image to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

Holland 2014 7 1/2-Day/8-Night: A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART/Tulips & A Touch of Holland IPT. April 17-April 24, 2014 :$4995 Limit: 12 photographers/Openings 9

This trip needs 8 registrants to run so please do not purchase your plane tickets until you hear from us; right now we need 5 more folks.

Join Denise Ippolito, Flower Queen and the author of “Bloomin’ Ideas,” BPN Photo Gear Moderator, former Nikon shooter, and technical expert Peter Kes, and Arthur Morris, Canon Explorer of Light and one of the planet’s premier photographic educators for a great trip to Holland in mid-April 2014. Day 1 of the IPT will be April 17, 2014. We will have a short afternoon get-together and then our first photographic session at the justly-famed Keukenhof. Peter who is originally from Holland, will be our local guide/interpreter/driver. Most days we will return to the hotel for lunch, image sharing and a break. On Day 8, April 24, we will enjoy both morning and afternoon photography sessions.

The primary subjects will be tulips and orchids at Keukenhof and the spectacularly amazing tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulb fields around Lisse. In addition we will spend one full day in Amsterdam. There will be optional visits the Van Gogh Museum in the morning and the Anne Frank House in the afternoon; there will be plenty of time for street photography as well. And some great food. On another day we will have a wonderful early dinner at Kinderdijk and then head out with our gear to photograph the windmills and possibly some birds for those who bring their longs lenses. We will spend an afternoon in the lovely Dutch town of Edam where we will do some street photography and enjoy a superb dinner. All lodging, ground transportation, entry fees, and meals (from dinner on Day 1 through dinner on Day 8) are included.

For those who will be bringing a big lens we will likely have an optional bird photography afternoon or two or possibly three. The big attraction should be gorgeous Purple Herons in flight at a breeding marsh. We would be photographing them from the roadside. And we might be able to find a few Great-crested Grebes at a location near Keukenhof.

Click here for complete details and some previously unpublished tulip images. Click here and see item one for lots more tulip photos.

Images courtesy of and copyright 2012: Bill Mueller. Card design by Denise Ippolito.

Old Car City Creative Photography In-the-Field HDR Workshop: Sunday, October 13, 2013/ 9am till 1pm.

White, Georgia: $250 plus a $15 entrance fee donation (cash only on the day of the event) that will go to charity. Limit: 16 photographers.

On October 13, 2013, Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART and Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure will be conducting an In-the-Field HDR Workshop at Old Car City in White, Georgia. Old Car City is about an hour north of Atlanta, GA and an hour south of Chattanooga, TN where they will, as noted above, be doing a full day seminar for the Photographic Society of Chattanooga on Saturday, October 12th. Click here for complete details.


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3 comments to Jason, the UPS Driver: What Brown Did For Me!

  • How cool is that! Both parents are certainly nearby sharing feeding responsibility. The chicks might be a mere few days old or less if still at the nest. It appears you may have masked the other chick in the upper right corner. The wood is believed to provide shade to the nest in consideration of its creation according to my Sibley Guide of behavior for the species. I’m surprised you didn’t bring your arsenal of gear to the nest with confidence you would see what you did. There have been 11 known Florida Panther deaths this year through 6/29/2013 (eight due to impact by vehicles and three from “intraspecific aggression” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission). There are 14 known kittens to date this year within the parks of the I-75 and US 41 Naples to Miami corridor as noted by the same source. There are no kitten deaths noted.

    • avatar Bill Richardson

      Interesting. 14 kittens certainly is promising although I have no idea what the survival rate is. I am in northern Illinois during the summers and panthers (we call them mountain lions here) are starting to be reported along with wolves. A mountain lion was killed by police in the city of Chicago a couple of years back and traced to South Dakota. A wolf was killed by a car just north of us near the Wisconsin line. When I was growing up here, we had no deer, coyotes or geese. Now all 3 are abundant. Now sandhill cranes are nesting in the area. Nature is really resilient if given half a chance. I wonder if mountain lions and wolves will gain a foothold here in Illinois?

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    Cannot beat mailmen and UPS drivers for tips! I am down near Naples. I cannot figure if we were being kept awake by whip o wills or Chuck will’s widows but they are darn annoying in the spring. Still have never actually seen one. As to panthers, we had one walk through our backyard at 1 in the afternoon two years ago while we were outside having lunch. Never saw it again although several of our neighbors/security guys saw it. The ghosts of Florida. Of course I had no camera handy. Its presence made the bobcats scarce!