Seal Watching With Old Friends and New

Monday, January 27, 2020,

After a five week hiatus, Joe Kayaker is back. I was not away on vacation or anything fun like that. I had merely – well, maybe not so merely – screwed up my website and I was unable to figure out how to fix it. Kudos to my friend Mike who was able to restore Joe Kayaker to its former self. Now, being unable to publish anything new did not mean I stopped taking photographs. I’ve got some catching up to do.

These photographs were taken on December 23 of last year. I had driven out to Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton to look for seals. Cupsogue is one of my favorite places on Long Island to look for Harbor Seals. I found the seals and, while I was there, I ran into two old friends and made two new ones. We had all come to Cupsogue Beach for the same reason. None of us arrived together, nor did any of us have plans to meet there. We were all drawn by the seals, like moths to a flame. Aside from my two previous friends, Bill and Raina, we were all pretty much strangers to each other but we all share a love of wildlife photography. Even Bill and Raina were mostly unknown to each other but all four of us were somewhat acquainted with one another because we all post our photographs to some of the same Facebook groups. It’s always nice to put faces to the names. JK

JK

Hummingbirds Are Fast!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019,

Hummingbirds are fast. I mean really, really fast. This hummingbird, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, has an average of 55 wing beats per second. During mating season, when the males are showing off for their female counterparts, that number can jump as high as 200 wing beats per second. Two hundred wing beats per second! That’s amazing. They even hold a Guinness World Record for that feat.

These photos weren’t taken during mating season so this bird is probably only working those wings at a mere 55 beats per second. Even still, that’s plenty fast. All three of these photos were taken in the span of a single second. I shot them with a shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second and it still wasn’t fast enough to freeze those wings. As you can see, some blurring of the wings still occurs. Hummingbirds are fast! JK

JK

Carolina Saddlebags

Friday, September 27, 2019,

This is a male Carolina Saddlebags Dragonfly, (aka Tramea carolina), that I photographed in a salt marsh in Oceanside. I am no one’s idea of a dragonfly expert but I do happen to have one on staff. Well, okay, I don’t actually have any staff to speak of but I do know a few experts in different fields and they manage to make me sound informed. Annette, my dragonfly expert, has been identifying these amazing insects for me since 2014. She has her own blog, Dragonfly Dazed, where you can find dozens of great photographs of both dragonflies and damselflies. Check it out, it’s pretty cool. JK

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