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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Christmas Visitors tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Christmas Visitors

After several days of wild torrential rains leading into late Christmas Eve, the weather here outside of St. Louis changed dramatically over night.
The rain stopped, the temperatures plunged. And by midmorning, it began to snow.
It did not amount to anything terrible here, but it covered the ground and gave us a White Christmas Day.
A little before Noon I was looking out into our backyard and spotted our neighborhood White-Tailed Hawk.
Some people call the Red-Tail a "Chicken Hawk," even though they do not normally live on chickens. It is a large bird, wingspan of about 4 feet.
He seemed to be watching the falling snow with great interest.
My bird feeders in the tree close to the house were very busy places, all three had sunflower seed hearts.
The hawk was lingering, so I had time to run down to the studio for a camera and to mount a long lens.
I did not think I had time to rig a tripod, and our kitchen windows do not allow much tripod use, so I shot these through the windows, through the falling snow, and hand held and manually focused. It was best to be had under the circumstances and at the moment.

Camera body: Pentax K10 D digital SLR, set to ASA 800.
Lens: Spiratone Plura-coat f:6.3, 400mm (acts like a 600mm with the digital body).
Lens is manual focus, manual preset aperture, with a T-Mount adapter.

Please click on thumbnails to see enlarged.
All images are 2009 E.J.Kowalski.
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