North American Songbirds

Bird Watching In the Northeast

The hours of daylight are getting longer. It’s finally beginning to feel like spring, and many of us in the northern hemisphere look forward to the return of migrating birds. Many birds migrate to a specific area to breed and raise their young.

The time it takes a bird to complete its one way migration can range from a few weeks to four months, depending on the distance. Soon the air will be filled with song!

The Northern Cardinal is abundant across the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and in Canada. Its natural habitat is woodlands, gardens, shrub lands, and swamps. This bird is a permanent resident throughout its range, it may relocate to avoid extreme weather or when food is scarce. The Northern Cardinal is the most popular state bird, representing Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Eastern Bluebird loves to perch on tree branches and wires observing insect prey. An eastern bluebird will swoop down and catch a flying insect or go down to the ground to feed on a grasshopper, cricket or other insect. The Eastern Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri and New York.

The Baltimore Oriole is a medium sized songbird with a long pointed bill and a beautiful flute-like song. The Oriole builds a “hanging basket” nest at the top of tall trees, usually elm or maple. They eat insects, fruit and nectar. It’s easy to entice a Baltimore Oriole to your backyard by placing orange halves on a feeder fruit side up.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, animals, birds, cardinal, red, avian, baltimore oriole, wildlife, outdoors, mammals, green, spring, forest, framed art, rollosphotos.

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Save the World Plant a Tree

Leave a Lasting Impact

Each year hundreds of trees are cut to clear power lines, install fuel lines, or to build roads, homes, and shopping malls. In addition, stronger storms around the world can devastate trees and forests. One of the most positive and lasting impacts we can make on earth is to plant a tree! Trees are vital to our existence as well as provide food and shelter for wildlife. It’s never too early to think about planting your next tree.

Consider Species

There are several things to consider when planting trees. Now is the time to start thinking about them. Consider your landscape. Trees which bear fruit are generally small and will attract wildlife. If you plant a fruiting tree close to your home expect to have plenty of frequent visitors. Some trees grow large providing shelter to animals from wind and rain. A large tree near your home helps to cool it in the summer. Consider the roots on a large tree before planting near your home. Roots can shoot out as far or farther than the canopy of a tree. Roots may grow into sewer lines and over time crack blacktop and concrete. Be sure to give your large tree plenty of room to grow. So think carefully about which type of tree you might like to plant this spring.

Earth Day

The best time to plant trees is in the spring after the ground thaws. Many communities have festivities centered around Earth Day and Arbor Day. Check your local area, some organizations hold tree give-aways encouraging people to plant native species.

Every year in Binghamton New York the Broome County Soil & Water Department holds a sale of mostly native plants and trees for a low cost. The Spring Tree Order Form and Descriptions are available online now! Trees are sold in groups of 10 for as little as $18.00. Make a commitment to plant ten trees, or at least plant one and give the rest away. Everyone enjoys receiving a lasting gift. What better gift to give than a gift of life, which grows stronger over time and benefits us all!

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, tree, landscape, forest, beautiful, plant, grow, outdoors, framed art, rollosphotos.

The Lost Art of Waiting

I found myself waiting in line the other day while a woman behind me complained and the woman in front of me passed the time on her cell phone.  I began contemplating how the art of waiting has been lost in our society today. We expect everything right away and don’t think about the consequences. I wait for things all the time and it’s frustrating because I’ve become spoiled by technology.

Memories

I’m old enough to remember film cameras. You could buy a roll of film and take 24 pictures, drop the roll off and wait about two weeks to see if your photos came out.  Goodness we might burst an artery from waiting if we had to do that today! I remember the anticipation of waiting to pick up my film and the excitement of seeing my photographs for the first time.  Back then if I missed a shot the moment had long passed. The opportunity was gone. I couldn’t go back and re-shoot something from two or three weeks ago. All that waiting taught me the value of appreciation.

Perception

Did you know that daylilies are called daylilies for a reason? They only bloom for one day. There are lots of flowers like that but we take them for granted. Some flowers wait all year just to have one day under the sun. With good timing, it won’t be raining that day. We don’t perceive the life of a flower to be one day because most people have many flowers and they appear to bloom for weeks.  Now imagine if you only had one daylily and had to wait all year for it to bloom? What if you missed it? How would you feel?

Yellow Daylily Flower Art Prints for Sale
“Yellow Daylily Flower” by Christina Rollo
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Lesson

The next time you find yourself waiting in line and getting frustrated, for the sake of the person next to you, stop complaining. Think about how long you wait for your favorite season to return and how much you enjoy that time of year. Think about the long 9 months it took for your children to be born, and the excitement you felt during their birth.

Stop to appreciate the moment. It’s in that frustrating moment that you may get a rare chance to clear your mind, enjoy some fond memories and discover new things.

One of the main reasons I enjoy photography so much is because it allows me to preserve special moments that I can look back on for the rest of time. During the cold dark days of winter I can still enjoy and appreciate my colorful flowers.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

Tips for Winter Bird Photography

Attract Wildlife

Photographing birds in the winter time can be easy and fun. Here are some helpful tips for winter bird photography. First, bring the birds to you. Each year I decorate our front porch with pine garland, berries, pine cones, and perches for the birds. I hang a window feeder, fill it with black oil sunflower, and wait for the birds to come.

Red Cardinal Art Prints for Sale‘Red Cardinal’ Art Prints for Sale

Be Patient

To photograph birds through a window you need to put your lens as close and flat as possible to the glass, in order to avoid reflection. Notice which direction the light is coming from and try to use it to your advantage. Be patient, the birds can see your movements. They may get startled and fly away at first.

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Get Creative

Over time they’ll get used to your presence and pose for you. Get creative with decorations and perches. You can sprinkle some bird seed inside bird houses or decorative containers, enticing the birds to land where you want to photograph them.

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Use Caution

Be aware that anytime you feed the birds you may also be attracting unwanted guests such as raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and mice.

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There are lots of ways to make photography work for you in winter without shivering to the bone. Enjoy nature, be creative, and have fun!

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, animals, birds art, cardinal, red, avian, chickadee, wildlife, outdoors, mammals, snow, winter, squirrel, framed art, rollosphotos.

Photo Tips Fall Colors

Are you interested in capturing some colorful fall photos this year? Follow these steps for creative fall photography, and capture those rich vibrant colors.

Autumn is my favorite time of year for photography. It’s the grand finale to summer but the weather can be tricky sometimes. Believe it or not those fall trees with beautiful bright colorful leaves will look more vivid and vibrant under low light. On a clear sunny day early morning or evening is the ideal time for fall landscapes. Photographing landscapes with even light will really make those colors pop!

Oakley Corners State Forest Landscape
‘Oakley Corners State Forest Landscape’

Don’t put your camera away on an overcast day, get outside because it might be your best light. Set your white balance to cloudy for the best results.

Peaceful Creek
‘Peaceful Creek’

Be creative, experiment!

Tic Tac Toe
‘Tic Tac Toe’

If you like abstract photography, capture those beautiful colors reflecting light on lakes and ponds. Every photograph you take will be original and unique.

Abstract Tree Reflection
‘Abstract Tree Reflection’

Mix your fall photography with a nice long hike through the woods, or a trip to the pumpkin farm. That way you can enjoy the best of everything fall has to offer!

Please visit my official website www.rollosphotos.com to enjoy more from my collection of fall photography and shop with confidence. Every purchase includes a money-back guarantee.

Join my e-mail list, it’s free.

Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

Does Every Picture Tell a Story?

Fine Art Photography

I hear it often “every picture tells a story”. Well, does every picture tell a story?

Photographers are often told that a story or description should accompany every photograph to help viewers connect with their image. This may be true for journalists, but is it also true for fine art photography? While viewers may be interested in certain details and specific locations, I don’t agree that it is necessary to provide a story for every photograph.

My goal is simple. I photograph things in nature which convey to me a sense of peace, beauty, or wonder. The images come from my heart. Some of them have stories but most do not. They merely capture a special moment in time. Hopefully they are moments that others can relate to without an accompanying story.

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I rely on my photographs to speak for themselves. For instance, I have sat in my bird blind or pulled my car near trees to capture photographs of birds. I’m not really doing anything except enjoying the peace of nature and the company of wildlife, while they go about their daily routine. Every once in a while a bird will fly in close and look at me as if it had stopped to say “hello”. Aside from what camera settings I used, I’d be hard pressed to tell a story about that.

My ‘Conspicuous Bandit’ raccoon image is one of the few that does have a story because the female raccoon nested in a tree near our home. I was able to observe her poking her head out of this hole for weeks. She would only climb out once in a while to relieve herself, and then promptly return to her babies. There were days that were very hot and she looked uncomfortable hanging out of the tree. However, it was the look in her eyes that I relied upon to convey her story. If you are a parent you know what a daunting task it is to keep babies happy and fed. The story simply ends when I heard a clatter outside one night. I flipped on the light to find three baby raccoons raiding my bird feeder. They rushed across our driveway and climbed a telephone pole. Then proceeded to peek at me from behind the pole like animated Disney characters. I suppose they lived happily ever?

Conspicuous Bandit Raccoon Art Prints for Sale Conspicuous Bandit

I admit I’m not an accomplished writer, it takes a great deal of time to gather my thoughts and write them all down. You’ll never find long explanations about how I created a photograph because there aren’t any. My nature photography is meant to convey what I have difficulty saying in words. The eyes are windows to the soul. I look for direct eye contact with animals, or postures which display human-like characteristics. I rely on my photographs to speak for themselves, but more importantly they speak for me. If my images weren’t doing that, then I would throw my camera away.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Northern Cardinal Facts

The male Northern Cardinal is always the first bird to visit our feeder in the morning and the last bird to visit at night.

The Northern Cardinal is a medium sized North American songbird, common to backyard feeders. The male Cardinal is one of the most beautiful year-round birds we have in the Northeastern United States. He is especially charming with his bright red feathers, black face mask, and distinct crest on top of his head. Cardinal pairs mate for life and stay together all year. During courtship, males can be observed feeding seeds to their mate.

Here’s a beautiful male Northern Cardinal with bright red feathers sitting in snow covered pines. The male’s bright red plumage against a dismal gray or white landscape makes them a favorite species of winter birds.

Red Cardinal Art Prints for SaleMale Northern Cardinal, ‘Red Cardinal’

The female Cardinal is equally charming with an orange crest on top of her head, but her color is a dull buff brown. This female is the center of attention perched on a pine branch against a beige background.

Winter Cardinal Art Prints for SaleFemale Northern Cardinal, ‘Winter Cardinal’

Northern Cardinals can be found in brushy areas, thickets, woodland edges, and suburban yards throughout the eastern United States. Their range has been expanding north for decades as a result of backyard bird feeders, which makes it possible for these beautiful birds to endure our harsh northern winter.  Males are territorial and mark their territory with song. Nests are built in dense shrubs or small trees between 1 and 15 feet above ground. They are made from twigs, bark strips, vines, leaves, rootlets, and paper lined with grass and hair.

Northern Cardinal Art Prints for Sale‘Northern Cardinal’

The Northern Cardinal is the state bird, of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia in the US.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, cardinals art, animals, birds, cardinal, red, avian, wildlife, outdoors, framed art, rollosphotos.