Blog: Words and images

Listen to the mockingbird

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A few years ago my wife and I were walking through a neighborhood in Lexington, Ky., when we heard a cardinal’s song coming from a nearby tree. When we turned to look we were surprised to see a Northern Mockingbird (the subject of my featured gallery for December), not a cardinal. Its song was a perfect imitation of a cardinal’s song. 

While we watched for a few minutes, the mockingbird would occasionally mimic the cardinal again, mixing that song into what was otherwise a jumble of seemingly random notes. …

Near Big Ben

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There are certain iconic sights that are symbols of specific locales, the type of sights used by filmmakers to identify a location to movie or television viewers.

Think the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building or Times Square in New York, the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial or U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

For London it’s the tower of Big Ben, the subject of my photo of the week.

I’ve spent a lot of time in London on business through the years and grabbed this shot while walking east on Great George Street through Parliament Square on my way to lunch during a 2010 visit.

Yawning gull

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When I’m walking around New York City with my camera I expect to get a variety of types of photos: street scenes, architecture, cityscapes and basic tourist shots.

I don’t expect to come home with wildlife photo, the subject of my photo of the week.

But I did get a wildlife shot during a 2016 visit to NYC, thanks to a cooperative seagull I encountered.

We were walking along the water near the southern tip of Manhattan, an area with an excellent — though distant — view of the Statue of Liberty, when I saw a seagull calling while perched on a piling. …

Cupid’s Span

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One of my favorite things to do in San Francisco is to walk along the Embarcadero, looking at sights along and across the San Francisco Bay on one side and at the city’s skyline on the other.

There are always interesting things to see, but one that stands out is the giant bow and arrow stuck in the ground.

Cupid’s Span, the subject of my photo of the week, is a giant sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Brugge. It’s one of a number of sculptures along the Embarcadero in San Francisco. …

Soaring pelican

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A few years ago I was doing some photography in J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Florida’s Sanibel Island. I was watching wading birds through the lens and had my back to the sun when an extremely large shadow from a low-flying, very quiet object engulfed me.

Instinctively, I ducked. Then I looked up, trying to figure out if someone was flying a kite or using a very quiet drone. That’s when I saw an American White Pelican, the subject of my photo of the week, gliding in for a landing.