Saturday, July 15, 2017

Current Events

Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus Principalis
John James Audubon, Birds of America
(This is my favorite Audubon print, I hope it will be in the show!)

     For my friends here in North Alabama and surrounding states.  I thought you might like to know that……

John James Audubon comes to the Huntsville Museum of Art!  Well, not Audubon himself, but a treasure trove of Audubon Aquatints from the Kathy & Michael Mouron Collection.

24 aquatints from Audubon’s most famous work, The Birds of America will be on display from Sunday, July 23rd until November 19th, 2017.

The Museum will be hosting a preview party on the evening of July 22nd, an event I do not want to miss.  Follow this link to purchase tickets to the preview party.  I hope to see many of you there, if not at the preview party, make sure you get to the museum before the show moves on. 

If you have problems with the link above, here is the actually address:

HMA Press Release:

Museum to present John James Audubon’s Birds of America from the private collection of Kathy and Michael Mouron
CONTACT Samantha Nielsen Director of Communications 256.535.4350 ext. 219
Huntsville, Ala. – The Huntsville Museum of Art (HMA) is thrilled to announce the opening of the much sought after exhibition, Birds of America: Audubon Aquatints from the Kathy & Michael Mouron Collection, on Sunday, July 23rd. Birds of America will be on view at the Museum for general admission until November 19, 2017.
Birds of America presents 24 of the 435 prints comprising the best known works of 19th century American naturalist, John James Audubon (1785-1851). The works on view in the exhibition at HMA are from the private collection of Kathy and Michael Mouron of Birmingham, Alabama and are being shown publically in this region for the first time.
“John James Audubon’s life-sized watercolors of North American birds is widely considered to be among the highest quality of wildlife illustrations,” said Christopher Madkour, Executive Director of HMA. “We are thrilled to be hosting this exhibition at the Museum and are grateful to the Mourons for sharing their extraordinary collection of Audubon paintings with us.”
To observe his subjects firsthand, Audubon traveled through much of the North American continent and recorded the appearance of birds in a variety of media. His intricately detailed illustrations are rich in observation and include song birds, waterfowl and birds of prey which are represented as life-sized and in their natural habitats.
The Mourons were drawn to Audubon’s Birds of America collection after first seeing a few pieces soon after graduating from the University of Alabama. Forty years later, Michael and Kathy spotted a piece from the collection through the open doors of Arader Galleries in Philadelphia and quickly became friends with the gallery owner, Mr. Graham Arader. After purchasing the “Wood Duck” aquatint in May 2013, the Mourons, with help from Mr. Arader, have now added thirty-three other pieces to their own private Audubon collection.
“With Graham’s careful guidance and counsel, I believe we have been able to secure some absolutely fabulous pieces, rich in color and with full margins and some with most interesting provenance,” said Michael Mouron. “Kathy and I are excited to share our collection with the Huntsville community and look forward to seeing Birds of America on display at the Huntsville Museum of Art.”
Huntsville Museum of Art | 300 Church Street South | Huntsville, Alabama 35801 |
Page 2 of 2
Seven of the aquatints in the Mouron’s collection are currently on loan to the University of Tennessee in honor of Michael’s father; however, most of the other pieces will be included in the exhibition at HMA.
On Saturday, July 22nd from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Museum Board of Directors and Mayor and Mrs. Tommy Battle will host a Preview Party to celebrate the opening of this exhibition. Guests will be able to view the collection before it opens to the public, while enjoying a reception catered by Chef Narvell and listening to live music by a string trio from the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
Admission to the Preview Party is $25 for Museum members and $45 for non-members. Tickets are on-sale now and may be purchased online at or by calling 256-535- 4350 ext. 208.
For more information about the Birds of America exhibit and to see what else is happening at the Museum, visit

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pic of the Day

­­Prothonotary Warbler, Prothonotaria citrea:  Magee Marsh, Ohio

     While atop the boardwalk tower at Magee Marsh this little Prothonotary Warbler created quite a stir among some of the birders.  The rust colored, dirty forehead and crown had many birders clamoring over the bird’s identity for a while.  I caught this image as the bird sang its territorial song just off the boardwalk.  By the way, this image is heavily cropped, but doesn’t diminish the enthusiasm in the little guy’s song.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, Exposure 1/500 second @ f/8

Monday, June 5, 2017

Pic of the Day

Magnolia Warbler, Setophagq magnolia:  Magee Marsh,  Ohio
      This is another one of the beautiful warblers that can be seen migrating through Magee Marsh during the spring migration.  There were a lot of magnolias this year and this male put on a great show for photography.  I am already looking forward to retuning to Magee next year.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4,  1/640 second @ f/8

Friday, June 2, 2017

Pic of the Day

Cape May Warbler (female), Setophaga tigrinya:
Ohio Department of Natural Resourse parking lot near Magee Marsh.
     During my visit to Magee Marsh last month I had a few rainy, cool days. Okay, they were down right cold days.  Birds were not very active and photography was slow.  About hour before the sundown on one of those days, I decided to leave early.
     On the way out I stopped at the Ohio DNR parking lot to check for birds.  One of the evergreens, which I believed to be a spruce, had a few warblers flitting around.  The birds were busily feeding, hopping from limb to limb gleaning insects from the needles.
     There was not another soul, or car for that matter, in the parking lot so I drove up to the tree and parked about 14 feet away and patiently waited for the birds to feed on the limbs closest to me.  After watching the birds for about fifteen minutes, this female Cape May Warbler hopped right in front of my camera.  A few other birds came along over the next 30 minutes, giving me some great photo opportunites.
     Cape May Warblers breed in a few of our Northern States and Canada.  They build nest close to the top of spruce and fir trees some thirty-five, to sixty feet off the ground.  During the breeding season, the Cape May primarily feeds on insects, but on its wintering grounds in the Caribbean, and Central America it uses its tubular tongue to feed on flower nectar and fruit juices. 

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/160 second @ f/8

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Pic of the Day

Trumpeter Swan, Cygnus buccinator:  Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio
    On my recent trip to photography neotropical migrants in Ohio, I spent some time at Ottawa NWR photographing swans. Trumpeter Swans are native to Ohio, but were extirpated during the early part of the twentieth century.  In 1996, a population was reestablished at Ottawa, and the birds have made a miraculous recovery.  As I drove the backroads of  Ottawa, I counted seventy-nine trumpeters.  Most seem to be paired.  This is just another, of the many success stories of federal and state recovery programs.  Efforts of the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the protection provided by the Endangered Species Act are essential for continued restoration of wildlands and its endangered flora and fauna.  Our relationship with the world in which we live is tenuous, but the average person cannot, or does not want to see the earth’s fragility. I think Aldo Leopold explains it best when he said,"We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us.  When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."  The real question is, how do we instill this sentiment into those who are clueless?   
Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/2000 second @ f/9