I’ve definitely got the Macro bug! This past week I watched two macro videos on Kelby One which were great fun and very well explained. I missed the Mike Moats Macro workshop so I am trying to learn some skills via videos. I think with macro photography, the more you practice the better you will get. The DOF still presents a challenge but it’s been great fun to gather some household items and set them up for a macro shoot. When I poured out this bag of M&M’s, I was delighted to find “part of a whole”. Perfect for this week’s challenge.
On a recent LWRDPC Macro Group outing to the Red Bug Slough I came across a family of Wood Ducks. It was interesting to do a little research on the Wood Ducks behavior in order to tell my story. Wood ducks live in wooded swamps, where they nest in holes in trees or in nest boxes put up around lake margins. They are one of the few duck species equipped with strong claws that can grip bark and perch on branches.
The Wood Duck nests in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times over a mile away. After hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way. The ducklings may jump from heights of over 50 feet without injury. It is not uncommon to see a mother duck with what seems like too many ducklings to have had just by her and that is because it is common in Wood Ducks for females to visit other Wood Duck cavities, lay eggs in them, and leave them to be raised by the other female. This may have been made more common by the abundance and conspicuousness of artificial nest boxes; in some areas it happens in more than half of all nests. Individual females typically lay 10-11 eggs per clutch, but some very full nests have been found containing 29 eggs, the result of egg-dumping.
So although the male wood duck can be seen lurking around it his job is too watch out for predators while it is the female that tends to the ducklings and teaches them feeding, preening and gets them ready for independence.
Everyone knows to beware of Alligators due to their quickness and their powerful jaws. I thought it would be fun to do a little research on just how powerful their jaws really are! Here are some interesting facts: “In a study led by professor Greg Erickson of Florida State University, the bite force of crocodiles and alligators was tested by placing a measuring device similar to a tuning fork between their teeth. A gauge attached to the device gave the scientists readings of the animals’ bite force in psi. The American alligator clamped his jaws around the device exerting an average of 2,980 psi and ranked fifth overall in terms of bite strength among the species tested. In comparison, animals such as hyenas, lions and tigers bite with a force around 1,000 psi.” Just to get a handle on how powerful that really is, we fill our tires up to 60 lbs per square inch compared to that of an alligator which has a bite force of 2,980 pounds per square inch. (PSI) Although crocodiles have a stronger bite force I still think the bite force of an alligator is powerful enough to fulfill this challenge category.