The kestrel hovers in the sky, keeping its sharp eyes out for some poor rabbit, on a stormy afternoon on Harkers Creek Farm. A dead eucalyptus looks stark against the gloomy, stormy mass of cloud and rain which is approaching fast.
Taken just a week before Christmas, during a weekend when several centimeters of rain fell on an area which had already received 160cm for the year. In one of the brief sunlit periods of the Saturday I ventured out to take some shots in the wonderful late afternoon light, thinking the dead gum trees would make good subjects against the stormy sky before the deluge began again. The bird of prey obliged me for several minutes, hovering and hovering above some wretched rabbit. Rabbits are an introduced species here, and Australian farmers would do anything to get rid of them, so please don't feel sorry for the bunnies resident in Australia! Numerous attempts have been made to eradicate them, but all have failed.
I've uploaded numerous shots from this farm and other locations near the tiny hamlet of Mitta Mitta, about 400km from Melbourne, which you can find in my gallery. For those who like to look at maps, I did my best to pin the marker on the very spot where I was standing, although I know the maps often show the marker in a different position. If you do look at the map and zoom right in, you may see the farm's road from the Omeo Highway (the 'highway' is a dirt road at this point!) is called 'Porridge Farm Road'. That's the old, original name of the farm. Zooming out will show how remote the farm is; even Mitta Mitta township, 17km away, has only a few dozen people, one shop, a policeman, a school with 12 students, and a hotel.
I wish all my friends on TE a Happy New Year and a healthy 2011.
besnard, holmertz, daddo, danos, Kofman, phwall, windosil, saxo042, Cricri, mikebottomley, adores, Royaldevon, jhm, tyro, Kielia, mvdisco, Charo, pablominto, mkamionka, jlbrthnn, s_lush, gildasjan, williewhistler, adramad, josepmarin, fotka, Angshu, Vasa, RhodieIke, Wanda1 has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
besnard (54617) 2011-01-01 2:18
Une belle image avec une luminosité particulière qui illumine le paysage.
Mes meilleurs voeux 2011 ainsi qu'à tes proches.
holmertz (43747) 2011-01-01 2:27
This is a very elegant and dramatic composition of three distinct sections. The dark sky and the white cloud provide great backgrounds to the trees and the eagle.
I wish you too a fine new year. Hopefully the task of being a mod won't take the fun out of the activities.
daddo (25441) 2011-01-01 2:28
Hi Andrew. I got to take your word for it that this is an eagle but judging by the bird's shape of wings and tail and your note about hovering, I would have thought that it was a kestrel. But then you were there. Anyway, great combination of colours and lovely light. The dead tree stands like an old sentinel, battling time and decay. After such a sombre note it sounds odd to wish you and C. a healthy and happy 2011. Best wishes. Klaudio.
danos (89627) 2011-01-01 2:38
nice the view of this stormy afternoon,with the dead tree to outlined perfect against the grey sky.I like the 'gold' and well lighted foreground with the contrast of the colours to be great.Well done.
I wish, you and your family a wonderful, peaceful and prosperous New Year,Danos
dta (70325) 2011-01-01 3:35
Hello Andrew ,
A wonderful composition of the australian summer . The light and the stormy sky are splendid , and the bird , very well placed , is the cherry on the cake .
Happy New year !
phwall (6785) 2011-01-01 4:07
A dramatic shot, in a dramatic location, well it is for the rabbit I'm thinking.
Excellent lighting contrasts here, the dark background makes the foreground really pop.
Your composition is superb, were you patient or did you just place Mr. Kestrel in with Photoshop, only kidding.
All the best for 2011.
It would be great to have you visit, I'll make sure you get a gorgeous sunset.
skippy007 (12510) 2011-01-01 4:16
Hello Andrew, To me it looks more like a seagull but what would I know, I can't tell the difference between penguins & pelicans ;-)))).
Best wishes for the New year, take care, please let me know when you are about to organise a get together.
Nice capture, those dead gum trees always catch my eye.
windosil (1158) 2011-01-01 5:59
Superb, Andrew! I like the way the branches of the tree and the striations of the clouds point to the kestrel(definitely not an eagle), not to mention the contrast of near-black sky and golden grass. Have added it to my favourites.
Happy New Year to you and yours,
saxo042 (37602) 2011-01-01 9:38
A dramatic picture in more than one way! The clouds and all colours seem very dramatic but the "threat" the bird is to all the small animals on the ground is very clearly exposed here. A fine composition with the diagonal lin from the tree through the bird is well performed.
A very happy new year to you too and many thanks for all critique and support during last year!
Cricri (110295) 2011-01-01 9:40
Très belle composition, beau contraste du ciel sombre et des nuages blancs avec le paysage dans la lumière, joli plus avec l'oiseau en plein vol,, très jolie présentation
Bonne et heureuse année 2011
humayun (2955) 2011-01-01 10:28
nice place and good pov.........
very nice plece of outing
batalay (36505) 2011-01-01 11:46
This is a genuinely beautiful photograph, with the ground (hilltop) mostly in sunlight and the the sky itself, rather foreboding, and seemingly distressed. The The bare gum tree appears to be leaning, and pointing in the direction of the bird aloft.
I wish you a New Year, marked by health and happiness.
francio64 (39653) 2011-01-01 15:40
bellissima composizione ricca di fascino e con una luce molto ben gestita.
Grazie per gli auguri di Buon Anno 2011 che ricambio di cuore.
TFS! See you soon!
mikebottomley (449) 2011-01-01 16:08
G'Day, Again Andrew,
Now I know what you have been doing over the Christmas break, preparing this magnificent creation. This is magic, with the angle of the hill, with the gate, and the sunlight bathing across the hillside. The starkness of the tree against the stormy sky ,was the first thing that grabbed me, when I spotted this photo, I guess cos I did not have you in my fave list, that I did not know it was your photo,so now I have changed this. Number: 113. How lucky are you..not about the fave listing...The bird in the correct position at the correct time ! Fantastic.
Regards Mike and Gail.
ifege (10363) 2011-01-01 16:38
And a happy new year to you too Andrew. It must be just the angle but it almost looks like the kestrel has already caught something. Great use of the clouds and sunlight for a good summer Oz photo.
adores (39908) 2011-01-01 17:51
A great moment! The sunlight reflecting on the foreground makes a wonderful contrast with the dark sky. The bird is very well placed!Good work!
Happy New Year!!!
SteveH (6247) 2011-01-01 19:46
Hi Andrew, Those storm clouds have providing a great BG for this shot and you've taken full advantage. Placement of the tree is good - it would have made a good shot without the Kelstral (I'll go with Klaudio's identification) but it provides a good focal point. Best wishes. Steve
amaryllis (35561) 2011-01-02 0:47
une composition sublime de par les contrastes de couleurs du ciel , de la lumière au premier plan, ces arbres dans l'ombre et surtout celui à droite avec ses tiges frêles
meilleurs voeux à toi aussi
Silvio1953 (128423) 2011-01-02 1:49
Ciao Andrew, fascinatin composition with flying bird and great tree, wonderful light and splendid atmosphere, very well done my friend, Happy New Year 2011 to you and your family, ciao Silvio
jhm (142884) 2011-01-02 2:22
This is the nature, the kestrel lives of the of rabbits.
Splendid how you shows the bird together the dead tree and the imminent sky.
I like the strong contrasts and the scene
Nice compositon, splendid colors good presentation.
Royaldevon (32641) 2011-01-02 2:24
Hello Andrew and a Happy New Year to you and your family, too! We watched on television as N.Z. and then Australia welcomed in the New Year ... isn't technology great!
I like this shot. It appeals to both my sense of drama and artistic composition! I like the minimalistic use of the ground, the stark nature of the naked tree, the threatening clouds and the well-positioned, even more threatening hawk! Together, they make a most harmonius shot.
timecapturer (49288) 2011-01-02 5:26
Happy New Year Andrew
wonderfully imaginative and creative shot, love the composition and light. The Kestrel against the dramatic sky is pure genius. Congratulations!
Nicou (127866) 2011-01-02 6:15
Pareillement, merci, bonne année 2011 et tous mes voeux.
superbe copo avec ce solitiare tout dénudée avec les belles couleurs dorées,ce arbres vert, quel ensemble, l'oiseua dans ce décor, splendide.
Bravo et amitié
ellelloo (6572) 2011-01-02 6:39
A very attractive shot! I like the wonderful contrast of the lit foreground and the dark clouds. An effective composition in vertical format and a perfect control of exposure. Together with the good description of the decisive moment and the map reference, a fine TE contribution! Well done!
Happy New Year to you and yours!
abmdsudi (45704) 2011-01-02 7:25
A very attractive and dramatic shot, nicely composed with fabulous stormy sky. The lone tree acts as a nice frame in the composion which is very well balanced whilst timely shot of the much wanted fig, the bird is suitably placed adding much interest in the scene. These elements make a very strong and striking image. Depth of field is fine and also the exposure. A nice shot well executed. TFS
Wishing you a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year
tyro (21620) 2011-01-02 16:14
And a Happy New Year to you and yours also!
Oh, yes, maps, maps, maps. I love them! Perhaps I am overly anally-retentive, but I do like to try to post co-ordinates with my pictures and I love to look at the maps to which others make reference - yes, I see "Porridge Farm Road" too!
A very fine picture indeed, the dead tree on the right standing starkly against a broody sky with the kestrel circling menacingly above. I should not like to be a lone bunny rabbit in so bare a landscape - there doesn't appear to much cover around.
As others have said, the composition is superb, the tree and the kestrel placed perfectly in the frame - what patience or what good fortune!
And a very interesting and informative note to accompany this fine picture.
Kielia (24073) 2011-01-04 2:54
a great impression that is very well composed with a wonderful and dramatic atmosphere of the upcoming storm. The moody colors and the amazing light are very beautiful. Most of all I like the photographer’s perspective. My compliments, also for the fascinating notes!
I wish you a happy New Year and good luck for your challenging task as a TE moderator!
snunney (88391) 2011-01-04 4:35
A simple composition but a very pleasing one. One cannot help but be struck by the stormy atmosphere and the way the light picks out the golden tones of the foreground grass. The bird is a definite bonus and is beautifully placed in the frame and in relation to the tree that seems to be pointing towards it like some giant hand. Belated greetings to you and your family for 2011!
PJE (20758) 2011-01-04 7:38
Hi Andrew. Whenever I return to your gallery I see a man who has incredible timing before clicking the shutter. Nice title here, and I love the cloud tones.
mvdisco (17784) 2011-01-04 8:08
Wanderful caught of view and details,
Excellent point of view and great colors and light,
beautiful dramatic sky and presentation,
all my compliments and my best wishes for the new year 11,
Charo (51210) 2011-01-04 12:25
The nature in its purest...
Superb composition, in which the bird gets balance to this beautiful image.
Excellent colors and contrasts.
My best wishes for the New Year!
jaywalker (16101) 2011-01-04 13:13
Hi Andrew, The sky offers a powerful atmosphere & the bird of pray makes it more jaw dropping, I love the single leafless tree, you have managed wonderful composition & a truly super piece of work, kind regards Wilson.
pablominto (53744) 2011-01-04 23:26
The lonely tree stands well against the dramatic sky, that is forecasting bad weather to come!
The contrast in the spots of sunlight gives life to the scene, and the imaginary diagonal between the bird and the tree is a plus for the composition...
wolf38 (31284) 2011-01-05 23:00
Hi Andrew. Rabbit, run. A really catchy title. The bunny is the epitome of life. And running is part of the struggle for survival. In this sense: Happy new year 2011. Rgds, Wolfgang.
jafadabret (56501) 2011-01-06 10:25
L'arbre mort guide le regard sur le faucon crécerelle avec, comme fond un ciel fabuleux. J'aime la touche de couleur et de lumière sur l'herbe du premier plan. Une photo très réussie !
Bonne année pour toi et pour tous ceux que tu aimes !
mkamionka (31999) 2011-01-07 6:38
really extraordinary sky makes here an amazing atmosphere. Escpecially the division between the white and dark parts of the sky.
Ah, now I understood the title. It took me a wile :)
Very funny, the bird makes indeed a difference. The dried tree gives it a feeling of a desert. Great colors too.
Have a good weekend,
jlbrthnn (76037) 2011-01-10 12:13
It is a type of capture, I had never seen before on TE. Very interesting, with the advantage of a sky and a light excptionnel. Congratulations.
Have a good evening. Happy New Year!
s_lush (16134) 2011-01-13 14:07
The scene reproduces tightness in the air at the decisive moment before raining perfectly well. The contrast between the sunlit foreground and the gloomy sky in the background strengthen the impression. A highly aesthetic picture and very informative and interesting note!
Waylim (25368) 2011-01-13 23:16
Happy New Year to you. I always tend to forget, that your christmas and New Year is a warm one.
The dark gloomy sky actually gives really great contrast to the well lit foreground of golden field. The trees are well position for a good composition, the kestrel above give bit more interest but without wouldn't have matter. did I see a lizard run into hiding. I didn't think this guy can pick up a rabibit, can it?
gildasjan (42200) 2011-01-14 4:54
J'aime beaucoup les arbres nus et ici l'œil est bien attiré par ce volatile dans le ciel.
williewhistler (15283) 2011-01-16 7:13
Hello Andrew,being a gardener I have no sympathy with rabbits,little vermin!
You have captured all the elements so well here,that lovely light on the gum tree against that threatening sky,the kestrel is a big bonus,adding interest to an empty space.Super shot.
foozi (7101) 2011-01-24 23:05
exciting capture and superb presentation. The foreground is splendid and the golden grass. The graphic and the artistic composition is splendid. How lovely to note the eagle at the third top. The trees are lovely.
good lighting and rich colour pallette.
kiasari (62) 2011-02-04 3:52
Long time, no see! When I see my "Cold War" photo, I remember you.
You used the rule of third perfectly. You chose a good POV to take this shot. A nice photo with a well managed framing and superb colors. Well done!
adramad (39770) 2011-02-07 12:37
A wonderful composition, the contrast between the golden sunlit meadow and sky threatening storm is great, both the contrast of dead tree, as the hawk stalking his prey are a nice touch of drama to the image.
Finally an elegant frame surrounding this beautiful landscape, light and color are perfect.
Have a nice week. Best regards.
ifanik (21679) 2011-02-14 14:32
Congratulation for this so beautiful photo
Very nice moment and great colors
josepmarin (57841) 2011-02-24 2:39
The stormy sky gives a good visual effect and a dramatic touch to this scene. The kestrel in the air scrutinizes the area, looking for some rabbit to have dinner, over a beautiful landscape in which the dead tree contrasts with the sky and with other very green trees.
I like to see the sunlight illuminating the grass in spite of such a cloudy and grey day.
A beautiful work.
fotka (3865) 2011-02-27 8:08
You had chosen nice presentation of the kestrel on the light grey cloud while it is hovering before an attack. A dead eucalyptus gives good balance to the rest of the photo. The light before the storm gives an excellent atmosphere.
Tfs and best regards,
Angshu (56458) 2011-02-28 5:30
Good work here in the vertical format. For one, the barren tree rising from the corner of the frame seems to point towards the kestrel. You got good diffused light here, what I understand from the grass below & that creates a good contrast with the dark sky above. The low horizon also accentuates the effect of the gloomy sky
chandrapranil (1031) 2011-04-05 13:46
As soon as I got to your gallery this image stood out amongst some very good photos. I really like the bright and colourful foreground. Also your timing is excellent to include the Kestrel - it provides a wonderful balance to the shot.
Thank you for sharing
jemaflor (88199) 2011-04-14 4:12
Nice view with an interesting contrast between the light on the fg and this cloudy sky, well composed with only one tree.
Vasa (16778) 2011-04-14 7:19
Your note is great - the picture is the best (moment, composition, atmosphere....). Emotional start oh the year. Proud of your work Andrew and your friendship!
RhodieIke (11742) 2011-04-25 22:01
Hi Andrew, Gong in your gallery came across this great photo,Love the scene and the way you have captured it, Cheers Iain.
tatadalou (6749) 2011-04-30 11:27
I like the ray of light, the last before the storm begin. Nice composition with this dead tree. Spectacular sky !
Robert1969 (7160) 2011-05-21 23:35
You show that less is more.
The open space and the great composition creates a great calmness in this picture.
The great light and the dark clouds creates this wonderful and dramatic atmosphere.
The bird in the left corner is a nice extra (good timing)....My compliments.
jmdias (58163) 2011-05-23 3:14
a beautiful image. the dead tree looks like trying to catch the bird, so beautiful this stormy sky addorned in different hues and the foreground well iluminated, creating a marvelkous contrast. nice job
Wanda1 (15000) 2011-07-21 0:53
The dry leaning branches of the tree point to the kestral in the sky drawing our eye in the right direction and therefore making for a well composed image. I like the drama of the whiter clouds layerd over the dark grey stormy sky which in turn contrasts with the golden sunlit grass in the foreground.
- Copyright: Andrew McRae (macondo) (18623)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-12-18
- Categories: Nature, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Pentax K200D, Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII, Cokin 62mm Circular Polarizer
- Exposure: f/6.7, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2011-01-01 2:11
- Favorites: 2 [view]