Steve Greer Photography Blog

Sound the Trumpets!

Well the day has finally come.   I have restored and updated my blog.  You can see the improved version at

SteveGreerPhotographyBlog.com

I will continue to add new photo stories every week.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and insights.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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September 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Jersey Tallship A.J.Meerwald

For my latest pictorial book “Our New Jersey” I had the privilege to photograph a true state treasure, the A.J. Meerwald.  It was an opportunity to join the crew and experience what its like to sail on the high seas of the Delaware Bay in an authentically restored 115 foot, 65 ton, 1928 oyster schooner.

Being a true landlubber through and through, the challenges of photographing on a rolling ship proved challenging.  Thankfully Captain Jesse kept a close eye on me as I grabbed for the main sail between pictures.

His crew are enthusiastic caretakers who proudly display their incredible skill of turning the ship on a dime, all to the whims of a demanding photographer.  For more of my images aboard New Jersey’s only Tall Ship visit http://www.stevegreerphotography.com/new_jersey_tallship_a_j_meerwald.shtml

For anyone wanting to sail back in time to the turn of the century, I would highly recommend you weigh anchor and journey to a place when the shipbuilding industry in South Jersey that was once a mainstay of the local economy

A little history:

The Meerwald was one of hundreds of Delaware Bay schooners that worked the region’s oyster industry. She is listed on the National and New Jersey Register of Historic Places, and in 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed a bill officially declaring her New Jersey’s Tall Ship.

Built by Charles H. Stowman & Sons in South Jersey specifically for dredging oysters from the shallow Delaware Bay.  It’s new role as an educator, the Meerwald sets sail seven day a week to instruct school children and adults on the culture, maritime history, rich natural resources and environmental challenges of New Jersey’s coastal waters.

The future of the Estuary is in the hands of our young people. The Bayshore Discovery Project creates a legacy of stewardship through diverse, intellectually vigorous education programs. For more information, visit http://www.ajmeerwald.org/

July 1, 2010 Posted by | New Jersey Tallship A.J. Meerwald, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The bluebird family moves out, and moves on

With more encouraging chirps from the adults, the three remaining chicks successfully flew from the nest this morning, joining the rest of their family where the forest meets the meadow.  Sometimes I see one or two of them through the trees, watching their parents hunt for insects.  Mostly, I hear them, still chirping their plaintive calls, begging for food.  The parents will continue to feed them until they are about 30 days old.

After 21 days of witnessing devoted parental care, editing over 300 hours of recorded video, and now listening to the melody of new bluebirds in the forest, the empty nest syndrome begins.

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A bluebird enters a new frontier

This is the morning of day 20.  The female is calling to the chicks almost constantly, encouraging them to leave the security of the nest and enter a new world of challenges and triumphs. They listened.

After much jostling about, the first nestling pushed off at 6:00am, arched down toward the ground, then climbed slowly into the air, landing clumsily on to a tree branch at the edge of the deciduous forest – whew!  The male flew behind the chick, and landed just above it on another branch. The second youngster did the same at 7:15am, only flying precariously low through the tall meadow grass and managing to swoop up and grab a hold of a low hanging branch.

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The bluebirds wait impatiently for the opportunity to fledge

It’s now day 19, and most of the chicks are ready to fledge.   But the weather has turned cold and it has been raining again for 2 days in a row.  It’s a damp 60 degrees.  The adults are waiting for warmer weather before calling to the babies, to encourage them to jump.  There are many obstacles, including predatory dangers, awaiting these new arrivals to the forest.  It’s in their best interest to make the leap in better weather conditions.

In the meantime, they continue their wing flapping exercises and take turns peeking out at the new world just waiting for them.  The pinging sound you hear is the sound of the rain drops hitting the predator pole baffle.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A bluebird sees the outside world for the first time

As the walls in their home press inward, the nestlings continue to jostle for a comfortable position.   The chicks take turns carrying out vigorous wing flapping exercises several times a day to strengthen their wing muscles.    This youngster takes the inchoative of his or her new found strength to climb to the edge of the nestbox entrance to see what is happening outside.   A little hesitant to make that momentous jump, the chick decides to stay in the safety of the nestbox a little longer.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The bluebirds have opened their eyes

All the chicks’ eyes have now opened and they are almost completely feathered.  They’re now sporting a narrow ring of white feathers around each eye, and their breasts are speckled with gray.

The nestlings are standing more during the day, while continuing to preen and do wing stretches.  Some of the scratching around the eyes could be due to a blow fly larvae infestation.  So far, it looks as though the youngsters are able to cope.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How much can a bluebird eat?

It’s now day 10, and the warmer temperatures have returned.  This means insects are easier to find, and they are bigger.

This is good timing as the chicks are becoming more vocal in their demands for food.  In this clip, no insect is too big for this youngster.  He, or she, is determined to gulp this worm down, even it means being uncomfortable.

The chick continued to gag, slowly working the worm down it’s throat over the next several hours.  And even though there was no way to cram any more food into this chick, it continued chirping for more with every new delivery of insects.

Notice that their feather sheaths have started to disintegrate (leaving a white dust behind) and wing feathers have begun to emerge.  The nestlings are now preening, and doing some stretching and hopping a little to strengthen muscles.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2nd. Chick Hatching

This is a highlight of the second chick hatching.

Watch as the egg begins to rock back and forth, then crack open with the chick falling out and flailing around, and then collaping on top of the other eggs in exhaustion.  The chicks are born naked, blind, and unable to maintain their own body temperature.  They are totally helpless.  The female bluebird eats the egg shell essentially because it’s a great source of calcium.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Bluebird Video Highlights, Bluebirds, Uncategorized | Leave a comment