Welcome to my adventures in life on the autism spectrum!

I’m Connor T. Please join me on my journey as I navigate the world as an independent  young adult living with an autism spectrum disorder. I am a pianist, vocalist, percussionist, and photographer attending Berkshire Hills Music Academy in South Hadley, MA. I have recently become a member of the Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism and you can find me taking photos at their events! I love books, movies, music, fitness, travel and so much more!  I would love to share my spectrum inspired thoughts, photographs and experiences with you!

Nobska Lighthouse, Falmouth, MA
Singing and playing the piano are my passions!
I love to perform!


Photography is my newest passion!


Jorge is a goose who was raised by a flock of Canada Geese on the campus of Mt. Holyoke College.

He is often seen day by day given warm greetings from many of the students and visitors, but I often see him when I have free time from school activities, or on sunny days.

I learned that Jorge is a resident of Lower Lake, because one of the students on campus told me about him, and I for one have no idea who he really was. He was first sighted 29 years ago where the Canada Goose family adopted him. Which begs the question how can a goose like Jorge live that long? Geese could generally live up 15-25 years. In most breeds, males and females are indistinguishable from one anonther; however, the pilgrim goose is known for it’s auto sexing trait.

Speaking of auto sex, I discovered something very bizarre about Jorge. I read an article from Mt. Holyoke Alumnae Association. Jorge isn’t really a male goose. Isn’t that just insane? Jorge may roam wild, but she is a breed of domestic pilgrim goose. Males are plain white, but females are grey. When I saw Jorge for the first time, I thought she was a male Pilgrim goose. I read one of the students asking what would go wrong with a female Jorge? She seems like an uncommon goose.

From my point of view, Jorge was supposed to be male, because of the name he was given. It refers to that scene from Pixar’s Up, where Russell befriends a giant wild bird and called him Kevin; he then trained her to follow him through Paradise Falls, but didn’t know about her gender. How could there be any mistake about that?

Back to Jorge, every time I go out to see her, I watch her swimming at Lower Lake with her Canada goose compadres. When she walks up on dry land, I want to see her doing some tricks, and spreading her wingspan out. It gets really overwhelming standing there and waiting for her to do something. It feels like a waste of time standing there watching Jorge do nothing. I do it, because it excites me to see what might happen. Sometimes, I see a magnificent, blue heron flying about the pond.

What I learned about Pilgrim geese is that they are considered to be a relatively quiet, lightweight, and a medium sized breed. Jorge is exactly like that. The true color of a mature pilgrim goose is like this: Females would be a lighter grey than a Toluse with white feathering starting at the beak and forming white speckles around their eyes in most instances. Mature males would have some grey around their white bodies usually around their wings and tails.

Does Jorge have a mate? This is a question that popped into my head while I was doing research. We don’t know if Jorge has a mate. That could take a us on a wild goose chase.

Jorge preens herself while a couple of canada geese pass by her.

Geese live to be about 30 years old. Jorge has been around for 29 years according to the alumnae article. I have no idea for sure where Jorge came from. Maybe she came from England, from Australia, from Honduras.

Based on the article I read, someone is responsible for replacing Jorge, but others deny having any role in keeping her around. How does this even happen? If Jorge were orphaned as a chick, or ran away from home, there might be a real reason the Canada geese adopted her.

A canada goose stands to the right of Jorge preening herself as she watches.

Jorge can be seen anywhere around campus. Swimming at the nearby pond, grazing in the fresh cut grass, getting food from students–all that stuff. Whenever I come to visit her, I often see her swimming among the bend of Lower Lake, or perching up on dry land. When she gets up there, I want her to do something very silly. Sometimes she would ruffle her feather coat, stretch out her long neck, and flap her winspan out wide so it would look as if she were flying. Like herself, pilgrim geese are calm and elegant.

Jorge ruffles her feathers in a circular form

On early, bright Saturday mornings, Jorge likes to sleep in and doesn’t show up until later. But when night falls, Jorge goes to bed early after a long hard day of work. It can’t be all that bad hanging around with your feathered friends all day. No matter where Jorge is, other citizens keep their eyes on her. Resendents around here know about the legend of Jorge, and that’s why they come to see her. Now that you have read my story, maybe you’ll come visit Jorge too. If you want to take pictures of her, you gotta learn how to wing it.

Jorge smiles at her onlooking visitors in the water of Lower Lake.

New York or Bust.

Here is me standing steadfast on the steps in front of Lincoln Center, ready for my big gig.

Boy, I’m a little late for this one.

3 months ago, I took a trip to New York City for a gig with Spectrum of Sound. It was at Lincoln Center, to honor Epic Players for its 5th anniversary of establishment. And I was excited for it. This was one of the newest experiences for me, because I have never sung at Lincoln Center before. It was also a long trip for me.

So my adventure started out by waking up early to pick up my friend, Billy. Billy is a member of Spectrum of Sound. I have known him for a really long time. The first time I met him was in preschool. I also remember visiting his house for a pool party.

On the train, I slept for 3 hours, and woke up to find myself in the big apple.

When we arrived, my mom and I checked into Hilton Garden Inn, and booked a room. After unpacking, we walked over to Central Park, and met up with my Uncle Rick. I was happy to see him. Now this is where I will explain about the birds I saw there. I saw 4 different types of birds while I was there, and it felt like a miracle.

A shot of the Yellow-bellied sapsucker at Central Park.

One of the birds I found while I was there was the female lesser goldfinch which I encountered at The Ramble. One of the geographic features of Central Park. We also saw the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. That species was the David Bowie of woodpeckers. Based on its appearance. This was one of the highlights of my trip.

The hard thing about looking for birds in Central Park is paying attention to where they might land, and the amount of people walking around. You could bump into someone as you focus on your subject. When you look through your lens, you predict what a bird is going to do. I never know if I’m right, or wrong about it. All it takes is patience, and probably a quick trigger finger. Because you need to think fast.

As we continued walking, we found a red tailed hawk perched atop one of the branches on the northern side. It was difficult for me to see where it was, because I thought it was camouflaged in its surroundings. I ended up seeing it move behind the branches.

After taking a stroll around Central Park, it was time to go back to the hotel and get ready for rehearsal. It took a few minutes to walk over to Lincoln Center for warm ups. During the gig, we got to know one of the Epic Players. The Epic Players are a nonprofit, neurodiverse theater company dedicated to creating professional performing arts opportunities and supportive social communities in the arts for persons with developmental disabilities. One of the players is this guy Gideon who played a song for us at dinner. When I met him, my mind exploded. I was impressed to think he was an incredible guitarist. What really impressed me was that he was on the spectrum like I was. He also said he liked going out to concerts in the world (notably to see Foo Fighters in person), and he showed us one of his favorites on guitar.

The next day, I awoke feeling exhausted after the events of my gig, but I also felt relieved because I thought it went so well. It began to rain, and me and mom went out for breakfast, window-shopped around Time’s Square, and drove out to the lower east side to visit my cousins and their new baby, William. I held him gently in my arms, read some books to him, and hugged him. It felt like a miracle holding my new baby cousin for the first time.

Me and my cousin Ryan. In the center, my new baby cousin, William.

This trip inspired me to write a blog post about it. That way, I could explain what made it so unique. I’ve been to NYC many times, once for my cousin Sam’s bar-mitzvah at Rockefeller Plaza, and other times to see new broadway shows, and to participate in a parade to stop gun violence. What made this time special is my first visit to Lincoln Center, and every single thing I’ve accomplished there. Some of the pictures that I took there made the trip even more special such as finding new bird breeds. I hope you enjoyed looking at this post. I’ll send some more reviews of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. Once again, this is Connor Thompson of Spectrum-inspired photography. I approve of this message.

Spectrum Of Sound standing intact in front of Lincoln Center.

Owl Things Considered

Hello everybody. Happy new year! It is now 2021. I’ve been having tons of fun photographing more birds, but it’s been a long time since my last blog post. Today, we’re gonna talk about owls. I have photographed four different species of owls at a wonderful place my parents took me to visit, called Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education. We saw four types of owls: Barn, Barred, Saw-Whet and Eastern Screech owls.

Now for those of you who haven’t visited, Horizon Wings is located in Ashford Connecticut. It was formed in 2001 by Mary-Beth Kaeser as a 501(c)(3) non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center specializing in birds of prey. The whole place had raptors that couldn’t be released back into the wild, because of their injuries. Fortunately those birds were able to be kept in captivity and, with a special permit, used for educational programs.

Keegan the Saw-Whet Owl at Horizon Wings, © Connor S. Thompson/Spectrum Inspired Photography

The owl I’m going to talk about first in the Saw-Whet owl, Aegolius acadicus. The North American Saw-Whet owl is a small owl native to North America. They are one of the smallest owl species. They can be found in dense thickets, or confiners, often at eye level, although they can be found some 20 feet up. Saw-Whets are often in danger of being preyed upon by larger owls and raptors. Northern saw-whet owls are also migratory birds without any strict pattern.

Keegan the Saw-Whet Owl at Horizon Wings, © Connor S. Thompson/Spectrum Inspired Photography

Northern Saw-Whet owls have a round white face with brown and cream streaks. They also have a dark beak, and yellow eyes.

What is their behavior like? They’re very nocturnal and hard to see, but they have a shrill, penetrating call that they give many times in succession. During daylight they roost in dense vegetation, typically just above the eye level and near the trunk in evergreen times.

The Northern Saw-Whet owl makes a repeated whistle tooting sound. Some say they sound like a saw being sharpened on a whetstone. They usually make that sound to find mates, so they can be heard often April through June when they are looking for mates.

A saw-whet owl called Keegan came to Horizon wings in April 2019 when she was found in a barn on the ground with a wing injury. After she was examined by the avian vet and determined to be non-releasable, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife gave them permission to keep her.

Northern Saw-Whet owls are on the special concern list in Connecticut due to a large loss of habitat. They nest in cavitities, preferring holes in dead trees made by woodpeckers. Their main prey is small mice, but they will also take a variety of birds, and have been documented taking birds as large as cardinals. They are found over much of the United States and southern Canada, and down through the mountain ranges of southern California. Saw-Whets are migratory owl and will travel as far as the southernmost part of the United States to find their prey during the winter solstice.

A Saw-Whet owl was recently in the news when it was discovered that it had hitchhiked a ride in the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. He was named Rocky, and he made the 170-mile journey from upstate New York to the Big Apple in the Norway spruce. Luckily Rocky was unhurt, and was released back into the wild after a short stay with a wildlife rehabilitator .

Barn Owl named Tyton at Horizon Wings, © Connor S. Thompson/Spectrum Inspired Photography

Now I’d like to talk about the Barn Owl (Tyto alba). Barn owls are found on every continent of earth except Antartica. They prefer open farmland where they hunt the fields for small mammals. Barn owls are able to locate their prey using only their sense of hearing. Barn owls are easily identified by their white chest, and heart shaped facial disk. Females are larger and have heavier speckled chests. Their call is not a hoot sound, but a long hissing shriek.

The barn owl is the most widely distributed species of all owl in the world and one of the most widespread of all species of birds. It’s also known as the common barn owl, to distinguish it from the other species in it’s family, Tytonidae which forms one of the two main linages of living owls, the other being the typical owl.

The barn owl is nocturnal over most of it’s range, but in Great Britain and some Pacific Islands, it hunts by day. Barn owls often specialize in hunting on the ground, and nearly all of their food consists of small mammals which they locate by sound. Their hearing being very acute. They usually mate for life unless one of the pair is killed when a new body pair may be formed.

The barn owl Tyton was brought to Horizon Wings in April 2018 when he was a young adult from Utah. He was presumable hit by a car, and suffered a severe injury to his shoulder/coracoid which left him unable to fly.

Barred Owl Asha at Horizon Wings, © Connor S. Thompson/Spectrum Inspired Photography

Now I’m going to talk about the Barred owl. The barred owl, also known as the northern bard owl, is a North American large species of owl. A member of the true owl family, Strigidae, they belong to the genus strix, which is also the origin of the family’s name under Linnean taxonomy. Barred owls live primarily in evergreen forests, usually near a swamp or pond.

Barred Owl closeup at Drumlin Farm © Connor S. Thompson/Spectrum Inspired Photography

Barred owls have a large gray-brown and white feathers with a round head and no ear tufts. While most other owls have yellow eyes, (like the saw-whet owl that I talked about) the barred owl has brown eyes. It has a small sharp and dull yellow beak. Named after the bars on it’s chest, the barred owl is the most vocal of all Eastern owls.

Asha came to Horizon Wings in 2018 as a one-year-old bird after being struck by a car in Danielson. As a result of her accident, she lost one of her eyes.

Oakley the Eastern Screech Owl at Horizon Wings, © Connor S. Thompson/Spectrum Inspired Photography

The last owl I would like to talk about now is none other than the Eastern Screech Owl. A small owl that is relatively common in Eastern North America, from Mexico to Canada. This species is native to most wooded environments of it’s distribution, and more so than any other owl in its range, has adapted well to manmade development, although it frequently avoids detection due to its strictly nocturnal habits.

The binomial name for the screech owl is Megascops asio.

Eastern screech owls are strictly nocturnal, roosting during the day in cavities or next to tree trunks. They are quite common and can be often found in residential areas. However, due to their small size and camouflage, they are much more frequently heard than actually seen.

Oakley the Eastern Screech Owl at Horizon Wings, © Connor S. Thompson/Spectrum Inspired Photography

Here’s an interesting fact: Like most raptors, male eastern screech owls are much smaller than females, and are more agile flyers and hunters. The female doesn’t hunt while on the nest; she and the chicks depend on food bought them by the male. Though the male is smaller, his voice is deeper than the female’s.

Screech owls get their name from the wailing sounds that they make, but most often their call is a soft trilling sound that is similar to a horse whinny. Screech owls nest in cavities in trees and are extremely hard to see although are probably one of the most common species in Connecticut. Screech owls have asymmetrical hearing, meaning one ear is larger and sits up higher on their head. This helps them to locate their prey by listening before they look for it.

Screech-owls regurgitate the bones, fur, and feathers of their prey in an oval pellet at least once or twice a day. The ground beneath habitual owls can be littered with pellets, and you can learn a lot from them about their diet.

However, data from pellets may underestimate the number of soft bodied animals like worms and insects that owl has eaten.

Oakley and her siblings were hand raised from a very young age after their nest tree was taken down. Despite being given directions to take them to the local Audubon where they would have been fostered into other nests, the owlets were given to the finder’s friend who raised them for 2 months before turning them over to the Audubon. Being raised by humans, and played with by children, these birds imprinted upon humans and are not releasable.

Well guys, I hope hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Owl Things Considered, and you enjoyed learning about these four species of owls. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more owls in every tree hole when I go hiking in the woods. Thank you for reading this, and one more thing: HOOT!

For more information about Horizon wings, visit www.HorizonWings.org

All About Dragonflies — Nature Photography


Dragonfly head on
Dragonflies also have large, compound eyes, often referred to as “bug eyes” that are noticeable from a distance.

Hey everybody, It’s me again back with another nature photography blog. Today, I’ll be talking about dragonflies and damselflies. I recently visited Greenways conservation area in Wayland MA, Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury, MA and Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA where I observed many different types of dragonflies and photographed them using my telephoto lens. And believe it or not, they actually came out great!

As you’ll learn later on, the thing all these areas have in common is they are marshy, swampy habitats, which is where dragonflies thrive! When you look at a dragonfly, you gotta look at it’s head, body and wings. The wings are very transparent, which is very cool. And their heads and faces with huge eyes look like aliens close up !

Blue green dragonfly

This dragonfly’s large, flat transparent wings and vibrant colors are easily to see!

What Is a Dragonfly?

A dragonfly is a large, winged insects that exists on every continent except Antarctica. Dragonflies are noted for their large, flat wings and their vibrant colors, which can vary depending on the individual and the region in which it lives. Dragonflies also have large, compound eyes, often referred to as “bug eyes” that are noticeable from a distance. There are over 5,000 species of dragonflies all over the world.


Another word for a dragonfly is an Odonate. They are insects of the order of Odonata. Their large size, ease of viewing, insecting behaviors, and dazzling display of colors makes them one of the most attractive group of bugs for both scientists and the public to observe.

Odonates have three body segments (head, thorax, and abdomen), two pairs of wings, and three pairs of jointed legs. A pair of lounge compound eyes dominates the head. The fore and hind wings are roughly equal in size and attached to the thorax. The abdomen is elongated into a narrow segmented cylinder. Distinctive appendages at the tip of the abdomen in males are used for clapping females during mating.

_Blue dragonfly closeup twig
You can clearly see the head, thorax and abdomen, along with the two pairs of wings and three pairs of jointed legs! This could be a damselfly, since it’s wings are not spread out in a horizontal position?

Two suborders of Odonata occur in Massachusetts: Zygoptera- the damselflies and Anisoptera- the dragonflies

Here are some interesting facts about damselflies:

They typically hold their wings together above their thorax and abdomen while taking a nap. Damselflies are smaller and more delicate than dragonflies. Their eyes are widely separated on their heads and project to the side. Dragonflies are agile fliers, while damselflies have a weaker, fluttery flight.

_blue damselfly yellow lily pad

Here are some facts about dragonflies:

• Dragonflies hold their wings out in a horizontal position while resting.
• Dragonflies are large and robust
• Their eyes are larger than in damselflies, sometimes touching each other along the midline of the head.
• Dragonflies are powerful straight fliers.

_dragonfly close up
Dragonfly with it’s wings in a horizontal position while resting.

What Do Dragonflies Look Like?

Let’s talk about their appearance. Like all insects, the dragonfly’s body is made of three distinct sections; the head, abdomen, and thorax, and the dragonfly has an exoskeleton. The head on a dragonfly is the shortest part of its body, and has two short antennae. The total body of a dragonfly is 1-4 inches in length.

_Dragonfly face close up twig
This photo clearly shows the dragonfly’s large, compound eyes.

Dragonfly Eyes

Dragonflies are also notable for their eyes. A dragonfly’s eyes cover most of its head and they can see nearly 360 degrees around them. Dragonfly eyes are separate on the sides of the head, and come together on the top of the head. Dragonflies have compound eyes, and have more color-proteins than humans. This means that they see the world like a mosaic with a million tiny pictures.

Studies are still being done on the way the dragonfly sees the world, but studies show that dragonflies have an incredible ability to see colors that humans can’t see, and in different shades and intensities, including ultraviolet light.

I love how the light is reflected off the patterns of this dragonfly’s transparent wings, at Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary!

Dragonfly Wings

On the thorax, dragonflies have two pairs of wings and three pairs of legs. The wings are long, transparent, and “patterned.” A dragonfly’s wings are as unique as its coloring. Think of a dragonfly’s wings as similar to a leopard’s spots or a zebra’s stripes. They’re a mysterious, existing pattern in nature and scientists are unsure of how and why these patterns are formed.

Dragonflies are sturdy insects, as are their wings. The wings are connected to the body via a strong muscle, which allows the dragonfly to fly long distances at a high speed. In most species, a female’s wings are slightly shorter than a male’s wings. Dragonfly wings also don’t fold, like many other species of flying insect. So when a dragonfly lands, their wings stay horizontal to their bodies.

Where Do Dragonflies Live?

Dragonflies can be found all over the world. They typically stay close to water; most species of dragonfly spend the majority of their life underwater or close to the surface of the water. Depending on the species, dragonflies prefer ponds, marshes, or streams. Dragonflies are known for being picky about their habitats. If you see a dragonfly near a body of water, the water is probably pretty clean.

_Dragonfly green leaves
This dragonfly (possibly a Green Darner variety) was seen at Greenway in Wayland, near the Sudbury River.


The Life Cycle of a Dragonfly

The life cycle of the dragonfly varies depending on the species, but most dragonflies spend the majority of their lives as nymphs, or baby dragonflies that live below the water.


Dragonflies lay hundreds to thousands of eggs. The length of time it takes for a dragonfly egg to hatch depends on the species. Some eggs can hatch within a few days of being laid by the dragonfly, and others take a several weeks.


After hatching, dragonflies spend most of their lives as nymphs, or immature insects, underneath the water’s surface. Depending on the species, a dragonfly can live in the water as a nymph for up to five years. As nymphs, the dragonfly molts several times under the water. Molting is a process in which an insect sheds its exoskeleton to make room for new growth.

The nymph eventually makes its way to the surface, where it stays and waits for its respiratory system to adjust to the air. Then the dragonfly finds a place to molt, and completes the process into adulthood.


After the dragonfly becomes an adult, it usually only lives for a few months, during which time it reproduces with other dragonflies. Most individuals are caught and eaten by predators.

Dragonfly Behavior

Dragonfly behavior remains mysterious in lots of ways, but there are some notable dragonfly behaviors.


Dragonflies find a feeding area and stake out a “perch” where they can see their hunting ground. They usually stay nearby, defending their territory from other dragonflies or sometimes, other insects. Males in particular are known to be highly territorial, and even more so during breeding season, when females have to mate with them in order to lay eggs in their territory.

Dragonfly twig sideview
This photo is a good example of a dragonfly (or damselfly) on a perch overlooking it’s hunting ground.


Dragonflies are strong and agile flyers. They are capable of flying over large bodies of water. They use a number of different flying techniques, which helps them hunt and cover a lot of ground when looking for mates. They can fly at speeds up to 34mph, though their cruising speed is around 10mph. Dragonflies are also known to hover.

Blue dragonfly front view
Possibly a Blue Dasher dragonfly specie, hunting for bugs to eat.


What do dragonflies eat? Dragonflies are actually carnivorous. They have strong jaws with sharp teeth that they use for catching and eating, and primarily eat other bugs. Their diet consists of smaller bugs like mosquitos, moths, and butterflies. Dragonflies use their flying skills and excellent eyesight to pursue their prey.

When catching larger prey, the dragonfly will subdue it by biting its head and dragging it back to its perch. Nymphs are also aggressive hunters, eating most of the small living things they encounter underwater.

Dragonfly Facts You Need to Know

  1. Dragonflies are extremely successful hunters, with an estimated 95% rate of catching the prey they pursue.
  2. The green darner is a North America dragonfly species that migrates each year. However, they migrate individually, not in groups like birds.
  3. Dragonflies are a key controller of mosquito populations. They can eat up to a hundred mosquitoes per day.
  4. Some species occasionally meet in swarms. Scientists are unsure about what causes this behavior, but think it has something to do with hunting or mating.
  5. Dragonflies are considered near perfect flyers, and they have been studied by scientists to see if replicating their structure is possible.
  6. Dragonflies have been around for about 300 million years. Ancient dragonfly fossils show specimens with wingspans of up to two feet.
  7. While dragonflies do have the ability to sting and bite, they rarely sting or bite humans
  8. Dragonflies are hunted by birds, reptiles, spiders, and fish. It is estimated that 1 in 10 dragonflies species are endangered. They are threatened by the destruction of their wetland habitats.
  9. In ancient times, people thought that dragonflies were actual dragons because of their flying ability and bright colors.
  10. Dragonflies are often confused with damselflies, which are smaller, and fold their wings when they land.

_dragonfly tip green leaf2
I photographed this beauty in the wetland habitat of Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA.

Dragonfly weed_best
Dragonflies are large insects that are well-known for their bright colors and bulbous eyes.

I hope my photographs of dragonflies excite you and provide an opportunity to learn about nature and the ecosystem. Dragonflies may be over 300 million years old, but we are still learning about them and learning from them. I enjoy looking for them and taking pictures of these unique and beautiful insects. See you again soon! To see more of my photography, please visit my website https://spectruminspiredphotography.pixieset.com/

Connor Thompson, Spectrum Inspired Photography


Panoramic Angle Shots

Hey Everyone, I’m back with yet another photography blog post. Well today I’m gonna show you some Panoramic Angle Shots.  I’ve started doing this task for about 2 months, and had interest in photographing objects from different angles. One example of it is this rainbow flag seen in 4 different shots. The 4 images showing 4 different points of view are this multicolored flag. I photographed it moving around in different spots, and positioning myself in many ways.

Rainbow flagsThere is also another example seen here. Easter Island head figurines from the Dennison Mills company downtown are shot from 3 different angles. In the first picture I’m standing in front of it pointing my camera straight on. In the second one I’m photographing it’s profile from a side view. In the third photo, I’m sitting down on the ground, using my zoom lens to get a close up detail shot.


Dum DumHere are 3 more pictures I took on Cape Cod where I saw a jet skier flying his kite on the water. From the top, I took a close up shot of the kite in mid-air using my telephoto lens. I stood three inches away from it. I took other shots of it from a farther away point of view. In the wider angle photos, they display a layer of sand dunes that I’m standing next to, and the kite is flying off in the distance.




Kite surfers

Well, I guess that’s everything. I took every picture from different angles, and only one different angle at a time.  Each photo shows a different point of view of what I was photographing. Hope you all like it. I can show you more soon!

All About Osprey in Falmouth, Cape Cod

_Osprey flight perfect copy
Osprey soaring high above Chapoquoit Beach, West Falmouth .

Hey, everyone. I’m back with another blogpost. These past weekends, my mom and I were out looking for osprey while taking weekend trips to Falmouth, Cape Cod. I took some amazing shots that I can describe to you all. I have some fun facts to share with you about osprey as well.

The osprey, or more specifically the western osprey, is also called a sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk. It’s a diurnal fish eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm in length and 180 cm across the wings. It is brown on the upper-parts and predominantly grayish on the head and underparts.

Ospreys belong to the genus Pandion. The two species are eastern ospreys (Pandion cristatus) and western ospreys (Pandion haliaetus).

Osprey_wings spread_chappy
Impressive wing span of the adult male Osprey soaring above Chapoquoit Beach!

Osprey_tree_oyster pond 2
I photographed this adult male osprey in a tree along the Shining Sea bike path, near Oyster Pond in Falmouth.

The osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antartica, although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.

Dad and mom ospsrey perch fish_chappy
This osprey pair chose to build their nest on a utility pole with the advantage of having an additional perch – the better to survey the scene and hunt.

Mama ospsrey nest_best
Mama osprey sitting in the nest, protecting her babies, who are deep down inside the nest and can’t be seen.

Dad osprey carrying stick flight_chappy
Papa osprey bringing twigs to build the nest.

Osprey dad_twig1
He flew right over my head as he brought the twigs back to the nest!

Dad osprey stick underneath

In Falmouth, we observed a lot of osprey nests and activity. Some activity is at the nearby bike path, and more at one of the local beaches. Ospreys build their nests out of twigs and twine that they pick up from the ground. Osprey nests are usually found no further than three miles away from water. The osprey build their nests high up in utility poles. We could see that the mom osprey was in the nest and busy looking after her newly hatched babies. Now here is a fun fact about that. Females can lay three eggs between mid-April and late May, which a speckled with beige and brown spots. Incubation lasts for 38 to 42 days. Eggs do not hatch at the same time. The first chick may hatch as many as five days before the last one, and the oldest chick often dominates over the younger nestlings. Osprey eggs take over a month to hatch.

Osprey parents under wing_chappy
Both osprey parents guarding the nest together.

One of the other fun things I saw is that the father caught a fish right in it’s beak. It flew right over to the nest brining it to the mother and baby osprey.  I thought it was her lunch. As it’s other common names suggest, the osprey’s diet consists almost exclusively of fish. It possesses specialized physical characteristics and exhibits unique behavior to assist in hunting and catching prey. Other osprey fishing adaptations include spiny footpads called spicules, long, curved claws, and a reversible toe for grabbing. I was stunned to see that bird holding a fish between it’s talons, and it’s reversible toe is the sharp tool that snatched it.

Osprey with fish
The osprey dad caught a fish!

Dad osprey with fish_chappy
Look closely and you can see the fish in the Dad osprey’s talons. He’s bringing it back to the nest to feed mom and the babies.

I was never able to actually see the osprey babies, as the osprey parents do a very good job protecting them, and thee babies remain deep down in the nest. One of the nests that I’ve been visiting and observing over the past several weeks is now empty, which means the baby osprey have grown enough to leave the nest and learn to hunt for themselves! I will miss seeing all the nest activity, but look forward to searching for the young osprey out and about and learning to survive.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about these magnificent sea hawks and looking at my pictures!



Life During Quarantine — Focus on My Bird Photos

Excited to share all my colorful bird photos with you!

Hey everyone! This is Connor Thompson here. Today, I’m going to talk about what has been going on throughout the Spring of 2020. Coronavirus has been spreading everywhere around the world. Everyone has been talking about it for quite some time. But lately, I’ve been trying to avoid it. During this crisis, I’ve been taking a lot of really good pictures. My camera has been my best friend. Together, we’ve taken pictures of everything we can find. Flowers, birds, nature, farm animals, etcetera. It’s been helping me pass the time. I have traveled to many parts of Massachusetts for nature hikes and exercise, always bringing my camera with me, and choosing between two different lenses. I’ve taken naturalistic pictures using both the regular lens and the telephoto lens.

My parents recently invested in two bird feeders. While shooting birds from the kitchen and living room windows, I practiced using my telephoto lens to get up real close; but it would require learning to carefully focus. The bird feeders attract finches, cardinals and bluejays. First, I’ll talk about blue jays. I had a hard time capturing blue jays, because they seem to be scared of my camera. They tend to fly off very quickly, and hide in the branches where you can’t see them. Here is a fun fact: A blue jay has a wingspan of 13 to 17 inches and flies at the speed of 20 to 25 miles per hour. Blue jay is diurnal bird. (active during the day). A blue jay is an omnivore. It eats seed, nuts, acorns, fruit, insects, eggs and young birds. I found them way to hard to focus. Now, the only thing those birds dislike is when my cat Fin scares them off. Every time he sees them getting close to the bird feeder, he jumps up and tries to claw at their feathered stomachs. It startles me when that happens.two jays cropped_palette

Blue Jay head tiltedNow it’s time to move on from that and start talking about cardinals. Cardinals are another one of my favorite type of bird. I’m not talking about the football team though. What I like about those cardinals that I often see in my backyard is that they are able to hold still while I shoot them. I like their red feathers, and orange beaks. People say that when a cardinal visits you, it’s the spirit of a lost loved one sending you a signal. I like to think the cardinals visiting my yard are my Papa Don saying “hello”._cardinal face

Cardinal head tuft2

cardinal feederI have also seen some golden finches. Golden finches are another one of my favorite bird. What I love about them is their yellow feathers and they tend to have good flying skills. But I have seen grey finches too. Those types of birds are like the sister to the golden finch, and I often see them in the back and front yards._finch bookends

_yellow finch tree connorOne other bird I have seen quite a lot of is the red winged blackbird. They can perch onto tall weeds and branches, so I shoot some sitting and and some flying, leading to some great pictures. I have seen some of those birds at Farm Pond in Framingham, in Quincy  and all the way down in Marshfield. red winged blackbird in flight._Farm PondIn the Scituate area, I captured the black starling below hanging around the harbor. And during another day trip to the Oliver Ames estate in Easton, I photographed these pretty blue tree swallows.black starling bird on light

two pretty blue birdsLately I have visited Farm Pond in my hometown of Framingham where I encountered a flock of birds after giving birth to their babies. And because it’s springtime, it was time for those babies to hatch out of their eggs. A flock of Canada geese have given birth to six goslings last month, and boy were they cute. They almost looked a lot like real baby chicks when I noticed their feather color. What I also saw during my bird shooting experience were a family of swans and their young cygnets. Swans are birds of the family Anatide with the genus of Cygnus. I saw those birds, and boy they were just adorable as heck. Sometimes, swans are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae. In family life, the male swan, called the cob, helps the female known as a pen to look after their cygnets until they are about a year old. The young don’t spend more than one day in the nest once they hatch. _fuzzy gosling moms neck

three goslings under mama tailBut that’s not all! Ducks are another type of bird that I saw and photographed. One of those examples is a green headed mallard. I took a picture of some of those, both flying through the air and swimming in the water. A mallard is a medium sized waterfowl species that is often slightly heavier than most other dabbling ducks. The female ducks are much less colorful than the males.green mallard flight

green mallard rock head tucked

female duckI visited Watertown during the crisis, and walked around Mt. Auburn Cemetery where I saw a great blue heron. I tried taking a picture of it attempting to fly right out of the pond, and sure enough they came out perfect. I find the blue heron tall and brave, and it’s beak looks the same size as a pelican’s beak. blue heron flight

heron flight 2 croppedAlso at Mt. Auburn cemetery, some other visitors pointed out to me a hawk’s nest very high up in a tree. I saw the Dad hawk flying in circles, looking for food for his family. The Mama hawk stayed in the nest and guarded the babies._two hawks soar

red hawk green tree

mama hawk nest profile bestLastly, now that the weather is getting warmer, I have traveled to Falmouth on Cape Cod. Here, on my two favorite beaches — Falmouth Heights and Chappoquoit, I saw and photographed black cormorants and white heron._Two cormorants square

_White heron flight profile weeds background

White heron flight wings spread

Three white heron cormorant

_Cormorant face profile bestAnother adventure trip I took was to Beaver Brook Reservation in Belmont, MA. Here I saw some Sandpipers. This made me happy because my Nana’s house in Falmouth is on Sandpiper Circle. They are very cute birds, and I like the way I captured it’s reflection in the bottom photo.sandpiper greens

sandpiper reflectionAs you can all see, I’ve had a great experience photographing and learning more about the many species of birds living near me in MA. I hope you enjoy looking at my pictures, and I plan to add more soon. I think I am no longer a junior photographer, thanks to all my flying friends. Now I have become a senior photographer.

Forest 101

Hey Everyone. This winter, I have been out taking nature photos, and I have all the photos from last week right here on display. I even captured some wildlife photos as well. I used my zoom lens to shoot close up images of the ducks and birds. You also can see here a reflection photo of trees on the pond. I also managed to find some vibrant red colors which is hard to come across in the winter time. So, have a look!


Architecture: It’s a must

Hello, Everyone. Welcome to another photography blog post. Today, I’ll be discussing photos I took last week from South Hadley’s Village Commons. A few of the photos I took consist entirely of architectural structure and design. So enjoy every photo one by one. What I really like about these photos is how they were designed properly. Examples like that column in the form of a spiral. I like the different patterns I see on each building.

IMG_4494IMG_4506IMG_4513IMG_4534IMG_4548Berkshire Hills Music Academy

Talkin’ bout architecture

Hey everyone, I took a lot of photos of architecture and sculptures at Mt. Holyoke College. I was interested in doing this sort of thing, because as a young man, I have seen many old houses and buildings that have a lot of design and patterns on the exterior. My personal interest of architecture also stems from visiting Europe, and being dazzled by the unique looking buildings. I’m excited to share my photos with you, and I’m looking forward to exploring this side of photography more in the future. Enjoy!IMG_3452IMG_3454IMG_3765IMG_3775IMG_3781IMG_3792IMG_3794IMG_3810IMG_3811IMG_3915IMG_3918IMG_3447IMG_3442IMG_3428IMG_3412IMG_3403IMG_3400IMG_3396