Having gotten all the shots I hoped for this day I had just one thing left to do. I had recently sent some of my old manual focus lenses and my old 1.4x teleconverter to be cleaned after they were badly damaged by fungus. (Don't ever store your unused equipment in the basement unless it's in a positively airtight case with some industrial strength absorbent packs - if you must even do that). My 300mm f4.5 ED-IF took it the worst beating with heavy stains all along the edges of the front element as well as the fungus. Sending them to a company called Focal Point Inc. in Colorado, I got them back in amazingly good condition, as if nothing ever happened to them at all. Even the focusing movements were still smooth as silk. All that was left was to take them out into the field.
Late in the afternoon I happened upon this heron all the way on the opposite end of Clove Lake from where I photographed the heron and the catfish earlier in the day. I needed to stay as far back as possible to not disturb this scene. So I grabbed my newly cleaned teleconverter and 300mm just like old times and waited (about 2 hours) for the right moment to get this shot. Most of the time there were no ducks and the heron had it's head buried from view. A picture is worth a thousand words and this photo eloquently speaks to the job Focal Point Inc did cleaning both the lens and the teleconverter.
heronsClove LakesfallbirdsStaten Islandnaturesld1NYC