Drone photos and video – Aerial Favorites

Mike has had a series of drones over the years (first a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+, then a DJI Phantom 4  and most recently a DJI FPV) which he uses to take aerial photos and video of the farm.  This is his page to post some of the videos and answer questions about the drone.

Videos (newest to oldest)

Here are some favorite videos – try watching them in full-screen.  These newest ones are a mix of drone video and hand-held.

2021 – August

The wetlands bloom and the Monarchs start migrating through.

2021 – July

The prairies bloom in July.

2021 – June

This one is about how busy we all are in the early summer.   Plants, critters, people…  all busy.

2021 – May

This one is all about the transitions from late-spring to early summer — as seen at five our our goat-prairie points.  Only a few drone shots, this is the month the DJI FPV showed up.

2021 – April

The last of the hand-held only video.  Robins and Grouse and Snipes and Woodcocks!  Oh my!

2021 – March

My informal title for this one is along the lines of “early migrants return” as blackbirds, cranes, swans, and woodcocks are featured in the sound track.

2021 – February

The best video actually showed up in January when we got several days of beautiful hoarfrost.  It got crowded out by the publication of the Seasons 2020 video that year.

2020 – December

A really late fall turning toward winter just in time to deliver a very light snow for a white Christmas.  Marcie does an ace job of planting some Butterfly Weed and I capture a bunch of really nice sunrise/sunset clouds.

2020 – November

This is the first in a series of hand-held videos.  It features snippets of video and sound from our Morning and Afternoon Walks.  The sound is lightly-edited audio from the bioacoustic recorders over that period.

Summer Morning 2019

Summer Mist 2016 (Phantom 4)

Early Summer 2016 (Phantom 4)

Fall 2014 – a misty morning (Phantom 2)

Late-summer mist (Phantom 2)

Early Summer at the farm (Phantom 2)

2014 – A drive to the Knife Edge (Phantom 2)

2014 – One of the not-so-bad crashes (Phantom 2)

Photos from the drones

The drones take great still photos, as well as good video.  Here are a few of our favorite still photos.

Fall 2014 – looking north over the farm.  This shows most of the northern half of the farm, north from the house. (Phantom 2)


Fall 2014 – looking from Center Valley down the valley toward Praag.  Western Prairie is on the hilltop in the foreground. (Phantom 2)


Winter 2014 – first snowfall.  Looking north from the house. (Phantom 2)


2016, early spring (Phantom 4)  The camera in the new drone is much better than the old one.  One of the things I really like is getting rid of that “curved horizon” lens distortion of the earlier drone — that’s great for GoPro active-sports type stuff, not so good for recording restoration progress.

Winter 2014  Looking west with Western Prairie in the foreground. (Phantom 2)


Winter 2014  Looking south down Center Valley (Phantom 2)


Spring 2016  Similar shot with the Phantom 4.  Check out the new solar panels on the house, and the giant footprint of the new geothermal heat system to their left.  2015 was The Year of Renewables around here.

Spring 2016.  Looking Northeast at the Knife Edge point.  (Phantom 4)

Spring 2016 – Looking south over the wetland and Maple Ridge (Phantom 4)


About the drones

Click HERE to view a really old page of links about drone policy stuff and other developments-of-interest that Mike maintains on his own web site.

Here’s the first drone – the Phantom 2


This is the second one – a Phantom 4


This is the current one – a DJI FPV – it’s loads more fun because of the immersive goggles I get to wear while flying

One of the first flights of the first drone.

first drone flight 5-14-14 1

 The Drone: Frequently Asked Questions

What kind is it?

The first one was a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

It was replaced with a DJI Phantom 4 in 2016.

The latest one – a DJI FPV – arrived in 2021

Why that one?

In 2014, I said: Drones are going through model changes like the early days of personal computers – waiting a few months brings new drones that are way cheaper and way better.  The first one was the tipping point — good enough video to meet the need, simple enough to operate that Mike (mostly) stayed out of trouble.

In 2016, I said: The second one is much more mature and probably will last a bit longer.  Camera is very good, flying is excellent, etc.

In 2021, I said: The FPV goggles on the third one make it truly a blast to fly and it takes terrific video.