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Archive for September, 2013

Before long, the White Egrets (Ardea alba) will leave this area for more temperate locations, so I was happy to get a few shots this past weekend of one of them at Cameron Run, a tributary of the Potomac River.

The egrets like to roost in trees that overlook this stream and the first shot shows an egret relaxing in a tree after I inadvertently flushed him. I am deliberately underexposing the image in an effort to keep from totally blowing out the highlights of this very white bird, but it is still very hard to capture any details on the body.

The second shot shows the egret out of the water and its pose reminds me of a dancer, with its slim body and long elegant neck.

If things follow last year’s course, the blue herons will remain in my local area for most of the winter, but the egrets and green herons will soon depart. I’ll be looking for more photo opportunities with them before they leave.

egret_tree_blogegret_standing2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Far away from any adult supervision, this baby snapping turtle seemed to be having trouble figuring out how to forage for food on his own.  He stretched out his neck as far as it would go, but was still not within reach of the plants that he was eying. The realization had not yet struck him that was going to have to move his body closer. Just above him you can see a little fish that was monitoring his progress, but staying beyond the reach of those jaws, in case the turtle decides he needs a little protein in his diet.

baby_snapper_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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When the family of Red-eared Slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) adopted an orphaned turtle, they had no idea that the baby would grow so big. Despite his disproportionate size, the larger turtle, an Eastern Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina), likes to participate in all family activities and doesn’t seem to realize that he is different from the other members of his adopted family.

I chose a natural setting for this family portrait and managed to catch almost everyone in a good pose—unfortunately, one of them had an attitude and refused to look directly at the camera and smile. Most of us have similar informal family portraits with the same problem. I don’t know how professional portrait photographers get everyone to cooperate.

co-existence_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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This large bullfrog was so content in the mud that he did not budge at all when I moved closer to take this shot. Compared to the tiny tree frogs that I have been photographing recently, this frog seemed enormous.

The mud may not be the best backdrop for a photo, but I like the way that the image has become a study in greens and browns, with a golden eye as a accent.

frog_mud_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The days are getting cooler and leaves are starting to wither and fall, but there are still signs of the lingering summer, like this beautiful Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) that I photographed this past weekend. viceroy_bokeh_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray as fall arrives in my local marsh, but there are still occasional spots of bright color, like this beetle that I encountered yesterday, crawling down a withered leaf. I have not been able to identify it, but its bold pattern and colors remind me of the art and fashions of the late 1960’s, when no combination was too wild. I graduated from high school in 1972 and still recall wearing some pretty wild-looking clothes.

Somehow I think the pattern on the beetle’s back would work well on a necktie. I guess it’s a commentary on how my life has progressed that I now think more in terms of neckties than tie-dyed t-shirts.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Imagine how skinny this fuzzy white caterpillar would appear if its fur were “groomed,” like some of the dogs in my neighborhood. There is one fuzzy white dog, in particular, that looks huge, which I think is a Great Pyrenees. I was shocked one day when I saw that dog with closely cropped fur—it looked to be only half of its normal size.

For some reason, this caterpillar’s hair seems to be more tufted than usual, compared to similar caterpillars that I have seen. Maybe the hair is bunched because of the heavy dew or the way that the caterpillar slept. Clearly the caterpillar is having a bad hair day.

Do you think it could get away with wearing a hat to cover the bad hair?

really_fuzzy2_blogreally_fuzzy1_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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