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Archive for May, 2015

At this time of the year many birds seem to hide behind the leaves of the trees, but this Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) was cooperative early one recent morning and perched at several spots out in the open. Click on any of the images to see them all in slide show mode.

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Dragonflies sometimes look like aliens to me, with their giant eyes and other worldly flying skills. My initial impression of this photo was that it looked like an alien landscape from a science fiction movie—the terrain perfectly matched the subject.

Common Whitetail

So what’s the reality? It’s a female Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia) in the process of depositing eggs in the shallow water at the edge of a pond. She is hovering over the water and then will drop down and dip the tip of her abdomen in the water, causing the concentric ripples you see in the image. A short while later, she repeats the process. What you don’t see in the photo is her mate, who is hovering nearby, keeping watch over her as she ensures the continuity of his genetic line.

There will be more aliens.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Ebony Jewelwings (Calopteryx maculata) are one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable damselflies because of their dark wings and metallic bluish-green bodies. So why is the female damselfly in the first shot so pale and colorless?

Ebony Jewelwing damselfly

When damselflies (and dragonflies) shed their exoskeletons and move  from being water-dwelling nymphs to acrobatic flyers, they are initially pale in color, a stage known as “teneral.” In a short time, the wings harden and gradually the newly emerged damselflies, like this one, become more colorful and look more like the one in the second image.

Ebony Jewelwing

As I was photographing this damselfly, it took off and I captured a somewhat blurry image of it in the air that I really like—it reminds me of a water color painting.

Ebony Jewelwing

I must be in an “artsy” mood this morning, because one of the other images that I really like of the Ebony Jewelwing is this final one, in which the damselfly was perched at the end of a leaf with wings spread wide, displaying the intricate details of those delicate wings.

Ebony Jewelwing

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Earlier this week I caught a glimpse of my favorite moth, the spectacular Hummingbird Clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe). Normally these little beauties hover at high speeds as they collect nectar, but this one kept perching on leafy plants, permitting me to capture its wings at rest. I wonder if the moth was laying eggs.

I am always fascinated by the names of species and found this interesting bit of information about this moth’s Latin name on the bugguide.net website. “Pyramus and Thisbe were lovers who died tragically. Pyramus found Thisbe’s blood-stained scarf, assumed she had been killed, and committed suicide with his sword. It seems likely the reference to the story of Thisbe is a reference to the rusty, somewhat blood-like coloration of this moth.”

Hummingbird Clearwing

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Shortly after sunrise at Huntley Meadows Park on Tuesday, a mother Hooded Merganser duck (Lophodytes cucullatus) checked on her seven babies and got them ready to start the day. I don’t know if the little family spent the night on the log, but it was probably a good idea to get moving before the numerous snapping turtles woke up. Most of the babies seem to be paying attention to the Mama in the first shot, though the one on the end seems to be daydreaming or is distracted.

Hooded Merganser

A short while later the family dropped into the water and started to swim away. This second shot is my favorite one from an artistic perspective. I just love the interplay of the light and the shadows.

Hooded Merganser

As the Merganser family continued to swim, it got tougher and tougher to track them amid all of the vegetation growing in the pond. Only occasionally would I get an unobstructed glimpse of them. I managed to get most of the family in this shot. One of the ducklings was a bit ahead of the group, perhaps the adventurous one on the end of the log in the first shot.

Hooded Merganser

When they reached a spot that Mama Merganser considered to be safe, all of the babies began to stick their heads under the water. I don’t know if they were bathing or playing or if this was a lesson in fishing. Whatever the case, the mother duck remained vigilant.

Hooded Merganser

It’s at moments like this that I regret that the father Merganser does not stay around to help in raising the ducklings. It would sure ease the burden on the Mama and would enhance the chances for survival for the cute little babies.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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This osprey’s glare in my direction suggests that he is NOT willing to share the fish that he worked so hard to catch. (I already posted a shot of this osprey munching on the fish, but additional photos showing its facial expressions seemed too good not to share as well.)

Osprey

Sometimes, especially when I am in a hurry, I will quickly look through my recent photos, choose a single one I really like, and write a short post. That’s exactly what I did with the initial Freshly Caught Fish posting a few days ago. I knew that I had gotten some good shots of the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), who was so cooperative that I was able to set up my tripod, but I knew it was going to take a fair amount of time to look through the photos. It was nice to be able to use the tripod, but I learned how tough it is to shoot almost straight up with a long telephoto zoom—I was crouching and on my knees as I sought to look through the viewfinder.

I now have sorted through my photos from that morning and selected a few more that show the osprey as he was eating and as he was sending me unambiguous messages.

OspreyOspreyosprey

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The sun was barely up, but this little Green Heron (Butorides virescens) was already busy, trying to find something to eat for breakfast. Alas, I didn’t see the heron catch anything this time before it moved out of sight. (If you want to see a fun shot of a Green Heron looking directly at a frog that it had just captured, check out my post from July 2012 entitled Not Seeing Eye to Eye.)

Green Herons are a lot smaller than the Great Blue Herons that I see fairly often  and quite a bit more elusive. This heron seemed to be just waking up and wandered about a little on the muddy edge of a former beaver pond before entering the water. That is how I was able to get the second shot that shows the heron’s legs.

I was probably at the limits of my ability to take photos in limited light. I was shooting at ISO 1600, about as high as I dared go with my somewhat dated Canon 50D. As is usually the case, I was using aperture-preferred mode with a selected setting of f/8. What I didn’t realize until afterwards was how slow the shutter speed was—as low as 1/20 sec for these shots, quite a bit slower than optimal for a focal length of 500mm on my 150-600mm lens. Focusing in the limited light was a little slow, but seemed to be pretty accurate. Usually I don’t dwell quite so much on the technical aspects of my shots, but I know that some folks have questions about the capabilities of the Tamron 150-600mm lens in low light and wanted to share my experiences (which are mostly positive).

Green Heron

Green Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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There is nothing quite like the taste of a freshly caught fish and this Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) seemed to be devouring its breakfast with gusto early on Saturday morning at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Virginia.

Osprey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Make way for ducklings! Yesterday I finally saw my first Mallard baby ducks of the season at Huntley Meadows Park. I have spotted Canada Geese goslings multiple times this month and they are already growing quite large.

Mallard ducklings

The ducklings look so small and fragile and the Mallard Mom (Anas platyrhynchos) seemed to be doing her best to keep them tightly bunched together as they made their way slowly through the shallow waters of the marsh. When they paused for a moment, though, some of the ducklings wanted to explore their surroundings. When I zoomed in for a close-up shot of the babies, one of them wandered out of the frame, leaving only four to be featured.

This Mom is going to be really busy raising and protecting these little ones.

Mallard ducklings

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Unlike some other species of birds, Hooded Merganser ducks (Lophodytes cucullatus) don’t seems to sit on their eggs continuously. They will often lay them in nesting boxes and periodically check on them, perhaps adding more eggs to the nest.

Hooded Merganser

I took this first shot earlier today at Huntley Meadows Park as a female Hooded Merganser was getting ready to eventually enter a nesting box. When I first spotted the female duck, she was standing on top of the nesting box. During previous springs I learned that this was a sign that she had eggs in the nesting box and that eventually she would fly into it. So I waited and waited, hoping to catch the moment.

It may look like she is actually preparing to enter the box, but in fact she had just stepped off of the roof and was gliding to the ground. Unfortunately, she dropped behind a virtual wall of vegetation and I could not see her when she lifted off from the ground and flew straight into the box and I missed that shot.

Here are a few shots of the female Hooded Merganser as she paced back and forth on the roof of the nesting box, peering to the right and to the left to makes sure that all was safe before she entered the box.

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

As I was doing some research on Hooded Merganser ducks, I came across a blog from Lee Rentz Photography that includes a video from inside a nesting box of a Hooded Merganser. Be sure to check it out.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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I wouldn’t have thought that a moth would taste very good, even for a dragonfly, but this young male Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) would probably disagree.

I knew that dragonflies are fierce predators and ate other insects, but somehow I didn’t imagine that their diet included moths, which I would think would be dry and not have much nutritional value.

Of course, I have been known to consume chicken wings, which require a lot of work in order to get a very small amount of meat, so who am I to criticize a dragonfly’s diet. I might offer him one suggestion—the moth would probably taste better if he coated it with a spicy sauce.

Eastern PondhawkEastern Pondhawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I am thrilled that I was able to get a shot of a Great Blue Heron triumphantly holding a freshly caught fish and I followed my initial instinct to post that photo. However, I also managed to capture a sequence of shots of the action that led to that culminating moment that I really like that I thought would be fun to share.

In this first shot, the heron has just made the strike and has plunged its head deep into the water. I am not sure why the heron extended its impressive wings like this, but suspect it was either to generate greater force or to maintain stability.

Great Blue Heron

When I first spotted the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), it was obviously focused on finding a fish. When it bent over like this, I suspected that the heron had already spotted one and was tracking it.

Great Blue Heron

Suddenly the heron turned to the side and made the strike that I showed in the first shot. Some of the herons that I have observed in the past have been amazing in their ability to catch fish, but I have seen others, especially the young ones, that would strike repeatedly at branches and floating leaves. As a result, I knew that success was not guarantee and I waited to see how the heron had done. In this next shot, the heron’s head is just starting to reemerge from the water. At that moment it certainly knew if it had a fish in its grasp, but I still was in the dark.

Great Blue Heron

At last the heron lifted its head a bit more and I could see that indeed it had caught a fish. I really like this shot shows the little vortex that was created in the water as the fish is pulled up into the air.

Great Blue Heron

Now, after the fact, it’s easy for me to sit back and analyze what the heron was doing. During the brief moments when I was taking the shots, it was all I could do to concentrate on keeping the heron centered in the viewfinder and hoping that the buffer in my camera would not fill up too quickly as I fired away in burst mode.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Early one morning last week at Huntley Meadows Park, I watched and waited as a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) sought to catch some breakfast. He was successful and I left the scene equally satisfied when I captured this image.

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I can’t get over the beauty of the dragonflies, especially this early in the season. On Monday, I spotted this beautiful male Painted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula semifasciata) at a tiny pool (which was really more like a puddle) at my local marshland park.

The colors and pattern of the wings make this species quite distinctive and pretty easy to identify. The striking beauty of the Painted Skimmer has also attracted the attention of several other photographers in this area.

I personally love to see how others choose to photograph similar subjects. If you want to see more beautiful images of Painted Skimmers, check out recent postings by Walter Sanford and Joel Eagle. Each of us was presented with a similar dragonfly in different circumstances and made a series of creative choices to produce our individual portraits of this almost magical creature.

Painted Skimmer

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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New dragonflies continue to emerge as we move deeper into spring and yesterday I spotted my first Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) of the season, a strikingly beautiful young male. It’s easy to tell that this one is a male because the female does not have the white spots. Local dragonfly expert and fellow photographer and blogger, Walter Sanford, commented to me that, “This guy is a “freshie.” His abdomen will turn white with pruinescence when he matures.”

I am a curious guy and I started to wonder how you are supposed to count the spots to get to the twelve in this species’ name. Do the white ones count? Do the interconnected brown ones in the middle count as one or as two? Who decides?

This is not as simple as it seems and this species is sometimes known as the Ten-spotted Skimmer. Really? A bugguide.net article explains it this way:

“Once upon a time, this was the Ten-spot(ted) Skimmer, and formerly appeared in most books under that common name. To make it so, the basal spot of opposite wings was counted as one spot crossing the thorax (and so it appears at a glance, especially when they are flying or seen from a distance). Some authors rationalize it as counting the cloudy white spots on the wings, but that’s only good for mature males, and it often doesn’t work (there are often only eight white spots, the two at the base of the hind wing either missing or having been rubbed off).”

Confused? Hopefully we all can agree on the distinctive beauty of the species.

I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more of these dragonflies, although I learned yesterday from Kevin Munroe’s wonderful Dragonflies of Northern Virginia website that it is unusual to see more than a few of them at any one site. Apparently the Twelve-spotted Skimmers are a bit more picky about their habitat needs than many of the other skimmers in our area.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When a Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) sensed my presence at the edge of a pond this weekend at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, it began to swim right at me. As the snake grew larger and larger in my viewfinder, I assumed it would veer off. I was wrong. The snake actually came out of the water and I captured this first shot of the triumphant snake who forced me to back away.

Northern Watersnake

Initially the snake was swimming lazily in the shallow water of the pond, seemingly basking in the warm of the midday sun.

Northern Watersnake

Suddenly the snake turned its head and looked straight at me. It did not look amused.

Northern Watersnake

The snake started to flick its forked tongue and began to swim rapidly through the vegetation that separated us.

Northern Watersnake

A part of my brain certainly understood that the snake was not as close as it looked in my telephoto zoom lens, but a more instinctive, primordial part of the brain kicked in when the snake started to fill the viewfinder. I know that this kind of snake is not poisonous and that I had nothing to fear, those rational thoughts were crowded out by the emotional responses that screamed at me that I needed to back away.

I honestly did not expect the snake to come out of the water and it happened so fast that I am not sure how it did it. The snake seemed to propel itself out of the water in a jump. Once it was on terra firma, the snake assumed the confrontational pose that you see in the first photo.

This round goes to the snake.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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The intricate shape and delicate colors of this beautiful little flower simply captivated me yesterday at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. (I think it is a kind of columbine flower.)

columbine

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The marsh is especially beautiful early in the morning, as birds like this Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) welcome the first rays of the rising sun. The water is still, reflecting the glory of the new day, and a sense of peace overwhelms me.

Red-winged Blackbird

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In the early morning hours above Huntley Meadows Park, all kinds of birds are flying about, like this immature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) that I spotted yesterday.

A year ago, I probably would have guessed that this was a hawk, but my identification skills have improved somewhat and I can tell this is an eagle. Given that it takes about five years for a Bald Eagle to mature, I’d guess that this one is about two to three years old, though I defer to more expert birdwatchers on this point.

As you can probably tell, the eagle was moving from right to left as I tracked it over the treetops. I was shooting over a small pond at a pretty good distance in early morning light that was not yet bright, so my ISO was cranked up a bit. I especially like the shots that include the trees. Although I will try to photograph an eagle every time I see one, I think it is a nice extra when I manage to include part of the surroundings in the shot.

Bald EagleBald EagleBald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When you can see your own reflection in an eye, you know that you have managed to get really close to a subject, in this case an Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) that I encountered this past week while walking through the woods at my local marshland park.

Of course, it is equally possible that I am imagining things and the reflections are merely those of the trees and the sky. In either case, I really like the isolated, almost abstract view that I managed to get of the eye of the turtle.

 

Eastern Box Turtle

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Most of the snakes that I encounter at my local marshland park blend in well with their surroundings, but the one that I almost literally stumbled on this past Monday in one of the park’s meadows was a notable exception—it was bright orange in color.

I had never before seen a snake that looked like this one and moved as close as I could to get a shot of its head with my macro lens. (During this time of the year I tend to have my 180mm macro lens on my camera much of the time.) The snake was cooperative when I was taking the close-up shots. However, after I backed up to try to get a shot of its whole body, the snake decided that enough was enough and slithered away quickly into the underbrush. I managed to get only a single body shot that has a partially obscured head, but I included it to give you an overall view of the snake.

I searched around several websites about snakes in Virginia and have concluded that this is probably an Eastern Hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos. These snakes come in a variety of colors and I didn’t find too many photos of them with this exact coloration, but I did find several references to an “orange phase.”

I continue to be amazed at the diversity of wildlife that I find in Huntley Meadows Park—I have been going there regularly for several years now, but continue to find to find new and different creatures. It sure helps to keep  me motivated to hit the trails in a constant state of excited expectation with my camera in hand.

Eastern Hognose snake

Eastern Hognose snake

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I was out searching for dragonflies in the heat of the midday sun, a butterfly came fluttering into view. I haven’t seen many large butterflies yet this spring, so I followed after it, trying to identify it. When the butterfly paused for a moment to feed on one plant, I scrambled to get a shot.

The light was harsh and coming from a bad direction, but my long telephoto showed me clearly that it was a swallowtail butterfly, but definitely not at all colored like the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails that I often see during the summer. The markings were distinctive enough that it was easy to determine later that it is a Zebra Swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus), a species that I had never before encountered.

Multiple sources indicate that the Zebra Swallowtail is closely associated with the pawpaw tree, though I don’t know enough about trees and blossoms to determine if that is the plant on which this butterfly was feeding.

As I was poking about on the internet, I also learned from ereferencedesk.com that in 1995 the Zebra Swallowtail was designated as the official state butterfly of Tennessee. I must confess that I didn’t know that states have official butterflies.

Zebra Swallowtail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Yesterday the fields at Huntley Meadows Park were abuzz with beautiful emerald-and-black dragonflies. As I walked through the grass, the Eastern Pondhawks (Erythemis simplicicollis) would fly up to about knee level and then settle back down on the ground or perch on some low hanging plants.

Eastern Pondhawk

The dragonflies were a bit skittish and it was a bit of a challenge to get clear shots of them. Occasionally one of them would fly to a slightly higher perch and permit me to get a shot like the first one that separates the subject from the background. Long-time readers of this blog know that I will usually try to move it as close as I can and I was happy to get this close-up shot of an Eastern Pondhawk that lets you see some of the facets of its amazing compound eyes.

Eastern Pondhawk

All of the Eastern Pondhawks had the same beautiful green coloration. Eventually the male Eastern Pondhawks will turn blue, but this early in the season the juvenile male have the same coloration as the females. How do you tell them apart? My fellow photographer and blogger Walter Sanford is an expert on this subject, but in this case even I can tell the difference by looking at the terminal appendages.

In the shot below, you can tell it is a male because the white cerci at the end of the abdomen are long and close together.

Eastern Pondhawk

Juvenile Male Eastern Pondhawk

By contrast, the white cerci of the female are shorter and more widely spaced, as in the photo below.

Eastern Pondhawk

Female Eastern Pondhawk

That just about exhausts my knowledge of dragonfly anatomy. My focus is mostly on capturing their beauty, but it is amazing how much I learn along the way about these fascinating little creatures.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Colorful dragonflies are gradually reappearing throughout my local marshland park and I’m reacquiring the skills needed to photograph them. For me, the amazing beauty of dragonflies is especially revealed when I manage to observe them up close. I can’t help but marvel at the incredible details of their eyes and their wings and even their delicate feet and the tiny hairs that sprout on their faces.

I spotted this dragonfly, which I believe is a Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata), last Friday at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, Virginia. The dragonfly allowed me to get quite close to be able to take this macro shot. In general, some dragonfly species tend to be less skittish than others, but it seems to vary from individual to individual.

Be sure to click on the image to get a higher resolution view of this beautiful little creature.

Painted Skimmer dragonfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day to Moms everywhere, who loved us and supported us as we took steps toward independence, all the while keeping a watchful eye over us.

Thanks especially to my Mom, who is now in heaven.

Canada Geese

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I don’t take photos of people very often but it seems like there are some informal rules including not photographing a subject who is eating and not photographing someone who is bending over. Fortunately those “rules” do not apply when photographing wildlife.

In the first shot, the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) at my local marsh seemed to be glancing up at me mid-chew, having sensed my presence. I can’t tell if the beaver is shy or irritated, but I am happy that I was able to capture some of the details of the beaver’s “hands.” The beaver probably was aware that he had some leaves stuck between his teeth, but, as a friend, I probably would have mentioned it to him if he was going to go out in public.

In the second shot, the beaver’s posterior is facing the camera and I don’t want to be indelicate, but that part of the beaver’s anatomy looks huge. I can’t imagine what I would have said if the beaver had turned to me and asked, “Does this pose make my butt look big?” Perhaps I could have responded honestly to the question, but most guys know that is best not to respond at all if a female human poses that same question.

If you take wildlife photos, you too probably have a collection of “butt shots” of animals and birds that were running or flying away or simply sending an unsubtle message that they did not want to be bothered by a photographer. One of my favorite photographers and bloggers, Lyle Krahn, periodically does an entire humorous posting of wildlife shots devoted to this genre. Be sure to check out his The Inauguaral Butt Collection.

North American Beaver

North American Beaver

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Early yesterday morning I was thrilled when I saw one of the beavers at Huntley Meadows Park swimming around the beaver pond. My joy was compounded when the beaver climbed out of the water to grab a little breakfast.

North American beavers (Castor canadensis) are primarily nocturnal, so it’s difficult to get a glimpse of them during a time of the day when there is sufficient light to be photograph them. Previously I had seen a beaver at this pond in the early hours of the morning, but this is the first time that I have seen one of them climb over the logs block off one end of the beaver pond.

I am particularly happy that the first photo provides a good look at both the beaver’s very distinctive tail and its face. Most of the time that I was observing the beaver, I got a good look at only the tail end, which is interesting, but not especially photogenic.

In the second shot, the beaver is swimming away from the lodge with a small bunch of sticks. Was the beaver carrying them to another lodge? Is there a picnic somewhere else along the shore? It just seemed a bit strange for me to see the beaver heading off into the distance at a time when I assumed he would be getting ready for his long daytime snooze.

North American Beaver

North American Beaver

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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This past Monday was a wonderful day for eagles. In addition to the young eagle whose photos I posted earlier, I also managed to capture these images of a mature Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) perched on a dead tree in the marsh.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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As I looked intently through my long telephoto lens at the stagnant, debris-filled water in a ditch, I became acutely aware of bright red eyes staring back at me. What was this unusual red-eyed marsh creature?

Eastern Box Turtle

Pulling my eyes away from the magnified view in the camera’s viewfinder, I could see the contours of a turtle’s shell in the water, partially obscured by all of the debris. The bright color and distinctive shape of the shell and the striking red eyes made it easy to determine when I got home that this is a male Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina).

Eastern Box Turtle

Although these turtles spend most of their time on land, they seek damp mud or pools when temperatures get too high, according to information on the website of the Virginia Herpetological Society. On the day when I took this photo, temperatures soared above 80 degrees F (27 degrees C), and it’s probably pretty safe to assume that this turtle was simply trying to stay cool on an unseasonably warm spring day.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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At the edge of a steep-banked little creek, this Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) lifted its head above the surface of the water. I must have spooked it a little with the sound of the camera’s shutter for it moved to a more concealed position underneath the vegetation, but continued to keep an eye on me.

Spotted Turtle

Spotted Turtle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I was late in reacting when the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) took off from its perch and I was pretty sure that I had not gotten any decent shots of its departure. Consequently, I skimmed quickly through the shots during my initial review and none of them jumped out at me.

After I had done this morning’s posting, I had a few minutes before I had to depart for work and decided to review the images again. I was surprised to find this shot of the young eagle in flight, shortly after he had pushed off from the tree. It’s reasonably sharp and the wings are in a decent position, so I decided to post the photo as a complement to the first image that showed the eagle completing a difficult landing.

Bald Eagle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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