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Posts Tagged ‘boardwalk’

I was absolutely delighted to spot this Handsome Meadow Katydid (Orchelimum pulchellum) last week when I visited Huntley Meadows Park with fellow dragonfly enthusiast Walter Sanford. Some of you may recall that this colorful katydid is my favorite insect. The katydid, which appears to be a female, was sunning herself on the raised edge of the boardwalk that runs through the marshland at this park. I love the way she is sprawled out with her body fully extended, forcing me to take a panorama-style shot to capture her portrait.

If you look carefully, you may note that “wood” of the boardwalk is actually an artificial composite material. For me this is a real benefit, because I don’t get splinters when I lie down on the boardwalk, as I am wont to do to get certain shots. However, I have learned from past experience that this surface gets really slick when there is frost or ice.

Handsome Meadow Katydid

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Winter landscapes often have a stark, black-and-white look that I really enjoy, like this shot I took last week of part of the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park, the local marshland park where I take a lot of my wildlife images.

It was late afternoon when I took this shot, and the sun cast a golden light on part of the surface of the boardwalk (which is made of a synthetic material) and created beautiful shadows beneath it. I really like the contrast between the straight lines and geometric shape of the boardwalk and the wild, irregular shapes of the natural environment.

I often forget to look for the “big picture” in my zeal to get in closer and closer to my subject, but in this case I am happy that I took the effort to pull back and take in my surroundings.

landscape_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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If you look carefully at this photo you can see why I am able to take photos of the local beavers—when I am standing on the boardwalk I am virtually on top of their lodge in the center of the beaver pond.

About 18 months ago, the county replaced the boardwalk surface at Huntley Meadows Park with a synthetic material and shortly thereafter the beavers relocated themselves from another area of the park. I am not sure how the beavers decided on this spot, but they took over one of the benches on the boardwalk and integrated it into their architectural plans. This fall I followed their progress as they added mud and branches to the lodge and built up the walls surrounding the beaver pond.

The entrance to the lodge seems to be underneath the board walk itself and the recent photos I have taken of the beavers and muskrats have been in the pond area to the right. This is also one of my favorite spots for photographing geese and ducks taking off and landing and, during the summer, for getting shots of dragonflies, frogs, and turtles.

lodge_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Huntley Meadows Park is made up of 1,425 acres of forests, meadows, and fresh-waters wetlands and has become one of my favorite places to take photos of a wide variety of wildlife. What is most remarkable for me, though, is the fact that it is located in the midst of a heavily populated suburban area of Washington, D.C., only a few miles from where I live. I am clearly not the only one who enjoys being there. On any given day I am likely to be greeted by groups of giggling boys and girls or smaller, more sedate groups of adults, many with binoculars or cameras with very long telephoto lenses. The park’s website notes that it is a favorite location for bird spotting, with over 200 species having been identified there.

Monday was an especially beautiful day. The coolness of the fall mornings has definitely arrived and we were treated to brilliant blue skies, a relative rarity here. While at Huntley Meadows, I decided to try to capture a view of some of the elements of the park, including part of the half-mile long boardwalk that zigzags through the marshland.

Huntley Meadows Park in early September

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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