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Posts Tagged ‘trumpet vine’

We have been having so much rain this month that I have taken to carrying an umbrella with me much of the time, including when I am going out with my camera. It’s a challenge to take photos in the rain, because of the juggling required to hold a camera steady while holding an umbrella and also because there are fewer subjects to photograph—most creatures have the common sense to seek shelter when it is raining.

Here are a few photos from a walk I took this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. They are a different style than most of the photos that I post on this blog, but I really like the way they turned out.

In the first image an Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) had a different way for handling the rain than the umbrella I was carrying—it simply pulled its legs and head inside of its shell. In the second image a Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) decided to brave the rain to get a breath of fresh air while perched atop a nesting box. The final photo shows a hummingbird view of a trumpet vine flower, one of its favorites. Alas, no hummingbirds were flying in the rain.

Eastern Box Turtle

Tree Swallow

trumpet vine

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) must have been feeling tired or lazy yesterday afternoon at Huntley Meadows Park. Rather than going in through the opening in the trumpet vine flower and helping to pollinate it, she opted to drill in through the side of the flower to get to the nectar.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I have known for a while that hummingbirds are attracted to trumpet vines, so I keep my eyes open whenever I pass a stand of them near the observation tower at Huntley Meadows Park. Yesterday morning I finally lucked out and spotted a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) in the midst of the trumpet vines (Campsis radicansand managed to capture these images, including one in which the hummingbird was resting for a few seconds on a branch before resuming her energetic activity.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Tracking a moving bird as it weaves its way in and of vegetation is a real challenge for a photographer and it seems almost miraculous when you manage to get any shots in focus. My skills were definitely tested last weekend when I spotted a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  in a patch of trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) at my local marshland park.

I did manage to get a few clear shots in which there were no branches between me and the hummingbird, but mostly I tried to find little windows among the branches through which I could get a view of a part of the bird. I was standing on a boardwalk when I took these shots, so there was not much room for to maneuver to get better angles of view. Additionally, the trumpet vines were a pretty good distance away, so I had to crank out my telephoto zoom and even then had to crop the images.

I don’t often see hummingbirds, so I was happy to capture some shots of this beautiful bird as it flitted from flower to flower.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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