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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Birding in dawn's early light

Although the song reminds us that "April showers bring May flowers, " we have enjoyed clear skies most of past month. I got up early to watch the partial eclipse of the Moon on the morning of April 4. If video does not display, try this link.

Eclipsed moon setting over our local wetlands on the morning of April 4:

Lunar Eclipse setting HDR 20150404

Many mornings the sun rose into a cloudless sky, and the "dawn came up like thunder," with skies already bright and blue a half hour before official sunrise. However, on April 13 the combination of a line of thunderstorms far off in the Atlantic Ocean and a layer of high clouds produced a particularly vivid panorama from our back patio:

Sunrise HDR 20150413

The warm morning light softened many  of my photos of common critters, such as this Prairie Warbler...

Prairie Warbler 2-20150402

...a singing Red-winged Blackbird...

Red-winged Blackbird 20150401

...a White-winged Dove roosting in a Castor Oil bean (Ricin) tree...

White-winged Dove on Castor Oil bean tree 2-20150402

...a Brown Thrasher on the path ahead...

Brown Thrasher 2-20150404

...a nearsighted Opossum ambling towards me...

Opossum 20150404

...a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron alone in the remains of the herbicide-ravaged rookery...

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 20150410

...a Common Grackle whose iridescent coat is enhanced by the morning light...

Common Grackle in ligustrum 20150413

...and a female Northern Cardinal, ready to flee upon my arrival.

Northern Cardinal female 2-20150413

As I approached the lake, a Common Yellowthroat was perched near the shore:

Common Yellowthroat 5-20150413

A Double-crested Cormorant dried its wings:

Double-crested Cormorant 20150413

Remarkably, I almost missed seeing this Green Heron before it moved to the top of a small Red Maple:

Green Heron 3-20150413

Alarmed at my presence, the heron moved to another tree, raised its crown and tried to get a better look at me...

Green Heron 2-20150413

...allowing one of my favorite compositions...

Green Heron 20150413

...before flying off:

Green Heron in flight 20150413

Green Heron in flight 2-20150413

Just after sunrise on April 14 an immature Great Blue Heron permitted me to approach rather closely:

Great Blue Heron at dawn 5-20150414

Great Blue Heron at dawn 6-20150414

Great Blue Heron at dawn 2-20150414

On my way back home I encountered another Opossum at the entrance gate:

Opossum 20150326

It's only an invasive exotic  weed alongside the wet prairie, but sepals of the flower of this Peruvian Water Primrose form a perfect Easter cross:

Peruvian water primrose - Ludwigia peruviana 20150413

Sepals form cross in Ludwigia

I could not pass up another macro shot, this time of a little (2.4 cm) Monk Skipper on an Ixora blossom:

Monk Skipper probable 20150414

As I arrived home, a young squirrel watched me from the trunk of a palm tree in our front yard:

Gray Squirrel 2-20150326

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Crops & Clips: April, 2012 Meme Mashup

My weekly potpourri gathered from the archives features... Looking back three years through the retro-spectroscope to the month of April, 2012...  Striving to find photos to match the various themes: Critters, Fences, Reflections, and Skies... Hoping to have two in each category, but will put no bag limit on critters, which I photograph in abundance.


Tricolored Heron in back yard, April 1, 2012

Tricolored Heron in back yard 4-20120401

Brown Thrasher, April 2, 2012:

Brown Thrasher close 20120402

Black-necked Stilts, April 2, 2012:

Black-necked Stilts 20120402

 A male Queen (a contradiction in terms?), April 9, 2012:

Queen male 20120409

Green Heron taking flight, April 10, 2012:

Green Heron taking flight  (view large) 20120410

Green Heron female on April 11, 2012:

Green Heron female 6-20120411

...and a few of bonus Critters, like all these photos, from our local wetlands...

White-tailed Deer, doe, April 15, 2012:

White-tailed Deer portrait 20120415

Raccoon, April 19, 2012:

Raccoon 20120419

Here is a video about some precocious week-old Green Heron babies in the local rookery (April 19, 2012). Now these are really "critters!":

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS, ________________________________________________ 

FENCE:  I wasn't looking for fences in those days, so they are mostly accidental images. I only found one photo that included a fence. Sunrise over the gravel road (note the entry gate), April 11, 2012:

Sunrise HDR 20120411

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

SKYWATCH:  Harbour Lakes wetlands, April 18, 2012:

Harbour Lakes Preserve HDR 20120418

Look up and tell me which bird is different! Snowy Egret with 8 Cattle Egrets, April 11, 2012:

Spot the intruder 20120411

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


REFLECTION: Killdeer, April 4, 2012:

Killdeer 20120404

Mottled Ducks, April 11, 2012:

Mottled Ducks 3-20120411

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James ________________________________________________


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display ________________________________________________