Thursday, March 28, 2019

Crops & Clips: This week's clicks

Spring is here! As we walk into the local Wounded Wetlands in the predawn darkness, Northern Cardinals are already in full song. It is too dark for photos, but two hours later on the way back home, their clear whistles dominate the soundscape.

Cardinals prefer to to sing from a prominent perch.  A Pond Cypress, beginning to leaf out, provides a perfect podium:

Northern Cardinal male 06-20190326

Northern Cardinal male 02-20190326

Northern Cardinal male 03-20190326

Northern Cardinal male 04-20190326

A demure female occupies a branch lower down and sings a duet with her mate:

Northern Cardinal female 05-20190326

Northern Cardinal female 06-20190326

A rival male, not far away, asserts ownership of an adjacent territory:

Northern Cardinal male 09-20190326

Northern Cardinal male 092-20190326

His mate is more reclusive, hidden in the shrubs:

Northern Cardinal female 01-20190326

Northern Cardinal female 03-20190326

The Worm Moon, the third and final Super Moon of 2019, sets on a cloudy morning on the first day of Spring. This was the best photo I could take before it was totally obscured. If you look closely, you will see Mary Lou walking in with her flashlight at the very bottom of the photo:

Worm Moon twilight 20190321



The next morning the sun rises due east in a clear sky, as seen through the fence in "Sundial Alley:"

 Equinox sunrise over Sundial Alley 20190322

The Moon is much higher in the sky at sunrise on March 24...

Worm Moon over the lake 20190324
 

 ...and it soon disappears into the haze and clouds:


View to west 5 min after sunrise 20190324


On March 26 the waning gibbous Moon...

Worm Moon waning globus 20190326

...is followed, on the opposite horizon, by a sunrise peeking out under a blanket of clouds:

Sunrise under cloud blanket 20190326

Later in the day, a Great Egret casts its reflection in morning light:

Great Egret 2-20190326

Great Egret 20190326

Two Mottled Ducks fly by:

Mottled Ducks 20190326

There has been a huge hatch of Halloween Pennants (Celithemis eponina). These colorful dragonflies help control the mosquitoes and midges and themselves are food for the birds, especially shrikes, kestrels and blackbirds, as well as orb-weaving spiders:

Halloween Pennant - Celithemis eponina 02-20190325

American Kestrel eats a Halloween Pennant, March 22, 2016:

American Kestrel eating dragonfly 04-20160322

A Tropical Orb Weaver spider dispatches a Halloween Pennant, March 23, 2014:

Dragonfly and spider 05-20140323

Along the path, Castor Oil Plants thrive. Their seeds are the source of ricin, a deadly poison:

Ricin - Castor Oil plant 20190321



Good news: We have been blessed by the birth of our third Great-Grandchild, our first Great Grand-Daughter, Kennedy Lee Schneider, whose name includes elements of those of both her parents, Kenneth and Danima Lee.

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Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

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

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30 comments:

  1. Great set of photos but the kestral is my favourite. Have a good day, Diane

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  2. Oh I just love your post with all those wonderful photos. Cardinals are always a favourite and we have a small flock on our property outside Ottawa, Ontario. They are singing in the mornings now. I love that dragonfly photo. I follow the Cornell Lab Live Cam of Kestrals- the young have to be fed up to 40 items a day!

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  3. So many pretty pictures! Those cardinal photos are especially amazing! Also a huge fan of your insect / spider pics. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Wonderful Cardinal shots, and I like you sky and moon captures!

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  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I'm ready to sing out like a cardinal

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  6. A great post, all photos are impressive, especially the birds are so beautiful !
    My contribution...

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  7. My favourites today are those 2 shots of the G Heron and its reflections Fabulous light int the shot. The Red Cardinal is a stunning bird Kenneth. I think I have now get the "problem" sorted thanks to everyone's he;p. This week my laptop have up the ghost and I have now got a new one which I am trying to get my head round the differences and also I had to get a few tablet! I wil have to go out singing every night to pay for them!!! HAve a good weekend.

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  8. Your bird shots are amazing. I can only imagine how much patience you would need to wait for the birds and capture them.

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  9. Patience certainly is your virtue. Amazing bird images! Have a nice week-end.

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  10. I love the reflections and the wonderful birds in the trees.

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  11. Another series of delightful and spectacular captures - a veritable feast for the eyes Kenneth - thank you.

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  12. Loved the bird shots. All of them are so unique and beautiful. Thank you for sharing these. Have a lovely weekend. :)

    https://theskygirl.com/2019/03/30/once-upon-a-fiery-sky-skywatchfriday/

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  13. What an extraordinary serie of pictures

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  14. The Cardinal is so colourful, and I really like the American Kestrel eating a snack.

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  15. Hello, beautiful captures of the Cardinals. The dragonfly images are awesome! Lovely birds and beautiful skies! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend. PS, thanks for the comment on my blog.

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  16. A great series of images. I especially appreciate the shot of the American Kestrel consuming the Halloween Pennant. Kestrels are hard enough to photograph under any conditions let alone with prey. Good job!

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  17. Those cardinal pics are impressive!

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  18. You always manage the most amazing images, all of these are wonderful.

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  19. Congratulations on the Great Granddaughter....what a blessing for the whole family! LOVE the photos of the sky and the Kestrel. The dragonflies and grasshoppers are everywhere here right now. Enjoy your weekend!

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  20. Congratulations on a new great grandchild! What an exciting time! Thank you for sharing this beautiful photographs! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  21. I remember the first time I saw a cardinal - wow! Great pictures - especially the spider and dragon fly.

    Cheers - Stewart M _ Melbourne

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  22. All the while I was here, reading & viewing, I was thinking the circle of life (in critters) ... then I read about your G G grandaughter...such a happy, happy time for all. Your family is blessed.

    Thanks so much for sharing your photos and adding a great narrative for all of us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin'

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  23. Wonderful photos! The Northern Cardinal indeed looks in full song. Such a beautiful bird.

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  24. Haha, cardinals truly have a performers mentality! After a few second, I think I see a flash light, but we do want to SEE Mary Lou, Ken (joking). A wow to these clouds gone out of wack! Beautiful capture of the moon! Showed your capture of the dragonfly to Hubs (to entice him to get a stronger lens - no chance!), but from one photographer to another, he was amazed!
    Not to forget, congrats to you and your whole family, for a new generation:):)
    Many thanks for this series of captures for All Seasons, and have a week full of adventure!

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  25. I love the way cardinals brighten up any place - even when skies are dreary as they are here today.
    Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/04/somethings-squirrely-on-april-fools-day.html

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  26. Cardinals are so precious! All your photo's are stunning!

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  27. Beautiful photos! Love the cardinals and egrets and your skies are awesome.

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