It was a dark and steamy morning…The clouds offered conflicting gifts. Limited light made photography a challenge. On the other hand, with dew points in the 70s, the absence of the blazing sun was a relief. There was a dense layer of mist hovering over the surface of the creek, and the woods were cool. But my destination this morning was the meadows where patches of milkweed could be found. Continue reading
I’m Buzz Bixby…
BUZZ BIXBY: …and we’re your hosts for this wonderful panorama of floats, performers, balloons and marching bands, all celebrating pollinating insects and their buggy friends. It’s a beautiful day for a parade… Continue reading
FUN FACT: Sunflowers are composite flowers, where all is not what it seems. What look like petals are actually infertile ray flowers that attract vital pollinator species to the plant. The center of the sunflower is made up of hundreds of small flowers, each with five petals, a male stamen and a female stigma, where pollination takes place.
FUN FACT: One of a group of true bugs known as assassin bugs, in the ambush bug family, Reduviidae. They eat soft-bodied insects, stink bugs and, as we witnessed, bees. A wheel bug injects enzyme-laced saliva into its prey, which paralyzes the victim and liquefies their internal parts, which the wheel bug proceeds to consume. Yuck! Adding to their allure, they inflict a painful bite on humans.
They have their good side, though; many of their preferred prey are pests, so they are welcomed in gardens and on farms. And they just look cool.
Behold – Gourdon Goose.
This time, I did it right. After months of not putting myself in position to make good nature images, of always being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong equipment doing the wrong thing – this time I did it right.
Right time? Early morning when the light is good and the wildlife is active – check.
Right place? The boardwalk at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, where interesting birds like Soras and Virginia Rails and Glossy Ibises have been the talk of the town, and social media, for weeks – check.
Right equipment? Binoculars and Canon 7D Mark II camera with the 100-400mm lens, in my hands and not back in the car – check.
Doing the right thing? Two hours of watching and waiting patiently, on my own, instead of rushed by the need to keep up with fast-moving friends – check.
The result? Actual photos of wildlife! Killdeer. Sora.
Little Blue Heron. Green Heron, at the top of a tree, no less!
Even a stand-off between two bugs on a leaf.
This is where the wild things are.
And I think we found the wildlife photographer.