Posts Tagged ‘greenbrier’

Black snake

April 3, 2016

A black snake was spotted in a thorny thicket of greenbrier (Smilax sp.) during a photowalk along Barnyard Run at Huntley Meadows Park on 30 March 2016.

A black snake spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is either an Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) or Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor).

This individual is either an Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) or Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor). I’m guessing the snake is a Northern Black Racer, as indicated by the coloration on the underside of its body. Expert opinions are invited and welcome!

A black snake spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is either an Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) or Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor).

Notice the milky blue/blue-gray color of the snake’s eyes, especially noticeable in the preceding photo. This may indicate the snake is pre-molting, that is, it’s getting ready to shed its skin.

Tech Tips: Photos like these illustrate why I prefer to shoot using single-point focusing and spot metering. In this case, I looked for a “window” through the vines and placed the focus point on the snake’s eyes/head.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Testing 1, 2, 3…

January 26, 2016

The following photos were taken on 21 December 2015 at Huntley Meadows Park while field-testing a new Nissin i40 external flash unit with my Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless digital camera and 55-200mm zoom lens (88-320mm, 35mm equivalent). The camera was set for “Forced Flash”: “Flash On, Fired” appears in the EXIF information for all shots.

The camera was set for Manual Mode: both Aperture and Shutter Speed were operator-selected; ISO was set to “Auto.” Notice the camera used ISO 800 for every shot. One obvious advantage of using a digital camera featuring a larger sensor — in this case, an APS-C sensor — is the camera can shoot relatively noise-free photos at higher ISOs.

Also notice the rich color in each photo, something for which the Fujifilm X-series of cameras is well-known.


Cattails (Typha sp.) gone to seed.

Cattails (Typha sp.) gone to seed at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, VA USA.

70.5mm (106mm, 35mm equivalent) | f/6.3 | 1/250s | ISO 800

Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) hips.

Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) hips spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

200mm (300mm) | f/6.9 | 1/640s | ISO 800

An insect gall on Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris). This gall was made by parasitic gall wasps (Diplolepis sp.).

A parasitic insect gall on Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This is a gall wasp (Diplolepis sp.) gall.

200mm (300mm) | f/9 | 1/640s | ISO 800

Unknown blue-black berries. Alonso Abugattas, moderator of the “Capital Naturalist” Facebook group, speculates this is probably a species of greenbrier (Smilax sp.).

Unknown blue-black berries spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

200mm (300mm) | f/6 | 1/640s | ISO 800

Unknown seed pods, probably Crimsoneyed Rosemallow (Hibiscus moscheutos).

Unknown seed pods spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

200mm (300mm) | f/6.9 | 1/640s | ISO 800

Related Resource: New tools for flash photography.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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