Posts Tagged ‘photowalking’

White-tailed deer (male)

August 8, 2012

A White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) spotted along the boardwalk that goes through the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. The young buck was grazing on creeping primrose willow in a meadow that has been exposed by the prolonged drought at the park. Look closely at all of the photos, especially Photos 3-4: Notice the large flies (deer flies?), whose bites drew blood on the deer’s snout. Poor deer!

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Question Mark butterfly redux

June 24, 2012

A Question Mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis), as indicated by the two white marks on the underside of its wings that resemble the punctuation mark of the same name (shown in Photo 2 of 2). I spotted this individual during a photowalk through the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans)

June 14, 2012

A Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) spotted during a photowalk through the “Wildlife Sanctuary,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an adult male, as indicated by its blue coloration and the male terminal appendages (claspers) located at the end of its abdomen. Contrast the appearance of a male Great Blue Skimmer with two females of the same species.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Tree Swallow (male)

June 10, 2012

A male Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with a small insect in its beak. I spotted the bird in a large meadow far from the wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA, perching near its nesting box.

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I was focused on looking for dragonflies and accidentally wandered a little too close to a nesting box. As it turns out, I was standing between the male Tree Swallow and its nesting box when I shot these photos. Other than making a funny little sound a few times (I’m guessing it’s harder to call with a beak full of insect!), the male waited on its perch until I moved away from the box before it delivered food to the nest. The nesting box is in a relatively remote location in the park so I’m guessing these swallows don’t have a lot of contact with humans.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Painted Lady butterfly

May 31, 2012

A Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) feeding on Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens). I spotted this individual during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

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The park manager at Huntley Meadows designated Purple Milkweed as a “plant of interest,” due to the fact that it is officially a rare plant species in the state of Virginia (S2) [see p. 10]. Purple Milkweed plants flower from May to June in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Red-winged Blackbird (male, calling)

May 27, 2012

A Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, as indicated by its red and yellow shoulder patches, calling its mate.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Great Blue Skimmer dragonflies (immature males)

May 25, 2012

The following photos show an immature male Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA on 18 May 2012. This individual, possibly a teneral, was perched on grass in a meadow located at least 100 yards from the wetlands.

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I spotted another Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly, shown in the following gallery, in the same meadow on 17 May 2012. This individual is an immature male, based upon the appearance of the terminal appendages at the end of its abdomen.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Question Mark butterfly

May 15, 2012

A Question Mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. One of two “punctuation mark” butterflies, the Question Mark is so named because of the question mark that appears on the underside of its wings; Comma butterflies (Polygonia c-album) feature a comma shape on the underside of their wings. See also “Comma butterfly,” one of my Posterous photoblog posts.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

May 9, 2012

A Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) spotted in the wild during a photowalk through Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, a wetland area located in Fairfax County, Virginia USA near the Nation’s Capital. The hawk is on the look-out for smaller birds that were harassing the larger raptor, as shown below in Gallery 1/Photo 1 and Gallery 2/Photo 2. The hawk was so concerned with me and my camera (see Photo 2 and 3) that it didn’t notice the Blue Jay about to launch a sneak attack from behind!

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The hawk flew to a nearby tree (shown below); the smaller birds followed. Hide in plain sight must be this hawk’s modus operandi, ‘cuz it was a sitting duck at its new location. The hawk’s hackles are raised in Photo 3, indicating it is angry after being pecked by a mockingbird. (The idiom “get your hackles up” means “to get angry.”) Hey, life is not necessarily a picnic at the top of the food chain!

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Common Muskrat (predator-prey)

April 17, 2012

An adult muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus zibethicus), a semi-aquatic rodent, spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual appears to be eating a frog.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com


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