Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies

From larva that resemble bird droppings

to beautiful Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

“Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kayaking - Grassy Sound

Yellow Legs

Ruddy Turnstone

Common Tern preening

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kayaking - Cape Island Creek

Green Heron

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Backyard

Mating Monarchs on Anise Hysop

Question Mark Butterfly nectaring on Cherry Tree Sap

Skipper nectaring on Mexican Sunflower

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth nectaring on Butterfly Bush

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday -Kayaking Cape Island Creek

The marsh, to him who enters it in a receptive mood, holds, besides mosquitoes and stagnation, melody, the mystery of unknown waters, and the sweetness of Nature undisturbed by man.
-- Charles William Beebe (1906)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fall Migration - My backyard

Hard to believe that it is only mid-August but the fall migration has started and birds are moving through the area.  Early mornings are great for bird watching and while I don't have as many species as I'd like I am seeing new birds come through each day.  Today brought more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Pine Warblers, Carolina Wrens, Eastern Kingbirds among them.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Carolina Wren

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kayaking - Cape Island Creek

Another great day kayaking on Cape Island Creek. Lots of great birds spotted but we never did get to see the Belted Kingfisher I'd hoped to see. Only downspot was the tide was going out and several times I almost got stuck in the mud. Next tide I think we'll go out on a rising tide.

Spotted Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher probing for lunch!

Short-billed Dowitcher

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A great day in my backyard

Today, I did a very stupid thing.  At about 7:30 AM I was emptying and refilling the rotten fruit trays for the butterflies when I inadvertently locked myself out of the house.  Now mind you I knew just as I closed the door what I had done but it was too late.  There I was in my robe, due to be at Hereford Lighthouse at 8AM to do some photographing with a friend. 

Thank God I have the extra space above the garage with a combination lock.  There's nothing there but a sofa and some chairs but there is also a phone where I could call a super friend who came to rescue me.  She needed to wait for her hubby to come home from work with the car so while waiting I was able to look out over the gardens in the backyard.

The gardens are looking great and are really drawing in the butterflies and birds.  There were 2 sets of birds that I couldn't ID but then I didn't have my bins or my camera to take pictures.  But I did see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a  Clearwing Hummingbird moth and a host of other critters. So once I was releashed and back in my house I took pictures of the neat nature in my own backyard.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Blue Salvia

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Cypress Vine
Cabbage White Butterfly

Bumble Bee on Anise Hysop

Cloudless Sulphur on Partridge Pea

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Semi's Face off - Stone Harbor Beach

While at the beach yesterday the Semipalmated Plovers were fighting for feeding territory which is actually pretty funny considering how large the beach is in Stone Harbor.  Here are some of the pictures.

Semipalmated Plover with marine worm

Semipalmated Plovers face off

You had better watch out..

Never mind. I'm leaving...

Ok, so what are you looking at! Now I can forage in peace.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Birding - Stone Harbor Beach

This time of year it's fun to go to the beach about 5pm as the day is getting cooler and the light is getting better for photographing the birds. The birds are arriving back from their Arctic breeding grounds and most are hanging around for a while before heading off to their wintering grounds. Western Willet (Pictured above)  Sanderlings (Pictured below)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kayaking - Cape Island Creek

Foster's Tern
Kayaking is great anytime though so far I have seen more birds during spring migration than fall migration which is now underway.  I also see more birds at the lower tides as they feed on the mudflats.  The advantage, though, is that you are able to get close to the birds.  This Clapper Rail was just about 3 ft from me.  I spent a good bit of time just watching it bath and preen.  Awesome!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

Spotted Sandpiper

Our avian brothers are back to roost on the first leg of their annual sojourn south.  Why them and not us?  Maybe because we humans are meant to be rooted in one spot.  Mitchell Burgess