Tag Archives: photography

Snapping Turtle Emergence

Today was the day this snapping turtle emerged to welcome spring. It had just climbed up a grassy bank from its overwintering area and was beginning to cross the tow path when we spotted it.
snapper walk
Step by step, it crossed over the path toward the canal.
snapper crossing
Bicyclists and hikers stopped to let it go by.
crossing the path
Then it quickly proceeded down a short bank — splash!
almost in the canalThe snapping turtle made it to the water and was out of human sight.

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May Beauties, i.e., Backyard Flowers

I couldn’t help myself…had to go out in the backyard this morning to photograph some of the beautiful new May flowers. The daffodils and tulips are all gone, but some new beauties have sprouted up instead.

An azalea bursting forth

An azalea bursting forth

Some blooming lilacs

Some blooming lilacs

A single violet next to the shed

A single violet next to the shed

Pink azaleas facing the morning sun

Pink azaleas facing the morning sun

These azaleas are white with speckles of pink.

These azaleas are white with speckles of pink.

Fast Flying Chimney Swifts

chimney swift3 chimney swift5In a few months when the weather gets warmer, it will be time to start looking for the chimney swifts again as they return from South America. Although I hadn’t taken much notice of them before, this past summer they entertained me quite a bit with their fast flying antics. They were regularly flying overhead, darting back and forth in the air, similar to bats. Not only are they fast, but I don’t think I ever saw one land and sit for awhile. It’s almost like they fly nonstop. This constant motion made taking photographs very difficult. I tried for weeks to get a good shot of a chimney swift, but ended up with lots of blurry photos of distant dots in the sky. What you see posted here are my “best” pictures. I thought that maybe they spent their evenings nesting in the big brick chimney at the school complex nearby, but I wasn’t able to confirm that. I figured that stalking around the schoolyard with a camera probably wasn’t a good idea.

Although the chimney swifts seemed to be plentiful in my neighborhood, I read a web article recently about a decrease in the chimney swift’s population. While it had been presumed that these birds are becoming less numerous because of chimneys being capped off, the article points to the bird’s diet as a cause. Hopefully, this year the chimney swifts will be just as plentiful flying over my neighborhood, because I need another chance to photograph them!

Turtles in the Sun

The sunny, spring weather has brought the turtles out from their winter hiding places. I was inspired to go looking for some this morning after seeing lots and lots of turtle photographs published by a fellow blogger. I waited until the sun seemed worthy of turtle-warming rays, then went to a county park to scout for turtles.
Turtle on log
I found some eastern painted turtles soaking up the sun on a partially submerged tree trunk near the edge of the pond. I planned to get closer to them, but they immediately splooshed into the water before I could even try to approach. They took turns popping their heads up from the water in various locations as they checked to see if the coast was clear. Finally, the boldest turtle swam over to the tree trunk, climbed up, stretched out his head, and returned to his sunning.
Eastern box turtle on log
There were at least three or four other turtles who continued their surveillance from the water, with their periscope-like heads randomly popping up to survey the log.
Swimming turtle
Eventually, another turtle decided it was safe and began slowly approaching the log. He cautiously climbed up the side and then froze for a few moments.
Turtle on log
After a period of looking around, he finally relaxed his position and lowered his body down onto the log. Then the turtle extended his head into just the right angle for soaking in the maximum amount of sun.