Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Bird Island!!!

I'm here on Bird Island in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean east of Tanzania.  Truly a tropical island and a bird lover's paradise.  I'm here with two of my favorite photographers, Denise Ippolito and Paul McKenzie.  It is hotter than hot (at least 100 degrees most days), totally humid, bugs galore, but the photographic opportunities are incredible.  Here's a few of what we've found so far.


Tortoise at Sunrise on the Beach

Tiny Hermit Crab at Dawn

Talking to the Blue Crab

Fairy Tern Showing me her egg!!!!

Baby Fairy Tern waiting for Mom

Giant Tortoise - Could be over 100 years old

Blue Crab - My Favorite

Momma Fairy Tern feeding a fish to her baby

Noddy Terns in the Boudoir

Fruit Still Life

Tropic Bird - Look at that Tail

 Noddy Tern with Nesting Material

Noddy Terns in Love

Noddy Tern and Red Flower

Another of Mom and Babe Fairy Tern

Baby Noddy Tern

 

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

"Bluebirds" win Second Place in BetterPhoto March Contest!!

Mr. Bluebird offering a little treat to his sweetie.  This was at Brightside Park near our house in Charlestown Meadows.
 

Macrosiagon - Otherwise known as the Wedge Shaped Beetle - Look at those Antennae!!
















Brand new bug for me.  And not such a good one.  I learned that they hang around flowers that wasps like.  Then the female beetle lays her eggs.  The eggs hatch and the larvae are carried by the wasp to their own nests.  "Instead of eating both the wasp's egg and the pollen stored in the nest, the wedge-shaped beetle larva waits for the host's egg to hatch, then burrows into the wasp larva. It consumes the larva from the inside for a while, then rips its way out of its still-living host, wraps itself around the poor host's neck like a spiny collar, and proceeds to eat away at its victim from the outside, eventually killing it." (Insects Their Natural History and Diversity). Oh what a world! 

Friday, June 14, 2024

"Mommy!!!!"


 Baby Orchard Oriole begging mom for a little something to eat this morning in Valley Forge
And here is the beautiful Willow Flycatcher who was perched near the baby Orchard Oriole.  Another great morning in Valley Forge.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

A walk in the Field in Valley Forge

I got up early one morning this week and drove out to my favorite bug field in Valley Forge.  Oh, it was so good.  They are all young bugs for the most part.  Tiny and difficult to see, but they still have all their body parts.  Here's what I found:  First the Ambush Bug.  The ambush bug looks a little like a flower and hides on the side of a plant or on top of a flower and grabs his prey with his huge forearms.  

















Then next was the Jumping Spider.  If you look closely you can see a reflection of my macro lens in each of his four front eyes.











     



Then came this imposter:   The Camouflage Looper Inch Worm.  He is a regular inchworm except that he bites off the flowers he is eating and using his spit, he glues the flowers onto his body to act as camouflage to his predators.  


And here is a plane old regular inchworm on a little flower. 
Finally the fabulous Robberfly.  Look at those compound eyes.  He is perched on a plant where the camouflage looper inchworm had gotten his camouflage.  Check it out by looking above at that looper.  Oh the wonders of nature.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

Bunny in the Front Yard

Fawn in the High Grass

Baby Slug in the Morning

Bluebirds Before the Babies Arrive

 

Friday, May 10, 2024

We are in Slovenia!!

 Tom and I arrived in Slovenia a few days ago and we are exploring this beautiful little jewel of a country in the Balkans.  Here we are at Josip Tito's summer house overlooking Lake Bled.  See far in the distance is Bled Castle.  More to come.


Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Warblers Have Returned!!

 It was a spectacular day for the warblers return to Valley Forge.  Here are a few photos from today.

Prothonotary Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler

White Eyed Vireo

Northern Perula

Northern Perula

Northern Perula

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

First Palm Warbler of the Season. Woot, Woot!!

I was sitting on a log in the woods and far in the distance I saw this little bird.  When I looked a little closer, I realized it was one of maybe three palm warblers playing and eating in the woods. Beautiful perch.
 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Solar Eclipse in Valley Forge

Such a fun day today.  I went with my friend Alison and her sister Leslie to see the eclipse in Valley Forge.  We had no expectations, but it was a spectacular sight none-the-less.  There were lots of people there, lots of kids, lots of dogs, lots of sunglasses.  A really fun wonderful day for Valley Forge.  In the sky there were a lot of clouds. We would get little stretches of great sitings of the eclipse and then all would disappear back under the clouds.  I had no filter for my camera and was scared to death if I took a picture and might ruin the sensor.  Well the clouds became my filter and I got a couple good shots.  That's Alison checking out the sun through her eclipse glasses.  Could not have been more fun.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Coyote in Valley Forge!!


 What a day!!  I had first come across a fox with a vole in his mouth.  As I raised my camera to take his picture he disappeared into the brush.  I walked another minute or two, turned around and there was the coyote.  The coyote walked calmly into the bush and out ran three deer who posed for me on the top of the ridge.  Got to love a day like that.

Friday, March 29, 2024

The Bugs are Back!!

I was in the woods off of Ship Road searching for anything that moved and this wonderful little bug came up for air after emerging from inside a forsythia blossom.  He was so covered with pollen that I cannot even identify what he is.
 
And this is a click beetle on a buttercup in Valley Forge today.  Oh, how I love the bugs!!

Friday, March 22, 2024

Staring at the Great Blue Heron

I found this guy or gal along with maybe a dozen more great blue heron in their own little rookery right off of Route 202.  They were building their nests and making baby blue heron.  Incredible sight to see.  Just takes ten minutes to get there.  Such a treasure. But they are high up and well hidden by the tree branches except every once in a while.


Saturday, March 2, 2024