The migration of the Monarch Butterflies is well underway. I have been seeing lots of them everywhere I go here in NOVA. This one was sighted in Washington DC outside the National Gallery of Art. There were seven monarchs in the garden, but only this one had a tag. I reported the sighting but it will be a few months before I find out where it was tagged. There had been a publicity release a few days before near the capitol which may have included this butterfly.
I took a break from the winter weather to attend the Birds of a Feather birding festival in Palm Coast, Florida. It was a great three days of birding and photography. I participated in three full-day outings and the evening event featuring Moose Peterson. There was fog, overcast, and sunny periods, each presenting a birding and photography challenge. This Anhinga was taking advantage of a sunny period to dry off and warm up after diving for a meal.
This is Victoria, a night time blooming water lily. The flower opens at dusk releasing a sweet perfume to attract insects. When dawn approaches, the flower closes trapping any insects. The insects wander around looking for a way out which causes the flower to become pollinated. The next evening, the flower opens again and the insects can escape. This is a ten second exposure with a bit of fill from a flash.
There is a beautiful aquatic garden in Washington, DC along the Anacostia River. The main attractions are the ponds featuring waterlilies and lotus flowers. There is also a board walk over and into a wetlands area. It is a great place to see water birds, beavers, dragon flies, song birds and other small creatures.
I like to pick a spot where I see some dragon-fly activity and wait. I watch to see what they are doing. Dragon flies often have a favorite perch they use to observe what is going on. Many dragon flies are territorial and use this perch to watch out for intruders. Once I spot a dragon-fly I want to photograph, I’ll prefocus, lock it down and fire away. I often get several chances even if they fly away because of their habit of returning to the same spot.
I find photographing dragon flies a nice way to spend a few hours in nature. At Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, there are dozens of different types of dragon flies to try to capture.