A 10K race in the morning and a drive through Blackwater NWR in the afternoon. It was a perfect weather day, warm for November. Bald eagles are common at the reserve but that doesn’t make them any less interesting. This one is sitting on the former site of an osprey nest. Eagles enlarge their nest every year and it is not uncommon for eagles to steal the sticks from osprey nests. Next year when the osprey return, they will construct a new nest and the eagles will be raising their young in the newly expanded nest.
If you plan for it, you can have colorful flowers blooming well into the autumn months. Here in Leesburg, the Master Gardeners have planned well. Most of the big showy types are gone or well on the way, but there are quite a few smaller flowers providing plenty of color throughout the garden. I like to wander the garden looking for late butterflies, especially Monarchs. I usually see a few, presumably on their way to Mexico, taking up nectar.
Not all the flowers attract butterflies, at least not that I have seen. Most though attract bees of all sorts, as well as ants and other insects. They also attract other critters like me. Most days I will be the only one there watching as the season turns. I like the quiet. I can hear the birds better. Even my sandwich taste better. Thank you Master Gardeners of Leesburg for your wonderful garden.
A Monarch which stopped at the garden for some nectar. This is one of several seen in a 60 minute period. Perhaps they are en route to Mexico where Monarchs over winter. Migrants or not it is good to see them locally as their numbers have been diminishing over the years.
A hot July afternoon. Not the best time to go looking for birds but a very good time to look for butterflies and dragonflies. An overcast sky is very nice also. I didn’t have to contend with any harsh shadows – just nice even light all around.
A good opportunity to create some nice silhouettes.
I really like how the pond flora blends into a beautiful background.
With the unusually warm winter now over, Spring is officially here. It sorta caught me by surprise when my friend posted pics of Blue Bells on her Facebook page. I wasn’t quite mentally ready for the season to begin. But Spring was here and I had to get out and see what was happening. A trip to one of the local parks revealed what the flowers already knew. Thousands of mergensia verginica were covering the ground with various shades of blue, pink and shades in between. Out came the 15 – 85 mm lens for some overview shots followed by the 100 mm macro. Down on my knees I crawled around looking at all the blossoms. This up close and personal perspective helped me find the best blossoms and perfect angles. It also made me more aware of the other flowers which I may not have taken the time to investigate. It’s a bit cool and breezy today, but the flowers won’t wait…