Sandpiper Central

I’ve been away from this blog so long, I now don’t even know how to navigate WordPress anymore!

The winter months are always lean for photos, between a lot of things being dormant (or wintering elsewhere) and my being a giant baby when it comes to being out in the cold. I have, however, been to a few beaches over the last couple of months, so here are some of the sights I’ve seen:

Loon, Cape Cod

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Ruddy Duck, Westport Point

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Goldeneye, Wareham

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Absolute scads of Sanderlings and Dunlins, Gooseberry Point

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I have a Canon Rebel T3, which does some interesting vignetting (which may be the new 55-250mm lens). I think I like it,though…

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And this is a shorebird I haven’t seen before – a ruddy turnstone. Male, I believe. (Bird experts, please correct me if I’m wrong!) This is his winter plumage; their breeding plumage is striking, although I’d have to follow him up to Alaska to see it.

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BTW, I have a new shop on Etsy with both stock photos and fine art prints. The stock photos are the decent ones I’ve taken over the years, that I’m not necessarily in love with or attached to; the fine art prints are the ones I am most proud of and don’t want to essentially give away. I’m pretty happy with the logo I designed, which I also made a brush in Photoshop for easy watermarking.

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Eye See You

I have gotten some quality exercise this week; every day I’ve walked farther and longer than I usually do on my weekends.

Today I walked around Buttonwood Park for about 2 hours; my legs are still killing me!

At first the park was like, meh. I saw a few turtles from a distance. Saw some little red dragonflies. The light wasn’t great.

Then, I saw a whole mess of mushrooms, and I was like, cool, at least deciding to come to the park wasn’t a total waste.

And then I was walking along, looking for ‘shrooms, and BAM, there was a red-tailed hawk, just sitting on a branch about, oh, 25-30 feet away from me? And not even up that much.

Red-tailed hawk

I figured he’d take off the second he saw me, but he didn’t, which makes me think he was a juvenile and didn’t know better.  (He could also have been sick, but he looked alright to me, and thinking I got all these great photos of a red-tailed hawk close-up only because he was sick would bother me to no end…)

Red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk

One last shot before I left him in peace…

Red-tailed hawk

I’m sure this is what his hungry eyes were yearning for (a mama, no less, I’m thinking):

Squirrel

Back to the Woods

I finally got to go walk in some woods this past weekend, and got two good workouts, since photographing ‘shrooms involves endless squats, LOL.

Copicut Woods:

Coral mushroomTooth fungiMushroom

Coral mushroomChipmunk

Lloyd Center:

MushroomsOrange mushroomsWildflowers

I believe this is a wood frog. He was super-tiny, and could jump incredibly far!

Wood frog

I’ve seen white Indian pipes, and (rarely) pink ones, but NEVER red!!!

Indian Pipes

Blue algae

So, I went to the park this morning, thinking I’d get an hour in before I had to get ready and leave for work, and the water was entirely fenced off. I’d been there just this past weekend and noticed a smell – not an unpleasant one – sort of like when you shuck corn – but I hadn’t seen anything unusual. Now, the water has a polluted look from this unnaturally blue algae growing in it, and the corn smell has morphed into something far less pleasant. I am incredibly disappointed, because this is the time of year when the park is just loaded with butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, birds, herons – everything – and they’re all on or around the water.

So… these may be my last photos for a while. :(

DragonflyMonarchBee

BirdsTree swallowsTree swallows

TurtleWater lilyDragonfly

DragonflyDragonflies

Mini Vacay

I took two vacation days this week, and while I’ve been getting some work done during them (I am closing my antiques booth because it’s just not something I can keep pouring money into), I have also had some ME time. Today was the first chance I got to get out and take pictures – on my way from one task to another – and it was glorious. I went to the water pumping station, which is just this little plot of land but is rich in wildlife. I saw frogs, turtles, dragonflies, butterflies, caterpillars and even green herons.

DragonflyDragonflyDragonfly

Joe-Pye WeedSkipperJoe-Pye Weed and Mint

WildflowersJoe-Pye WeedGreen Heron

Monarch butterfly caterpillarsMonarch butterfly caterpillarMonarch butterfly

Turtle

This squirrel cracks me up – he was digging around inside a hollow tree trunk for edibles.

Squirrel

Does anyone else see the freakishly huge frog I was totally oblivious to?

Turtle and frog

Day of the damselflies

So, I haven’t posted anything in a bit because I’ve had a week off and barely went online. I was also spoiled with a week of decent weather – save for the tornado scare, of course – so I was OUTSIDE with my camera most every day. (And when I wasn’t out chasing insects around, I was in bed, catching up on SLEEP.)

Here are some photos from my week off:

Water pumping station

Turtle

Nasketucket

Bullfrog

Gidley Woods

DamselflyDamselflyChipmunkSpicebush swallowtail

Lake Street

FlowerDragonfly

Buttonwood Park

Spotted turtleSquirrel

(I’ve started using my camera’s manual focus more, and have to say, I think my images are much improved for it.)

Respite

I haven’t had anything worthwhile to post in some time now because the weather has been stubbornly uncooperative. We went from cold and rainy, to sunny and humid, straight back to cold and rainy again. During that little window, of course, I got out for some much-needed time in nature. (It was a welcome respite from slaving away on a photography book for a contest, which has been sucking up most of my time.)

My mom’s bleeding hearts seem particularly colorful this year:

Bleeding heartsBleeding heartsBleeding heartsBleeding hearts

I love the way the bleeding hearts cross the diagonal lines in the background.

Bleeding hearts

Then we went to Nasketucket and broiled in the sun for an hour or so… Only one of the three vernal pools was accessible, because of all the rain we’ve had lately, and it was lousy with frogs.

Green frogGreen frog

You can see me and Ulysse reflected in his/her eye, which I think is cool.

Green frog

Have you ever SEEN a frog this size???

Green frogGreen frogGreen frog

Now, this is a little oogy, for which I apologize, but I spotted a crab spider in a buttercup with a little bee, and when I looked at the image on my computer at home, I saw that what I thought were stripes on the spider’s body were actually legs. I could be wrong, but it looks like the spider’s young is hanging on to her/his body, which is spider behavior I wasn’t aware of. If there are any spider experts out there, I would love to know whether my theory holds water.

Crab spiderCrab spider

And, just to help you shake off the willies, here are some pretty flowers:

PoppiesPoppiesRiver