Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's Bruin At Great Meadows

Sorry, for the lousy pun, but it was thrilling last night to watch the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since I was a youth. It was with mixed emotions that I went to bed; elated that the Bruins won, dreading the alarm set for 5:45AM. Roy had emailed the camera club that he was going to be at Great Meadows at 6:30AM and welcomed anyone who wanted to join him. I caught up with him and Lou shortly after they arrived.

A Great Blue Heron was fishing in the water next to the bridge. My friends got their fill of heron shots, reflection shots, and even a few heron portraits. Moving on to cross the bridge the bird finally felt unsafe and flew away...towards me. Learning from prior mistakes, this time I was prepared and got a couple good photographs, in the early morning light.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110616 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110616 &emdash; >

Around the refuge it was quiet. Photographically, there weren't a lot of subjects of interest. Most of the shots that were available were not as good as others that I have previously taken.

Wandering into the woods at the end of the upper impoundment we surprised a Belted Kingfisher which flew away. We found it a few moments later in the neighboring pond. As Roy and Lou tried to stealthily approach the bird, I stayed on the far shore. I was able to get these flight shots as the bird flew off when two joggers came thundering by.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110616 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110616 &emdash;

Back near the center Dike Trail two families of geese were busy walking the path. The young goslings are growing fast. This family seems to have weather predators without too much impact.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110616 &emdash;

As the weather becomes warmer you are starting to see Dragonflies and Damselflies. The few that you do encounter are usually busy flying back and forth. They are just now starting to light upon flowers and reeds. I have to add learning about identification of these insects to my growing To Do list. I've been told that while resting Dragonflies keep their wings outstretched but Damselflies fold their's back along their body
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Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110616 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110616 &emdash;

Starting All Over Again

Except for Sunday's Caterpillar walk, I pretty much had to take a week long break from my Great Meadows project for medical reasons. Monday's procedure went well and by Wednesday afternoon I was chomping at the bit to get photographing again.

My hope was that some of the nesting birds I knew of would still be there, so I could get some more photos for my catalog. Unfortunately, the Chickadees, Wood Thrushes, and Robins had all fledged and the nests were empty. I was saddened when I got to the snag with the Tree Swallow nest. Where there had previously been two holes was now one big gapping hole which looks like some predator helped themselves to a dinner of eggs or young chicks. This snag was close to where I had encountered turtle eggs that had been dug up and opened.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;

That made me feel like the male end of the cat tail reeds which in three short days are starting to droop, shrivel and soon will fall off.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;

So I was back at square one. I was going to have to see with fresh eyes. I started slowly. At Great Meadows planes are often seen flying overhead. Today they seemed to be coming in low. With all the problems of birds striking planes, I never could understand the wisdom of aligning an airport runway with a wildlife refuge.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;

After a while, I started to notice that the setting sun was making the ordinary look interesting.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;
Who says autumn has a lock on colored leaves?

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;
I'm not a big fan of the Mute Swans, but they do look good in the evening light

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;
This duck landed in the water next to the Dike Path bridge. Uncharacteristically, it was more interested in personal hygiene than concerned about people.


Checking in the reeds, I found this Great Blue Heron which was trying to ambush dinner. Nearby, while looking for Marsh Wrens, I encountered a fledgling Red-Winged Blackbird. The identification was easy based upon the way the parents reacted when I paused to take the photo

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;


Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;

As the sun was sinking closer to the horizon, and the shadows and exposure times were growing longer, I wandered back to the tower. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak hopped up into the setting sunlight for a brief moment. An unsolved mystery is where all the fur came from? It does not match many of the animals. On the other hand, since dogs are not allowed in the refuge it shouldn't be from someone grooming their dog.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20110615 &emdash;