Monday, September 3, 2012

Rewarded For Our Labor

Here are some photos from my last two visits to Great Meadows. I headed to the refuge today because the weather forecast was predicting fog in the early morning. As a friend of mine says, "Interesting weather make interesting photos".

Arriving at the refuge, I encountered no fog and a few more cars than normal. It seems several folks were talking advantage of the holiday to participate in the weekly bird census. I quickly encountered the "gaggle" of birders by the bridge on the Cross Dike Trail.

There in the weeds were both a Virginia Rail and a Sora. While they were nice views with binoculars, the camera doesn't ignore the intervening cattails like you mind does.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

The group continued up the trail making note of many varieties of birds. It may be my imagination, but it seems like there are more different species this year than last. I guess the maintenance in the upper impoundment has started to pay off.

At the walk to the observation deck, I spotted to Sora's out in the open in front of the cattails. They were in the perfect environment to photograph, but quickly retreated into the reeds with the arrival of people.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

I was disappointed that most of the group missed the Soras, when a Virginia Rail appeared among the lotus.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

If you have ever wondered about the expression about "being as skinny as a rail", it's not a fence rail, but the bird. While this isn't a great photograph, it is a good illustration about how skinny rails are. Their slim bodies allow them to easily wander between the narrow gaps between plants.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Those alone would have made my day, but I walked ahead to see if I could sneak up on anything interesting in the pool at the far end of the Cross Dike Trail. Often, I do this an come up empty. Today, I was rewarded. I had never seen, much less photographed, a Green Heron at Great Meadows. (They do visit, I've just been unlucky). That was until today.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

The rest of the morning was less exciting. However here are some photos that I captured during visits over the last week.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Down near the "Poison Ivy" bench there is a huge hornet's nest in a tree. I don't know how I've not noticed it before. Look closely at structure of the nest, and the designs in the sections.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Labor Day is the traditional "End of Summer". Walking around the refuge, you'll start to see subtle clues that autumn is on its way.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

Finally, as I was headed out, I encountered someone who reminded me that there as different ways to view the refuge.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20120903 &emdash;

2 comments:

  1. How inspiring to come home from Maine and see how GM is shifting into its fall-ness. Love the reddening buttonbush fruits and dewy primrose. It's possible the hornet's nest was too small to notice until the last two weeks. Our bee guy (who respectfully treats wasp infestations around our home every year, says wasp/hornets nest can increase 4+ fold from late August into early Sept. and this year even more than that since they got an early spring start.

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  2. Btw, rail and heron photos amazing!

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