T. J. Hennessy sent a farrago of photos: spiders and birds. His notes are indented. Oh, and it’s time to send me your good wildlife photos, please, for the tank is running a bit low.
I have recently retired from my day job and have more time to spend on my photography. I have a few sets of photos that might interest you and will send them along in a series of emails to differentiate them. First up are photos of Blue Herons [Ardea herodias]. Here in Richmond, Virginia we have a Blue Heron Rookery on the James River that is home to dozens of herons in the springtime. A few of the photos I have here were taken along the banks of the James River. The others were taken in the Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden, just last week. I was there early to take close up photos of flowers, but I was surprised by a Blue Heron in the Japanese Garden, on a small island in a lake. It was beneath a Japanese maple tree and the combination of colors is amazing.
While walking along a boardwalk on the sound side of the Outer Banks, I found a very cool spider. I am pretty sure it is an Orb Weaver [readers?], but I do not know the species. I was photographing water droplets after the rain, and this dime-sized patch of white near me began to pulsate. The spider appears to cause the web to vibrate forward and backward whenever it appears threatened. Once it calmed down I was able to get a few photographs. The spider is well camouflaged in the weaving at the center of the web.
Along the same boardwalk I saw several Red Winged Blackbirds [Agelaius phoeniceus]. I had a good opportunity to get some close-up photos of one while it was calling for a mate.
At the beginning of June I was on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which is a long barrier island. The Atlantic Ocean is on one side and a series of sounds are between the island and the mainland. While taking photographs on the sound side at sunset, I encountered some Great Egrets [Ardea alba] wading in the shallows and fishing. One photo shows the Egret with its catch. Another is a wide angle shot of the sound at sunset with the egret visible in front of the reeds. [Spot the egret!] I was also able to get some shots of the Egret in flight.