Readers’ wildlife photos

We have a variety of photos today, with readers’ notes indented. The first is from Michael Glenister:

I took my kids to Ottawa last month, and when we visited the Mackenzie King estate we spotted some Ebony Jewelwing damselflies (Calopteryx maculata) by a creek.  Until we got close enough, we weren’t sure whether they were an unusually-shaped butterfly, or relatively large damselflies.  Although I grew up in Ontario, I’d never encountered this species before.

Some photos from breeding season. These robins are from Roger Sorensen:

About two weeks ago (July 8) I was battling my nemesis, weeding out some European Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides), a pretty, but invasive, wildflower. As I moved closer to the end of my driveway the old scolding of an American Robin (Turdus migratorius) got my attention and then, just a chance glance at my sapling Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), I spotted a dark mass among the branches. On closer investigation, there was a nesting Robin in the tree at about eye level. Today I peeked in to see what was going on and was greeted by at least 3 hungry gaping beaks. I’ll keep you posted as they, hopefully, fledge out.

Ivar Husa sent some lovely photos of our recent solar eclipse:

I was “one of a million” people who visited Oregon for the total eclipse and was treated to excellent observing conditions. There with clear skies above my 4,000 ft elevation near Long Valley, north of John Day, Oregon. I enjoyed totality for over 2 minutes, being pretty close to the center of path of totality.

I turned my birder’s photo equipment to the sun and was well rewarded for my effort, I believe. Equipment: 7D Mark II, and 400mm f5.6 lens with 1.4x converter, all Canon.

This offers a sense of scale for the solar flare.

I asked Ivar about the photo below and what it showed. His response:

The composite picture is, perhaps, the ‘condensed movie” for the time between first and second ‘contact’. The second being totality. At the upper right, you can see the shadow of the moon just beginning to cover the sun. At the lower left are successively ‘closer to totality’ looks to see the appearance of Bailey’s Beads. Multiple images were taken within seconds of each other as the sun slid behind the moon. Note, too, between the 4th and 5th images (in the composite) is a blue-green ‘marble’ that represents the earth, to scale.

It was such an amazing experience, to have excellent viewing condition, sitting at about 4,000 foot elevation, with dry, clear skies, Here is the Milky Way over my campsite.

Reader Barbara Wilson sent a landscape photo, but a sad one:

Not wildlife, but wildfire.  A flat orange sun at 5:00 in Corvallis, Oregon, 5 September 2017.  Morning and evening the light is pale gold, and in mid-day it is a slightly eerie cream color.  I don’t know where this smoke is coming from; there are major fires in the south and southwest parts of the state, all along the Cascade Range east of us, and well north into Washington and British Columbia.  The latest fire will change the Columbia Gorge for our lifetimes.  That is one of the most beautiful places in our beautiful state.  (Also home to many endemic plants, most of which are fire tolerant, fortunately.)  Google news about “Eagle Creek Fire” to find photos and films of its terrible beauty.


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Love those Robbins and the burr oak.

  2. Don McCrady
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Really great eclipse shots, especially the prominence! Thanks for sharing.

    • Diane G.
      Posted September 7, 2017 at 2:52 am | Permalink

      Yes, they are stunning shots! Kudos, Ivar!

  3. Posted September 6, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Great eclipse photos. I was in the eclipse zone nearby but took no pictures because I knew someone like Ivar would take far better ones than I could. Thanks, Ivar.

    Seattle is blanketed in smoke and ash. Fires to the North, East and South. But much better than being in the path of a hurricane.

  4. Barry Lyons
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    That damsel fly is a beaut!

  5. Posted September 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Very good pictures, and I especially like the damselfly pictures. The first is a male, and the second a female (with the white marking on the wings). Females are much less shy, and if you hang around them they often use you as a perch, as this one was doing.

  6. Posted September 6, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    All very good except the last, i can’t say that is good, maybe natural if it was not careless, thanks for posting.

    • Posted September 7, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      It was teenagers tossing lit fireworks off a cliff.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Nice grouping today. Fun eclipse shots.

    Here in Western WA it has been extremely hazy. We can’t even see the sun…ash everywhere. Very eerie just as you described.

  8. Diane G.
    Posted September 7, 2017 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Apparently the fires in the NW were the reason our moon here–in Michigan!– was an eerie orange color yesterday…Very sad.

    I hiked the Eagle Creek trail decades ago when I lived in OR; it’s ineffably sad to think of the Gorge looking so wounded for so many years to come.

    And the Anthropocene marches on…

  9. starskeptic
    Posted September 7, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I think Ivar Husa is referring to Long Creek, Oregon rather than ‘Long Valley’.

    • Ivar Husa
      Posted October 13, 2017 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      You are exactly right. I misspoke.

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