Tree coon

May 7, 2010

On Thursday evening, I was able to view a raccoon (Procyon lotor) in a tree during a trek through Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria.

Following my normal routine, I set off that day toward the marshy boardwalk area, but as I walked through the forest a couple noticed me with my camera and pointed toward a tree. A short distance off the ground, a small mass was scrambling up the side. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday evening after checking out Prince William Forest Park, I made a run on Huntley Meadows Park. My first find just resulted in confusion.

Someone, please tell me, why would a chicken be in a park in Alexandria? Read the rest of this entry »

This time of year is both a blessing and a curse. With the forest canopy filling in, shooting in the woods becomes a mental exercise of what settings to shoot in the shadows and how to quickly adjust for sunlight streaming through the trees. Read the rest of this entry »

The sound of rushing wind and crying children greeted me Wednesday at Huntley Meadows Park, but by the end of the day, I had a few interesting shots.

Off the boardwalk, I noticed a lot of mud perfect for footprints and began to scan it for tracks. Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday the weather was a little chilly, but otherwise great in Alexandria. With sore legs from earlier outings, I decided it would be better to head out anyway and try to strengthen my muscles at Huntley Meadows.

The foot traffic was heavier than last time (easy to beat when that number was zero) but I was still able to have some quality shooting time.

My main shooting emphasis revolved around an Osprey on the hunt and a fearless beaver. Read the rest of this entry »

Visits to Huntley Meadows always seem to follow a theme. In previous trips there has been a dominant presence of geese, of blackbirds, of toads, of frogs, and now – muskrats.

The muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) are relatively skiddish, but they seem to find comfort in the reeds. With a good position and a bit of patience, some nice moments can unfold near you. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday afternoon, with storms looming, I packed up my gear and headed to Huntley Meadows Park. Some might think it’s strange to be out in rain, but I like it. From a photographic standpoint you get better tones and, despite what a lot of people might think, rain generally doesn’t keep the wildlife away. It was beautiful from the start and I was the only person in the park.

The foliage is coming back stronger now, which is closing in on the visibility, but also providing nice a habitat for forest creatures. I guess it’s a trade-off in that way. Read the rest of this entry »

Miss me? Since I last wrote I’ve had some great encounters. Some of them I’ll mention now and a few will come out in the next few days.

Although I haven’t seen any snakes yet this year, I’ve heard they’ve re-emerged. In the reptile and amphibian department, I’ve been seeing plenty of turtles, frogs and toads. I’ve also spotted one skink in Huntley Meadows Park.

On that same outing, as I ventured down the informal trail at the back of the park, I caught motion that happened to be an Osprey coming in to land with a meal. Acting on instinct, I fired off a few shots and was able to capture the shot below. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods. Huntley Meadows Park was bustling with activity, but unfortunately more of that was from guests than wildlife.

In the distance, I observed a number of birds. Many of them were out of range for successful photography but a few scenic shots, including the Great Blue Heron above, came out well. Read the rest of this entry »

Waiting for new life

April 3, 2010

Mating toads and turtles, and a newly established goose nest were just a few surprises that I found Friday in a trek through Huntley Meadows.

Things are gearing up for the spring and it won’t be long before we have a lot of new life in this environment. Read the rest of this entry »