Saturday I was able to make a run on the JMU Arboretum in Harrisonburg.

It was great to be back. In the past, I’ve had luck at the venue with birding, and this weekend didn’t disappoint either. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday evening I made a run on the JMU Arboretum in Harrisonburg. Pulling up on the scene, I was met with an overcast and chilly site.


Initially, I spotted several squirrels and blue jays near the feeder and slowly made an approach. Read the rest of this entry »

By comparison, Friday’s trip to the JMU arboretum yielded many more results than the trip to Hillandale Park.

Some days when it’s nice out, I worry that the high presence of people in the arboretum would limit the opportunities to photograph animals. That might be true to a degree, but I didn’t have any problems finding high concentrations of birds.

A number of woodpeckers, including downy and red-bellied woodpeckers like the one below, were out and about.


I made some nice images of downy woodpeckers that will likely be put in the book. Read the rest of this entry »

Brief arboretum visit

April 7, 2009

Monday I stopped briefly at the JMU arboretum and made a few finds.

Arriving in the parking lot, I noticed two forms darting around on a hill near the overflow parking lot. As I approached, they disappeared. At first I wasn’t sure if they were groundhogs or raccoons, but I’m going to conclude they were likely groundhogs since I found some more burrows around that area. Read the rest of this entry »

I guess the best way to preface this is to say… get ready to say “aww.”

On Thursday I hit the arboretum again, and covered a lot of ground, but didn’t see much besides squirrels and birds. It had been raining most of the day and I almost gave up, thinking that interesting animals wouldn’t be out.

And then there was this:

It makes me laugh. I hope you like it too. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday I swung by the JMU arboretum for fun and for play- mainly to try out a Flip video camera. Here is the result, which summarizes my outing pretty well:

It began feeling repetitive heading to the arboretum so much, so I mixed it up yesterday and began with a photography experiment. If you don’t care about technical things, hop down a bit and the adventure continues.

Instead of using my 200mm 2.8 lens, I tried my hand at my 300mm lens with a doubler (a doubler multiplies the range of the lens, effectively making a 600mm lens). Combining that lens with a doubler AND the camera’s crop factor (which I believe is 1.4x)  makes it closer to 840mm. The range was fun, but the glass combination was a royal failure. Read the rest of this entry »

When I first arrived at the arboretum at JMU Tuesday evening, I saw from the parking lot an obvious hawk. What wasn’t so obvious was which species it was. I only managed to make a few frames before it took off. I’ve narrowed the possibilities to the following: sharp-shinned hawk, coopers hawk, broad-winged hawk or a juvenile northern harrier.


Any birding gurus are welcome to take a stab at what it might be. Read the rest of this entry »

Birding at the arboretum

March 13, 2009

Thursday afternoon was chilly and overcast, but still comfortable enough for an outing at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU in Harrisonburg.

Initially, ducks and squirrels seemed to be the only things out, but I soon saw a large form sweeping over the lake. It was a heron, possibly a great blue heron (Ardea herodias). In an unexpected move, he perched high in the canopy of some trees and I was able to make some images. He then moved to another and I continued shooting a bit before he took off.


Maneuvering into an appropriate location to shoot things in high elevations is difficult at best and impossible at worst. I don’t think I’ll include this image in the book, but it was still an interesting sight. Read the rest of this entry »