Uncommon to my area of Southeast Virginia is the Red Throated Loon. I photographed this aquatic bird in late November at Messick Point on the Back River an estuary to the Chesapeake Bay. At my first sighting, the head was barley above water with its winter plumage of speckled blackish and white spotted feathers, it swiftly swam near the water surface like an otter. Once it surfaced the loon posed long enough for me to get a few nice pictures.
In doing my research for this Loon, it is said in The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, “Loons have difficulty walking on land because their legs are located at the extreme rear of their bodies, so they are seldom seen away from the water. They are extremely vulnerable to oil pollution; many have been killed along both coasts as a result of recent spills.”
Hope you all enjoy!!
What is important about today? This is a day life will begin and for others will end. The moment of new life what will the news announce? Is it another terrorist attack, Government corruption, worldly plagues, or catastrophic storms? At this point of life, there is no return to the security and comfort before birth. You now begin the journey through the Alpha and Omega. For others, their journey has ended. Did they accomplish their purpose here on earth or did they roam about aimlessly? Life has a purpose; it is in fulfilling those purposes that we find meaning and satisfaction in our lives.
Unselfish love is the key to fulfill life’s purpose. It is deliberate and purposeful rather than emotional, impulsive or self-serving love.
The town I live in is Newport News, Virginia in the United States. The East end is the industrial area made famous for its military ship building. Mid-city once farm land has developed into a commercial hub of office and medical centers, shopping areas, and many chain restaurants and the North end is residential and houses a large military base.
Located in center city are a few coffee shops like Starbucks, Aroma’s and Panera Bread company. They are not like the quaint cafes that are found in small towns were everyone knows each other and will take time to sit and chat.
Here in my area of the world, coffee is the most popular drink. I wonder is it the coffee the people enjoy or the many sweet additive ingredients that go into a coffee? It is very rare I see someone drink their coffee black. I like my coffee from fresh roasted beans brewed at the right temperature with nothing to cover that steamy aroma and taste.
As you guess I am of the older generation with some on-coming of arthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. As an alternative means to control these issues. I enjoy a good hot tea such as ginger and lemon which helps with the aches in my knees and ankles. Then roasted dandelion root that gently stimulates the liver. Also, a good Earl Grey black tea to sip as I read a book. My favorite tea is a green tea with hibiscus made with whole tea leaves steeped in a small teapot and poured into a china cup.
How would you describe your coffee taste? Why is a certain tea better for you?
When I entered the house, the smell of fresh baked bread definitely helps turn a house into a home. My wife just took a loaf of pullman bread from the oven. All four sides and ends are a light golden brown crust. Waves of warm heat danced gracefully above the bread. Like cotton candy each bite of the yellow dense textured bread melted in my mouth. My first slice was plain, but my second was spread with a creamy butter. Wow!!! What a delight to the taste buds.
Like most takers of fish, the Great Blue Heron waits for long periods of time for a fish to get close. When the fish is within striking distance and with lighting speed the Great Blue Herons’ beak jabs into the water in an attempt to clamp onto the fish. Here you see the Great Blue Heron attempting to swallow the fish whole. In the other picture the same Heron turned, now you see blood from the stab wound of the Herons’ beak.
Camera used is a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 800, 230MM, f7.1, AT 1/800 Sec. Location Lions Bridge, Newport News, VA 4/21/17.
I see a Barred Owl from the corner of my eye.
Is it stretching its wing or getting ready to fly?
With intense eyes, the owl stares.
I am concerned and a little scared.
I raise my camera and push the button.
Now I know this event will not be forgotten.
Photo and poem by Richard Smith
Camera used is a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400MM, F7.1, AT 1/1000 Sec.
I am a barred owl whose skill is to hunt.
Like night-light vision and soulful brown eyes,
I can search from high in a darken sky.
In a dash and swoop, my prey I confront.
By day, I rest and snooze within a tree.
If I’m awakened by an unknown sound
With eyes wide open, I look all around.
my head turns to all sides so I can see.
Photo and poem by me (Richard Smith)
Photo was taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 of a sec. Location: Nolan Trail, Newport News, VA 4/21/17
Spring is the birth for a new beginning.
Life starts from a passion of affection.
Pollination begins with life’s connection.
Plants bud, flowers bloom, and birds start singing.
Mating rituals start with a dance of love.
He sings his song to the one of his choice.
She beckons his calling with sounding voice.
A new generation they are thinking of.
Hurry! Hurry! We need to make this nest.
For I am with family can’t you see.
I will build this nest from the very best.
This is for you, me and the other three.
Babies nestled under their mother’s breast.
The fledglings were loved, nourished and had no need.
Photo and poem by me (R. Smith)
Photo was taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 800,
400mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 of a sec. Location: Lions bridge, Newport News, VA
Today I did some bird photography in the woods at the Mariners’ Museum located in Newport News, VA. Spring is a season of romance. Birds are doing their mating rituals as well as other creatures like this pair of snakes. These snakes were about 6 feet from me.
The lesson I learned when looking up for our feathery friends, be cautious where you stand and step. The moral of this story is look up, look down and know what is all around.
Photo shot with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 1600, 160mm, f/5.6 at 1/800 sec.
A Good Match
At one time the Brown Pelicans were usually less common north of the Carolinas. Within the last few years it appears the Brown Pelicans are venturing into the Southeast Coast of Virginia. Today many Brown Pelicans are spotted in and around the estuary of the James River that empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The primary food source for the Brown Pelicans is Menhaden fish.
In 2012 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission declared that the Atlantic Menhaden was depleted due to overfishing. The decision was driven by issues with water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and failing efforts to re-introduce predator species, due to lack of Menhaden on which they could feed.
With these site indicators, could this mean the Brown Pelicans have return more abundantly due to improved water quality and the Menhaden are more plentiful?
Photos and article by Richard Smith