Spring is the Season of Romance

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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.

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A Good Match

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The Brown Pelican, A bird survivor

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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

Conquer

Pelican and the Blue Heron

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Splash, crash, the Brown Pelican is hit with a surge and a wave.  Each curl pushes her closer to the jagged rocks.  A place for the territorial Great Blue Heron.  A hoarse, guttural squawk of the Blue Heron marks a warning to any intruders.  The Herons’ yellow eye looks at the pelican with anger.  Fearful for her life, the Pelicans’ web feet paddles with all its might, her wings push at the top of the water to help free her from a catastrophe from the rocks or the sword like beak of the Blue Heron.

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Photo taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm; ISO 200, 320mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

A Bird with a Talon to Fish

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I swoop and dive into the river James.
Out from the shallow water’s a fish I retain.
My young juveniles with open beaks awaits me.
I nourish them with fish I caught by the talons of my feet.

Pictured taken from a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70–400mm,
1/1250 sec., at f5.6, ISO 400, 360mm

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Young Blue Jay

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Spring has sprung as a blue jay’s young;
Clings its feet to a budding branch lightly green.
Oh! how low this cunning bird roams,
From high up is its home.

Blue Jay at Newport News, Park in Virginia 4-3-17: Camera is Sony A77ii, Sony Lens 70-400mm, ISO 640, 360mm, F6.3 @ 1/1250 sec.

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Time in History

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This photo was taken in late August 2015 inside the living quarters at the Great Hope Plantation located in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.  The period of time in history was around the late 1700’s.

I heard that Great Hope Plantation will no longer have interpreters but will be a self guided tour with signage only.

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The Journeyman and the Blacksmith

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In the early Colonial America, the early women colonists and settlers were expected to help the men in a variety of hard labor tasks in order to survive.  As shown in the blacksmith shop, this young lady is a journeyman working as a trades person.. This photo was taken in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

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