Saturday, January 31, 2015

Getting cozy with the bees at Burnside Farm's Sunflower Festival

Burnside Farm has two lovely flower festivals during the year. The first, the tulip festival, takes place during the spring (it's a beautiful display - I'm going to write about that in a future post). Today's series of photos was taken at the farm's Summer of Sunflowers event. In addition to the beautiful blooms, there are literally tons of bees of various shapes and sizes.

I have a fear of bees, but when behind the camera I tend to forget all about not wanting to be near them. They really are such magnificent little creatures.

Two bees happily at work side-by-side

A view of one of the rows of sunflowers. There were literally thousands and thousands of bees everywhere. Amazing to see the volume of bees these sunflowers attract
Trio of bees

Friday, January 30, 2015

Big cats at the National Zoo (Washington D.C.)

Big cats are so beautiful, but I wouldn't want to get close enough to try and cuddle with one. This tiger at the National Zoo looked to have his eye on everyone who was looking in.

Smithsonian Naitonal Zoo tiger
I've got my eye on you says the tiger
The National Zoo's lion, large and in charge

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Even the busiest of shopping centers can house a quiet sanctuary

It's fun to find nature in the most unexpected places. Today's photo series was actually taken in a large and busy shopping center in Northern Virginia. Many of the lots around here have pools of water to collect the overflow and nature just flocks to it. 

Get a bit closer to the retention pool and you forget all about the chaos, traffic and noise - it becomes a quiet sanctuary and you can spot all kinds of critters.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

'Body of water' in the Shenandoah Valley

The landscape in the Shenandoah Valley is so beautiful - I love to head west just to see it. We took a day trip during the week of Christmas and explored a few of the towns located off I-81.

The view from here was so beautiful I stopped to take a photo. Looking at it later on when I got home, I had to think about it for a minute as we weren't near any bodies of water except one over in Edinburgh where we fed some ducks. Where was this taken?

After a minute or two I remembered, this "body of water" in this image is actually a large puddle located in the parking lot of the Route 11 Potato Chip factory.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Niagara Falls is beautiful any time

Our good friends live in upstate New York and we love to drive up to visit them. On many of our visits we also go over to Niagara Falls and spend a day, an evening or just a few hours. Always beautiful to see at any time of the year.

Today's photo series highlights three of our visits to Niagara Falls over the years - one in April, one in October and another visit where we saw the Falls at night. Descriptions are under each photo.

This photo was taken in April 2014, you can see Canada in the distance.
Also taken in April 2014, you can see how frozen the Falls still are from the frigid winter last year
This is a view of the Falls standing on the Canadian side looking back towards the U.S. The Falls are very beautiful from this viewpoint. (image taken in 2009)
The Niagara River at night - doesn't it look ferocious? (photo taken in 2013)

Monday, January 26, 2015

No "Angry Birds" here - but they are hungry birds!

This series of photos was taken in 2013 up in New York. In the winter the birds get pretty hungry and these happy birds will flock to places where food is readily available. On this particular morning I was having a great watching and decided to take a few photos. 
Here are the results:

I believe this is a nuthatch

The titmouse loves peanuts too!

"I think I'll take this one to go!"

Hmmm, what's in here?!?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My first impressions of the Rocky Mountains

In March 2013 I made my way out to Colorado for the first time. When we arrived the weather was quite pleasant, however, a huge storm rolled in the next day. Here in Virginia we don't really see that kind of snow very often as Colorado received. It was an interesting long weekend for travel!

Views of the Rocky Mountains the day after the storm from our hotel parking lot.

Rocky Mountains

The day after the storm was bright and sunny

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A close encounter with a clam at Long Beach Island

These two photos were taken during a visit to Long Beach Island in New Jersey in 2013. I had found a clam on the sand tightly closed and decided to wait and see what would happen. Sure enough, after a few minutes the clam began to open and I took a series of photographs as this was happening. 

Can I please introduce myself?

Why hello there!

Woolly bear caterpillar needs a rest stop too

In October 2014 we took a ride down Skyline Drive and stopped at one of the rest stops along the way. It was fall foliage time and the stop was pretty crowded, so we were eager to get back on the road and choose another stop. However, I looked down and there was this critter inching along towards my car's tire. I didn't want it to get hurt, so I picked it up and put the woolly bear caterpillar in some nearby grass.   

I always wondered if this critter found its way to wherever it was heading...I kind of felt bad for interrupting its journey.

Photo credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved

Friday, January 23, 2015

Leigh's photos: Bee on flower

My first post in this blog highlights one of my favorite topics to photograph - flying critters.This one was taken in July 2014 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, New York. Typically I am afraid of bees, but when it comes to photographing them, oddly I seem to lose that fear.

Thanks for stopping by!

Photo credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved