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The full moon was bright and beautiful early yesterday morning, when I arrived at Huntley Meadows Park as the sun was just beginning to rise.

I struggled a little, trying to figure out the best way to capture the moon. Should I show the moon against the black night sky? Should I show merely its reflection? Should I show it as an element of a larger composition?

Here are some of my attempts to show the full moon in the predawn light at my local marsh.

Green Heron

Green Heron in the moonlight

Full moon in the night sky

Full moon in the night sky

reflections of a full moon

Reflections of a full moon

full moon

Moon over the marsh

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

The Green Heron (Butorides virescens) was mostly in the shadows yesterday as I observed him at the edge of a small stream. When he bent down, his face was briefly illuminated and I managed to capture this action portrait with a fascinating interplay of light and darkness.

Green Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Unfaded beauty

The lotuses were a bit faded and past their prime last weekend at Lilypons Water Gardens, but the beauty and elegance of the lotus flowers was undiminished in my eyes.

I love the look of the lotus throughout its life cycle—from the elegant simplicity of the bud to the showy outburst of petals to the alien-looking seedpods.

The beauty of the lotus never fades, though it is transformed and changes as the flower grows and matures.

Lotus

Lotus

Lotus

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Last Saturday at Lilypons Water Gardens in Adamstown, Maryland I spotted a large dragonfly that I had never seen before, a Black-shouldered Spinyleg (Dromogomphus spinosus). That’s definitely a cool (and descriptive) name for a spectacular-looking dragonfly.

The dragonfly remained perched in the vegetation surrounding a small pond long enough for me to get shots from a few different angles and distances with my macro lens. I was particularly struck by the length of the long black legs, which somehow reminded me of those of a spider.

Black-shouldered Spinyleg

Black-shouldered Spinyleg

Black-shouldered Spinyleg

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Perched at the edge of a lily pad, this frog at Lilypons Water Gardens was so small that I doubt I would have seen it by myself. However, one of my sharp-eyed fellow photographers spotted it and served as the hand model for the shot with the penny.

A helpful Facebook reader suggested that this is probably a Northern Cricket frog (Acris crepitans) and it certainly does look like the photos that I can find on the internet. Judging from the size of the penny, which is 3/4 of an inch in diameter (19 mm), I’d guess that the frog was less than 3/8 of an inch (9.5 mm) in size.

My fellow photographer tried to move the penny slowly into position, but, as I suspected would happen, the frog jumped away shortly after the second shot below. I would have liked to capture the frog in motion, but ended up instead with a shot of the vacant lily pad—the frog had jumped right out of the frame.

Northern Cricket frog

tiny2_frog_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

When shot from a relatively low angle, this Six-spotted Fishing spider (Dolomedes triton) looks especially fearsome, although it was actually pretty small, only about an inch (25 mm) or so in length. The spider was perched on a lily pad at Lilypons Water Gardens in Adamstown, Maryland.

Six-spotted Fishing spider

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

I haven’t taken very many damselfly photos this summer, in part because often I have been attempting to shoot dragonflies with my long telephoto lens. That lens has a minimum focusing distance of almost nine feet (2.7 meters) and it’s hard to see and focus on a tiny damselfly at that distance.

This past weekend, however, I was using my 180mm macro lens and was happy to be able to capture some images of this beautiful female Fragile Forktail damselfly (Ischnura posita) during a trip to Lilypons Water Gardens in Adamstown, Maryland.

Damselflies are really small, but they pack a lot of beautiful details and colors into that tiny package. This particular species is special to me this year, because way back in April a female Fragile Forktail was the first damselfly that I spotted this season and presented in this posting.

Fragile Forktail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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