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Archive for the ‘Autumn’ Category

Some photographers like to stay in one spot and let the action come to them, but most of the time I prefer to keep on the move, opportunistically scanning for subjects to shoot. There is one place, however, at Huntley Meadows Park that I will sometimes visit and simply sit for extended periods of time. It is a beaver pond in a secluded area of the park and I feel a sense of peace surround me whenever I am there.

This past Monday I was sitting on a log at that spot and was struck  by the beauty of the elements of the scene in front of me. I tried to capture some of those elements of the landscape with they 150-600mm zoom lens that was on my camera at that moment. I like the way that the telephoto lens provides an intimate landscape view, unlike the wide-angle view that I typically associate with landscapes.

telephoto landscape

telephoto landscape

telephoto landscape

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The subdued colors of the female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) seem to be perfectly suited for the late autumn, when the muted shades of the fallen leaves seem to dominate the landscape.

female Northern Cardinal

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This energetic little Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) seemed to be defying gravity on Monday as it leaned over backwards and pecked away at a small tree growing out of the water at Huntley Meadows Park.

Downy Woodpecker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Generally when I see a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in a tree, it is roosting in a protected location and napping. Early one morning this past weekend at Huntley Meadows Park, however, I spotted this alert heron perched on an exposed dead tree, looking like it was playing the role of a sentinel.

I initially caught sight of the heron from a distance and followed a path in the treeline that let me get almost underneath the heron for some shots. The sky was overcast and there was not much light, causing the background to appear white and the images to be almost monochromatic.

Great Blue Heron

 

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It’s Hoodie season—hooded sweatshirts for me and lots of Hooded Merganser ducks (Lophodytes cucullatus) at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia.

Yesterday I spotted this group of six males swimming around and hanging out together. Most of the time during the year when I see Hooded Mergansers, it is a couple or a mother with ducklings, so it was unusual for me to see such a large grouping. There were a few females too, but they seemed to ignore the males and for the most part kept to themselves.

Hooded Mergansers

While the single guys were burning off some energy, a couple found a quiet spot and decided to take a nap. I often see Canada Geese and Mallard ducks sleeping, but I am pretty sure that this is the first time that I have ever seen the little Hooded Mergansers doing so.

Hooded Mergansers

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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As I wander about in Huntley Meadows Park, I see lots of signs that winter is on its way, including this tree that I encountered in what seemed to be the middle of the woods. Clearly the beavers have been as busy as, well, beavers. I am hoping to be able to capture them in action in the upcoming months.

If you read this blog frequently, you probably noticed that this image is quite different from my “normal” wildlife close-ups. When I stumbled upon this tree on which a beaver had been gnawing, I was struck by the interplay of light and shadows. As I framed this shot, which is uncropped here, I was trying to capture the almost monochromatic look of the scene in a very simple composition. I’m pretty pleased by the different textures that I was also able to capture in the shot.

North American Beaver

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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On a cool and blustery morning at Huntley Meadows Park, it seemed like most of the birds were in sheltered locations yesterday, protected from the biting wind. I did manage, though, to spot a Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) busily at work high in the trees and was able to get shots from a number of different angles as the woodpecker moved about.

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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