During a hike near the James River, I came across a group of Forster’s Terns flying above a stream. I watched as they floated, effortlessly in the air above the water. After a few seconds they would dive out of view and then come flying back up, circle around, and start over. I assume they were catching small fish but I couldn’t get close enough to be sure. The tern pictured here is hovering in position, waiting to dive.
Monthly Archives: March 2013
Of course tulips are at their peak while the flowers are still slightly closed. This purple tulip, at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, looked pasted its prime but I thought the vibrant colors had a beauty all their own. While it no longer had that new tulip shape, the open flower revealed a lovely contrast between the yellow pollen and the deep purple and blue flower pedals.
I was hiking near the James River when I heard a small grunting sound. The trail I was on crossed over a stream and when I looked to my left a group of 4 or 5 river otters were watching me. They clearly wanted to cross the trail I was on and seemed annoyed I was in their way. They stuck around long enough for me to take this photo before swimming back the way they came.
This tufted titmouse is taking a break between trips to a nearby bird feeder. Titmice are quite gregarious and are often found with chickadees. They are always one of the first birds to notice when my feeders have been refilled.
I encountered this brown headed nuthatch in a grove of pine trees along the south shore of the James River. I later learned the James River is the northern edge of their range, which explained why I had never seen one before; I live on the north side of the river.
These blue orchids have an almost unreal color. That’s because the stems are injected with a blue dye before the flowers bloom. While the color may be a bit surreal, they are quite captivating.
The white throated sparrow is a shy, colorful little bird with a sweet song. They primarily forage for food on the ground. From above or behind they look like a typical brown sparrow but from the front one can see their namesake white throat patch and the bright yellow patches on their face.