This Canada Violet was growing along a hiking trail in Shenandoah National Park when I was there last May.
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This daisy fleabane was blooming along a hiking trail in Shenandoah National Park at the end of May.
Knowing “bane” loosely means something that is hated by or makes something’s existence more difficult, I thought fleabane was an interesting name for a wildflower so I looked it up. Folklore has it these plants can be dried and used to keep fleas away. That explains the name.
The bees in Shenandoah National Park were busy pollinating blackberry blossoms growing along the Dark Hollow Falls trail when I was last there.
Ailanthus Webworm Moth
Eastern Carpenter Bee on Wildflowers I
The Eastern Carpenter Bee is easily confused with the American Bumble Bee. While the bumble bee is covered covered in fuzzy hair, the carpenter bee is missing the fuzz from its abdomen.
Snowy Egret Walking Through Shallow Water
This Snowy Egret heads back to shore after fishing in the shallow Gulf Coast waters. There’s some speculation those bright yellow feet may actually help the Snowy Egret catch fish off guard.
These birds were once prized for their beautiful plumage and the fashion industry hunted them to the to the brink of extinction in the late 19th century. They’ve made a wonderful comeback and are fairly common now.
Snowy Egret and Sandal
When I first saw this Snowy Egret it was at the edge of the water and I was walking along the beach. As I approached it flew around a bend before I could snap a single picture of it. I snuck around some vegetation and took a few photographs of it wading just off the beach. Fully expecting it to fly away at any second, I remembered a tip I once heard about photographing shorebirds. Sometimes they seem to be less concerned if you’re actually in the water with them. So I slowly began wading out into the water and the egret didn’t even seem to notice me.
The same bird that took flight when I approached it from land actually began coming towards me while I stood in the water with it. I was still wading when it decided to head back to the beach, probably no more than…
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Texas State Capital
Inside of the dome of the Texas Capital. I was hoping to find a way to get to those spiral stairs but they did not appear to be accessible to the public. Click on the photograph to get a larger, more detailed view.
The constant bubbling of mineral infused, hot water leaves colorful, thin layers of sediment throughout the geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park. The hot spring in the foreground of this photo reminds me of a lunar crater while the colorful cliff and distant steam behind it add to the other-worldliness of the scene.
Soldier Beetle on Daisies
This Soldier Beetle seems right at home among the wild daisies in Powhatan County, Virginia.
Soldier Beetles prey on aphids and other crop-damaging insects but also eat some nectar which makes them minor pollinators.