Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bald Eagles at Lake Accotink in Springfield, VA

The bald eagles at Lake Accotink have stayed and are nesting in the park. This shot was taken a couple of days ago near the dam. I located the nest, fairly easy to see without the leaves on the trees. Based on all reasonable accounts, they may start the next brood soon starting in January. Disturbing them at the nest site is illegal. I'm searching for vantage points that would give me a better view of the nest while keeping me back beyond the required distance.

These eagles are fairly used to people and noise being at a heavily used park in Fairfax County with a train running through the middle of it. I'll keep you posted of any developments.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Storm Loses Game #3

Storm lost game 3 today. However, the girls played very hard against a pretty good team with many fast players.

To see the rest of the game pictures go here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our House Guest for 1 Week

Here are my three girls and Tallara at Lake Mercer. We are dog-sitting Tallara for one week mostly to determine if any of us are allergic to dogs. So far so good. We are planning to adopt a lab but they wanted us to make sure we had no allergies first. Tallara is a very sweet 1 1/2 year old Husky Sheppard and is very well behaved and loves to go to the lake.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Storm Wins Game #2

Storm wins second game of the season after many rain cancellations. Storm lives up to their name and plays their best when it's rainy, windy, and cold. Everyone was right at home in the less than perfect conditions. The girls played well and were very aggressive. Here is a link to this weeks game pictures:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Girls Play Their 1st Game for the Fall 2011 Season

The girls played a tough team today and lost 2 to 1. However they played exceptionally well and every thought it was a very exciting and well played "on-the-edge-of-your-seat" game. For all of the game shots you can visit the following link on Picassa:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trip to Natural Bridge, VA Last Weekend

Last weekend we made a camping trip to Natural Bridge, VA. We stayed at Cave Mountain Lake for two nights and had a great time in spite of the rain. Most of the time it was sunny and hot. Saturday we visited the Natural Bridge and Sunday we went to the Zoo where we got to ride an elephant as well as feed a baby tiger. See the pictures of both below. The tiger's name is Zeus and he was born on April 14th, 2011! I will post more pictures of our trip when I have time.

Cassi and I riding an elephant at the zoo!

My ladies getting to hold and feed a baby bengal tiger.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Bald Eagle at Lake Accotink in Springfield, VA

Yesterday morning while photgraphing herons at the creek, a bald eagle made a special visit to me. I was able to get these flight pictures as he flew up the creek toward the dam.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beautiful Sunset at Lake Mercer in Fairfax

Wonderful Sunset over Lake Mercer in Fairfax Virginia 6-27-2011

Highlights in Madison

This weekend in Madison, I spotted this 8 Point Buck out in the front yard. I snuck around the back with my camera and obtained this shot.

8pt Buck in my front yard

A Hummingbird at my neighbors (Buddy) house

A Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Here is another shot of the Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tree Frogs in the Back Yard

I learned a new Photoshop technique last week called focus stacking. You basically take a series of photographs and focus at different depths on your subject. Photoshop then processes the in focus parts of all of the images then stacks them in layers. Below are three shots of my tree frog in the back yard.

Tree Frog in a Japanese Maple

Tree Frog on a Hydrangea

Tree Frog Staring out of a Flower Pot

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pileated Woodpeckers at Lake Accotink

Made a trip to Lake Accotink in Springfield, VA over lunch hour one afternoon last week. Didn't know what to expect. After arriving I discovered that there was a school field trip going on and had pretty much decided that nothing, I mean NOTHING, would still be around with 200 kids goofing off everwhere. As I was about to leave I heard a Pileated Woodpecker nearby and decided to wait it out adjacent to a couple of very large but dead trees. Sure enough one showed up then two, three and then four total. I had obviously stumbled on a family. Here are some shots of the woodpeckers doing what they do. If the weather and time permits this week, I may swing back and see if they are still hanging around.

This one was likely a youngster. Sat in the tree and called for momma.

There are very large woodpeckers. Largest in America if I'm not mistaken.

Lucky me to capture this one jumping from one limb to the other straight towards me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saturday Storm Defeated

Saturday the girls played a difficult team but they gave it their best shot. Here a couple of pictures from the game.

You can view the rest of the game pictures here.

Coming soon, pictures from Storm's final game on Sunday. You won't want to miss them.

Unfortunately I cannot maintain all of the game shots online indefinitely. If you want to download them, please do so soon. I will try to keep them posted as long as possible but the oldest will go first.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Virginia Nature Photos

Here are some of my latest photos shot in Madison and Springfield, VA.

A fox shedding it's winter coat at Lake Accotink in Springfield, VA

A male Downy Woodpecker feeding a baby in Madison, VA

A Buck Moth caterpillar in Madison, VA. The Buck Moth caterpillar is the 2nd most poisonous in Virginia. The most poisonous one is the Saddleback Caterpillar. Get stung and expect 10 days of excruciating pain and swelling or worse if you have an allergic reaction. I will post more of these Buck Moth images in the coming days.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Arrivals at the Bird Feeder

I recently set up a bird feeder out back and one squirrel has decided that it's his OWN feeding station and guards it. I've seem him resting on the pole with feet dangling. The other squirrels come in and if he's had enough of them a major squirrel fight begins with hair flying everywhere.

Here is the squirrel on guard with a pretty good grasp onto that feeder pole.

We also have about 8 baby chipmunks running around. I caught this one peeking out of his home. They enjoy the bird feeder too but are too fast for those fat lazy squirrels to chase.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Storm Soccer a Draw Today 1-1

Storm tied their opponent today 1-1. Both teams played very well. Storm kept pounding at their goal keeper but only managed to get one in. Great shot Nicole! Tomorrow, Storm plays one of their makeup games. More pictures next week.

To see the rest of today's game follow this link.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fairfax County baby killed by falling TV stand

This is a very sad story that I had to share as most people don't think about the dangers these new TVs pose and the solution is simple. Here is an excerpt of the article found here:

"A baby boy in Fairfax County has died after a TV stand fell on him Wednesday afternoon."

"The child, which police say was less than a year old, died just before 4 p.m. Thursday. Fairfax County Police say the incident happened in the 4100 block of Chantilly Lace Court in Chantilly. "

If you have a flat panel TV on a TV stand or on a cabinet I can't stress enough that you should attach a cable to the TV and fasten it tight to the wall so the TV cannot fall over on children or animals. Better yet wall mount it and get rid of the TV stand all together. It is very common for kids to be injured by these TVs falling on them. If you don't have kids, consider your visitors or even your dog. Best case is your TV wont get ruined accidentally when someone bumps into it or the stand.

The stands on these new TVs are not very substantial and I'm sure you noticed when it was set up that it seemed inadequate. The reality is that they are in fact VERY inadequate. The TVs should be securely anchored to the wall either on a bracket designed for wall mounting or just simply a cable that is attached to the back of the TV and anchored to one of the wall studs behind it so that it cannot fall over on anyone or on your pet.

Don't think it wont happen to you as it just happened to a local resident and they lost their baby.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Storm's Opponent a No Show!

The club rescheduled Storms game last weekend and the other team apparently did not get notice of the time change. Would have been an easy forfeit but the team decided they wanted to play and voted for a make up game at the end of regular season. Instead, Storm decided to use the field and hold a scrimmage game.

You can go to this link to see all of the pictures of the scrimmage.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Storm Blows the Competition Away!

The Storms furry kicked in last Saturday with a 2-0 win against another local team. The game started out slow but as the barometric pressure dropped, Storm kicked into high gear. Here are a couple of shots of my girls (in red) showing their fancy footwork. Carina was pulled out of the game with a bloody nose after attempting to head a ball on a goal kick. So brave she was to also make it for the after game team picture. Everyone will have to wait for that one!

Here is a link to the rest of the game shots.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Storm's Fury Not Enough After 1-0 Loss

The girls played very hard and very well but were unable to get past the other teams goal tender. Storm lost 1 - 0 on Saturday morning. Hopefully the weather will hold this week and the team will get a couple of practices in before looking toward a second win next weekend. For the rest of the game shots go to this link.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

They're coming after me

I was showing my daughter the latest pictures I had taken and she spotted this furry jumping spider on the back of my chair. No less than 8 eyes, it perched itself up on the corner of the chair while I took endless flash pictures. I then captured it and released it outside. These spiders have no fear and they WILL come after you! They are aggressive hunters no matter how big the prey.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

At the Lake Today

I took a walk with the girls this afternoon and Carina spotted this Great Heron on the shoreline. Last night while I was packing to come home from Madison, I found a North American Millipede on the garage floor. This one was about 5" in length but they can get to be over 8". Some people keep them as pets and they are easy to take care of. These particular millipedes are only found in North America.

A Great Heron fishing in the shallows

A North American Millipede up close

When disturbed, the North American Millipede will curl up to protect itself.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Downy Woodpeckers Were Busy

Yesterday turned out to be an exceptional day for a day that was so supposed to rain. Walking into the woods in the front yard, I discovered two Downy woodpeckers building a nest in a dead pine tree. I watched them for almost an hour when they decided to take a break.

Female Downy Woodpecker looking for her male

A Male Downy Woodpecker checking sapsucker holes for insects

The pair mating in a nearby tree

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aliens in the Back Yard

In recent days I have turned my lens from the trees to the ground. Most people don't spend much time looking at the aliens right in our own back yard. I suppose it's mostly because we are disgusted with things that have more than four eyes. Maybe also because some of these aliens are cowards waiting until after we go to sleep to wreck their havoc. Here are a few of these aliens we have in our own yards that we never get close enough to look at in any detail. Try not to look at these too late at night...sweet dreams! (Click on any image for a larger version...if you dare)

A wasp guards it's nest in a conifer

A very ugly spider with an egg sack. Note the fang!

Two black ants attack an inch worm which mounted a defense by secreting a sticky substance that bought it some time to escape.