Saturday, May 28, 2011

Now THIS is a Turtle!

Olivia and I went to Edwin B. Forsythe NWR yesterday to see if the osprey eggs had hatched. Not yet. But we did see many other cool things including this turtle.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Before the tics yesterday was all about the turtles. I got to John Heinz NWR before I was to start volunteering and had time to walk around and take pictures. It was our first warm, sunny day in a while. (Well, maybe Tuesday was nice. I don't know. Matt was down and out with a bad back and I was playing nurse so I never actually left the house.) First I encountered this painted turtle hanging out on a water plant.

Then this guy surfaced!!!

And another painted turtle stopped by to say hello.

Check out the muck and grooves on his shell.

Then, back at the visitor center, a snapping turtle was just getting done laying eggs, I hope! I can't wait to see those cute little baby snappers!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Will Never Go Outside Again

I will never go outside again. Never. Not even to get to the car. And even if I could get to the car it's not safe. It may be infested. Or there could be one left. If you think I'm overreacting you should have seen my shirt today. The inside of my shirt. With 20 tics. On the INSIDE of my shirt. This does not count the six tics I pulled off the butt of my jeans. And at least 10 off the legs of my jeans (before I went inside, where I pulled off another dozen.) Before I knew what was going on I tossed 3-5 tics off my shirt (the outside of it) where they were crawling around. After changing my shirt and removing ALL of the above mentioned tics (at least 40) I pulled 3 more out of my hair. While driving home. Gross. And yes, after all that, and leaving my shoes outside and stripping naked, dumping all the clothes into the wash, I pulled ANOTHER (insert expletive) tic off my leg.

For all that suffering I did get some good bird shots. Including this guy who may be a hooded oriole. Or not. I'm waiting for an ID from a bird guy I know. (ID's in. She's a female orchard oriole. CORRECTION: This is a juvenile male orchard oriole!)

Cool. But there's a very good chance that this is where I got those tics. So I don't know. It might be my last bird photo ever. We'll see how I sleep tonight. I think I'm going to have nightmares. With tics. (Since I'm updating, no tic dreams. Just lots of black ink spilled onto white carpet. What does THAT mean??)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I was going to make all kinds of thoughtful observations about trees, bark, and life. But if I do that now Olivia will be late for school. So instead I can only offer the observation that bark is really cool.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lilies at Longwood

Saturday afternoon we drove over to see the lily display at Longwood Gardens. I made everyone take their Zyrtek before we left. Matt and Olivia still complained that their allergies were killing them. They said I should have told them to take a bottle of Zyrtek, not just one! Whatever, the lilies were beautiful and there are plenty of other places to breathe. Although not underneath any pine trees at the moment! Our front porch is green. Our cars are green. Pretty much anything near us is green. mmm pollen!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Veery Cute

I probably should have resisted the pun but... Anyway, a veery digging around in the back yard/wild woods.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bamboo in Gladwyne

Today's hike with the Audubon Society led us through a bamboo patch (?) in Gladwyne, PA. The rain and wind seemed to have toppled a lot of it over so it was a bit tricky getting inside, but totally worth it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Water Break

Thanks to a water main break on Friday Olivia had most of the day off. We went over to Ridley Creek State Park to do some bird watching. I thought we'd see some woodpeckers. I'm on a mission to photograph a piliated woodpecker with my new camera. Instead we saw these guys.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Swarthmore College Trees

Swarthmore College has a great collection of plants and trees. It's hard to believe it took me so long to find them. I've decided to fully indulge my tree obsession this summer so I may go back over there to do some drawing. In the mean time I took these photos of three of my favorite trees.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Flicker Report

I took a trip out back to check out the flicker nest and found mama looking out. (I now know the male from the female. The male has a black "mustache" which you can see here.)

This guy (bluejay) was up to no good. Or at least that's what Mr. & Mrs. Flicker assumed.

She must have exited the nest when I was photographing the bluejay because the next thing I know she's working her way back in. I love this view of her red marking.

A very serious mama, she spent some time making sure it was safe to reenter the nest.

And there she goes.

Not far away papa sat on top of a tree. This is him just before he took off after the bluejay.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Falls

It doesn't seem fair to mention Bushkill Falls and not show ANY photos of waterfalls! With all the rain we've had lately the falls had lots of water. It was a spectacular hike. And, unlike our hike through Ringing Rocks, the weather was perfect. The only water on the trails was from the waterfalls themselves. Of course Mother's Day was a busy day so I was hard pressed to get photos of the falls without tourists in them. But I did manage a few.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


We took a Mother's Day hike through Bushkill Falls. The waterfalls were stunning but I can't resist posting photos of the jack-in-the-pulpits growing on the rock walls. It's not everyday you can get a good photo of these guys without laying in the dirt. This spring I just haven't been willing to do that. So lucky for me they were growing up high, right at eye level!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Common, a word which here means totally cool

When you see and PHOTOGRAPH a bird you've never seen before it's kind of disappointing to find out it's called a COMMON yellow throat. Come on guys. Work with me here. Shouldn't the name be just as exciting as the bird?? Anyway, this common yellow throat was hanging out in our backyard last evening. The photos are grainy because I needed the speed in the dying light. Blurry vs. grainy although sometimes the results are about the same.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Studio Update

I haven't been writing about the studio much lately because everything is in, well, experimental stages. But today I took some studio shots I think I can share.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ringing Rocks Park

We took a hike through Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County, PA yesterday. The boulder field is amazing. Of course we brought our hammers along to ring the rocks. So many cool sounds.

Almost all the trees along the path to the boulder field are gnarled and distorted. Seems like someone's been banging them with hammers.

Matt tells me they don't ring...

Saturday, May 7, 2011


It's not a great photo, I know, but it was my first siting of an oystercatcher so I can't resist posting it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday Hike

Yesterday I went on a five mile hike with the Audubon Society's hiking group. The weather was absolutely perfect.

We stopped halfway for a tour of the Wharton Escherick Museum in Malvern, PA.