Black Swallowtail

Friday, September 11, 2015,

This is a Black Swallowtail Butterfly that I spied visiting a Cardinal Flower along the Lower Carmans River. I was ‘staking out’ the flower in case a hummingbird came by. Cardinal Flowers are a favorite of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. While I failed to score a hummingbird, I did manage to capture a shot of this handsome brute. JK 

Painted Turtle

Monday, September 29, 2014,

20140808100851-5x7wThis is an Eastern Painted Turtle that I came across last month while paddling through Wertheim. These very beautiful turtles are regulars in most freshwater environments here on Long Island and elsewhere. I’ve photographed them in Maine as well but these guys can found as far north as Nova Scotia and all the way down to Georgia. I’ve always been a big fan of these turtles so it’s good to know I can find them within such a broad range. That observation points to another: This is a design that works. In fact, the Eastern variety is but one of four subspecies of Painted Turtle. Painted Turtles (and all their subspecies) are native to a great deal of North America. They can be found in more places than any other turtle on the continent. Again, this is a design that works. The Blind Watchmaker knew what he was doing that day. He was also in a very artistic mood at the time because all Painted Turtles are real eye candy. I’m only familiar with the Eastern variety, which I have always found to be the prettiest turtles in these parts, but the other subspecies are also good-looking. In fact, the Western variety looks spectacular although I’ve never seen one in person. Painted Turtles do indeed seem to be painted wherever they’re found. Blind or no, that watchmaker had a real eye for color. JK          


Juvenile Osprey At Wertheim

Tuesday, September 2, 2014,

20140808075726-5x7awHere’s a trio of shots of a juvenile Osprey I saw at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. I was kayaking through on the Lower Carmans River when I took these pics. This stretch of water supports several working Osprey nests and this bird is one of the season’s crop.

20140808080058-5x7wLook at this guy. He’s already as big as his parents. That wingspan is over five feet, no exaggeration. This is no small bird. Now check out that beak and those eyes and those talons. Only fish know which of these is the sharpest. Doesn’t he look fierce stamping back and forth on that branch? This could be Edward G. Robinson crying out, “Made it Ma! Top of the world!“, only with better scenery.

20140808075910 (1)-5x7wWell appearances can be, and often are, deceiving. This is one of those occasions. Instead of being a tough guy or proclaiming his magnificence, this bird is begging, yes begging, for a handout from Mom or Dad. Despite his size, this guy is still more than dependent on a little help from his folks. Think teenager and you’ll get the picture. Oh! My bad. Did I say that out loud? JK