Racing Stripes

Monday, June 19, 2017,

This is a White Slant-line Moth on a Dame’s Rocket. I am not making that up. I mean, White Slant-line? For real? How boring is that? I looked up the guy that named this beautiful moth and it turns out he was a lawyer, so maybe that explains it. Hard to say.

20170602100944-5x7w2twwNow, Dame’s Rocket, that’s a moniker and a half. I got nothing to say about that, except maybe, Vrrooom! Clearly, the person that named this pretty little flower is much more interesting than the moth guy.

I’d like to thank my good friend Sue Avery for identifying both the moth and the purple flowers. Sue has been my main go-to expert for anything botanical for the past year. Sue has her own blog, The Tangled Wood, which is really beautifully written. Check her out, you won’t be disappointed. None of that wiseguy stuff that you find here, Just wonderful prose and some very nice photographs. JK

Big and Ugly

Thursday, May 25, 2017,


Really big. Really, really big. And really, really ugly. But check out that eye. That eye is magnificent. Click on the image for a larger view. This is a Common Snapping Turtle that I caught a glimpse of at Frank Melville Park in Setauket. She’s so ugly that she’s downright beautiful. Beauty is everywhere, even where you can’t see it. JK

Tiny Terrapin

Tuesday, April 18, 2017,

This is a Diamondback Terrapin. A brand new one. Handsome little beastie, no?

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These pics were taken almost a year ago at Sunken Meadow State Park. (Yeah, I’m still behind on my posts). It was the start of a good day. I didn’t know that yet, or rather, I didn’t know how good it was going to to be. I did know that it was a fine morning to be walking the beach and maybe for taking some decent pics. It was late May and I was enjoying a morning before the sweaty days of summer here on Long Island. I couldn’t know it yet, but before my visit was through I’d get some fairly decent shots of a Piping Plover patrolling the beach. Not to mention these pics.


When I came across this little one – (check out the photo below to see how tiny he was) – I was looking to take pics and video of the hundreds, heck, maybe thousands of Fiddler Crabs that inhabit this little spit of land when I noticed this guy booking away right beneath my feet. I very nearly stepped on him. I failed, completely, to get anything useful of the Fiddler Crabs that day, but just look at what I did get. You can never know what you’re going to find when you step out the door.  

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All we need to do is take that step. Just look and see what’s waiting for us. This and other little wonders are out there every day.  JK

Going Up The Brook

Saturday, April 15, 2017,

20170414092848-5x7wtwwThis is a series of pics I took while hiking yesterday. My destination was Bear Slide Falls, which is in the southeastern Adirondacks. I was traveling up and alongside Buttermilk Brook from where it empties out into the Hudson River.

20170414093152-5x7awtwwThe hike from bottom to top is not particularly long and while it’s all uphill, the incline is not too scary. Well, except for the first tenth of a mile. That was kinda killer. A whole lot of huffing and puffing on my part. Luckily, there were plenty of trees to use as handholds. I also leaned up and rested on several of those trees as well. Joe Kayaker is very out of shape after a too long and largely sedentary winter.

20170414093746-3x5wtwwWhile I kept to the trail for the most part, there were several times I strayed from the beaten path in search of photo ops. It has been my experience that straying from the trail offers more and sometimes better opportunities to get a shot. On the other hand, sometimes it’s just a better opportunity to attract ticks. Or Poison Ivy. There are plenty of less-than-wonderful things out there. But there’s a whole lot of beauty to be seen as well. And that’s why I’m out here.


This is ‘Mud Season’ in the Adirondacks. Mud Season hereabouts starts from the beginning of April and ends mid-May. This ‘season’ is largely a result of snow-melt. Even today, after several warm days, including many reaching the 80’s there are still patches of snow. When all that snow gets around to melting, it makes for some very muddy hiking. And some really great whitewater rafting. 

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At the start of my hike the trail was mostly dry but as I made my way higher and higher the path became wetter and wetter. Oftentimes I needed to go off-trail just to stay dry. I suspect that the trail becomes a minor stream in times of major snow-melt. The shots above do not represent this paragraph. These photographs are just the scenic shots of my hike. Shots of the muddy path were fairly boring.

20170414094252-3x5wtwwThis shot is of Bear Slide Falls. It’s the reason I made this hike. To be honest, the photos I took on the way up here were much more interesting than this shot, but this is the reason why many folks make this trip. Apparently, this is popular spot for (I assume) young people to ride the water, usually in tubes or other protective gear. From what I understand it’s a fun ride. I’m too old, not to mention fragile, to try it for myself.20170414100546-5x7wtwwI may be too old too old (and brittle) to attempt a ride down Bear Falls Slide, and maybe I’m getting on but I’m not so old that I can’t appreciate enjoying the hike or the views that this hike afforded me. This is a self-portrait of me on my way back down the hill. Nothing broken here. JK 



Procrastination And A Plover

Thursday, April 13, 2017,

20160527102538-5x7wtwwMore pics from last year. I’ve still got a bit a catching up to do. This is what comes from being too lazy to go over my photos after taking them. However, laziness is not my only excuse. 

20160527103219-5x7wtwwProcrastination also comes into play here as well. While I am usually fairly gung-ho when it comes to taking pics, I have to admit that writing about those pics does not always come so easy. Not to me, at any rate. It’s one thing for me to go out hiking, (or kayaking, as the case may be), to find critters or scenes to photograph but quite another for me to write about said photographs. I don’t need to appear particularly intelligent while I’m wielding a camera. Writing requires a whole different animal and I am never quite sure that I’m the right species.