Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Tuesday, October 2, 2018,

This is a male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. I found this guy at Avalon Park and Preserve back at the end of last July. I had spent most of the morning photographing Monarchs when I spotted this beauty. This is a fairy large butterfly, bigger than Monarchs, and hard to miss.The female, which comes in two color morphs, is supposed to be even larger than the male.

I have two field guides for butterflies. One is the Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America and the other is the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Both guides say that the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is one of the most common butterflies in its range and yet, I rarely see them at all. It’s not like they’re hard to see. I saw an abundance of Monarchs this year but this was the only Tiger Swallowtail I saw all season. I feel lucky to have gotten these shots. Maybe I need to go back to wearing glasses. JK.

JK

Breaching Whale

Thursday, September 20, 2018,

This is ‘Breaching Whale’, the latest sculpture by local artist John Scarola. It stands just over fifteen feet tall and is the newest installment at the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum. I think the sculpture will help to draw more attention to the museum, which is in an often overlooked building just east of the main part of town. It’s a great museum and maybe now it will get more of the attention it deserves. The whaling industry is what put Cold Spring harbor on the map and this sculpture may just put the Whaling Museum back on the map of Cold Spring Harbor.

Breaching Whale is not Mr. Scarola’s only sculpture in Cold Spring Harbor. In fact, his sculptures now bookend the town. With the award winning ‘Two Schools of Thought’ to the west, at Billy Joel Park,  and now ‘Breaching Whale’ to the east, John Scarola’s works can now be seen coming or going from Cold Spring Harbor. In my opinion, the town is all the better for it. JK

 

Black Skimmer

Wednesday, September 12, 2018,

This unlikely-looking bird with the serious underbite is called a Black Skimmer. It uses that unusual bill to skim the surface of the water in search of fish, crustaceans, and anything else that might be lurking on the water’s surface. They fly just above the water and literally skim the surface with that lower mandible extended into the water. When they feel or sense a fish or other edible tidbit, the jaws snap shut and voilà! Dinner is served. JK

JK

 

A Bullfrog Saves The Day

Monday, August 27, 2018,

This a medium sized Bullfrog that I found at Frank Melville Park in Setauket. Frank Melville was my second stop after visiting Avalon. I had spent the entire morning hauling around two cameras and a tripod. I saw plenty of birds and butterflies. I had lots and lots of photo ops, and just as many blown opportunities. Some days are like that. Heck, a lot of days are like that. Such is life as a nature photographer. Luckily, I came across this Bullfrog while searching in a spot that has been lucky for me in the past. I was looking for dragonflies but I was not disappointed to find this guy seemingly looking up directly at me. After getting this shot, I circled around and managed to get another shot from a different angle. I took 778 photographs today, and these two shots were among the last pics I took all day. They were also the only ones I liked. Thank you Mister Bullfrog. You salvaged an otherwise fruitless outing. JK

JK