Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh shenandoah....You gave me Joy

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One cannot look up into the sky without seeing the beauty
of a sunrise or sunset or more.....
which is what this post is about

the more being


We saw a Peregrine Falcon while in the park. My friend Barb
has a great interest in this bird and all it's shenanigans
so you will want to check out her posts about the
Peregrines at Shenandoah My Bird Tales

As we watched on several occasions I did get a few
flight shots of this falcon

and one shot of it fighting with another Peregrine.

Every other bird you see will be the beautiful blue
Indigo Bunting. They were everywhere singing their
hearts out.

When we were hiking the Limberlost Trail I was more
than thrilled to get this close to the Chestnut- sided Warbler.

He didn't seem to mind us snapping pictures of him

Even seeming to pose for the camera

The Common Yellow Throat Warbler was there too

It helps immensely if you can ID the call and then
use your ipod ...

They hop right in to get their picture taken and even sing
a song too

On the screen right outside our room we saw this
beautiful Moth... Looking it up I think it is the
Polyphemus Moth

This giant silkmoth gets its name from the large eyespots
on its hindwings, referring to Polyphemus, the Cyclops
of Greek mythology in in Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey.

The American Redstart was flitting around and making
it hard to get a shot

but I managed a few

I was so hoping that this bird was the Worm Eating Warbler
but upon closer inspection it is a probably a Vireo

Ravens were plentiful in the park..
They are known for their intelligence
and can live up to 13 years in the wild.

Right beside our room we were able to sit in the car
and have a very long photo shoot with this
adorable little character.
He was perched in a pink blooming Mountain Laurel

There just wasn't any pose he didn't strike for us..

My favorite picture being the "angelic' pose of this
Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Early one morning on the way to breakfast we
came upon a Father Robin giving his son a
little advice.. son was listening intently

A hawk that Barbi spotted high up in a tree - no ID on it

We saw a lot of vultures... both Turkey Vultures and Black

Again, the star of the show

At an overlook on another day the Chestnut-sided
gave us a show worthy of praise

I just loved the 'wing' shots I was able to capture with the
new DSLR Pentax

Singing the 'blues' again

On the way out of park on day 5 we saw a bunch of birds
eating berries... my settings were all wrong so I only saved
this shot

When we stopped for lunch a bunch of the same birds
were on the ground ... an unusal place to see a Cedar Waxwing
Bye Bye little blue boy....

As another sun sets on another day at Shenandoah National Park
I can't say I want to go home. I enjoyed everything about
this place and hope to come back in the fall for some more
beautiful pictures and adventures with my friend Barbi.

All of this beauty makes me acutely aware of God's handiwork.

For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven,
and that are in earth..... all things were created by Him
~Colossians 1:16

To God be The Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath Done

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oh Shenandoah....The Wild Side of Wildlife

In the Spring in Shenandoah at the Lodge or along
Sky line Drive... You can easily see a bear

People stop the car, get out, let the door hang open

and run to the side of the road and start taking pictures

Fear doesn't seem to be a factor for most

On several days we passed these boots and clothes
apparently abandoned... We wondered if fear and a
bear had anything to do with it

If you look closely you will see a really dark spot just off
the roadway in the woods... Likely it is a Black Bear.

The American Black Bear population is 600,000
on the continent

5,000 to 6,000 of these bears live in Virginia

It is believed that the bear population in the park ranges
from the low to the high hundreds

They forage for berries, grasses and acorns, or will paw the
ground for grubs and and will ignore you if left alone

However, if boxed in or a sow with cubs will
charge if she feels threatened

We were fortunate enough to see 4 bears while at Shenandoah

One evening around dusk, we saw a guy pulled over with
his kids watching a sow...and he told us where to find
her cubs in a tree on the pipeline....

When we arrived and located them high up in a tree
they were snuggled up together sleeping

They soon awoke and started moving around

It's hard to believe that these little ones only weigh 8 ounces
when born in February. Twins are common but a bear sow
can birth up to 4 cubs.

The Big Meadow gave us so many opportunities to
see newly born fawns. We got up at 4:30 the first morning
hoping to get there and to see hundreds of deer. On this
morning only one was standing in the meadow.

As the week unfolded we learned when and how to see
these friendly deer.

You could walk right up to them and take as many pictures
as you wanted

The fawns were not very old and they stayed along
side the mamas, unless running to keep up

On one evening we walked out into the meadow and
found about 5 bucks getting bedded down for evening.

But of course the fawns were the big attraction

Every time we saw one we would try to get the inter -action

between the mom and the baby

This little cutie was caught in the early morning light

Mom took him up to the road

and we held our breath as she crossed...

This fawn was newly born and nursing when we came along

Look how tiny it is

While watching deer one evening we saw a Male
Bluebird feeding the kids

They were waiting patiently for their next meal

On two separate occasions we saw Turkey in the field

Every evening we tried to catch the sun set.

Each one was different than the last.

Stay tuned for the birds of Shenandoah...

To God be The Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath Done

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