Friday, October 30, 2015

The Rut is on the Way!

As October draws to a close the first stirrings of the whitetail rut is beginning to appear.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

After the Storm

After raining all day yesterday, the sky was broken as dawn crept across the landscape this morning.  Before the sun had the chance to crest the nearby mountain a double rainbow developed in the west perfectly framing a herd of whitetails feeding in the meadow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Meadow Grounds Lake Update

Finally, over two years after the draining of the Meadow Grounds Lake, the wheels of restoration are turning.  After two years of dedicated work the Friends of the Meadow Grounds Lake received some great news at their Monday night meeting.  Michele Jacoby, Director of the Bureau of Engineering for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PAFBC) and Tim Schaeffer, PAFBC Director of Policy and Planning along with representatives from both Senator Eichelberger and Rep. Topper's office were there to deliver the good news.

We were informed that the design engineer had been selected just hours before the meeting and that the final design and engineering costs will be negotiated in the coming months.  As if that news were not enough, Mr. Schaeffer reported that Gov. Wolf's office has committed to releasing the construction funds for not only the Meadow Grounds Lake but for all of the PAFBC high-hazard, unsafe dams contingent upon the passage of a structurally balanced budget both this year and next. 

While there is still a long ways to go before the lake is refilled and open for business, the light at the end of the tunnel has finally appeared!

Rainy day foliage

 Soon the autumn color will be gone, replaced by the browns and grays of winter. Winter's austere landscape is only a short prelude until the fresh new life of Spring arrives in all of its glory!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Autumn on the Water

Today I took the opportunity to spend the morning fishing Raystown Lake in neighboring Huntingdon County.  The crisp air, colorful foliage and blue water made for an unbeatable day!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Great Egret, Chincoteague NWR

Today we'll wrap up this series of bird images from Chincoteague NWR with a few Great Egret images.  The images show here as well as the ones from the two previous post were all taken with yards of each other along a small roadside tidal creek.  While one may mistakenly believe that to capture such images one would need to be hidden away deep in undisturbed territory the fact is that automobiles, bikers, and pedestrians were passing by only yards away. 
I hope you all have enjoyed my birds of Chincoteague NWR and hope to visit there again very soon.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Double-crested Cormorants & Immature White Ibis

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to photograph a great variety of birds in a short amount of time.  The species available will vary with the season as many species spend their nesting seasons here and move south for winter.  As some species move out others move through while for others it is a preferred winter destination.  Chincoteague NWR is an important Eastern Shore wintering grounds for many species of waterfowl.
Double-crested Cormorants are voracious fish eating birds and the fish filled tidal creeks of Assateague Island attract them in large numbers.  When not fishing the cormorants can be found hanging out near the water either resting or with wings spread wide, drying their plumage.
White Ibis, a long-legged wader of the deep south is also found here.  On this particular visit all of the White Ibis I encountered were juveniles.  These birds seemed to be particularly trusting and allowed me to move cautiously about capturing beautiful close-up images. 

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Immature Black-crowned Night Heron

While visiting Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge I was busy photographing various water birds along a small tidal creek when I noticed subdued movement in an overhanging tree.  Watching closely I was soon able to make out the shape of a bird that blended superbly with its surroundings, an immature Black-crowned Night Heron.  Sitting quietly and watching intently, I picked out more of these well camouflaged birds as the morning wore on.  While these birds are known feed alone from dusk to dawn and roost in flocks during the day.  I consider myself fortunate to have found myself in a spot where these well hidden birds had chosen to spend their day. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Pennsylvania Elk

Photographing the Pennsylvania elk rut has become the outdoor highlight of the year for a great many people.  Pennsylvania has a growing elk herd that currently draws thousands of people to the elk range each autumn to enjoy observing the frantic activity of the elk rut.
I was originally planning to spend a few days each of the last two weeks of September in the elk range.  Problems arose causing a change of plans but finally I was able to get two days free.  Of course with my luck it began to rain as I approached Benezette Tuesday morning.  The light rain turned to a downpour by afternoon causing flooding during the night.  By morning the rain became light allowing a good morning of photography before my departure of home after lunch.
While the trip was short and rainy I returned happy with the outcome, some decent elk photos and a chance to catch up with photog friends like Odie, Buckwheat, Charlie, Tom, Dave.  I was also a pleasure to meet fellow outdoor blogger Dan Gomola