South Cape May Meadows – Part 2

Continuing about South Cape May Meadows

There were snowy egrets in many places we went

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As well as osprey

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And shorebirds.

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The cliff swallows were very active as dusk neared. They look very similar to tree swallows in silhouette but are easily distinguished if their color can be seen.

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A red winged blackbird was making its mating calls in some reeds near us….the breeze swaying his perch.

As we neared the end of hike there was oystercatcher on a nest. This one had even less protection than the one at Two Mile Beach. I was zooming in as much as the light would permit so we weren’t close enough to alarm the bird…but it was watching us very carefully.

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The moon was visible about the wetlands as the light shifted to dusk.

The lighthouse at South Point was visible from the trail too.

And then I couldn’t resist some sunset pictures…stopping for a few seconds several times as we continued hiking back to the cars.

It was a great way to end a day that had started with wake up at 3:30 AM and in the field by 5:30. So many habitats (forest, beach, wetlands) and birds…all in one day!

Sunrise and Sunset

One day last week I had serendipity photo ops first thing in the morning and just as the day was ending. In the morning I looked out the front of the house and saw three deer munching on the day lily leaves around our oak. By the time I got my camera, there were only two left. I trimmed the leaves more than a month ago as they began to look ragged and was surprised that they grew back. They are probably some of the most tender green leaves around right now. The day was cloudy and wet so even though the sun had been ‘up’ for about an hour, it was still relatively dark.

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Near sunset I noticed the color reflected on the clouds. They were moving rapidly so the shapes were changing. Our sycamore was already in silhouette with the vibrant color in the background.

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A few minutes later the clouds still looked very orange. I zoomed to some distant tulip poplars that still had a few leaves.

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Back to our sycamore in silhouette – the cloud has the shape of some creature with two big eyes and a toothless mouth…maybe a little like Jabba the Hutt.

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Then the color was down in the trees. We don’t have a clear few of the sunset since there is a forest to our west. It was a nice end-view for the day.

Staunton River Star Party Solar Observations

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Most of the action at a star party is in the dark…but there are a few daylight activities as well. The sunset on the first night was scenic – with a few clouds near the horizon and tree line.

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On Thursday morning I took sunrise pictures. Clouds helped make it more interesting. The picture below was taking about 15 minutes after the one to the right.

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My husband brought his solar telescope and used it on 2 days. There were solar prominences on both days! On the second day – the prominence seemed to be changing as we watched it. I put my camera up to the eye piece of the telescope and got some pictures. The prominence on the first day was toward the bottom of the disk. On the second day, the prominence was in the upper left.