I love getting out during the summer to photograph nature, especially butterflies, birds, and landscapes. I keep meaning to post more images, instead I’m out shooting! Here are a few favorites.
This summer has been glorious, and I have been out every weekend exploring different parks, especially in the Pine Barrens region in Burlington and Atlantic Counties. We’ve also gone to various reserves in Cape May County. I have taken hundreds massive amounts of photos, including landscapes, birds, trees, salt marshes. However, I still look for butterflies. While I didn’t get any butterfly pictures in June, the later part of July was better, and August thus far seems great. I will post more pictures from various parks, but thought I’d share some butterflies from yesterday in a nearby park.
While in Historic Smithville (in Burlington County, rather than Atlantic County), Rich spotted a red-tailed hawk. I initially thought I saw a rabbit or squirrel. Then, as I got closer with camera in hand, I realized it was a hawk with a squirrel! His outspread feathers were absolutely glorious!
As I got closer, it flew off with the squirrel! It landed in a field nearby. Rich told me I could approach it because it had its prey and would protect it. Normally, when I try to photograph a red-tailed hawk, it flies the moment I approach it (and I approach slowly and quietly). However, this guy did not move!
He watched me, with his head twisting more and more backwards (think Linda Blair in The Exorcist) to follow my every move.
As I slowly got closer to him, he continued watching me.
He looks quite displeased with me, like he’s going to attack me at any moment if I don’t leave him alone. My camera is not a force-field, so after taking a lot of photos, I left him.
Rich and I visited three different gardens recently. This past Sunday we spent several hours at Chanticleer (once the home of the Rosengartens), a 47-acre estate located in Radnor, PA, of which some 35 acres are open to the public. The literature says it “has been called the most romantic, imaginative, and exciting public garden in America,” and it’s totally worth the $10 per person fee to enter the grounds. There are gorgeous gardens, including a teacup garden and a pond garden, lovely paths to walk, and some 5,000+ plants to peruse. I particularly liked the “Ruin and Garvel” garden. Here are a few of the photos from the day.
I suspect we will return again, as I know there is more for us to explore. Visit their website for more information.
I am finally starting to see some monarchs! I’m glad. I took hundreds this week, many flying in the air with their wings in various states of flap. Fun stuff. Yesterday I spent the final late afternoon of August at the a Rutger’s extension photographing some of the gardens and some butterflies. I’ll post more of those in the coming days.
This weekend I went to several outdoor places to photograph primarily butterflies. I’ll post some images from those adventures in the coming days. However, I did want to post this guy. Many times when I’m out photographing, I see these gorgeous yellow birds — American Goldfinches — which I learned happens to be the state bird of NJ (along with Iowa and Washington). These birds are incredibly active, jumping and flying at the smallest hint of movement. Generally I can only take pictures from afar. However, yesterday as I was standing and scoping out the area, I realized it was sitting on a cone flower not far from me. I very slowly raised my camera and starting taking pictures. I managed to take about 15 shots — looking left, looking right, looking over its shoulder, and feeding off the flower.
Yesterday was a fabulous weather day in central, NJ. Today was also great up until about 3 p.m. Both days I spent a few hours photographing butterflies. Here are a few favorites from today.