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Gordon Dietzman -- Worked with endangered species, am a wilderness canoeist, conservation educator, and nature photographer. Noah Ranger.Sign In to follow
This was a seriously underexposed photo that was taken against a cloudy sky. In the process of brightening it up somewhat so detail could be seen in the bird's feathers the sky went completely white. Hence its rather graphic look. It is indeed, however, a real photo. A few seconds later he swooped past my head in an attempt to drive me away from his nest box and the trail that went past it. It always startles me when a bird makes that type of dive, but then that's why it works...grin.
HA! I just missed that field.... Thanks for noticing. We actually had flurries here about two weeks ago. Fortunately the ground is warm enough none of it stuck for very long.... I'm really ready for spring. Six months of snow is one very long winter for us....
Marta, I tried to get that last year by putting a motion-activated video camera under the nest box. Unfortunately, it failed to record the tiny ducklings plummeting to earth. Maybe they were too small to trigger the camera. Not sure why it didn't work. I did, however, get to see the little guys jump from the box. That is pretty rare as it doesn't take them more than a few seconds to empty the box. I snapped a couple of photos of them one of which was a previous spotting. See it at http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/319...
I'm not sure what this is but will guess it is a bombardier beetle in the subfamily Brachininae. These are really cool beetles with some very good defenses. Take a look at http://bugguide.net/node/view/16826/bgpa... for more information.
Could this be skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)? Skunk cabbage has large, fleshy, bright green leaves, grows in moist soils often in forests. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symplocarpu.... I'll be curious as to what you decide.