Sunday, September 29, 2013

northern short-tailed shrew my garden yesterday, taking advantage of the peanuts I put out for the squirrels and ground-feeding birds.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

blog title change ~ recent lake snapshots

For reasons technical and personal, I've been posting less text and more photos on this blog. I'd like to keep the blog going in some form and maintain all my links to local resources for classical music and the arts in general, so I'm changing the blog title and keeping that list of links in the margin. There still might be the occasional post with a playlist or personal musing about a performance or exhibit.

I try to avoid defending or explaining my photographs when I post them, but let me say here that I don't pretend that they are technically as masterful as some of the brilliant photography I'm seeing online elsewhere. I might get better, but for now I like to do a lot of pointing and shooting with reliance on natural light and shadow for effect and with almost no manipulation of camera settings other than zoom. Later, on the desktop, I often crop for better composition. Currently, I switch back and forth between two cameras: a fairly new compact digital with high resolution and a larger secondhand digital camera with medium resolution and a narrower default wide-angle setting. Back in the 1990's, I had some practice with a 35mm SLR film camera and coaching from other photographers.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Euthanizing Beavers ~ Egret Photo of the Day

The great egret at Lake Kittamaqundi. Assuming it's the same individual, it spends the summers here, vying with the herons for fishing spots. It might be splitting its time between Lake K. and Wilde Lake.

Now about the beaver: Not far from where I took my egret snapshot, here's the famous beaver's daytime slumbering spot on the creek bank (see below). Snapped last weekend, this might be one of the last times it was seen sleeping on its front porch before it switched to sleeping indoors again. I've learned that if Columbia Association can catch this beaver or any beaver, they don't relocate the creature as many of us thought. They euthanize it. This is in accordance with state regulations, because nobody else wants a beaver in their neighborhood.

So on the one hand, we have this amazing wild animal that delights us when we see it swimming in the lake or slumbering peacefully within sight of the path. On the other hand, it's the same "varmint" which has been tearing up the trees close to the lake and compelling authorities to clad threatened trees with wire mesh.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ballets Russes Exhibit, National Gallery

After an eventful summer, I almost missed the news of this exhibit now at the National Gallery of Art in DC. I made it there yesterday and also reminded myself that the National Mall is one of my favorite places. The exhibit runs until October 6.

It was a fine day on the National Mall, too. This view is through the Sculpture Garden fountains toward the west entrance of the National Gallery.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just snoozing on its front porch...

Here's the beaver still in the same spot yesterday evening (see previous post). However, when Columbia Association people tried to approach it to check it out earlier that day, it jumped into the water and swam out to the lake. While they watched, it returned to its sleeping spot. It is odd behavior. The animal is very close to its burrow in the bank here, where it would normally spend the day. Perhaps the higher heat and humidity invaded its home.

Thanks to CA for responding and making sure the animal wasn't sick or injured.

(If you click on the beaver label on this post, you'll find photos of the beaver family temporarily flooded out of this burrow by Hurricane Sandy.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sleeping or sick beaver?

This beaver has been lying in the same spot for the past two evenings near the beaver family burrow on the creek between Wilde Lake and Lake Kittamaqundi. I've been sharing photos and details with local wildlife experts, including our county natural resources technician.