Wednesday, September 30, 2015

lake scene with egret in flight ~ fall migration

Lake Kittamaqundi on a sunny day last week. The great egret probably will depart for the fall migration soon, if it has not done so already.

A pied-billed grebe was on the lake last week, too -- a regular fall visitor here and a definite sign that fall migration has begun.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

super moon and lunar eclipse

Clouds were eclipsing the eclipse, but I managed to get some photos of it. These shots were taken with the hand-held night scene function of my Canon PowerShot SX60 from Vantage Point Road and Oakland Manor in Columbia's Town Center.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Lake in Fog

Yesterday morning, on the day of the Howard County Bird Club's annual Fall Count...views of one of the resident belted kingfishers and some baby squirrels peering out of their nursery...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Look at Howard County Conservancy, Mount Pleasant

On Monday, I walked around the Mount Pleasant area of the Howard County Conservancy and found monarch butterflies in abundance during their big annual migration.

Add the Conservancy to the list of places where you can find the stunning common buckeye butterfly. (See the preceding post.)

 The nature center at the Conservancy is participating in a nationwide monarch tagging program. This is the terrarium in which they raise the butterflies from caterpillar stage for tagging before releasing. Thanks to center staff for an explanation of the program!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Common Buckeye Butterfly at Lake Kittamaqundi

This butterfly is common in western Howard County, where I photographed it at Sun Nurseries and Larriland Farm earlier in August. I did not expect to find it around Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia Town Center, because its host plant, the plantain, is treated as a weed in most lawns and gardens. On Wednesday this week (September 9), I came across one in a stand of wild flowers near the path on the eastern side of the lake. 

The following photographs taken at Sun Nurseries and Larriland Farm on August 23 have better views of the buckeye's striking wing pattern.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Stray Fishing Line and Hooks -- Something Else We Need to Get Right

This is an all too common situation which we see at all of the lakes around Columbia and Howard County. I took this photo of a green heron at Centennial Lake yesterday and thought I had a nice composition -- until I had the photo on my desktop at home and saw the line and hook in the upper right corner. Fishing lines, hooks and sinkers lost by anglers are a hazard to wildlife, and maybe they even present a hazard to other people engaged in recreational activities at the lakes.

I could not reach this line and hook myself to remove them, but I have contacted Howard County Recreation and Parks. They might be able to send someone with a boat to remove the hazard.

Meanwhile, people are talking about banning fishing altogether at the county lakes. I'm not sure that's the solution. People will fish somewhere else and leave stray lines and hooks to endanger wildlife in other locations.

Here's another photo of another green heron at Lake Kittamaqundi taken earlier in August. Fishing line is visible wrapped around the end of the dead limb providing a perch for the heron. Birds can get their feet tangled in line like that and be unable to free themselves. Unable to fly or catch food, they eventually weaken and die.