Red Dragonfly

Brown Dragonfly

Clinging Dragonfly

A collection of insectoid critters that I managed to get pictures of today. These are the last pictures from today's trip to Hog Island WMA.

Bambi and friend

Nervous Deer

Nervous Deer

Bambi and her friend have rather large ears.


Blackberry Cluster

Mmmmmm...Blackberries are yummy. No...I did not pick and eat this, or any other blackberries today.

Giant River Serpent

Festival of Fish

This is some kind of a giant snake! It is soooo long that its undulating body is poking out of the water in several places. Kind of freaky!

Actually, these are just some type of fish, flailing about in water that is a tad too shallow for them. Still is freaky.

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

No caveats here. This is a Tricolored Heron, and was the only one of its species I saw today.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

First, a caveat. I am not the best at identifying sandpiper like birds, including Yellowlegs. I think I have pictures here of Lesser Yellowlegs, but I am not 100% sure.

The second picture was included so that you could see that the bird closed its eyes as its head went under water.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Here are a couple of pictures of an Eastern Wood-Pewee. I have just a tinge of doubt that this not a Wood-Pewee, but is instead one of the Empidonax flycatchers. But only a tinge.

I decided that since I can see no eye-ring in these pictures then this is not an Empidonax. There are other field marks that you can use besides the eye-ring, but I am afraid that if I listed them...then you would think that I actually applied that information intelligently. No, I only used the eye-ring.

View of the James River

James River

Canada Geese

As I mentioned before, Hog Island sits in a bend of the James River near Williamsburg, Virginia. It is just downstream, and on the opposite bank, from the Jamestown Settlement. These two pictures look out over the James River in the upstream direction. I wish I could say that you could see Jamestown from these photos, but that would be pretty much a lie. Instead of focusing on that, look at the pretty geese!

Great Egrets were everywhere

Egret Flock

Great Egrets

This year must have been a bumper crop for Great Egrets. They were everywhere. Here are a couple of pictures, each of a different flock of egrets. I wonder if there is a special word for "flock" when describing a gathering of egrets?

Hog Island WMA

Today I visited Hog Island Wildlife Management Area. This is located on the inside of a bend in the James River, near Williamsburg, Virginia. It is usually a good bet for seeing plenty of wildlife. To get to it, you have to drive through a security checkpoint for the Surry Nuclear Power Station, so it is a reasonably safe place to visit as well.

Hog Island is about 1 hour 45 minutes from where I live, so I got an early start (left around 6am), and was there until about 12:30pm. I managed to get several pictures that I think are pretty good (and a ton that were pretty lame), so I think I will make several blog posts tonight instead of dumping a bunch of pictures into a single post.

[edit: replaced old Hog Island link URL with updated URL]

Belle Island - The Pedestrian Bridge

Pedestrian Bridge

Downtown Richmond from Belle Isle

The trip out to Belle Island usually begins and ends with a walk across the pedestrian bridge that is suspended beneath the Robert E. Lee Bridge (which handles north/south traffic on Route 1/301). It is always a bit disconcerting when you get out onto the pedestrian bridge and notice that it vibrates according to the traffic passing on the bridge overhead. And the "hanging in mid-air" feeling seems to always make me feel just a wee bit nervous and tense.

The first picture was taken at the start of the trip, looking south to Belle Island from the north bank of the James River. The second picture was taken at the end of the trip, and is a shot of the Richmond skyline as we headed back to the north bank of the river from Belle Island. Fyi...during the week I work in that tall silver building. I always get to see the people enjoying the river and Belle Island while I am working during the week. Sigh.

Belle Island

South side of river

Drying pool

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I spent the morning indoors until my guilt of not taking advantage of the day finally hit me. Tammy and I then spent a few hours out at Belle Island walking around, people watching and taking pictures. Here are a couple pictures from the "back side" of Belle Island (the channel between the island and the south bank of the river). Right now the water level is very low, so there are lots of rock-hopping opportunities. The second picture is a ground level view of one of the pools of water that is slowly shrinking due to evaporation.

Imperial Moth

I was just too curious. So, after several searches (starting with the search phrase "giant yellow pink moth") I ended up coming the conclusion that my previous post was a picture of an Imperial Moth.

Follow the link. It will take you to a wikipedia entry for this moth, and you will read one of Rich's favorite phrases that he has ever heard Todd say: "Sexual dimorphism". This is just fancy scientist talk for "girls look different than guys". I used that phrase one day when talking to Rich about some species of bird. It was an attempt to make Rich think that I was smart because at the time I really did not know anything about that species of bird.

Because of the wonders of sexual dimorphism (and the Internet), I think it is safe to conclude that the moth in my previous post is a female Imperial Moth.


Imperial Moth

Imperial Moth

When I got home tonight, I noticed this giant moth clinging to a tree in my backyard. It looks fuzzy and velvety, but I resisted the temptation to touch the darn thing. I have no idea what variety of moth this might be.


My previous post used the word "dragonflys". How illiterate of me to think that the plural of "dragonfly" was not actually something more normal like "dragonflies". I think this is a sign that I need to donate money to the education system (because surely this is not my fault)!

Henricus in August = Dragonflies

Perched Dragonfly

Perched Dragonfly


Dragonfly on ground

It was hot today, but not as hot as it has been. I was starting to go stir crazy, so I decided to take a trip out to Henricus this afternoon with the camera gear. I just wanted to get out and hopefully there would be good photographic opportunities. I decided to go later in the afternoon because it would be cooler, and the light might be a bit less harsh (and I was too lazy to go early in the morning). There were not many birds, but there did seem to be a lot of dragonflies.