Another One (Hundred) Bites the Dust

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

~Dr. Howard Thurman

It happened again. Ten months go by, another 100 blog posts. So, as I have done in the past, I mark this passage of time with a brief review of some of the highlights from the last one hundred blogs. I suppose it is an excuse for me to look back and remind myself of how lucky I am, how much is out there to observe and enjoy, if I only make the time to get outside.

The third one hundred started with a trip to the Low Country of South Carolina.

Botany Bay

Botany Bay (click photos to enlarge)

Botany Bay turned out to be as beautiful as images I have seen…I need to go back when low tide is at sunrise.

River Otter with fish 2

River Otter with fish

As always, Pocosin Lakes and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuges provided many highlights of my last one hundred posts.

Tundra Swan silhouette at sunrise

Tundra Swan at sunrise

Bald Eagle and potentil prey

Bald Eagle stirs up a flock of Snow Geese

This is especially true during the winter months, when the area’s lakes and farm fields fill with wintering waterfowl…

Bear puling at Cross Vine 4

Young Black Bear pulling at a Cross Vine

Red-winged tornado

Red-winged Blackbirds create a feathered tornado

Gray Fox

Gray Fox waking up from a nap along Wildlife Drive

…and other wildlife.

Spring Peeper calling

Spring Peeper calling

dwarf crested iris blue form

Dwarf Crested Iris

Pine Warbler male in Redbud

Pine Warbler male in blooming Redbud tree

Spring brought lots of amphibians, wildflowers, and beautiful colors…

Bald Cypress along Conaby Creek 2

Bald Cypress along Conaby Creek on the Roanoke River

Prothonotary Warbler singing at nest cavity

Prothonotary Warbler male singing at nest cavity

…along with a couple of canoe camping trips along the Roanoke River.

Chipmunk feeding 1

Eastern Chipmunk in the yard

spider shedding skin 1

Spider just after molting

And I spent a lot of time wandering the yard, discovering what my wild neighbors are up to.

Chickadee bringing food to nest - spider 2

Carolina Chickadee bringing food to nest box

Four nestlings

Four Wood Thrush nestlings

I was happy to help provide some footage of nesting birds and what they feed their young for Hometown Habitat, an upcoming educational video on the importance of native plants.

Pronghorn Antelope face

Pronghorn Antelope at sunrise

Great Gray Owl chicks before fledging

Great Gray Owl chicks

Grizzly siblings

Grizzly siblings

Rainbow in Hayden Valley

Rainbow in Hayden Valley

And I was lucky enough to spend another wonderful couple of weeks in my favorite place, Yellowstone, leading a trip and observing some of the magnificent wildlife of the region.

second cub

Black Bear cub watching us from a tree

Looking back at me

Young bear looking down as I walk through the forest

I spent a lot of time with bears these past few months, watching them, and being watched. A very good year for bears, I must say.

Red-spotted Purple egg up close

Red-spotted Purple butterfly egg

Silver-spotted Skipper larva

Silver-spotted Skipper larva

As the summer ends and BugFest approaches (September 19 at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh), my thoughts, and camera, seem to turn to caterpillars and all things Lepidopteran.

Closing in on cicada 2

Copperhead closing in on a cicada (too late, it dropped from its shed)

Phidippus putnami - close up of eyes

Phidippus putnami – close up of eyes

Dobsonfly male on white background

Eastern Dobsonfly male

FW Jellyfish

Freshwater Jellyfish in the local pond

As always, I discovered some fascinating things as I wandered, and this has been a very productive few months for those “ah-ha” moments…Copperheads following cicada nymphs up into trees when they are emerging in order to dine on them; cool spider eyes; weird insects in the yard and at the moth light; and the return of the jellies to my swimming hole…wonder what the next one hundred will reveal? I can’t wait…

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