The photo above was taken by Elena, a very  talented twelve-year-old young lady who joins us at our quarterly photo-sharing evenings at the Chesapeake Central Library (298 Cedar Rd.). Elena created this image by simply punching a hole in a white piece of paper and inserting the flower into the hole, resulting in a creative and unique perspective on a simple subject, which she photographed with her iPad. This is one of the photos that she shared with us at last January’s meeting.

Our next “Nature Photo Night at the Library” will be on Monday, April 21 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Anyone who wants to can bring up to 20 of their favorite nature or wildlife photos on a USB device or a CD, and we will project them onto the library’s big screen for everyone else to see and discuss.  All ages and levels of experience with photography are welcome to join us; if you do not take photographs yourself but want to see what others are showing, you’re also invited to come!

The diversity of our group and the different perspectives everyone has on nature makes for a very enjoyable evening. We all learn from each other, and have developed a good fellowship. Some people specialize in landscape and beach photography; some, like me, focus on birds and butterflies.  Others like sunrises or macro photography or wildlife; some travel to find subjects to photograph, and others prefer to remain in their own back yards. Some have sophisticated camera equipment, and others take photos with their cell phones. There is a place here for everyone!

Here are a few more of the photos that people showed at the January meeting:

Bill Niven, one of our original members, was lucky and talented enough to get this beautiful photo of the usually-hard-to-see American Bittern. Bitterns are usually tucked well away from humans in the thick grasses and reeds near water. This one is out in the open, and you can see how its colors perfectly match the grasses, providing it with near-perfect camouflage when it is a just few feet further back off the path. American Bitterns winter in Hampton Roads but leave in April to migrate to their breeding grounds.

All the snow we got this winter forced more seed-eating birds than usual to concentrate at residential bird feeders. I know I saw more birds than normal at my feeders after the snowstorms. Debbie Economos showed us this photo of her snowy backyard with two of our most popular feeder birds, a male Cardinal and a Carolina Chickadee. Keep your feeders filled during inclement weather!

This photo by Nora Leonard needs no words; the doe’s beauty speaks for itself. Gorgeous!

Chris Williams told us he had been out birding for several hours, and it was just one of those days when he didn’t see much of interest. So he packed it in and returned home — where he pulled into his driveway and immediately found this beautiful male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker! 
Here’s one of my own photos; this is a Cedar Waxwing that I photographed at Paradise Creek Park in Portsmouth. This was taken during another of our extreme cold spells after another snowfall. I found dozens of Waxwings in a feeding frenzy, eating the berries from the Wild Privet.
And last, here is one of my favorites, another Bill Niven classic! (These are Tundra Swans at Mackay Island).
Please do join us on April 21 if you are interested in sharing your nature photography, or just want to learn more about the abundant nature and wildlife that is ours to find and photograph right here in our own back yard — what is here, and where to go to find it. Call me at (757) 410-7147 if you have any questions; ask for Karen.
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Addendum: One of our members, Sally Zeil, told me that Bill’s swan photo (above) is just begging for a clever caption! She suggests

“Enough with the synchronized swim practice already, it’s time to migrate!”
“Give it up: you’re never going to find Lucy’s contact lens!”
“I see England, I see France…”    

 Do you have a caption of your own to share? If so, log into Google with your Google or Yahoo ID, then go to my blog and enter a “Comment” at the bottom of this entry. 


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