Tag Archives: wildlife

Gators in the bayou

Yesterday we saw some alligators in a bayou south of New Orleans.

Video and more photos on the way. This is all I have time to pick out for the moment.

Down, around, and in the bayou.

A baby gator the guide keeps around so people can see them up close and personal.

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Photos getting attention

Within the last week my photos have gotten some good media attention or at least I’ve been getting good publicity.

The great egret photo I shot while in southern New Jersey has been blogged twice to my knowledge. And, a photo I shot in London was used on MassLive.com.

Great Egret at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in NJ.

 

The egret photo on K-Con Inc. Building Systems is a bit puzzling to me but some one has made some nice comments.

A DC Bird Blog has also included the egret photo in a blog post.

Outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwhich.

 

A photo I took in Greenwhich London was used on Masslive.com in a report about study abroad programs.

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Photos of the Days – It’s been a while

It’s been amonth since I have posted any photos of the days or made an significant postings about anything. I’ve been extrememly busy, and I do mean it. I’ve been working full-time and traveling for work. And, as you should know by now, I only have dial-up Internet service where I reside. However, school is back in session, which does mean I will be more busy while also working two jobs, but it also does mean I will be around more fully functioning Internet than I was all summer. So, without further yak, here are the photos you have been waiting for.

August 12, 2010

Grilled corn at Katy's.

August 13, 2010

Andy sliding around on the long board he built.

August 14, 2010

This photo was taken at UMass - not some picturesque farm in Wales or anything.

August 15, 2010

Tomato horn worms. Anyone who takes tomatoes away from me isn't my friend.

August 16, 2010

I highly dislike when people leave their party trash around.

August 17, 2010

All the things I have to do. Crackin' through that list.

August 18, 2010

When the store first came to town, a number of people thought they sold outdoor and wilderness gear.

August 19, 2010

The keys at Katy's. Let's just say it was a long day already!

August 20, 2010

I’m pretty sure I forgo to take a photo on August 20. I drove from Waltham, Mass. to western Mass., then to New Jersey. It wasn’t fun.

August 21, 2010

Sean and I went to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey. It is the best science museum I've ever been to.

August 22, 2010

Just hanging out at Sean's in NJ. It rained a lot that day.

August 23, 2010

Shot a story about bog turtle habitat restoration in northern NJ. It was one amazing time.

August 24, 2010

Back at home with the kids.

August 25, 2010

These are my hipster shoes.

August 26, 2010

Sunflower at sunset.

August 27, 2010

Nature at Smith College.

August 28, 2010

So I guess I forgot to take a photo on August 28? Sorry guys!

August 29, 2010

Saint Francis in the garden.

August 30, 2010

Worked on a jib-crane shoot in southern New Jersey.

August 31, 2010

Found this little guy at the marsh at our shoot.

September 1, 2010

Of course we had to set up a 40 foot boom!

September 2, 2010

Stunned and amazed I capture this egret coming in for a landing.

September 3, 2010

This little guy was definitely talking to me. I just hoped it didn't come after me.

September 4, 2010

A top the ferris wheel at the Three County Fair.

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Photos of the Days – Here, There, Nearly Everywhere

July 16, 2010

Smith College.

 

July 17, 2010

Old Sturbridge Village

 

July 18, 2010

Neutral Density - like sunglasses for your camera.

July 19, 2010

Well, unfortunately I have made it this far, and on this day I failed to take a photo. But, I’m someone who keeps on trucking. So as much as I would like to quit this now arduous project, I am going to keep going.

July 20, 2010

One of my favorite photo's from Petit Manan Island, Maine.

July 21, 2010

There's always something special about a sunrise.

 

July 22, 2010

Garden stripes.

 

July 23, 2010

Brother sanding down the wood.

 

July 24, 2010

Blueberries. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great season.

 

July 25, 2010

Corn tops against some dramatic clouds.

 

July 26, 2010

Dad.

 

July 27, 2010

Brother's cookies.

July 28, 2010

Editing the heck out of a photograph.

 

July 29, 2010

This probably belongs to someone named Allis... (?)

 

July 30, 2010

Not my baby, but still so cute.

 

July 31, 2010

Sean rock climbing.

 

August 1, 2010

Flowers like clouds.

 

August 2, 2010

Sandy Point Island in Connecticut and Rhode Island is managed in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; which was my reason for getting out to the island.

 

August 3, 2010

Delicious apricot jam.

 

August 4, 2010

If only I had a longer lens to capture these mushrooms.

 

August 5, 2010

Smores at Katy's.

 

August 6, 2010

Yet another picture of my baby (sorry I just can't help myself, especially after a long day of work).

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The Island Where You Will Get Pooped On

Check out the Petit Manan Island slideshow!

Few people, if any, have the opportunity to visit a refuge bird colony, and this past week I had just that experience while working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Just about 6 a.m. and everyone on the island is awake.

My mission was to visit national wildlife refuge Petit Manan Island, one of the Maine Coastal Islands National Refuges, and document what Fish and Wildlife scientists were up to. The focus of service biologists in the Maine Coastal Islands is the restoration of colonial seabirds and to provide a place of refuge. Petit Manan Island is an important and unique refuge as it has historically been a place of seabird colonization, and on it rests a fully functioning historic lighthouse.

My boss and I set out for the island Tuesday morning, after spending the night in Ellsworth, Maine, which doesn’t have much going on. We took a boat loaded with camera gear, sleeping bags, and food for four meals from Milbridge, Maine to the island. The forty-minute boat ride was brisk and refreshing after enduring unbelievably hot and humid weeks of heat in western Massachusetts. And we saw seals off one of the islands along the way, which added to my Maine coastal experience.

There are no citizen visitors allowed on this island.

When we hit land at Petit Manan Island, we were greeted by the biologists, most of which were still in school, working on their wildlife degrees and the like.

The seabird restoration team lives on the island all summer without running water, or a “proper” Internet connection. They have a propane stove, get electricity through solar panels, and use an outhouse and a composting toilet.

While the island hosts various kinds of birds it’s the Terns and Puffins that take much attention.

Daily tasks for the restoration team include provisioning, capturing birds, documenting information about the birds, taking samples to get tested, predation control, banding, and keeping track of pretty much everything the birds do.

Immediately stepping foot on the island, one shouldn’t be surprised if they get pooped on by the massive numbers of Terns flying merely a few feet above (it’s like the Hitchcock movie). Also, don’t be surprised if they start dive bombing one’s head. Luckily, I sported a baseball cap which sheltered my soon-to-be-even-more-dirty hair from the single poop that hit the top of my head.

Sitting in a blind with the cameras.

But, the biologists are even more hardcore, adorning poop splotches on their hats, shirts, and pants. They often boasted about how the occasional plop would make it into their hair or the side of their face. Imagine all that and only being able to take a cylinder shower once in a while. But getting pooped on is like an initiation process, it’s bound to happen.

Bird monitoring is something the team does a lot of. They do this often from the lighthouse and blinds built around the island. They communicate to each other with walkie-talkies and write down data as they see it.

Pretty much every day for about three hours, the team conducts provisioning. Each member takes a hidden post, looks through binoculars, and jots down information on the Terns feeding their chicks. How much fish is being feed to each chick? How big is the fish? How often? Etc.

A Tern ready to feed its young.

These sort of tasks seem monotonous, but the team really loves the birds. Even when they go in the house to take a break or eat dinner, they are always on watch through the windows, whether they are looking out for what the chicks are up to or whether they are watching for predators such as falcons, which often fly over from Acadia National park. When such predators come around, the team scurries to where the birds are squawking in chaos. They watch with binoculars, eager to know what will happen.

The team monitor’s Puffins just as well as Terns. On Wednesday, the the biologists got up at 4:30 a.m. to start capturing Puffins at 5 a.m. Once Puffins were captured (harmlessly of course), team members used walkie-talkies to communicate to one another that a Puffin entered the capturing device. The young woman heading this work would run out to where the Puffin was located and bring the bird back to where documentation of the bird was taken, it was tagged or received a new tag, and was quickly and carefully released.

Coming in for a landing.

The team has also began tracking the Puffins and what they do with the implementation of GPS units. The units weigh around 3% of the bird’s body weight and are made waterproof to endure whatever elements the puffins may encounter. The reason for the GSP units is because few know what Puffins actually do when they are not in human site or are at sea as they are pelagic animals.

My time spent on Petit Manan Island was truly an experience. Besides everything that I learned about Terns and Puffins, I learned about the awesome dedication the team has towards studying and conserving the birds of the island. And I also learned that living on a somewhat remote island with hundreds of birds, and the simplicity of rocks and grass is not something I could handle, while I could handle using the outhouse and lack of running water. I do love the comfort of be able to walk away from a place like the island with millions of miles ahead of me.

We finished our supreme video-photo documentation Wednesday afternoon and took the boat back to the mainland, where I hit the sheets at 7 p.m. after a hot shower and fell asleep at 9 p.m. in the excessive comfort of a hotel bed.

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Photos of the Days – Local Travel

June 22, 2010

Sunderland/Deerfield bridge over the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.

June 23, 2010

Mom at the edge of the garden.

June 24, 2010

Candle light with a sea captain.

June 25, 2010

Insects are there even in the dark.

June 26, 2010

Chasing dinosaurs on the Connecticut River in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

June 27, 2010

Admiring butterflies at Magic Wings in Deerfield, Massachusetts

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Photos of the Days – NJ and back again

June 17, 2010

Tappan Zee Bridge.

 

June 18, 2010

You could call them moon boots; slung on a line in New Jersey.

 

June 19, 2010

Sean shooting at Thunder Mountain in New Jersey.

 

June 20, 2010

He thinks he's a jungle cat, but it's really a garden.

 

June 21, 2010 

The first sunset of summer on the longest day of the year.

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