itsaboutnature.net

Eastern Kingbird hunting Odonatans over Pickerel Weed.

  • Common Loon

    On this day, I was chatting with two ladies in their kayaks, as we watched the loons. Suddenly, our conversation was interrupted by the splashing sound of this Common Loon taking to flight, I looked up to see that its course would bring it right by me. This is image 27 from a 29 frame burst. This loon had just intruded into a nesting pair’s territory (near their two chicks), was unwelcome and was now leaving. Moments later the breeding male followed it in flight, apparently to assure that it left the pond.

  • Foghorn array at Portland Headlight, Maine, Christmas Morning, 2010. A moisture-laden, cold snowstorm (locally named a "Northeaster" or even more locally "nor'easter") is arguably the most severe weather North America's northeastern seaboard can "dish out". It is thus named because although it approaches from the west or south south west, storm winds in the northern hemisphere rotate counterclockwise and so when a Northeaster arrives its brutal winds pound the coast from the northeast. During a Northeaster visibility is typically reduced to 1/4 mile and less; temperatures can drop into the teens Fahrenheit with gusting winds. Ocean water temperatures run between the mid to high 30's F in the winter months, and so the water is immediately deadly to anyone who finds themselves overboard. Virtually the entire coast of Maine is rock ledge. The Portland Headlight is strategically located on this ledge, to warn ship captains who are navigating their vessels out of the oceanic shipping lane and into Maine's principal commercial harbor at Portland, Maine. This was the first lighthouse in Maine, commissioned by the first President of the United States, George Washington and completed in 1791. The lighthouse has a posted range of 24 nautical miles. But of course, in a snow storm the light's and fog horn's ranges would be reduced. But from personal experience during Northeasters (in this area) I know that the super-low frequency blast from this little horn can be heard as far away as Falmouth, and I am confident even further. It blasts every 15 seconds. I now reminisce to the times when, as a teenager in the mid-1960's, I earned money by shoveling snow from people's driveways. A big snow storm earned you about $4.00 per driveway and required all of 1 to 1.5 hours of hard cardio work. Let's put it this way, when you finished shoveling through just one Northeaster the "love handles" were completely gone! The ambience of a Northeaster minus the wind is serenity and near silence, because of the absorbing effect of the snow. But the eery, low-frequency and very-far-off sound of this little horn was ever-present in that ambience during a Northeaster. I have just "Google Earthed" the distance from that neighborhood to the horn you see in this image. That distance is approximately 6+ miles, within about 1/4 mile. And this neighborhood is 6+ miles BEHIND, or inland, of these ocean-facing horns. Yet, the eery sound is still very audible through the driving storm. Low-frequency sound travels immense distances. Robert King

  • See the White Sands National Monument images in the galleries section.

  • Jonathan Drefser's handmade headstone in West End Cemetery, Portland, Maine. He died October 12, 1800 at 76 years of age. Someone back then, hand chiseled these etchings out of this granite slab. I was so impressed with this headstone. Mr. Drefser was born a long, long time ago.....in 1724. The headstone has stood in that place for 213 years!

  • Over 90% of our passerine birds must feed their developing young, a diet of over 90% insects….or the young die. It is that simple; i.e. no middle ground, no compromise. The nestlings MUST have a diet of almost 100% insects. The American Goldfinch is an exception to this rule. AG's are granivores, almost exclusively. The young are fed mostly grains and some insects, regurgitated from the adults. The 20-30 I have living at my Maine home go absolutely nuts for fresh, "on the stem", sunflower seeds. Every day they tear my sunflower heads open and ravenously rip at the head to pluck the seeds.

  • I guess Dandilions are not all that bad....certainly not if you photograph nature. These became established in my garden area and I decided to keep my eye on them. Sure enough, one morning I noticed this shot just before getting in my truck. I could not let this moment slip away. The camera is always ready to go and quickly accessible.....just for such situations: These Dandilions were in a narrow pocket of direct, early morning light. All else around them was in shade. Forty years of shooting told me that I had no more than 1 to 3 minutes to complete the shooting.

  • White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

  • sand dunes, White Sands National Monument, NM

  • Portland Headlight, Portland, Maine. Sunrise on Christmas Day 2010