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Virginia Highlights

A few photos from my visit in Virginia this spring.

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Brown Thrashers are elusive birds, normally. They like to stay hidden in thick bushes and underbrush--except when they rise into treetops to sing. (It's quite a song.) They only do it in spring, and only in the mornings and evenings. And my experience is that if I get too close at these times, they'll think better of it, dive back into the underbrush and continue singing from there.

But in Virginia, there are just so many of them that they seem to boil over the rim of their brushy habitat, spilling out into trails, clearings, and suburban yards. So it's not surprising that Chesterfield is where I finally took my first decent, wallpaperable photo of the species.

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I was quite taken with this blue-winged butterfly I found at Dutch Gap. Turns out it's a subspecies of the plain old White Admiral, which we have in Ottawa. In this form it's called a Red-Spotted Purple, and its coloration mimics the poisonous Pinevine Swallowtail, encouraging predators to leave it alone. Since Pipevine Swallowtail doesn't occur further north (and thus is not familiar to local predators), there's no point in mimicking it here.

Lovely Yellow Irises were in bloom on the margins of wetlands.

Portrait of a Life BirdBirds of Hatteras and Dutch Gap


May 12th, 2013 at 7:10 pm
Gorgeous colors! And I know you aren't one to overpump the saturation!