What’s Next – Earth Day Edition
From my outpost here in the American Southeast, I bring you news that the great journey north is well underway. So fear not, you winter-weary northerners — the warblers are coming. They now pass me by and migrate toward you on strong south winds.
Well, actually, they’re migrating toward the explosion of leaves and insects coming soon across our northern forests. So prepare yourself. During migration, the grace of warblers can happen almost anywhere. It now begins in the north with a few Palm and Yellow-rumped warblers, both waterthrushes, along with other songbirds in the vanguard. But the warbler show really gets rolling in May in the northern U.S. and across Canada.
Here in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, where I have chased nature for nearly a month, the Pine and Prothonotary warblers are already among those nesting, as are Ospreys and Bald Eagles. Dragonflies and butterflies, like that Common Buckeye above, are on the wing. And my rambles in woods and wetlands come in the presence of wildflowers. (That Spigelia to the right, blooming not far from Alexandria, LA, last week, goes well with my crimson-themed “What’s Next” post from early April.)
So what’s next? Lots. More of what I’ve already reported in my What’s Next posts since late March. At long last, the woods and the rains are releasing the frogs and salamanders for their once-a-year orgies in vernal pools. (Tonight could be great with rains in my home state of Vermont.) And those early-spring butterflies I predicted a few weeks ago are out in force, soon to be followed by the azures.
Most anywhere you wander now, you should find something to celebrate this Earth Day Weekend. For now, I’ll leave you with a gallery from the Southeast. It includes pairs of images I take with my super-zoom, point-and-shoot camera. The first in each set is a wide-angle shot, showing habitat, with the critter circled (because it’s often barely visible); the second shot shows our subject at full zoom (gently cropped and edited). Yeah, the range of these cameras is hard to fathom. But these are indeed for real — all but the plant shots taken with my point-and-shoot (rather than my big SLR gear). For the full effect, click on any image to start a slide show.
By the way, most of my photography workshops are now full, but if you want to shoot images like these, even with your point-and-shoot, subscribe to my occasional email alerts to get a jump on all my outings, workshops and lectures, not to mention news about wildlife in wild places.
Oh, and for Earth Day (April 22), I resolve to post 100 sightings to iNaturalist, which I’ve come to believe is one of the greatest things uniting nature and internet culture (which normally don’t go too well together). More about iNaturalist in a future blog post. Onward!