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Old Mar 25, 2010, 5:59 AM   #1
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Default Some More Spring Blooms & "Critters"

Spring continues to advance into NE Tennessee, though still mostly at the lower elevations.

Downy Woodpeckers are already investigating old nest-holes, or excavating new ones:
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:00 AM   #2
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Cormorants are soaking up the spring sun:
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:01 AM   #3
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And the skies are rich with circling RT Hawks - some in rather noisy pairs, some alone, perhaps still seeking their mate...
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:02 AM   #4
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Warm sunshine is also great for the cold-blooded wildlife. We've seen LOTS of these (harmless to humans) Garter Snakes out sunning lately.
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:03 AM   #5
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And more early spring plants coming into bloom too!
Here are some Violets along the sunny trail (notice that caterpillars have already started to much some petals.)
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:06 AM   #6
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Last week the Carolina Spring Beauties began blooming. This week it's the Virginia Spring Beauties (we need to discover another species and call it the Tennesse Spring Beauty!). Spring Beauties are tiny, but lovely, and especially attractive to tiny beetles and tiny bees. Do you find them attractive too? Unfortunately, their bulbous roots are also attractive to one of our forest pests - the wild hogs - so Spring Beauties are getting scarcer these days.
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:08 AM   #7
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We had a (for us) rather rare visitor this week - a Blue Winged Teal stopped off at the lake for a few hours. Very shy and unapproachable, so these are very cropped and not very good photos, but wanted to share a view of our guest anyway...
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:09 AM   #8
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We are expecting plenty of good rain and then warm sunshine soon, so hope to have more time "out on the trail" with spring discoveries.

Thanks for any comments or critique on any of these!
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 6:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Cormorants are soaking up the spring sun:
Gosh, the photo in the middle is a really nice capture... beautiful... and nice water (calm)... just adds to the picture
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Old Mar 25, 2010, 8:09 AM   #10
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Another really nice set. I love the shots of the Downy. I've seen very few of them this year. Good job getting close enough to get this detail. Feather detail on the cormorant makes these shots stand out. You did a great job of handling lighting to get the detail on these very dark birds.

You're getting some of the same blooms as I found on my hillside, but I like your photos better, especially the ones of the Spring Beauties.

We get blue-winged teals around here in winter, but I've never had much luck photographing them because of the skittishness you mention.

Paul
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