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Old May 6, 2011, 5:37 AM   #1
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Default Some Springtime "Critters"

Have not had much time to stop by here past few days - busily preparing for my hike & talk at the Roan Mountain Naturalist Rally, and upcoming training of our State Parks' summer interns. But have been out on the trail a lot, and noticing ever more new life awakening to this fine East Tennessee springtime!

Spring is full of discoveries - for example, I had no idea that Mockingbirds enjoyed fishing!!
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:39 AM   #2
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More species of butterflies are emerging on these fine spring days, including several species of Skippers and the tiny but brightly patterned Pearl Crescents (along with a little "friend").
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:42 AM   #3
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Also more Damselflies emerging recently - plenty of warm sunshine on the creeks and ponds really brings them out. First two of an Eastern Forktail, 2nd is just the shadow of an Ebony Jewelwing, 3rd & 4th I am still working on the identification (will let you know...)
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:47 AM   #4
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Damselflies' big cousins are emerging in numbers now too. Have had a number of school groups out on field trips this week, and one of the childrens' biggest delights (besides being out of school) has been watching the Dragonflies emerging and flying!

Here are a male & female Common White Tail, a female (or perhaps just-emerged male) Pondhawk, and a few shots of a clubtails species still to be identified...
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:49 AM   #5
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Heard a lot of Pileated Woodpecker activity down one of our trails. Trail needed some clipping and grading anyway, so I took the A*300 along with the trail tools. Found out that the A*300 is a pretty good flower lens too!
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:50 AM   #6
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Also found out that Pileated Woodpeckers do not like to be photographed, and don't look very good in a backlit photo anyway. Here's the best of a bad bunch of photos...
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:52 AM   #7
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Pedalling back from a visit to a local preschool and noticed another "preschooler" out at the roadside. This is a little early in the year for young Groundhogs to be out on their own - let's hope momma was somewhere nearby!
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Old May 6, 2011, 5:54 AM   #8
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Hope you enjoyed some of the new faces of this new season here in the hills of East Tennessee! Please do share your comments, critique & suggestions!

PS - Note that I will not be able to respond until sometime late next week, and then only briefly, between special events and training.
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Old May 6, 2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Groundhogs, cute little critters but they made a mess in my back yard. I can't wait for it to stop raining here, still house bound due to weather. As always great shots. You are getting some really sharp results. How close does that 300 focus.

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Old May 6, 2011, 2:55 PM   #10
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Stunning!

The first Pearl Crescent photo is just beautiful, and of course you can probably imagine I love the damselfy and dragonfly photo's. I find the shape of the abdomen on the White Tail and Pondhawk fascinating, we don't get dragonflies with that here.
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