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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:38 PM   #1
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It seems that a number of my recent photos have included a few of our diverse winged creatures from here in East Tennessee.

Home park is blessed with a healthy Black Vulture population. These helpful scavengers are year-round residents, and are not particularly shy, especially during their morning sunbath...
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:41 PM   #2
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Our Black-Crowned Night Herons are only here in East Tennessee during the summer months, and are usually very shy and difficult to approach. This one happened to land on a low branch at the shore, near where I had paused for a quick lunch break while out working on one of our trails. Was able to snap a few shots before he noticed me and took off...
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:43 PM   #3
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Goldfinches are also year-round residents, and the best place to find them this time of year is near thistle plants. Goldfinches feast on thistle seeds, and often use the thistle down ("seed fluff") for nesting material.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:45 PM   #4
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Speaking of thistles, the thistle flowers are a real "butterfly magnet" on these hot, late summer days. They're big flowers (easy to land on) and full of nectar too. Here are an old, tattered female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, an equally tattered male, and a rather beat-up looking Spicebush Swallowtail, each in the same clump of Thistles.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:48 PM   #5
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Swamp Milkweed is another late-August "butterfly magnet." Here are several Great Spangled Fritillaries and one more Spicebush Swallowtail working the abundant Swamp Milkweed blooms.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:51 PM   #6
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It's always a pleasant surprise to spot one of these little winged creatures out at the milkweeds. Snowberry Clearwings look a bit like bumblebees, act a lot like hummingbirds, but are actually diurnal moths.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:54 PM   #7
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They're called Common Green Darners, and are usually one of our very common dragonflies. But this cool wet summer has been a rather poor season for dragonflies in general. So we were pleased to spot this Darner laying eggs at a nearby pond. Apologies for the low-quality photos - could not find a spot to photograph her (without interrupting her) that did not include plant stems or leaves between me and her...
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:56 PM   #8
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Will close with one non-winged creature. Although some folks do call them "whistle pigs," these "pigs" do not have wings!! It's been a great year for groundhogs - plenty of cool rain means plenty of "salad" for the groundhogs. This young'un was a bit too fearless for his own good (taken with 50mm!)
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 8:58 PM   #9
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Hope you enjoyed the winged (and wingless) creatures of late summer in East Tennessee, and that you will share your comments & critique!
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 4:57 AM   #10
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You do magic with your camera. This is yet another superb series of photographs. The detail, lighting, and composition are just stellar. You make it all into a perfect bundle by the text that gives both context and succinct knowledge about Goldfinches on thistle, Swamp Milkweed as a "butterfly magnet," or the information that accompanies the incredible pictures of the Snowberry Clearwings. Thank you so much for enjoyment you bring to the artistry and technique of photography as well as for the guidance as a naturalist in the habitats you frequent.
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