Black Swallowtail

A pair of Black Swallowtails were doing their thing along the edge of a pond.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Quick poses then flitting along at full speed constituted much of the action.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Then they stopped for an interaction, somewhat shielded from my view by tall grass.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Pair
Black Swallowtail Butterfly Pair

I liked the intersection of the curlicue vine with the butterfly’s antennae and the nicer view of the blue wing spots in this last image.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

April 28. 2020

Magnolia Plantation House, River Side

A few days after I posted Magnolia Plantation Cupola, River Side I was in the same place with a similar sky and a shorter lens on my camera.

Magnolia Plantation House, River Side
Magnolia Plantation House, River Side

Without much contrasting color to break up all that green I processed these images with a vintage photo look.

Magnolia Plantation House, River Side
Magnolia Plantation House, River Side

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

For a view of the other side of the house see my post from November 2019: Magnolia Plantation, the House

Yellow-crowned Night-heron at Nest

Luck and being aware of movement play a role in nature photography. I happened to catch this fellow moving and only when I got a little closer and peered around some limbs could I tell it was a Yellow-crowned Night-heron.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

I was then surprised to see a nest, with a nice curtain of Spanish Moss on one side and leaves on the other.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

There were two adults present and after a bit one of them stepped out for a photograph or two.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Patrolling the Pond

Alligators take casual swims around this pond, often looking for a sunny spot to get out of the water. After some heavy rains they have less places to choose.

Alligator Patrolling Pond
Alligator Patrolling Pond

I liked the mottled reflections of the trees in the pond, dissected by the passing Alligator.

Alligator Patrolling Pond
Alligator Patrolling Pond

Lines and more lines of an Alligator, a dead branch, lots of vegetation and all of their reflections.

Alligator Patrolling Pond
Alligator Patrolling Pond

Grackle and a Menacing Sky

A storm seemed imminent with darkening clouds and some distant thunder so I was headed back to my car from the swamp. A number of Grackles were entertaining me along the way, including this one perched on a slowly deteriorating tree. The tree reminds me of an artwork, perhaps a wrist and hand holding up the sky.

Grackle in Dead Tree
Grackle in Dead Tree

A few more steps along and a different look to the sky and those outstretched fingers.

Grackle in Dead Tree
Grackle in Dead Tree

I had driven barely a mile down the road when the sun came out bright. I’ve learned that summer thunder/rain storms around Charleston can be very localized and nothing to mess with.

Magnolia Plantation Cupola, River Side

At one time a wide lawn leading up to the Ashley River side of Magnolia Plantation would have been the welcome to visitors who had journeyed via boat from Charleston. Now that expanse has narrowed with trees and there is no clear view of the whole house from the river bank.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane

I was ready for wildlife photography with my 100-400 MM lens attached, but the impending storm made a cool sky so I took some images between the trees at 100 MM.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Cupola and Weather Vane

If you are zooming in to see the weather vane details you’ll see spots. At first I thought my lens might be dirty but after comparing the images I’m pretty sure those are rain drops.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Cupola and Weather Vane

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

For a view from the other side see my post from November 2019: Magnolia Plantation, the House