Category: Nature

The Ring-billed gull is one of the most common gulls in New Jersey.  They not only frequent the beaches, but also parking lots and shopping malls inland … wherever they can find a tidbit of food and some water.  I’m a huge fan of gulls.  My family went to the beach in New Jersey every summer when I was little.  For me, there were three indications that we were “almost there”.  One was the first sighting of a gull, the second was the cloud formations as we neared the ocean, and the third was noticing that the soil was sandy.  On this cold January day, what could be better than dreaming of warm days with the gulls at the shore?                                                                                                                                                                      (This image from Cape May, NJ – December 2016)

I’m thankful to whoever left their boat on the shore at the lake because it became the focal point of my photo during yesterday’s snowfall.

It was a crisp 25 degrees and snowing this afternoon at the lake.  Before long, there will be ice fisherman and skaters enjoying winter-time activities on the ice covered water.  In the summer, this beach would be buzzing with swimmers and there would be boats on the water.  Today, I was the only one who ventured out onto the snow covered sand.  I love the solitude of a beach in the winter.

Last night I could hear the freezing rain and sleet tapping against the windows.  The temperatures were bitter cold earlier in the day, but warmed enough to allow the falling precipitation to be in the form of rain/freezing rain and not snow.  Still, it was just cold enough for the landscape to be encased in ice by morning.  This spot in my community is beautiful all the time, but most especially after an ice storm.  I was happy to be able to take this photo before the sun melted all of the ice crystals!  I love the winter landscape after a storm!

I was driving in Lancaster, Pa. and saw a flash of white flying above a nearby cemetery.  My initial thought was to wonder if it could be a snowy owl.  I had my camera gear in the car and pulled into the cemetery to try and get a better look.  Turns out it was not one, but two red tail hawks.  They were beautiful!  These were shot with my 70-200 mm lens plus a 1.4 extender.  I like the photo below where you get a view from the front of one and the other hawk is facing the opposite direction which lets us see the beautiful tail and coloring.