an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “conservation area

Long Hard Winter: 2010

photo of deer skull

Long Hard Winter

A deer skull left behind along one of the trails. Not so hard this past year, but 2010 was pretty rough.

I visited a conservation area for one of the environmental group to photograph the site generally and plan for signage in an abandoned mine drainage project on the site. The site is a flood plain in a valley along a creek, and snowfall is deep; I know because I had been trying to get into the site from the beginning of February in order to begin the signage project, but the snow was waist deep, and it persisted into mid-March. Any animal that did not hibernate or go dormant had a challenge finding food and even just getting around.

Nature happens in even the kindest of places.  This is probably not from this year because the skull looks too weathered. It may be that a scavenger simply dug it out in its quest for other food. I can picture the tan fur, the dark, soft eyes on either side of the skull and the velvet, upright ears, even the dark muzzle of an alert white-tailed deer looking at me from the trail.


Damselfly

damselfly on grass with water droplets

Damselfly After the Rain

I stopped to explore a conservation area, coincidentally right after a heavy rain which completely changes a natural area because everything that lives comes out after the storm is over and the place is very busy, even noisy, with all the activity.

I was photographing water droplets on the grass, nice enough, when a damselfly literally wandered into the picture, looking like a small model airplane in the lens.

This happens to be an Eastern Forktail damselfly. Part of the fun of the exploration is getting out the guidebooks and hitting the internet to learn about what you just discovered you didn’t know.

Here’s a close-up of the damselfly. The above photo is more attractive, but the photo below is a little more clear. I discovered this species hanging out at Wingfield Pines in Upper St. Clair, PA (near Pittsburgh), a property protected by the Allegheny Land Trust.

Eastern Forktail damselfly

Eastern Forktail Damselfly


Long Hard Winter

photo of deer skull

A Long Hard Winter

A deer skull left behind along one of the trails.

I visited a conservation area for one of the environmental group to photograph the site generally and plan for signage in an abandoned mine drainage project on the site. The site is a flood plain in a valley along a creek, and snowfall is deep; I know because I had been trying to get into the site from the beginning of February in order to begin the signage project, but the snow was waist deep, and it persisted into mid-March. Any animal that did not hibernate or go dormant had a challenge finding food and even just getting around.

Nature happens in even the kindest of places.  This is probably not from this year because the skull looks too weathered. It may be that a scavenger simply dug it out in its quest for other food. I can picture the tan fur, the dark, soft eyes on either side of the skull and the velvet, upright ears, even the dark muzzle of an alert white-tailed deer looking at me from the trail.