Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nature Photo Night at the Library!

Fifteen people young and “older” came together at the Chesapeake Central Library the other night to show their nature photos, and wow! we had a good time! Some came to show photos and some came to watch, and everyone enjoyed themselves. (Photo, left, taken by Bill Niven)

The library has a meeting room with a ceiling projector that hooks up to our laptop, and projects onto a big movie screen, so anyone who brought their photos on a USB device or a CD was able to show their photos “super-sized.” Everyone discussed the subject of each other’s photos and we all learned a lot about local nature, wildlife, and where to go to experience it. And we also enjoyed starting new friendships with people who share the same interests. We will continue to have a photo-sharing night at the library on a regular basis – more on that later!

The people who shared their photos have kindly given me permission to post some of them here. I would love to show all of them but I can’t, so we’ll have to limit it to two (maybe three) photos per person – and it’s very hard to leave any out. Please enjoy the show! ---

This beautiful Tri-Colored Heron was photographed by Chris Williams. Chris has just started to photograph birds and nature, but he has been a birder for over a year. He also photographed the "Woody Woodpecker" below (the actual name is the Pileated Woodpecker). This bird is the largest woodpecker species in North America, and can be very difficult to photograph well. Great job, Chris!

Nora Leonard took this gorgeous close-up photo of a dragonfly (below), and managed to keep it in sharp focus. The colors are beautiful, and she used the depth-of-field features of her camera to blur the background, which emphasizes the subject of the photo. This dragonfly species is the Halloween Pennant, and is a female (The male has the same pattern but has a darker, reddish/orange coloration).

Nora also took the next photo, an amazing capture of a Black Bear along Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She says that right after she took this photo, the bear scooted back down the tree and ran away, and she was amazed at how fast it moved!

Judy Ferguson came upon a field of Black-eyed Susans and captured this beautiful image:

You might know Judy and her husband as the owners of a "Virginia Grown" farm here in Chesapeake. In addition to being known for the honey, eggs, vegetables and more at their popular produce stand, they are known as the "Mule People." People constantly pull off the road by their farm to look at their mules and show them to their kids. Well, mules are "nature," and Judy brought this fun photo of one of her mules, "Virginia":

Our youngest photographer was Serena Bynum, who has just begun to take pictures but has a great "eye" for photography. She took a walk around her Chesapeake neighborhood, and found the beauty in things we pass by every day but might not notice. Serena noticed, and took the next two excellent photos:

Spring Tulip

Ivy in the Fog: I think this has a Medieval feel to it!

Bill Niven took the beautiful autumn photo at the beginning of this blog entry. You don't have to travel hours to go to the mountains to find these magnificent colors; he took the photo at Oak Grove Lake Park right here in Chesapeake last fall. The subjects of Bill's photography vary widely, and he showed a good diversity of photographs. Below is his magnificent close-up of an Iris, followed by a sunrise picture in Virginia Beach.

We really had some talent in the room at our program, so I can't resist adding just a few more photos here, even though I intended to limit them. I'll end on this note, and encourage you to just enjoy the nature that's right at your doorstep. We're going to have another photo night in June, so take some photos this spring and come share them with us!

Isn't this shot great?! Chris Williams caught this Brown Pelican at exactly the right moment, just after it had swallowed a meal.

Another photo from Judy Ferguson, taken at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. I really like the composition of this one.

Nora Leonard captured these Royal Terns in flight at the beach. Beautiful!

And we'll end right where we began, with another beautiful autumn photo taken at Oak Grove Lake Park by Bill Niven.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I have really enjoyed sharing some of my nature photos with you over the past two years, and I think that anyone who takes photographs likes to share them with others, discuss them, and get feedback. That gave me the idea to have an evening at the library for people to bring in their nature photos and share them with others who share their interest. (Common Buckeye, above)

My library has a meeting room with a ceiling projector that projects from our laptop computer to a big 12-foot screen. Anyone who wants to can bring in some of their photos on a USB device or a CD; we will show them and discuss them with the group. I think this will be a lot of fun, whether you are a seasoned wildlife photographer or someone who just took

a picture of your first Cardinal! And with the photographer’s permission, I will post some of the photos on this blog next month. (Green Tree Frog, above)

The program will be on Monday, March 26 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Chesapeake Central Library (298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake). I would like to know how many people would like to come, and how much time to allocate time to each photographer, so I’m asking for advance registration. Simply call (757) 410-7147 with your name and contact information, and let us know how many people will be coming and how many will show photos. The week before the program, I will call everyone who wants to show photos and let them know how much time they will have.

Barred Owl, above

We will also have a door prize, a $15 gift certificate at Wild Birds Unlimited, our local nature store! They have two locations in this area, one in the Greenbrier area and one in the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach.

Baby Ratsnake, above

If you have any inkling that you’d like to show photos or just observe, please join us! If you have any questions at all, please call the library (757-410-7147), and ask for Karen (that’s me). I hope to see you there!