Hey rangerous! Where ya been?!

I’m definitely ashamed that I haven’t been able to write lately… And even more ashamed that I took a few iPhone pictures and a picture of a fly eating sugar while I was on a three day camping trip at Chippokes State Park…I KNOW! I better get it in gear and share my photos and travels with my internet buddies!

"Nom nom nom" a black fly enjoys sugar from a pop-tart

I downloaded a new app for my phone that does PANORAMAS! I LOVE IT! I have the 3G model of the iPhone but I bet the panos taken with the 3GS or even the new 4G are probably stunning! The app is called Pano and you can purchase it from apple iTunes for about $1.99. Here’s a couple I’ve taken:

First Pano : Mackay Island NWR...user error, but still great for an iPhone!

Oregon Inlet Beach, NC

Cobham Bay, James River - Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry, VA

I have to say, I’m really impressed with this app. I also use Camera Plus Pro app. It’s 99 cents, but gives you more things to do with your pictures, and tons of camera features!  Enough about my phone…let’s get back to what I’ve been doing. Brian and I love to take day trips to places. A couple of weeks ago we visited Mackay Island NWR, which has got to be one of the coolest drive through wildlife refuges! This place is always well taken care of, and never crowded. We were surprised they opened a little more of the drive trail! Here’s some pictures I took, including a Panorama taken with my Nikon p90.

The Red winged Black Bird's graceful balance on thin reeds

Ruddy Duck enjoying the last golden rays of sunshine before the sun goes down

Mackay Island NWR drive trail. You definately want to click to enlarge.

I have just been so busy trying to get things in my life accomplished, personal things that is. Really I am just falling behind with the internet thing. My passion for wildlife will never fade or die out. This I promise…. I took buddy for a walk the other day to Great Bridge Locks Park. Its a cute little city park with a boat ramp, fishing areas, wildlife trails, and a play ground. There must have just been a brood of little wood satyrs because they were EVERYWHERE! Every time we took a step, two or three would flutter about. It was so beautiful! I managed to get a quick snap of one of them. I love how they have so many eye spots on the top and also on the bottom of their wings.

Little Wood Satyr Butterfly - Great Bridge Locks Park, Chesapeake VA

AND don’t worry I’ll keep posting! ALSO, If you go camping or take any kind of trips this summer, DON’T forget your camera!!!! Take pictures of wildlife you see and upload it to wildobs.com! Happy Trails!!!

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Walking through Botanical Gardens

“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”

Sometimes its nice to take a day and relax. Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to go on a hot summer day.  They have over 30 themed gardens on 155 acres!  I love just going on walks and checking out all the beautiful flowers.

They have a wonderful Butterfly Garden! You can even find your way through a butterfly shaped maze made of flowers! I enjoyed all the flowers that were starting to bloom. They daisies were my favorite…Bright white petals and sunny happy yellow centers.

Variegated Fritillary

Variegated Fritillary

Variegated Fritillary

Long Dash Skipper

Long Dash Skipper

While watching this long dash flutter around from daisy to daisy, I noticed a spider jumping out from under the flowers trying to catch any insect that landed on his flower….I tapped on his flower to see if he would come up…

Bold Jumper Spider

We picked a beautiful bright sunny day! Walking through the gardens was so relaxing. After visiting the butterfly gardens we headed towards the Eagle nest where the famous eagle cam is located.

Eagle fledglings

I took this photo from the Nato Tower near the tropical garden.  The sun was behind the tree so it was very difficult to get a picture, but watching them through the binoculars was awesome! The little Eagles were flapping their wings anxious to leave the nest.  Under the tower I could hear a little chickadee. It was so cute! He looked as if he was bigger than his mom.

Chickadee Fledgling

There were lots of dragonflies buzzing about in all of the gardens. The dragonfly has been a symbol of happiness, new beginnings and change for many centuries in lots of different cultures.

Painted Skimmer

Blue Dasher

“Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home….your house is on fire, and your children will burn. Except
little Nan, who sits in a pan, weaving gold laces as fast as she can!”

I’m sure you’re familiar with this cute saying… but do you know how the rhyme originated? In Medieval England, the farmers would set torches to the old hop vines after the harvest, to clear the fields for the next planting. The poem was a little warning to the aphid-eating Ladybugs, still crawling on the vines in search of aphids. The Ladybugs’ children (larvae) could get away from the flames, but the immobile pupae (Nan) remained fastened to the plants (laces) and couldn’t escape. Kinda morbid when you break it down…

Seven Spotted Lady Beetle

Seven spotted lady beetle

After having an amazing walk through the botanical gardens we headed towards sandbridge beach to watch the sunset. We had so much fun watching the ghost crabs(sand crabs) run around on the beach that we missed the sun going down!

Ghost Crab

Ghost Crab going into its home

When you come to Virginia Beach (NOT the Ocean Front, it’s touristy and they move the sand around everyday – there are many more beaches to visit) … You might notice the golfball-sized  holes scattered about…  Ghost Crabs burrow in the dry sand of the upper beach, or in the sand dunes. The burrows extend down 3-4 feet. It’s facinating to watch the clever little crabs build their homes…they bring up clawfuls of sand and tosses it 6-12 inches away from the burrow opening. Later on, the Ghost Crab tromps down the strewn-about sand, and, using its claws, smooths out the surface. The tunnel home is constructed with wet grains of sand so that it will not collapse. In the winter Ghost Crabs hibernate in their burrows, “holding their breath” for six weeks by storing oxygen in specialized sacs near their gills.