Thirteen Favorite Photos from 2013

Here’s 13 of my favorite nature photographs that I captured in 2013. It might be the story behind the image, or perhaps the image itself that attracted me to it. These may not be my “best” photographs. Rather, they’re my favorite. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Morning Light – June 5 – Mount Mansfield, Vermont
For over 20 years I have seen this crescent moon above the predawn while working on my bird study area on the ridgeline of the mountain. Usually too busy with wakening birds, this year I gave myself 10 minutes to capture an image. It reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Sabra Field.

After the Storm – February 24 – Woodstock, Vermont
Sticky snow clung to the trees among the fog after a Nor’easter cleared.

Vermont Winter – February 24 – Pomfret, Vermont
On the same day an old red barn shined bright within the snow covered scene. With a local ski hill in the background made it a quintessential Vermont winter scene.

Eastern Phoebe – April 21 – Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP, Woodstock, Vermont
An phoebe calling out its name is a true sign of spring.

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) 20130421KPMcFarland

Spring – May 5 – Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP, Woodstock, Vermont
One of my favorite times of year is when the spring ephemeral woodland flowers bloom. On a sunny day searching for flowers I looked up and was amazed at the beautiful sugar maple against the blue sky.

20130505KPMcFarland

Virginia Ctenucha – June 30 – North Hartland, Vermont
A common diurnal moth, this one was laying eggs on one of its larval host plants.

Virginia Ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica) 20130630KPMcFarland

European Skippers – June 27 – Woodstock, Vermont
First introduced in Canada in 1910, this butterfly can at times be found in the thousands in hay fields in the Northeast where timothy grass, its host plant, grows.

20130627KPMcFarland

Waterlily Borer Moth – August 16 – Chittenden, Vermont
I wanted to photograph this tiny moth that only inhabited waterlilies. I canoed back and forth through thick patches of waterlilies trying to get close enough to capture an image before the flushed. I loved the patterns of the waterlilies on the pond as much as the moths.

Waterlily Borer Moth (Elophila gyralis –  20130816KPMcFarland

Great Golden Digger (Sphex ichneumoneus) – August 20 – Woodstock, Vermont
Pulling into the town garage in the fire engine, I spotted this wasp flying with its prey. With only my iPhone at hand, I was lucky to capture a sharp image. These wasps hunt for grasshoppers or crickets, like this katydid. They paralyze the prey and place it in an underground cell and lay one egg on it. Provision for their larva.

Great Golden Digger-(Sphex ichneumoneus) 20130820KPMcFarland

Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) – August 24 – Woodstock, Vermont
Bumble bees are important pollinators for many crops and wild plants. I photographed this one leaving a squash flower covered in pollen.

Common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) at squash flower 20130824KPMcFarland

Locust Borer (Megacyllene robiniae) – September 18 – Burlington, Vermont
Named for the Black Locust tree that the larvae feed on, adults often feed on pollen from goldenrods. These beetles are likely mimics of yellow jacket wasps.

Locust Borer (Megacyllene robiniae) 20130918KPMcFarland

Yellow Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidus) – September 18 – Burlington, Vermont
This bee was once more common. I found this one nectaring flowers in a community garden.

Yellow Bumble Bee (Bombus fervidus) 20130918KPMcFarland

Aspen Stand – December 24 – Nooksack River, Washington
With nearly 100 bald eagles feeding on salmon and gulls crying for scraps, I couldn’t take my eyes from an incredible stand of trees in the middle of the braided river channel.

20131224KPMcFarland

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11 thoughts on “Thirteen Favorite Photos from 2013

    • Thanks Mary. Next summer I’d like to focus on getting some more insect behavior shots like that. We should get out together!

  1. Wow love them all. VC calendar funding tool? With some added info like life cycles,habits, identifying characteristics etc. Great Xmas gifts.

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