The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Swans’

Thanksgiving Week Vacation Day 4 – Back in Virginia

We relaxed at Tranquil Shores, our airbnb rental, for a couple hours upon our return from Maryland.

In the afternoon we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, VA.  We followed the Beach Access Road to Toms Cove, where we turned around.  We had a few photo opportunities along the way.

a Great Egret and a Cormorant Sharing a Log

The Egret flew off, and the Cormorant was joined by a friend.

Two Cormorants

From the refuge we drove to the Island Nature Trail on Chincoteague Island.  We had not known about this trail during past visits to Chincoteague.  The Island Nature Trail is located along both sides of Hallie Whealton Smith Drive.  The land where the trail is located represents some of last large tracts of undeveloped land on Chincoteague Island.  The south side of Hallie Whealton Smith Drive has an accessible 0.7 mile long, paved loop path complete with benches and interpretive signs.  The north side of Hallie Whealton Smith Drive is a natural surface trail that loops approximately 0.45 miles through pine forest and glade.  We went for a walk on the 0.7 mile loop trail.

the Island Nature Trail

A Pine Siskin on the Island Nature Trail

There are three ponds that can be seen from the Island Nature Trail.

One of three ponds seen from Island Nature Trail

This bridge crosses over the third pond that we saw from the Island Nature Trail.

This is the pond over which the bridge crosses.

After our walk we returned to the wildlife refuge and drove around the Wildlife Loop, which opened up to vehicular traffic at 3:00 pm.  The highlight of our drive around the Wildlife Loop was the sighting of several tundra swans.  

Tundra Swan

On our way back to Tranquil Shores we stopped at Subway for take-out subs, which we ate at the house.

Seven Babies!

There is a swan family living along River Road in my hometown of Warren, PA. I first saw mama and papa swans on April 15th. Mama swan was sitting on the nest; papa swan was swimming nearby. I returned to the nesting area several times over the next couple weeks, hoping each time that I would see baby swans. Each visit was fruitless.

My friend, Valerie C., returned to the nesting area during the evening of May 5th. Valerie emailed me to report that mama and papa swan had seven new babies! I went to the nesting area the next day, May 6th. The swans were nowhere to be found. This morning I returned to the nesting area. Just a short way downstream from the nest I found the swan family. I think I spent an hour watching and photographing the swans.

Congratulations mama and papa swan on the birth of your SEVEN babies!

A Friday Afternoon Ride

Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride yesterday afternoon. Bob has been out on the motorcycle several times since the riding season began. This was my first ride of the season. I could have gone for a ride before yesterday, but I just didn’t feel like riding. We didn’t ride far, only 20 miles east of Warren and then back home. It was an enjoyable ride, but what I enjoyed most was spending time with my husband. We made three stops during our ride.

Our first stop was at Rimrock Overlook. Rimrock, which is in the Allegheny National Forest, is located approximately 20 miles east of Warren, Pennsylvania. Rimrock offers a picnic ground, an overlook with splendid views of the Allegheny Reservoir and the opportunity for climbing rocks. The view of the Allegheny Reservoir was splendid indeed, as several tall trees that had blocked the view were cut down earlier in the year.

The last of the steps down to Rimrock Overlook

Rimrock Overlook of Allegheny Reservoir

See the people atop the highest point at Rimrock?

View of Forest Floor from Rimrock Overlook

Our second stop was at the Big Bend Recreation Area just downstream of Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River.

Bird-viewing platform at Big Bend Recreation Area

As we approached the bird-viewing platform, I noticed fishermen in the river below the platform. The fishermen were leaving when we reached the platform.

The view from the bird-viewing platform is so serene.  I saw these gorgeous blossoming trees on the right of the platform. In front of the platform was the beautiful Allegheny River.

We saw Merganser ducks on the river, but they were too far away for good photographs.

Our last stop was along River Road in Warren to see if Mama and Papa Swan had any young ones yet.

This is Papa Swan. Mama Swan was sitting on the nest a little bit to the right of Papa Swan. No babies yet.

 

Mama and Papa Swan

A river runs through my hometown of Warren, PA. This past Thursday I went with my friend, Valerie, to the banks of the Allegheny River. Last year, Valerie and Michael drove by this particular part of the river and discovered swans. Bob says the swans have lived along this part of the river for many years. It was the first time I saw the swans.

This is Mama Swan.

Mama Swan was sitting on a nest on an island in the river. I hope to capture pictures of the new family someday soon!

This is Papa Swan.

Papa Swan was protective of mama swan. He stayed near the nest while I was photographing along the river bank. Isn’t he handsome with his feathers raised? I LOVE the reflection too!

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