Very little open water left on the Potomac River as the arctic air has settled in hard in northern Virginia. But this little strip of water had three common mergansers on it, two females and a male. Here is one of the females shaking off her wings after a session of preening.
The bluebird is always pictured with scenes from Spring and Summer, but they are remarkably tolerant of cold. It was below freezing out when I took this photo in northern Virginia.
I have come to believe that it is impossible to photograph a brown creeper that does not look blurry. Between the bird being a very twitchy sort to start with and the odd nature of the back and wing feathers they just never look sharp.
It has been darn cold around here lately, and this Carolina wren shows it with all its feathers puffed out and huddling near a tree trunk.
One of the New Years birds we saw on a walk today along the Potomac River at River Bend in Virginia. Brisk but nice out.
Turtles are mostly gone from northern Virginia now (burrowed down in the mud), but as long as there is open water it seems there are a few around.
Horsetails are a type of vascular plant that actually reproduces using spores instead of seeds. Kinda unusual, but these things are relics from an older time, and are known back through the fossil record for over 100 million years. Impressive!
The monarch butterfly migration was in full swing earlier this month, and I got a pic of this one at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Virginia.
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist