A Beautiful Mushroom

Admittedly, some editing was required to lend such a dramatic contrast. That said, this young scaly pholiota mushroom was still a dramatic and beautiful stand-out in the dreary forest. Photo taken in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA, USA.

A Sidewinder’s Perspective

Encountered in the middle of a hiking trail, I nearly stepped on this sidewinder rattlesnake. This picture depicts it amidst the natural surroundings.

Agile Sheep

Now estimated to only stand around 20,000 individuals, researchers place the original desert bighorn sheep population to have numbered over half a million. Their current numbers are actually a huge improvement over the 1960’s, when there were only approximately 6,000 left. The population growth of these endangered mammals can largely be attributed to federal and state protections, in addition to strong reintroduction efforts. Needless to say, just seeing these impressive creatures in the wild was an incredible experience. The novelty to watch and photograph them for several hours was extraordinary.  Tucson, Arizona.

Alien Coitus

Clinging to the stem of a goldenrod plant, these two ambush bugs make such an adorable couple.! Photo taken in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA, USA.

Ambush

Pictured are two short-eared owls. The individual in flight decided to dive-bomb the perched owl in what appeared to be a territorial stunt. Photographed near Washingtonville, PA, USA.

Arrow-Shaped Micrathena

A nice, close look at the underside of a tiny Arrow-Shaped Micrathena spider. These lovely orb weavers are denizens of Northeastern US woodlands, where they build rather unique webs. Photo taken in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA, USA.

Arrowhead Orb Weaver

Found in shaded forest, this lesser-encountered Orb Weaver species is one of the few spider species to hang on the web with it’s head pointed upwards. Photographed in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA, USA.

Barred Owl

The barred owls in Okefenokee Swamp often liked to sit in trees (sometimes only a few feet above the swamp), constantly scanning the quagmire for snakes and frogs. They weren’t afraid to hunt at any hour, day or night. Photo taken at Stephen Foster State Park, GA, USA.

Basking Bullfrog

A very large American Bullfrog, pictured basking over the murky, vegetated waters of his/her swamp home. Photo taken in Harrisburg, PA, USA.

Bishop’s Hat

The flower of a bishop’s hat cactus, observed at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, AZ.

Black Snake Perspective

Black rat snake in her natural environment. Due to their body structures and means of movement, snakes are often frustrating photo subjects, making it hard to pass on the more “photogenic” individuals. Photo taken near Danville, PA, USA.

Blue Love

A pair of eastern tailed blues, a species of hairstreak butterfly, caught in the act of coitus. Photo taken near Lewisburg, PA, USA.

Bobcat Bath

Witnessing a wild bobcat clean itself less than 30 feet away from me was downright incredible! This observation was entirely unplanned and occurred during a short walk. Cats will be cats! Tucson, AZ.

Brown Anole

Brown anoles are an invasive species which have effectively displaced their native green kin in many sub-arboreal habitats throughout Florida. This fellow is performing a territorial display. Photo taken at Lake Louisa State Park, FL, USA.

Butterfly Wing

When we so closely examine such a thing as a butterfly’s wing, the texture looks so much different. This specimen was a well-preserved monarch butterfly, encountered on a damp, chilly morning hike. Photo taken in Loyalsock State Forest, PA, USA.

Cardinal Jumper

Sometimes photo subjects are encountered in the funniest places. While searching for fossils, this little cardinal jumping spider was unearthed from a layer of rock in which she was hiding. Photo taken near Beaver Springs, PA, USA.

Coati Tree

In the forest, the peaceful forest, the coati sleeps tonight… The sycamore branches lent the perfect touch to this magical forest scene! Coatimundi photographed in Madera Canyon, AZ.

Cormorants and Catfish

One of these neotropic cormorants snagged a catfish that was entirely too big to be swallowed in one try. Naturally, this drew the attention of a second cormorant who was able to steal the catch. This, of course, attracted a third and forth cormorant to the scene. By the time one of the birds finally managed to swallow the very dead fish, it had passed between 6 different cormorants over the course of nearly two minutes and amidst much splashing, flailing, and biting. Gilbert, AZ, USA.

Coyote

Being such intelligent and adaptable creatures, I have an enormous amount of respect for coyotes. They are very quick to adjust their habits based on environmental changes, as well as human development. These canines eat a wide variety of food items, including mammals, reptiles, birds, fruit, and even vegetable matter. Not only are they prevalent throughout the desert, but coyotes thrive in the middle of large cities.  Picture Rocks, AZ.

Crane Silhouettes

Silhouetted by the setting sun, a flock of sandhill cranes moves to their roosting spots for the night. Willcox, AZ, USA.

Emerging From Cover

The perfect camouflage artist, this bobcat seemed to materialize from the brush. Tucson, AZ, USA.

Fairy Lanterns

A couple of chanterelle waxy caps. On such a dark, dreary day, the camera flash illuminated them in such a way as to give the impression of tiny little lanterns. Photo taken in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA, USA.

Fawns

The fawn on the left seemed to be the leader, as it kept a close eye on me for a few seconds, then snorted and took off, closely followed by it’s companion. Photo taken near Northumberland, PA, USA.

Flowers on a Hedgehog

The tiny strawberry hedgehog cactus produces a dazzling display of dramatic flowers. Saguaro NP West, AZ.