JL Bald Eagle Nests this morning:
First Nest and H&G Nest looked fine.
Ranger Nest has lost a limb from the side of the nest – we will have to see if the rest of the nest holds through the storm.
I am not surprised that I did not see any of the parent eagles as they are all perched in safe places out of my sight.
I did take a moment to photograph this swallowtail butterfly.
May the butterfly bring a moment of light into all the grey outside our windows.
It will be part of what I call my Palette Series as I have taken artistic license with the beauty of the butterfly.
Stay Safe, whether you are in the storm path or not.
Peace and Grace, Doc Ellen

I always have so much of Jordan Lake that I want to share!
My emphasis for my media time is usually on the bird life – in particular the raptors.
But by no means do I miss opportunities to photograph the other lives at Jordan Lake.
 
So, this is part 1 for the current catchup: critters without feathers.
 
Meet the official North Carolina Reptile: the Eastern Box Turtle
This beautiful box turtle strolled out from under my truck as I was packing up to leave one morning.
I picked him up and carried him, in the same direction he was headed, to an area in the woods off the edge of the parking lot.
 
 
The Imperial Moth was well-named: this one was wider than my hand. 
 They get to be about 4” across in their wingspan.
 
 
The Sleepy Orange butterfly.
If the photo was of this butterfly with his wings out flat, you would see the “orange” of its name.
 
 
The Swamp Cicada.
This noise maker is an annual cicada: they appear every year.  Some cicada species appear every 13 or 17 years.
I really like its brilliant green wing veins.
 
 
The Deep Yellow Euchlaena moth.
The angles in the wing structure and the curves in the color patterns make an interesting and pleasing contrast.
 
 
Skink tail bling!
Notice that I did not name the specie.
Without a clear photo of the side of the face of a skink, I have no way to know if this is a five-lined skink or an immature broad-headed skink.

A trip to Lake Mattamuskeet needs to be on everybody’s  list.
 
It was at Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge that the Bald Eagle was re-introduced to NC.
 
The Bald Eagles then made their way inland to Jordan Lake.
 
Try your hardest to get there at sunrise – they are almost always spectacular from the causeway!
 
Adult bald eagle way across the front impoundment at Mattamuskeet.  
This time of the year the eagles can be hard to find at Mattamuskeet.
 
The lake and its surrounding area has beautiful cypress trees.
 
 
The still waters of the lake and the impoundments often give reflections that are wonderfully detailed.
Great Blue Heron fishing.
 
 
The insect life at Mattamuskeet is very diverse – with many different dragonflies.
Did you see the dragonfly shadow?
 
 
The white-tailed deer really enjoy the browsing at the lake.  
 
 
The yellow-billed cuckoo is also found at Jordan Lake.
 I hear rather than see them most of the time.
 
 
The zebra swallowtail butterfly is the only swallowtail in our region with white stripes.
 

Elegant, graceful, simply beautiful, Great Egret
 
 
Eastern Kingbird fledgling – yelling for a parent to feed him.  
 
 
the Common Buckeye butterfly
 
 
A Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly sharing a button bush blossom with some Eastern Bumblebees.
All these insects, along with the Common Buckeye are important pollinators.
 
 
 
 

I was visiting Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC, looking to photograph the fall flowers.
A butterfly bush (yes that is its name) caught my attention
as the skippers, cabbage and sulfur butterflies flitted about…
and a single, glowing, male monarch butterfly.
Oh, wow, I thought that all of them had already left for Mexico, their winter home.

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