Six-Years Ago (22-December-2011) — Florida

December Road Trip to Florida in 2011: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

On my second day I arrived too early, and the gate to Black Point wildlife drive was still closed. While waiting I got a silhouette image of a Great Blue Heron in flight at dawn. During the day I got a macro image (with a telephoto lens) of a Golden Silk Spider, then a Great Egret in flight. Just before leaving, I spotted a reclusive American Bittern. These birds are hard to spot, since they are so well camouflaged. Even better, this one just caught a fish that appears to be almost too large to swallow. The last time I saw an American Bittern was at the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado.

Great Blue Heron Silhouette at Dawn in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Great Blue Heron Silhouette at Dawn in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Golden Silk Spider. Viewed along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and  200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Golden Silk Spider. Viewed along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Great Egret in Flight in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/4, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Great Egret in Flight in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/4, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)
OK, I Caught This Fish -- Now How Do I Swallow It. A Reclusive American Bittern Caught Fishing along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR II lens (ISO 180, 500 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
OK, I Caught This Fish — Now How Do I Swallow It. A Reclusive American Bittern Caught Fishing along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR II lens (ISO 180, 500 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)

Four-Years Ago (05-January-2013) — Florida

Gone to See America. January 2013 Florida Road Trip. Day 3: St. Petersburg.

Underside of a Crab Spider on its web. Urban winter garden nature in St. Petersburg. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 105 mm f/2.8G VR macro lens + SB-910 flash (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec).

Underside of a Crab Spider on its web. Urban garden nature in St. Petersburg. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 105 mm f/2.8G VR macro lens + SB-910 flash (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Underside of a Crab Spider on its web. Urban garden nature in St. Petersburg. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 105 mm f/2.8G VR macro lens + SB-910 flash (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Underside of a Crab Spider on its web. Urban garden nature in St. Petersburg. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 105 mm f/2.8G VR macro lens + SB-910 flash (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Underside of a Crab Spider on its web. Urban garden nature in St. Petersburg. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 105 mm f/2.8G VR macro lens + SB-910 flash (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)

Three-Years Ago (03-November-2013) — New Jersey

Daddy Longlegs (actually Harvestmen) on a Moss Covered Log at the Recently Opened Rock Mill Preserve in Montgomery Township New Jersey. Autumn Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 32 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 160, 32 mm, f/2.5, 1/400 sec).

Daddy Longlegs (actually Harvestmen)  Autumn Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 32 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 160, 32 mm, f/2.5, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Daddy Longlegs (actually Harvestmen) Autumn Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera and 32 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 160, 32 mm, f/2.5, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)