April 28 2012 Wildlife Preserve Photo Walk

We led a photo walk at Cosumnes River Preserve in California’s Central Valley today. It was a beautiful Spring day and we had a great group of inquisitive photographers. Even before the walk started we saw turtles basking on a log.

We started the photo walk at a patch of poppies near the side of the Visitors Center. The low angle of the early morning sun gave us wonderful backlight and interesting shadows projected onto the inside of the petals.

Backlit poppy with shadows

We found some beautiful blue wildflowers and took photos of them and other flowers in the area.

Closeup of small flowers

We ran across a very cooperative bunch of damselflies and got some great photos of them. A couple of them were preening, but with an extension tube on and an aperture setting for decent depth of field their movements made the photos blur.

Damselfly resting on leaf

Most birds were either hiding in the brush or flying about gathering food for the youngsters. We saw a few lesser and greater egrets and everyone got to hear the very non-musical croaking of a startled great blue heron when a group of people in canoes scared him off the riverbank.

After watching more turtles we found some very patient butterflies (Lorquin’s Admirals) and got more great photos.

Take my picture if you can!

We finished the walk similarly to how we started, by taking photos of various leaves and wildflowers with backlight. It was a fun and fruitful morning.

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