Pungo & Alligator River

I'm wrapping up a busy two months of workshops & tours in the next couple of weeks. I'm kind of sad that my workshops are winding down, although, I'm super excited to go out and finally work on some photography projects I've been planning.

I'll be recapping each workshop in the coming weeks but for now, lets go back to early May. Candace & I went out to Alligator River for a morning trip and finished up at Pungo. We didn't see many bear but I was able to photograph this big guy as he was making his way in from his feeding area. It was a pretty neat experience to watch him as he would straddle the green bushes, depositing urine as he walked.

_A4A0735.jpg
 
_A4A0743.jpg

After a brief moment with the bear I discovered this barred owl. I spent a good 15-30 minutes with it as it hunted near the woods edge. It really didn't mind our presence and I could hear some owlets calling from deeper in the woods. (more on them later)

_A4A0852.jpg
 
_A4A0864.jpg
 
_A4A0923.jpg

After hunting for a bit, it began to preen. Cleaning each feather individually. I love owls!

_A4A0994.jpg

While watching the owl, I was surprised to see a beautiful cottonmouth entering the road about a 100 yards from where I was standing. I jogged down the road to capture a few photos before it finished crossing the road. I've only ever photographed this snakes once or twice and I've yet to create the photograph that I'm really happy with. But I'll take it!

_A4A0886.jpg
 
_A4A0888.jpg
 
_A4A1058.jpg
 
_A4A1078.jpg
 
_A4A1019.jpg
 
_A4A1029.jpg

During the spring, Wild Iris' bloom all around the Alligator River NWR's canals and Mill Tail Creek. I was photographing them when I noticed several types of bees collecting pollen. With the overcast day and dark shaded areas behind the flowers I was able to isolate the iris' from the background. Creating an illusion, as if I were in a studio using a black backdrop.

_A4A1039.jpg
 
_A4A0782.jpg
 
_A4A1276.jpg
 
_A4A1109.jpg
 
_A4A1130.jpg

After seeing several deer and beautiful young fawn we made our way to Pungo. We didn't see many bear, however, we did have an awesome encounter with a Clapper Rail. Three rails were calling back & fourth to each other, trying to find a suitable mate. The one below offered me some great photo opportunities as it preened, called and fed along the canal edge.

_A4A1141.jpg
 
_A4A1186.jpg
 
_A4A1200.jpg

It was an action packed photography day and I brought home many images I'm happy with. I hope you enjoyed the trip as well as the images. More trip recaps coming soon!

Until next time,

Cheers, Neil.