Well, I'm excited to be back posting again and I'm excited for 2011 and all the new photographic ventures that will come with it. First off, my sincere thanks to all of you who have followed, tweeted, commented, and especially made a purchase during 2010. Making these images would be a hollow pursuit without wonderful folks to share them with and I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to view, promote, and support my photography. I wish you all a peaceful and joyous new year!
In celebration of the holiday and winter, I'd like to post this gallery from a recent trip to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
Chincoteague Dec 30 - Images by Elijah Goodwin
Chincoteague got hit by the recent snow storm that made news all over the East Coast (but was a bust here in DC), so much of the refuge was still covered in snow and a lot of the available water was frozen. It made for a cold, but beautiful day on the refuge, with the wildlife still sticking around concentrated mainly in areas of open water. I took a risk in the morning and went to see if the old Assateague Light House would work for sunrise or moonset (it didn't), but I managed to have some fun photographing the lighthouse in the morning light. I spent a large part of the day just sitting by open water and letting the wildlife habituate to my presence. After an hour or so of cold sitting at one spot, I had four great blue herons (Ardea herodias), one great egret (Ardea alba), and a flock of ruddy ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis) all feeding within 3-10 feet of me. One of the herons actually tried to land on my head before suddenly realizing I was there. It clouded up in the late afternoon/evening and I'd about given up on any more productive photography when I ran into a herd of six Chincoteague ponies along the Wildlife Loop and I stayed with them almost until sunset as they fed along the road. On my way out of the refuge the twilight sky was spectacular despite a lackluster sunset. Despite needing a restroom badly, I swung around, parked, and hiked out to the Assateague Channel accompanied by the sounds of clapper rails, terns, and great blue herons out in the dark marshes. I caught a few frames of the end of civil twilight, including the image of the Assateague Light House shining across the channel.
While I know that the standard shot of an animal butt at the end of the slideshow is pretty cliched ("The End"), I couldn't resist taking or including this last shot of the back end of a Chincoteague pony. I justify it with the fact that the image actually has biological instructional value; demonstrating the bloated appearance common in these ponies due to the salt water in their diet.