Posts Tagged 'Virginia'


These are fossilized shells of extinct scallops found on the Piankatank River in Virginia. They’re in the genus Chesapecten, all of whose members no longer live upon this earth. Such mineralized remains are dated from the early Miocene period to the early Pleistocene.

Here’s more detail about the rich fossil world of the Chesapeake.

Trump yearns for an FBI to go after journalists. Secretary of Corruption (formerly Commerce) Wilbur Ross praises the lack of protests in the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. A reporter was arrested when he tried to question Secretary of Death (formerly Health) Tom Price. Meanwhile, the Trump regime has been rather shameless about Turkish gestapo tactics in the heart of Washington D.C., because pretty clearly they want to be able to emulate them. After all, they cite the murderous kleptocracy of Putin’s Russia as a model.

Those who are against our best traditions are not patriots. They are, in fact, traitors. Never, ever, let supporters of Trump get away with claims of patriotism again.

Raptor Wednesday

A pair of Bald Eagles immediately after mating.We heard them before we saw them.Haliaeetus leucocephalus make some very un-eagle-like sounds. (That’s because they are usually dubbed over with the calls of Red-tailed Hawks in the professional bullshit business of entertainment.) The sound that alerted us to their presence is described on the Cornell sound page as unlike any other in nature, and it sure puzzled us.This was on Jamestown Island, which has a loop drive around it.
Backyard and Beyond highly recommends this route.
Another Bald Eagle spotted from the road, but rather further away. This is a second year bird.

Is the emperor, in fact, naked? Corey Robin thinks we should stop believing Trump’s bullshit.

Turning Tern

Do you have as much difficulty with terns as I do?This is a Forster’s (Sterna forsteri) in (mostly) non-breeding plumage. A good field mark is that dark mask and pale nape. Also most helpful: not moving for a good long view.

The Anatomy of Liberal Melancholy is food for thought, as is this appreciation of Benjamin Barber, a great cosmopolitan.


A pellet of pieces of shell and pebbles. Found on a pier on the Piankatank, along with some other samples that had been smushed and otherwise disassembled. Diameter of a quarter and quite round. Who do you suppose chucked it up? Grebes, Kingfishers, Loons, Osprey out there: but they’re all fish-eaters.

Roof Bird

Pavo cristatus, the Indian Pea Fowl. Big bird, helluva big voice. The only places I’ve run into these beasts (you should see their spur claws!) in NYC is in Prospect Park, where several boom from the zoo, and occasionally get loose, and on an old estate on Staten Island, near Princes Bay, where you can hear them several blocks away.

Atalantycha bilineata

Two-lined Leather-wing, also known as Two-lined Cantharid. One of the soldier beetles. This is one of the earliest Cantharids to emerge in the spring, evidently. Found from Nova Scotia on down. This one spotted in Virginia three weeks ago, where/when not too much else was flying.

According to Wikipedia, soldier beetles (Cantharidae) were called such because one of the first described had the colors of a British Redcoat.

New Point Comfort

What’s all this, then? At the limits of my telephoto. An observation platform at the tip of Mathews County, poking into the Chesapeake. And out there, a dead cetacean of some kind being recycled.Bald Eagles were nearby. Posted one is older, but not quite in full adult plumage.There was another juvenile on a nearby island.But it was the gulls who were doing most of the work. Overhead, a few more eagles.
And another Baldie at a great distance, on a sandbar. So it always pays to scan the horizon. On some pilings out there, an unusual but rather unmistakable silhouette: Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).


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