Sometimes a walk on the boardwalk provides subjects that I don’t always find on the trails.
This Southern Toad camped out on a boardwalk recently, waiting for his next meal to come by. It is a true toad, native to this area. The high cranial crests are one of the things to look for in identifying this guy. He sat still, not really intimidated at all by the three or four humans standing around looking at him and photographing him.
This bee looking insect is actually a Hoverfly. I identified this one as a Yellowjacket Hoverfly after comparing this photograph to dozens in books and on various sites including iNaturalist. The coloring of this fly mimics a Yellowjacket, discouraging predators and fooling me. Our hike guide pointed it out, I took a photograph, and then spent a very interesting several hours at home researching and reading about hoverflies.
The rewards of nature photography go beyond the art and science of the photograph itself. It introduces you to the natural world in a very intimate way, providing a gateway for learning more about the things you see and photograph. And, as Karl always says, even if you don’t end up with a photograph you like, you have just had a very nice walk in the woods.