Friday, June 12, 2009

Coastal Cleanup

Click on the photos to see the full image, then Back to return to the story.

Coastal Cleanup is a big event each year down at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Last time I joined with the St. Marks Photo Club to cover an assigned stretch of road. I took along a camera with a wide angle fisheye lens with the idea to make a photo like this one of George. He was my partner that day. But I hadn't anticipated what a great photo opportunity this would be. Along with the litter that marred the roadside, there were lovely clusters of flowers adorning it... and even better, insects accompanying the flora. There were the pollinators - bees and butterflies. And the predators - spiders hiding in wait for a meal to fly in. But the prize for me was a hummingbird moth that came buzzing along tasting each thistle flower. Normally a wide angle lens would be useless for such a fast shy flying insect, but today I would be lucky. I moved in very slowly, and was able to get within just a few inches of this moth... not a great photo, but a first for me, and not bad for my self-imposed limited gear.
We hauled many bags of litter back to the central collection area. There was a mountain of trash brought in that day... hundreds of workers scouring the landscape, just like the insects we had been observing. And our reward: a shiny clean St. Marks, there for all the wildlife and visitors to enjoy.

No comments: