Mason Neck State Park

Mason Neck State Park

State park visit number one of Virginia is in the books.  Mason Neck State Park is east, on Belmont Bay off the Potomic River near Lorton.  According to their website, it the entire region is known for birds, in particular bald eagles. I didn't think I saw any, but reviewing my photos today showed one soaring high in the sky.  Next time I visit I'll be sure to rent a kayak for some proper eagle watching.

Another first for me?  Groundhogs!  And trying out the 7D + 70-200 combination.  

 ISO 400 | f/5.6 | 1/1000 | 200mm

ISO 400 | f/5.6 | 1/1000 | 200mm

 ISO 400 | f/5.6 | 1/1600 | 109mm

ISO 400 | f/5.6 | 1/1600 | 109mm

I spent most of the afternoon trying to get shots of the red winged blackbirds chasing each other.  Here's two that came out decent enough to share.

 ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/400 | 200mm

ISO 100 | f/5.6 | 1/400 | 200mm

 ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/400 | 200mm

ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/400 | 200mm

Below is what the blackbird's marsh looks like.  It reminds me of the coastal marshes on Lake Ponchartrain.

 ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/2500 | 24mm

ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/2500 | 24mm

And here's the boardwalk.

 ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/2500 | 24mm

ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/2500 | 24mm

Cardinals are always cooperative - here's one of a male cardinal singing.

 ISO 400 | f/4 | 1/160 | 200mm

ISO 400 | f/4 | 1/160 | 200mm

Once the light became softer, I spent time switching over to landscapes.  This particular view had some great textures that really came out in black and white.

 ISO 100 | f/16 | 10s | 24mm

ISO 100 | f/16 | 10s | 24mm

I spent lots of time camped out by this tree.  I loved the way the sun diffused through the leaves.  Below it is a setup shot for a behind the scenes take.

 ISO 100 | f/16 | 1/80, 1/320, 1/20  | 24mm

ISO 100 | f/16 | 1/80, 1/320, 1/20  | 24mm

Mason Neck (16 of 17).jpg
 ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/320 | 24mm

ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/320 | 24mm

 ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/640 | 24mm

ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/640 | 24mm

 ISO 400 | f/11 | 1/80 | 24mm

ISO 400 | f/11 | 1/80 | 24mm

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Mango Chipotle Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Mango Chipotle Blackened Shrimp Tacos