Arctic Maryland

Maryland generally has mild winters.  We don’t get much snow and it doesn’t stay much below freezing for long.  Having had two arctic freezes come through in the past month, Maryland is currently well below freezing, icy and snowy.  And what better time to photograph the sunset than during an arctic blast, right?

I spent an evening at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge here on the eastern shore.   It was a brisk 20° with a lovely windchill of 9°.  Flocks of sparrows tweeted and flitted about, swooping from spot to spot to forage for food.  The birds would rise as one from one area to land a stone’s throw away for only moments before moving to another spot until  they found an area worth foraging.  Shivering and giving myself a stern talking-to over having forgotten my gloves at home (photographing with bright red and painfully cold hands is no one’s idea of a good time), I had to appreciate how much energy the sparrows must burn to keep warm. Note to self: keep bird feeders full to help these little guys out.

There were Great Blue Heron’s on the ice, though fewer than during other seasons.

WinterSunsetweb

Outnumbering both the herons and the sparrows were the geese– a seemingly unending number of them arriving in small groups to join the larger ones.

JanuaryGeeseweb

There were also a few bald eagles to be found, which always makes my visits to Blackwater special…

SunsetEagleweb

Evening during the coldest weather, there are areas on the Eastern Shore that showcase how vibrant and alive Maryland is.

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