Sunrise at Leesylvania State Park, VA

Saturday morning, I left the house at 5:30 AM to go to Leesylvania State Park to photograph the sunrise on the Potomac River. As I approached the park, I was disappointed because there were no clouds in the sky. Clouds often make a tremendous difference in sunrise photographs. However, as I approached the Potomac shoreline, I could see the sky turning gorgeous shades of red, orange and yellow where the sun was coming over the horizon.  As the sun continued to rise, the colors intensified and became more and more vibrant, as well as forming a beautiful reflection in the river. As it turned out, it was a very beautiful sunrise without the clouds. Just about every sunrise is beautiful and worth witnessing–some are just more spectacular than others. Below are a couple of the sunrise photographs (HDRs, D700, 24mm & 55mm, f/16, ISO 200).

Later, after the sun had risen, I walked out on a pier at the park that provides a good view of a pair of ospreys that return each year to rebuild their nest and raise their young. The female osprey was on the nest when I arrived, obviously sitting on eggs. Later, the male returned to the nest with the tail section of a fish. A couple photos of the ospreys follow (D300, 400mm, f/8, ISO 200). I plan to photograph the osprey chicks during the summer, as I have done in previous years.

While heading back toward the shoreline on the pier, there was an Eastern Phoebe singing its heart out and brilliantly lit by the morning sun. It sat on the edge of the guard rail for about 10 minutes keeping a close eye on me and singing away. I waited until it flew into a nearby tree before heading to the end of the pier. (D300, 400mm, f/6.3, 1/640, ISO 200)

When I was leaving the park, I noticed what looked like an eagle’s white head high up in a distant tree. It was difficult to see through a series of trees, but as I slowed the car down to a spot where I could get I better view, I could see that it was in fact an eagle and in a location where I might be able to photograph it. I did a quick (illegal) u-turn, parked the car (poorly in my haste), grabbed my camera, and began shooting. The eagle saw me and all the commotion I was making, and I could see that it was getting nervous listening to the camera fire away. It stayed long enough for me to get a few good photographs. (D300, 400mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 200)

As evidenced by the above photographs, it was a great spring morning to be alive, having survived Saturday’s rapture, and to be outdoors enjoying some of nature’s beautiful sights and wildlife.

About Stephen L Tabone

Retired Executive Consultant and Nature Photographer
This entry was posted in Bird Photographs, Leesylvania State park and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Sunrise at Leesylvania State Park, VA

  1. Anne says:

    What a terrific start to your day! Love the little singer, too! How cute!

  2. Becky says:

    Great photos Steve.

  3. Trooper Joe says:

    Wonderful photos! Great story too.
    Now, about that illegal u-turn….

  4. Pingback: Leesylvania State Park | Longwood Bed & Breakfast

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