A midsummer sunrise

July 15, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I've heard a lot of great things about Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. I've seen some really great wildlife photos from Blackwater. Since I'm not much of a wildlife photographer, Blackwater hasn't been high on my list of destinations. However, I visited Blackwater a couple of weeks ago and was pleased to discover that the refuge also presents some really nice landscape opportunities.

Photo by John Baggaley of sunrise at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.A midsummer sunrise

I took this photo at sunrise. It was no easy feat. Sunrise was at 5:47 that day. The refuge is about a 2 hour drive from DC, so I had to get up at 3:00 to get there at 5:30. Moreover, when I arrived, I discovered that the parking area on the peninsula was closed off due to construction of a new pier. The next nearest parking lot was half a mile away. So, I drove to the next lot and ran. The sunrise only lasts a few minutes and there's no way I was going to get up that early and drive that far just to miss the sunrise! So I ran the half mile in the muggy summer heat with a huge photography pack strapped to my back and carrying my tripod—while swarms of biting flies pecked at my face. It was not a fun experience!

 

Nevertheless, I arrived in time for the sunrise and the run, the heat, and the bugs were all worth it! I love the photo. I definitely plan to visit Blackwater again. Maybe next time, I'll go back in the fall when the sun rises a bit later and the flies are no longer hatching.

 

Incidentally, the sunrise looks great against a dark background. Click here to see the photo in a black lightbox.

 

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