Canon Elan IIe, tripod
Sigma 170-500 at 400mm
Fuji Provia 100
f11, 1/60
Frog-eating weeds
american bittern

Oftentimes, what it takes to spot and photograph wildlife is recognizing the patterns that signify animal camouflage, something I've been trying to develop over the years. One morning on Route 12, NC's Outer Banks, I whizzed past a piece of wood in a roadside ditch at 60 mph, only it didn't look right, so I turned around (I'd slowed down by then).

I've done this before and have been wrong, but not this time. American Bitterns (Botaurus lentiginosus) rely on looking like weeds as their protection, and I was able to get pretty close while he swayed gently in the breeze, hoping I'd be fooled and go away.

I was happy — this was the first I'd ever seen, much less photographed. Made my whole weekend.