February 2019
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DAJ Designs Photography
A Tribute to Blackwater NWR
National Wildlife Refuges are a system of protected lands, prairies, forests and wetlands which have been set aside to conserve and protect America's wildlife, fish, and native plants for generations to come. They are home to vast numbers of migratory birds every year and are inhabited by many different forms of wildlife, including foxes, raccoons, and deer to name just a few. NWR's are visited by countless nature lovers across the USA.

One of our favorite refuges is Blackwater NWR located just outside of Cambridge on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Established in 1933, Blackwater NWR is a sanctuary for migratory birds traveling the Atlantic Flyway. Its roughly 28,000 acres of protected wetlands, fields and forests is home to Bald Eagles, Osprey, snow geese, and many different species of songbirds, shorebirds, ducks, herons, and owls. The selection of birds you may see depends on the season, so be sure to check their website for an idea of what birds are present when you plan to visit.

There is a nice wildlife drive along a portion of the marsh where you can drive, walk or bike. However, the refuge extends well beyond the wildlife drive and is accessible by some very low lying and windy roads which are known to flood at high tide. If you visit Blackwater, be sure to look around the fabulous Visitor Center and also take time to stop in the Harriet Tubman Museum, situated on the edge of the refuge. 

Here are a few of our favorite photos from this Maryland gem.
Sunset Reflections
Photography by: Debbie Jordan
The sunrises and sunsets at Blackwater NWR are stunning. On this particular late winter evening, the sky lit up with several variations of warm orange hues. The icy mudflats created the perfect contrasting lines to the reflections in the water. The scene was peaceful and awe inspiring and worth every minute of the cold evening.
Caring For The Wings
Caring For The Wings
Photography by: Benjamin DeHaven
White Pelicans are among the migratory birds that winter over at Blackwater. However, they tend to stay off in the distance making it difficult to get a nice photo.  This one was an exception and ventured up close. As you can imagine, he drew quite the audience of photographers as he stood there preening.
Cooling in the Shadows
Photography by: Debbie Jordan

Along with the Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron seem to be year-round residents at Blackwater NWR. The one above was cooling off in the shade on a hot August day. Perched in a pine tree about 15 feet above me, it watched me closely as I took multiple portraits. Its gray-blue feathers appeared even more bluish in the shadows, and its yellow eye and lower mandible added the touch of color.
Blackwater Blues
Blackwater Blues
Photography by: Benjamin DeHaven
"Blackwater Blues" (best seen large by clicking on the photo) was taken on a chilly March night right outside of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Blackwater is a great place for night photography because it is one of the darkest areas in the Baltimore region. There is some ambient light as you can see in the photo above, but many photographers - including me - have successfully captured photos of star trails and the Milky Way from this location. If you are up to a night visit to the area, take note that the wildlife drive is closed after dusk. However, there are many places still within the refuge where you can stop to capture the perfect night shot.
So, we hope you will check out Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - or a refuge near you - to see some fabulous scenery, wildlife and birds.
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We have a
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2019 calendars
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Enjoy our nature photography all year long. This spiral-bound 2019 calendar features 12 of our most popular photos printed on quality heavy-weight paper. Click below to order your copy now, or contact us by email to request a copy (or two!). They make the perfect gift for any nature lover.

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Select photos available at:

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Cockeysville, MD
Until Next Time
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