Top 12 Images of 2021

December 31, 2021

Looking back at my top 12 images of 2021 has been very interesting. I have received a lot of great exposure for my wildlife and nature conservation photography. Selecting these top 12 was based on the how well they were received on social media. In addition, how well they did in photo contests mattered. Of course, a few were just some of my favorites. I hope you will enjoy these images.

I found that the majority of the top 12 images were wildlife with only a couple of bird images and one landscape image. For many years, I was mainly a bird photographer, actually a water bird photographer with landscape/seascapes photography. However, over these last few years, I have developed better skills as a landscape/seascape photographer. So I was surprised that I ended up with only 1 scape image in my top 12 images.

My Reflections

I would say that 2021 brought me opportunities to photograph some new wildlife subjects such as the red foxes. I have had some of my red fox images do well in photo contests and on social media. During last spring, I absolutely loved being out there watching, observing and photographing the red foxes and their many kits. I cannot wait to get back out in the spring of 2022 to observe and photograph more of the red foxes.

Over the past couple of years, one of my new favorite subjects has been the American Bullfrog, and on occasion Green Frog. I continue to be inspired each year to photograph the frogs at Norfolk Botanical Garden. I try to find and capture new compositions that show the beauty of this amphibian.

Top Image of 2021

The American Bullfrog Sitting on Pine Needles was most definitely my top image fro 2021. It did very on social media and in photos contests. This image made finalist in the Great Outdoors 2020 Photo Contest by Outdoor Photographer. Then later in 2021 it was named in the Top 250 Winning Images of the 2022 NANPA Showcase Photo Competition. This image has produced well for me this past year and brought some national attention to my photography.

American Bullfrog  (Lithobates catesbeianus) sitting on pine needles under a pine tree on a autumn morning at Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Virginia.
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) sitting on pine needles under a pine tree on a autumn morning at Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Virginia.

3 Red Fox Images in My Top 12 images

As I mentioned before, my red foxes images have done well with 2 red fox kit images placing in photo contests here in Virginia. The Red Fox Kit Exploring was the grand prize winner of the 2022 Our Common Agenda Photo Contest held by Virginia Conservation Network. As the grand prize winner, my fox image is the cover image for the 2022 Our Common Agenda which outlines conservation priorities for the Commonwealth of Virginia. So, this was definitely a very important win for me as a conservation photographer.

2022 Our Common Agenda Environmental Briefing Book by Virginia Conservation Network
Red fox kit cover photo by Lori A Cash Conservation Photography on 2022 Our Common Agenda Environmental Policy Briefing Book by Virginia Conservation Network.

My other Red Fox Kit in Grass Meadow just missed the cut for being in my top 12 images; however, it was recently named as a honorable mention in the 2021 Virginia Vistas Photo Contest in the Wildlife in Vistas category.

The image of my Red Fox Kit Looking Up to Vixen was the image in 2021 that received the most likes on Instagram and actually did pretty well on Twitter, being one of the most commented on posted images of mine. I want to give a shout-out and a big thank you to A Bender, Nature Photographer, for sharing this image on @nanpapix on Instagram back in August where it got over 300 likes. I have seen my social media followers increasing this past year and hope that trend continues in 2022.

Red fox kit (Vulpes vulpes) looking up to vixen on a spring morning in a grassy fieldin Hampton, Virginia.
Red fox kit (Vulpes vulpes) looking up to vixen on a spring morning in a grassy field in Hampton, Virginia.

The third red fox image in my Top 12 images of 2021 is a personal favorite of mine as I have a very special memory of photographing that Red Fox Kit with Rabbit. Unfortunately, it did not do well in a couple of photo contests in which I entered this image.

Butterflies and Caterpillar in my Top 12 Images

In 2021, I made a move from Norfolk, Virginia to Hampton, Virginia. Since I had a yard again, I created a butterfly garden. The purpose behind this garden was to help the declining monarch butterflies by providing host plants of milkweed as well as nectar plants. Of course, you know, as a photographer, I would want to photograph the visitors to my backyard butterfly garden. In the first year of its existence I had over 12 monarch caterpillars as well as black swallowtail caterpillars that fed on my fennel.

As for butterflies, I had a lot of little skipper butterflies with a few Monarch and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies that would come to feed off the nectar plants. I photographed some awesome images of the caterpillars and butterflies in my garden this past year. I am looking to add a few more nectar plants, butterfly house and maybe another host plant or two to my backyard butterfly garden next spring. So, I am hoping for even better things as this has turned out to be a conservation project for me called Butterfly Preservation.

Black swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) eating blossoms on fennel plant in backyard butterfly garden in Hampton, Virginia.
Black swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) eating blossoms on fennel plant in backyard butterfly garden in Hampton, Virginia.

Last of the Top 12 Images of 2021

This past year in 2021, I saw a little decrease in my bird photography. However, two of the biggest amounts of time that I did spend photographing birds were with ospreys and brown pelicans. I really love the osprey on the nest with the trumpet flowers. I found it to be such a unique image. The lone scape image on my top 12 images is a picture of the Yorktown fishing Pier at Yorktown beach. The sunrise that morning had some very gorgeous light. I was able to capture a variety of sunrise images from that morning. And the last image that made my Top 12 Images of 2021 was a baby rabbit which got a lot of love on social media.

Osprey sitting on nest covered in red trumpet vine flowers at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.
Female osprey (Pandion haliaetus) at nest with trumpet vine flowers growing on nesting platform at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.

Images for Conservation

In 2021, I was fortunate to volunteer with non-profit organization called Wild Virginia, and they are focused on “Protecting and Connecting Your Favorite Wild Places”. I serve on their communication team, and I licensed them 20 of my images to use on their website, blog, etc. Also, in the last few months I started working on the Virginia Wildlife and Corridors project with Wild Virginia and Virginia Safe Wildlife Corridors Collaborative to help educate and bring awareness to Virginians about the need for wildlife corridors and crossings.

In addition, I licensed another 10 images to Virginia Community Rights Network (VACRN). VACRN’s focus is on “Uniting the Rights of Nature and Community”.

My Focus on Photography Subjects for 2022

For 2022, I want to continue to photograph a variety of subjects such as birds, wildlife, macro and scapes. I want to continue focusing on photographing Virginia’s wildlife and nature and building storytelling images that will continue to inspire others to appreciate our natural world and to advocate for wildlife and our environment. One goal I have is to most definitely work on creating a lot more scapes images.

Yorktown fishing pier at sunrise on a summer morning in Yorktown, Virginia.
Yorktown fishing pier at sunrise on a summer morning in Yorktown, Virginia.

Exciting Things Will be Happening in 2022

Stay tuned! I will be announcing some great opportunities coming up for me in 2022. If you have not already signed up for my monthly newsletter, you can do so at the end of this post. Also, you can follow me on social media as I regularly post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (links below). Great things are happening with Lori A Cash Conservation Photography.

I wish everyone a wonderful and prosperous New Year in 2022 with much happiness and good health.

Thank you for reading my Field Notes Blog, and I hope you will share this post with others.

Let’s protect our wildlife and nature!

All the very best,


  • Black Swallowtail Butterfly: Caterpillar to Newly Emerged Butterfly
    The Eastern black swallowtail caterpillars undergo a very noticeable change in their appearance from the 1st and 2nd Instars to the 4th and 5th Instars. After the 5th instar caterpillar stage, a chrysalis is formed before the eclosed butterfly emerges.
  • Responsible Photography Presentation at James River Week
    In this presentation, conservation photographer, Lori A Cash, will share images that I have captured on or along the James River, talk about responsible photography and give techniques to help create fantastic landscape and wildlife images of the James River.
  • Images Published in Virginia’s 2024 Our Common Agenda
    I am pleased to announce that, once again, I had three of my images published in the 2024 Our Common Agenda, a briefing book about Virginia’s conservation policies
  • Photographing Flowers Indoors
    Photographing flowers indoors is not weather dependent and can be done anytime of the day especially using the natural light of a window in your home.
  • Scenes of Coastal Virginia Photography Exhibit Slideshow Video
    Slideshow video of Lori A Cash’s photography exhibit called Scenes of Coastal Virginia held at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Virginia. This exhibit was held in the Baker Hall Visitor Center during the months of April and May 2023.

American Bullfrog (5) American Bullfrog Sitting on Pine Needles (4) backyard butterfly garden (9) behind the scenes (3) bird photography (6) birds (19) birds of prey (4) black swallowtail caterpillars (5) brown pelican (3) bullfrogs (4) butterflies (14) caterpillars (8) conservation (14) flowers (4) Fort Monroe National Monument (3) Frogs (4) Hampton Roads (3) insects (6) in the field (18) Lori A Cash (5) marine mammals (3) milkweed (3) monarch butterflies (4) monarch butterfly (8) monarch conservation (4) NANPA (4) nature (6) nature photography (6) Nature Photography Day (3) Norfolk Botanical Garden (10) osprey (5) photo exhibit (5) photography (10) pollinators (3) publication (3) published (3) raptors (3) red foxes (4) red fox kit (5) seascapes (3) songbirds (3) sunrise (4) sunrises (3) swallowtail caterpillars (3) tips (4) Virginia (14) Virginia Conservation Network (5) Virginia wildlife (5) Virginia wildlife conservation (3) whooping cranes (3) wild horses (3) wildlife (22) wildlife conservation (4) wildlife photography (11) Zazzle products (3)

2 replies to “Top 12 Images of 2021

  1. Awesome post and pics!!! Congrats on your successes! Really hope your new year is one of the best ever!!! Keep up the good work!

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