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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Solstice


The first day of winter awoke to a balmy 66 degrees. While we've had a few nights in the 30's most days are "shorts" weather. While the fronts typically bring high winds and cool temperatures, they also bring in migrant birds, some of which are not common to our area.




I've had a couple of rufous hummingbirds hanging around for the past month. They are the first ones that I've seen. They are very aggressive and will get in your face! Good thing they're not any bigger.


The cold fronts push many water fowl into the bays. These hooded mergansers also been infiltrated by an alien horned grebe.


A pair of northern shovlers.


A  young red shouldered hawk has also been hanging around this week. That's only a small sample of the migrants that we're seeing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November in the Panhandle


One the things that is that you can count on in November is bears. They come around because of the acorns that are prevalent in the fall. The sow  in the photo above has two cubs and has been hanging around for a couple of weeks. Her cubs were frolicking across the street last week.



They are very entertaining to watch and aren't a problem unless they get into you garbage are destroy your bird feeder.


Our weather is great this time of the year and so is the fishing! Trout and reds are fattening up on the shrimp migrating to the gulf.



I took an interesting picture (to me anyway) the other day.

 
Nothing exceptional you say...just a handsome young man man holding a nice red, until you look at the reflection in his sun glasses.


You can see what Mike is seeing, while I'm taking his picture.






While I was out on the dock, my neighbor came out to net some mullet for supper. The evening sun added a nice cast of color.



 Then there's Jessie. He lives in the creek that borders our property. He certainly enjoys the sunny afternoons after our chilly fall nights.

I'm very fortunate to live in such a rich, natural environment, and for all of you that we don't have a change of season............We do!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October in Apalachicola


We've already had nights in the high 40-low 50 degree range. These changes trigger the movements of birds and fish, such as the increase in the number of wood storks in the last couple of weeks. I see very few during the summer, but now we are seeing them daily.



 


Our local herons and egrets are also more active, due to all the pogies and shrimp that are moving with the cooling waters.
The tarpon are also following the schools of pogies . It's not uncommon to see large schools of tarpon crashing into the migrating pogies.
The cooler weather also brings the southbound butterflies. The gulf fritillaries are coming through by the 1,000's and will soon be joined by large flights monarchs.

 If you've never visited the Panhandle in the fall, you're missing a wonderful experience. Fishing, photography or just sight seeing, now is the time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall must be near

The mornings have gotten cooler and the humidity is much lower, but those aren't the main indicators of the approach of fall. Nope it's the critters.The sulfur and gulf fritillary butter flies begin streaming through the area heading south.

Then the humming birds start swarming around the feeders and flowers. This is the one that claims my side porch.




And last but not least, the eagles have begun returning to reclaim their nests. This is the downtown Apalach eagle that returned last week.

This a pretty nice time of the year around here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Storm over Wewa

I had heard the rumble of an afternoon thunderstorm as I was working on an update for my new blog, which is another story that I'll explain in a minute. Anyway I decided it was time for an afternoon libation, just to get the creative juices flowing, and walked out on the front porch  and saw this thunderstorm to my west over Wewahitchka/ Dead Lakes. Unfortunately I had carried my camera inside to down load pictures that I had taken earlier today and a cool camera and warm humid air create instant fogging. The pictures aren't as sharp as I would like, but I think the refracted colors caused by winds across the top of the storm are evident.
 

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Thanks for the e-mails and calls checking on my health...ok, I was way behind on an update. Other than the fact that that this is my busy time of the year tarpon fishing, I've just completed a course through the University of Florida(IFSA) to become a Florida Master Naturalist. It covered plants, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and the ecology of the coastal systems.  Plants have long been a weakness of mine and I was fortunate to have neighbor who  is also a Master Gardner; she took the course with me and has been of tremendous help in identifying native plants. Our class project was a blog that is dedicated to the rivers of East Bay and primarily the East River. My intent is to keep that blog focused on the flora and fauna of the East River, and the photographic opportunities that avail themselves through the year.

I invite all of you to visit us at East River Florida. It's a work in progress and we'd appreciate your pictures of East River and any comments or observations.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The dangers of Apalachicola Bay

Anyone that has fished Apalachicola Bay knows that it is a very shallow estuary and even the most experienced captains are going to make contact with the bottom. As someone that runs the creeks, mouths and bars on regular basis, I'm very aware of the probability of running aground. Yesterday evening I was photographing some black skimmers feeding on a shoal and I discovered that I wasn't alone.








In the 5th photograph, the skimmer nearly comes to a screeching halt and almost flips (6th photo), but recovers and continues on his way. Made me appreciate the fact that I'm not the only that "polishes their skeg" occasionally.