Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Salute

To all the service men and women, past and present, who have given so much!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just killin' time

The other morning I was scouting an area to see if any tarpon had moved in on the last moon. As I drifted with the current, I was reminded of all the shy animals that inhabit the marshes. Many of these are never seen, unless you make a point of looking for them. One of the first birds that I noticed was a red winged black bird. While not the shyest in the marsh, they always seem to be back in the reeds.

As I drifted a little further along the alligators began to show themselves. They tend to sink out of sight until things settle down, then will go about their routines.

I began to hear the call of least bitterns, but couldn't see them. These smallest of the heron clan are very shy and stay perfectly still when alarmed. I finally found a couple of them and managed to get a few pictures of a couple of males in breeding plumage.

I didn't find any females in this area, but did find one a few hundred yards away.

The female's coloration is very similar to that of an American bittern, but they are much smaller in size. While I looking at her, I saw something dark moving through the reeds. I eased around the corner and spotted a common moorhen moving through the reeds.

As a parting shot, a group of snowy egrets flew over. Here's my rendition.

Oh yea, the tarpon that I was looking for ...well you'll just have to come down!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Old Bob

Here in North Florida the loquat trees (Japanese plum) have been loaded with fruit for several weeks and it is beginning to ripen. My neighbor has a large tree that is covering the ground with ripe fruit.

Every year the grey foxes start making the rounds to all the loquats and eating the fruits that have dropped. This gives one a good cause to fix a cocktail and sit on the porch as twilight approaches. Those of you that play with cameras know that low light is less than idea for photographers. These pictures were taken at an ISO of 3200 & 6400, so they are a little noiser than I would like.

There are at least 3 foxes coming through and my favorite is "Old Bob". Now Old Bob is the last one to show up and is the most skittish of them all. (These pictures were taken at 2040 EDT.) After you see him you can understandwhy he might be cautious...

As you can see Old Bob is missing his tail, not to mention all the battle scars on his face and chest. Looking at the his grizzled muzzle it's a safe guess that he's been around awhile. He appears to be in good health and able to take care of himself. He's the "Rocky" of the neighborhood! Here are couple of the youngsters.

The great blue heron chicks are really growing. Here's picture from last week.