Orlando Trip, Part Five

Jun 29, 2007 by Janine |
I spent an hour watching this female Snail Kite perch, preen, hunt, and eat. I use the term "hunt" loosely, as their prey is the Apple Snail. Although they have been known to eat crawfish and occasionally baby turtles, this is extremely rare in Florida, and here their diet is exclusively escargot.

get off my perch
Snail Kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis and Anhinga Anhinga anhinga

my snail
Snail Kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis and Florida Apple Snail Pomacea paludosa

More kite pics soon...

Orlando Trip Part Four

Jun 27, 2007 by Janine |
On the drive south after the conference, I decided to stop off at Lake Kissimmee. I heard it was a good place to see Bald Eagle and Caracara. So I got off the Turnpike and followed some beautiful back country roads to Joe Overstreet Landing. They run airboat tours and there is also a public boat ramp. Along the drive I saw some interesting wildlife- turkey, fox squirrel, and meadowlark. Interesting to me at least, since they are not common in south Florida.

Here are a couple of the birdies I saw when I arrived:

Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis

Eastern Meadowlark,Sturnella magna

Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus

The highlight of the trip is yet to come! To be continued...

Orlando Trip, Part Three

Jun 26, 2007 by Janine |
Here are the last of the Gatorland photos:

fashion statement


For Pete:
got a staring problem buddy?

On to adventures at Lake Kissimmee... to be continued...

Orlando Trip, Part Two

Jun 24, 2007 by Janine |
Gatorland is home to many kinds of crocodilians, not just alligators. They have an extensive collection of crocodiles and caimans from all over the world. I wish I'd had more time there, will definitely make another visit soon.
Here are a couple of crocs.

This moorhen family was right next to the main walking path. I was surprised to see both the adult and the juvenile feeding the baby. Maybe it was from an earlier clutch and now helping to raise its younger siblings. I've seen a juvenile moorhen feed an (unrelated) baby at a wildlife rehabilitation center so I guess it makes sense.

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

big feets
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

To be continued...

Orlando Trip, Part One

Jun 23, 2007 by Janine |
Well I had a great time in Orlando. The conference was very informative, plus I got to go see some wildlife along the way. I hurt my hand a couple of weeks ago so not in the best shape for photography, but I wanted to take advantage of being in central Florida, and possibly get some decent shots. I have updated the gallery, finally. Check it out HERE.

So on the drive up I stopped off at Gatorland. It's an alligator farm and they have gator shows, nature trails, a serpentarium, etc. But what I was most interested in is the hundreds of wading birds that nest there every year. I was not disappointed- there were herons and egrets at all stages of life, from unhatched bright blue eggs to nestlings to fledglings. The noise (and smell) was amazing.


brand new babies

what you lookin at, punk

To be continued...

Mammatus clouds

Jun 18, 2007 by Janine |
I got home from work today to these festive looking clouds.
Mammatus clouds are smooth, sack-like (breast shaped?!) protrusions hanging from the underside of a thundercloud anvil. The accompanying thunderstorms may be severe and can include high winds. These clouds are often associated with tornadoes, perhaps incorrectly, but they do look ominous. Especially when they start to swirl...

More info Here

In other news, I am headed up to Orlando this week for a land management conference. Should be fun!

Happy Flag Day

Jun 14, 2007 by Janine |
Jaycob in a pensive mood:

indigo mood


Jun 13, 2007 by Janine |
Not posting as much lately. Been very busy with work and other stuff going on at the moment.
Every summer I get into a slump. I just dont feel like lugging that heavy telephoto around. I still take macro photos, should be more insects about now that the rains have started. For work I carry a little Kodak digicam which is actually pretty good. I took this cichlid photo with it, and some of the previous posts like the shrikes and the killdeer nest.


Here are some cichlids inhabiting a small brackish mangrove lagoon in Pompano Beach. I was surprised to see them swimming alongside needlefish and sargeant majors, have not seen that before. I threw in some crumbled granola bar to get them to come to the surface for photos.

Summer breeze

Jun 09, 2007 by Janine |
Little Jaycob is doing well, starting to pick at food on his own. He was conversing with the wild jays today so that is a good sign.

It rained every afternoon last week. Yippee! There is quite a chorus going on each evening, frogs tuning up, nighthawks soaring, and yes the skeeters are gaining in numbers. The other night I saw fireflies blinking, pretty cool.

Not been doing much photography-wise. Between work and rain I have not had much opportunity. Of course today was a beautiful day but I squandered it loafing around the house and doing some chores. I did go out and do some work in the yard and subjected a lubber grasshopper to a photo shoot.

xtreme close up

PS- Aldous Hawksley is flying free.

The Green Man

Jun 06, 2007 by Janine |
Dionysus with froggies

Type O Negative- Green Man

Spring wont come, the need of strife
To struggle to be freed from hard ground
The evening mists that creep and crawl
Will drench in the dew and so drown

Im the green man
The green man

Sol in prime sweet summertime
Cast shadows of doubt on my face
A midday sun, its caustic hues
Refracting within the still lake

Autumn in her flaming dress
Of orange, brown, gold fallen leaves
My mistress of the frigid night
I worship pray to on my knees

Winters breath of filthy snow
Befrosted paths to the unknown
Have my lips turned true purple
Life is coming to an end
So says me, me wiccan friend
Nature coming full circle

Im the green man
The green man


Jun 03, 2007 by Janine |
Hurricane season started on June 1. Tropical Storm Barry formed on June 1.
How polite of him to wait until the proper season to form.
No damage here, just wind and rain- we sure did need the rain! We got about 5 inches here.

Here is a photo of Jaycob from today.