Neighborhood Wildlife

Apr 29, 2008 by Janine |
Although we live in a heavily developed part of S. Fla, we see a surprising amount of wildlife around.

I watched this drama unfold out the back window:

The squirrel wants to go up, and the iguana wants to go down.

The iguana lashes out with its tail:

The squirrel darts out of the way:

Debris from the impact:

Beardie Babies

Apr 26, 2008 by Janine |
More of the ravenous beasts...


Apr 23, 2008 by Janine |
First cottonmouth of the year at my parent's house. Small but feisty.

One from a couple of weeks ago- a Black Spiny Tail Iguana (Ctenosaura similis) seen in Hollywood, FL. Originally from Mexico, they are now happily living in Florida thanks to the pet trade. I've seen tons of them down at Key Biscayne but this was my first sighting in Broward County. There were several individuals of varying sizes so I imagine they are breeding too.

Lastly, saw this crocodile near to one of my job sites. We estimate him to be 14'. The Ecologist I am working with calls him "Big Blue" and says he is fiercely territorial. Let's hope he stays in his canal and does not wander over to our site!

Bring out the Gimp

Apr 20, 2008 by Janine |
Lately I have been experimenting with GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages- It is pretty intuitive and every bit as functional as Photoshop. Even more so- because it is open source, people can write scripts and plug in for all sorts of cool effects. Plus, its free, which is awesome.

Here are a couple of photos I gimped:


Duckies still make me cringe at the wave of claustrophobia caused by the drain pipe incident.

Red Wing Blackbird nest

I visited the baby beardies so will be posting more pictures of them later this week. It is appalling how quickly they grow.

I've been planning some updates here and to the gallery for some time. Trouble is, I have forgotten how to update some of the content because its been so long!

It has been one year today since the passing of a dear friend, Boo. Our little circle of friends has not been the same since. She had a profound effect on us all, and we were fortunate to know her, even if only for a short time, far away. Miss you Boo.

EMB (even more babies)

Apr 17, 2008 by Janine |
More of the ravenous baby beardies. They can grow up to an inch per week.

That pinhead cricket didnt have a chance.

Green Herons at Green Cay.

Trying to come up with a funny caption for this one but too tired! Help me out.

Baby Time

Apr 12, 2008 by Janine |
Spring is definitely in the air. Wherever you go, you see animals courting, abundant babies and juveniles, it is a very exciting time of year.

Today we discovered some baby ducklings had fallen into the storm drain outside our apartment, and the mother duck was hanging around worriedly, unable to reach them. To make a long story short, we enlisted some help from the neighbors and their kids and opened up the storm drain. I donned my waders (Pete has seen some sexy shots of me in these) and was lowered into the hole. The water was almost chest deep. I grabbed the ducklings in some pool nets and handed them up to the rescuers above, and then was hauled up out of the drain. It was certainly an adventure. Its good to know that there are others here who care about wildlife, and I am very grateful to everyone who helped. Sorry, no photos of me in the storm drain!

These purple gallinules were "caught in the act" last week.

Baby moorhens. Amazingly, the pair on our lake still have all five babies in tow.

The male red-winged blackbird is fiercely territorial. He displays his bright red "epaulets" to attract females, or to intimidate potential rivals. They are very easy to approach and photograph when standing guard over their nesting territory, as they refuse to back down. I took some shots and left him to his harem.


Apr 08, 2008 by Janine |
The park was pretty quiet, probably because the mosquito/horsefly activity level was higher than the winter months. We checked our usual haunts.

There are now "Bluebird Crossing" signs posted along Research Road. I was marveling at this, and reminiscing about the time a few years ago that I saw a bluebird, when all of a sudden there was a flurry of blue movement at the side of the road. There were at least three bluebirds flying around! Of course the photo I got is pretty bad, but its my first shot of a bluebird so I am pleased! (Especially since it was taken out the window of a moving vehicle- that I was driving!)

We decided to watch the sun set over the mangroves and traveled south into the park. The evening sun lit the swimming crocodiles beautifully. They would only surface for a second or two before disappearing but it was fun. There were quite a few large ones, more than I have seen in a while.

Finally, after being bitten by numerous horseflies, we headed back. We encountered quite a few snakes along the road, including a few cottonmouth. Our friend the Barred Owl was at his usual perch.

It was a good trip.

Don't think we will be able to make it out this weekend as there has been a death in the family and we will be busy with family stuff.

In baby beardie news, one died yesterday so the total is 13. My mom has picked her two favorites and I have my favorite (the one that bites when picked up!). More pics soon.


Apr 06, 2008 by Janine |
Tadpole's first clutch of eggs hatched this weekend. She is the proud mother of 14 babies.

The moorhens on our lake have also nested. There are five little black fuzz balls running around the lake behind them.

Went to Everglades last night and saw lots of snakes, owls, and crocodiles. Ill post some pics later this week.

One Year

Apr 01, 2008 by Janine |
Today marks the first anniversary of this blog. I cannot believe an entire year has passed. Was just reading over last April's entries and reminiscing.

Unfortunately last weekend I ended up lounging around and doing nothing. It was probably a good thing to get some rest since most of the people at the office are either out sick or still recovering. I haven't been stricken yet and hopefully will avoid this bout- I was ill enough in December to last me quite a while. I am loading up on the vitamins and echinacea, and washing my hands compulsively.

So this weekend our plans are set: to visit Everglades National Park for the first time in almost two months.

I have been playing around with some cypress photographs because I want to enlarge one and frame it for our living room. None of these capture the feeling that I want though, will have to keep trying.