Cold Days

Jan 21, 2009 by Janine |
You know its cold in South Florida when the waxwings arrive. It barely warmed up to 55 today, which is pretty cold for here. The thermometer in my truck read 36 this morning. Brrrrr.

Little downy woodpecker, there were several of these about.

Some more artsy stuff. I am not quite getting the effect I want but its fun to play around with it.

Mixed Bag

Jan 15, 2009 by Janine |
An assortment of images from the last week or so.

I experimented with some post-processing techniques to make these slash pine snags seem more spooky.

Sinister looking crabs lurking in the mangroves:

We have had some very cold weather here in South Florida, temperatures in the mid 40's last night! Its expected to last into the weekend. Had to bring in the orchids and other tropical plants because of the cold.

Anyway, I was checking on the other plants this evening, wearing my gardening attire...

When I noticed an outbreak of foul fungus.

Ravenel's Stinkhorn, Phallus ravenelii. And yes, it smells exactly as bad as it looks!
Nuff said!

mammalian times

Jan 07, 2009 by Janine |
I noticed that my blog tends to favor reptiles. Last weekend, however, was full of mammal sightings for a change.

Armadillo snuffling around at Savannahs State Park.

He did not notice us standing there, and approached within a couple of feet.

The following day, we saw this spotted skunk at a nearby coastal park. It was only the second time I have ever seen one. The first was several years ago in Miami, so it was exciting to see. The poor little thing had been spooked by some nearby maintenance work and was scrambling for cover.

Boxing Day Trip

Jan 01, 2009 by Janine |
Happy New Year to all! And Happy Birthday Rich!

We went exploring Okeechobee the day after Christmas. Our first stop was Kissimmee Prairie State Park. Just a quick warning, there are some kind of gory photos coming up, so if you are eating you might want to come back later. :)

A flock of Robins greeted us as we pulled up to the walking trail. They were feasting on fruiting palmetto beneath a dense oak canopy, so photography was difficult.

This small flycatcher posed nicely for me.

Rich noticed this unusual spiderweb alongside the trail.

Gators were abundant.

We got buzzed a couple of times by this Red Shouldered Hawk. He was nice enough to turn so I could photograph his red shoulders.

As we were driving up to the park, we saw this Caracara dining on fresh roadkill.

Suddenly a red shouldered hawk appeared and there was an altercation.

We watched from the truck as the Caracara returned to its meal, but the RSH dive bombed him several times. I thought this was unusual behavior as RSH are not normally scavengers. It was a rural country road and traffic was pretty much nonexistent- so we left them to it.

We continued our adventure around Lake Okeechobee and ended up at Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area. We traversed a few different environments, from marshy prairie to scrub to oak hammock.

A flock of wild turkeys crossed the trail in front of us.

This tiny ribbon snake almost got stepped on.

A raccoon family darted across the trail.

We also saw plenty of wild hog in the woods, but they dispersed pretty quickly with much snorting and stomping. Deer and armadillo were also abundant. It was a nice hike and I would like to visit again earlier in the morning to try and see more bird life.