Clearing my mind

Oct 14, 2009 by Janine |
Last weekend we made a sojourn to Everglades National Park for a much needed break. Visiting there helps to clear the stress and confusion from my mind and I am better able to handle what life throws at me afterward.

It has been many years since I have seen a live rattlesnake outside of captivity. Luckily for us, a large (4'+) diamondback happened to cross our path as we drove down the Research Road! I got a few shots:

Killdeer were abundant

Anhinga Trail was pretty quiet wildlife wise. There were some tourists but not a huge crowd. Someone left some food in the back of their jeep in the parking lot, which was discovered by the resident crows. Needless to say, the jeep was a mess and the food scattered throughout the flock.

Alligator enjoying the current

Views from the trail

The Gumbo Limbo trail was surprisingly mosquito free. I am not sure if I have shared this before, but this tree-face always amuses me.

As darkness approached, we were treated to another rattlesnake, this time a baby near Flamingo.

Also saw this baby Burmese Python, an unwelcome invader to the Everglades.

Local authorities are encouraging people to kill them on sight, especially within the park, but I have issues with the "less than humane" methods that are often used. If anyone killed feral cats and dogs in the same ways that are being advocated to kill these snakes, they would be put in prison. As a result, I let them live- I don't know if thats the right thing to do, or not, but I am not comfortable with brutally killing them (or catching them and handing them over to someone who will). I fully support current efforts to find out where they are breeding and destroy the nests. Many of the large females have been implanted with microchips in an effort to track their movements and discover their nesting sites. I prefer these methods of population control and think they will have a more positive effect than simply killing individual snakes.

Anyway, I am happy to report that the home buying ordeal is over. Everyone says buying your first home is one of the most stressful experiences of your life, and I agree whole heartedly! Wish I had more time for "nest feathering" but with a lot of work travel in the coming weeks, it will be difficult. Just glad its over and things can get somewhat back to normal now.

Back soon!

Harvest Moon

Oct 05, 2009 by Janine |
The air was clear Saturday night so off we went to Juno Dunes for an after dinner stroll.

This tortoise was chomping away on some fresh green shoots of grass growing up in the middle of the trail.

As we left the sky was aflame.

I have a hard time believing its October. I hear its going to be a cold winter this year. The El Nino effect which has kept the hurricanes away from South Florida often results in cold and turbulent winters. Colder than what we are used to, anyway. I am looking forward to some cooler weather. Migrant birds are already here in flocks, and cold weather brings robins and waxwings, which is always a treat.