Christmas in the Glades

Dec 29, 2010 by Janine |
We spent Christmas Eve at Everglades National Park to celebrate our anniversary. Fearing holiday traffic on the highway, we set out before dark and arrived just after the sunrise. The cold and wind kept all but the most hardcore photogs away... one fellow was in shorts and a T-shirt!

Golden dawn light on a cormorant



Tricolor



There were plenty of vultures at the Anhinga trail. We guessed that they were hanging around to pick off the stunned fish as the temperatures dropped.



I have not heard reports of massive fish kills like the ones that we had in January of this year, but this week we had the third freeze of this winter. Either way, we did not see any of the invasive exotic (mostly tropical) fish that are normally seen at the trail, so perhaps their numbers had been reduced by the January freeze. Or maybe the vultures have done a good job of cleaning up :)

This alligator is another member of the clean up crew.



Eco pond was quiet, as usual. It has still not recovered from Hurricane Wilma in 2005. There was, however, one new resident, an American crocodile.

Mr. Toothyface



Sentinel kestrel



Belted Kingfisher



As I mentioned, we have had 3 freezes already this December. I think I really need to invest in a proper ice scraper.





Wishing a safe, happy, and joyous New Year to all!

Cold Moon

Dec 21, 2010 by Janine |
A blood red solstice moon glowed silently in the pre-dawn sky.



Yule greetings to all!

December 2010 Freeze

Dec 14, 2010 by Janine |
Last night and this morning brought record low temperatures to Florida, and we are in for another cold one tonight.

Thermometer in my truck this morning:



Ice on plants in the front yard:







The orchids and other sensitive tropical plants have to stay in the garage until it warms up.



The weather report says it will warm up toward the end of the week. I can hardly wait!!!

Sanibel

Dec 05, 2010 by Janine |
I spent some time last week relaxing in Sanibel. By relaxing I mean waking up at 5am to brave frigid temperatures to go birdwatching. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time.

The first evening, I enjoyed tranquil beaches with abundant shorebirds.



Cooperative Willet





The cold front brought gusting winds, resulting in a bad hair day for me, and a bad feather day for Mr. Willet.





More pics from Sanibel will be forthcoming. Meanwhile its time to prepare for our first freeze of this winter. I say this winter rather than this year, since we already had the record breaking January 2010 freeze which devastated local reptile and fish populations (both native and exotic). Temperatures tomorrow night and for the next 1-2 nights are expected to plunge into the 20's and low 30's. Brrrr.