Blue Bird to Brighten Today

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How special to see this couple when photographing at Hidden Lake Gardens. They obviously feel the call to build a nest so we didn’t linger.

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They were keeping a close eye on us, to make sure we kept our distance.

Fall in the Everglades

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Egret fishing from a sunbeam.

Daughter, Sharon, was visiting from Texas last week and one of the things she wanted to do was visit the Everglades. I have traveled the Southern Loop Road, a 26 mile loop of narrow dirt road through the Big Cyprus Preserve, many times in the peak winter months when it is cooler and water levels are low.

I didn’t have any photos on file from October or November so I was a little concerned about whether there would be birds and alligators in the water close to the road for Sharon to enjoy.

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When we stopped at the first (last) stop with facilities, several vultures were in the trees welcoming us. Or did they detect the smell of old age?

As we drove deeper into the everglades, the first thing I noticed was higher water. If the road hadn’t been well built we would have had to have kayaks. The higher water levels provided beautiful water-scapes of foliage

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In an environment where I don’t detect any dramatic change of seasons, the plants in the high water provided color.

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.And there were a few birds but not as many as I normally see. The high water provides good fishing throughout most of the everglades. We heard lots of splashing and thrashing about in the brush – just out of view. It was kind of eerie in the daylight, what would my imagination do at night?

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Heron

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Ibis high in a tree. It surprises me to see big birds up so high.

We didn’t see any alligators sunning themselves along the road but this was to be expected because it has been hot, with very warm nights. The alligators were keeping cool in the water. At several places Sharon would say she saw an alligator, but then question whether it was a floating log. Some were real because they sank underwater when she opened the car door.

That happened in one spot and we were all sure because we could see the ring of bubbles where the alligator had dove deep. We were feeling a bit pleased with the sight when she noticed babies in the water – about 20 of them. We didn’t get too close because we knew Mama was somewhere very close keeping an eye on us – and we knew she would strike if we reached down to pick one up (also not a good idea because I understand alligators are hatched biting and fighting.

20151111-DSC_0056Sharon was very pleased with her excursion deep into the Everglades and we ended the day by sharing a gaterburger and gater nuggets in Everglades City. And for me, going into this untamed piece of the Glades never grows old because it isn’t staged. I get to see how nature unfolds it’s story for the first time, all over again.

Fai Chan’s Photography: Bluebird on Evergreen

Bluebird on Evergreen (1 of 1)My friend, Fai Chan, loves to take photos of birds – like traveling great distances to go to places where different birds are sited hoping to catch a glimpse and a good image. He also like to attract birds to his back yard so he can take their picture through the sliding glass door. He e-mails me photos with a short message about where or how he took the photo. I obtained permission to feature his photos on my blog so I’ll be sharing them periodically.

Here is what he said about photographing this beauty. I love what you did with the green, Fai.

Now that the pair of bluebirds has lost all inhibition to come to the perch and ask for food, I thought that I would put a small evergreen next to the perch and put some crickets on the evergreen today.  The results are shown in the attached picture.  I toned down the green color and let the blue show.  I like the blue and green contrast very much.  He is actually looking for crickets in the evergreen.
I have another week or so before the babies are hatched, I might try some yellow or red flowers and see if they would perch on the flower.  Just keep the rain coming because they ask for food more often during rainy days.