Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lake Martin Mish-Mash

Sunday morning we lounged around doing our usual: drinking coffee and having our routine discussion which always begins with a question: "What are we going to do today?" We are always eager to go somewhere, so the only thing stopping us would be the weather. The apps we consulted with weren't too favorable; at any rate, we threw caution to the wind, threw on some shorts without even showering first (unusual for us), and drove west to Lake Martin/Cypress Island Preserve. I really didn't expect to see much, and as I figured, the nesting egret/heron numbers were vastly diminished from the prior few months. There were a few little blue herons still nesting and that was about it. I always feel I am boring you with my chit-chat, so let's just get down to business.
First thing I saw as we drove in, a Great Blue heron.

Dragonfly resting spot. See him? I've read that they drink alligator tears.

Baby Little Blue heron

Alligator Gar.
Double D noticed a family (school?) of these in a side canal. He first thought it was an alligator,
but we soon realized it was a fish. The Park Ranger told us it was a garfish; however, that is incorrect.
I tried so hard to get a crisp shot of their ferocious teeth, but they are SUPER FAST.
One can certainly see how this fish got its common name.

Another baby Little Blue with a meal. I think it's a large tadpole.

Possibly a Slaty Skimmer dragonfly.

Abandoned boat on the lake.

Cypress Island Boardwalk.
More photos of our day to come. Stay tuned!

Linking up with Tex's

And also with Anni's

Monday, July 21, 2014

Silver-spotted Skipper

Alas, the plans to see the Wood Storks was axed. After some back and forth discussions, we finally decided that the threat of rain was too great to take a chance with our camera gear. Too bad we missed it because the local news was there to cover the story. The article can be found here. Our birding instructor, Jane Patterson, was the star of the interview, and I thought she did a fabulous job.

This Silver-spotted Skipper was gracious enough to anoint the lupine for me and my camera on July 16th at the local arboretum. Am I the only one that sees frightened/sad faces in some of the blooms?

Linking to
Our World Tuesday

Friday, July 18, 2014

American Snout

As I prepare this post (Thurs, 7/17) we had a record low temperature this morning of 62ºF (17C) which broke the record of 64ºF in 1967. The day before I was able to get out with my camera and not hate every second. I still sweated, but wasn't drenched. A first for me for the middle of July.

The American Snout or Common Snout Butterfly is found in both North and South America. Their elongated mouthparts along with their antennae give the appearance of the stem of a dead leaf. This is a brilliant form of camouflage from predators. But that didn't stop one feisty bee from attacking this one every so often.

If anyone knows what type of flower this is I would be most appreciative. The smell was perfume-y and heavenly.

Earrrrrly Saturday morning a friend and I are planning to see a Wood Stork event hosted by the Audubon Society. Right now the weather calls for rain, so if anyone is doing a rain dance within a hundred miles of here, please stop. :)

Enjoy your weekend. Hope I can return next week with some Wood Stork photos!

Thank you for hosting, Eileen & Misty!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pied-billed Grebe

This is one of my favorite ducks. I can't point to exactly why since his feathering and colors certainly can't compete with the flashy wood ducks or the metallic sheen of the mallards. Maybe it's his big, dark eyes outlined in white and the black stripe around the bill. Whatever it is, every time I see a Pied-billed Grebe, I start smiling and become giddy. I spotted this one in March with my birding class.

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Do you have a favorite bird or animal that you are smitten with?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Museum in the Mulberry Tree

Back in April we had a museum of Cedar Waxwings at Bluebonnet Swamp. Yes, a group of waxwings are collectively known as a "museum" or an "ear-full." This group was particularly fond of the mulberry tree. I thought I'd never post these because the light was so bad and I didn't think the photos came out that great. Also this was right around the time I discovered shooting from a tent blind (here and here), so nothing else I photographed could compare to those images. I guess I'm over that now, so here we are! A little lightening and sharpening in Photoshop, and voila!

Notice the mulberry stains on his belly.


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