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

47 comments:

EG CameraGirl said...

You had a lovely successful photo day! The Little Blue Heron is so WHITE that I never would have guessed correctly what it was.

Roan said...

Looks like a productive outing. Wouldn't want to meet up with the allegator or the allegator gar!

Breathtaking said...

Some unique photos here Gail! The Gator with the dragonfly on his head, and the fish, so like an alligator,at first glance,... never knew of it's exsistence before your post. The dragonfly capture is spectacular,the juvi Heron, and some great views too.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

this mish mash may have been one of my favorite posts

I guess I like variety.

Love all birds, but the gator with a dragon fly...really!

Enjoyed. Happy Wednesday to ya :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Fan-n-n-n-nTASTIC!!! Love it all, from the boardwalk to the swamp and cypress to the wonderful birds and alligators. I have only seen the garfish in our Aquarium here in town. Lethal looking.

Thanks for linking up at the Bird D'Pot this week Gail. Always appreciated.

Stephanie said...

Whoa, that Alligator Gar is unbelievable! I have never ever seen one of those before and I'm not sure if I would want to in person - those teeth. . .

Great pictures, Gail. I love how you were able to capture a Dragonfly on top of an alligator :)

Hugs to you!

Kathy said...

Nothing wrong with your chit-chat - nor your pictures!

hootnonny said...

Successful venture into the Preserve! Always look forward to the chit-chat that accompanies your images! Keep it up!

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures, Gail.
The alligator is great, I see the dragonfly sitting just above his eye.
The bird in picture 3 and 5 we call the Egret.

you-wee because said...

Which of your birds is mish and which is mash??? ;-)

You seem to have lotos plants in your Louisiana waters. Your dragonfly is sitting on one of the lotos 'stamps'. I like to take the lotos flower when they are in full bloom!

Your alligator gar looks really snappish! Like many animals living in or around your waters!

Great shots - thanks for sharing!

Uwe.

A View From A Brown Dog said...

Wow these images are all awesome. The alligator with the dragon fly above his eye.... Incredible! You always capture such wonderful detail, perfect post title as well. Have a great day!

nookworm said...

The lotus flower seed pod is wonderful to my eyes! I would like to find some. I had to research the alligator garfish after seing your photo. We have caught small ones in the SC surf but they look nothing like this! Yeow!

carol l mckenna said...

Gorgeous nature photography ~ beautiful and thanks for 'coming by and commenting' ~ Happy Week to you ^_^

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

cobie en bas van Es said...

ik zie toch liever de kleinere dieren dan z,on krokodil.

Felicia said...

Oh WOW Gail these are all lovely. I was more fascinated by the leathery hide of the gator and first thought it was just a fly till I seen you said dragonfly.

Amazing images. Love'em all.

TexWisGirl said...

would love to see a little blue!!!

your dragon shot is so beautiful! the alligator gar is awesome! i stared at it a while before i read your blurb about it, trying to figure out what i was looking at. :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

You're never boring us with your chit-chat! Don't be silly :) and I must say that the dragonfly on top of the alligator has now become my #1 favorite pic in the history of reading your blog.

bailey-road.com said...

What an amazing array of fascinating critters! YOur photography is stellar.
I once caught a garfish in Florida - it was small but snappy.

Debbie said...

really awesome captures....that quick, let's just go, decision paid off!!

love, love, love that close-up of the dragon fly!!!

ps...we start the day with the same question & also, "where do you want to eat today"???

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Glad you all liked crazy spaghetti!

Such pretty shots!

Beth of "E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

awesome!! i am thinking mr. dragonfly need a better "resting stop" ... that is a bit scary. makes me nervous. ( :

what a great area. so cool!!

DeniseinVA said...

I for one will never get bored with your chit-chat Gail, it only adds to a great post. Your photos are always fun to look through, the dragonfly and the alligator reminds me of one of Aesop's Fables for some reason ;) That Alligator Gar is an impressive, ferocious looking fish, and I always enjoy your bird shots. What a great place to explore.

Evelyn S. said...

Your baby Blue Herons are white? I don't think the ones around here are...but I don't think I've ever seen a baby, anyway. I have trouble enough seeing the adult version! Again...absolutely amazing photos.

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

My kind of sight seeing day- great shots!

Susan (A Breath of Nature) said...

Your wildlife photos are amazing! The Great Blue Heron and Dragonfly are my favorites. I need to look up this place and see how far it is from me...looks like an interesting place to visit. Have a great evening, Gail!

Brian King said...

Beautiful photos! We have gar here, too. Even if you manage to hook one, they very often cut the line because of their teeth.

June Caedmon said...

These are amazing, Gail! Love that little blue heron (babies just have look about them, don't they?) and that dragonfly on the pod is INCREDIBLE!!! Wow! Can't wait to see more...

eileeninmd said...

Awesome shot of the dragonfly. And I love the little blues.. Gorgeous images and a great outing..

Shug said...

Looks like your day turned out to be a great one. How about those teeth on the gar? My goodness...I didn't realize they had teeth like that. Your photos just keep getting better and better!
Have a fun evening...

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

i love your chit chat.It makes me feel like you are talking directly to me and sharing your day. The pictures are stunning.

Hilary said...

These are wonderful, Gail. You live in such a diverse area. And please do keep on chitting and chatting. It makes your post YOU.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

While I have seen adult blue herons, your photos of the young ones were a first for me, Gail, as I expected them to be blue as well. The gator and dragonfly seem to get along quite well considering the size differences.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Your "not much" looks awesome to me! Beautiful photos.

Anita Johnson said...

What a great picture of an Alligator Gar!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for letting us tag along on your adventures.

I had to look up the alligator gar. Wow, what a scary and impressive fish. Interesting to read that they had long been considered trash fish and targeted for elimination until recently when scientists began to better understand their role in an ecosystem.

Marie said...

A truly gorgeous place! well worth a "let's jump in the car and go!"

beth said...

so when is a nature magazine going to hire you already….WOW!!!

Stephanie said...

Wow! Awesome shots, wowing at every shot. Loved the dragonfly on the alligator and the Blue Heron.

orchid Miyako said...

Hello, Dearest Gail; So sorry for my belated comment. I was SO tide up. 
So amazing the alligator with dragonfly shot!!! My husband said that he REALLY wish to see that kind of scene p;) Wonderful collection of pictures which are feasts of our eyes♡♡♡

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in America, xoxo Miyako*

Margaret Adamson said...

HI These shots are all tremendous. That Gator is TOOO close! The reflections are fantastic in a number of the shots. Love seeing the baby Egret. That fish is awesome. Never heard of it let alone seen one! Have a great weekend.

TexWisGirl said...

(thanks for linking! i'd have added you if i'd have remembered your post was there. :) sorry about the plumbing issue! eek!)

Karen S. said...

Oh my goodness, they are all sensational I can't say one is my favorite, but the abandoned boat photo, wow that should be on a cover of a book, if not hung in one's living room!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Wow!! Have never seen such an ugly/scary fish before. I bet they even scare the alligators!! Brave dragonfly!! Elegant herons!! Great photos!!

Georgianna said...

Hi Gail!

So happy to finally visit and savor your amazing images, which, as always, are exceptional. The blue heron is just majestic. I hope your weather is more pleasant and that you have a wonderful week. G

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Mercy sakes alive, what lens were you using? I dare say each picture left me wanting to see more. Such detail you capture, even the hair on that dragonfly's legs... think she needs to shave... yep.

SO good to read your cup ran over with things to do and the shoots were not a rain out.

Helma said...


Simply amazing.
The little blue herons have captured beautifully.
You also dragonfly is really very beautiful.
I enjoy these moments in nature.

Mitzi Rice said...

Breathtaking...stunning...awesome...amazing!!!