Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pledge to Fledge at Green Cay

Had an awesome day out today at Green Cay with lots of old birders and even more brand new birders. Here are some pix of just a few of the amazing things we saw: 

A mom Purple Gallinule with her babies.
Two Anhingas just hanging out.
Another Purple Gallinule. Take a look at his honkin' big feet!
The wind caught this Purple Gallinule, giving a bad but hysterically adorable hair day.
This was neat, a Least Bittern in the exact same spot I got my lifer.
Another shot of the Least Bittern.
Just an Anhinga, but I liked the way the light lit up his orange parts, making him look like he was on fire!
This was the same Anhinga as above, from a slightly different angle.
This was a juvenille Common Gallinule. He has big feet too.
A BA frog.
This was my favorite picture of the day, a mom Black-bellied Whistling Duck. I love the look on the mom's face, she looks so smug and kind of satisfied. There were a total of 14 babies.
This was super amazing - I got my first bat photograph!
This is a baby Gallinule. Notice the bald spot on his head? Paddy told me that when the parent birds don't think they will have enough resources to feed all their babies, they will kill one or more of the babies by stabbing them on that bald spot.
My favorite Florida critter, the 5-line Skink. This one doesn't have the bright, electric neon blue tail though.
This was a Yellow Crowned Night Heron performing personal maintenance. I liked how the light caught his eye in this picture.
Lots of dragonflies out there today. I think this is a 4- Spotted Pendant, but I'm not sure, will have to research.
Another cool Dragon Fly.

I was told there will be another Pledge to Fledge event in February. If you ever wanted to try birding, join us!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Public Art of Indian River County

There's a lot of nature in Indian River County, but there is also a lot of really cool public art, to which this page is dedicated. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Let's start off in beautiful downtown Fellsmere. All of these were carved by R&S Woodcarving.

This is my favorite one. I like how from this view it frames the "Welcome to Fellsmere" water tower.
I love the detail, the black marbles used for eyes. This is located on Broadway, near the corner of 512, by the school.
This Alligator is also on Broadway, kitty corner from Marsh Landing.
This Eagle is at the very end of Broadway. These carvings remind me a bit of sand sculptures in that they are not permanent - they are made from dead tree stumps that will decay as time goes on. This is one of the older sculptures, you can see it's decaying at the base.
These bears are on North Hickory.
another thing I love about these carvings is that they are subtle, hidden gems. I drove by this on the way home from Marsh Landing about a million times, and only noticed it recently.
 This bird is also on North Hickory.
These raccoons are also in North Hickory. This one reminds me of my mom, she would have liked it. Heck, she would have wanted it in her yard!
Another view of the raccoons.
Funny thing here. I shot these pictures all on the same day. When I was walking home, I saw this and thought it was a hummingbird carving. On closer inspection, I realized it is not, but it totally should be!!

Leave a note in the comments here if you know of a piece of Indian River public art that you would like to see added here!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Georgia and Jacksonville Vacation

We went to Georgia and stopped in Jacksonville on the way home. Saw some cool stuff. Click to enlarge:

Mom and Dad have a ton of humming birds on their feeder. This one posed nice on the wire plant frame. She hung out here quite a bit.
I was surprised to find what jerks hummingbirds can be. There are 4 feeding stations, but rather than just each picking one, they just fought and whomped each other. In this picture, I had just filled the feeder, so it's not like food was at a premium. There were times when the feeder was empty but there were about 6 birds just wailing on each other instead of eating!
This is a terrible picture, bit it's the only boy I got. These were all Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, the ones with out the red are either girls or immature.
Matthew, looking good on top of Chimney Rock.
David, looking all patriotic and dramatic and birdy.
Mmmmmmm, eye candy!
Scott, Matthew and David
Scott, Matthew, Dad and David. I love how dramatic Matthew looks here.
My favorite picture of the trip - David and Mom at Chimney Rock.
So, me, Dad, and David climbed down a vertical mile trail that was almost entirely stairs. And the only thing of interest that we saw was this weird red mushroom. No birds or anything else, just knee pain and a mushroom. Which sounds like a pair of terrible morning DJs.
Took a walk down the mountain Mom and Dad live on. I found this really cool cow. Click to enlarge to check out the face of the one in the middle, he looks like he is wearing a skull mask!
This is a Luna Moth who came to visit us. He was on the screen porch the first day, then moved around. Here he is on the support for the porch.
David and Matthew at Brasstown Bald. We go here every year.
Mom and Dad at Brasstown Bald.
David and Matthew watching videos. I love this picture:-)
On the way home we stopped in Jacksonville to go birding with some new friends. This is a Laughing Gull looking all dramatic.
This is a baby Laughing Gull and his mom. I didn't get her actually puking for him, but this was pretty close!
Mom and baby having a chat.
Common Grackle. What I like about this picture is that you can clearly see he is of the white eyed variety. They also come with kind of reddish brown eyes.
A HUGE weird fly on the beach.
A Reddish Egret
A bird leg. David ID'd it, but I don't remember what it was.
A Fiddler Crab. Click to enlarge and see his really angry looking eyes.
These pictures tell a story:

"Hi, I'm a Caspian Tern"
"Hey, so am I! Pleased to meet you!"
"I have feet"

"Well... yeah... ok."

A Black Skimmer
A really big weird dead fish, no idea what species.