Tell me a Story: July 2021

Its been a while since I walked in the wetlands. With Covid I have tried to stay away from crowds. Richard’s health has been my primary reason for avoiding them, Covid being a close second.

In fact as I write this I am battling with a Covid headache that is pretty blinding to be honest but I wanted to get my blog done in time, and I slept all afternoon so right now I am wide awake. Yes, I was exposed to Covid and tested positive. And yes, I have been vaccinated. It is a good reminder that even though you are vaccinated you can still be exposed and contract Covid. The upside, if there is an upside to contracting Covid, is that the vaccination reduces the effects of the Covid significantly and in theory, I should not land up in hospital, but I still have another 6 days of quarantining to go. Bummer for my husband, because he has to go 5 days past my 10 days of quarantining.

That said, it was nice to get out and walk in the wetlands a few weeks ago and just to shut off my mind from all the happenings and to just focus on nature and the peacefulness of my surroundings. This year has been pretty awful for our family and each month has brought something new since February. I thought I was going to survive July, but clearly that was not too be. Hopefully since it will run over to August, nothing else will happen in August.

But below are some of the wild life I managed to capture while out walking.

Purple Gallinule Chick – I love them, they are so ridiculous looking. They are all legs and have these tiny wings that clearly they grow into.
This is a Green Heron, that really blended well into this algae that is covering the water.
Dragonflies are one of my favorites and this Blue Dasher was in abundance in the wetland.
This Black Crowned Night Heron was fishing at the Gator Pools. Based on the name probably not the best place, however it’s been a long time since I saw a gator in this particular pool.
This Pig Frog was probably what the Black Crowned Night Heron was looking for, or maybe it was fish. Every so often this pool has an abundance of them hanging out in the water.
This particular perch is a favorite spot for the wet Anhinga to dry out it’s wings after it’s fishing expedition in the water. These birds are also randomly called a snake bird because very often all you see is it’s head sticking out of the water.
I love the wing span of this Purple Gallinule as it tried to find it’s balance on the thin branches.
There was a random duck hanging out in the water – I am not sure which kind this was.
I found another Anhinga drying it’s wings in the the trees near the waters edge. An interesting thing about these birds is that cannot fly very far with wet wings, so they will get to the nearest safe spot and the will spend the next while with their wings extended drying them out.
I believe this is a pair of Erythemis Dragonfly that I found mating.
One of my favorite birds is the Redwing Blackbird. The reason I like them so much is their chicks are too cute. I remember photographing a set over a period of 8 days and they are just incredible.
Another sweet bird is the little Grebe. They are incredibly shy (or maybe scared) but if you appear they tend to duck into the water and swim away. They are fast swimmers and typically land at the other side of the pool of water before you have time to think about it. I managed to capture this one and then one below
Grebe
Another common dragonfly to the area is a Four Spotted Pennant.
Not so common and I love finding them is the Scarlet Skimmer Dragonfly. It is also known as the Ruddy Marsh Skimmer.
I came across this very raggedy White Peacock Butterfly. I have to wonder how it’s wings got so damaged and how it actually manages to fly.
These Tri Colored Herons are so friendly and you can get pretty close to them before they fly off.
Blue Dashers as I mentioned earlier are in abundance in the wetlands.
There was a mix of birds at this particular pond. First up was the White Ibis.
This White Heron, crossed paths with the White Ibis and got chased away. This pic made me think it was saying something to the effect of “I will hide here and no one will see me”
Last at this pond was the beautiful Glossy Ibis, whose feathers simmer in the sunlight.
Walking a little way away I came across a Morph Blue Heron. From what I understand this is when the Heron is transitioning from it’s white to blue phase. It’s pretty cool in the morph phase I have to be honest.
Last but not least joining them in the pond was this Tri Colored Heron. Obviously wanting to get in on the fishing.

Walking out in the wetlands in the mid day is hot, and I have recently actively decided to wear cover up. Learning Richards story, with his melanoma, makes me realize just how important it is to have significant cover when I am out in the heat.

If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home in February after his melanoma Stage 4 diagnosis. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. While the medication has shown some positive signs of working on reducing the melanoma, we have to be aware that melanoma is very unpredictable and you honestly need to take care.

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a circle blog so take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

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