Posted on March 27, 2023
Walking in the wetlands is always one of my happy moments and today is no different from any of the other time. I love the peace and tranquility of my walk, despite the speed walkers and the camera groups and sometimes the crowds. I tend to switch off and focus on why I am there.
Getting out clears the cobwebs, opens my eyes, helps me to appreciate that there is more to life than me. There is beauty that surrounds me and it is a joy to see.
The simplicity of a leaf on a railing makes me smile. This is one of go to styles of photography. I love the creaminess of the image. Today I did not get to see too many brightly colored leaves, given that we are coming out of winter, but sometimes that is okay because it is real.
A Little Blue Heron who was confident enough to allow me to get closer to it than it may have liked. I love the feather action in the wind.
Fir fronds lying on the railing still give a very winterish feeling.
I may be wrong but this bird does not look like a Grackle, rather it looks distinctly like an Indian Myna. How do I know that, I grew up with Indian Myna by the boatloads. Grackles are common in Florida. Indian Myna are common in South Africa.
Sometimes its the random things that catch my attention. This case it is a random spider web of leaves and bits and pieces hanging by a thread attached to something my eye does not capture.
A Yellow Rumped Warbler flittered around my view. I don’t capture these little birds too often so I was grateful to see it settle for a few minutes before taking off again. It was long enough for me to capture the pose.
One of my favorite birds is this Little Green Heron. Green you may ask? Absolutely that is it’s name but I am with you because I have yet to see green in it’s coloring. That said, this little bird is a wader and can hold this pose for the longest time as it watches for it’s food.
I was doing my best to get down and low with this little Palm Warbler when someone, something not sure which triggered flight mode. I caught it just as it was about to take off.
The Palm Warbler above is the same one in this picture. It flew into the trees and hopped from branch to branch and it took me a good deal of patience to be able to capture this image. I love the image but I am not crazy about the big yellow blob which is a leaf.
Further around on my walk I came across this colorful leaf. I could not resist taking it’s picture. I always laugh when people see me taking a photograph and then remark “Oh it’s a leaf”. Come on, this is not just a leaf. This is beauty in creation and they just don’t see it.
As I have mentioned Iguana are my friends. I love them. I love their make up. I love their coloring. I love their attitude when you get to close and it flaps it’s neck skin to let you know that it is not happy. They are prehistoric looking and so darn cool. But that is me. Iguana are not popular in Florida. Iguana do not do well over the winter season. On cold days their body temperature can go to frozen mode and they go stiff and fall out of trees. Some to the ground and unfortunately some into water, where they will drown. Those on the ground tend to thaw out as the temperature warms up and then they carry on with life.
The Grebe is super sensitive to people around. For me, getting a photo of this little bird is an achievement. They are super fast, and spend a fair bit of time underwater and will come up so far away from where you expect them to be. This little one had been bathing and so I was able to snap it before it ducked away again.
I happened to find another Palm Warbler in one of the random trees along the walk way.
As I arrived at a water hole, I was surprised to see a host of Glossy Ibis and a couple of Great Egret. The day was cool and this Great Egret looked like it was cold to be honest.
Glossy Ibis are either boring looking or look stunning. When the sun shines on their wings it changes the whole look of the bird completely. They go from a boring looking brown to the pearly colored wing that changes color dependent on the angle it catches the wings.
Talking wings, doesn’t that wing span and it’s intricate formation just amaze you. I am always in awe of nature and it’s creation. Each feather is exactly in the right place so that when they come to fly there is no question that they are going to take off.
Nature is a great place to get out and appreciate the beauty of this world. When the day is tough and the troubles are huge, find somewhere where you can just walk and appreciate the beauty around you. That is what I like to do.
30 Minutes in the Life is a small group of bloggers who get together once a month to put thought to paper and share on the happenings of their lives. Take some time to follow the link to see what my friend and very talented photographer Lupji of Lupji Photography has to share.
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Category: 30 Minutes in the Life, Wakodahatchee Wetlands and Green Cay Nature Preserve Tagged: #glossyibis, #greatblueheron, #greategret, #grebe, #greenheron, #iguana, #indianmyna, #nature, #naturelover, #naturephotographer, #naturephotography, #outdoors, #palmwarbler, #sharleenstuartphotography, #southfloridaphotographer, #yellowrumpedwarbler
Posted on January 31, 2021
When I first started walking in the wetlands, many years ago, I loved to see the Great Blue Heron’s nesting at Wakadohatchee Wetlands. You got really close up to the nests in spring when the babies were being born. Fast forward some years and the Woodstork started coming in. The Great Blue Heron struggled to maintain their nesting areas against this colony of birds. They came in droves and took over. At first I was impressed with the Woodstork. They are definitely interesting to look at, but over the years I’ve kind of got annoyed with their take over routine. The Great Egrets used to nest in the trees as you first entered the wetlands and now the Woodstork have taken over that area as well. The Great Blue Heron’s have moved to trees at the back of the park which are much further away. The amount of Woodstork that move in means by the end of the season the area is super smelly and I am so over them.
My first sighting beyond these smelly, take over birds, was one of the resident Alligators who is probably looking forward to Spring as well. They tend to lurk below the nesting trees, when they aren’t sunning themselves out of the water.
Holding tight onto their spots in the trees the Woodstork have taken over is the Anhinga. Towards the end of winter the birds fly in and start to build their nests. Mating season is happening and one of the most incredible birds during mating season is the Male Anhinga. The eye color of this bird is stunning and it develops a very fluffy neck. The female however, does not change color. When the chicks are born they are the cutest things. The have these tiny bodies and these long necks. They feed like scavengers and it is incredible to watch them doing they. The chick puts it’s whole head down the mothers throat. The first time I witnessed I had a gag reflex. Yikes the poor mom.
As I continued along the walkway I spotted this Great Blue Heron wading in the water looking for lunch. I love them, To me they are majestic birds. We used to have one come to our back garden. Clearly someone had been feeding him and he was looking for that. I did not want to have him become dependent on me feeding him, but I would throw bread out for the fish in the canal so that he could go fishing. He would come by every day for the the summer and then he just disappeared. I used to call him Big Blue. Hanging out in the same waters sunning itself in the sun, fortunately for the Great Blue Heron, was another of the parks Alligator.
On the opposite side of the walkway there were a few Great Blue Heron, and surprisingly early, were two Great Blue Heron chicks. I am not sure if the first bird was protecting eggs or just trying to cool down. We have had interesting days down south right now that are sometimes warm and sometimes cold. This particular day was warm. The second photo is the chicks. When they are born they looks so cool. All head and beak with a mohawk. I am so disappointed that the Woodstork took over their nesting place.
And then I come to the walkway. I have committed to taking 1 image a week using my different lensbaby optics and so today I had the sweet 35 and I created a portal through the walk way. So come and join me with the second half of my walk.
Hanging out in the walkway trees are typically the tiny birds and this Palm Warbler was so challenging to catch. I probably took about 15 photographs just to get this one. The flit from tree to tree.
The Swamp Hen fascinate me. They are so rich in color and very similar to the Purple Gallinule. What fascinates me with these birds is their feet. They have the longest, possibly ugliest toes that I have seen on birds. They utilize them like fingers holding on to the reeds that they pull out of the ground to eat. Normally you will see a group of them wading around.
The glossy Ibis is another beautiful bird that hangs out in a group as a rule. This one had moved away from the group and started digging for food in a slightly different area. They are named glossy Ibis because of their stunning feathers. In normal light they look brownish but when the sunlight catches them their feathers become glossy and a different array of colors.
In the last stretch of my walk I spotted this Little Green Heron in the reeds also looking for food. This is a small bird of incredible colors and I love to watch them look for food. They are patient and they will wait probably longer than I am willing to watch them to catch their food.
Of course, I could not resist the tiny bit of fall colors in the wetland. When I spotted this leaf lying on the railing, I had to capture it. This is one of my favorite ways of shooting leaves.
Always a favorite for me is the Iguana that we find in South Florida. Not native to this region, they are often unpopular with local inhabitants. However, I think they are pretty cool. They are so unique in their markings and as seen below, quite vibrant in their mating colors. Of course, the are prolific in repopulating the area which leads to them being disliked. These Iguana live in the southern states due to the climate. During cold spells in winter, the Iguana freeze and will often fall from trees. Sadly some of them fall into water and drown or become gator bites. Others, surprisingly enough, seem to thaw and get up and start moving again.
And with that I am back to the smelly Woodstorks again, and heading back out of the park. I always enjoy this mile long walk out in the fresh air. I am going to need to get back out again soon.
Thank you for joining me this month. This is a small group of bloggers so when one or two are out it seems like it is a quiet month for blogs however, this is a circle blog. Take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.