May 2021: Naples botanical Garden: Part 4

When I last left off we were in the area that showcased the plants native to Florida with their beautiful waterfalls.

Today we are walking through the Enabling Gardens and heading through the water lily Gardens. Lastly we visited the Asian Gardens. The Enabling Gardens was a garden that showcased various gardening techniques from growing tomatoes, to various plants. The enabling gardens depicts gardening in raised beds so that the elderly, who love to garden, don’t have to get down on the floor level to weed the flower or vegetable bed. I am all for that at my age. It also showcases the option of sitting and wheelchair gardening. I loved the various choices that this garden had to give.

Moving beyond the enabling garden we moved towards the lily ponds with their vibrant and beautiful colors. Once again we saw beautiful depictions of roots in the metal artwork form.

Lastly we headed towards the Asian Gardens with their vibrant colors and beautiful and peaceful resting places. Richard found a bench where he waited for me while I was sidetracked.

I love to meander around the gardens. It takes time. We are out in the sun enjoying the beauty and to be honest forgetting about the heat that is bearing down on us. The sun in Florida is super strong. Make sure to put on your sunscreen. Wear sunglasses and use a hat to protect your face. If you have any form of skin cancer or like Richard, melanoma, then make sure you are wearing UV protective clothing when you are out in the sun. 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. Make sure that you are checking your body for moles that look different., or a mole that may worry you. Melanoma, we are told can spill over and travel from a mole site to another organ and go dormant for years. In Richard’s case it was 34 years before the melanoma made itself evident again. Take Care of yourselves. Prevention is better than trying to cure Stage 4 cancer.

Thank you for joining me. You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

May 2021: Naples Botanical Gardens: Part 2

Leaving the Caribbean Gardens we moved along through the River of Grass area towards the Karen and Robert Scott Florida Garden that features plants that are native to Florida and also plants from around the world that grow and thrive in the Florida Climate. The paths meander through this beautiful vegetation past man made water falls, and thatched roof huts. I don’t know the names of the plants but so many caught my attention.

Again the image of roots in amongst the garden were evident.

Gorgeous colors and beautiful Phalaenopsis could be seen growing from the trees.

The wildflowers made me think of happy faces blowing in the wind.

There were man made waterfalls in the gardens which lent to a very restful stop.

There is so much to capture your interest along your pathway. Vibrant colors and beautiful flowers. Scenic pathways and softly falling water. This was definitely a treat.

Just a reminder, the sun in Florida is super strong. Make sure to put on your sunscreen. Wear sunglasses and use a hat to protect your face. If you have any form of skin cancer or like Richard, melanoma, then make sure you are wearing UV protective clothing when you are out in the sun. 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. Make sure that you are checking your body for moles that look different., or a mole that may worry you. Melanoma, we are told can spill over and travel from a mole site to another organ and go dormant for years. In Richard’s case it was 34 years before the melanoma made itself evident again. Take Care of yourselves. Prevention is better than trying to cure Stage 4 cancer.

Thank you for joining me. You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

May 2021: Naples Botanical Gardens Part 3

I left off at the Brazilian section of the gardens in my last post. Today we venture into the Caribbean Gardens.

The garden shows off the plant life of the Caribbean plantations rich with fruits such as banana plants, papaya plants. There is also succulents and cacti. Richard found a bench to hang out on while he was waiting for me.

Walk with me through this gorgeous garden and enjoy the beautiful creation of nature.

This Anhinga was set perfectly out on the lake sun tanning his wings. Anhinga are interesting. The are often known as a snake bird because that is all you see when they come up for air while fishing for their food. Once the bird is finished fishing it needs to find a place to dry it’s wings before it can fly any distance.

I spotted this pair of Osprey high up on the pole.

While I was busy taking photos, Richard walked ahead to find a shady spot to sit and wait.

Cacti that we found along the way.

As I mentioned before, Roots appear to be the artistic theme in the gardens right now and this is just another beautiful example of what we got to see.

The Caribbean gardens has this beautiful oolite pergola which held me up for a while.

Moving through the garden, Richard was diligent to keep his hat on and look for shady spots to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Before we headed out to the gardens, he lathered himself with Factor 50 sunscreen. We wanted to be able to enjoy this time together in the gardens.

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. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

Thank you for joining us. Look back for postings of the previous days.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: June 2021: Negative Space

It was my turn to choose this month and I decided to choose {Negative Space}. I am not sure if I related to the topic because our year so far has just been so negative or just because I really like the style of photography. If you read the previous two blogs you will know that we have decided to work on our bucket list of things we want to do. So we headed to Naples, Florida for a short 2 night away vacation.

I was not consciously thinking about negative space while we were in Naples, but I did manage to shoot a few of what I thought would fit the theme. The gardens were so peaceful and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around them.

According to Wikipedia Negative Space is “Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject of an image.” So here is my take on the {Negative Space} theme.

The next image was taken during a walk in the wetlands. I love to get down low with the boardwalk railings and shoot whatever is lying on them. This was an interesting combination of possible leaves, flower and some mucky looking stuff.

The image below is taken out in the garden after the rain. We have these rather annoying multcolored leaves all over the back garden which drop their leaves when they die. Ever since I had to be invested in the garden I have been trying to catch these leaves before they hit the floor and make a mess. However, when it rains the leaves hold perfect waterdrops, and often the colors are just so soothing.

And last but not least, this image was taken in my “home studio” which is made up of backing board and a few lights. Every so often I will buy fresh flowers and wait for them to die. I love the different shapes that they take.

This is my take on {Negative Space}. I know that we would love to see yours. It has been nice to get out and get away and think about something else rather than, health, life and what tomorrow brings. Nature is a soothing balm and a weekend away was just what we needed.

We have always been outdoorsy people. We have lived to be in nature. Life and death, has suddenly become very relevant in our lives right now as we focus on Richard’s health. 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. Each day has become a memory making day.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Ceri Herd Photography is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_light inspired

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

30 Minutes in the Life: May 2021

Life has become day by day. It is precious and moments are not to be wasted. Given that we do not know what the time frame looks like we have opted to make the most of it. We both have a lot of vacation to take this year or we loose it. So for the month of May we decided to take a short 3 day vacation to Naples, Florida.

I am not sure that we have ever stayed there before but I left Richard to do all the planning. The only input was that perhaps we consider heading to the Naples Botanical Garden on our second day when we did not have a whole lot of plans.

Wednesday we headed out. From our home is is about a 2 hour drive across Alligator Alley. Short, quick, and before we knew it we were there. Richard booked into Cove Inn. The room sat on the edge of the waterway, and it came with a room, kitchenette, bathroom and a balcony. Only change I would make would be to go to an upper level. Our balcony looked more to the boats than the bay. That said the place was perfect for what we needed.

Once we had settled in, we did a 30 minute walk down town to the historical district. We wanted to check out restaurants and breakfast places. Turns out that Cove Inn had it’s own breakfast place and it was more than adequate for us. Extra large eggs means you get three instead of 2 even though it is a 2 egg breakfast. Below is a cell pic of some of the Cove from the dock across the way, where our sailing ship would leave from.

One of the purposes for going out there was that Richard wanted to get back out on the water. Planning is a little more challenging now. We both love the sun, but he has been told to stay out of the sun. It is hard. Your default is that you want to go back out and do all the things we have done for the last 34 years.

We planned a sunset cruise. So today’s blog is about getting back out on the water. However, Richard has factor 50 sun screen on, a factor 50 shirt and a hat. All things that we did not think about before. It was a perfect sky and I was convinced I could see a bird in these clouds.

We are ready for our cruise. Just a few steps away from our room, was a restaurant called The Dock. We chose to go there for dinner before heading out on our cruise.

Dinner was a share of calamari and mussels. Filling for both of us and done in time for us to settle the bill and leave to walk down the dock to our boat. The Sweet Liberty crew do not offer drinks and snacks on board but you were able to bring your own. While the boat was not full to capacity, there were enough people on it. We headed to the back where we shared space with a couple from Nashville. If I have to say anything negative, it was that a young girl was on the boat with her entourage, doing a photoshoot. So every where you moved you kept tripping over a model, her mother, a camera man, and 6 other people. Beyond that the boat ride was perfect.

The cruise itself was so enjoyable. The captain was informative and his crew got the sails up and had us under wind power and on our way. Heading out to the ocean, I think they took us on the scenic route through the waterways. It was a lot shorter coming back. Like the east coast the waterways are lined with big, fancy houses and impressive boats.

I was pretty impressed with the clouds and the formations in the sky, that was until sunset and then it was too much.

My thirty minutes officially ends here but I am going to continue so I get all the images from our cruise together. The picture below is looking to Marco Island and I will share more about that in a few days.

It was so good to see Richard smiling and enjoying the outdoors, wind in his face, and the smell of sea and factor 50 sunscreen. I find myself wanting to take images where ever and when ever I can because I don’t know what tomorrow may bring.

Our cruise is over but we have more planned. Check out our walk through the Botanical Garden on the Thursday, and our boat ride on the Friday through the 10 000 island and towards Marco Island. One of the views that really impressed me was the dome houses, so look out for that blog.

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. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend Kim, of This One Ordinary Life, has to share this month.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a story: May 2021

Day two of the short trip away to Naples, Florida. I like to walk in nature. My brother is a big fan of botanical gardens and when ever he is here we tend to try and visit one. Some are great others, maybe not so much. However, since we had a gap in our day, and this came recommended, I suggested that we do the Naples Botanical Garden. It certainly met and exceeded my expectations. I will probably split this into 2 or 3 blogs because there is just so much to see.

First stop was the route to the Brazilian Gardens designed by Raymond Jungles, and it introduces various plants that are native to Brazil. The walk heads up to to the beautiful waterfall and a gorgeous colorful mosaic wall, as shown below. There also appeared to have some kind of root artwork theme staged throughout the gardens. I wish there was a directory of plants so that I could share names but sadly there isn’t. Enjoy your walk through the first part of the garden.

The water lilies were beautiful and staggered around the gardens.
Fortunately I had the smaller of my zoom lens and was able to catch this Blue Dasher Dragonfly on the lily.
Richard tended to walk ahead of me and find a spot out of the sun to sit and wait. This one was not out of the sun but I loved the color in the background. This is 8 days after treatment, and it leaves his skin looking a little red. A new addition to the clothing line is a big hat.
I have no idea what this tree is but I found this nodules of growth really facinating.
Keeping the sun off his face is now part of the day to day routine, or it should be. He was really good this weekend about wearing the hat and putting on sunscreen.
This was another plant that I really found captured my attention. It was like a water reed, but has a type of bamboo feel about it as well.
The art was not small and this one towered over us.

Join me for the next post of the Naples Botanical Garden in a couple of days. I am going to be heading to the Caribbean part.

If you are interested in reading about Day 1 in Naples Florida, then click here and enjoy our sunset cruise.

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. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

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.

Share Six: May 2021: Light Inspired

Well this month crept up on my by surprise. I had my images but when a blog falls in the middle of the week, I get sidetracked. And seriously where the heck did May come from? April was probably the first month since Richard’s hospital stay that I have felt more comfortable heading out and leaving him home alone. Now I am sure he could have been home alone, but after the first crazy reaction to the infusion, I was honestly nervous and have stayed close to home. So far so good, and I am relaxing a little bit day by day. That aside, he is a little tired of me hovering and so it was good to get out.

So this months theme is {Light Inspired} and it was chosen by Janet Douglas of @wiredtothemoon_ and I am excited to see what everyone comes up with.

For me it was finding light in my walks.

This particular walk is really dark and gloomy for the most part but the pockets of light in there always catch my attention. The contrasting colors of the dead leaves, the green leaves and the Spanish moss appealed to me.
I love finding random bits of greenery or plants or even feathers poking their way through the railings on my walk. They offer one of my favorite types of images.
For me the light and color in the background of this Palm Warbler image reminds me of some of the impressionist type art.
New leaves are awesome and this little bunch of leaves was hidden in a dark area but highlighted by the sun.
The sun in the background of this blue jay really captures my attention.
Early morning walk and this Red Wing Blackbird had a lot to say.
I used to photograph the squirrels in our garden so often, until I got banned because the “rats with a tail” were running on the screening. So I was quite pleased to see this little guy feeding on the grounds of the wetlands. I love the autumn looking light in the background. Ironically this was taken about 2 weeks ago.
The light in the wetlands can be harsh, but this particular day was slightly overcast and breezy and I happened to catch these two dragon fly doing the tango. I will say it is a first time catch for me. They barely sit still long enough for you to get a quick shot of them.
Waterdrops on the leaves in the garden. This plant is a pest and drops a lot of leaves and since I am doing the gardening they are not my favorite. We have about 10 of them. However, when the light is right and the rain has just cleared up I love to go outside and capture their colors.
Back on the dark walk, and as I mentioned in the first image, there are just random pockets of light where I find something that catches my attention.
This particular area of the wetlands has lots of trees and so the light shining through created this beautiful bokeh for me and I really enjoy seeing the Spanish moss.

It has been nice to get out again and walk and just breathe deeply for a while. However, the walks are going to have to happen earlier for me because the weather down south has quickly become oppressive and it gives the feel of a lot hot, potential hurricane filled summer. If it stays hot like this that ocean is going to be warming up significantly. Let’s hope not. In the meantime, I am going to try to do my best to get out and about a bit more.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Ceri Herd Photography is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_light inspired

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

30 Minutes in the Life: April 2021

It’s April, and we have been living under a cloud since mid February, and practicing day to day living. I have not vocalized what the the cloud is, just mentioned that Richard was in hospital. The black cloud we are living under is Stage 4 Metastasized Melanoma. For us this came out of the blue. Richard had been diagnosed with a melanoma in 1987 and had had it removed, a skin graft done, radiation etc. One year later he was back at the doc and they had to remove his lymph nodes. For the next 5 years he was observed and after 5 years, he was NED – no evidence diagnosed. For the last 34 years we have lived as we always had, on the coast, in the sun, paddleboarding, kayaking, camping, suntanning and changing color. We both love the outdoors, and spend a lot of time in the sun. The sun makes me feel good, a color change makes me feel like a new person.

The news we got on February 15th took a lot of processing. We are told that sometimes melanoma can spill to the organs and go dormant for years. On finding out this news you go through stages of disbelief, anger, fear, acceptance, and what’s next. What’s next is 2-3 years of immunotherapy every 3 weeks. He had a bad reaction to the first round and he ended up back in the emergency room after I called 911. Round 2 has gone well. The only side effect is a rash. Tomorrow he will have round 3.

I will confess to be hovering, checking in, wanting to have him leave me notes if he goes out. I think it is driving him nuts. But the reality is that I am worried about the “what if”.

Melanoma is one of the deadly cancers. Metastasized melanoma, means that it has gone from your skin, to your lymph nodes and organs. Richard has melanoma in his small intestine and in the lung. Stat rates are not great, but I believe we have a mighty God, and there is power in prayer. Richard has a multitude of people praying for him, for which I am very grateful.

Day to day living means you continue to work, but time off becomes time together. We are starting to say we need to begin checking off our bucket list. Despite Covid, we are going to start doing things together that takes us away, and out of town.

The other night I suggested that he join me to watch the sun set. He decided he would go walk along the edge of the canal and get his exercise in while I photographed the setting sun.

It was nice to arrive and see old familiar faces and to be able to chat to them. I have been concerned about going out for indefinite periods of time. So this was good for me. One of my good friends just recently lost her husband to cancer, so for me it was reassuring to see her smiling face and to see that she is looking so well.

It was also a good opportunity to meet new folks and to learn a little bit more about them. Richard returned just as the sun was setting and joined us as the sun went down. Chatted a little bit before we left. I know that these are the kind of evenings I want to share with him.

We have a bucket list that we want to get to ticking off. So in the immanent future we are lookin at a trip to Naples in Florida and not in Italy (unfortuantely). Richard would like to go for another sunset cruise, and I am always up for catching the setting sun. As soon as Australia opens up for visitors, Richard has said we need to go. He wants to see his mother and siblings. I have family over there that I would like to see as well.

So much has to change in what and how we do things. Eating habit have had to go almost to the side of vegetarian, lots and lots of my favorite (ugh) green veggies. One of the biggest things to go is sugar. Cancer apparently loves sugar.

Day to day, that is what we now know. Day to day becomes your visual image. While we will plan ahead, we are also limited to the medication regime and the side effects.

So today is my 30 minutes with my husband watching the sun set, and praying that the medication does what it needs to do. 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. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend, Janet Crouch Photography, has to share this month.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a Story: March 2021

I have pretty much been homebound since mid February. Richard came out of hospital after spending 10 days there. Recovery is a 6 week stretch if he can actually sit still and not damage any of the work that has been done. We all have a bit of cabin fever, however, I am trying not go out and catch anything as it could impact his immunity. So I have stayed home for the most part.

My best friend was flying into town from 3 days with her daughter and two grandsons. I really wanted to see her. She listens to me on the phone each day, and encourages me, laughs with me and picks me up when things are tough.

I decided I would go an spend some time with her. I took my camera along so that I could shoot the 3 images I would need for this week not thinking I would get my blog as well.

They were fishing at the pier. I have to confess that I was worried about too many people, and there were quite a few. However, I kept my mask on and did not touch or make contact with anyone. Brody, my friends 5 year old grandson, was attempting to fish, or perhaps his mother was encouraging him to attempt to fish. He never did catch anything but she really wanted him to have the experience of fishing off the pier.

The highlight of standing waiting for him to finish was the Pelican. They kept diving for the bait and the fishermen kept chasing them away.

I love the “Watch your step” sign. It is almost as if the Pelican was following the directions.

Look at the wingspan of the pelican. It is stunning. I love how the feathers are displayed both in the image above and the one below. Nature is so incredible, and these feathers give the bird the ability to fly. Wow.

This Pelican managed to find a tasty treat.

I was trying to inconspicuously get a photo of the fishermen in the image. Clearly I got caught out, but they did not seem to mind.

Something that really bugs me about fishing in general, is often the carelessness of leaving fishing gut wire around, and the birds get caught up in it. This bird, which looks like a Wilson’s Plover, appears to have it wrapped around both feet. Its feet look badly deformed and unfortunately we were not able to catch the bird to cut the fishing gut wire away. Nature is precious. I want people to take care of it and pick up anything they should not leave lying around.

In the picture above, the Pelican decided that there was a piece of fish under the bottom of the wooden railing and it tried to pull it out, but only succeeded in pushing it off and into the water.

This bird, which looks similar to a female Grackle, decided sushi was on the agenda for the day. It wasn’t content with just one piece, it stuffed a whole lot of bait into its mouth before flying off.

The Pelican below decided it was back for more fish. It grabbed the fish and turned to gobble it up and in the process dropped it, then looked down and spotted two of its Pelican buddies fighting for this tiny piece of fish.

The birds were fun and entertaining and to be honest their antics and the time with my friend was just what I needed to revive me. So much so that when we went to lunch I suddenly felt exhausted, and wanted to just take a nap.

Friends are a balm to your weary soul. They lift you up when you are down. They encourage you to hang in there and to stay strong. Good friends are what you need when your world is suddenly turned upside down. I am so grateful for my friend.

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 of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2021

Welcome back to another 30 Minutes in the Life. February was a difficult month for our family and heading into March I just really needed to get out and do some walking.

It’s late winter, the beginning of spring and the wetlands is slowly coming alive with birds. Mating is happening, nests are being built, in some cases eggs have been laid and in other, the chicks have hatched and are demanding food. What I love about this time of the year is the beautiful feather displays and the gorgeous mating colors that you see. The Snowy Egret develops these beautiful wispy trailing feathers that are used to attract the attention of the males. The coloring around the eyes is just beautiful.

As per the last number of years, the Woodstork fly in and take over all of the mating areas. I used to love it when I first saw them, and the chicks are really cute. However, they arrive in droves and take over the area that the Great Blue Heron would use, and by the end of the season, it is really smelly.

The male Anhinga develops this beautiful coloring around their eyes, and this almost mohawk like feather display on the back of their neck.

Mating happens and in some cases it almost appears somewhat aggressive.

If course the result of the mating is typically 2-3 chicks that totally harrass the mom for food. The first time I saw an Anhinga chick feeding from the mom, I almost gagged. Seriously that head goes right down the mom’s throat while the other two are trying their hardest to get in there as well. It really does not look like a pleasant experience at all for the mom.

Quite often you will find the Woodstork pairs hanging out together, but this time of the year, the male will head off to the trees to find sticks to bring back to the nest.

Anhinga love fishing for food. However, once they have fished, they have to hang out in the trees to dry off their wings. Neither the Anhinga or Cormorant seems to fly far before they need to stop and spread their wings.

Lurking, and I say lurking because that is what they do in season, is the Alligators. You tend to find them hanging out below the nesting areas in case a chick falls out. If the birds are stupid enough to hang out on the lower branches they could easily become food for the gators.

This gorgeous Snowy Egret is in its mating finery. I love the wispy feathers and the lime green eye make up that they sport.

This is often why you hear of so many kills by an Alligator. They hide in the reedy water so that you can barely see them. The Moorhens are a common food source for the Alligator, as are turtles. Even so, you will see them take out bigger birds as well.

I am with this Black Bellied Whistling Duck. All it’s buddies were in the water. This one not so much. I can hear him thinking “I am not putting my feet into that water, who knows what lurks below”.

Sunning itself in the trees is the Green Iguana. The Green Iguana is not native to South Florida, but they sure do love the climate. Typically they are found in South America. Somehow they made their way to the States. While I love Iguana, many do not. People find them invasive and they breed like crazy. A really cold winter will affect the Iguana populations, with many of them dying. Other times, crazy as it sounds, the Iguana goes into a frozen state and will fall out of the trees. As the weather warms up so does the Iguana. During mating season the male Iguana can turn a bright orange.

I happened to capture this beautiful display of feathers by the Snowy Egret. It flew into the trees and tried to balance itself in the wind.

Last but not least is the litte Cattle Egret in it’s mating colors. I love the orange mohawk, and the fluffy tail feathers. He had a mate sitting higher up in the branches on her nest.

There is such beauty in nature that always amazes me and with all the chicks about to hatch I can’t wait to take another walk in the wetlands.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life.

This is a circle blog. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Meagan Dwyer Photography, she is about to get the party started. You will definitely love what she shares.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.