Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Fog, settling in the air all around.
Fog, covering the earth like a blanket on the ground.
Where did you come from?
Why are you here?
You feel so misty.
The air's unclear.
The afternoon of the bird banding we stopped at a nature trail in NAS Pensacola. The weather had been iffy all day, but as we walked along the boardwalk, the fog rolled in. Misty at first, it came in off the water thicker and wetter while we were there. It was a little eerie to hear the surf and boat traffic and not be able to see anything. The trees became shrouded in a ghostly covering, lending a beauty not seen in the sunshine.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Friday evening, I was sitting on my porch, absorbed in my Kindle and oblivious to what was happening over the railing. It must have been a change in the light that made me finally raise my eyes from what I was reading and I actually gasped. I ran into the house, grabbed my camera, raced down the stairs and started shooting. I know how fast the sun sets once it gets to a certain level on the horizon. The colors were amazing-pinks, purples, oranges, reds. It was a very windy evening and unfortunately, I didn't have time to set up a tripod. Thus the pics are a little on the blurry side, but I think you'll still be able to enjoy another spectacular sunset over Escambia Bay.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
"I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could."
~John James Audubon
I spent a recent Saturday with two good friends at Ft. Morgan, Alabama at the bird banding station. Each year for two weeks, thousands of Neo-tropical migrant birds are captured at Ft. Morgan. These birds represent thousands of species, including large numbers of Ruby-throated hummingbirds. Ft. Morgan is the first landfall and the last departure point for thousands of migrating birds. The birds are measured, weighed, banded and released. This is an excellent opportunity to monitor population levels and the general condition of migrant birds, as well as gaining important insights into the effects of weather on bird migration. We had a great time at the banding station and lot's of fun walking unchartered trails at the Fort.
The highlight of the day for me was seeing a male, adult Painted Bunting up close and personal. It is an incredibly beautiful bird.
Adult male Painted Bunting.
I don't think my photo does justice to the colors of this small beauty.
This little Barn Swallow was so calm while ...
... the gentle volunteer explained some of the identifying markers of the bird. Actually, all of the birds were amazingly calm. It was almost as if they new they were in good hands.
OK, so maybe his feathers got a little ruffled.
Another favorite of mine. I've never seen a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in person before.
I was so amazed at the perfectly scalloped feathers that made up its throat.
And if these feathers weren't beautiful enough, they were also irridescent!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I seem to be having one health issue after another. Nothing serious or life threatening, just annoying enough to keep me laying low. Even today, I am battling a nasty Spring cold, complete with migraine. In between ailments I have been photographing. Unfortunately, the photos have been residing in my camera, but today I have finally downloaded them. Here are a few snaps of what I've been up to.
I've spent a fair amount of time in the garden, planting veggies and tending to beds and perennials. A couple of my favorite early bloomers are the Clematis and ...
...the profuse blooms of the Formosa Azalea. They just suddenly pop and for a brief week or so fill the garden with vibrant color. I wish there was a way to keep them blooming all summer.
On a Saturday morning in March, I volunteered at the Seagrass Awareness Festival at Shoreline Park. It was an opportunity for children and their families to learn about our shorelines and the seagrasses that provide habitat to so many small sea creatures. I worked at a touch tank that we had filled with all manner of marine life that had been seined from the seagrasses that morning. It was great to see the excited looks of the kids as they got to hold pipefish, snails, tiny blue crabs, baby croakers and many more. A great educational opportunity for everyone, especially me! I learned a lot.
One of the exhibitors at the Festival was the Northwes Floridat Wild Animal Shelter. They take in, care for and give homes to wild animals that have been injured and brought to them for care. It is an incredible organization. They treat and release those that can return to the wild and provide homes for those that cannot be returned to nature.
Like this beautiful kestral that is one of the permanent residents of the refuge. It was hit by a car and one of its wings is permanently damaged. He's been at the shelter for many years and has earned his keep by teaching children and adults about kestrals and other birds.
As has this blind barn owl. Isn't this tiny creature beautiflul?
Tomorrow I'll post about my exciting bird banding adventure with the Audubon Society.