We pass our sudivision's illuminated entry gate:
In early June, before we departed for Illinois, we walked out 45 minutes before sunrise in semi-darkness, under a waning crescent Moon:
This was almost three weeks before the Summer Solstice. The Sun had already slowed down in its march toward the north, as if putting on the brakes, getting ready to turn around and start shrinking the daylight for another six months. We were far along the path beside the lake as the sky brightened. Sunlight from below the horizon backlighted the tops of a line of thunderheads along the Atlantic coast.
Opposite the incipient sunrise, the far shore of the lake was still in darkness. Broken up by the cloud tops, the rays raced above us as parallel lines which converged at a vanishing point on the horizon to the southwest. High clouds over the Everglades caught the sunlight, accenting the illusion that somehow sunrise had relocated:
For a while the clouds obscured rays on the right side of the mirrored sunrise, producing an odd geometry of shadow and reflection:
A pair of Killdeer had a nest nearby. I almost stepped on their four eggs, laid on a bed of pebbles in the path along the side of the unpaved roadway:.
The Killdeer parent was distressed and very defensive, so I backed off and gave the nest a wide berth:
On my way back I had trouble locating the nest site but was finally able to photograph it from the opposite side of the road, some 25 yards away. The parent was incubating the eggs:
My long lens gave me a closer view:
I had been monitoring the nest of a Green Heron. After successfully raising a first brood, it hatched out three chicks. The parent covered the hatchlings on May 26:
On May 27, the smallest of the three appeared unable to compete for food with its two energetic siblings. The next day I found only two Green Heron nestlings. Such is the way of Nature:
There had been a particularly severe thunderstorm the day before, so I was anxious to check on the welfare of the remaining two nestlings. The nest had been disrupted, but the two little herons survived. I hope they continue to do well, but I will never know:
The day before, I had encountered a group of three White-tailed Deer, including a large doe with one blind eye, a second smaller doe and a spike buck which were possibly her fawns from a previous year. They ran off, with the half-blind doe between them, tilting her head to the side so as to better see where she was heading:
Walking back from the heron rookery, I walked up over a berm and was surprised to find the one-eyed doe standing not far in front of me. I froze and the doe cautiously moved towards me. Not catching my scent, she was probably trying to figure out my identity:
Suddenly realizing the danger, the doe turned and ran across the unpaved road and bounded over the guard rail:
On the way back home, a stopped at the thicket formerly known as the "Fake Hammock" which yielded great views of a White-eyed Vireo. It looked as if it had "an attitude:"
My only recent FLOWER shot shows Ixora blooms. It was taken last week at the entrance to the wetlands, which are situated on the opposite side of the fence:
Although technically imperfect, this MACRO of a Needham's Skimmer dragonfly shows it eating a very large fly:
Thanks so much for visiting! I will be on the road for the next couple of weeks and often away from WiFi and even out of cellular range. Mary Lou and I are celebrating our 56th Wedding Anniversary! Tending to my blog from a cellphone does not work out very well, so I have put my posts on "autopilot" in the interim, but promise to visit you as soon as possible when I get back to my PC.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display