Thursday, July 7, 2016

Crops & Clips: Flashback to July, 2013

We started the month of July, 2013 at our second home in Illinois, having just returned from our RV trip through Arizona and Utah. Join me once again as we direct the Retrospectroscope and flash back to events three years ago. As usual I will look for photos in my archives to meet the themes of SKY, REFLECTION, FENCE, MACRO and CRITTERS. And, I will add FLOWERS for Denise's meme. I succeeded in finding examples of all!

Construction on the new housing was proceeding at a fast pace. Yet this Red-tailed hawk roosted on a street light as if refusing to believe that our front yard was no longer a prairie rich with prey:

Red-tailed hawk 20130707

At Nelson Lake preserve, milkweed was in bloom and thistles were going to seed, ideal conditions to begin the nesting season for the American Goldfinches: 

American Goldfinch in thistles 20130707

The Common Milkweed looked too healthy; there were no signs of Monarch butterfly larvae:

Common Milkweed 20130707

A Song Sparrow perched on a Sunflower bud. In a few weeks the prairie will turn into mid-summer gold:

Song Sparrow 4-20130707

Tiny energetic Sedge Wrens were in full song:

Sedge Wren c 20130707

Common Yellowthroats were, well, common:

Common Yellowthroat 4-20130707

The songs of Red-winged Blackbirds resounded all along the path:

Red-winged Blackbird 20130707

Then, presto! We were back home in Florida, out early on the local wetlands as rain threatened:

Harbour Lake WCA HDR 20130716

Rain began falling out of a blue sky and we were rewarded with a rainbow as we exited our birding patch:

Rainbow over Sunset Lakes 20130716

Florida Box Turtles manage to survive in the wounded wetlands. This one was crossing the path in front of us:

Florida Box Turtle 20130716

An immature Tricolored Heron struck a pose reminiscent of one of John James Audubon's watercolors:

Tricolored Heron immature 20130721

Three Common Nighthawks flew together and one repeatedly "boomed" me-- diving down low and pulling up sharply. The sound is created by its wing feathers just as the bird starts to regain altitude:

Common Nighthawk 20130719

A Great Blue Heron on our lake posed in front of a neighbor's fence:

Great Blue Heron 2-20130615

During mid-month we had a rainy spell which persisted for over a week. One morning a Marsh Rabbit emerged from the water of a ditch along the path. Although a form a Cottontail, it is darker, has smaller ear, shorter lags, and lacks the white on its tail: 

Marsh Rabbit 20130719

Note the yellow eyes on this Eastern Towhee. Further north this species has red eyes:

Eastern (yellow-eyed) Towhee male 2-20130721

The female towhee has brown where her mate is black:

Eastern Towhee female 20130719

This fledgling Eastern Towhee had me stumped as to its identity until a parent joined it:

Eastern Towhee juvenile 20130731

Eastern Towhee juvenile 2-20130731

A male Soldier butterfly:

Soldier male 20130721

A Morning Glory:

Morning Glory 20130719

At the end of the month a back yard Wood Stork let me capture a video about its foraging habits (If video fails to load, CLICK HERE):


= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise

Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display


  1. beautiful collection. love the box turtle, towhees, and marsh hare - different than what i see here. :) the sedge wren is adorable!

  2. What a wonderful collection of photos! I think that rabbit has longer legs too! And of course I love seeing the turtle and a view of the wetlands! Enjoy your summer!

  3. I feel amazingly refreshed after visiting you. Your photos are so alive. Kudos to your patience capturing all of these wonderful creatures for us to enjoy.

  4. It is very hot and humid here in Montreal, Kenneth, and your gorgeous photos are a very welcome refreshment! Thank you so much for sharing them. Very much needed and appreciated. :)

  5. Hello, gorgeous collection of birds. The sky captures are lovely. Enjoy your day and the weekend ahead

  6. You could call this a "Living free of fences" post. Just beautiful and also very educational, as I'm not familiar with many of these birds and plants.

  7. I enjoyed seeing the eye of each bird captured. So hard to do and you make it look easy.
    JM, IL

  8. A beautiful collection of photos! I like the red tail hawk shot.

  9. Great captures. Love the reflection

  10. another wonderful series Kenneth. Love the butterfly and your sky image and that bunny is too cute.

  11. A beautiful series of shots.

  12. Another marvelous series of birds, other critters and pretty flowers. Thank you so much for including Today's Flowers, always appreciated. Have a great weekend:)

  13. A great collection of bird photos. I like the goldfinch and the hawk. Beautiful sky and reflection.

  14. What awesome pictures. They are all so beautiful. My favorites have to be the little wren at the beginning and the cute little rabbit at the end. Hope you have a lovely weekend. genie

  15. Just wonderful. So many beautiful birds. Also enjoyed seeing the turtle and the cute rabbit. Looks like a wonderful place to live.

  16. lovely bird photos! and a very painterly reflection...

  17. Beautiful pictures, the reflection is gorgeous and the rabbit looks so funny, like a dog after an unloved bath.

  18. Hello Ken, I just wanted to stop back and say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Awesome birds and critters. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  19. Beautiful collection of photos! The reflection is superb!

  20. Beautiful shots of very cute little birds.

  21. Wonderful, marvelous, Ken!!
    I have yet to see a Towhee [well let me back up...I saw one, at a distance, but was never able to get a photo]

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post and photos. Your making use of the linking tool at I'd Rather B Birdin' is always very much appreciated by all us birders.

  22. Beautiful pictures.
    Greetings from Poland.

  23. Thanks for sharing all these glorious memories Ken.

  24. I love the goldfinch and the box turtle :)

    I wish you a wonderful start into the new week :)

  25. amazing critters.wonderful gallery.

  26. A wondeful collection of animals, birds and vegetation.

    R. Täysin arkista

  27. Absolutely fantastic selection of wildlife. Thank you so much for sharing the images.

  28. Kenneth, amazing wildlife and outdoor shots. It's hard to get photos of birds, but you did an amazing job. I can always tell real photographers from the amateurs, like me. lol Have a fun, fototastic week and it was great meeting you through the WW community!

    Knoxville Goes Hollywood with #dogyears movie #photos

  29. Great photos!
    I enjoyed watch the video :)
    Greetings from Finland.

  30. Wonderful photos! So interesting to see that Marsh Rabbit! I know you had to have enjoyed your AZ/UT trip immensely. I hope you saw Monument Valley...we went two and years ago and loved it! Canyon de Chelly also. Didn't see much of Utah on that trip but would love to go back. And of course, the Grand Canyon is wonderful!!!

  31. Superb photos as usual! The marsh rabbit is very cute.


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