Thursday, October 10, 2019

Early autumn random clicks

Our local Bald Eagles are spending much time at their nest and stepping up "nestoration" in preparation for the breeding season. The male of the pair (Pride) brings in the sticks and the female (Jewel) supervises and rearranges them in the ever-growing nest structure.

Bald Eagle pair nestoration 01-20190921

He places the stick under Jewel's watchful eyes:

Bald Eagle pair nestoration 02-20190921

They don't always agree on what to do with one:

Bald Eagle pair nestoration 03-20190921

Bald Eagle pair nestoration 07-20190921

Pride flies off to gather yet another:

Bald Eagle pair nestoration 09-20190921

As we walked into the Wounded Wetlands under a black sky on September 26, the Harvest Moon had waned to a crescent:

Harvest Moon waning crescent 20190926

Before sunrise, an immature Tricolored Heron cast a reflection on the still surface:

Tricolored Heron 2-20190925

Later, White Ibises overhead:

White Ibises 20190923


Migration routes for 118 bird species:

via GIPHY

Migrant warblers are arriving. This is a female Black-throated Blue Warbler. This species often lingers here into the winter if the berries of Lantana, Firebush, Brazilian Pepper and Trema are abundant:

Black-throated Blue Warbler female 04-20190923

The male Black-throated Blue Warbler's appearance is distinctly different:

 Black-throated Blue Warbler 03-20191001

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers often flock with the warblers:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 01-20190923

A welcome, though less frequently seen migrant is the Worm-eating Warbler:

Worm-eating Warbler 05-20190924

Worm-eating Warbler 04-20190924

This species does not eat earthworms, but does favor dining on caterpillars ("worms" to gardeners and farmers; some have official names such as silkworms and bagworms). Their sharp eyes seem not to miss many:

:Worm-eating Warbler 01-20191004

Worm-eating Warbler eating Worm (Not quite a palindrome, but it reads the same backward and forward, and in this case, upside  down!):

Worm-eating Warbler eating worm 04-20191004

American Redstart warblers are distractingly abundant as they flit actively  through the  branches, fanning and expanding the  bright wing and tail patches to flush out insects. The male has bright red patches...

American Redstart male 07-20191001

...while females exhibit the same behavior and have more subdued yellow patches. First year males are similar to females, but show some orange as in this case:

American Redstart female or immature 02-20191001 

 
Butterfly populations are starting to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, which wiped out adults, larvae, eggs as well as the leaves and flowers which protected and fed them. Some mornings I was lucky to see even one Gulf Fritillary, here depositing her egg on a spent flower head:

:Gulf Fritillary ovipositiing 01-20190923

I followed her as she oviposited on a leaf. The egg is yellow:

Gulf Fritillary ovipositiing 02-20190923

I went weeks without seeing the usually abundant Julia heliconians. This newly-emerged male made me want to sing:

Julia heliconian male 20190922

Just after the autumnal equinox, as I stood on a path oriented east and west (which I call "Sundial Alley"), my shadow pointed out
towards the Everglades, 270 degrees true west :

Shadow points west on equinox 2-20190923

It is only a  "weed." This tiny composite flower measures only about 1/2 inch, or about 13 mm wide, but proves that beauty can come in  a very small package:

Tiny composite 01-20190923

Tiny composite 02-20190923

I looked up when I heard something in the tree just above my head. Indeed, two  Raccoons were lovey-dovey and waiting for me to depart the scene:

Raccoon treetop  lovers 20190928
 

A female White-tailed Deer walked across the gravel path...

White-tailed Deer yearling fawn 02- 20191001

...followed by her yearling fawn:


White-tailed Deer yearling fawn 01- 20191001

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Crops & Clips: Flashback to October, 2016

Once again I am delving through the photo archives to remember life as it was three years back, in October of 2016. Enjoying favorite memes-- Critters of all kinds (especially birds), flowers and fences, blue skies, clouds and reflections, the excitement of the changing seasons, and scenes which speak for themselves.

We enjoyed nearly a month of fair weather at our condo in NE Illinois. We missed Category 5 Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm of the 2016 season, which devastated Haiti and killed over 600 people. It skirted the Florida coast, produced high winds and floods, then struck the Carolinas and inflected massive damage to coastal areas in the southeastern US.

On October 2, three Sandhill Cranes suddenly showed up on the lawn at the front door of our condo. I had to back up in order to fit them into the frame:

Sandhill Cranes 20161001

Sandhill Crane portrait 2-20161001

At nearby Bliss Woods Forest Preserve, the footbridge over Blackberry Creek was undergoing needed repairs:

Blackberry Creek HDR 03-20161004

Tennessee Warbler at Bliss Woods:

Tennessee Warbler 02-20161004

An Eastern Bluebird greeted us at Nelson Lake preserve:

Eastern Bluebird 2-20161005

A Sedge Wren did a split:

Sedge Wren 04-20161018

Hyperactive Golden-crowned Kinglets flitted throgh the trees:

Golden-crowned Kinglet 05-20161009

Golden-crowned Kinglet 03-20161009

A flock of American White Pelicans wheeled over the Lake before settling down:

American White Pelicans 04-20161009

A Clouded Sulphur butterfly sipped nectar from a Purple  Aster:

Clouded Sulphur on Purple Aster 2-20161018

We enjoyed walks in the Hickory Knolls woodlands...

Hickory Knolls sign 20161010

...where I found a monster rhino in this really spookey tree:

Really spooky tree Monster-Rhino HDR 20161010

The Hickory Knolls woodlands end abruptly at the perimeter of a correctional facility, where autumn beauty was confined behind high fences and razor wire:

Fall Beauty Confined HDR 20161010

At Les Arends preserve, the Fox River branched around an island, creating a shaded side  stream:

Fox River at Les Arends HDR 20161014

A Great Egret reflected in the river's floodplain, reminding me of Florida:

Great Egret 20161013

Later in the month, sparrows, nuthatches, winter finches and more warblers arrived from northern breeding ranges. A White-throated Sparrow:

White-throated Sparrow 20161020

White-crowned Sparrow close up near a feeder on our daughter's deck::

White-crowned Sparrow portrait 06-20161014

Red-breasted Nuthatch seemed to defy gravity::

Red-breasted Nuthatch 07-20161013

Red-breasted Nuthatch 05-20161013

Male Purple Finch:

Purple Finch male 20161017

Orange-crowned Warbler:

Orange-crowned Warbler 2-20161020

The sumac thicket had turned red:

Sumac Thicket HDR 20161017

Back in Florida at month's end, a Great Blue Heron posed nicely:(October 31):


Great Blue Heron 2-20161031

Cloudy morning on October 31:


Pine Bank cloudy sunrise HDR  20161031
= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

________________________________________________

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

________________________________________________