Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Enjoying yard birds and taking time out for a while #985

I have not gotten out into the Wounded Wetlands very often the past two weeks This has not kept me from enjoying the beauty of herons which visit our lake and often forage at the very edge of our back yard.

A Great Egret stalked and caught a small fish, which it swallowed in a blink of an eye: 



Then it hurried off to try its luck in a neighbor's yard:

On another morning, a Tricolored Heron sauntered through with typical impatience as it darted about catching dragonflies but not a single fish:

Notice how the position of its eyes can quickly adjust between a wide-angle panoramic view...

,,,and a nearsighted focused binocular view: 

Sunlight brings out the three colors in its plumage:

I almost missed seeing a small and furtive Green Heron as it waited patiently for a meal to swim into view:

It saw me and was suspicious of my intentions:

The heron looked my way and exhibited its binocular gaze. European Starlings also have this ability (*See Reference below)...

...and decided to move a bit away...


...settling down on our next door neighbor's goose decoy: 

Its erect crest usually signals anxiety..

--or maybe simply meant it was time to ruffle feathers:

Over the past month or so I developed anemia and have experienced exhaustion when walking out in the heat of day. For two weeks I have been occupied with medical consultations and tests, a colonoscopy, CT scans and an MRI.  I got out on October 10 to watch the Sun rise, from my favorite vantage point on the lake:

On the clear western horizon over the Everglades, opposite the rising sun, the anticrepuscular rays were less intense than when African dust was in the atmosphere, but they provided pleasant reflections on the calm surface of the lake:

In early morning light, I captured this male Northern Cardinal amid the berries of a Trema tree:

This entry should post before Thursday morning, the day of my planned surgery for newly-discovered colon cancer which has spread to two spots in my liver. Will need to give up the right  half of my colon. A hepatic surgeon will also operate to remove or ablate the two small metastatic lesions. Hopefully, all this will be accomplished by minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.  Postoperative chemotherapy is anticipated. 

I have been so gratified by the outpouring of prayers, love  and support from strangers and  friends, my children, grandchildren, siblings and extended local Cuban family. I will miss sharing photos on my favorite blog carnivals (listed below), but please do visit them. My new "home" for the next several days will be the Cleveland Clinic:

* The eyes of most bird species are fixed and cannot move around. They are positioned somewhat to the front of the head nearer the midline and may provide a degree of binocular overlap for better depth perception. This usually allows them to at least see the tip of their bills. Some birds, such as hawks and eagles as well as the herons depicted, can temporarily converge their eyes to increase the degree of binocular vision. Tactile feeders such as ibises and storks, as well as filter feeders including dabbling ducks have widely spaced lateral eyes and do not require visual control to acquire their food. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5371358/

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:

Garden Affair


Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday

________________________________________________

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

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Crops & Clips: Flashback to October, 2018

 As I do each month, I enjoyed looking back over my archived photos, taken three years previously, to remember how things were then and maybe get some idea of what to expect this year. As usual, I searched for images which reflected favorite memes: critters of all kinds (especially birds), skies and clouds, reflections, flowers and fences, as well as scenes which speak for themselves. We spent the entire month at home in south Florida. I processed 629 images during October, 2018.

We were disheartened as the heron rookery in our birding patch was targeted for destruction when the County Drainage District marked all the trees which had been damaged by Hurricane Irma in September, 2017. They also planned to cut back all the vegetation that extended over the canal. This would amount to clear-cutting more than half of the trees and shrubs which served as homes for as many as 8-10 pairs of Yellow-crowned Night Herons, 3-5 Green Herons and occasional Black-crowned Night-Herons.

Adult Green Heron roosting on partly submerged tree in canal on October 1:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron roosting on tree marked for removal on October 13:

Mature Locust trees which hosted two Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nests were marked to be felled in early November. Although healthy, they, as well as many other trees growing along the bank were deemed to be a potential hazard if another storm blew then into the canal:



The rookery is on the right (east) bank of this storm water drainage canal. The herons almost always nested in the branches which extend over the water. The dead branches out in the water are from trees blown into the water by the hurricane:
  

Near the rookery, a flooded woodland where the hurricane brought down many trees was then set afire by vandals. This created a tangle of burnt logs which a Louisiana Waterthrush found to be very hospitable:



Southbound Painted Buntings migrants appeared on October 3. Some may linger here during the winter::

On the lake, Double-crested Cormorants swam in tandem:


A Northern Mockingbird perched in the Lantana patch. The Lantana berries are attractive to wildlife:


The Northern Cardinals had completed their molt and were in fine feather:

Killdeers had finished breeding but continued to occupy and defend their nesting territories:

The blooming Lantana attracted butterflies, among them a Giant Swallowtail:


A male Common Yellowthroat. This warbler species breeds locally but its numbers are increased by migrants from the north:

Yellow-throated Warblers made their appearance. Their breeding range includes the northern half of Florida but we welcome them as winter residents:


Black-throated Blue Warblers are especially fond of fruits and berries. Here, a male works his way down to the prize:


A southbound Rose-breasted Grosbeak stopped by:

This male Scarlet Tanager has exchanged its bright red body plumage for olive green before migrating through Florida:

A Great Egret rested on a treetop against a pink sky at sunrise:

White-eyed Vireos breed locally but many probably migrate to Cuba and are replaced by winter residents from the north:

This Monarch butterfly carried a tag with a phone number. I learned that it had been bred in a volunteer's back yard and released about 5 miles from our home. 

The local Bald Eagles returned and were beginning their breeding season. This is a portrait of Pride, the male of the pair:

Double rainbow on October 16:

Hunter's Moon over the Pine Bank on October 26:

I prepared this week's post in advance but may be occupied by health-related appointments and procedures for a while. Hope to be back soon.

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to:



Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday

________________________________________________

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