Sunday, January 5, 2014

This Week's Crops & Clips: Living color

The rainy season has now extended through the entire month of December into early January. It produces glorious sunrises over the ocean, 18 miles to the east, but also limits our time afield. This was the view from our back patio on the morning of December 28.

Sunrise iPhone pano 20131228

Late in the afternoon two days earlier, this full rainbow was a celestial delight.

Rainbow2 20131226

Soon after the rain stopped, the colors of the sunset reflected on the lingering clouds to the east. I took these panoramic photos with my iPhone camera.

After the rainbow 20131226

Morning dew on spider silk provided unexpected color.

Silk and dew rainbow 20131224

High water in the wetlands has driven the White-tailed Deer to browse along the levees and roadways. While we normally are lucky to even see a deer, there have been as many as six at a time. 

White-tailed Deer doe and yearlings 2-20131015

A Northern Cardinal glowed in the morning light.

Northern Cardinal in Trema tree 2-20131228

The  subtle plumage of a Yellow-rumped Warbler contrasted with the Brazilian Pepper berries.

Yellow-rumped Warbler 3-20131228

I expected this photo of a Northern Mockingbird to turn out badly because the bird was in deep shade, but it posed nicely and the cool light enriched its gray plumage.

Northern Mockingbird 20140102

A Gray Catbird, another monochromatic  subject, flashed it rufous undertail coverts.

 Gray Catbird 20140102

Two Northern Flickers, in a hostile confrontation, displayed their yellow undertails.

Northern Flicker two males 20131230

This photo was spoiled by the cable, but it also shows the flicker's gilded underwings.

Northern Flicker male 20131230

On the day before Christmas, an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker appeared on our only native back yard tree, a mahogany. I took its picture through the window. It drilled neat lines of holes, encircling the trunk, and has returned every day since to drink the sap and eat the insects attracted by it. This is a new yard bird for us. Its plumage hints at the rich reds and yellows that are only starting to emerge. If it stays, perhaps we will be lucky enough to see it in living color!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 3-20131225

The sapsucker's cousin, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, stopped long enough to show off its adult plumage.

Red-bellied Woodpecker 20131228

Our local Bald Eagles have egg(s) in their nest with an expected hatch date of January 12. Here the female eagle takes a break after her mate assumed incubation duties.

Bald Eagle female roosting 3-20131216

Not to be outdone by the birds, a Southern Ring-necked Snake played dead when I cornered it on the sidewalk near the entrance to our local wetlands. Its orange and red undersides may deter or confuse predators. Interestingly, though it remained immobile when I picked it up, it always slowly turned belly-up and moved its head into the shade of its coils after I put it down. It came to "life" as soon as I retreated a comfortable distance.

Southern Ringneck Snake 2-20131224

The red dewlap of a Brown Anole caught my eye.

Brown Anole 20131203

Butterflies and flowers lend their color. Here a Long-tailed Skipper feeds on a Lantana flower.

Long-tailed Skipper 20131208

A contradiction in terms, a male Queen butterfly contrasts with a white flower. 

Queen butterfly male 20131203

The White Peacock, true to its name, reflects all the colors.

White Peacock 20131123


  1. the first few photos gave me shivers - SO beautiful. loved the flickers and the sapsucker photo! the snake made me smile. :D

  2. Oh my, these are stunning photos! A bounty of beautiful scenes and critters. Thank you, you certainly put a smile on my face today.

  3. So many great shots! Love the rainbow one. I'm over all of the yucky weather we've had for a while now.

  4. Wonderful Ken. Thank you. I have tried for five years to get a picture of one of our anoles with it's dewlap ....thank you for yours. Wonderful wonderful pictures. Happy New Year.

  5. Oh my gosh, each image is so wonderful! I love that you got the undersides of some of the birds. Lucky you on getting two flickers together. The rainbow has me gobsmacked!

  6. A beautiful post, a lot to see!

  7. Wow, those sky shots are just fabulous! That rainbow spider web blew me away! Marvellous bird captures, so lovely in the trees. A most beautiful series Ken, thanks for sharing!

  8. Wow these photos are all amazing - I can't pick one as the favourite, they are all so good! What a great selection of images and wildlife.

  9. wow, that is a magnificent rainbow and also the spider net. :) Beautiful widllife as usual. :)

  10. Gorgeous sky shots and beautiful bird photos. Great post! Enjoy your week!

  11. These are all fantastic, but I just LOVE the eagle! That is awesome!!!

  12. HI Kenneth A fantastic post once again. That Rainbow and web shots are simply stunning. Great bird, insects and animal shots. wonderful to see in that beautiful light.

  13. Awesome post! I love the spider web, but all photos are beautiful as usual.

  14. Beautiful shot of the rainbow and the rainbow-colored web! So many lovely birds and other critters here. What a great post!

  15. A super selection there Ken. Despite you suffering not the best weather you always seem to find great variety in your neck of the woods. The mockingbird, the flickers on the wire and the sapsucker are quite outstanding. Amazing how the drab colours of the sapsucker blend into the lichen covered tree.

    Such interesting and unusual colours of the snake, and of course the eagle picture is outstanding.

  16. Beautiful birds and flowers. I like the rainbow shot. Amazing variety.


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