Thursday, March 3, 2016

Crops & Clips: Flashback to March, 2013

Once again, this is a monthly reflection on past experiences, memories from three years ago. I will continue the "scavenger hunt" for photos which represent a few selected themes: Living CRITTERS of all kinds, beautiful SKIES and REFLECTIONS, as well as MACRO images and GOOD FENCES. I have met this challenge for the past 14 months in a row, so let's see how far I must travel into the month of March, 2013 to achieve my goal!

We began the month of March, 2013 in Illinois, helping our daughter and son-in-law as they each recuperated from independently acquired broken legs. Roly broke both legs in November and our daughter broke one of hers in January, so he is finally able to drive. They needed help caring for our two granddaughters. We were happy to oblige, but admittedly it had been a long cold month and another snowstorm rolled into Chicagoland.

Their back yard was a winter wonderland for the birds. A female Northern Cardinal peered around the corner of the feeder:

Northern Cardinal 20130305

Northern Cardinal 3-20130305

There were flocks of American Tree Sparrows:

American Tree Sparrow 20130305

A Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco perched on the feeder support:

Dark-eyed Junco 2-20130305

A Black-capped Chickadee and a male House Sparrow waited their turns:

Black-capped Chickadee 2-20130305

House Sparrow 20130305

This first year male Red-winged Blackbird tried to dominate the gathering:

Red-winged Blackbird 2-20130305

Agramonte, the older Tibetan Mastiff, had grown a full mane and looked more like a lion than ever:

Agramonte 2-a20130306

Sagua, his little "sister" was also very much at home in the snow:

Sagua 20130306

Back in Florida, we soon traveled to enjoy a few nights in Marco Island on Florida's southern Gulf Coast. On the way out we visited National Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary :

Corkscrew Blair Center HDR 20130310

Corkscrew Swamp Boardwalk HDR 20130310

Seeking Painted Buntings, we were not disappointed:

Painted Bunting 2-20130310

A Red-bellied Woodpecker visited the feeder:

Red-bellied Woodpecker 20130310

A Common Ground-Dove cleaned up any seed which spilled out:

Common Ground-Dove 2-20130310

Another highlight of our Corkscrew visit was this Barred Owl:

Barred Owl 20130310

I've only reached March 10 and have found my MACRO of a wild Iris at Corkscrew: 

Iris 20130310

Marco Island was a delight, and quite a change from Illinois! On the beach we saw lots of birds, including Semipalmated plovers...

Semipalmated Plover 2-20130311

...a tiny Snowy Plover...

Snowy Plover 2-20130311

...Red Knots (this one wearing two bands, one with a blue flag which we later found had been applied in New Jersey back in 2005)...

Red Knot 2 bands 3-20130311

...and an Osprey enjoying a fish:

Osprey 20130311

At Rookery Bay Preserve, this large Gopher Tortoise crossed the road in front of us:

Gopher Tortoise 20130311

On the way home, a stop at Big Cypress Preserve yielded a nice shot of a Carolina Wren:

Carolina Wren 20130312

Clearly visible from the Big Cypress boardwalk was this nest containing a juvenile Bald Eagle, ready to take its first flight:

Bald Eaglet 2-20130310

Back home I found a very photogenic Prairie Warbler, and Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were performing courtship displays in the local rookery:

Prairie Warbler 20130315

Yellow-crowned Night-Herons display 2-20130315

This Red-winged Blackbird was in full breeding plumage as it creaked its "song:"

Red-winged Blackbird 20130318

My first SKY photo was taken on March 18 in the local wetlands..

Harbour Lake impoundment HDR 20130318

...and on March 20 I captured a nice REFLECTION of a pair of Mottled Ducks:

Mottled Ducks COREL 20130320

That day, our Mango tree was in bloom and the butterflies were out:

Mango blossoms 20130320

Zebra heliconian:

Zebra heliconian 2-20130320

I still am not sure whether this is a Pearl, a Phaeon or a Cuban Crescent:

Pearl Crescent 20120320

The month ended with a bit of drama, as the lone eaglet in our local nest fledged on March 25 and went missing until it reappeared at the nest on April 2. The parents left food on the nest to entice it. Here a parent bird roosts, awaiting its return:
Bald Eagle roosting 7-20130328

Our Son-in-Law serves on the Board of CASA (Court-appointed Special Attorneys) of Kane County, Illinois. Mary Lou and I joined them at the annual Gala. This photo does not show the splints and casts on their legs or their canes. Thankfully they both healed very well!

2013 CASA Kane County Gala Photo 001

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

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

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



  1. Hello, what a great post. I love all the birds and the neat Tortoise. The sky shot is beautiful. Wonderful collection of photos. Have a happy day!

  2. love those giant pups. best painted bunting shot!!!

  3. This is an awesome collection of fabulous pictures of the birds you saw in March '13. I I would love to have them all posted on my fridge to help me identify the birds in our yard. Your photos are wonderful and the way you identified them makes it so easy for dummies like myself to know which birds I am seeing. My favorites were the eagle and the story of the naughty eaglet leaving it nest for so long. The eagle families are so protective of their surviving babies. The other shots are of the robin and the red winged blackbird. I have learned so much from your post. Thank you so much for going to the effort of posting all of these educational pictures.

  4. great photos...that 1st shot is so cute and i love the dogs, they are beautiful!

  5. Hello Ken!:) Breathtaking images of all the birds and butterflies. The Painted Bunting is gorgeous, and that's a wonderful walkway and fence shot.

  6. i was going to pick at least one to say was my fave. but i can't do it. there are too too many i enjoy!! happy fencing!! ( :

  7. Amazing bunch of shots, KCS. Peekaboo Cardinal is terrific.

  8. That was so wonderful of you and your wife to help your daughter and son-in-law out when they were down with their broken legs. You have some amazing bird shots here. I just loved them all. - I must say those are 2 very gorgeous dogs as well. It's always a pleasure to see your amazing and beautiful photos.

  9. Such a wonderful series of images that it is hard to pick a favourite. However the barred owl with all those bold markings must be included. Stunning reflections in the lake.

  10. Sorry to hear about the broken legs, but looks like you made the best of your time! Great post and wonderful photos.

  11. As always, I really enjoyed your post. I always enjoy it...sometimes I wait to read it till I can really take it all in. LOL

  12. That Painted Bunting is remarkable! I think that the Lorikeets actually lick nectar from the flowers - so they may help in pollination - which may not be want you want!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  13. Beautiful birds and dogs!

  14. Marvelous images!
    Love the painted bunting. I've never seen one in real life - will have to keep my eye peeled!
    I'm glad I found your place - my first visit. I'm stopping by from Skywatch Friday, and hope you'll come visit our weekly linkup. This week's party is here:

  15. WOW! I am brreathless looking at all your wonderful photographs. STUNNING. Glad I do not have to pick a favourtie. You look very handsome all dressed up in that last shot. I was very peased to see the zebra butterfly names as I saw it in Costa Rica and have it already on the post but without a name so i will add that now . thanks. Glorious reflection shots. Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. Hello, wonderful critter post. So many gorgeous photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  17. Wow!!! You have so many beautiful shots here. Those dogs are nothing short of gorgeous!
    Enjoy your day!

  18. Lovely shots of the birds. Agramonte is gorgeous.

  19. A glorious selection of great memories.

  20. First of all your family portrait is awesome. You look mighty dapper there, Ken!!

    And your Florida Sanctuary excursion brought some beautiful bird sightings. That Painted Bunting image just blows me away!! Then, back to the winter plumage/feathered friends....these too are very well composed and beautiful. I really like the almost 'hidden' cardinal peeking around the corner of its 'house'.

    Thanks for sharing this weekend, at I'd Rather B Birdin'. All of us, the birders within us, appreciate you taking time to add your link!!

  21. You take amazing close ups! Nice to see a family photo, too! Hugs, Diane

  22. That's one of the best captures of the painted bunting I think I've ever seen - well done!

  23. How awful about the THREE broken legs! My goodness! That had to be painful and difficult for them. Beautiful images! Oooh, I adore that Painted Bunting!

  24. Absolutely stunning shots. It is too difficult to pick favourites here. They are all wonderful! I hope your daughter and SIL are recover well and will be back on their feet soon.

  25. What a wonderful collection of photos. Love the Painted Bunting and, of course, I am always a sucker for Snowy Plovers...cutest bird in the world!

  26. Oh my, your photos are just gorgeous. Beautiful.

  27. oooooh wow, really beautiful captures. i especially enjoyed the painted as i don't get them here at the jersey shore. the snow sure does add a lot of beauty to bird images and the pups as well!!!!

    i am featuring a female cardinal tomorrow, if you want to stop by. i often share one bird at a time because i am "stingy" that way and i would run out of pictures quickly if not!! hehehehe

  28. I thoroughly enjoyed the travels with you. The bird shots are breathtaking. I am like you, I do not like cold weather. You have a great camera and know how to use it.

  29. In awe of all these beautiful photos. A great collection of smile bringers. I loved the one of the Painted Bunting. I have never actually seen one myself. The one of the four of you was great. Happy to hear your daughter and son-in-law are on the mend.

  30. It was such a joy to gaze on all of those beautiful photos. You have some amazing birds in your part of the world.
    Have a lovely week and happy bird watching :)

  31. Excelente trabalho me belas fotografias.
    Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana.

  32. Wonderful post.. The yellow crowns in courtship mode are wonderful...would love to see that. (I suddenly want to jump in the car and drive to Corkscrew and I haven't even had my coffee yet!). Always enjoy your memories and envy how well organized your archives obviously are.

  33. Oh yes, brtilliant images, so many birds and other as well. I love your blog.

  34. So great birds and so great photos too!

  35. Wonderful pictures.
    That Barred Owl looks so cute.

  36. Superb captures Kenneth - that Painted Bunting is breathtaking!!

  37. Those Painted Buntings.... just amazing colours...

  38. I love the dogs and the butterflies. Your bird photos are excellent as always.


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