Thursday, August 3, 2017

Crops & Clips: Flashback to August, 2014

This was the first year since moving to Florida that we spent the entire month of August without a trip to our second home in NE Illinois. Truth is that we were a bit travel-weary after our Alaska RV trip and had to catch up on necessary appointments. As has been my monthly habit, I perused my photo archives from three years ago to find images which illustrate some of my favorite memes: Birds and other Critters, Fences, Skies, Reflections, Seasons and Wordless scenes which speak for themselves. 

Blown in from Africa, Saharan dust provided unusual pink sunrises...

Harbour Lakes sunrise 20140806

...which reflected on the wings of a Great Egret...

Great Egret on Saharan dust 20140806 well as upon a rare species which visited our back yard lake on August 11 and lingered for over a week:

Great White Heron 1909 PM 20140816

It is a "Great White Heron," actually the white color morph (or subspecies) of the Great Blue Heron:

Great White Heron 1905 PM 20140816

The breeding range of Great White Herons is concentrated far south of our home, in the coastal mangroves of the Florida Keys. They average larger in size than the south Florida population of Great Blue Herons. 

Under a blue sky in late afternoon, the Great White Heron shows its true colors. Note that its legs are light in color, unlike the black legs of a Great Egret:

Great White Heron 1800 PM 20140816

Great White Heron 3-20140818

Although the Great Egret (which averages 39 inches/99 cm tall and weighs 2.2 lb/1 kg) is the largest of our local resident egrets, it is dwarfed by the Great White Heron, which is 54 inches/137 cm tall and can weigh up to 7.3 lbs/ 3.3 kg. 

This was my best attempt to fit both species in a single frame:

 Great White Heron and Great Egret 20140818

These two photos show each of the white herons walking next to a tree which is 140 feet/43 meters across the lake from our yard. First, the Great White Heron...

Great White Heron walking at 140 meters 20140818

...and now the Great Egret:

Great Egret walking at 140 meters 20140818

An extreme contrast in size is shown in this photo of the Great White Heron and a Green Heron only 18 inches/46 cm tall, next to a neighbor's fence:

Great White Heron with Green Heron 20140812

Another unusual event was my discovery, on August 17, of the nest of a Common Ground-Dove, the first ever officially documented in our County. This species actually is a fairly common breeding bird, but its nest is particularly hard to find. 

Indeed, this one was very well hidden but only a few steps away from the gravel road in the local wetlands. The parent gave away its location by suddenly flushing as I passed by:

Common Ground-Dove nest with eggs 20140823

The anxious female parent watched me from a perch nearby:

Common Ground-Dove 2-20140817

Not wishing to disturb the nest or provide a predator with a scent trail to the nest, I photographed it from the path, about 10 feet away. This was the only camera angle which provided a partial view of the nest:

Nest of Common Ground-Dove 20140817

Unfortunately, on August 26, a landscaping crew came through and mowed all the grass along the shoulder of the road and destroyed the nest and its contents:

Common Ground-Dove nest site landscraped 20140927

Not wanting to end on a sad note, here are a few clips of other critters seen during the month, starting with a White Peacock butterfly:

White Peacock 20140811

Halloween Pennant dragonfly rests on a grass stem:

Halloween Pennant 2-20140830

Perky Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher stands still for an instant:

 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 5-20140822

Backyard Anhinga dries its wings on our duck decoy:

Anhinga on decoy 20140821

Golden sunrise on August 31, a fitting finale for an eventful month:

Sunrise 20140831

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,


Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

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



  1. hard to get a bad shot of a great egret, aint it.

  2. Love that last shot! Humans make such a mess of everything. GRRR.

  3. wow birds are awesome at your photos

  4. What a glorious series, Kenneth! And the last photo closes perfectly!

  5. Beautiful photos throughout. I think that last one is my favorite. A stunning sky shot!!

  6. Beautiful collection - love the birds and sky

  7. Beautiful shots! That anhinga on the decoy is incredible!

  8. Gorgeous skies to capture nature!

  9. Hello, your sky shots are beautiful. the last one is my favorite. Awesome photos on the Egrets. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  10. All of that made August in Florida something wonderful! I know we miss a lot of nature opportunities while we're gone. Thank you for how to ID the Great Blue white morph as opposed to the Great Egret. I did not know about the leg color. We once saw what we assumed to be the morph because of the size but it is kind of hard to know for sure without a size comparison nearby.

  11. From start to finish...incredible shots!

  12. You really do get some good shots. I also like it when white birds pick up colour from the area around them. I have some shots of white terns going green as they approach a tree.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  13. That anhinga on the duck decoy is PRICELESS!!
    Now, I've never seen common ground dove nest before, that was a special treat.

    Hope by the time you get to North Padre Island, the threatening tropical storm has passed [of course it may not come this way]

    You shared some great photos today, and I appreciate you sharing them with us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend!! Thanks.

  14. Wonderful set of photos...I love the sunrise and sunset photos, but I really enjoyed all the birds. And that butterfly is so beautiful.

  15. This is why I love a sunset so much - every color is changed by it - like the blue heron! I guess one of the angels doubled up on the peacock pattern by mistake:) Have a great week!
    I'll pass your compliments on to hubby:)

  16. The photo of the anhinga on your duck decoy is priceless!
    Thanks for linking up at

  17. Those egrets are such beautiful birds! I loved seeing all your photos very much.

  18. Simply spectacular, your knowledge and photography are just mind boggling.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  19. Wonderful shots! I love the bird on the duck decoy!

  20. Gorgeous photos, as always! That anhinga on the duck decoy was so cool!


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