On June 23, a half hour before sunrise, we walked out into the "Wounded Wetlands," a water conservation area near our home in southwestern Broward County, Florida.
Overhead, the sky was blue, but storm clouds were visible on all horizons. Like fingerprints and snowflakes, no two sunrises are the same.
Here, the sun illuminated the clouds and had not yet touched the lake, but the cloud formation took the shape of two firemen (or were they Daffy Ducks?) racing to extinguish a blaze:
I first encountered my neighbor Scott as he walked his dog in the Wounded Wetlands. He carried a camera and liked macro and landscape shots. As a retiree I can afford to spend more time out in the wild than he, but Scott is very good at finding things I have missed.
Early on, Scott discovered the heron rookery at the far end of the patch. He e-mailed me detailed instructions as to its location. It was a spot which I often walked by, but never had explored. I followed the directions and still could not find it.
He had to meet me there and point out the several Yellow-crowned Night Herons and their nests which I had been missing:
Then Scott and his daughter found the first Whooping Crane ever reported here in many years. He sent me a photo to confirm the identification and I hurried out to eventually find it accompanied by a second Whooping Crane.
(They were captive-reared and in a group released in Wisconsin to migrate to northern Florida with a group of Sandhill Cranes. One wore a radio locator which tracked them down to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula before they wandered up to our neighborhood. Amazingly, one eventually spent time in Scott's front yard!).
Once again, Scott has outdone me with a very rare find-- the first Coyote reported in this part of our county. He obtained great photos, but so far I have not been able to spot it on my own (Photos property of Scott McPherran and used with his permission):
This immature Green Heron provided some dramatic poses in poor light:
Twice this week I enjoyed seeing two Bald Eagles flying over. They are almost certainly residents from the nest about 1 1/2 miles away. The adult appeared at sunrise, while the juvenile followed about an hour later both days:
As I was photographing the juvenile eagle, a near-sighted Raccoon walked right up to me. I had to wave my arms to make him avoid me:
A female Florida Box Turtle ambled across the gravel track. She retracted into her shell when I approached, so I picked her up and deposited her safely on the other side of the road:
A Great Egret's plumage contrasted with the pastel sky. The pink tint suggests that dust may be blowing in from the Sahara Desert:
Later, in good light, another immature Green Heron launched from a treetop:
Its wing span is impressive:
Back home, a Tricolored Heron visited our yard:
After harvesting all the mangoes we could reach, we left the highest ones for the birds, among them this Egyptian Goose resting in the shade with a neighbor's fence reflected in the background:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
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