A lot of people visiting Florida think these birds are Flamingos when they see them in flight. Flamingos are not as common in Florida as many may think and are more native to South America and Central America. The spoonbill though is common in the southern United States. Mostly you will see them wading in wetlands but when they fly they truly look strange. These were photographed on Captiva Island in Florida.
There were three turtles sitting on a log near a seven foot alligator. This turtle was closest to the gator and covered himself with all this gunk as if to hide himself from the predator. It seemed to be working.
I took this picture of a fawn in 2002 at the end of our first summer living on the mountain. People that lived there full time like us said wait a year and you will start to think of them as vermin. It never quite got to that level for me because the next year our community voted for a deer cull in a heated political battle between the “full timers” and “weekenders”. The herd grew at a rapid rate in our community because no hunting was allowed. Deer are not dumb and they began to migrate into our community. DCNR noticed that some deer had wasting disease and fawns that were born were small and struggled to survive. The amount of deer/auto accidents increased dramatically.
The size of the herd was unhealthy according to DCNR and our local environmental experts. After the first two years of deer culls the herd reduced to a more normal size. We began to see fawns again and the herd was restored to health. This deer has all but lost the markings fo a fawn as it munched in my back yard waiting for its first summer to end.
The Anhinga, also known as The Indian Darter is an unusual bird. It is a fishing bird but after it dives it needs to dry its wings before taking off again. It stands like this, turning into the wind to dry it’s wings. This would seem to make the bird vulnerable to predators during the drying process,yet they survive! This one was photographed at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel island in Florida.
For those of you that follow this blog you know that I have been trying to raise awareness and hopefully support for a unique Wolf Sanctuary in Naples Florida. .The Shy Wolf Sanctuary rescue wolves that have been bred or purchased as pets and then abused or abandoned. The sanctuary is the one of the only wolf sanctuaries in the USA where you can actually interact with these beautiful wild animals. The sanctuary is totally supported by donations and merchandise sales. The staff is made up completely of volunteers. Plan a trip while in south Florida for a real wildlife encounter. Buy a T-Shirt, help a wolf!
These are some images that I have not published from our trip there in January 2014.
Storks have a full life. I mean just think about delivering all those babies! This is Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa and this is where they go to hang out during their down time. I try not to disturb them and let them have their r and r.
Did you ever think you could stand inside a wolf habit and pet a wolf? Well you can.
Naples Florida is home to a unique charity,The Shy Wolf Sanctuary. They rescue wolves that have been bred or purchased as pets and then abused or abandoned. The sanctuary is the only wolf sanctuary in the USA where you can actually interact with these beautiful wild animals. They are totally supported by donations and merchandise sales. The staff is made up completely of volunteers. Plan a trip while in south Florida for a real wildlife encounter.
If you buy a print of this image, I will donate all my profits to this wonderful organization.
If you live where I live there are some birds you never get to see like Pelicans and Penguins. Another is the Roseate Spoonbill. They are found mostly in South America and in the USA can only be found in central and south Florida.
They are large birds with wingspans up to 55 inches and don’t look like they should be able to fly at all. These were seen in the Ding Darling sanctuary on Captiva Island Florida.
When we moved to Long Island years ago and I met my next door neighbor, he didn’t shake my hand or give words of welcome but instead pointed to 8 foot hedges that bordered our property and said, “Those are yours, make sure you trim them!”. That experience essentially framed my three years of living on Long Island or as I describe it hell on earth. Fifteen years later we left the welcoming and friendly town of Montclair NJ where we raised our family and got a new set of neighbors. Now as we prepare to leave the mountains and return home to Pittsburgh I will miss these new neighbors which turned out to be friendlier than most. I took this image from my back yard deck and you can buy a print and see others by clicking here.