Fewer bites – nice cool temps!

Jan. 22:  Rainy day for working & shopping.  No bites from our outing yesterday – yay!

image

Jan. 23:  Lou Ann’s 86th birthday!  She is Bill’s favourite cousin & our trailer is named after her!  Here she is with Bill – she’s beautiful, eh?  We hope she has the best day ever & a wonderful year ahead! We love her so much!

While the rest of the east coast of the US is under a heavy snowfall warning & gets dumped on big-time, our only weather was high winds, so we stayed in today & caught up on the Australian Open tennis!

Jan. 24:  At last we got out!  It was 6C this morning, so it was coats & gloves!  We headed off to a Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, which has a big boardwalk taking us through a large swampy area with a few open areas of water.

A sampling of scenery.

First group of birds included Tufted Titmouse – what big eyes you have my dear!

Best looks at a Green Heron – maybe my favourite heron.

jan 24-8

Florida red bellied turtle.

jan 24-7

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron.

An epiphyte coming into bloom & a branch of tiny, red, hairy epiphytes.

The sun turns leaves into stained glass.

Don’t know what was happening w/ those 2 trees in L photo – were they trying to become one?  They are 2 different species.  Either the big one is eating the small one or the small one stuck its branch into the big tree!

L: lots of cypress knees.  R: cypress trunk.

Last bit of scenery in the swamp.  Along with birds shown above, we added Common Yellowthroat; Black-and-white, Pine & Palm Warblers, Pileated, Downy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers; + Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  A completely sunny day & great to be out!

Jan. 25:  Another lovely day.  Low when we got up was 5C!  But high today reached 22.  We headed off in our continuing quest to find the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, which has more nesting sites marked with white stripes painted on their trunks in the Webb Wildlife Management Area.  The number of sites was staggering – about two dozen or so.  Obviously they don’t take the old ones off when the woodpeckers make a new nest in a different tree each year.  Nonetheless, we tried our hardest to spot those little suckers, but were foiled again.  No new birds to report from the day.  Our total species count still stands at 172.

jan 25-2

nly a couple of bird photos.  A Great Egret sitting the grass – which is growing out of a few inches of water.

jan 25-3

Sandhill Crane in taller grass.

A pine forest with its feet in water & a dense understory.  The tall tree on the left has a white band denoting a nesting site at some point.

Jan. 26:  A trip back to the Naples Botanical Gardens.  It was supposed to be cloudy, but ended up being mostly sunny & quite warm (26C).  Bill just took his flower camera – though we added a new bird to our list –

jan 26-34

Baltimore Oriole – taken with the flower camera, hence the long distance (& this is zoomed in 2X in processing!).

Once again, just a sampling of from the gardens.

jan 26-7

This Malachite butterfly was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  Wingspan nearly 4″ – Wow!

A few others including the lower orgy.

Once again the orchid garden.

Trees

Aother Green Heron

Leaves

jan 26-35

My 2nd favourite palm tree – Royal.  It has a smooth trunk & a long, smooth green part below the canopy.  My favourite is a silver Palm which Bill can’t seem to find to photograph.  Still looking.

jan 26-30

We (well, Bill) spotted this small black snake.

Miscellaneous shots.  Billy loved this place & we hope you all enjoyed watching it with him.  Moving on tomorrow to Crystal River.

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