Sunday, April 27, 2014

Florida Wildlife

An alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, watching from the grass. 
While I was visiting Gainesville, Florida last week, I spent a day at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park (click here to see the park's webpage). This remarkable wild spot is a National Natural Landmark yet is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Gainesville.

It's a little piece of old Florida. Well, not so little -- there are over 22,000 acres with trails, boardwalks, picnic spots, campgrounds, and more. It is crawling with wildlife. I saw turtles, dragonflies, caterpillars, wild pigs, wading birds, coots, rails, and alligators, lots of alligators.
There's one. 
A little one. 
Another one. 
A bunch of them! Click to enlarge and check out the one with its mouth open. 
A tricolored (used to be Louisiana) heron, Egretta tricolor
An American coot, Fullica americana
A cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
A perched anhinga, Anhinga anhinga, and a flying snowy egret, Egretta thula
Click here to look at the website of the Friends of Paynes Prairie. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Tricolored heron, Egretta tricolor, with a blue egg in the nest.
Click to enlarge. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gathering Nest Material

A house sparrow with a mouthful of dry grass. 
A red-tailed hawk with a stick. 
A squirrel carrying dry leaves. 
A lot of nest-building going on this week! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring in New York City -- finally

Robins are finding things to eat in the thawed soil. 
Pigeons seem to be copulating more than usual. This pair stopped when they saw me. Click to enlarge photos. 

House sparrows are fighting over nest cavities. This one is perched at the entrance to a nice natural tree hole. 
Yay, spring! 

An excerpt from Atalanta in Calydon (1865) by Algernon Charles Swinburne:

For winter's rains and ruins are over, 
And all the season of snows and sins;
The day dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.