March 8, 2018

Out on a Limb

Palm Warbler

Gosh...this handsome little fellow was tough to shoot!  Flitting from limb to limb, it barely sat still for two seconds. I could have spent hours chasing it!  Not 100 percent sure, but I believe it's a prairie warbler. Spotted at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary -- with all kinds of other songbirds zipping through the trees.  Hope everyone is having a good week so far!

March 4, 2018

Quintessential Florida

Island Gator

Alligator reposing on a small island at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.  This is quintessential old Florida at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Island Gator
  Look at those long, sharp claws. And menacing teeth! 
Fun to observe gators in the wild...but always from a safe, healthy distance.

March 3, 2018

Strangler Fig

Strangler Fig

Back at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary! This photo has a very interesting backstory. The sanctuary was hit hard by Hurricane Irma and was closed for 3 months while crews cleared out downed trees. One of the downed trees was this cypress. When it was sawed for removal, it was revealed that a strangler fig was growing inside!  Amazing! Typically, you'll see a strangler fig growing like a thick vine around a tree. But, I've never heard -- or seen -- one growing inside a tree. A sanctuary volunteer theorized that a bird probably ate a strangler fig seed and left it behind in some scat, which made its way into a hole within the cypress trunk....and then, voila! Nature truly is amazing. More pics from the swamp to come!

February 26, 2018

Weekend Look Back

Caloosahatchee Sunset 
Big, blazing sunset on the Caloosahatchee River this past Saturday.
How was your weekend? 
Hope everyone is doing well in the Blogosphere!

February 2, 2018

Autumn in Winter

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Believe it or not, this is what the cypress trees look like now at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Normally, this time of year, the trees are bare. But, look at those fall colors -- amazing! Apparently, Mother Nature is a bit mixed up since Hurricane Irma ripped through here in September, stripping away all the leaves.   They grew back -- like this -- and have stayed on the branches well past the time when they should have fallen.  New buds are supposed to start growing this month, so who knows what's going to happen! More on the affects of Irma here at Corkscrew...coming soon!

January 26, 2018

Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk 

As a volunteer at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary led me toward the coiled up, well camouflaged cottonmouth, this big guy swooped in and landed a few yards away from me. He certainly seemed to be on the hunt and some visitors were concerned the red shouldered hawk was going to try to grab the nearby (venomous) snake. The raptor scanned and scanned the area, and even flew from one branch to another in the vicinity, but showed no interest in the snake. Makes you wonder if it recognized the cottonmouth as a potential threat.  I'll will post more pics from our Corkscrew adventure soon.  In the meantime, the SDP staff is enjoying a long weekend.  Happy Friday!

January 23, 2018


Cottonmouth Do you see it?


Also known as a water moccasin, this cottonmouth snake is venomous and, as you can see, blends in amazingly well with its surroundings. Yikes!  I was a healthy distance away, safe and sound on the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary when I snapped this pic.  I never would've seen it, except a sanctuary volunteer led us to it.  Next post...the predator that arrived nearby and some thought it was eyeing this snake for dinner.  Enjoy the day!