Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week 32

11 Aug 2013, Lake Apopka

It was a fabulous day at Lake Apopka with Swallow-tailed Kites foraging in preparation for their migration south.

This Swallow-tailed Kite snatched a dragonfly, a common sight watching these raptors forage.

Ooops ... looks like a kite ran a traffic signal and broadsided another kite.

10 Aug 2013, Lake Apopka

We did our dragonfly survey today and it was a lively day.  Butterflies were more active than usual and the dragonfly count was much better than in the spring.

After this male Eastern Pondhawk finishes munching on whatever he has, that little bugger immediately below watching the action might just well be the easy answer to, "what's for dessert"?

8 Aug 2013, Lake Apopka

At the start of the year, I never dreamed a snake would be the most exciting event in my nature outings for 2013, but that all changed on this day.  As I rounded a corner, I almost ran over a snake.  As it turned out, it was not just any 'ol snake.

It was the most gorgeous, silver and gray with a charcoal top, very long, rare Florida Pine Snake.  The colors in the anterior portion looked like an Oakland Raider uniform with the silver and black.

This species spends much of its time underground in burrows and is not seen often at all.  The state of Florida wants sightings to be reported because the Fish and Wildlife Commission does not have good data on this species.  They don't see it much either.  The question is how rare is it?  Is it really rare or just not seen due to its underground living?

6 Aug 2013, Merritt Island NWR

Every time I see a Loggerhead Shrike on Biolab Road in the Merritt Island NWR, I think back to the family of Loggerheads that I did a "mini photo-documentary" on last year.  I see another shrike, I know this could be a family member or a generation from that family.

You can see these images by going to my Flickr site, linked at the right, and going to "Sets" then "Photo Contest Winner".  Clicking an image allows you to see the text and story behind the images.

Or, click this link above.   But, make sure you save me in your favorites so it is easy to come back to my blog :)   It was so fun watching the antics of this family and all their interactions that this spot and this species will always make me smile.

This shrike sat just a few feet from me near that spot.  You think it remembered me?

CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE, "X" in upper right to go back

I remember struggling to ID so many different white and off-white butterflies, including this one, until I read where the blue bulbs on the end of the antennae are distinctive.  This is a Great Southern White on Blackpoint Wildlife Drive.

How cool is a butterfly with hair on its wingtips?  At least, that's what I thought until I realized minutes later that is part of the foliage.  This is a Mangrove Buckeye and the guide books say they don't belong here in central Florida ("extreme south Florida" it says) but they are here.

There were thousands of dragonflies on Blackpoint Wildlife Drive.  No wonder the Swallow-tailed Kites like to migrate in mid-August since this is a favorite food of theirs.  This is a female Marl Pennant.

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