Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Pelican Dreams"

Great new documentary video "Pelican Dreams" opening this Friday in Sarasota (Burnt Court Cinema).  Director Judy Irving also did "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill," so it should be GREAT!
Here's link to the trailer  
 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Myakka landscapes

 Myakka River State Park is Florida's largest at 45 square miles of river, oak hammock and prairie.  It is a great birding spot....but on some days you don't see much, so you have time to appreciate the beautiful landscapes.  This was a great outing.....late afternoon light and super clouds.


 





 



 
 
 
 




 



 
 
 



 
 
 



 
 
 



 
 
 




 


Make sure to get out and see the park....hiking, camping, wildlife, birding, kayak & canoeing, priceless scenery!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Black-necked Stilt

 Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)  seen in early November at Myakka River State Park, Florida
 










 



Yes, they are Long -billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus scolopaceus).
 
 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Long-tailed Skipper

 Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus).  Early fall here in SW Florida......expecting many more species as the season progresses.



Photos taken at Stump Pass Beach State Park  with Nikon D3300....new to me and so far I really like it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Great Eggfly Butterfly of SE Asia

 The Great Eggfly Butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina)  is a member of the nymphalidae family and found in South and SE Asia, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and islands in the South Pacific.


 I found this one in the butterfly garden of The Pullman Resort  on China Beach (now called Danang or My Khe Beach) in Danang.


Thanks to my friend, entomologist, Lien Vu, for ID help.  I hope to see him soon in Vietnam.....and get some more great butterfly photos.  Check out his photos here Lien Vu on P Base  And thanks to the beautiful Pullman Resort for their lovely butterfly garden.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Northern Pearly-Eye

 Northern Pearly-Eye (Enodia anthedon).  Common Nymphalidae family species found in damp, deciduous forests.  Likes to perch on trees.  I often see then in dark, shady patches....rarely in the sunlight.  All these photos taken in Downeast Maine, 2014.  Above in the Schoodic district of Acadia National Park.


 Taken at the Maine Coast Heritage Trust Preserve on Ripley Neck in Harrington, Maine.


 In the shadows on Wabi Sabi Farm, Harrington, Maine.


At the Downeast Salmon Federation Preserve on the Cates Road in Harrington, Maine.

Great Wass Island Walkabout

The Nature Conservancy maintains a wonderful preserve on Great Wass Island in Downeast Maine.  The 1575 acre tract includes coniferous forest with a stand of Jack Pine, peat bogs, and lots of exposed granite bedrock and sand beaches.







The preserve brochure says the trails are "rough, rocky and difficult" and they are not exaggerating.  The two trails make a 6 mile loop, and as the directions say, "your hike will take longer than you think."



Wife Olivia and I did the loop...and here are some photos of what we saw.


Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)


The Jack Pine is along a high point ridge....very Zen looking and quite unusual here in Maine.




We took the Little Cape Point Trail through the center of the island.  We found conifers, mixed hardwoods and some beautiful forest glades.....and some tough going through Sheep Laurel.  


Mountain Cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). 

Thanks to the stewards for the bog boardwalks....protecting both the hikers and the bog.


Round- leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)








Another carnivorous plant....
Pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea)


The Pitcher plant's flower....on a very long stem.






Common clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum)



Along the way we met a very tame female Spruce Grouse (Dendragapus canadensis)

and her chick!





Sheep laurel (Calmia angustifolia)


It was a long hike to the beach...time for a picnic lunch!




There are several botanical rarities on the preserve....including the Beach Head Iris.....but there is also the Northern Blue Flag which is quite common.  I had taken some notes and recalled that the Blue Flag leaves are as tall, or taller, than the flower stems.
Bummer.....this was Iris versicolor, the Northern Blue Flag.


Wish I could remember all that I read!  


Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)




Coastal Silverweed (Argentina egedii)






We saw two beautiful Fritillaries.....Atlantis and Great Spangled...very hard to tell apart.
BUT....when you get the photos cropped-up on the computer you can see the eye color!  Gray blue for the Atlantis and yellow green for the Great Spangled.  Above is
Great Spangled Frittilary (Speyeria cybele)
and below...


Atlantis Fritillary (Speyeria atlantis)

They were both busy nectaring on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)




Saltmarsh Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)






Knotted Pearlwort (Sagina nodosa)







Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)




Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus)


Knotted Wrack seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum)


Marsh Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)





Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) on Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)





Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)








WOW....The leaves are shorter than the flower stems!
Eureka!  Beach Head Iris (Iris Hookeri)....what a find....well worth the long hike to the beach!















Next trip we plan to be looking at lichen.....could this be
Xanthonia elegans?


Thanks to The Nature Conservancy for the opportunity to explore this wonderful island preserve.