March 15, 2017
This baby alligator was two feet long at most. The visitors at the Venice Myakka River Park who gazed at her stayed near the top of the bank. She may not be able to cause much damage, but it’s said that wherever there is a baby alligator, a mother alligator is not far away.
March 13, 2017
It wasn’t all be-polite-and-wait-your-turn with the vultures. In fact, they brawled over their food. Amid the mayhem I couldn’t tell whether the same guy fought off the challengers or the challengers replaced one another.
March 12, 2017
While I was photographing the upended tree, Lynda called from further down the path. Was I interested in photographing a dead alligator, or was that too gross. This photograph shows my answer. Up north the turkey buzzards keep our rural roadways cleared of carcasses, and I have often thought of them as the cleanup crew. It’s hard to tell how much cleaning up these black vultures can achieve with such tough hide to work through. They were certainly doing their best.
December 28, 2016
Don’t worry: I was on the bridge when I took this photograph. The second image (a crop) gives you a better look at this alligator’s gorgeous skin. Click on that image to see it even closer.
December 27, 2016
I took this photo from a bridge over the river. Even though people congregate here, the wildlife hangs around. Well, I guess that’s why people congregate around this bridge . . . . You can see egrets in the distance. Closer are three alligators, a great blue heron (in the water), eight roseate spoonbills surrounding a wood stork, and an anhinga to the left of them.
April 10, 2011
This morning we took another trip south to Venice to try another new (to us) park: Curry Creek Preserve. We hadn’t gotten too far into the park when a man taking a walk there stopped to talk with Janet. He said he came to Curry Creek Preserve a lot but that a much better view of the water was across the street at the Pinebrook Fitness Park. So we backtracked and went there. Well, yes, the views of the creek were better, but all-in-all we didn’t much favor the location and wondered if we should have stuck with the preserve. Ah, well. To try to recoup, we then drove to an old train parked on a siderail in town that a printmaking classmate had told me about. It was festooned in graffiti and in a lovely state of disrepair.
April 3, 2011
Another new place today: Jelks Preserve, south of Sarasota near Venice. Almost as soon as we walked through the gate Janet noticed a small path to the left. It bordered a small stream on its way to the Myakka River. The foliage was jungle lush, as you can see in the first photograph. I felt like I was in a museum diorama of early plant life. . . . Much later we came to a spot where the wild irises were just finishing blooming. . . . I never can resist an interesting saw palmetto leaf . . . or reflections in water . . . or Leptothrix discophora films.
April 2, 2011
This past Sunday Janet and I attended a fundraiser at the Myakka River State Park for the Friends of Myakka River. We didn’t spend much time taking photos, and I didn’t think I’d gotten anything worth sharing. I didn’t even download until days later. But today I took a good look at them and found some you might enjoy. Or not. This should be my last alligator photo. Should be but probably won’t be. They really are fascinating. It’s partly that they are so big, and—probably—partly that they are so dangerous. For the last year or so Janet has been making a lot of black and white photographs. I used to shoot black and white in the ’70s but haven’t made black and white photos lately. I just seem to see in color. Seeing so many of Janet’s great black and white photos, I finally I had to try some. The first of them here is an anhinga drying out its wings. Unless it’s a cormorant drying out its wings. The anhingas have a sharper bill and silver on their wings, but I can’t tell from this far away. The second is a crow, probably a fish crow. Fish crows look very much like regular crows, but their voices sound like they have put a mute over their mouths. I just read today, in Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants, that crows’ forebrains “are as relatively large as those of nonhuman apes, and the ratio of the brain weight to body weight is in the same line as apes.” He calls them, along with parrots and ravens, the “‘primates’ of birds.”