Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bart Update

Well, Bart (all three of them) are still living on the property, although Bart sightings have become fewer and farther between. We hear them a lot and know they are close by but have not seen one except the flapping of large brown wings (speaking of which, we found a Bart feather on the driveway recently, how cool was that?) when one was near the house and we startled it. Today at lunch, however, DH was out feeding the fish in the water garden and called to me (through the delightfully-open windows...fall may be on the way after all) to tell me Bart was watching him from a nearby tree. After he came in (having both of us out there at once seems to make the Barts nervous) I went out with the camera. Bart actually stayed right there for three successive trips as I try to get the exposure setting right for a bird sitting in the shade in a tree.

As I type this, he is still on that branch. We think this is Baby Bart, who has always been less shy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

St. Marks NWR

I decided to take a drive out to the NWR to see what was going on. BAD decision. REALLY bad decision. It seems that because of the drought conditions or heat or some other cause, the sand fleas or black flies or whatever the heck they are are out in huge swarms! And they bite! I was wearing the usual summer garb of shorts and a tank top and at the Gulf end of the road I could not even walk around the pond (which was, of course, bone-dry). There was a super photo opportunity of the sky and water that would have required changing lenses. Stopping forward movement resulted in about two dozen of the biting flies landing on my legs alone...not good.

So I got back in the car (which was of course covered with love bugs, the bane of motorists this time of year in this area), and drove out. I discovered that there were fewer fleas/flies as I got farther from the Gulf, and I was able to get three scenic photos without undue loss of blood.

I believe these trees lost their leaves in a controlled burn. I could be wrong but I'm not sure otherwise why they are so bare at this time of year.

I stopped at one of the pools next to the road and took this one.

In that same pool I got a photo that I prefer as a black-and-white.

Now I know why there weren't any cars at the visitor center or lighthouse...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Withlacoochee River--er, Meadow

We went back out to our property on the Withlacoochee yesterday to hang out on the deck and quaff a few cool drinks. The view of the river is now a view of water hyacinths almost as far as one can see in either direction.

While we were sitting on the deck quaffing, a butterfly came flittering by and landed on DH's hand.

It then moved over to his arm, apparently liking that better.

Maybe it was just thanking him for putting in all those lantana plants out there, which butterflies really like.