Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Florida Files - Wildlife

I get excited when I see special things in the wild - natural sights that are not manufactured or set up in a zoo or entertainment park. For example, something I didn't get a pictures of (darn it), was an osprey hovering over a body of water... hovering...hovering...dive, Dive, DIVE... plunging head first and disappearing into the water... emerging with large fish in claws. I actually jumped up and down and exclaimed, "That was awesome!!!"
Like I said, though, I did not get a picture or video of that. But here are a few critters I did capture.

 Our apartment view happened to be a large pond home to several different birds, including three resident ducks. One of the ducks sat on the 16 eggs, pictured left, for several weeks. Finally, the two chicks, pictured on the right, were the only two to emerge.

Florida is known for alligators, right? But it isn't like they are walking down the sidewalks. Glad we spotted this one at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa.

Pelicans! Nearby swam half a dozen porpoises... much more difficult to capture on camera, for sure.

Probably the coolest sighting, in my opinion - a school of manta rays! They reminded me of a military jet flyover at a sporting event except gliding through the water instead of the air. Gorgeous.

 Because of my dear scientist bird-watching daddy, my Daniel and I are particularly tuned in to the aviary world. I'm not as good at bird pictures as my father, but in Florida I had many opportunities. This one is a wood stork!

The two birds in this picture are great blue herons. As we watched them, they were doing some sort of dance, turning in unison and fluffing out their wings and tail feathers like synchronized swimmers. 

 These jellyfish baddies were ALL OVER this beach. They're the ones that scare me the most!!! They're so transparent and so many different sizes, I had a hard time spotting them until I was TOO close for my comfort! My Daniel helped me navigate, though, and we both easily avoided any stings.

Dozens and dozens of horseshoe crabs. Dan said he'd never seen so many congregating together like that.

A LIVE sand dollar Dan found off shore. His little fringes were wiggling all around and he secreted on Dan's hand! HAHA! After showing me, Dan carefully placed the little guy back out in the safety of his natural environment.

My Daniel and I SUPER enjoyed encountering God's creation in Florida! Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Friday, I'll share some of my favorite, more artsy pics. Hang in there, Dry Ground friends! Week's half done!


Anonymous said...

GREAT PHOTOS!!!! Thanks for sharing them.