Windpower old and new

We’ve just returned from a trip to the UK and a cruise in the Baltic Sea.  I’ll  be posting some shots from those areas as I get along processing them.  Here are a couple taken from our Balcony on the Holland -America Ryndam in Copenhagen.  We were on the harbor side as docked and I could see a lot of small sailboats heading out the channel into the sailing basin beyond the fort.  The contrast between sails for propulsion and power generation was too good to pass up.



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Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis

Like the Anhinga whose scientific name is Anhinga Anhinga the Northern Cardinal uses the same name twice, Cardinalis Cardinalis.

This young couple has decided to set up housekeeping in the neighborhood.  I’ve been seeing them for a while.  I’ve been watching them to try and find the nest site without much success until this evening.  It appears that they are using an infrequently used space between my next door neighbors house and the house on the other side.  I couldn’t spot the nest this evening but I did manage to get a couple of shots as they flittered around.

So, here is Mr. Cardinal


and his lovely wife.


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Sub Rosa

I was looking at one of our roses yesterday and discovered a flower spider (Thomisadae) hiding in a rose.  These maintain an anchor line but don’t spin a web to capture prey as other spiders do.  It lurks between the petals and attacks whatever shows up.  Often bees.


Their two forelegs are long and useful for en-wrapping prey.

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Some leftover birds and a spider

From time to time I take an interesting shot and throw it into a directory where I put images I want to write a blog post about.  But, sometimes I don’t get around to it and some of these may have been included in another post but I forgot to put them in the archive.  Otherwise, here are some random shots that have been on the hard drive too long.

Let’s get the spider out of the way.  I don’t know what kind it is but, it was putting together what look to be egg sacs on a stretch of web and had or was about to take a break and have lunch.  Just an oddity.


Now, a couple duck pictures that I just liked but don’t have much to say about.  This is one of mama deading a string of juveniles.


And, in this one, I just liked the reflections.


Then, there is the Loggerhead Shrike.  I may have posted this one before but it shows one of their hunting habits.  They stick their prey on thorns to eat.  This one finds barbed wire just as effective as a thorn.


Finally, an immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron alighting on the seawall.



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Dolphin Photo-op

I was along with neighbors to take their boat down the harbor for fuel and lunch.

Porpoises frequently meet boats after they clear the Ponce De Leon Park Channel and surf along on the bow wave.  We had the pleasure of having one do just that as we left.  In addition to swimming along, this one decided that it was time for some acrobatics.



Lunch at Burnt Store Marina was good too.

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Red Bellied Woodpecker – Gender differences

A dead palm tree on a vacant lot down the street has attracted a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers who have decided to nest there.  It may not be a good choice since the owners have just had a dock and boat lift installed which means that a house will be going up there soon.


You can see that they have pretty well smoothed the bark around the hole and I could see that they were still working on excavation.  You can tell the difference between the male and female by the amount of red on their head.  The males coloring is more extensive and includes some read feathering around the beak.  The female carries her coloring further back on the head.  Here, the male is on the left and the female on the right.  They are both looking for food in the ruff of a living palm next to the dead one in which they are nesting.

DSC_3388acr107     DSC_3295acr107

I hope I’ll get to see some young ones before long.


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Monarch Butterfly Eggs and Peaches

Today I went out in the yard to see what was happening.  I know folks think Florida doesn’t have seasons but that’s just not so.  I few weeks ago we had peach and mango blossoms on the trees and my Butterfly Weed was well in bloom attracting ants as the pollinators.  But, it also did it’s job and attracted Monarch Butterflies.

Today, I notice the scattered Monarch eggs on the plant.  They set them in spots.  A few on one leaf, a few on another.  Not like the tighter patterns of laying I see with other insects.


I probably would have taken the blurry leaf out of the foreground but it had a couple of eggs at the base.  The eggs are actually egg shaped and have a pattern of striation.


I hope I catch them hatching.  As to the peaches, well they are pretty small now and some of these will self select and drop with the healthiest remaining.  The mangos seem to attract seed eating birds when they are about 1/4 inch across so we don’t get too many.


The magnolia buds are forming and I should be getting some shots of those in a week or two but while I was looking into the tree, I found a Corn Snake coiled and watching me.  They are harmless but will nip when disturbed so I just took a couple of pictures and left it alone.


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