October « 2009 « verdure
pink and green
Monday, October 26th, 2009

More from Weedon Island Preserve:

We’ve seen roseate spoonbills before, but always while I was driving. They seem solitary and moderately shy. This is the first time we’ve gotten pictures of them.

This is also the first time I’ve seen green anoles. They are native, but the brown anoles, which I believe are imported, are much more common.

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Caledesi
Monday, October 19th, 2009

Last weekend, when it was still warm, we went back to Caledesi Island State Park. You can technically walk from Clearwater Beach to the island, but it’s easier to take the ferry. This was not as cool of a visit as when we came before in the winter; even in a strong breeze I had mosquitoes latching onto me like I’m the best stuff on earth. Three bites. We tried swimming, but there are more waves here than at Fort De Soto, and terrible visibility (barely as far as my outstreched hand).

The beach is still really pretty, and has more shells than the more accessible beaches further south. Although they are a bit hard on the feet. Combined with the already low visibility, I really should invest in some kind of swim shoes.

From the bare sand, sea oats and other brave plants start, and then palmettos.

We’ve been getting quite a bit of rain at the house that hasn’t registered at the official airport guage, but the gigantic thunderheads from the summer are mostly gone.

The water between Caledesi and Honeymoon Island (where you catch the ferry) is quite shallow, much of it wading depth or dry at low tide. There are lots of channel buoys and no wake signs that make for popular osprey and cormorants perches. I haven’t gotten any satisfactory osprey pictures, but here is a cormorant, panting.

I had thought I posted this before, but here is a female anhinga (taken at Sawgrass Lake Park), which, especially with the males which are all black, look and behave very similar to cormorants. Both swim underwater, but don’t have waterproof feathers and so they are often seen holding their wings out to dry, like this one. Anhingas, however, have long straight bills, while cormorants have a hook on the tip of theirs.

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magic beans
Monday, October 19th, 2009

It’s gotten cold all of a sudden. Lovely frisbee weather besides the wind, though. The lizards are all sluggish, and people are pulling out their sweaters to go with their flip flops. And for the first time in like six months, it’s below 79 in the house.

We tried planting a few herbs and tomatoes today. We don’t have much hope for them.

Over the summer, this vine has been enthusiastically growing over the bushes around the yard. It’s been making bean pods:

And we’ve had a mockingbird hanging out by our front gate lately. I have yet to get a picture of it doing the flashing wings bug dance.

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