Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization." ~ Daniel Webster

One of the things that we really loved about being in St. Petersburg last year was the Saturday Farmers Market - and we have sorely missed it this year.  A friend however, suggested that we check out the Farmers Market in Ft. Pierce, which we recently did.  It proved to be a delightful experience - different, but delightful. 

As in St. Petersburg - this market was packed - lots of jostling from side to side to make our way around the various stalls.

~ foods of every kind ~

~ fruits and vegetables in a painter's palette of color ~

~ and music to enjoy ~

We will be back!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

“A few alligators are naturally of the vicious type and inclined to resent it when you prod them with a stick. You can find out which ones these are by prodding them.” ~ Will Cuppy

Our trip to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands and the Green Cay Nature Center Part II - "The Reptiles".  A warning right off the bat - if you are squeamish about seeing pictures of animals eating other animals - skip this post!

I won't write very much to accompany this post - other than to say - Wow!  

We truly were within a few feet of this guy - but were separated but a mid-chest-high thick wooden fence. Frankly - I think he was pretty bored by our presence and actually seemed to fall asleep at one point.  For us though?  Incredible!

The bird in the picture is the Purple Gallinule.

He swam right beneath us on the boardwalk.

When we left theWakodahatchee Wetlands, I read through the list of rules at the entrance.  I read aloud the one that said: 

"No Swimming" 
to which I added
"No Kidding!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“The woods would be quiet if no bird sang but the one that sang best.” ~ Henry van Dyke

A short while ago, some friends took us on a day trip to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands and then the Green Cay Nature Center, both in Delray.  What an amazing experience! The shear number of nesting birds was overwhelming - at every turn another bird to see, another sound to hear, another photo to take.  I was once again faced with the task of whittling my shots down in order to share them with you here.  I had so many in fact, that I am dividing them into two separate posts.  Today are "the birds" and Saturday I will bring you "the reptiles". Warning - if you have a hard time seeing animals eat each other - skip Saturday's post. 

Most of the photos were taken at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands.  The heat of the day had driven much of the wildlife into the shade by the time that we got to the Green Cay Nature Center.

The first series shown here are Anhingas.  The ones with the brownish upper body are the females, and the rich, deep black are the males.

Next we come to the Great Blue Heron - so majestic and regal looking.  Nests everywhere!

I admit to having a bit of "Lens Envy" while there.

While not a great shot,  this is a Green Heron.

We saw many of these last year - The Great Egret.  Also very regal and graceful.

This little guy was amazing - the American Bittern - as he walked his neck and body undulated from side to side.  I tried looking up why that is, but couldn't find anything.  

We had the great good fortune of being treated to the Roseate Spoonbill.  Not often seen at this location, the Spoonbill held court for quite some time.  I don't know if this is a male or female, but it is so interesting to look at - its bill is so odd shaped in comparison to all of the other birds that we saw - but its colors - exquisite. It's color is diet-derived and it uses its spoon-shaped bill to sift easily through mud. It feeds on crustaceansaquatic insects, frogs, and newts.

The Tri-colored Heron, and the Roseate Spoonbill  are often seen searching for food together.

Whistling Ducks

Young Anhingas

Teal-Winged Duck

Tri-Colored Heron

Lastly - The While Ibis - often seen in groups like this.

We had such a wonderful day - hearing all kinds of sounds - seeing all kinds of birds and nests.  I hope that we will visit there again!