Finally…A Little Fun Stuff©

Over all it has been a tough couple of weeks for us. As I reported last time…Connie had a UTI which resulted in canceling both our scheduled trip to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and her opera performance. And she was barely over that when she got a sinus infection and needed even more antibiotics…and then both she and Neil came down with a cold or some other crud which has had them feeling lousy, coughing, and dealing with stuffed up heads. She’s finally on the mend…we think…and Neil is a couple days behind her so we think she had it first and gave it to him.

In the meantime…we did go on the Fort Myers Murder Mystery train last Sunday…had a nice prime rib dinner, a bottle of wine, and watched the play which was an investigation into the murder of Kilroy…the famous jokester from WWII fame…and they were successful in determining who the killer was…it was the extremely well built Henrietta Winchester. The entire trip took about 3-1/2 hours and we went north on the train about 10 miles before turning around and heading back to the station. A good time was had by all though. Don’t worry that this is a spoiler should one choose to go on the trip…in the first place they change the play every 3 months and in the second place there were 3 or 4 potential bad guys (or girls) and with just a few different lines of dialog the clues would lead you to choose somebody else and Ima pretty sure that the murderer changes from night to night (they do the show 4 times a week).

And we did end up going off to Corkscrew this past Wednesday…although in view of our lack of stamina with the cold/crud/whatever it is we decided to take the shortcut over to North and South Lettuce Lake which was where the birds hang out normally. The water is getting pretty low…which just serves to concentrate the fish and crabs and makes for a nice feeding frenzy by the birds and gators. We spent about 2 hours on our walkabout this time and got out of there a bit after 1000 before it got overly hot…because ya know it is Florida down here and it tends to get a bit hot and humid in the summer time.

We were supposed to go down to Pasta Night…Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage…at the Elks on Wednesday but by the time we got the hour drive home from Corkscrew, had lunch and a shower and Connie did a little Ladies of Elks work…we were just too tired to go back out so we had some chicken and roasted garlic ravioli and a glass of wine.

The display for his new Mac Studio came in and is all set up…the photos in this post are the first ones he’s processed on the new machine. Same software…just a whole bunch faster getting things done.

He had ordered his new camera and lens from B&H Photo up in NYC but got a hint that ordering direct from Nikon might be a little faster so now he has 2 of each on order…they don’t charge until shipping so he’ll just cancel one of each when they ship.

Ok…photos from our trip to Corkscrew.

You leave the visitor center and with covid the boardwalk is now one way clockwise  rather than the free form path it used to be…it’s a long narrow loop boardwalk about 2.5 miles all the way around but there’s a shortcut about halfway out over to the return side by the lakes where the birds hang out. We’ve never seen much out on the far end so skipping it wasn’t a real problem for us. After getting the boardwalk there’s a short passage through a pine area then an open grassy area…where we spotted our first find of the day…

Red Breasted Woodpecker

Z72 3947 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

There were actually a pair of them…probably a mated pair but one flew off before we got a decent shot…well we got one of the one flying off but it was a pretty lousy pose so we skipped it.

Then Connie spotted this Swallow Tailed Kite coming in and got a nice shot of it landing.

Z50 2962 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

D75 9033 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z72 3985 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Kites are raptors…birds of prey…a bit smaller than an eagle and a really pretty species. We watched this one for 10 minutes or so hoping it would fly…no such luck. So we headed on up the boardwalk and took the shortcut over to the lake side.

On arrival at the lakes…our first spot was this 11-12 foot gator.

Z72 3988 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

He’s actually in the water there…but it’s just really shallow water.

Connie grabbed this bromeliad.

Z50 2980 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

While Neil went for the bird feeding frenzy.

Juvenile White Ibis and Roseate Spoonbill…they were pretty close to the big gator but basically ignored him.

Z72 3992 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Closeup of the gator.

Z72 4015 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

And the juvenile White Ibis again.

Z72 4000 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Neil spotted this Black Crowned Night Heron across the way…we’ve seen probably hundreds of these and every one was just sitting there like a still life painting…at least up until today as you’ll see in a bit.

Z72 4026 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Wood Stork.

Z72 4017 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

More feeding frenzy…Stork, Spoonbill, and Ibis.

Z50 3016 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z50 2996 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

And for the first time ever…the Black Crowned was actually fishing instead of just sitting on the branch.

D75 9052 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Juvenile Little Blue Heron in its changeling phase.

Z72 4083 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

White Ibis and Great Egret.

Z72 4069 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z72 4102 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Black Crowned Night Heron

Z72 4129 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

I have no idea what it was doing here with a single wing extended…maybe shading the water to look for prey like the Reddish Egret does.

Z72 4127 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

And even the gator got into the act lunging for a fish…he missed but Connie got the action water splash shot.

Z50 3086 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

As well as the Black Crowned Night Heron yakking at something or other.

Z50 3068 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Moving along…a fellow bird photographer pointed out this Barred Owl to Neil.

Z72 4162 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

They stood there watching for a few minutes hoping it would do something…the other fellow gave up and headed out and not 30 seconds later the action unfolded as it swooped down to snatch up some tasty morsel.

Z72 4178 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z72 4185 NEF DxO DeepPRIME Edit

Meanwhile…Connie spotted the vulture chick…or whatever you call them…it didn’t fly at our approach so obviously there’s a nest in that tree and it hasn’t fledged yet. Not sure if it’s a Turkey Vulture or Black Vulture though, couldn’t get a good enough look to tell and no adults around to identify by the red or black head,

Z72 4202 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Another Great Egret

Z72 4214 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Tricolor Heron.

Z72 4204 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Another bromeliad by Connie

Z50 3132 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

White Ibis again

Z50 3126 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Male Anhinga

Z72 4226 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

And some strange flower bud/seed pod like things as we got back out into the open area again on the way back.

Z50 3144 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z50 3146 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

And a bunch more of the Swallow Tailed Kites orbiting over the grassy area…you can see the tail which gives it the name and this particular one is carrying some take out breakfast…not sure why it didn’t go perch someplace and eat but it buzzed by us 3 or 4 times before heading out.

D75 9113 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Connie snagged these lizards…although technically they’re skinks and not lizards…and I have no idea what makes them a skink and not a lizard.

Connie has told me that the first two are anoles or lizards of some sort and the last one is the only one that’s a skink…and Ima not gonna argue with her about it…’specially since I have very little detailed understanding of the differences between lizards, skinks, anoles, legless snakes, and anything else that looks like a lizard. To me…they’re all lizards…but then Ima bear so in my view they’re all a snack anyway.

Z50 3216 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z50 3208 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z50 3153 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

And some bees on a flower.

Z50 3156 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Right before we got back to the visitor center she spotted these flowers and then the squirrel running by…it was literally running down the hand rail on the boardwalk right by her…this was one of those slam bam thank you ma’am sort of shots and she was amazed it turned out.

Z50 3226 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

Z50 3222 NEF DxO DeepPRIME

And with that we got back to the visitor center and thence the car…and we were glad because we were hot and tired.

Interesting things found on the net,

CutDown TooManyTrees

CoyoteWarningSign

Speaking of owls…this shows you how much of what you see is owl…and how much is just feathers.

70PercentFeathersOwl

MrPotatoHeadGender

GermansAndScrabble

Cyas.

About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
This entry was posted in Critters, Hiking, Homebody, Photography, WIldlife. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.