Skimming the waves


Pelican skims the waves in search of a fish. But wait! Is this really a pterodactyl?

White Ibis teenager

You can tell this White Ibis is a “teenager” by the coloration of its feathers. When fully mature, it will have all white plumage. The brown mottled plumage on its neck shows it is immature. The pink color of the legs and beak will also turn bright red when full grown. We didn’t see Mom or Dad, so who knows what teenaged mischief this one was up to. We captured this shot on a trip to Naples, Florida.

High flying and loud

This is the time of year when the Sandhill Cranes head back north. Usually you hear them first, then have to search the skies for the typical “V” shaped formations. While the normal flying altitude is around 5,000 feet, they have been known to fly as high as 12,000 feet.

Took this picture this afternoon in our backyard. You have to look closely!

Click below for the sounds of one Sandhill Crane. Imagine how loud it is with all of the cranes squawking as they fly.

About the ugly and sometimes scary

Does a kettle of vultures circling in the sky give you pause?

Took this picture a few years back one early morning

Turkey vultures often get a bad rap. Yes, they are pretty ugly. They do perform a vital role in the ecosystem by cleaning up the carrion. It is for some kind of scary seeing a lot of them circling overhead. Here’s some other information:

  • Yes, a group of turkey vultures circling is called a kettle of vultures
  • They spread their wings to warm up or dry off, usually in the morning
  • They can soar for  hours at a time, rarely flapping wings
  • They clean up the carcasses of dead animals, keeping diseases down
  • Wing spans reach up to six feet
  • They stick their heads in carcasses so no head feathers to keep clean
  • Buzzard is not the correct name for turkey vultures
  • They DO NOT kill dogs, cats, or children

Want more information? Here is the Wikipedia link for turkey vultures.

An up close and personal meeting

At an RV Park in central Florida we met the local resident Sandhill crane.

This crane obviously owned the park, as we saw him walking down the center of roads and blatantly ignoring the accepted RV park protocol of not walking through another camper’s site. I was only about 3 feet from him for the close up head shot.

Evidence of an overnight visitor

A few days ago we had a decent 1 to 2 inch accumulation of snow.  When we looked out early in the morning we saw a set of tracks in the snow on the sidewalk leading to our front door.  Do you recognize what kind of animal made these tracks?

Bonus question: Which direction was the critter going? Towards the camera or away?

Remembering summer

Well, we’ve got another 3 inches of snow on the ground when we woke up today. Snow pictures are sometimes boring, so here’s a picture from last summer.

The squirrel is enjoying a little snack of some kind. The young tree in the tomato cage is a Black Cherry seedling that we got free from the local Extension Service. We also got Tulip tree seedlings as well.

We hope we can get our vaccines soon so we can get away from the Indiana winter and head south somewhere where it’s warm.

 

Big flakes and a covered bunny

Strange as it sounds, we’ve been waiting for a decent snow since we’re still stuck in Indiana. Snowfall is so pretty, and this evening it started at dark.  Up to 5 – 6 inches is forecast before morning, which is the most accumulation yet from any event this winter.

We noticed this little bunny just sitting in the yard seemingly really enjoying the snowfall. He was there long enough to begin to get a covering of snowflakes on his back. He sat there for quite a few minutes.

Snow is starting to stick!

This time last year we were enjoying an RV Resort in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin. With any luck we can get our covid vaccines sooner than later and be able to get on the road again.