Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One-Leg Day at St. Marks

We took a quick trip down to St. Marks on Sunday evening. These wading birds were enjoying the last of the warm afternoon light. Each of them was standing on one skinny leg. I know the second from the left was a black-necked stilt but the other three are unidentified.

This great blue heron supported its heavy body on only one leg.

There was not the slightest movement of air and the no-see-'ums were out in swarming clouds! And they were hungry! I had to wonder if there was a connection: tuck up one leg for less exposure to the biting  bugs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weird Vegetation

This first set of pictures was made at St. Marks in May. The tan vegetation was later identified as algae on the bases of the grass. 

We thought it was very odd-looking.

This is the same spot later in September. The tall, rosy-stemmed shrubs are  giant pigweed or southern water hemp (Amaranthus australis).

They grow quite large (10 feet and more) and are numerous in the salt marshes at St. Marks.
In looking up this plant, it appears to have had some name changes through the centuries, reflecting botanists' efforts to better categorize into families and genuses and species, etc. This last name was only acquired in 1955.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bummer! Busted Barrel

One day in the late summer, we went out to discover our rain barrel had committed kamikaze. One minute it was sitting on its stand holding its 55 gallons of rain water and the next, the sidewalk was flooded and the  barrel was all "busted."

It took us a few weeks to find another one at what we considered a reasonable price, but we did. It was identical--- and we bought two.  They are hooked up to gutters in the front and back of the house. We LOVE that the slightest shower will fill the barrels. Then we use garden hoses to water specific areas and plants. With as little rain as we have had this year, every drop counts.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Horsing Around

We suspect a plasma cutter was used to produce this detailed design.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Big Moth

This large moth was on a brick column at my school one weekend. The patterns on it are so intricate. I can imagine that the coloring and pattern would provide good camouflage on many trees.  I did not notice at the time, but there is a brick-colored spot behind its  head. When I zoom way in, it looks as though I am looking right through to the brick. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Lake is Down, the Poison Ivy is Up and There is a Reward Offered

On Sunday afternoon, the weather was so nice that we took a drive into Jefferson County. We stopped to walk the boardwalk along one end of Lake Miccosukee. Because of the extended drought, the large lake  is down to a series of sinkholes that are no longer connected.  

This fish was quite stationary. We believe it to be a mudfish. It was good-sized: over a foot long.

I was hoping to find some fall leaves to take back to show my kindergartners on Monday but the prettiest fall colors were found on the poison ivy!

As we were leaving, B noticed this notice that was duct taped to the sign:

Here is a closer look:

Was this kind of an obituary for its kin?