Thursday, November 18, 2010

Second Helpings

Today we went for the second helping of birds and habitats in southwest Florida. Six Mile Slough is a city park and a smaller version of Corkscrew Swamp. We went on the hike led by volunteers and had a great time. It's fun to see how other volunteers handle their jobs. I must admit though, that I'm getting tired of driving an hour every day from Leghigh Acres to ANYWHERE we want to go! Places in Florida look pretty close on the map, but it takes much longer than anticipated to reach them.
We lost my prescription sunglasses at Ding Darling on Sunday. I left a message about them, and someone actually turned them in, so we returned today for the glasses, and to visit the education center which had been closed on Sunday. It's very well put together, and we worked hard to restrain ourselves in the gift shop. I think we may have been inspired for some Christmas gifts from this trip. Then we couldn't resist another trip around the wildlife drive as the afternoon waned.
The same birds were still around, but putting on a new show. Yes, fluff those feathers! Count the species on this mudbar...five? Fiddler crabs chased each other around, brandishing one large claw. Don't mess with me! The Bald Cypress is a wonderful wood, useful for may things, but often contradictory. A conifer that is also deciduous, the cones make oil slicks in the water when they fall in. Squirrels love them. Male Anhingas have black and white wings, while the females are blond. They actually spear fish with their straight beaks, then they have to shake them off to eat them. We went to another site at Ding Darling, a fresh water marsh, rather than mangrove or cypress swamps. Finally found the Coots and Moor Hens we knew must be down here somewhere.
The sun sets so early in winter, even in Florida. We have watced the sunset and driven home in the dark every night. Even the Egrets seem to be reflecting on something as they watch the sun go down. Dick and I always wonder why we don't hear the hiss as it drops into the ocean.....

1 comment:

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Great series and oh I do know that Florida has high numbers on the Red-Shouldered, much paler than here though. I miss mine, but they still are around and in just a few short weeks, they shall be finding interest in each other once again...always fun. Looks like you are having/had a wonderful time.