Saturday, December 05, 2015

Don't Let the Weather Get You Down

Black Vultures
So far, we've gone to several Broward County Parks. They are trying to preserve some of the old habitat in small chunks surrounded by development. We found a brochure saying there would be a bird walk the first Saturday of the month, and left the condo around 7:15, in the rain, to be there by 8:00 am, the designated starting time. However, ours was the only car in the parking lot. Apparently it was cancelled.
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Ponchos on, we walked around the preserve on our own, enjoying the eNaturalist feature on the boardwalk. Interpretive signs had a QR code on them, which led to a series of videos on YouTube for us to watch on the phone while still in the park. The short videos explained the habitats and the plants and animals living there. Very enjoyable.
Resurrection Ferns
Resurrection ferns are green and healthy up and down all the trees due to the recent rains. Normally we see them brown and shriveled during a period of drought. Since it was raining, we didn't carry our binoculars, but the 60x zoom on my camera served as a substitute, and we think we found a Loggerhead Shrike. Lighting was awful for photos.
Banana Spider

Zebra Heliconian
Another brochure talked about a trail around the edges of Tall Cypress, but we couldn't find it. We did see a beautiful banana spider and Florida's state butterfly, the zebra heliconian.
We decided to take the sidewalk to a lake shown on the map, one of the better decisions for the day. An Osprey sat on his branch in the gloomy sky (it looks blue, but is really purple), watching for fish...
Wood Stork

...while an unexpected Wood Stork patrolled the edges of the lake for his breakfast.
Black Vultures
Then the Black Vultures started to circle down to the ground where they quarreled over a piece of dead something, don't know what. The GPS could not lead us to Denney's for brunch - or it took us there, but we couldn't find the building. Sigh. Maybe I'll start asking my phone for restaurant directions. We went by the Pompano Municipal Airport to check out the Burrowing Owls seen there last time we came, but they were gone. The local Audubon Society guy said he couldn't tell me where to find any more since they are endangered.
Our ponchos protected us from intermittent light showers all morning, but as the afternoon progressed, so did the weather. Wind and rain beat upon the condo windows, and then I saw some strange shapes in the air. Some fools were windsurfing just off the beach! I, on the other hand, was content to watch old episodes of Hercule Poirot on Netflix most of the afternoon!

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