Doe Elk

Early morning in Smoky Mountains NP an elk herd was grazing on the edge of the forest. This doe was off by itself, as if being shunned by the others. She was aware of me, but didn't seem bothered by my presence. Ho hum, just another butinsky. Thought for the Day: Make someone happy today … Continue reading Doe Elk

Ready for Take Off

This is the Black Swallowtail butterfly that was clinging to the railing of my deck.  (click here).  I just rotated the image 90 degrees to get a level front view.  It reminded me of a large airplane at the end of the runway. Since then, it has snowed almost 4 inches; hope he got cleared … Continue reading Ready for Take Off

Monarch Hatching

This is my second butterfly "raised" and released, DP-2.  Like clockwork, it hatched on the 10th day of pupation. When the larva (caterpillar) pupates, it spins a cocoon-like shell around itself hanging from the bottom of a milkweed leaf or the top of the jar in my case.  The chrysalis (cocoon) is green as I … Continue reading Monarch Hatching

DP-1 Lift Off

I started this little science project with a Monarch larva (caterpillar) on August 11th, when  DP-1 was less than 1/4" long.   It grew to over 1 1/2" long before it pupated on August 29th. After ten days in the pupa stage, a magnificent female Monarch butterfly hatched around noon on September 8th.  When we opened the … Continue reading DP-1 Lift Off

Exhausted

Animals get tired, just like people.  This monkey must have had a very busy day; it is  obviously all tuckered out, pooped, spent, down for the count, drained, bushed, outta gas, weak, sapped, exhausted and just plain tired. His grand kids must have just gone home. Thought for the Day:  On the seventh day, God … Continue reading Exhausted

Open Wide

Pelicans are extremely flexible.  I caught this one rotating his beak clockwise from 9 to 5 o'clock.  I just happened to catch it at 12 o'clock. Why?  I don't know, but I saw several of them doing it.  It looked more like a stretching exercise than anything else, maybe keeping its gullet flexible for the … Continue reading Open Wide

Posing Pelican

On the same morning I saw my first reddish heron,  I found a pelican nesting site nearby. It was in the backwaters of Sarasota Bay, near a public boat dock surrounded by mangroves.  Early morning, active birds, including heron and egrets, and very noisy. Birds were everywhere.  Locals told me the wild birds put up … Continue reading Posing Pelican

Reddish Heron

At the end of a quarter-mile board walk through a mangrove swamp, I found myself on a platform in shallow water with a 180 degree view of the Gulf of Mexico.  Sounds of Sarasota did not penetrate this site.  Dawn was breaking, and birds were noisily swarming in the sky.  Gradually, the wading birds began … Continue reading Reddish Heron

Blue Heron

I found this blue heron wading in the shallows of a manicured lake on the grounds of the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL.     The bird was oblivious to me and others on the well-traveled foot bridge.  This photo opportunity was better than any zoo shot. Just another lucky shot. Thought for the Day:  Seize … Continue reading Blue Heron

Desoto NWR

The word was out; snow geese were gathering at Nebraska's Desoto National Wildlife Refuge.  Gathering is an understatement, more like a national convention; local naturalists estimated upwards of 500,000. Over 1200 acres of fields and wetlands provide a welcome stopover for migratory water fowl.  They are easily heard, but hard to find along the seven … Continue reading Desoto NWR