Five Flags for July Fourth

Elaine and I have been enthralled by the birds and other wildlife here in Southwest Florida. One Fourth of July I was inspired to pay homage to the flag we love with birds we love. I call this “Flying the Flag.” It consists of three images I took at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

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Note: I did not approach a wild eagle to get the image. It was on display for educational purposes.

I created the piece below to support efforts to restore the Iwo Jima Memorial in Cape Coral. This is a photo of the statue before repairs, superinposed on an image of a flag flying there.

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Life may not be a bed of roses but this Flag of Roses is meant to honor the beauty of our nation’s ideals.

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I saw this flag in the window of a falling down building in rural California. It spoke to me so I captured it.

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And finally, a frangipani flag. Because why not.

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Desert Rose

By the entrance to our pool, just outside the backdoor, is a stand with a desert rose. It is thriving under my wife’s loving care. I pass it everyday, not always paying attention. This past week, it has called out to be noticed. I responded, and took these photos over the course of a week. View them as a slide show, and/or scroll down to view larger images.

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Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose Trunk

Desert Rose Trunk

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Six Mile Cypress Slough

I visited Six Mile Cyprus Slough last week, before its temporary closure for boardwalk repairs. It is well worth visiting when it reopens.

The following is from its web site; click to view: The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is over 3,400 acres of a wetland ecosystem. A myriad of animals like otters, alligators, turtles, wading birds, and more live at the Slough (pronounced “slew”) year round. Others, like migrating birds and butterflies use the Slough as a feeding area or a winter home

Here are some photos from my vist:

Woodstorks

Woodstorks

Great Egrets, Reseate Spoonbill, Ibis

Great Egrets, Reseate Spoonbill, Ibis

Great Egret

Great Egret

Wood Duck Pond

Wood Duck Pond

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Web

Web

Woodstork Flying

Woodstork Flying

Lichen

Lichen

 

Floating Feather

Floating Feather

To learn more about Six Mile Cypress Slough, please visit Friends of Six Mile Cypress Preserve.

Please see the blog roll at the top right of the page for other Swank family pages.

ANOTHER GREAT DAY AT DING DARLING NWR

For the second year, Elaine and I were pleased to offer a guided birding/photo tour of our favorite National Wildlife Refuge at our church auction. Four other members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Myers joined us for fun, fellowship and adventure. We saw 25 species of birds in a few hours, and had many photo opportunities.

 

Yellow crown night heron

Yellow crown night heron

Reddish egret preening

Reddish egret preening

One white pelican, many willets

One white pelican, many willets

Little blue posing, no zoom required

Little blue posing, no zoom required

Pileated woodpecker near exit

Pileated woodpecker near exit

White pelican landing, cormorants ignoring

White pelican landing, cormorants ignoring

Osprey taking off

Osprey taking off

Yellow crown night heron watching the watchers

Yellow crown night heron watching the watchers

Here are the 25 bird species we were lucky enough to see:

Reddish egret, great egret, little blue heron, tri-colored heron, white ibis, yellow-crowned night heron, pie-billed grebe, red breasted merganser, double crested cormorant, white pelican, brown pelican (on causeway), willet, spotted sandpiper, bald eagle, shortbilled dowitcher, dunlins, osprey, pileated woodpecker, roseat spoonbills (fly over), royal tern, fish crow, mourning dove, Eurasian collared dove, red-shouldered hawk, northern cardinal.

There were other critters and plants to see as well:

 

Tree Çrab

Tree Çrab

Needle nose fish

Needle nose fish

Flowers by the education center

Flowers by the education center

 

Mangroves, critical to our ecosystem.

Mangroves, critical to our ecosystem.

 

 

 


							

FAVORITE PHOTOS: MAY 2014 IN REVIEW

Backyard Flowers

Backyard Flowers

White Pelicans at Ding Darling

White Pelicans at Ding Darling

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Burrowing Owl Chicks, Cape Coral

Burrowing Owl Chicks, Cape Coral

Royal Reflection

Royal Reflection

Backyard Flowers

Backyard Flowers

Osprey Closeup

Osprey Closeup

Shells

Shells

Little  Blue Heron with Crab

Little Blue Heron with Crab

Burrowing Owl, Cape  Coral

Burrowing Owl, Cape Coral

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Backyard Flowers

Backyard Flowers

Merganzer Scratching

Merganzer Scratching

Owl at  Six Mile Cypress Slough

Owl at Six Mile Cypress Slough

Sea and Sky, Gulf of Mexico

Sea and Sky, Gulf of Mexico

Manatee with Baby, Sanibel Island

Manatee with Baby, Sanibel Island

Wet Green Heron, Backyard Dock

Wet Green Heron, Backyard Dock

Royal Poinciana, South Fort Myers

Royal Poinciana, South Fort Myers

Ibis in Surf

Ibis in Surf