At Home with the American White Ibis

I haven’t been out and about as much as I would like lately, so it is good I can find so much entertainment at home. We live on a lake, which is actually an 11-acre retention pond. Fortunately a lot of wildlife stops by.

This week, the most entertaining guests was a small group of American white ibises. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

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To learn more about the American white ibis, please visit: http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/white-ibis

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunset Gathering at the Causeway

Every month or so, a group of us gather at the Sanibel causeway for sharing, caring, sunsets and fellowship. Click on any image to see a larger version.


We are members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, http://www.uucfm.org/.
Photos (c) John Swank.

Dynamic Dock Day: Part 1, Otters

We love having wildlife visit our dock in South Fort Myers. We have had a variety of critters over the years, but Sunday was special. First up were four otters, who were not at all concerned we were nearby.

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Have another minute? Here is a video of the otters in action

For Elaine’s fun blog including a narrative of this wonderful event see http://www.ewswank.wordpress.com.
Part 2 coming soon.

Ozzie and Harriet in Good Times

Ozzie and Harriet, our North Fort Myers eagles, have been favorites throughout Southwest Florida, and, thanks to an eagle cam, in many other places around the country and globe. Unfortunately, Ozzie recently died after being attacked by another male eagle. Here are some of my photos of the pair and their family, from the past several years.

Eglet

Ozzie in Flight 3

Ozzie in Flight 3

Ozzie in Flight 2

Ozzie in Flight 2

Ozzie in Flight 1

Ozzie in Flight 1

FWetOzzieEagle

Ozzie

Ozzie

Harriet and Chick

Harriet and Chick

That's a strange bird.

That’s a strange bird.

Checking in.

Checking in.

Harriet relaxes by the pond.

Harriet relaxes by the pond.

The look out.

The look out.

Big bird, small bird.

Big bird, small bird.

Looks like a big world out there.

Looks like a big world out there.

Mom's up there.

Mom’s up there.

All together a little longer.

All together a little longer.

Let's figure out how these things work.

Let’s figure out how these things work.

This could be fun.

This could be fun.

Look out for the tree.

Look out for the tree.

Letting go.

Letting go.

Flapping.

Flapping.

Calling.

Calling.

Getting the hang of it.

Getting the hang of it.

Clean up time.

Clean up time.

Flying low.

Flying low.

Where has E4 gone?

Where has E4 gone?

Family time.

Family time.

Coming in.

Coming in.

Big tree.

Big tree.

Checking things out.

Checking things out.

Take off.

Take off.

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.

Mothers Day 2015: A Whale of an Adventure

Mothers Day finds me reflecting on an experience Elaine and I shared just a few weeks ago.

We were traveling a long way from home and came across a group of new mothers and their babies.  We found them enormously attractive.

Elaine loves to hold and talk to babies, and I love any opportunity for a good photo.

But we were the interlopers and stayed a respectful distance away.

In just a little while, one of the moms brought her baby close to us. She didn’t say anything, but seemed to encourage us to pat the young one and had no objection to my camera.

Pretty soon others joined us. They seemed to be as curious as we were and to enjoy the encounter.

Elaine didn’t get to hold the babies but did get the pat them, kiss them, and put her hand in one’s mouth.  I got some photos and I believe we all had a great sense of connection.

Happy Mothers Day to all who have the title officially, and to all who help support this interconnected web of life we share.

Grey Whale Group

Grey Whale Group

Watchful Whale

Watchful Whale

Grey Whales, Cow and Calf

Grey Whales, Cow and Calf

Mom and calf

Mom and calf

WCloseWhale

Blowhole

 

Below the Surface

Below the Surface

Balleen

Balleen

Notes: This encounter took place in a protected area in Mexico as part of a small group eco tour. Only a few boats are allowed in the preserve at a time, all piloted by licensed personnel. All wildlife was treated with a great deal of respect. Many thanks to the professionals who conducted this tour, and to our fellow searchers.

Here is a link to the tour operator: http://www.bajawhales.com/.