Reflection's Flora and Fauna
A collection of my photos of flora and fauna, and maybe now and then,
something else that catches my attention and just will not let go.
Maybe even with little verbage, which is pretty hard for this gal.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Green-backed Heron and a Reflection

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This guy was sitting in this small waterway one campsite away for several hours, undisturbed by all the traffic.  It really did not move much when I walked down to take photos. Identification tentative, made from my copy of "Birds of North America", National Geographic Society.





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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from Reflections and Santa Carol

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* Please visit Reflections From the Fence, where the true meaning of Christmas is depicted.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Reindeer Moss

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Identified by a local resident as reindeer moss, if you google that name you will find it may also be called caribou moss, reindeer lichen, or, Cladonia rangiferina.  There is a Wikipedia page here, which claims it is indeed food for reindeer.  Photos taken here in Gulf State Park on December 15, 2011, we have not seen any reindeer in the wild.  There are several very large banks of it growing on the side of a hiking trail.


Closer:  it is as light as air.


And, let Sony zoom:





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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Stand, Then I Fly

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Man and I took advantage of a warm day to go sit on the beach.  We usually walk, but not this time.  Man proceeded to fall asleep.  From my lawn chair I sat and watched people, tried to take photos of buildings and the beach in the mist.  The longer I sat, the closer the gulls would get.  I snapped a lot of photos, and decided to try and capture "take off".  First, the one legged stand:


Then, take off.  This gull pretty much flew right at me.


I caught this one from the side.  Take off - -



It was rather nice to be able to sit for a long while and be quiet and take photo after photo.  Something I rarely get to do, Carol liked it!



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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Osprey

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Same bird, Sony zoomed to the max, Carol holding her breath, acting as a tripod.  The first photo shows how far away it was, no cropping done, note the burnt tree.  The last photo was cropped to show the bird as large as I could manage with the photo editing software.









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Monday, December 19, 2011

Ocean Dew, Mist and Fog Decorate Me

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Believe this is a primrose, it is a morning bloomer, fading away as the day progresses.  This morning it was covered with heavy mist and fog.





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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter Seed Pods

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Taken during some walks around Gulf State Park, December 2011.






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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jellyfish and Portuguese Man-of-War

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Found laying on the beach at Gulf Shores on November 23, 2011.  Blended in so well with the sand I am not sure how I saw it.  But, I did. Now, I am in no way an expert, but, I suspect this is a jellyfish, interesting the red streaks. (No expert, but, learning!!!!)


The next 3 photos were taken December 1, 2011 off the Gulf State Park fishing pier.  I did zoom with the Sony to take these photos.  The first two photos were only cropped, no color correction was done with the photo editing software.  This is very close, colorwise, to what I saw with my eye.



The following photo, is the same one as above, but, I did do an "auto correct" with the photo editing software.    Auto correct will give stunning results sometimes.


On December 9th, Man wanted to see if he could find a jellyfish on the beach.  What we found instead was Portuguese Man-Of-War.  Lots of them, way up the beach, further than we usually see shells that have washed up.





*  There is an interesting article on the problems caused by jellyfish, here.  You can read about the Portuguese Man-of-War, here.  Nasty business.  Purple flags are still flying as of December 14th.  Won't be doing any beaches any time soon barefooted, I can promise you that.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Red and Purple Flag Day at the Beach

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It was gray, blustery, rainy and the red and purple flags were out.

Red Flag - High hazard. Dangerous rip currents/surf conditions. Avoid entering the water.

Purple Flag - Sea pests present (jellyfish, man-of-wars, sharks and/or sea lice). This flag may be flown along with any of the other flags.

Even the sea gulls and other sea shore birds were grounded:



Monday, December 12, 2011

After the Burn, Turning Green

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There was a huge fire just north of the campground here at Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama at the end of June 2011.  It burned about 900 to 1000 acres. It did not burn down this viewing/resting abode along one of the walking/hiking trails.


It did, however, burn all the area to the east, where Man is looking.  These bull rushes and grasses have come back since the fire.   The naturalist here told us that this area was totally burnt, and now, we can begin to see it turn green again.





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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Pelicans of Gulf State Park Pier

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The water was very clear this day on the pier.  These pelicans seemed to be waiting for the local fishermen to clean their fish.  Maybe they knew they would get a treat.

Below, clear enough we can see the webbed feet of this pelican in the water.


Below:  I got a kick out of how everyone was facing one direction, except for a loner.




Below, a bit of a row over the fish treat a local fisherman tossed to them.  Mine, no mine, no mine!




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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Armadillo

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One afternoon Man and I decided to investigate one of the hiking/walking trails that we have not been on  here at Gulf State Park.  It starts at the beach road and goes north east towards Orange Beach.  The entire trail (one way, no loop) is 1.75 miles.  We were not really dressed/prepared for a hike, he did not have on his hat and the sun was shining (melanoma survivor, needs his hat) and I really needed another layer of coat or sweater and needed my walking shoes.  So, we decided to just do a bit of the trail and see how things worked out.

Well, we only walked about .6 or .7 of a mile total, but, things worked out quite well.  We saw our first armadillo, ever, alive, not road kill, up close, less than 6 feet away and not one bit skittish!  We have been traveling in the southern states since 2001, less 2 years that we could not leave Michigan for health issues.  We have not seen that many dead armadillos either.  A couple (stuffed, err preserved, of course) in visitors centers in parks.  NEVER alive.  NOT ONE!  But, now we have!

(Yes, I know, silly things like a living armadillo do excite us.)

We heard brush and grass rustling, and my first thought was, oh, lordy, an alligator (now those do NOT excite me, au contraire, they scare the beejeebees outta me!).

But, no, twas not the feared alligator, but, instead was:



I took a number of photos, but, of course, most of which show little more than the two above, and a lot show less, as this armadillo was very focused on digging around and enjoying it's dinner.  I did get a few of part of it's face, sorta.  I said to Man, OK, time to finish our walk, I turned to leave and Man started practically screaming, "Get that photo, get that photo".  I turned, basically pointed the camera, no time, hurry, was not sure Sony even had time to focus, shoot - -


And, SCORE!!

(Photo was slightly edited, contrast, brightness, cropped).




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