Babcock Birdies

I love alliterations, don’t you?  Recently I went to Babcock again and saw two new bird species! (Along with others I had seen before).  Ironically enough, the first picture that I took and was happy with was of a dog.  He seemed to be hunting but his handler had no gun. (that we saw) so he was probably just training.  He flushed a big group of bobwhite right in front of us, which was really cool.
Also, I’m experimenting with a new watermark.  What do you think?

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It was a pretty foggy morning, and it had rained through the night, so things were generally sparkly.

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I love discovering hearts in nature, and these were very pretty vines with drops of water on them.

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Northern Mockingbird.

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Yellow-Rumped Warbler. (I think)

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Pine Warbler…

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First new species of the trip, an American Bittern!  Since he was about 6 feet from us, I was able to get a close-up of him. Yay!

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There were female Anhingas were in the trees!  We saw probably 2-3, and they would croak at us like frogs or gators.  It was hilarious and unnerving at first.

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The amazing second new species, a Common Yellowthroat! (Not to be confused with a Yellow-Throated Warbler.)

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Hiding from me…

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Here I am!

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This is an Ornate Moth, which I finally looked up after seeing it a couple times.  Such a beautiful butterfly!

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A Spiny-Backed Orb Weaver, dangling from the sky!

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This one that we saw later was eating a bumble bee!

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Glowing leaves.

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Palm Warbler… don’t you think it looks like a Japanese divider screen thingy? 🙂

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Pearl Crescent butterfly.

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A Green Heron in a tree… not their normal habitat, so it was a fun sighting!

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Floridian flora…

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And fauna.  A black racer snake I think?

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White Peacock butterflies.

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Monarch butterfly?

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Taking off!

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Thought this was a cool reflection.  What do you see?

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Squid

Flowers, a Sukkah, and Artsiness

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The morning of October 2nd I took Leo outside and shot some pictures.  This flower’s stalk is about 3 1/2 ft tall, so I couldn’t help noticing it.  Does anyone know what kind of flower it actually is? The leaves were very cool-looking I thought. 🙂

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Then I wandered over to our sukkah, which my step-dad built to celebrate The Feast of Booths, AKA Sukkot.  If you are not familiar with the Levitical calendar God gave to the Israelites, please read Leviticus 23.
Anyway, God told us to build a temporary shelter to live in for a week during the feast, but since we live in Florida, (please refer to my post on Floridian mosquitoes) we just dined in it.  Traditionally the roof is made of palm fronds, and it was to those that my eye was attracted.  The dew had not yet evaporated, so I got some fun water droplet shots.

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After I came back inside I still had my camera on so I followed the cat around, waiting for the perfect shot(s).

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And later that day at the park I took this picture of Adam.

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Squid

Tallahassee Trip Day 2: Part 2 – On Light, Refracted Natural and Bright Artifical

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On our way home from Tallahassee it rained.  Poured.  Stormed.  Dad and I were in a gas station and BOOM! Lightning struck quite near us.  So, intelligently, we climbed into our metal box and drove away. Just kidding, we have rubber tires. 🙂

Anyhoo, while we were driving along we saw the faint traces of a rainbow forming near us. I started getting pictures.

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It started becoming quite prominent, and then turned into a double.  That in itself was cool, but then we

FOUND THE END OF THE RAINBOW!

And the front, too, but that was behind us.  Depending on where you start from, I suppose.
It was so cool!!! We could see the start of the vibrant arch in the meridian, and pictures don’t do it justice.

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Here’s the “front”.

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Later on I decided to experiment with lights at night from the car.  That was… interesting.

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That’s it for Tallahassee!  I think I’ll just throw a few pictures from Ohio on here, not do long sagas like this one.  So, until next time,

Squid

Tallahassee Trip: Day 1, Part 2

Welcome to part two of the first day of my trip!  Today we explore the amazing Florida Caverns!

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During our guided tour through the Florida Caverns, my dad and I expected to hear that they were the result of “millions of years”.  But surprisingly, we didn’t!  Not once!  The guide said, “A long time ago.”  That is true, because that can mean 6,000 years ago.  And, I overheard him talking to a couple on the tour and said something to the effect of, “If you believe what the geologists say…” which makes me think that maybe he didn’t believe in what the evolutionists tell him.  So that was cool.

These specific caves were discovered by the CCC under FDR’s New Deal program, and the young men who found them nick-named the different “rooms” and rock formations.  I’ll include the names that I remember with the pictures I took of them.

I can’t remember this one’s name, but I thought all the stalactites were cool-looking.

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This one is the Wedding Room.  Can you tell why?  Our guide said that a couple did actually get married in there. 🙂

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A tunnel that we did not crawl through…

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These are perfectly natural stalactites… 🙂  Actually, in between the lights is a dinner plate that the original miners would use to reflect the small amount of light from their lantern into the large room around them.  Cool idea, right?

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Because of the darkness I was shooting at very low shutter speeds, resulting in lots of blur if I wasn’t careful.  I wasn’t careful here, but I like the effect it produced.

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Our tour guide actually did have quite a distinctive southern accent to match the hat.

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There was one rock formation nick-named “Jabba the Hutt”, and it was either this or another one.  I’ll point out the other and you can decide which you think is most appropriate.

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This formation and others similar to it are formed of little tiny “micro-pools”.  They were very sparkly but I had a hard time capturing that with the settings I was at on my camera.

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Dad and I had some fun with the gaps between rooms.

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I would insert his picture here, but WordPress’ media library won’t let me.  So, sometime later, in another post perhaps.

I thought of the Maze Runner when I saw this one… does anyone agree?

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This is the other formation that might have been “Jabba the Hutt”.  Which one do think works best?

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This was a column, (when a stalagmite and stalactite meet, they’re called a column) but something happened underneath this cavern’s floor and the floor shifted, resulting in a fracture.

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These were called “curtains”.  Smaller ones are humorously called “cave bacon”. 🙂

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These were fuzzy, but not from mold or anything.  I should have asked why…

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The Winter Wonderland room I believe. Or maybe it was called that at one time but they changed it… I can’t remember.

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The red glow is not natural, it is from a spotlight.  There was a green one too.

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More micro pools.

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I tried to capture the water droplets on the stalactites.  Our guide said that the water was actually very clean, and drinkable, so we were free to try and catch some in our mouths.  I was more worried about my camera, truthfully, but I did try to catch a drop.  I didn’t position myself properly and missed the drop, but Dad got a picture of me attempting it.  Let’s see if WordPress will let me upload it… Nope!  Oh well, it was cool.

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We did see two little bats flying around, and I took a picture of the sign in the museum so I’d remember the name. 🙂  Eastern Pipistrelle Bat.

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So that was my experience 63-64 feet underground!  Next time you’ll see the lush forests and giant spiders of the Florida Caverns national park!

Squid

On Skinks, Horns, and Crepes.

Friday was my last day of school.  What? Why do you gasp?  Homeschoolers can end when they want.  We will probably start back up the week after Labor Day so we will get a break, no worries.  Why do I bring this up?  Because I will have the time to upload my pictures soon after I take them!  Yippee!  Starting today.  These are pictures that I’ve just now taken off my camera put on the computer, so I hope this is the start of a trend. 🙂

A couple weeks ago were assembled in our living room talking about something or other when I noticed a lizard (or so I thought) in our lanai.  This was not odd in itself, (lizards seem to get trapped in there every once in a while) but what caught my attention was that it was almost slithering across the floor.  (For you non-Floridians, lizards don’t slither.)  I asked to go investigate.  After getting permission I grabbed my camera and ran out there.  I mistakenly thought it was a newt, but after a quick Google search, I discovered that I had seen a Five-Lined Skink!  Named for the 5 lines running down its back, its Creator also gave it some sweet coloring.  With a bright orange nose/snout area and shiny blue tail, this guy had me in awe for the next 30 minutes or so.  I couldn’t stop raving about how cool he was!

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Back inside the house Adam hands me my lens cap.  Such a thoughtful baby. 🙂

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Last night I was taking Leo outside when I noticed some Mockingbirds being abnormally raucous. That triggered my birding sense and I casually glanced over at the palm tree which they were flying around. To my surprise I saw a good sized Great Horned Owl! I immediately ran to Leo’s side, (he was in the middle of the neighbor’s lawn… an easy target) and stared at the owl in amazement. The Mockingbirds were divebombing him but he seemed not to care. After I took Leo back inside I ran inside and grabbed my camera. On my way back outside I ran into Rhyan (not literally, surprisingly) and after a hasty explanation she decided to join me. I got a few quick shots before he flew away, but then we chased him across the street, then across the next street, then lost him. All in all it was a great birding adventure!
This is him in the first tree.

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This is where he flew to next.

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It had started to sprinkle a little bit, so we started running back to the house. On the way though I couldn’t help but take a couple quick shots of a fluffed-up Mockingbird.
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Lastly, today I was outside taking pictures of our Crepe Myrtle. Did you think I meant the thin pancake? Hahaha
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To God be the glory!

Squid

Rainy Day, Statuettes, & a Titmouse?

I’ve been looking back at the pictures I took in June and realized that I didn’t post many of them.  Hence the many posts of not-so-recent pictures.  Alas, I found another folder.  So, without further ado, statuettes, deer, raindrops, and birds.

What?  That’s not enough?  You absolutely must have some sort of back-story?  *sigh* If I must.  🙂
I was in Rhyan and Carrie’s room taking pictures of May, (see my last post on her here ) when I noticed how photogenic little big cats are.  (sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but these are only like, 5 in tall) My aunt had given twelve of them to us, and there being four of us, we each got 3.  “But there are four!”  Yes, because Carrie and Rhyan put their displays together and these pictures don’t show all of them.  There, are you quite finished interrupting?  Good.  Enjoy the pictures.

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So, that clears up the statuettes part of my introduction, but what about the deer?  Well, the rest of my introduction has a simple explanation.  Dad had picked me up, as it was a Tuesday, but we didn’t know what to do.  Somehow we decided to go down to a park that he had been to a couple times.  We missed the turn into the park and noticed another park beyond it.  Always curious, we decided to check it out.  The first thing(s) we saw were deer!

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Next was a tree with Ibis growing on it!  Who knew? 🙂

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We saw a pavilion and thought that if it did start raining, (which looked quite possible as we could see lightning in the distance) we would be safe there instead of stuck in the car.  So we walked under it casually, and once we were under decided to try and catch some lightning shots.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get any, because as soon as we settled down on the middle-most table we stopped seeing any.  And it had started raining.  So I had the suggestion to try and capture raindrops falling.  In hindsight, a flash would have been a good idea, but I didn’t think of that at the time.  So crazy high ISO and low shutter speed was the way we went.  Dad’s shots turned out a lot better than mine, as his lens requires less light perhaps?  Or he could turn his ISO up higher… anyway, here are mine.

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A sea of sparkling weeds. 🙂

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Then the rain slowed, and we heard some bird calls and chirping.  We soon spotted the source and took pictures.  Great-Crested Flycatchers were abundant, and at first that’s all we thought was there.

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But then this guy showed up.  Does anybody have any other guesses than a Tufted Titmouse?

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Here he is divebombing a hawk that apparently got too close to his nest?  This warrants further investigation… Thankfully there are trails near the pavilion that we noticed, so maybe someday!

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Squid

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