From the Audubon Field Guide: “A long-necked, long-tailed swimmer of southeastern swamps. Often seen perched on a snag above the water, with its wings half-spread to dry. Can vary its buoyancy in water, sometimes swimming with only head and neck above water (earning it the nickname of “Snakebird”). Often solitary when feeding, it roosts in groups and nests in colonies. Looks rather like a cormorant when perched, but not in flight, when the long tail may be spread wide as the Anhinga soars high on outstretched wings. Anhingas are silent at most times, but around nesting colonies they make various croaking and clicking sounds.”
For me, getting a closeup of a bird is usually a real challenge. Most of the time, the bird is too far away or it flies away if I get too close. Occasionally, I’ll luck out and come across a bird who is not interested in me and I can get the shot I want.
The Bald Eagle in the above photo was sitting in a low branch of a tree in Chilcoot Lake State Park in Haines, Alaska. As I set up my tripod and aimed the camera at him I kept my fingers crossed that he wouldn’t fly off. He ignored me and I was a happy photographer.
Most Great Blue Herons I have seen are spooked by humans and will not let me get too near them. This one was hanging around the fishing pier at Ft. Pickens National Seashore in Florida. He was much more interested in getting an easy meal than he was in me.
This Anhinga was right beside the path in Shark Valley in Everglades National Park. We watched for a while as he struggled to swallow his fish. We didn’t stay around long enough to see if he succeeded in eating it.
This Cormorant was next the trail and didn’t move when I stopped to take his picture.
This week’s photo challenge comes from guest host Rusha Sams of Oh, The Places we See… We are asked to show images that represent a Labor of Love.
Planting my butterfly garden and maintaining it is a labor of love for me. By planting seeds and plants that attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees I am providing a place for them to feast on the nectar. At the same time I have a space in my backyard to relax and enjoy nature.
Here’s a few of the late summer critters that visited the garden recently. You can click on a picture to enlarge it.
Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, and Skipper butterflies have been all over the zinnias and Mexican Sunflower drinking up the nectar. Wasps, bees, and even a tiny grasshopper enjoyed the flowers, too.
It’s been a long, hot, dry summer and hopefully the flowers will continue to attract the butterflies and other critters for a little while longer.
I smile whenever I see these beautiful visitors to the garden. What made you smile this week?