Tag Archives: Great Egret

~Fort De Soto County Park – Morning’s Glow~

I couldn’t hear their music,

The waves were signing just for them,

I could only watch in awe,

As they danced their dance,

In the early hours of morning’s glow.

Waves Singing at Sunrise
Waves Singing at Sunrise
Waiting for the dance to begin
Great Egret waiting for the dance to begin
Stork arriving to the dance
Stork arriving to the dance
Side by side in peace they dance
Side by side in peace they dance
Hearing the beat of a drum
Hearing the beat of a drum
Feathers all Aglow
Feathers all Aglow
A Solo Tribute to this Day
A Solo Tribute to this Day
Harmony from the Sea
Harmony from the Sea

Photo Challenge for April 18, 2015 called EarlyBird

This is my first time participating in a photo challenge.

I got up early to watch the sunrise while camping at Fort De Soto County Park, Florida. On this beautiful morning I watched the area come alive with life.

~whimsical wednesday- Pssst…..Eugene here~

 

Remember me? Your friendly guide from the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas? 

That’s me in the photo below; in case you forgot, I’am the very handsome Great Egret.

I wanted to share, with you, a few photos of my neighbors with the funny shaped bill. You might remember me telling you a little about them in my first post.

What are they doing down there?

"What are they doing?"
“Don’t you think I am handsome?”

 

Meet Samuel and Rose
Meet Samuel and Rose

Even though I am extremely busy here at the Rookery, trying to keep Louise happy, I noticed that Samuel and Rose do a lot of weird things with that big spoon shaped bill!

"Gotta itch"
“Gotta itch”

 

 Man, Samuel is trying to poke her in the mouth!

"Open Wide"
“Give me a kiss Rose”

 

Hmmmm, now I know exactly what they are up to. Maybe I shouldn’t show you these photos; Samuel might get angry with me. Oh what the heck, he has been angry with me before.

 

Making Babies
“Hold still Rose”

 

"Will you please get off of my head"
“Sam, will you please get off of my head!”

 

"Sweet, I'am feeling happy"
“Sweet baby, I’am feeling happy”

 

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“Aren’t they beautiful and don’t they look so darn happy!”

 

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“Just wait until I get my spoonbill on Eugene! Thanks for stopping by, but next time give us some privacy.”

 

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“I gotta go, Samuel is really mad at me!”

 

~Friday’s Feathered Friends – meet Eugene and Louise!

Hi, my name is Eugene and I am a Great Egret
Hi, my name is Eugene and I am a Great Egret

Hello, my name is Eugene. That is me in the photo above. In case you don’t recognize me I am a Great Egret. I am currently staying at the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas.

Handsome, aren't I
Handsome, aren’t I

My mate, Louise, is in the photo below. Some people believe her name is Jeez Louise, because that is what I yell at her all the time.

 

Louise
Louise? You’re not Louise!

Louise, is always complaining about how I do things and when she starts nagging, I yell Jeez Louise, give me a break!

"Iam coming sweetie"
Louise, there you are, Jeez!

You see, Louise, complains about the sticks I find and bring her to build our nest; she complains about how I take off; how I land on the nest; what foods I bring her and the list goes on and on.

"I found one"
“I found one”
I'am working hard Louise
I’am working hard Louise
Here Honey, I brought you another stick
Here Honey, I brought you another stick
A beautiful landing if I say so myself
A beautiful landing if I say so myself
"I'll be back, going to find another stick"
“I’ll be back, going to find another stick”
Whoa, lookout below!
Whoa, lookout below!
"I'am coming in backwards"
“I’am coming in backwards”

I am hoping it won’t be long, the chicks will be born and out of the nest and Louise will once again be a happy bird.

Aren't we a lovely couple
Aren’t we a lovely couple
Thanks Eugene, for everything
Thanks Eugene, for everything

While you are here, I would like you to meet some of my friends here at The Rookery.

This is Captain, a Neotropical Cormorant. We should call him Shorty, because he has a very short tail, but that would be rude.

Meet The Captain
Meet The Captain
Don't say anything about his short tail
Don’t say anything about his short tail

Meet Showoff, a very handsome Snowy Egret who is always showing off his Yellow Slippers! The female Snowies are always after him. I’am jealous.

Meet Showoff
Meet Showoff
Monica, a Common Moorhen
A Common Moorhen; get a load of the red shield!

Our next door neighbors, here at the Rookery, are Samuel and Rose! They are called Roseate Spoonbills. Can you guess why? They are a lovely couple and they never yell at each other.

Meet Samuel and
Meet Samuel and Rose

More, gossip, on them later.

"Some days, I just can't get a grip on things"
“Some days, I just can’t get a grip on things”

 

Sheila here: Aren’t my friends lovely?

It was a thrill to visit the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island, Texas. To see the number of nesting birds was incredible; I will never forget this day.

For information of this area please visit this web-site:

http://www.houstonaudubon.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/894/MenuGroup/HighIsland2.htm

 

 Happy Birding!

~a salt dome, some pepper pods and a jungle ~

What does, a salt dome, pepper pods and a 200 acre jungle have in common? A trip to Avery Island, Louisiana, and a good time!

 

The salt dome extends eight miles beneath the earth’s surface and its protruding “island” part of the formation rising above the surface is Avery Island.

The pepper pods, obtained shortly after the Civil War, are special capsicum peppers. Seeds from these capsicum peppers, grown on the Island, are exported to Central and South America, where tabasco peppers are cultivated and harvested.

The 200 acre jungle is home to the world’s most beautiful sanctuaries for the preservation and study of flora and fauna. Edward McIlhenny, son of Tabasco sauce inventor Edmund McIlhenny, was a noted naturalist and explorer and decades ago he cultivated what is today called The Jungle Gardens of Avery Island.

Live Oaks and Lazy Lagoons
Live Oaks and Lazy Lagoons

It all began when Edmund McIlhenny cultivated a crop, invented a product over 125 years ago and founded a company on Avery Island.

 

As their current day brochure states. Much of the world knows about Tabasco pepper sauce.

McIlhenny Company
Tabasco Sauce Brand
Pepper Sauce!!

**I want to give credit for the information in this blog to the wonderful writers at Tabasco, I used their brochures in writing this blog.

I love our flag and here with it are the Louisiana State Flag and the Tabasco flag
The Tabasco Visitors Center. I love our flag and here with it are the Louisiana State Flag and the Tabasco flag.

 

Wednesday, April 2nd we traveled to Avery Island to visit Tabasco. We always have to be conscience of the time we are away from the coach, because of our two beautiful four-legged friends. So when we drove to Avery Island we needed to make a decision on what we wanted to see as we only had time to visit one of two tours. Did we want to tour the Jungle Gardens or take the Tabasco plant tour? It was not a tough decision.

Tabasco factory tours
Tabasco factory tours

We decided to toured the Jungle Gardens. What beautiful grounds they have; we could have spent the entire day hiking around admiring these gorgeous gardens and taking photos!

A meandering road through The Jungle Gardens
A meandering road through The Jungle Gardens
Looking for UFO's or perhaps UFB's.
Looking for UFO’s or perhaps UFB’s.

The 200 acres of jungle gardens are home to a large collection of some 600 varieties of camellias, including some that McIlhenny developed, along with thousands of azaleas, acres of wildflowers, groves of evergreens, english hollies and wistaria vines, just to mention a few.

The 300 year old Cleveland Oak
The 300 year old Cleveland Oak
Have you ever driven through a Wisteria Arch?
Have you ever driven through a Wisteria Arch?

The jungle gardens are a birder’s paradise! We made the right decision in taking this tour.

Over one hundred years ago, Edward McIlhenny helped save a beautiful egret from extinction – the Snowy egret. In 1895 when the snowy was being hunted for its plumage, Edward, built an aviary on Avery Island, and then captured and raised eight wild snowy egrets.

 

For the love of this bird, it all started over 100 years ago. The beautiful Snowy Egret
For the love of this bird, it all started over 100 years ago. The beautiful Snowy Egret

After they had raised their hatches and were ready to migrate, he released them. The snowy egrets returned the next spring and every spring since.

Today this rookery is fondly called “Bird City” where some 20,000 Snowy Egrets, plus many other species of birds, return each spring to raise their young.

The Rookery
The Rookery
An Anhinga couple
An Anhinga couple
The Great Blue Heron enjoying The Jungle Gardens
The Great Blue Heron enjoying The Jungle Gardens

For the love of the Great Blue Heron:

 

 

Others also enjoy The Jungle Gardens:

A snoozing little guy!
A snoozing little guy!
Nature's ultimate camouflage design at work
Nature’s ultimate camouflage design at work
I Spy
I Spy

 

As the time for our departure from Avery Island approached, we stopped at the Tabasco Store to look around. We enjoyed a nice cool cup of homemade ice cream, of course made with Tabasco peppers, sampled some of their flavored sauces and even purchased a few items to bring home. It was another fun day spent in Cajun Country!

The Tabasco Country Store
The Tabasco Country Store

 

Side note:
On our way down to New Iberia, Louisiana and then out to Avery Island we stopped for lunch at a local place called Landry’s. They serve a different daily lunch to a huge number of hard working folks! The food was delicious!

On this drive we were impressed with the oil and gas related businesses we passed. Thousands of people employed in this industry in numerous small Louisiana towns. From, large oil companies, oil service and training companies, to local support businesses like Laudry’s all employing hard working people.

We should all thank these businesses that supply our oil and gas, and the folks that work in them. It made us happy to see the booming economy in this area, to know that America is rich in oil and gas and that Louisiana is employing lots of people to work in these industries.

~

We said farewell to Louisiana, for now, and drove to Beaumont, Texas!

While in Beaumont we enjoyed two full, wonderful days of birding. We met some nice folks from the Houston Audubon Society in High Island and it was a special treat meeting a fellow birder and blogger at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. More on meeting Judy and how we spent these exciting two days later.

We arrived this morning, April 6th, at Stephen F. Austin State Park and we will be here for several days. As I sit here typing I can even count the number of Northern Cardinals we are seeing, so many in one place!

 

 

 

~A Few Birds from Fairview Riverside State Park and #359~

 

A few more bird photos from Fairview Riverside State Park. And, number 359, a new sighting!

 

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Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary  Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
IMG_7657
Prothonotary Warbler

When I first spotted this beautiful little warbler, I though it was a new sighting; however, after checking my records I had seen it previously. It was truly a joy to get to watch this little bird for a few seconds.

 

Finally, a new bird – Yellow-throated Warbler. Number 359! 

Yellow-throated Warbler (backside)
Yellow-throated Warbler
(backside)
Yellow-throated Warbler (not good photos, but proof of sighting)
Yellow-throated Warbler
(not good photos, but proof of sighting)

 

Very hard to photograph, because it was flitting around in the dense trees, zipping in and out of the moss.
Very hard to photograph this little guy, because it was flitting around in the heavy foliage and zipping in and out of the moss.

I enhanced the last two photos of the Yellow-throated; I tried to improve the  photos highlighting the bird better. Of course the best shot is of its back-side!

 

Great Egret
Great Egret on the hunt

 

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Getting close

 

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Closer

 

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Snowy Egret
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Yellow Feet
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Texas Two-Step

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

 

High up in a tall Long Leaf Pine
High up in a tall Long Leaf Pine

 

Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves

 

 It is always fun to take a walk, because you never know what you might see!

 

 

~Early morning walk~

A few scenes from our walk this morning in Rocky Bayou State Park near Niceville, Florida. The weather here has been cold, but the expected rain has been delayed! 

Reflection
Reflection
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Stream Restoration A habitat once destroyed is coming back to life!
Stream Restoration
A habitat once destroyed is coming back to life!
This is what the stream currently looks like
This is what the stream currently looks like
Another view
Another view
Sheila and Howard being goofy. Standing on the bridge crossing the stream. Looking straight down into the water.
Sheila and Howard being goofy. Standing on the bridge crossing the stream. Looking straight down into the water
Great Egret fishing in the stream
Great Egret fishing in the stream
Great Egret
Great Egret
See ya!
See ya!
A colorful mushroom growing on the forrest floor.
A colorful mushroom growing on the forrest floor
Moss covered fallen tree
Moss covered fallen tree
Blooming Water Lily
Blooming Water Lily
Beginning to bloom
Beginning to bloom
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Our front yard for a few days!
Our front yard for a few days!
Our back yard
Our back yard
Our Side View
Our Side View

We enjoyed our day today: an early morning walk through a beautiful forrest; a wonderful lunch at a family restaurant, which opened in 1954; and a visit to the Air Force Armament Museum.

Fighter pilots, flying overhead near the museum, truly entertained me this afternoon during their practice runs. They were flying the new F35 fighter jets! Take off, landing, take off – over and over again! Hopefully my photos came out and I will be able to share with you what they look like!

Have a great day tomorrow!

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Live in the Now