Friday, December 28, 2018

More Florida Nature

Yesterday I took a walk through the Robinson Preserve, in western Bradenton. My friend Sue told me about this park, which she described as an incredible "moonscape." I don't think I'd use that word, but it is an interesting mix of muddy tidal marshes and mangrove swamps. I saw lots of seabirds, including flocks of white pelicans, cormorants and ibis, backed by the Sunshine Skyway in the distance. No roseate spoonbills, though!

This yellow wildflower, which looks like some kind of pea, was almost hidden by the swaying brownish grasses. (I think I used to know what this plant is called but darned if I can remember now.)

There were plenty of turkey vultures circling overhead, riding the breezes -- a common Florida sight.

This pelican made an ungainly landing -- also a common sight. They're basically pterodactyls.

This yellow-crowned night heron was successfully hunting crabs on the mud flats...

...while this little blue heron was fishing nearby.

It was a good walk and I spent several hours out there, nearly missing lunch. I stopped on the way back to Dave's parents to buy a few holiday cards, so I could send them to the people who mailed cards to my mom. (Mom is terrible about responding to cards, and I wanted to let people know that she appreciated them.) I was appalled to find that four Happy New Year cards cost $16! Insanity!

Last night Dave and I met up with a couple we know from our years in New Jersey. We hadn't seen them in about eight years, and since they were in Florida on vacation we coordinated a rendezvous at a downtown Bradenton restaurant. It was fun -- a sort of retro surf-and-turf place where I had scallops and, for dessert, a big green grasshopper (the drink, not the insect). How long has it been since you've seen one of those on a menu? So '70s!


  1. The landscape is so full of plants and animals there. I suppose ours is, too, but they're all hiding from the cold for eight months of every year.

    That's not a wild snapdragon, is it? It goes by other names as well - eg., toadflax.

  2. In their menu, Pier 22 chose to spell "ambience" in this manner - "ambiance". That would have put me right off their "elegant dining" experience. I liked the photo of the yellow crowned night heron.

  3. excellent shots. I love the herons. I used to know the names of all the wildflower around here but now have mostly forgotten most of them.

  4. You have more very impressive nature photos today! I love them. Especially the vulture and the pelican. Pelicans are one of my favorite birds to watch when I'm in California. They do look very clumsy but when they are flying in formation they look so graceful. Such a contradiction.

  5. Nice walk there. I love that Yellow-crowned Night Heron. What a beauty.

  6. Being out on the preserve would be much better than being in a restaurant.

  7. I've given you a rough time about the climate in "the Sunshine State" but I must say it has a remarkable array of avian life. Great photos, too. And I had to look up the Grasshopper drink. For someone who loves thin mints and used to drink a lot of creme de menthe on the rocks in his youth, it sounds pretty darned good to me.

  8. I've just started following your blog and so enjoy the photos. Thank you!

  9. I am loving your photos of places I have never been and creatures I have never seen. Keep posting !! ( I particularly liked the green bird a few posts ago. )