After a couple of false starts when junior thought this was about getting lunch brought in this adult Little Blue Heron got his offspring to fly.
First we climb to the top.
Then flap and go!
Junior was reluctant to take that last step:
And touch down, all in less than 30 seconds.
Landing is a “must do” after they have learned to fly and sometimes the young in the rookery make precarious choices.
Even the adults sometimes land on less secure perches. The stance of this Little Blue Heron reminded me of a gymnast about to perform a routine on the uneven bars.
The juvenile Little Blue Heron in the header photo landed in a tree over my head amidst much squawking and just hung on.
This Green Heron landed in a tree above my head then opted for a spot closer to the water. Unfortunately it was already occupied by a turtle.
Soon the Heron jumped to a solo spot where he concentrated on finding lunch.
Edisto Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg, SC.
(Click photos for larger view.)
These spiders have webs all along the trails around the Audubon Swamp Garden at Magnolia Plantation. During our visit June 26th there was a lot of mating activity. Look closely in this photo and you will see the much smaller black male on this side of the more colorful female. An exoskeleton she recently shed is stuck in the web just above them.
(Click any photo to enlarge.)
Our guide on the walk says these spiders won’t jump out onto human passers by. I reminded myself of that a few times as we passed under some webs. We’ll return in a few weeks and see how family life is progressing.
In the mean time the pond surfaces were active with dragonflies in a variety of colors scooping up other insects.
Spider lilies didn’t seem to mind the heat with their roots in several inches of water.
Any direction was too hot to ride yesterday when the heat index was over 100 Degrees in Charleston, SC. There wasn’t a breath of air in this narrow street.
Click to enlarge.
Learning how to balance and how their wings work are big steps for young birds. I wonder if they learn from watching their siblings.
The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Rookery is full of young egrets and herons learning the basics.
Click photos to enlarge.
A small patch of Bee Balm at the entrance to the Audubon Swamp Garden at Magnolia Plantation attracted this pair of Swallowtails.
They performed an intricate dance that included some rapid vertical maneuvers as well as these side to side moves.
One finally paused for a few moments before zooming away with the partner right behind.
We have moved to South Carolina just in time to see the end of the nesting season at the Magnolia Plantation rookeries. Little Blue Herons feed their young, which are nearly as big as the adults, in an awkward, wing flapping, spectacle.
These Great Egrets were resting quietly in the heat of the day. Their nest doesn’t look like it will hold them in as the alligators patrol in the swamp below.
I heard some jaw snapping but didn’t see this gator get a meal. They are moving much faster than when we visited this area over the winter.
A juvenile Heron watched warily from his perch.