Balancing Act

Landing is a “must do” after they have learned to fly and sometimes the young in the rookery make precarious choices.

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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.

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The juvenile Little Blue Heron in the header photo landed in a tree over my head amidst much squawking and just hung on.

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Delicate Swamp Things *Spider Alert*

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.

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(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.

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In the mean time the pond surfaces were active with dragonflies in a variety of colors scooping up other insects.

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Spider lilies didn’t seem to mind the heat with their roots in several inches of water.

Swamp Walk

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.

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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.

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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.

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A juvenile Heron watched warily from his perch.

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