Butterflies

We have seen very few butterflies this summer compared to last year. All insects are sensitive to changes in the weather and climate and in addition to global climate changes, locally the weather has been wetter and stormier than last year. It is hard to know how or if these factors affect what we observe with a two year comparison.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

I watched the Swallowtail flit up and down the berm around an old rice field, always just out of reach of a shot. Then he landed in the road and took a stroll, with short and dainty steps. A photo of him on a flower or in flight would have been nice, but the plain background does set him off.

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail Butterfly

Click on either photo for larger view.

Snowy Egret

This Snowy Egret is likely a regular around this small pond. He was content for me to walk by as he surveyed they area from this cement embankment near the road.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

Then I took one step too close and he lifted up onto a dead branch and proceeded to twist around for some personal grooming.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

The branch hung out over the pond and I was able to move around the corner and get a couple different backgrounds as he posed one legged.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

I wanted to get the nice green palm fronds or the flowering Crepe Myrtle that edged the pond but as it turns out I would have had to have my feet with the alligators to get those shots.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

Click on any photo for larger view.

Roseate Spoonbills

You have to love the pink. Actually, what’s not to love about a Spoonbill?

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills – click on photo for larger view

The profile of a mature Roseate Spoonbill in flight shows off that fabulous pink and the bill well adapted for feeding in shallow water.

Roseate Spoonbill in Flight
Roseate Spoonbill in Flight – click on photo for larger view

The Spoonbills in this group are younger with less color, but still something to look at.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills and Tricolor Heron  – click on photo for larger view

Their flight seems effortless and like most of the large wading birds they are masters of the glide.

Roseate Spoonbill in Flight
Roseate Spoonbill in Flight  – click on photo for larger view

A Pastel Street

The historic residential areas of Beaufort, SC have many jewels of architectural delight. The sizes range from mansions to what are now called “tiny homes.”

On some streets, the neighboring houses complement each other like this row of pastel pink, blue and yellow homes, all exquisitely decorated including the color of the porch ceilings.

A pastel street in Beaufort
A pastel street in Beaufort

The white trim and the stained glass in the front door are perfect accents adding to this home’s charm.

A pastel street in Beaufort
Front porrch in Beaufort

 

Nature’s Beauty

There is not much going on at the marsh areas we visit. The summer heat if full force and nesting / family rearing season for the birds that breed here has ended.

A  Sunflower and a Turkey Vulture were my best photographs of the day. The Sunflower in a  field planted by the Wildlife Management Service was hosting a bee.

Sunflower
Sunflower and a Bee – click on photo for larger view

The Turkey Vulture had been working on road kill clean up duty and circled around as we passed by. Masters of wind currents they are beautiful in flight, if not at all glamorous close up. Even on this short flight his turning skill into the pine tree was impressive.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture  – click on photo for larger view

 

 

Making A Hole

I’ve watched a Red-bellied Woodpecker on this tree on several visits to this area. It is a neck-craning experience due to surrounding trees, but I can’t resist following the sound of the tap-tap-tapping.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

The tree he is working on is dead and if you put your hand on the trunk you can feel the vibration as the woodpecker does his thing. I think nesting season is over and doesn’t appear to be finding food, but there must be something attracting him.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Not a great shot, but standing way back and peaking through the leaves there is a view of the large hole being worked on. He puts his entire top half in the hole to tap-tap-tap.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker – click photo for larger view.