Orange-yellow Canna Lily

There is a small patch of Canna Lilies at the edge of the big field at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. It’s a wet spot and the lilies and cattails seem pretty happy there.

Orange Canna Lily with Cattails
Orange Canna Lily with Cattails

This dragonfly found an unfurled blossom a nice place to perch on a hot day. True to form he lifted off just as I was ready to shoot then returned to the exact same spot,

Orange Canna Lily Bud with Dragonfly
Orange Canna Lily Bud with Dragonfly

The orange and yellow combination of the flowers is quite attractive, shouting out “summer!”

Orange Canna Lily Bloom
Orange Canna Lily Bloom

Kingfisher DIve

This is the first Belted Kingfisher I have seen since last fall and he gave me an amazing, if brief, aerial show.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

When I first spotted him he was hovering over a small pond. Before I could lift my camera he was gone.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

He came back a couple minutes later and I got a second opportunity.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

He hovered for several seconds.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Assumed the dive position

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

And dove. I never saw him hit the water, actually never saw him again, despite waiting another 15 minutes.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Barred Owl

I was delighted to find this Barred Owl perched over the bamboo pond yesterday morning. Reports from many of my photographer friends have been that the Barred Owl Owlet was feeding himself and neither he nor the adults had been spotted recently.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

I’m not sure if this is the chick from this year or one of the parents, or maybe a completely different owl. He did treat me to one swoop over the water then did some grooming.

Barred Owl Grooming
Barred Owl Grooming

I didn’t see him catch anything and he was content to look around.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

Click on any image for a larger view.

Charleston Churches on a Stormy Afternoon

Charleston, SC, is known for its abundance of churches and is sometimes referred to as the “Holy City.” The spires of this trio can be seen from a bird’s eye perspective from one of the parking garage rooftops.

Three Church Spires, Charleston
Three Church Spires, Charleston: Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Saint John’s Lutheran Church, Unitarian Church

The Unitarian Church is topped by a rooster weather vane, which had a summer storm to observe the afternoon I was there.

Unitarian Church, Charleston
Unitarian Church, Charleston

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist: Rear, B&W

Many of the large churches in historic Charleston, SC, are difficult to photograph in their entirety due to the closeness of their neighbors. Turns out that the tops of parking garages provide some neat views that get around this dilemma.

This image is the rear of Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist that I featured last fall in my post Charleston Cathedral with Connecticut Connection.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Charleston, SC
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Charleston, SC

The dramatic clouds were provided by an approaching summer thunder storm.

Juvenile Armadillo

I wasn’t that surprised to spot this juvenile Armadillo as Ted had just seen an adult in the nearby woods. I was surprised that he didn’t run or jump. He didn’t even seem to know or care that I was there. Not that I was making that much noise but wild things tend to know we are there way before we know they are.

Juvenile Armadillo
Juvenile Armadillo

I watched him as he industriously rooted around in the soft ground hoping to get a full body view. The pine cone in the next image was of standard size, maybe six or seven inches (15 – 20 cm), giving a sense of his size.

Juvenile Armadillo
Juvenile Armadillo

Armadillos have poor eyesight and this little one never lifted his head to have a look around, just kept on digging and rooting for lunch.

Juvenile Armadillo
Juvenile Armadillo

Bird Rookery

The rookery islands do not rise much above sea level which is one of the reasons the Brown Pelican nests have a low success rate. Over wash from storm driven tides can and has easily wiped out whole colonies on this and other barrier islands.

Bird Rookery
Bird Rookery

The bird chaos was amazing with numerous species in addition to the Brown Pelicans using the island. Snowy Egrets, Tricolored Herons, and Laughing Gulls were well represented.

Bird Rookery
Bird Rookery

This view is the sea-ward end of the island, with the shore crowded with Brown Pelicans and Laughing Gulls. The island down to the low tide mark is a protected preserve.

Bird Rookery
Bird Rookery, Sign: “Island Closed – Do Not Come Ashore”

Shore access is not allowed during nesting season; these images were all taken from a boat at a shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second to help compensate for the boat movement.

See my previous post Brown Pelican Chicks for a closer look at five chicks.