Category Archives: Animals

Dolphin Frenzy

A big splash got our attention as we were leaving the USS Yorktown at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum this afternoon. I thought it might be an Alligator, then saw a high splash of water.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Making Big Splash – click photo for larger view

The dolphin made his way up and down the stretch of water that sits between the museum boats and the shore, splashing as he went. Fortunately for me there is a dock that runs parallel to the shore and away I went to follow the unfolding drama.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding – click photo for larger view

A large fish started jumping out of the water trying to stay ahead of the dolphin.

Dolphin Feeding
Fish Trying to Out Jump Dolphin Feeding – click photo for larger view

He got caught!

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Caught the Fish- click photo for larger view

Then got away!

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding – the One That Got Away- click photo for larger view

Undeterred, the dolphin tried again while a Snowy Egret decided to relocate further from the action.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Splashing Water Over Snowy Egret- click photo for larger view

The volume of water and waves the dolphin splashed up was incredible to watch.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Making Big Splash – click photo for larger view

Delicate Diner

After picking this treasure directly off the tree with a resounding “snap” the squirrel settled in and delicately ate it. He slowly turned and savored the nut/seed showing off some pretty serious claws.

Squirrel Eating
Squirrel Eating – click photo for larger view

It was surprising to see him so still for so long as most squirrels I see are running and jumping around in a chaotic way. What nature photographer hasn’t had a fright when a squirrel suddenly careened across their path?

Squirrel Eating
Squirrel Eating

 

Spring is for Lambs

New lambs have arrived at the Middleton Place barnyard. Cute is the only word for them. Ranging from one day to one week old, these lambs were in a pen with their mothers, all trying to figure out how the world works.

Pardon me while I squeeze under you – click photo for larger view

The whole group was in constant motion and regrettably I should have taken these shots at a faster shutter speed.

Lambs at Middleton Place – click photo for larger view

In the photo below the youngest lamb, in the back, is less than 24 hours old. The three in the middle, perhaps triplets,  mostly stuck together and practiced their “bahhing” for awhile.

Lambs
Lambs – click photo for larger view

A pair of farm workers were making some repairs to the pen, probably to prevent escapes under the fence by the new tiny occupants. The little guy below was most interested in what they were up to.

Inquisitive lamb – click photo for larger view

This mother sheep had plenty to say, too.

Bleeting Sheep
Bleeting Sheep – click photo for larger view

The farm’s adult sheep are looking a little bedraggled and will be shorn this weekend.

Middleton Place Barnyard, SC, May 1, 2017.

Hey…follow me…

I know the way…

In late afternoon at Middleton Place’s barnyard most of the animals are rounded up and secured for the night. This is for their safety and for some, to keep them from causing mischief. I think this sheep had mischief on his mind as he pointed the way further from his pen.

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While the sheep and some Guinea Hens were being corralled these Mallards were zooming back and forth through the horse enclosure. They stayed in a straight line, flashing their orange feet and iridescent heads, anxious not to miss any feeding opportunities.

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Click on photo for larger view.

Middleton Place, Charleston, SC, 2/6/2017

 

 

Marsh Rabbit

An educational trail sign says the rabbits in the swamp are Marsh Rabbits. This is as good a look as I’ve gotten and I’ve read that the Marsh Rabbit is a strong swimmer. He’s on a small island in the flooded marsh so it seems to fit.

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The other possibility would be an Eastern Cottontail, but he was not moving to show his tail while I was watching.

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He was well camouflaged among the Cypress Tree knees.

Audubon Swamp at Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC.

Working Horses

Middleton Place Stableyards have a number of animals that would have been a working part of 18th and 19th century plantation life. Some of the horses there today work pulling carriages of tourists on tours of the grounds, a relatively easy assignment for animals that were bred to work in the fields.

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This late afternoon  their dinner was  served then they were led back to their pasture under the live oaks for the night.

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The horses and other animals, including sheep, hogs, goats, and a number of fowl, are also part of Middleton’s educational programs.

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