Category Archives: Nature

Here’s The Catch: Predator and Prey

Blogger Liz, author of New Zealand based Exploring Colour, has collected a group of “Predator and Prey” posts from photography blogs that she follows. Check out these fascinating images and stories of the world around us that I and fellow photographers have documented.

Exploring Colour

The reality of the natural world is that some creatures eat other creatures to survive. Nature photographers spend a lot of time outside and sometimes capture dramatic moments in the struggle for survival. Their photos and stories may shock us but we can learn so much from these encounters – animals seem capable of much more planning, strategy and applied knowledge than what most of us humans ever give them credit for.


** Click on any photo to view large-size version **

Note: Each photographer’s website/blog is listed at the bottom of this blog-post.


snake2_fish_blog

Mike Powell | Snake catches catfish | 20 July, 2017

  • Story plus 5 Photos showing the snake in various positions holding his catch, all the time in the water, until all of a sudden the snake somehow ingests the large fish and the last photo shows the snake with only the fish tail sticking out of…

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Old Shed Transformation

I was intrigued by this old shed on the grounds of Swan Lake Iris Gardens when we visited in early February. The boards and vines made an interesting collage.

Old Shed in February
Old Shed – February 1, 2018

On last week’s visit I was delighted to see the shed covered in trumpet vine and looking somewhat like a Chia Pet, with an elephant trunk.

Shed Covered with Trumpet Vine
Shed Covered with Trumpet Vine -May 21, 2018

I’m not that familiar with Trumpet Vine and don’t know how the blooming process goes. There were just a few blooms fully trumpeting and I wonder if this shed will be covered with blossoms. Trumpet Vine is a favorite of humming birds but I didn’t see any.

Trumpet Vine Closeup
Trumpet Vine Closeup

If you aren’t familiar, “Chia Pets are American styled terracotta figurines used to sprout chia, where the chia sprouts grow within a couple of weeks to resemble the animal’s fur or hair.”
— Wikipedia.
What seemed like a fad, these do-it-yourself kits have been around since the 1970s. Everything from cats and dogs to political figures have been represented. The jingle is now rattling around in my head.

Colorful Caterpillar

This colorful caterpillar stood out from the plain greenery which he was eating, which is how I happened to see him. A mob of Red-winged Black Birds was in the area and I was expecting him to get picked off as I watched.

Caterpillar
Caterpillar

He was methodically consuming the leaf, munching back and forth straight across the top.

Caterpillar
Caterpillar

A wider view shows there was some red foliage nearby, which may have helped camouflage him.

Caterpillar
Caterpillar  – Sony Alpha 6500

4/26/2018 On the dike at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.

Fox Squirrel

About twice the size of a grey squirrel, the Fox Squirrel can be found scattered around the coastal areas of South Carolina. This was the first time I got a really good look at one and some pictures other than a fleeing butt end.

Fox Squirrel
Fox Squirrel

He jumped from the ground to the side of the tree just like a common grey squirrel would. I was ready for him to go up the tree, but instead he just sprung off into space and zipped away.

Fox Squirrel
Fox Squirrel — a little over two feet long, including the tail

The body of the Fox Squirrel can be grey, black or brown. All of the color variations share the black face mask and white nose and ear tips.

Eurasian Eagle Owl Close Up

With a six and one half foot (two meter) wing span the Eurasian Eagle Owl is the largest owl in the world. Orange eyes and luxurious feathers make them quite distinctive, not to mention those big ear tufts.

Eurasian Eagle Owl
Eurasian Eagle Owl

Found throughout Europe and Asia, they can weigh up to six pounds (2.75 KG).

Eurasian Eagle Owl
Eurasian Eagle Owl

The stare was quite intense!

Eurasian Eagle Owl
Eurasian Eagle Owl

Eurasian Eagle-owl, Bubo bubo

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.

Black Swan Family

The cygnets were learning how to feed, sticking their heads in the water imitating their parents who were pulling vegetation up from the pond floor. The were each in constant motion, turning and dunking, making a family portrait a real challenge.

Black Swan and Cygnets
Black Swan and Cygnets

The three cygnets mostly stayed together.

Black Swan and Cygnets
Black Swan and Cygnets

This fellow started off on his own but quickly turned back to the group.

Black Swan and Cygnets
Black Swan and Cygnets

Owned and operated by the City of Sumter, SC, Swan Lake Iris Gardens is home to all eight known species of swan.

 Photo Gallery

Viceroy Butterfly

Not far from where I saw the Ant walking on Duckweed a Viceroy Butterfly was perched on a carpet of Duckweed mixed with an unknown brown water covering plant.

Viceroy
Viceroy

I walked up and down a boardwalk watching warblers and passed this butterfly in the same spot, for at least a half hour.

Viceroy
Viceroy

It was late afternoon and his shadow was getting longer. He flapped his wings slowly, and seemed to not have a care in the world.

Viceroy
Viceroy

Resting American White Pelicans

We had seen a few White Pelicans in the air earlier in the morning so weren’t too surprised to see them resting on the ground at the edge of a pond and happily stopped to see so many. They were quite a distance off the road but there was a clear view and I would say there were at least two hundred birds.

White Pelicans and Wading Birds
White Pelicans and Wading Birds

A number of Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets were sprinkled around the periphery of the group, including this group looking like a police line up.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans and Wading Birds

Most of the Pelicans were preening or resting. A few Coots were going about their business in the water around them.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans

One daring Great Egret landed right in the middle of small group of Pelicans. The Pelicans took no notice.

White Pelicans and Wading Birds
White Pelicans and Wading Birds

Photographed at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, 2/21/2018.

Splish Splash Mallards

Mallards doing the Mallard bath in a pond, as can be seen throughout most of the United Sates and Canada. We rarely see Mallards in the other ponds we visit, but Magnolia Cemetery is more of an urban location where you would expect them to congregate.

Male Mallard Bathing
Male Mallard Bathing

The sun was perfect on this early February afternoon and the Mallards were enjoying an unseasonably warm day.

Female Mallard Bathing
Female Mallard bathing flanked by two males

After bathing they had a dead tree trunk to perch on, out of the water and with a good view of potential hazards. This pond does host a few Alligators, I have seen fox on the cemetery grounds, and a few Red-shouldered Hawks could be heard nearby.

Mallard Trio on Log
Mallard Trio on Log

Click any image for larger view.