Category Archives: Nature

Swallowtail Butterfly Brightens a Dull Day

We’ve had a run of dull days, no sun and lots of rain. There was a gap in the storms this morning and we took the opportunity to get out even though conditions weren’t optimal. This Swallowtail Butterfly posed for some low light shots.

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail Butterfly – click photo for larger view

He very nicely turned around the flower exposing his underside to the camera.

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail Butterfly – click photo for larger view

And kept on turning for a nice side view of his proboscis at work.

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail Butterfly – click photo for larger view

The rain started again shortly after bringing an end to this meal.

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

A Dash of Color

Iris in all sorts of colors are thriving around the swamp where I photograph the wading birds. This is some distance from the cultivated gardens and I’ve wondered if they were planted intentionally or just happened via a happy accident. Regardless, its a nice surprise to happen upon them.

Purple iris
White iris with yellow accent
Deep purple iris with yellow accent
Iris with cob web strands

Not in Kansas, Either

The swirling of the clouds reminded me of the beginning of the movie Wizard of Oz when Dorothy was still in Kansas. It was more than a little eerie and cause to review our storm plan.

Swirling Storm Clouds – click for larger view.

A flock of Canada Geese made their way to safety, honking and trying in vain to get into a tidy V.

Canada Geese Flying in Storm – click for larger view.

It was oddly calm on the ground and we were fortunate that the system passed with no damage.

Summerville, SC 03/31/2017

Why Do They Do That?

I’ve observed Great Blue Heron parents stand in  poses over the nest and chicks that must serve some function. Are they trying to shield the small chicks that have settled down out of sight from the wind or maybe concentrate the warmth of the sun? Is it just comfortable after laying on the nest for hours?

At this same nest eleven days later, it wasn’t windy and the chicks were sitting up. At first I thought the adult was just stretching, but then the wings went into this same purposeful sail-like arrangement.

Sometimes it is just a stretch…wing out, wing down, leg up, and hold, 2, 3, 4.


Anhinga Feeding

More “how’d he do that?”

A few days ago I posted photographs of an Anhinga flexing his neck in an unnatural looking way. This week I saw another Anhinga flipping a fish like a Benihana chef–he didn’t have the height but he had some other moves.

Anhinga with fish

I don’t know how he stabbed the fish, especially in that murky water covered with duck weed. But once he had the fish speared it was a mere minute before he swallowed the fish … whole!

Anhinga with fish

His end game is to get the fish facing head first down his throat so that any spines on the fish won’t get lodged on the way down. Flip, turn, turn, turn.

Anhinga with fish

He was an expert and at no time lost his hold on the fish. At the same time the Anhinga has to swim to keep afloat.

Anhinga with fish

There would be no getting away for this fish, stabbed completely through.

Anhinga with fish

I didn’t get any clear shots of the fish going down and it was over in an amazingly short amount of time. The Anhinga then swam to nearby platform, lifted out of the water and fanned his wings to dry.

Anhinga Drying

Click on any photo for larger view.

Magnolia Plantation Rice Field Pond, Charleston, SC.