Category Archives: Nature

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.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

The Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron was part of the wading bird mix in the receding waters of this pond last week. Despite their name we do see them out during the day hunting while the hunting is good.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

His shorter legs did not slow him down as he worked the water along with the other birds looking for food.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

The mud, however, is more of an impediment when most of your legs and feet are in it.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

Here is view of a cleaner bird after he flew into a tree for a safer vantage point of the pond activity.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

Click on any photo for larger view.

Sharing a Tree

I could hear the Red-bellied Woodpecker around the swamp from the distinctive shrill call. Sound bouncing off the water can make the exact direction hard to pinpoint. Eventually the flash of red gave away his position.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

This tree branch has a number of holes the woodpecker was exploring while a juvenile Little Blue Heron looked on.

Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Satisfied, the heron returned to sentry duty.

Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Red-bellied Woodpecker and Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Dragonflies

Growing up I was terrified of these creatures that we called darning needles. Stories were passed from kid to kid about your lips getting sewn shut. Swearing might have been required to invoke the sewing activity but I never saw any kid so inflicted.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly on stump – click photo for larger view

Now I know that the dragonflies eat bugs so I’m happy to have them around. The ones we see in South Carolina are much prettier than the ones I remember in Maine, but that may be a trick of time.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly on stick- click photo for larger view

Sometimes they land right on the duck weed but more often take advantage of the other pond plants.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly perched over duck weed – click photo for larger view

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