Tag Archives: Fall

Wildflowers and Guests

South Carolina’s Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center is composed of 31 square miles on two barrier islands and include some open fields where these wildflowers were blooming earlier this month.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers

The field was surrounded by a wet ditch so I didn’t get real close, but a few plants were growing on edge of the dirt roadway.

Pink Wildflowers
Pink Wildflowers

It was very breezy that day and only a few tenacious insects were flying around. This was good for keeping mosquitoes away but not so good for photographing bouncing blossoms.

Pink Wildflowers and Bee
Pink Wildflowers and Bee

An unknown caterpillar was munching his way to the top of this plant.

Wildflowers Stem and Caterpillar
Wildflowers Stem and Caterpillar

Wood Ducks Are Back

Yesterday was the first time I’ve seen more than two or three Wood Ducks together since last spring’s ducklings matured earlier in the summer.

Wood Ducks on Alligator Ramp
Wood Ducks on Alligator Ramp

Several were lined up on an Alligator ramp as I approached and a few small groups were paddling around in the pond. They tend to be skittish and their general direction was away from me, but a couple more flew onto the ramp.

Wood Ducks in Pond
Wood Ducks in Pond

I heard a Hawk call in the distance and these two groups and about twenty more that I didn’t even know were there in the tree line along my path flew off in a frenzy. Sadly, no photos of that!

Wood Ducks on Alligator Ramp
Wood Ducks on Alligator Ramp

Bee on Lantana

Lantana bloom all summer long but are really noticeable in the fall when a lot of the annuals in flower beds have passed their prime.

Bee on Lantana
Bee on Lantana

In the first two images the bee’s eye has rather a weird glow, perhaps part reflection from the flowers.

Bee on Lantana
Bee on Lantana

The bee was fully investigating the flowers.

Bee on Lantana
Bee on Lantana

He was quite methodical, going back and forth, completely covering the flower head and giving me a variety of body angles.

Bee on Lantana
Bee on Lantana

Pied-billed Grebe

Small and chunky, the Pied-billed Grebe always looks like a baby-faced juvenile to me.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

Last week several of them were swimming in the rice field canal. Saltbrush seeds from shrubs that lined the bank were drifting over the water.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

The lowering late afternoon light and growth on the opposite bank changed the look of the water as I proceeded down the canal.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

Further along the Saltbrush seeds looked like sparkly feathers floating on the water. Saltbrush, Baccharis halimifolia, is a woody shrub or small tree in the Asteraceae family, and is also known as Groundsel.

Pied-billed Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe

White Ibis in a Nesting Tree

If they follow last year’s pattern this tree will soon be occupied by nesting Great Blue Heron and Great Egret couples. Until then White Ibis have taken over the tree for sunning.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

Doing the one-legged doze the Ibis stood right here for a couple of hours at least.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

There is not a bit of material left from last year’s nests. Any Great Blues or Great Egrets that stake this out to start a family will be starting nest building from zero.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

Taken as fall is coming to an end, 12/18/2018.

Great Egret, Corner of the Pond

These wooden posts are leftovers from an old dock or walkway at the edge of a rice field pond and the wading birds often perch on them.

Great Egret on a Post
Great Egret on a Post

The Great Egret was standing still so a slower shutter speed allowed me to capture some images even though the sun had dipped below the tree line and there wasn’t much light in this end of the pond.

Great Egret on a Post
Great Egret on a Post

Looking in the opposite direction an Alligator was swimming towards a spot to settle for the night.

Looking over the pond, Alligator near Sunset
Looking over the pond, Alligator near Sunset