Tag Archives: Reflection

Ducks Being Ducks

Duck behavior has a rhythm to it: eat, preen, paddle, splash… then repeat. This Blue-winged Teal added some stretching moves to his paddling that showed off his color.

Occasionally they make a big splash as this trio did, moving about 10 feet down the pond as an alligator raised his head nearby. Reflections from the budding trees on the other side of the pond added some color interest to the water.

No one was hurt and calmness returned almost immediately.  The direction and slow movement of this male Teal swimming back up the pond put him in the perfect spot for exposure and reflection.

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Last Light at the Rookery

The water was still and the reflections sharp as the sun went down.


Birds that had been squabbling an hour before managed to settle in as darkness approached. I’d like to know how much of that goes on after dark, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to stay.


Another pond with wonderful reflections on the way back to the car.


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Meanwhile, In Other News

Not all the Great Blue Herons around Magnolia Plantation’s gardens  and swamps are currently engaged in mating activity; maybe they are too young or too old. We see them around the swamp doing their thing: mostly wading and fishing.


This one made a lovely reflection as he seemed to be reflecting on what to do next.

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Blue-winged Teal Pair

I was sitting on a bench at the edge of the swamp watching a Great Blue Heron when this pair of Blue-winged Teals swam by.


The pair mostly stayed together, only rarely separating for a solo photograph.


The Great Blue Heron can easily see over the vegetation, watching for lunch as more Teals swam behind him.


The Teal pair quickly did a U-turn when the open water ended near where the Heron stood and went back where they came from.


Magnolia Plantation Audubon Swamp, Charleston, SC.

Turtles Extreme Posing

On Sunday I posted photos of turtles posing on an Alligator ramp and logs to sun themselves out of the water. Yesterday in the same spot an Alligator was using a turtle as a head rest and more turtles were clambering to join the group.


Further along in a different pond a similar activity was taking place with a much larger Alligator, only this time the turtles were on top.


Do they have no suspicion that they might be lunch?


We returned by this spot about an hour and a half later to find the Alligator had changed position but at least one free-loader was still in place.


The nature guide at Magnolia Garden identifies these turtles as Yellow-bellied Sliders.

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Turtles Posing

Singly or in groups, the turtles around the swamp like to climb onto about anything that protrudes out of the water on nice days.


This one came up through the duckweed leaving a shiny green coat.


They seem oblivious to the activity going on in the water around them, be it another turtle or an alligator.


This alligator platform was fair game for the turtles while it was in the shade. As the sun comes around they will likely get pushed off.


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Audubon Swamp, January 2017.

Reflective Landscape

In less than an hour the sky went from mostly cloudy, to dotted clouds, to full sun on a recent morning. The wind that was moving the clouds was only aloft, with only a slight breeze at ground level.

Landscape Photograph Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

The big pond at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area reflected it all. Bare trees and the Spanish Moss give a silvery sheen in the early morning light.

Landscape Photograph Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

A few Great Blue Herons were prowling around the perimeter and some ducks splashed in the distance, too far for a photo.

Landscape Photograph Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

In the silent gaps between airplanes and dogs barking in the distance the noises of the ducks carried through the stillness. It was almost solitude.

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, 1/12/2017.

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Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teals are dabbling ducks and often have bits of grass or duckweed hanging from their beaks or heads.  The ones at Magnolia Plantation are wary of people and I mostly get photographs of them swimming away.


They do a lot of swimming in circles, creating rings of waves. If you stand still they sometimes come circling back near the shore.


When they are away from the duckweed and the light is right their reflections can be quite pretty.


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Empty Rookery

The heron and egret rookery at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is currently home to a few alligators and some turtles. Several weeks ago there were still a few Little Blue Herons and Great Egrets; none were around on Sunday. We’ll be returning periodically over the next month watching for the duck migrants then the return of the herons and egrets.

In the meantime the colors of fall were quite striking on the still water.


The tree dripping with Spanish Moss below held several Great Blue Heron nests late last winter then was taken over by various Egrets through the summer. The island with the larger trees also had multiple nests. On this day one lone Ibis was watching the swamp.


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