Tag Archives: Summer

Alligator Morning

Alligators were on the move early on this morning despite the morning heat. This water is a canal around an old rice field that sits at the edge of the South Santee River.

Alligator
Alligator

I intended to walk the dike but it wasn’t mowed so that was a non-starter with the tall grass harboring a gazillion mosquitoes and likely a few more Alligators. I plan to go back later in the fall or winter for another look.

Alligators in Canal
Alligators in Canal

Rice Field, Santee Coastal Reserve, SC
August 26, 2021

Skinny Tree at Rest

I would never be surprised to find the Skinny Tree had succumbed to the elements and fallen into the pond. Happily, it made it through another wading bird nesting season,  providing a start to one Great Blue Heron chick in the top nest and five or six Great Egret chicks in at least two nests lower down.

All sorts of birds will use the tree as a perch for the next several months for fleeting moments. Come December the cycle will start again again when the Great Blue Herons start staking out nest sites and hopefully this tree will be around to participate.

The Skinny Tree, Ravenswood Pond
The Skinny Tree, Ravenswood Pond

It appears that the duck box has no bottom, so any Wood Ducks looking for a nesting spot will have to find another location.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
July 23, 2021

Tracing Wheel

I’ve taken hundreds of images of reeds similar to these that are along the edges the various rice field impoundments I frequent, with and without insects, birds and lizards. This image from July shows a line of the tree-like structures of the seed heads and dragonfly.

Reed Seed Heads
Reed Seed Heads

Earlier this week this stalk caught my eye, the strands somehow stuck together. It reminds me of the Dritz tracing wheel used in sewing to transfer pattern markings. Or the  long fingered wheel of a hay rake.

Unfurling Reed Seed Head
Unfurling Reed Seed Head

Red Seeds Bursting

These bright red seeds got my attention in a tangle of vegetation on the side of a pond dike.

Bright Red Seeds Bursting From Their Pod
Bright Red Seeds Bursting From Their Pod

Following their stem they I couldn’t identify any corresponding leaves.

Bright Red Seeds Bursting From Their Pod
Bright Red Seeds Bursting From Their Pod

I wanted to get a different angle but I was not willing to step any further in; biting insects are my biggest concern.

Bright Red Seeds Bursting From Their Pod
Bright Red Seeds Bursting From Their Pod

Perhaps this is Texas Mountain Laurel based on a search for “red seeds in pods.”

August 20, 2020

A Hibiscus Blooms

Late one gloomy afternoon the sole bloom on a hibiscus plant on my patio started to open.

Texas Star Hibiscus
Texas Star Hibiscus  and Spider, 5:30 PM

About 2 1/2 hours later, the sun was down but the blossom continued to unfurl.

Texas Star Hibiscus
Texas Star Hibiscus and spider, 8 PM, day 1

Evidently the spider didn’t care for the changes to his hideaway and he moved on.

Texas Star Hibiscus
Texas Star Hibiscus, 8PM, day 1

The next morning it was raining and even after sunrise I needed to use flash to get a good image.

Texas Star Hibiscus
Texas Star Hibiscus, 7 AM day 2

Raindrops made a nice visual addition.

Texas Star Hibiscus
Texas Star Hibiscus, 7 AM day 2

A few hours later the “star” was fully open.

Texas Star Hibiscus
Texas Star Hibiscus, 10 AM day 2

The next morning, about 40 hours after it started to open, the bloom had completely curled up, done with its show, and promptly fell off.

Wood Stork Walk About

I’ve mentioned that the water has been very high in the old rice field pond at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, which has kept the wading bird population down. Last year’s dredging project left a higher stretch of ground that is now covered with a bit of water and attractive to these birds. The vegetation at the edge was recently mowed providing a nice view.

Wood Stork and Snowy Egrets
Wood Stork and Snowy Egrets

This group was just standing around when I passed by. Usually it is the Snowy Egrets that make a fuss but this Wood Stork took a turn, at what I do not know.

Wood Stork and Snowy Egrets
Wood Stork and Snowy Egrets

I left them to it and went around to the other side of the pond. At first I couldn’t see the Stork; his position in the above photos was behind that tall grass. Then he took a walk, leaving those Snowy Egrets behind.

Wood Stork
Wood Stork On The Move