Tag Archives: Winter

Winter Lounging

Even though it is winter, with some nights down to and below freezing temperatures, many Alligators are still out and about during the day around the swamp.

Alligator and Turtles
Alligator and Turtles

Supposedly they don’t eat it when it is cold, their metabolism slowing in a process called brumation.

I still want to keep my distance.

Sleeping Alligator
Sleeping Alligator at side of walking trail

Great Blue Heron

I liked this foot up pose, even with that intruding dead limb across the bird’s neck. Over the last couple years this has been one of the favorite nesting trees for Great Blue Heron and Great Egrets so I expect I’ll be seeing a lot of that limb as breeding season unfolds.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Last year that limb had branches off it, that have either broken away or been pulled off for nest material and this would not have been a clear view. I think the remaining limb is too big for a Heron to break off and put in the nest but I won’t be surprised to see one try.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Yellow-rumped Warbler

This Yellow-rumped Warbler, also known as “Butter Butt” paused as he was looking for snacks along the tree line of the rice field dike.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler – with flash of yellow showing

The warblers tend to be fast and elusive, usually working the inner branches as they move along a tree line.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

It’s always a treat when they turn towards the camera, even though this is not the Butter Butt’s most colorful side.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Red-shouldered Hawk

With no leaves on the trees the Red-shouldered Hawks are easy to spot when they are around the edges of the swamp. Their red-orange color palette and size stand out even when they aren’t moving.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

After first seeing this one I was able to get an unobstructed view from a little further along the trail.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

He appeared to be looking for a snack as he studied the ground.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

After about 20 minutes he flexed his wings and I expected him to fly, hoping it would be left to right in front of me.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Not to be, he settled in facing the other way.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Late Season Blooms

The Charleston area daylight is down to 10 hours as we approach the last week until winter solstice, technically December 21, which I like to think of as “making the turn”.  The flowers still in bloom stretch to get what sun they can.

Flower reaching for the sun
Flower reaching for the sun

These pink ones, Gerber Daisies I think, were surprisingly robust with very little actual plant to support them.

Pink flowers reaching for the sun
Pink flowers reaching for the sun

Roses will form buds and flower throughout the winter here, although they often don’t make much of a showing as a blossom when the temperatures flirt with freezing over night.

Rose bud reaching for the sun
Rose bud reaching for the sun