Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Puddles at the Spiral Jetty

Another trip to the Spiral Jetty... what a cool place. We didn't let bad weather spoil our adventure, and as it turns out, the incoming storm sure made for some nice skies and rain puddles nicely decorated the dry lake bed. We had a surprise encounter with a Great Horned Owl too. Every visit to the jetty is different and interesting.

Funny to find this lone office chair sitting here, it's always interesting what you will find out in the desert. The view from the chait was pretty spectacular!

A favorite of my friend April, a self ascribed jetty junky, walking the salty, rain puddled, lake bottom. As April likes to point out, the cool thing about visiting the jetty is that is different every time. Sunday was no exception... I love the surreal quality of this shot.

I was trying to capture the water's amazing pink hue... pink because the high salinity of this end of lake allows the growth of interesting microbes that don't grow on the more dilute south side of the railroad causeway. What an interesting ecosystem the Great Salt Lake is.

I flushed this owl from a distance of about 6 feet, not once, but twice. The second time he dropped a dead rabbit and flew to this perch along the shore... I followed him to try get a picture... Of course with him watching I couldn't get too close, but I did snap a few and with the wonders of digital photography was able to crop in for a nice look at this magnificent Great Horned Owl.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Florida's Dark Side...

Leave it to my brother to take us to some under the viaduct sort of place...

OK, how about under the drawbridge, with a cool night time view of Port Everglades... A good inspiration to try a little night photography, one of those things on my 'list' of things I'd like to do more of someday...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Some Natutral Nature

Natural in Florida, not quite so natural in mom's backyard, but once in a while a gator makes his way up the intercoastal waterway to mom's house. This one was just a baby, about 4 feet long. Glad he came to visit when I was visiting!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Unnatural Nature.

Apparently, in the five years since I have visited south Florida there has been an iguana invasion. They are beautiful, and fun to watch, but don't really belong there. They are escaped pets, who are thriving, and breeding and munching away at the landscape. I've been visiting Florida for over 40 years, and had never seen iguanas there until this recent visit, but now they seem to be everywhere, daily visitors in mom's yard, chomping away at the fruits of mom's gardening labors. I saw more at the park, watched a dog hunt a big one down (I'll spare you those sad pictures), saw one that had to be 3 feet long meandering alongside a very busy road.

They are not the only invaders, mom's yard, previously populated by adorable little brown anole lizards is now home to curly tail lizards, which were brought over from the bahamas to eat pest in the sugarcane fields a county north. Pythons, also released pets, are now a problem in the Everglades. It really does make my scientist think hard about how our actions impact the environment. Are there invaders merely nuisances, or are they detrimentally affecting the native species. It would be a fun place for some ecology projects, that's for sure.

But since they are there... I enjoyed them, a nature lover loves out of place nature too. As you can see they pose nicely for pictures, until you get too close, then they move with rapid speed, and when they jump in the canal and shoot like torpedos through the water. I did not know they swam, so watching them dive and swim was quite entertaining. Mostly though I'm enamored by textures and colors of their scales and spines... I can see a lot of artful inspiration potential!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Loxahatche National Wildlife Refuge

On my recent visit to Florida I was lucky enough to have a short visit to Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Anyone who knows me knows my love of nature and how much I appreciate that our nation has created these wonderful places, especially in places like Florida where suburbia and agriculture has totally overrun nature. Weather did not cooperate to let us see much of the wet Everglades part of the refuge, but we did get to enjoy a virtual airboat ride in the visitors center. We also had a nice walk on the boardwalk through the cypress forest, which seemed more like a jungle, and the botanist in me enjoyed the tropical diversity that is so much different than the arid west. Bromeliads, air plants, vines, ferns, including tree ferns many taller than I am were all treat to see. As my pictures attest, I especially enjoyed the unfurling leaves. It as though the plants are whispering I'm alive, I'm alive, I'M ALIVE!