Tag Archives: Nature

Alligators, A South Carolina Swamp

In a previous article I published images of spiders, great big spiders.

They bother me a lot more than the alligators do. Not that I am getting close. The spiders may be large, but look at these images. These actually are, not by insect standards either.

Alligator South Carolina Swamp - Click To Enlarge
Alligator South Carolina Swamp – Click To Enlarge

These are not the ones that concern me. Twice I have stumbled on a smaller version. Just yesterday a small ( 3 feet maybe) size alligator was hiding in a pool of water on the opposite side of the swamp, 3 feet from our trail. I went right by him, blindly. Ellen gave me the sign, and he was floating there watching me. I moved away and he slipped underneath. He wouldn’t eat me but it would hurt.

Alligator South Carolina Swamp - Click To Enlarge
Alligator South Carolina Swamp – Click To Enlarge

Just a lesson and reminder to us both.

Juvenile Black Crested Night Heron

These photographs show the importance of learning your subject and scouting a location. All thanks to Perry, our guide for the first trip to the area.

Never would I have known where to look, or when found what I was looking at. A few days later when I returned to the area I knew where to focus my attention. And it was here I got these shots.

Juvenile Black Crested Night Heron - Click To Enlarge
Juvenile Black Crested Night Heron – Click To Enlarge
Juvenile Black Crested Night Heron - Click To Enlarge
Juvenile Black Crested Night Heron – Click To Enlarge

Like many young birds they don’t resemble their parents until much later on. No way would I have picked this as a Black Crested Night Heron. But here he is.

These photos were taken across a small open water area. The bird was hiding in the low limbs on an island. Ellen was sure a near by alligator would get him. He was fine.

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NOTE: This is a Black-Crowned Night Heron. Sorry.

Cattle Egret

A first for me. I have only seen them way off in fields, hanging around horses and cattle.

At the end of our morning walk, as we wrapped up, this bird showed up. He casually wandered around an open field. I did try to get closer but he moved in the opposite direction I went every time.

Cattle Egret - Click To Enlarge
Cattle Egret – Click To Enlarge

When he was done tormenting me this is what I ended with. Better than the usual butt end.

 

Juvenile Great Egrets By The Bunch

When one squawks they all do. The broods of Great Egrets are in batches of three. That makes it loud. The main photograph here was grabbed as the group let out a collective wail.

Baby Great Egrets - Click To Enlarge
Baby Great Egrets – Click To Enlarge
Baby Great Egrets - Click To Enlarge
Baby Great Egrets – Click To Enlarge

When they weren’t harmonizing the sibling rivalry came out, big time. And once again they yelled, now at each other.

Baby Great Egrets - Click To Enlarge
Baby Great Egrets – Click To Enlarge

I have visited this group a few times and noticed even though they can flap around the island trees the same branch is always used as home. That may also explain how Mom knows who to feed when she returns. They have to get confused when they come home and find 50 kids that all look alike.

The Downside, There Always Is

Most of our photographs lately have been of beautiful birds, in the swamps and marshes where the live and breed. For me this is nirvana.

There is no free lunch.

Swamp Spiders - Click To Enlarge
Swamp Spiders – Click To Enlarge
Swamp Spiders - Click To Enlarge
Swamp Spiders – Click To Enlarge

Nothing sets me off like a spider. People may not admit it but it’s common. These spiders are everywhere out there. Worse, I still have not seen a SMALL one! All have been 3″ to 5″ across.

Sounds like no big deal until you come literally face to face with one.

Swamp Spiders - Click To Enlarge
Swamp Spiders – Click To Enlarge

I made the mistake of not seeing an alligator that was very close  yesterday, Ellen gave me the old ‘just keep walking’ alert. I was probably watching for these guys.

Green Heron Fishing

The last few  days of shooting we had focused on a rookery and, for the most part, Egrets.

Today we started out doing much the same. I was hoping to find some other birds back on a small trail through the far side of the swamp. A Green Heron helped make the day.

Green Heron - Click To Enlarge
Green Heron – Click To Enlarge

At first he hid in the bushes but small fish got the better of him. Finally he ventured out into the shallow water. Once out there he came close enough we had to pull way back on our large lens.

Green Heron - Click To Enlarge
Green Heron – Click To Enlarge
Green Heron - Click To Enlarge
Green Heron – Click To Enlarge

These are the first photographs processed of the day.  I hope the others are as good.

It’s Not Easy Being A Mother, Great Egret

Raising these 2 must be hard work. She was lucky since most of the others had 3 young ones.

Great Egret with young.

It's Not Easy Being A Mother, Great Egret - Click To Enlarge
It’s Not Easy Being A Mother, Great Egret – Click To Enlarge
It's Not Easy Being A Mother, Great Egret - Click To Enlarge
It’s Not Easy Being A Mother, Great Egret – Click To Enlarge

These images were taken in a rookery that was located on a small island in a swampy area. Since it was surrounded by water they ignored us for the most part.

Alligators living in the water underneath the trees protect the nest from predators. However it also means when the young take their first flight there is no room for error.