Friday, March 16, 2018

More birds

Our second day at the dock in the second port there was good old-fashioned rain and lots of it!  It is a rainforest, after all. These birds were fun to see as we had only seen the horizon where the ocean met the sky for days along with a rare frigate bird high in the distance. These had taken shelter in the ship's rigging and were busy eating all the bugs that had landed on the boat attracted by the lights at night.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A New Bird for Me

This bird below is a Yellow-rumped Cacique which we were able to see early (very early) one morning outside a town on the Amazon river. My camera decided to choke on the autofocus modes unless the temperature was in a very tight range on this these are not a sharp photos. (I know, what a bad time for the autofocus to opt out!)

They nest in long pods of woven grass that hang from branches of trees that are usually close to marsh or lake edges. Being social and fairly common they can breed in colonies of up to 250 nests! Females do all the nest building, feeding and rearing. The male just fights for territory. They eat both insects and fruits. The males are polygamous and can consort with up to 30 females...since they only impregnate and fight for territory.  By clustering together they also can defend themselves from predators by mobbing the enemy.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Bigger Window

Far from land, the vast horizon across the ocean gives one a better perspective on the size of human life. When you do finally see a coastline, especially a tropical coastline, it usually means weather.

But the weather may also be a very small localized bit of weather.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Following the Sun

Sunsets are lovely everywhere it seems. These were taken offshore of Miami, Florida before our recent trip through the Caribbean and further South.

That old sun is such a mugger.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

A Quick Review Before I am Off

I am leaving this weekend for a lengthy luxurious and expensive trip. I do not feel guilty and I am not bragging and you all know that. Anyway, I hope to return and take any readers that want on that trip virtually upon my processing of photos. In between times, I leave you these from my neighborhood.

Blurred as he was moving!

I hope to be back with more tropical photos and no mosquito bites.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Flocking and Grapes

In honor of the Year of the Bird...I will again post some more digital "paintings" using some impressionist filters as I have totally blown the day off in front of the computer and on the phone and feel guilty...NOT. Once again a large flock of Cedar Waxwings has flown in for a minute or two to poop all over the table and slurp up some water after gathering  in a drunken blowout in the holly tree eating berries!

Why the grapes you may ask?  These super large purple grapes (with some gigantic carbon footprint) were tough-skinned and not as sweet as hubby liked, so they are now outside next to the bird bath.  Every once in a while a squirrel will hop up on the deck and jump acrobatically to the table and steal one.  Usually, he attempts to steal two or three and ends up dropping one on the stairs on the way down because as we all know, squirrels have not a clue!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pajama Birds

While living in the tropics I used to snorkel a lot. My husband was an expert on the biota in the ocean and thus we were able to identify most tropical fish. I found the Sphaeramia nematoptera fish almost clownlike in its beauty. I called it the pajama fish and was surprised to learn later on that it was on sale as "Pajama Cardinalfish."

The photo above is taken from an aquaria sales site as I did not have a slide of this fish. I felt that the red eye only added to the hangover in pajamas look.

This leads me to another living being that I like to call the silk pajamas bird.  They are in the woodpecker family.

This is the Northern Flicker which moves in flocks down our roadsides in spring looking for grubs and worms. This winter I have had a single bachelor arrive in his silk pajamas/smoking jacket to my water dish, mostly when the snows are heavy.

I love the red sleeping cap he wears on the back of his head.

When they flock together and take off when startled the white of their rumps is a clear identifier.  

They are a large bird and can toss up a bunch of snow upon departure.

This one flew just a short distance to my side door and sat there while the snows continued to drift down.  He kept looking in asking for an open door.

Did he know something that I did not?  

Gotta love their personality.