Saturday, October 6, 2012

Event Update: Bok Tower

We had an awesome day out at Bok Tower. Lots of birds, butterflies, flowers, etc. If you didn't GOYB today, you missed an awesome day including all of this: (make sure you click to enlarge, lots of cool stuff here)

This was one of the first birds we saw, hummingbird. It's a female though, so difficult to discern the species.

This is a black throated blue warbler getting some noms. I was surprised when I got home to realize that this wasn't a life bird for me.
This is an artsy shot of the black-throated blue warbler taking off.
 Tons of butterflies today. Here is a zebra longwing. If you click to enlarge, you can see he's got some pollen on his proboscis.
The beauty berry was amazing. There were so many berries that the plants were actually weighted down, which explains all the other wildlife we saw, lots of noms out there. None of us had ever seen such an abundance of beauty berries before, and all of the plants were like this.
Not sure what plant this was, but it was very cute.
This is a viceroy nomming on a plant.
This was kinda neat - it was a black swallowtail, but it's hanging from the plant so you can see his underside.
 This is a black swallowtail on top of a plant. I love how the out of focus flowers in the background bring out the color in his wings.
This was the first of 2 new critter porn shots that I got today. I'm not sure what they are. I thought at first that they were assassin bugs, but the shape wasn't right.
A purty yellow flower.
This is the underside of a gulf fritillary butterfly.
Another shot of the black swallowtail.
You can tell how old butterflies are by their color; they fade as they age. This guy is up there in age.
This was a weird, kind of funky mushroom we came across.
The next 3 are my favorite shots of the day. We stumbled across 2 gulf fritillaries having marital relations.
Yeah, baby!
This was a neat thing that Heather pointed out. When ever people talk about our ancestors, they mention using leaves for drinking cups. I've never really been able to picture that, but this cactus leaf was actually was holding water.
These look burned, but I think they are just the type of mushroom they are. I've never seen black mushrooms before. Don't think I would want to eat one.
There is this neat kind of play area on the grounds of Bok Tower. This is David and Heather going into the tunnel made of plants.
This is a seed pod of some kind that Heather found.
Me and HFC David in front of some plants that match my hat.
A close up of the flowers that match my hat.
This is Heather, demonstrating the shadow clock. You stand on today's date, and your shadow falls on the correct time. I need to build one of these in my yard, it was really neat.
I took this picture for Shirley. There were very few spiders out there today, and this wasn't even a real spider, it was just the shed skin of one.
This was my favorite plant of the day. I know it's name and can't remember it for the life of me. I need to start taking notes on these walks!
There are some bird feeders around the grounds. This is a cardinal giving me the stink eye from the feeder near the pond.
This is a tufted titmouse, also hanging out by the pond.
This was a life bird for me! A Rufous Hummingbird. I wasn't expecting to get a lifer today so that was pretty cool.
A mourning dove.
This was neat. It was some kind of fern, but it looked like lettuce.
I've never seen this before, it was white beauty berry. Not as pretty as the purple.
The wild coffee, like the beauty berry, had so many berries that it was weighing down the bushes. This is another of my favorite Florida native plants, the berries are just so bright and look so pretty against the deep green.
This was a neat plant, don't remember the name but it had these white stripes inside that were like a little surprise gift when you got close.
This is Bok tower. So pretty!
David and Heather at the highest point in peninsular Florida, near the base of Bok tower.
Another cool plant that I don't remember the name of.
This is a cool sundial on the tower. It is a snake and an eagle.
A balcony on the tower made of carved birds.
David, looking for birds (and overlooking central Florida.)
A black vulture on top of a pelican at the top of the tower. Not sure why, but this made me laugh.
I loved the purple, pink and green together. I need a shirt this color.
Some irises. Or lilies. Heather told me 10 times what they were but I've forgotten. I'm lucky my head is bolted on, I'd forget that too.
A big pink flower.
A lubber. I know these are voracious and eat everything in sight and are really bad for trees and gardens, but I still think they are are really pretty.
Heather thought this flower looked like a dropped egg. It was almost time for lunch though, everything looks edible when you are hungry.
This was Heather's favorite thing at the Bok Tower. It was a whole wall of bromilliads. Bromilliads are "air plants" that don't require dirt to grow. These are all just attached to vertical wires. It was a really beautiful effect. I had always thought that bromilliads at least had to be attached to a tree branch or something, I hadn't realized that they could just grow anywhere. Very cool.

If you didn't GOYB this weekend, you missed a really spectacular day out. Make sure you watch our schedule for our next walks. Remember, you can look at pictures of stuff on TV or the Internet, but you haven't really experienced life until you interrupt 2 butterflies getting down in person!

Brief update

We did a nice walk at Bok tower today. Saw tons of flowers, butterflies, snd a few birds. More pix to come, this is just the one I took on the cell phone:

I also made a supercool video of Heather doing a somersault:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wings and Wildflowers!

Had a great unofficial DeeMotivation weekend at the Wings and Wildflowers festival. David and I led field trips, and I gave my Profoundly Unscientific Birding Identification talk. The weekend was a blast. If you didn't GOYB this weekend, here's what you missed. Make sure you click to enlarge the pictures, there's some neato stuff here!

We did a walk at Hickory Point park early Saturday morning. This is one of the first critters we encountered, a Spotted Orbweaver.
I'm drawing a blank on what this guy's name is, but he disguises himself as a leaf, and it works so well that I initially walked right by him until someone on the tour pointed him out.
This was a frog.. I think leopard frog? Again, pointed out by someone on the tour. He was very well hidden in a dark part of the swamp.
 HFC David discussing woodpeckers.
This is something neither David nor I had seen before - it was holes drilled by a yellow bellied sapsucker, which is't unusual, they normally make this pattern on trees; what was unusual is that the sapsucker did this on a vine. Weird and cool.
On Sunday, we had a really cool tour of promise ranch. These are some bobwhite quail that they raise on the ranch.
More bobwhite quail.
This was a black racer resting on some moss, spotted by another of our eagle-eyed  participants.
This is a gult fritilary. There were a TON of butterflies out here, one of the best places for butterflies I've been to.
This is a hairy.. ugh, can't remember the whole name. It's an invasive exotic, but pretty nonetheless.
This is a native - the aptly named Beautyberry.
and wings, hence the name of the festival. This is a white peacock butterfly.
This was a really awesome field trip that defined the festival; lots of wings, and lots of wildflowers. The butterfly shown here is a zebra longwing.

If you didn't GOYB, don't despair, there are more festivals coming up in the near future. On October 26-28, we will be leading trips at the Treasure Coast Birding Festival, then in January, I will be teaching classes and leading field trips for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.

And, in the very near future, you have the opportunity to GOYB Saturday, October 6 for a walk out at Bok Tower. Remember, you can look at pictures of cool things on the internet, or you can GOYB and experience them in real life. The choice is yours, but is it more fun to tell your friends that you saw a cool web site, or is it more fun to tell them you smelled wildflowers, you heard birds, you had a butterfly land on your shoulder? Make the right choice and join us on a field trip soon!