Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wowie! Zowie!


What a rainstorm we had this morning! The ocean was foamy and roaring as the high tide rolled in, sucking out the blocked flow opening so the lake connected to it can empty. When the opening is plugged, nasty foam builds up at the point where it would usually drain out into the ocean. 




Of the three largest lakes, Buccaneer Bay is one of brackish water occupied with bass and flounder and baitfish (mullet). The latter plus some small panfish travel in and out of this flow.


Here are a few photos taken through the past few years of this part of the beach. 





Two of many flounders that were caught in Buccaneer Bay. 
This one was 21 1/2"


This one was 18 1/2"

Friday, March 22, 2013

Goodies


Ya cain't send this guy anyplace without him getting into trouble! This morning I sent him to the store to get half gallon container of milk and this is what he brought back, including the milk.

Now, don'tcha know we already have snacks galore, including Cheez-its, and Lance Captain Wafers, grilled cheese variety. We absolutely LOVE the Voortman's Lemon Wafers. Voortman's carries others, including strawberry, coconut, chocolate, and vanilla. They are all good, but the lemon are great! In the 'no sugar added' category there are fudge vanilla wafers, fudge peanut butter wafers and mocha cappuccino as well. (I sound like a Voortman's saleslady, don't I?) 

My point here is that the Mister must have had a chocolate urge, he is so deprived! Pectin jelly beans and peppermints just didn't fit the ticket!



Of course, I won't eat anything chocolate - at least I'll try to control myself. (I lied.) Oh, heck, I already had one. (I lied again. I had several.)




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Aha! Captured!

I wrote of the 15 BIG BOYS in the previous post and later today I went back to try to catch them all in one shot. End result: I captured EIGHT. They saw me again and I was even wearing a dark jacket and creeped VERY slowly, but EIGHT IS GREAT.





THEN, I saw the pen sitting on her nest. Using my zoom function, I caught her too.


After the nest has been built, which typically takes 2-3 weeks, the egg laying process begins with an egg being laid every 12-24 hours. Once all the eggs have been laid, which can take 2-3 weeks, they will all be incubated (ie sat on to start the growth process) at the same time with hatching usually 42 days (6 weeks) later.

Nature Dwells Here

Turtles abound in the small waterway between the lakes. It is brackish water. These are not sea turtles. This bale of the turtles are small.

Click on photos to see full size.



There were about 15, yes, 15 of these BIG BOYS basking in  the sun at the end of a small island in the waterway, and when they saw me all but these three slipped right down into the water. I wish I could have taken the group picture. You would have been amazed.

The one on the left and several others were about as large as a dinner plate! They wait for the signets and ducklings to arrive and then grab them by their little legs and pull them under. They then drown and the turtles eat them.

Turtle shells are actually living tissue, growing from the inside. Occasionally the top layer sloughs off, and new tissue is already prepared to replace it. This is what you see on this guy.

The cob is alert and sees a trio of Mallards approaching the nest on land, where his mate, the pen, is sitting on eggs. It looks like the hen duck hasn't decided yet which drake will be her mate - like she has a choice!

He scares them away and will do this constantly with all geese, ducks, cormorants, and any others who threaten their nest.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring! Yeah!

Today I took nature ride around the park in my golf cart. I don't seem to have any endurance to walk in search of interesting things to shoot; besides, my camera gets heavy after a while! It was much too windy to go on the beach and get sand-blasted! That doesn't feel good.

The birds and bees were all busy, but I found a few to capture. 


See the turtle?
Now see the turtle.
 See the swimmer?
When he climbed onto the bank his light tan fur was fluffed up and not slick like a muskrat, but he beat me back into the water before I could shoot him! Darn! 
I have seen many muskrats here, but he was very different.


Great White Egret

South Carolina State Flower – Yellow Jessamine



Hopefully, more blooms will be bursting soon!


Monday, March 18, 2013

To See the Sea....


Up North, we went to the "shore." Here in the South, we walk to the "beach." I have my own stairway to heaven!