Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More Nature...Are We Bored Yet?

Nope! Not only does Sparky see lots of nature USUALLY on her weekly or semi weekly bike rides around Bradenton, lots of other people see really cool stuff here in Florida...

On the news tonight, it was reported that people driving on highway 41, a.k.a. Tamiami Trail, saw two bald eagles duking it out along the roadside. It was a brutal fight over territory, and there was a winner. The injured loser, ended up getting the sympathy vote as LOTS of calls went in to the local wildlife rescue organization. He was captured and taken in to receive veterinary care and then released back into the wild. A happy ending!

Sparky would have LOVED to have seen and taken some photos. Unfortunately, she wasn't there, so we don't have any. BUT---another productive bike ride today...Very early in the morning, on the one day Sparky was not subbing this week. Throughout the neighborhood, there are many many ponds and wetlands. Sparky usually sees quite a few birds and today was no exception. Down at Jiggs Landing, the dragonflies were like sentinels, guarding the marsh grasses. There must have been fifty dragonflies all perched at the very tippy top of the marsh grass stems. This one looked like he was in line for take off at the local airfield!

Jiggs Landing is a beautiful spot to stop and rest for a bit....The clouds were reflected in the water this morning, with not a breeze anywhere in sight. It almost looked like snow on the ground, just for a second. (Sparky is still missing snow and cold, but when everybody up north starts complaining about the bitter cold and the ice storms hit, she will be happy she is in Florida. :-)

The limpkins were out and about today...Sparky apologizes for the dark photos...Not the best time of day for catching the best light on subjects. This was a limpkin and a tri colored heron (?) passing each other on the marsh....

Here's a slightly better photo of a limpkin...A little blurry because he was bogeying down the grass line, worried about Sparky and getting his breakfast at the same time.

Sparky's ride is not complete without spotting a gator....She read just the other day about a guy working in his backyard on a golf course here in Sarasota...He heard a commotion behind him, and a gator came charging full blast out of the pond and after him, getting a grab on his leg! He managed to get the gator off him, and made it to his house, where he then got himself treatment at the doctor for the leg bite. Yikes! Sparky still likes to get a little too close to gators to get photos, but she is becoming more cautious after hearing stories like this. ("One of these days....."---says a worried Eldo.....)

This gator is in the big pond right on our street, just a few doors down. He was out today as Sparky rode by--on the opposite side of the bank. He looks like a decent size, doesn't he? You are supposed to be able to figure out how long the gator is, by estimating how long his snout is to his eye ridge. Sparky wants to know how the heck can you get the approximate "guesstimate" snout measurement without getting a lot closer to the gator?! (DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!! warns E.)

And Sparky passed this one in another pond, keeping cool......She's glad she has a 30X zoom lens.

No spoonbills today, that is a VERY unusual sighting in the neighborhood to see one of those...Usually we have to head out to other parts of Sarasota and Bradenton to find them or we just get lucky like Sparky did last bike ride out. But, the cranes are back in force all over the place in pairs  as they usually are, and drilling the golf course for bugs. This one was beside a pond, busily preening as Sparky biked by...He didn't even blink an eye as she stopped to get a photo.....They certainly can contort themselves around to get at those itchy spots!

Another great day in the neighborhood! Sparky is looking forward to the fall temperatures coming....The rains are diminishing...We had over 10" last week, and Myakka River State Park flooded and closed most of the park. Sparky thinks soon she will want to get back over there to go gator watching....(What is it with my woman that she has this thing about alligators???? wonders Eldo.)  Don't know, dear...they are just very cool looking and so dinosaurish.....And ever since we saw a gator capture his prey and heard the bones crunching as he chomped down while we were watching at the bridge at Myakka River State Park, Sparky wants to go back again and again.....

Until next time.......See ya!


  1. When we lived in Miami, Alligators were nearly a daily event.

  2. It's too bad you didn't get pictures of the fighting eagles. I do love a happy ending to an animal story, though.

    Particularly nice pictures today Jeannie. The limkin shot was great

  3. Beautiful shot of the feathers as he (she?) was preening.

  4. Bones crunching... OMG, Sparky! What is Eldo going to do with you? LOL

  5. I have to say you have one mighty fine neighborhood. Really love your neighbors. These pictures are outstanding, all of them but the Sandhill picture is a work of art. Now if it just wasn't quite so hot for such a long time in your neighborhood..............