Our Natural Places

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Stepping into the warm water of Tampa Bay, a school of mullet moved ahead of me as though it was one large organism. Occasionally one would jump and smack the water’s surface and I would once again wish for proficiency in the art of throwing a cast net. A much larger splash behind me turned out to be a Brown Pelican crashing onto a school of sardines. The East Beach turnaround is… Read More

“Have any luck?” The broad smile on my face seemed to be sufficient answer as Gini just asked: “Where to next?”. It had, indeed, been a good morning. The sheer number of birds was overwhelming and selecting subjects to photograph was a challenge. Attempting to isolate a single bird which was in the midst of two-hundred of her closest friends proved to be an exercise in frustration. Even in the seeming chaos,… Read More

Is anticipation an emotion? We had been traveling in darkness for about an hour. The eastern sky began to lighten and in the distance shadowy urban landscapes formed a backdrop for the expansive Tampa Bay. Scanning the water’s surface below the tall Sunshine Skyway Bridge, we hoped for a glimpse of dolphins, pelicans, terns or schools of sardines rippling the blue-green water. To the west, the lighthouse at Egmont Key faithfully flashed… Read More

(Header image: Peace River swamp.) “The Butcher Bird’s been busy!” This was the third insect Gini had spotted stuck on a fence barb. The Butcher Bird is a nickname for members of the shrike family, in our case it’s the Loggerhead Shrike. They will capture a bug and impale it on a fence barb or thorn to make it easier for them to eat. It is not unusual to find caches of… Read More