Sunday, September 28, 2014



[Note: as always, you can right click and "open in new tab" to see a larger version of any image.]

Over the last week or two, the Wood Ducks have started returning to Pepper Creek and the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

Last Thursday, I was shooting in the park and found a bunch of new arrivals swimming in the spring waters down near the deer habitat.

And on the ride back up Pepper Creek, spotted a few swimming about near Osprey Island.

This fellow kept quacking at me, enough so, that even in the picture his mouth is open!

Yesterday, as I was driving back with an empty boat, I managed to grab a few more shots including some close ups.

In the last turn before the Visitors Center, I was struck by this Snowy White Egret sitting high up in the shrubbery.

In the creek beneath him, a Blue Heron (as opposed to a Great Blue Heron) was picking away.

After my day was done, I visited with Gail in the office, and we played dueling cameras.



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Thursday, September 25, 2014



Another visit to the Childrens Education Center at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to test out a new camera. Managed to get a very nice profile shot of the Alligator Snapper. His head is about 3 or 4 fists in size.

Then headed over to see Lu, and caught the end of the day's program about Lu. After, Vicki, Lu's best friend, and a Park Ranger, turned the hose on him, something he loves, and at the end of that, he gave us a special display.

This is "full open" and is a threat display. Hippos eat grasses and fruits: for that, they barely part their lips. However, if another male challenges their position, they attack one another with a full open mouth, scraping each other with their big front teeth. Their bite is as powerful as that of an alligator.

Lu has "bad" teeth- they curve out and around his jaw, so they would not be very effective in such an encounter: in the wild, he would be easily defeated and probably killed. However, as a movie and TV star, he lived a pampered life and never faced such challenges.



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Wednesday, September 24, 2014



Remember: you can right click and open in new tab any image in this blog to see a larger version.

There is a building over at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park that is now called the Children's Education Center. Originally, it was the main entrance to the spring when it was the only thing there and people came from all over the world just to bask in its beauty and crystal clear waters. Now, it houses all sorts of activities for the children, as well as rest rooms, water fountain, educational information, and air conditioning. That is important sometimes...

It is also the home, for the moment, to a 45 or so year old Alligator Snapping Turtle! He lives in a large tank, and behind thick glass, so getting a good shot is a bit of a challenge, but it is more likely than getting a shot of, or even seeing the giant that lives in Pepper Creek, which I caught sight of only once in my ten years on that creek.

Alligator Snappers sit on the bottom, hold their mouth open and wiggle a small appendage on their tongue which fish take to be a worm. Going into feed, they never come out!

This morning, the Alligator Snapper in the CEC was reaching up to the surface and I grabbed some shots. Notice those claws!

From a reference book in the CEC, this shot of a man holding a rather large specimen of this amazing creature!



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Monday, September 22, 2014



It was a bit overcast today as I visited the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, but that made for some good lighting for photography.

From the Garden of the Springs, I looked out over the Homosassa River, fed by the 50-60+ million gallons of water the spring pumps out every day.

A newly bonded pair of Wood Ducks also was taking in the view. The Wood Ducks have just returned to the area this last week.

From the bridge across the Homosassa River, I just missed getting this large fish that was leaping into the air.

A pair or tourists gaze in wonder at two of our permanent resident manatees.

A few moments later, I grabbed this shot at the end of the bridge.

A bit further into the park, a few of the new arrivals prepare for the mating ritual.

Park Volunteer Marcie tosses a hunk of hard squash to Lu after the program. He was not very cooperative during the presentation today, but once the people turned their sights to the alligators on the other side, he was all for getting his.

Y'all come back and see us again!



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Thursday, September 04, 2014



Two new gator vids from Wednesday, 3 September on Pepper Creek at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Florida.

JR on the Edge: (0:50)


Round Trip with Waldo: (2:19)

And a shot I am very happy with, taken as a passenger on this day, of a Great Blue Heron in the creek.

Enjoy, like, share!



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