FLORIDA WILDLIFE; May 28 -- 30, 2005

                 

Hello !

         On the long Memorial weekend of May 28-30 I traveled to my favorite corner of Florida : Mexico Beach. This time there was plenty of wildlife around, so it was a great opportunity of taking pictures of different wild creatures. I was hiking many kilometers along the beach, watching the birds and fishes and taking pictures. I even have seen the wild stingrays ( about 40-50cm size ) right in the surf. I have never seen them wild before, the more so in a couple of meters. Besides that, I have seen a hammer-head shark ( about 70-80cm length ) but didn't have the camera in that moment. And it is saying nothing about the seagulls, pelicans, herons and plenty of tiny creatures living in the surf and in the grass or sand...
         The weather in Florida was great. Two first days it was 32..33C in daytime and 27..28C in night. On the third day some clouds and gusts brought strong but momentary and warm thunderstorms, but it was the south : in a half of hour the sun shined again drying everything around. Driving back home and getting more and more north I watched how the climate changed. When I was crossing South and North Carolinas, it was cloudy and chilly, continuously drizzling, very nasty. And there was a lot of fog on Monday night in Virginia and Maryland : sometimes it seemed I was not in the car but in the boat crossing a foggy sea because the mist reached above the height of the wheels...

         Baby Pine : I took the image of this funny baby pine on the rest area on I-10 between Jacksonville and Tallahassee.
         Stingrays : These images are taken on Mexico Beach. I have never seen wild stingrays so close. They were right in the surf, in a couple of meters of me. I believe they were watching me because as soon as I was trying to approach them and take up a better station for photographing they didn't panic but decisively moved away off the coast : back to the depth. One time I even noticed a hammer-head shark but it promptly disappeared as soon as moved.
         Herons : The images of herons are taken on St George Island. The herons there almost don't fear the people, just didn't allow approaching too close. The more so, the fishermen share their catch with them. This is another reason why the herons don't fear the people too much.
         Sea Birds : These images of sea birds ( I don't know their actual name ) are also taken in Mexico Beach. Such birds are looking for their food in the surf. They also don't panic when they see people though don't allow approacing too close.
         Pelicans : The images of pelicans are taken on Mexico Beach. They didn't approach the surf but stayed all the time in the sea hunting the fish.
         Grass Birds : I took the images of these birds ( I don't know their actual name too ) on the rest area on I-95 in 20 miles north of Jacksonville. They were very active, continuously moving and looking for the food in the grass. On the forth image you can see that the bird found a worm and holds it in its bill. A few seconds the worm was eaten.
         Swamp : This is a place on Rt 98, east of Apalachicola and Carrabelle Beach. It is very shallow there, and the grass grows right from the sea water. This close combination of grass, water and sand is a home for plenty of fish, lizards and small insects.
         St Joseph Bay : St Joseph Bay is a very shallow and warm basin between the Florida mainland and inner side of St Joseph Peninsula. You can go hundreds of meters in the water away from the beach and the water will still be below your chest. The bottom of the bay is a home for plenty of crabs. There are also a lot of sea grass and shells on the bottom. the water in the bay is very transparent. On the second image you can see the people picking up the crabs in shells in hundred meters of the coast.
         St Joseph Peninsula : St. Joseph Peninsula is the narrow spit of land extending like an arm, elbow bent, into the Gulf of Mexico. The inner side of the Peninsula is St Joseph Bay ( see above ) while the outer side faces open Mexican Gulf. The images below are taken on the outer side of the Peninsula.
         More Wild Creatures : Some more wild creatures...
         Scorpio : Of course, the main sky creature was the Scorpio ! The image of Scorpio is taken in the night from Mexico Beach. It is natural image taken with my camera, not the drawing. The only things I did I slightly increased the contrast and put the name in the top-left corner. And for the convenience, I also created the second image where I connected the stars with lines to make it easily to see the specific Scorpio's shape reminding old-fashioned ladies' fan. Besides that, I marked the main star : Antares. Actually, Antares has intensive red color, but it came out white on the image...
        
        

Each image can be increased to 800x600 pixels size by double-click
Each image is available in full 2288x1712 pixels size upon request

Baby Pine

I took the image of this funny baby pine on the rest area on I-10 between Jacksonville and Tallahassee.
Stingrays

These images are taken on Mexico Beach. I have never seen wild stingrays so close. They were right in the surf, in a couple of meters of me. I believe they were watching me because as soon as I was trying to approach them and take up a better station for photographing they didn't panic but decisively moved away off the coast : back to the depth. One time I even noticed a hammer-head shark but it promptly disappeared as soon as moved.
Herons

The images of herons are taken on St George Island. The herons there almost don't fear the people, just didn't allow approaching too close. The more so, the fishermen share their catch with them. This is another reason why the herons don't fear the people too much.
Sea Birds

These images of sea birds ( I don't know their actual name ) are also taken in Mexico Beach. Such birds are looking for their food in the surf. They also don't panic when they see people though don't allow approacing too close.
Pelicans

The images of pelicans are taken on Mexico Beach. They didn't approach the surf but stayed all the time in the sea hunting the fish.
Grass Birds

I took the images of these birds ( I don't know their actual name too ) on the rest area on I-95 in 20 miles north of Jacksonville. They were very active, continuously moving and looking for the food in the grass. On the forth image you can see that the bird found a worm and holds it in its bill. A few seconds the worm was eaten.
Swamp

This is a place on Rt 98, east of Apalachicola and Carrabelle Beach. It is very shallow there, and the grass grows right from the sea water. This close combination of grass, water and sand is a home for plenty of fish, lizards and small insects.
St Joseph Bay

St Joseph Bay is a very shallow and warm basin between the Florida mainland and inner side of St Joseph Peninsula. You can go hundreds of meters in the water away from the beach and the water will still be below your chest. The bottom of the bay is a home for plenty of crabs. There are also a lot of sea grass and shells on the bottom. the water in the bay is very transparent. On the second image you can see the people picking up the crabs in shells in hundred meters of the coast.
St Joseph Peninsula

St. Joseph Peninsula is the narrow spit of land extending like an arm, elbow bent, into the Gulf of Mexico. The inner side of the Peninsula is St Joseph Bay ( see above ) while the outer side faces open Mexican Gulf. The images below are taken on the outer side of the Peninsula.
More Wild Creatures

Some more wild creatures...
Scorpio

Of course, the main sky creature was the Scorpio ! The image of Scorpio is taken in the night from Mexico Beach. It is natural image taken with my camera, not the drawing. The only things I did I slightly increased the contrast and put the name in the top-left corner. And for the convenience, I also created the second image where I connected the stars with lines to make it easily to see the specific Scorpio's shape reminding old-fashioned ladies' fan. Besides that, I marked the main star : Antares. Actually, Antares has intensive red color, but it came out white on the image...

Have a nice day !