Thursday, March 28, 2024

Frankfort North Pier Light


It was another blustery day and I headed to Frankfort to capture the wind and waves bouncing off the lighthouse and pier.  I incorporated the beautiful dunes in some of my photos too.  Even with the clouds, it was a good day for picture-taking.

Monday, March 25, 2024



I hadn’t seen a deer all winter but there’s a neighborhood near Empire where they frequent.  I love seeing these critters!  From the looks of their shaggy coats and the amount of scratching they were doing, I think they’re shedding their winter garb.


Thursday, March 21, 2024


I had a wonderful evening around Empire with friends Don and Diana Burton.  Dinner at Friendly’s.  Sandhill Cranes near the dunes.  The sunset at Empire Beach, which always attracts sunset worshippers.  This night was no exception, even though the temperatures hovered in the thirties.  Where did our spring fling go?

Monday, March 18, 2024


 Blustery winds drew me to the Lakeshore.  Winds from the north brought whitecaps and waves.  Winds from the south only produced chop.  Except for water sounds, the area was quiet.  Both the Glenn Haven Canning Company and the Dune Climb had zero visitors.  I returned with my friends Don and Diana a few evenings later for the sunset.  The dune had one visitor then, a Sandhill Crane silhouetted atop the highest dune.

Thursday, March 14, 2024



Blue skies and warm temperatures beckoned me.  I noticed the grasses around the river had turned golden and the ponds were free of ice.  To my delight, Sandhill Cranes had returned.  I’d never seen them earlier than March 11 and counted ten that day (March 3).  I also caught a bald eagle feasting on prey, something reddish, maybe a fox or deer part.  Lastly, I saw a beautiful ring-necked pheasant making its way through a field.  I felt lucky to find such bounty from my first outing since Florida. 

Monday, March 11, 2024


 It was my last full day in Florida and Mark chose an area new to both of us, The Babcock Webb Wildlife Management Area, only a few miles from Punta Gorda.

The day was hazier than the previous two, but that didn’t take away from the beauty of the area, which was mostly wet pine flatwoods, interspersed with prairies, freshwater marshes, and ponds.

The focal point of Babcock Webb was the 395 acre Webb Lake.  Dispersed throughout the lake were little islands that would’ve made perfect rookery sites.  Despite the lush landscape, we didn’t see many birds. 

I did see a couple Double-crested Cormorants, one in a tree and another on the shoreline.  I love their striking turquoise eye.

I also saw another Anhinga with its wings spread out drying.  From the looks of its stretched out pink gullet, I think it had just speared and swallowed a tasty fish for lunch.  

Despite the dearth of birds at Babcock Webb, I couldn’t leave Florida without taking in a sunset.  

The Punta Gorda beach lies on the south bank of the Peace River and the eastern shore of Charlotte Harbor, an arm of the Gulf of Mexico.

Its brackish waters are a mix of fresh and seawater.  What a lovely sunset!

I made many memories while visiting my brother but my favorite was the photoshoot at the Venice rookery.  I couldn’t resist sharing a few new images of the breading Great Egrets there.

Thanks, Mark, for sharing your birding sites with me.  This spot is really special.

I had a great time taking pictures and seeing your new Florida digs.


Thursday, March 7, 2024



On the second day of my visit, Mark and I went to Myakka River State Park near Sarasota.  The park is one of Florida’s largest and most diverse natural areas.

The river flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands.

A 7-mile scenic drive winds through the park with occasional boardwalks for close-up views of various wetland critters.

Most of the time we stayed in the car because of the gators.

Lots of them.  Signs warned visitors not to approach, frighten, tease or feed them.  No problem.

I loved the shady oak trees with moss hanging from the branches.

They were massive.  For scale, note the person standing on the lower left side.

We saw herons and egrets, but I focused on birds I’d not seen before, like this White Ibis.  

Its curved pink bill and legs are striking.  

I also saw this white Cattle Egret.  We identified it by its small size and  the pale orange-brown patch on its head.  

Mark told me that, after Texas, Florida is the second largest cattle-raising state in the nation. Cattle Egrets sometimes forage at the feet of grazing cattle, or ride on their backs to pick off ticks.

I’d not photographed an Osprey before, although some migrate to Michigan in the summer.  This raptor was quite far away and I caught it in flight.  

Mark got this better close up of the bird as it skimmed low over the land searching for wetland fish.

The last bird I shot that day was this Black-necked Stilt.  Its black upper parts contrasted with its white underparts.  This shorebird is native to Florida and other coastal areas and never makes it north. It was another good day of photographing Florida scenery and wildlife.