Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hangin' With Mom & Dad

If you read my blog you will know that this is my fearless eighty two year old mother. Whenever I suggest an outing to see something interesting, she says " I want to go." Here she is at the headwaters of the Wacissa River, the river I want my ashes scattered into when I shuffle off this mortal coil.

This is what you see when you first leave the obat landing. This was a fun weekend. We had a nice meal out last night. Today, I shopped with my mom and looked at dogs, and we visited the river so she could see what I enjoy. Dad stayed at home and read his books but he will probably come to the river next time when he sees these photos.
Mom's spotting of the first summer pileated woodpecker. They have been off having babies and only now seem to be returning to hang around the banks.
Here is a little green heron that landed in a tree near us and then flew off to look for morning kippers. This is a view of the river from the boat landing area at the headwaters.

I pointed out to mom what the pileated woodpeckers sound like when they fly into an area and she then spotted this one right near the boat landing. I haven't gotten a close up photo all summer but mom spotted this one immediately. She said, "It's amazing what you can see if you just stay quiet and pay attention. "

We also had a lovely dinner at home and mom and I went for a good swim at the motel pool. Peggy joined us for dinner and she was excellent company. I gave her the steak dinner she won with her fish jumping photo. Maybe tomorrow I'll get back out on the river....stay tuned

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Stella Guitars

Saturdays are precious. Today I am messing with the Ipod my dad gave me. I have been burned out on playing music for the past few months, but thankfully I feel the need coming back. I'm also checking the fig trees impatiently, and thinking about cutting the backyard and digging some more on the pond.
I also took a photo of the Stella guitars I have been collecting lately. Here are four of them. Aren't they pretty? Stella was the guitar of choice for blues musicians at the turn of the century when they were sold by Sears for a small price. They are still very inexpensive if you know where to find them and I do. I love playing them.
I may have another one somewhere but I haven't located it yet! I have to have a musical garage sale soon because the house is filling up with instruments. Nathan says, "No more guitars!" I'll take a photo of my autoharp collection soon!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th, at Last!

We made a new friend on the Wacissa today...She has lived all her life in the Waukeenah area and knows the river well. What a joy to have a local gal with us! Because hitchhiker is so familiar with the river, we went much farther than we have in the past. This was a record breaking paddle on the Wacissa! We spent more than eight hours floating way down past Cedar Island, past Burn-Out and almost to the dam. I worked on my flying pictures with Peggy's help.

This is Rock-Pile. It is a lovely place to get out and swim. Janice suggested it and it was delightful! She was in a sit-upon Pelican which I really liked. Peggy's Mystic is in the background. I brought up the rear all day since I had the Mainstream, which I can slide all the way into the van with little trouble. But it is not the boat for a long float since it is slow and steady going upriver. A little more anticipation would have had us with enough lunch and more water, but impulsivity got the better of us when we got the chance to see more of this beautiful river.

I was also stopped by the cops! A nice wildlife officer named Stefanie did a safety check which we both passed, of course. You can see that picture on Paddletales.
The tricolored herons have been more numerous lately. Tricolored herons don't seem very skittish to me and the photos seem easier to get.

This nimble purple gallinule was high stepping about as we made our way south.

The baby gators are out and about now and this juvenile got a coloring from my Zoom Browser to make his sunbath more dramatic! We saw a lot of small and medium gators today, especially downriver. Janice also showed us the biggest turtle I have seen in the river; almost like a sea turtle, it was so big!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Piney Z Lake Colony

This has been a very long week thus far and it's only Wednesday! I couldn't wait until my next scheduled paddle with Peggy on Friday morning. I had to go out. Piney Z Lake is only 6.8 miles from my home and I like to paddle it in the winter, for the most part. It is mainly a runoff lake and is silty and not for swimming. So , even though it is filling with North Americal Lotus blooms which should be out in a few weeks, it is hot and just for paddling, fishing, and shooting bird photos.

But I knew there was a colony on the dredge thicket in the middle of the lake and I had to get out on the water today. It was 7:15pm before I returned home from OPP's. I checked the figs and only found one ripe one, which I popped into my mouth!
The Ford has a dead battery and I haven't had time to jump it so I loaded the yellow boat into the van and set out for an hour long paddle on Piney Z. I finished up just as the 8:45pm CSX freight train blew its whistle as it crossed the Weems Road trestle!
Maybe this spectacular colony will finally persuade Peggy to paddle this lake with me! The photos aren't that sharp. It was dusk and I was excited with all the birds flying around me while I cut through a sea of feathers on the water.

The bird noise was magnificent. I even ignored the many little green herons along the thicket as I zeroed in on the colony. This lake really is a birder's paradise in all weather.... A fine ending to a long day....This may not be the best photo shoot, but its sure the most!

Monday, July 09, 2007

More Withlacoochee River Images

I finally hooked up my fast internet connection and to celebrate I am adding some photos
from the last Withlacoochee float with Peggy. I have been visiting the parental units and since it rained every day at high tide in south Florida, I haven't been kayaking for a while now. I am hoping to get out tomorrow, though. This is my fish jumping pciture. It isn't as good as Peggy's and she won the steak dinner but I will be working on them! I will also be adding to my riverbirds blog and perhaps starting another one with only family photos.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Spring's Progeny

Earlier in March, I photographed a pair of red-shouldered hawks. They built a nest in the same tree, which is an oak on the north side of my home, and their progeny has now fledged. The little hawk still stays close to his home and here he is next door on the boy's basketball backboard. He was being divebombed by the Mississippi kites and he finally became annoyed and flew off. It reminded me of all the play that goes on around this hoop when the human boys are out! My son came home from his night job as I was taking pictures.