Naples Yacht Club

It’s no wonder that Naples residents are a happy population. With blue skies, warm temperatures and lush landscaping the norm, it’s hard not to wake up happy.  Docked at the Naples Yacht Club pier today is a lovely vessel called “Good Fortune.”

#naples, #florida, #yacht, #sunny, #happy
Friday afternoon at the Naples Yacht Club.

Shapes and Colors of Spring

These yellow bells caught my eye at Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory. Look at the twisted tufts of green leaves at the base of the stem, sprouting like a fountain. At the top of the long stems, the yellow bell shaped flowers almost look like shower heads, topped with another tuft of green leaves. Who designed this flower? Can you name it?

#yellow, #green, #leaves, #bells, #tufts, #curly, #flowers, #nature, #spring, #Phipps, #pittsburgh
Enjoy the shapes and colors of Spring at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania cherry blossoms

Americans associate cherry blossoms with the iconic Tidal Basin in Washington D.C., but they are harbingers of Spring in western Pennsylvania too. On this cherry tree in Edgeworth, white and magenta flowers bloom side by side.

#cherryblossoms, #pennsylvania, #spring, #easter, #selectivefocus, #nikon
White and magenta cherry blossoms herald Spring in western Pennsylvania.

Pelicans’ secret

Did you ever wonder where the pelicans go at night to sleep? Their favorite spot is an island in the bay, safe from land-based predators like raccoons. In this image, shot in Rookery Bay south of Naples, Florida, you can see a large number of pelicans getting settled for the night at sunset.

#sunset, #pelican, #orangeandblue, #rookerybay, #rookeryisland, #mangrove, #goodnight
One Pelican lands on an outside branch as a dozen of them settle in for the night on an island in Rookery Bay, Southwest Florida.

Our boat cut the engine and floated silently, so we could watch the pelicans and other large wading birds settle in on their rookery island. It was a privilege to watch this natural phenomenon up close.

Alligator on the move

As the great blue heron took a giant step back, this large alligator silently swam past. The heron and the gator eyed one another, but the gator seemed to have set his sights on a school of catfish just ahead.

#blueheron, #alligator, #sharkvalley, #swimming, #everglades, #wildlife, #nature
Great blue heron steps back to let the alligator swim past in Shark Valley.

In Shark Valley, there is no shortage of enormous alligators, but most of the time you see them sleeping in the sun in the middle of the day. I enjoy biking the trail in Shark Valley, even though I find the 15-mile loop very tiring.

#alligator, #sleeping, #wildlife, #nature, #everglades, #sharkvalley
Biking Shark Valley today, you may see 100 of these hefty gators.

When the alligators are on the move or sitting near the path, you need to take precautions to stay away from them. If you’d rather not risk a close encounter, you can take the National Park Service tram.

“Feed me, Mama!”

Three young osprey were chirping up a storm, while Mama took a bath in nearby tidal waters and then dried her feathers while perched atop a nearby tree. Finally, Mama Osprey came to the rescue and landed on the nest.

#osprey, #nest, #babies, #cry, #chirp, #hungry, #pelicanbay, #naples, #florida, #wildlife, #birds, #nature
Mother osprey answers the hunger cries of her three babies, landing on the nest at Pelican Bay’s South Beach in Naples, Florida.

With a shutter speed of 1/1000 second, my Nikon D800 froze the action as Mama Osprey landed on her young.

Jewelry for a Palm Tree

The palm trees are pollinating in south Florida, and these bright red berries will be attracting insects, which will carry the pollen from the male to the female parts of the tree.

#palm, #pollination, #spring, #florida, #nature, #trees, #botanical, #garden, #red
Mother Nature is hanging beautiful jewelry on this tall palm tree at the Naples Botanical Garden.