Fishermen at Sunset

I’m attracted to scenes of fishermen, as well as sunsets, because they are timeless. Fishermen, like farmers, go back to Biblical times — those simple days when one fished to feed the family or to make a living. This scene invites me to imagine a time before cars and highways, let alone today’s industries and the World Wide Web.

A sunset? That’s a scene that has repeated itself since the planets were formed, even before humans walked the Earth.

Perhaps the persistence of the fisherman and the sunset through the ages makes me feel peace when I observe and photograph this quiet scene, in Naples, Florida.

#sunset, #fishermen, #orange, #naples, #florida, #pelicanbay, #peaceful, #orangeandblue
Fishermen in silhouette before the sunset over the Gulf in Naples, Florida.

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.

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.

“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.

“What alligator?”

I attribute this quote to the great blue heron on the left in this photo. The heron seems rather oblivious to the enormous alligator chomping on a fish right in front of him.

In fact there is a thick assembly of birds here in what remains of Lettuce Lakes in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary as a result of the current drought in south Florida. This small lake is the only wet spot in the entire swamp, and the tension between these birds is evident. The white egrets are continually squawking at one other to move over and yield territory. See the two on the right with outstretched wings?

#blueheron, #alligator, #corkscrew, #egret, #lettucelakes, #florida, #drought, #wildlife, #nature
Does the great blue heron even see the big American Alligator? Good news: the blue heron survived, and the alligator swam over to the bank to get some sun.

In this image, I can count 7 great white egrets, two great blue heron, a wood stork, a roseate spoonbill and two snowy egrets — one of which is sitting on the alligator’s long tail. There were many more birds in the tree and nearby in the lake.  Crowding the lake and fishing aggressively, these birds are a dramatic illustration of the strain on the food supply caused by the drought.

Tomorrow I am off to Shark Valley in the Everglades again to capture some more wildlife. Stay tuned to this  blog space!

What Lies Ahead

On a morning walk in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, you never know what lies ahead. One time, a Florida Panther jumped onto this stretch of boardwalk. Other days a Burmese python was sighted just below in the swamp. Most likely, you will see a dozen or more species of birds and some alligators. I was not disappointed as I entered the cypress forest.

#corkscrew, #swamp, #santuary, #naples, #florida, #nature, #birdwatching, #vertical, #sony
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is an active nature preserve near Naples, FL.