Monday, April 10, 2017

Alligators and Vultures.

4-10-17 SHORT HILLS: We got back from Naples yesterday afternoon in time to pick up the dogs, who were incredibly glad to see us even though we had only been away for about 48 hours. Today’s weather here is as nice as Naples was yesterday.

Before we left Naples we all went to the Bird Rookery Swamp Management Unit. [Hopefully, they can come up with a better name.] It’s northeast of Naples in what is usually a swamp, but the rainfall in south Florida has been so scant that the swamp is drying up. There are small, shallow ponds remaining, and the critters congregate at those spots. The twelve mile trail makes a big loop. We did about a mile and half in and back out.

Black vultures were circling overhead almost continuously, two or three dozen and several were clustered around the water holes. There were several Immature white ibises, anhingas, double-crested cormorants, black snakes in the water and on land. And we saw alligators, one mom with about six babies that we saw and one solitary gator. Bald cypress with many knees predominate where we were walking. Unidentified butterflies were admired.

Double-crested cormorant.

Black vultures ominously circling.

Those cypress trees should be 'knee' deep in water.

Immature white ibises and a black vulture.

Momma gator warning us away from....

The kiddies.

Another gator catchin' some rays.

Snake doing laps.

Viceroy butterfly, who did get ID'd, can be confused for a Monarch.

Black vulture.

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