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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh What a Beautiful Day! (Updated)

For the first time in a long time we had a lovely day, so nice that Charles & I had breakfast out on our deck--a simple pleasure we particularly enjoy. In the afternoon we headed out for a hike--like everyone else, apparently. There was nowhere to park at Northlake, so we went to Fontainebleau State Park (again.) It seems that all things happen for a reason, and there was much to see. Click to enlarge, as always.

Along the paths in the woods...

A Northern harrier. (I'm currently working on a painting based on this photo.) (Update, Apr. 13, 2010; The painting is done.)

Moss growing on bricks (macro.)

A Northern mockingbird.

Dozens of yellow-rumped warblers.

A male red-bellied woodpecker, looking into what might be a nesting hole. (There were red-headed woodpeckers around, as well.)

Out around the marsh...

One of a few groups of turtles.

Some kind of snake.

A few of probably thousands of minnows.

One of several pied-billed grebes.

A couple of large bowfins (this one was already partly under the boardwalk--sorry.)

My first sighting of a common moorhen (with another pied-billed grebe in the background.)

An oddly straight & rainbow-looking blade of grass in the marsh.

A marsh menace, one of at least 2 invasive nutria

A huge brown pelican (our state bird & a conservation success story,) was diving for fish.

Some of many American coots.

On downloading this shot of random wood at home later, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I'd inadvertantly snapped a photo of an American alligator (our state reptile & another conservation success story.)

There were also red-winged blackbirds, American robins and Carolina chickadees, most of which were heard but not seen. Afterwards we went to Taquaria Noria, where I had a "La Noria" salad that was a feast for all of the senses. If you live on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, you must have one!


YogaforCynics said...

Beautiful pics...and it must be nice to be able to actually identify wildlife...I generally avoid captions since they'd be along the lines of "bird" "other kinda bird" etc....

Barrie said...

my favorite is the minnows. Although all the photos are beautiful.

kyungmee said...

beautiful images!! It must have been wonderful!! It was pretty good here too:) The weather reminds me of spring to come!

mick said...

That was a beautiful day and your photos helped me to see it all. I especially liked the woodpecker checking out the nesting hole

eileeninmd said...

Looks llike you had a wonderful outing see some great birds. Congrats on your moorhen sighting. It would be a new bird for me too.

√ Abraham said...

It was a turn of fate, I guess, as it looks like you got plenty to see and photograph on this trip. Maybe the one you had wanted to go on would not have produced so many different animals.

Laurie said...

I love the one of the grebe. Terrific photos, and thank you so much for identifying them for us.

Maria Berg said...

Thank you for taking me wit you on that day out - loved to look at the photos and it did almost feel like I was there.
I love looking at good photos of nature and especial the animals.

here is still snow and I really want the spring to come.

Maria Berg, Sweden

Dave Coulter said...

What a great series of shots. I'm esp. impressed by your harrier - a bird I've yet to see myself! Send some of those warblers north, OK?
It was nice up here as well. Glad you two were able to enjoy it :)

troutbirder said...

I love nature walks. And really enjoyed coming along one your as well. Thanks for sharing!

troutbirder said...

oops I do now how to spell....some days

Sarah said...

nice photos! i like to take pictures when i'm out and about but i'm no where near as good as you are. have you been painting lately?

Wren said...

What a great day, and such great photos. I love the photo of the pelican in splash-down.

Travis said...

Those alligators sure are sneaky.

Larry said...

All beautiful images Lana. I would say that is definitely a Red-bellied Woodpecker nesting site and would be coming back to check on it periodically.

What a great day to be out in nature. Thank you for taking us on such an excellent wildlife adventure. Northern Harriers are one of my favorite birds too.

Lana Gramlich said...

Dr. Jay; Thanks. I've been birding (on & off,) since I was about 7, so I've built up a fair bit of knowledge about them. Still learning about a lot of other critters, though (i.e.; the "some kind of water snake," etc.)

Barrie; Thanks!

kyungmee; Thank you. It was a lovely day & the park is always a delight.

mick; I was delighted when the woodpecker landed there--I hadn't noticed the hole before!

eileeninmd; Fontainebleau's a "birding hotspot," according to eBird, so we're never disappointed. I've seen quite a few "first" (for me) birds here over the last 5 months or so.)

Abraham; Yes. Although Northlake's very close by, it's not right on Lake Pontchartrain & the marshes (where much of the local wildlife congregates.) The alligator was a surprise--I didn't think it was warm enough for them yet!

Laurie; Thank you & anytime. :)

Maria Berg; Glad you enjoyed your visit. Sorry about the cold & snow. I used to live in Canada, & I don't miss it!

Dave; Thanks. :) Yes, I imagine the warblers (& all of the other migrants,) will be headed your way anytime now. It's so nice to get out again!

troutbirder; Anytime. I love to show our local natural beauty to the world. :)

Sarah; Thank you! Actually I started a painting of that Northern harrier yesterday (my last work was the Gyrfalcon that won "Best in Show" last month.) All of my other works can be seen on my website, too.

Wren; Thanks. I was delighted to catch the pelican diving. It was SO big I first thought it had to be a heron!

Travis; Indeed! Sneakier than you'd think!

Larry; Thank you. I always love to share. :) Yes, we'll have to pop back over to that nesting hole again, for sure! (Of course, we'll have young'ns in our own yard, as well.)

Johnny Nutcase said...

lots of great birds, but i really love the lichen/moss photo - depth of field looks really nice in that one!

Lana Gramlich said...

Johnny; Thank you! I'm glad you like it.

Chrissy said...

A fabulous set of images Lana, so many things to see. I don't think we could go anywhere locally that we would see such a fabulous mixture of native wildlife. Mind we don't have alligators, turtles or nutria.

NicoleB said...

Well done for spotting all that variety!
You really make me miss Hungary, especially in Spring. That's exactly how it looks there right now, sigh, except for the type of birds of course :D
Thanks for that beautiful walk and the gorgeous birdies!

Abbe Arenson said...

Hey Lana, you know your wildlife is right up my alley, will have to send you some nutria pics from Florida - we will have to compare nutria recipes - (ha ha)
Keep up the beautiful work!

gwendolen said...

So many great sightings. How wonderful to have such biodiversity so close to home. Lovely pix.

TJ Lubrano said...

Hello Lana!! All your photo's are so cool! Thanks for giving a glimpse of what you saw on your walk! It was very nice ^_^!

To answer your question, yes I use watercolors. Winsor & Newton to be exact. In the beginning, I used Talens, but when I switched (got a W&N palette for a very good price!)I truly noticed a difference in pigmentation!
But man! Your techniques in painting are so good! I can definitely learn a thing or 5 from you ^_^. Take care!

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey honey,

LOVE these pictures! So glad the sun is out and you guys had a good day.

photonz said...

Wow Lana, good things are happening and your pictures tell a great story.

photonz said...

Wow Lana, good things are happening and your pictures tell a great story.

fazrul arhan said...

Look very cool. All the pics are so dramatic,love it. Love the way you compose the pics.
And the water snake,wow..i wish can see more. I seldom have chance to see it. Its the most poisoned snake.
The alligator look so quite. I dunno how far the distance when you take the pic,but its amazing.Really artful :)

Rick said...

It must be wonderful to live in a world without graffiti! Wonderful, idyllic photos, Lana.

NatureFootstep said...

seems like quite a day. A lot of variety to watch in that area. Thanks for sharing.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

AWESOME post and shots, Lana!!! Outstanding!!!

Hugs, JJ

Kate S said...

Just breathtaking as always, Lana. And like Yogaforcynics above, one of my first impressions was "How does she know the names of all these things?" Very impressive. :)

sewa mobil said...

charming picture about nature
i really like it

Lana Gramlich said...

Chrissy; Thanks. That's one reason I love this area--it's just SO full of life!

NicoleB; You're welcome & thanks for the comment!

Abbe; Thanks. I actually haven't eaten nutria yet...but I can get Charles' recipe for squirrel! *L*

photonz, gwendolen, JJ & sewa mobil; Thank you. :)

TJ Lubrano; I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for the kind comments!

Michelle; Thank you. It was lonnnnnng overdue!

fazrul; Some of the photos (i.e.; the alligator & the snake,) are a fair distance, using my 300mm lens. Thanks for the kind comment!

Rick; We have graffiti, unfortunately. I just don't immortalize it in my photos. <:\

NatureFootstep; Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the comment!

Kate S; Thanks. I'm still learning about the local flora & fauna, actually, but I had a head start with my lifelong love of birding.

Rick said...

And I love that rainbow blade of grass!

Lana Gramlich said...

Rick; was kind of cool! Thanks. :)

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

I like the moss image. Again, I'll pass on the "some kind of snake".
BTW, my word verification word is "buggre" Thought that was funny.

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