Steve’s Nature Journal

North of East White Rocks

High Tide, Grassy Island, Norwalk Islands

Another morning exploring the Norwalk Islands by kayak, this time at high tide.  Oystercatchers everywhere (and oystermen).  This was my first time on Grassy Island, which does not appear to have a lot of photogenic features.  My presence was very upsetting to a pair of willets.  I am very used to seeing them in Florida […]

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

  We’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of these song sparrows around.  Pretty unassuming appearance, but boy can they sing!

East White Rocks

More Norwalk Islands

The Norwalk Islands have become my summer project.  Sailing or paddling to them and taking photographs.  I’ve also set up a website: http://norwalkislands.com.

Goose Island with Cormorants

Goose Island, Long Island Sound

I went sailing with Jalna and Dave, and the wind brought us to Goose Island, then back to Cockenoe.  More oystercatchers, herring gulls and blacked gulls.

American Oystercatchers

Cockenoe Island, Long Island Sound

Cockenoe is one of the Norwalk Islands, the furthest north of all, and an easy paddle from Sprite Island, my home base.  Right from the start, there were a surprising number of oystercatchers to be seen, and I would guess that there are between 30 and 50 of them on Cockenoe.  This seems like a […]

Deer in the rain

Rainy Afternoon at Myakka

We headed out to Myakka’s Bee Island with thunder showers looming and were treated to some great cloud drama, in addition to wet clothes!  In the wildlife category, there were many frog calls including cricket frogs, and we had a couple of night hawks hunting overhead.  I was also surprised by the number of bobwhites […]

Tied up in Oscar Scherer

South Creek Paddle, Sarasota

I went on a paddle on South Creek with John Sarkozy of the American Littoral Society.  We started at Blackburn Point across from the Casey Key Fish House and went up into Oscar Scherer Park.  The creek is lined with oaks (live, laurel, sand live) and slash pines.  The highlight of the trip was John, […]

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Myakka Plants & Wildflowers

Another venture into the Myakka outback with Paula Benshoff.  This was to an isolated part of the park south of SR72.  Along with see a variety of new plants and flowers, I was happy to get some shots of an annoyed Swallow-tailed Kite, and we saw a Pygmy Rattler under foot.

Hanging Out

Nanday Parakeets at Turtle Beach

I admit that I’m obsessed with these local exotics that you can hear all around Sarasota. I caught this mating pair in the act in a little more photogenic spot than my typical phone wires.  I also spotted one guy with a hole in a telephone pole. These birds are so clever, I wouldn’t be […]

Scarlet Skimmer

Dragonflies at Red Bug Slough

It’s amazing what you can see if you a) pay attention and b) go out with someone who knows something!  We saw more than twenty species of dragonflies and damselflies at Red Bug Slough this morning, guided by Don and Kathy Hess. Some things I learned are: Damselflies are generally smaller and have eyes sticking […]

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