Thursday, May 31, 2012

SWF>>>Backyard sunset

I am linking up with Skywatch Friday

These are a few shots from my backyard and from one of my prettier sunsets last week.

These photos have a lot in common..... the color blue. From the Bluejay on my deck to the blue and pink sky and a Great Blue Heron flying over my yard on its way to the nest.

I keep trying to get a better shot of my heron in flight but by the time I see it flying over my house it disappears into the trees.


Earlier in the day I saw these cool patterns of these white puffy clouds. I enjoy sitting on my deck and watching clouds roll by.

One of my simple pleasures is to see the sky and clouds turn this pretty pink color.


I hope you enjoyed my skies and post. To see more beautiful skies from around the world visit Skywatch Friday.

Thanks to the host of Skywatch: Sylvia and Sandy. Thanks, also for stopping by and for the lovely comments.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Black-faced Grassquit

I am linking up with World Bird Wednesday and Nature Notes

This bird is one of my latest lifers from Curacao..the Black-faced Grassquit. Weird name but a very cute bird. It is considered a Tanager and is known to breed along the coast of Venezuela. The male is olive green above and has a black head and breast. The female and the immature are dull olive-gray and paler gray underparts.




The Black-faced Grassquits feed mostly on seed of grasses and weeds. When I saw them they were chowing down at the sugar feeder.



I was happy to be able to see both the male and female. Above the female is perched on the sugar feeder with the Bananaquits. I know professional photographers prefer to take photos of the birds in more natural surroundings. But, being a birder I am into seeing a new bird where ever it maybe... even on the feeders.

I have been busy working during the week and going on weekend daytrips and family get togethers I have not updated my lifer list. I must do that soon I am really behind.

To see more beautiful birds from around the world check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday  And for some nature scenes please visit Michelle's  Nature Notes.

Thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle for hosting Nature Notes. I also appreciate everyone who stops by to see my post. I wish you all a great week and happy birding.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shenandoah National Park

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday and Our World Tuesday

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend.

These photos are from another recent day trip my hubby and I took to Shenandoah National Park. The park is one of our favorite places to visit . We enjoyed hiking on some trails and driving along the Skyline Drive. I recently heard on the news that the National Parks are trying to get young people unplugged and outdoors visiting the National Parks. They are saying the average age of a National Park visitor is 54 well that is pretty close to hubby's and my age of 55. It is being said that there may not be enough young people to care about National Parks to keep them going. Now, that sounds really sad to me. I know hubby and I took our son to many National Park during our travels over the years. I am hoping my son appreciates and loves the National Parks as much as hubby and I.



The shots above are from one of my favorite trails..it is called the Limberlost trail. Here we saw amazing numbers of the Chestnut-sided warblers. Quite a few American Redstarts were also bouncing around in the trees. The wildflowers and butterflies were a beautiful sight to see. I also saw some Canada Warblers but those photos were blurry. These warblers bounce around so fast it is hard to catch any of them still enough for a good photo.

I was amazed at the numbers of the Chestnut-sided Warblers we were seeing. Above you can make out the pretty chestnut side, but can not see the top of its head which has a yellow crown and bordered by black.


Some of the wildflowers seen along the Limberlost trail.

Above are some of the pretty pink wild azaleas, a tiger swallowtail butterfly, a view from the Rangeview overlook, the Appalachian trail and a Catbird. We also saw and heard many Indigo Buntings and Scarlet
Tanagers.



The American Redstart one of the common bird seen along the Limberlost trail.

A view of the Big Meadow located in the middle section of Shenandoah Nat'l Park on the Skyline Drive.

I hope you enjoyed our Shenandoah visit...it is one of the many National Parks that we love.

To see more wonderful mosaics and photos please visit Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday
Thanks to Mary the host of Mosaic Monday  and to the hosting group of Our World: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Curacao's Sea Aquarium

I am linking up with Camera Critters

Gee, I know you are saying... REALLY .... more photos from Curacao. But, I have not posted about our visit to Curacao's Sea Aquarium. It was a great time, we enjoyed the dolphins, the sea lions and all the sea critters in the aquarium's tanks.   I love dolphins, they are so smart and so darn cute.

The Dolphin's were a major part of our visit to the aquarium. The show and watching the dolphin encounters were just wonderful.


If you wanted to you could pay extra to do the dolphin encounter. The aquariums trainers teach the visitors how to train the dolphins with the hand signals.

My eyes were everywhere, watching the dolphin show and than checking out the pelican grooming itself. I love the Pelicans just as much as the dolphins.

These two are just adorable, they look like they are smiling and laughing.


One dolphin had a baby swimming close by.


The Pelicans are free to come and go, I guess they like to stick around for the free fish.

 We took a break from the sun and had a bite to eat, this ground dove was nearby the restaurant.

This Pelican is waving goodbye for now.

I hope you enjoyed my dolphin critters and pelicans. To see more beautiful critters
please check out  Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting and thanks for stopping by to see my post.

 I hope everyone is having a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SWF>>Curacao

I am linking my skies up with Skywatch Friday.

These are more Curacao skies. On this day we watched the Frigatebirds at the Sea Aquarium in Curacao. I also posted about the Magnificent Frigatebrds on my post below.  It was another beautiful sky and a gorgeous day on the island.  We enjoyed watching the birds and watched some tourists who paid for a dolphin encounter.

Above, one of the aquarium trainers was feeding the sharks when the frigatebirds flew over his head looking for hand outs. The water is so clear even from a distance you can see the sharks swimming near the trainer.

 The visitors were taught how to train the dolphins with hand signals. It was neat just to watch, the dolphins seemed very eager to show off too. I will do another critter post on more of the dolphins.


This was a cool aquarium to visit, with it being right next to the ocean.

The Pelicans were also hanging around the aquarium, they must all know where to get the free and easy food. At the aquarium, I also saw Terns, more of the Bananaquits and a Green Heron.

The frigatebirds were coming close the trainers hand for the fish.

The blue sky along with the pretty water color makes for a gorgeous scene.

 back at our hotel we took a walk along the beach toward the Hilton which was just about next door to our place. This is actually looking back at our resort and hotel.


Back at our resort, we watched the sunset. This was probably the cloudiest day we saw while on our vacation.

A combination of the skies reflection and the resort had these lights that changed colors and reflection pink light on the sand.


I hope you enjoyed my skies and to see more gorgeous skies from around the world
Please visit Skywatch Friday.  Thanks to Sylvia and Sandy. Also, thank you for stopping by to see my post.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Magnificent Frigatebirds

I am linking up my Magnificent Bird with World Bird Wednesday  and Nature Notes




The Magnificent Frigatebirds are a common birds seen in the Caribbean. It is fun to watch them climb high in the thermals and then descend close to the sea. They feed mainly on fish and take their meals in flight never landing in the sea.



The females are black and have a white breast and the males are all black.




The juveniles have a white head and underparts.



We saw many of these Magnificent Frigatebirds in Curacao, they were also very common in Panama.

To see more beautiful birds check out Springman's World Bird Wednesday   and Nature Notes.
Thanks to Springman for hosting World Bird Wednesday and to Michelle the host of Nature Notes.

Thanks also for stopping by to see my post, I appreciate the visits. I hope everyone has a great week.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Birding Bombay Hook and Delaware

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday  and  Our World Tuesday

I have been posting so many photos from my trip I have been ignoring other outings I have been on since being home. We visited the Delaware shore and the Bombay Hook NWR the weekend of the Super Moon.


 Above Bonaparte's Gulls, Dowitchers, Super Moon, Swallow at the Dupont Nature Center, last bottom right more Dowitchers.




The mating season of the horseshoe crabs happens during the spring full moon when the tides are high. The female horseshoe crab will dig a hole in the sand and deposit her eggs and then the male will fertilize the eggs with his sperm. Nature is cool. Somehow the migrating shorebirds, especially the Red Knots find their way to the Delaware shore to feast upon these horseshoe crab eggs. Apparently, the birds know the schedule better than I. We were a few days to a week early to see the large count of shorebirds. But, I was happy to see all the Dunlins with their spotted black bellies, the Ruddy Turnstones, Dowitchers and hundreds of gulls.



 From a distance it was hard trying to id all the smaller shorebirds mixed in with the gulls. But, I did see a few Red Knots, Ruddy Turnstones and lots of Dunlins.



During this visit we also make a quick stop at the Bombay Hook NWR. The wildflowers looked beautiful and enjoyed seeing more birds.

The Yellow Crowned Night Heron  was seen near the Black Crown Night Heron rookery. The BC Night Herons were perched in trees between the leaves so it was difficult to see them much less take any photos. I did count at least 7 BC Night Herons but I am sure there were many more.

 The wild irises were gorgeous.


We saw many BC Night herons, Great Egrets, GB Herons, Snowy Egrets,  along with Dowitchers and more Dunlins.


Back at home we were able to see the full moon setting over our lake.


To see more wonderful mosaics and photos please visit Mosaic Monday  and Our World Tuesday. 
Thanks to Mary for hosting Mosaic Monday and thanks to the hosting group at Our World Tuesday: Arija, Gattina, Lady Fi, Sylvia and Sandy.

Also, thanks for stopping by to see my post and I hope everyone has a great week ahead.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A variety of critters

I am linking up my post with Camera Critters

Oh, yes I still have more photos of Curacao birds and critters. These are some the critters and birds I saw while we took our open jeep tour of the park.



 On the way to the caves we passed by these cows. They seemed to be use to people and just ignored us.

One of Curacao's cows.

Our tour included a visit to a cave called Kueba di Brua also known as the Witchcraft cave? Besides seeing  the stalagmites and the stalactites we saw bats.

Above, you can see the bats hanging from the ceiling of the cave.



 I was not touched by a bat but some flew very close to my head. It was very tempting to go running from the cave batting my head and tripping over something on the cave's floor. My hubby who is use to caving was not bothered by the bats and I really didn't want to look like a sissy scared of the bats.
LOL another thought hit me, I wasn't the one holding the flashlight to find my way out of the cave. So I gave in and just started taking photos of the cave and the bats just like the others in our small tour group.
 I do not mind when they fly all around my head at home when I am out on our deck.

Whew, back outside the caves we had fun watching these lizards.

Back in the jeep we rode thru this farm seeing lots of goats along the way. Our guide paid the farmer a fee to let the Jeep out of his farm. I guess you could call it an entrance fee but we paid as we left.


Next stop was the park, while we were having a picnic lunch I was able to check out the birds. Above are the Ground Dove, a few Bananaquits and the Rufous-collared Sparrows. These birds were chowing down on the sugar that spilled out of the feeder hanging above.


For some reason, Curacao's Yellow Warblers looked so much brighter than the Yellow Warblers I see at home. Not sure why? Maybe its the sugar.

I hope you enjoyed my critters post and do not mind more of my Curacao trip photos. I do appreciate your visits and comments.

To see more cute and beautiful critters please visit Camera Critters.  Thanks to Misty Dawn the host of Camera Critters.

I hope everyone has a safe and HAPPY weekend!