March 22, 2019
I went in search of three very specific things today: An alligator with a dragonfly on his eye, an anhinga on a nest, and a yellow butterfly on a red bottlebrush flower. I didn’t just make this stuff up to torture myself, Mel and I had been to the Sawgrass Lake Park yesterday, without our cameras, and had seen all three of these things. We had purposely left our cameras at home knowing that we would never get a decent walk in if we took them with us. Conversely, we also knew that we would come to regret that decision. And we did. I wanted to go back today to see if there was any chance at all to find what we missed.
First, I went in search of the alligators. Luckily, alligators don’t move very much and they tend to have favorite resting spots, so my chances of finding them again were pretty good. As it turns out, I found three! They were sunning themselves in the water below the boardwalk where I had found two of them yesterday–and there were dragonflies everywhere! All I had to do was wait long enough for one dragonfly to land on one alligator. Luckily, that didn’t take very long. But, the picture didn’t end up being as interesting as I thought it would–mostly because the contrast wasn’t good. Oh well, it was fun trying.
Off to the second thing on my list– an anhinga sitting on a nest. This wasn’t quite as impossible as it sounded either, because, unless the babies in the nest had hatched and flown away since yesterday, mama anhinga would probably still be there–and she was! Click! Click! Click! Got it! On to goal number three: yellow butterflies on a red bottle brush flower.
Once I found my bottle brush plant, I made sure that the sun was behind me and my camera was on the right settings. BINGO!! There they were! Just like they been sent the memo and were expecting me to return for a photo shoot! Click! Click! Click! Later, I found out that the big yellow butterflies are called Cloudless Sulphurs.
Once I had accomplished my three picture tasks, I ran into Mel down on the ground shooting grasshoppers and honey bees with his macro lens. I stayed around for awhile and shot so many nearby butterflies that I had to literally drag myself away so that I wouldn’t end up with 5000 pictures of butterflies that would need sorting later.
Instead I found a Little Blue Heron eating a lizard, a gopher tortoise eating grass and a dragonfly or two enjoying the sunshine.
All in all, a very good day for a picture walk!