Nature Week

Why not something different for Thanksgiving week? Enough with humans for a while. Let’s do nature. Share anything you like. I’m still on my Florida kick. Yes, we screw up our elections, but there’s still plenty to celebrate in my home state.

by electrocowboy
(For uninterrupted viewing of this high resolution film, click play then pause for about 5 min. to let it download — Click the square bottom right for full screen)

61 thoughts on “Nature Week

  1. “there was a boy, a strange enchanted boy…
    who wandered very far, very far over land and sea…”

  2. unable to pull up and post johnny ray’s “nature boy” (or even spike jones spoof of same). too bad cause it would fit right into poobah’s wild florida thanksgiving adventures.

  3. Near the mouth of the Russian River the Osprey’s live in Condos.

    We have a lot of fauna along the river that is fun to watch as you paddle by in a kayak river otters, turtles
    and lots and lots of birds

  4. The manatee and legends about mermaids have been around for thousands of years. On January 9, 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids”--in reality manatees--and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” No kidding! I see manatees all the time when I am fishing salt water from piers and shore.

    Cold snaps push up manatee count in Kings Bay
    By Ferdinand Zogbaum, Bay News 9, November 18, 2012

    CRYSTAL RIVER — The recent cold weather means manatees have already started migrating to Kings Bay. So officials are taking steps to ensure they stay safe.

    Hundreds of manatees come to Kings Bay in Crystal River to stay warm when the temperature drops. During a recent count from the air, U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials spotted 213 manatees in the Bay, which is a lot for this early in the year.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say they don’t usually see these kinds of numbers until late November.


  5. This is a video of someone’s annual adventure to Crystal River, Florida. This is an awesome spot to visit in the winter time since there are Manatees everywhere.

    With the guide from Divers Incorporated, this is way more of an experience than most people bargain for. It is incredible to interract with these creatures and learn more about them in their own environment.

  6. Some Florida birds are really clever--like the osprey that we’ve been talking about last couple of days. Other birds, such as the Great Blue Heron, while magnificent in its majestic plumage, certainly deserves the appellation ‘bird-brain’.

    Case in point. The crotchety old Great Blue that would spend hours peering into the shallow waters of our swimming pool waiting for the perfect fish to glide into range.

  7. My very favorite bird is the Kingfisher.
    They are found all over the world. The one found in North America is called the Belted Kingfisher. It’s unusual in the fact that the female is more colorful than the male… it has the rusty belt. It’s also the largest bird which is capable of hovering. It’s found wherever fish are… the ocean, ponds, and streams.

    here’s a short video of it’s diving techniques…

  8. patd,

    unable to pull up and post johnny ray’s “nature boy” (or even spike jones spoof of same).

    You are right. No sign of any renditions of “Nature Boy” for either Johnnie Ray or Spike Jones.


    Nature Boy by the 101 Strings Orchestra -- pretty instrumental version of the song made popular by Nat King Cole in 1948

  9. My favorite Florida wildlife? Non-native “constrictors,” giant snakes which have established breeding populations and are taking over the Everglades. Boas, pythons etc.

    Pet lovers are free to buy these things (the GOP-dominated Florida state government doesn’t like “regulations”). When the snakes get too big, the owners just dump them in the nearest swamp.

    And it’s OK to own venomous snakes, too, so I’m waiting for some nitwit to buy and abandon a pregnant black mamba, generally regarded as the most dangerous poisonous snake in the world.

    Once mambas get established they’ll spread over the entire state, and when that happens you can kiss the tourism industry goodbye, and with it the entire state economy.

    Black Mamba entry on wikipedia…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_mamba

  10. My apologies to Florida. Apparently they have banned non-native snake importation.

    (I got this from the “Reptile News” website.)

    Yesterday, Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed Senate Bill 318, effectively banning the keeping of reptiles of concern in Florida. The new regulations go into effect July 1, 2010, and affect the keeping, breeding, selling and importation of the following species:

    1. Burmese or Indian python (Python molurus)
    2. Reticulated python (Python reticulatus)
    3. African rock python (Python sebae)
    4. Amethystine or scrub python (Morelia amethystinus)
    5. Anaconda (Eunectes)
    6. Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus)
    7. Any other reptile designated as a reptile of concern by the commission

    Until now, the state of Florida has allowed the keeping of the above listed reptiles with proper permits. Those who obtain a permit before the July 1, 2010, deadline will be able to keep their animal for the remainder of its life. Herpkeepers with an anaconda (other than a green anaconda) will have until October 1, 2010, to get a permit. After these deadlines, no more permits will be given out and the possession of these reptiles without permits will not be allowed.

  11. Nash,

    Ever since 2000, I have been concerned about the possibility of snakes in the grass in Florida.
    I guess my concern was valid. ;-)

    You call them constrictors, I just call them republicans.

  12. this is fun, enjoying our nature “trail” — jace the woman talking to the road runner was hilarious — and the nat king cole song brought back memories, my parents were big fans, had a few of his records

    we’re off to Gloucester today for some chilly strolls on glacier rocks!

  13. Until last night I did not realize Flo -rida the rapper
    was not someone named Florence Rider

  14. Jax

    An article from WaPo that adds to your comment the other day

    The shale gas revolution is firing up an old-fashioned American industrial revival, breathing life into businesses such as petrochemicals and glass, steel and toys.

    Consider the rising fortunes of Ascension Parish, La.

    Methanex Corp., which closed its last U.S. chemical plant in 1999, is spending more than half a billion dollars to dismantle a methanol plant in Chile and move it to the parish.

    Nearby, a petrochemical company, Williams, is spending $400 million to expand an ethylene plant. And on Nov. 1, CF Industries unveiled a $2.1 billion expansion of its nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing complex, aiming to displace imports that now make up half of U.S. nitrogen fertilizer sales.

    These companies all rely heavily on natural gas. And across the country, companies like them are crediting the sudden abundance of cheap natural gas for revving up their U.S. operations. Thanks to new applications of drilling technology to unlock natural gas trapped in shale rock, the nation’s output has surged and energy experts almost unanimously forecast that prices will remain low or moderate for a generation.

  15. Marco Rubio is in Iowa.

    This is the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign.

    ARRRGGGHHH!!!!!

  16. So for the next couple of months I’ll be counting the deer in the small herd (9 currently) that use our yard as a thoroughfare/grazing area -- it being the first day of rifle season.

    Jack, if the Key Oil, Hawg Hauling, Halliburton and Schlumberger trucks along with the off gas flames reflected on low hanging clouds are any indication, yes, natural gas is doing just fine. We’re covered up with brine, residual waste …. etc. trucks around here as they access the Marcellus Shale formation. They are drilling and fracking like hell around here -- and of course we still see the “Obama no work zone” billboards and bumper stickers (on the backs of oil/gas field service trucks no less driven by well guys who are making money hand over fist -- well, there companies are) as if Obama admin is killing coal -- rather than natural gas doing the killing.

    And to stay on Poobah’s selected topic, in the spring our trees will be filled with those lovely turkey vultures.

  17. Actually, I think the 2016 campaign began BEFORE the election, when “Hurricane Hero” N.J. Governor Chris Christie was acting so “bipartisan” with Obama.

    2016 GOP field so far: Christie, Rubio, Jindal, (Jeb) Bush.

    Oh, and Newt Gingrich, unless someone in the GOP drives a stake through his heart. (Or does it take a silver bullet?)

  18. Nash, gotta keep looking for the appropriate fictional(?) monster for newtie -- never seen a fat werewolf or vampire -- and I’ve seen lots of werewolf and vampire movies.

  19. Favorite birds: whippoorwills and owls. Love those haunting calls.

    Favorite critters: rabbits, squirrels and whitetail deer. Fewer rabbits around home due to habitat loss and since Dad’s gone the squirrel population is downright scandalous--some of them are big as Blackadder. As for the deer, we have a few small herds that share pasture with the cattle.

    Cutest critters: baby skunks. And listening to their mamas talk to them.

    Oddest critters: something we used to have in abundance, but again, gone due to habitat loss--eastern hognose snakes, which the old people called “spreadnadders”--all one word.

    Critter I most want to see: the elk they’ve released up in the Smokies.

    Critter I’d like to see leave: coyote. Non-native and killers.

    There’s a blue heron comes to the creek about every year, and about once every five years we hear the most ghastly scream, like a woman in mortal fear--a big cat of some description or other wandering through.

    Down in Polk Co. a few years ago we had a fatal black bear attack and, around the same time, an out-of-place alligator that a local cop shot before the wildlife guys could get there--had a running gag going, where’s Brady Barr when you need him?

  20. Jamie,

    We were so fortunate when we found our apartment. We were selling our house in Vegas on our way to the UK, came out ahead on it, used the gain for the down on our pre-construction condo.

    Everything worked out perfectly--a year and a half later Kumcho and I flew back from the UK to close on it Interest rate was 13.5% which was pretty good considering the prime was over 20%.

    Then I got promoted to E-9.

    So our retirement home remained empty and our sunsets unwatched for an extra couple of years. We let it sit empty because… That’ll be thirty years ago next August.

  21. Faire, you sure that scream wasn’t a screech owl? I heard what I thought was a woman being brutally accosted when I was camping in the Smokies years back, which considering where I was would have been unlikely at the very least, and when I said something about it the next day to a ranger, he said that was probably what it was.

    We get a Great Blue most years who stops by the local river and hangs out for a while below the dam near my house, presumably eating his fill of little fish. I thought he had met his demise last year when I didn’t see him, but he was back this year. I guess he stopped at the dam a mile down or up the river last year (there’s one of each).

    Most of our wildlife is either birds or deer, although we get our share of raccoons, shitloads of squirrels the occasional skunk, I’ve seen a copperhead near the garage, and toads. We also have moles or something like them, but hey, I only see evidence of their presence. Not sure what got the dog’s attention last night, but about midnight when I let her back in she looked like she had visited the groomer and had gotten a mohawk.

  22. The proposed fiscal cliff “deal” that is emerging…

    If the GOP will agree to (A) tax increases for the rich, Obama and the “blue dog” (conservative) Democrats will agree to (B) cut Social Security and Medicare.

    Liberal Democrats will be outraged because there is strong public support for (A) but NOT for (B).

    If Obama was willing to be tough he could get a better deal, but he’ll probably wimp out and do the cuts.

    This is due to his strange idea about his “legacy.” Obama seems to have distain for traditional “liberalism” and often (but not always) jumps at the chance to go along with the conservative agenda. I think Obama sees his legacy as being the most “bi-partisan” of all the Presidents.

  23. If FDR had been “bi-partisan,” the “Great Depression” would still be with us.

    If Abraham Lincoln had been bi-partisan, the South would still have slaves.

    And if George Washington had been bi-partisan, before each meal, we’d be toasting the health of “Elizabeth II, our Queen.”

  24. Poobah, FL is the only place I’ve ever seen a coral snake in the wild. And another beautiful snake i saw there is an Eastern Indigo snake -- absolutely gorgeous -- and damned long. The one I saw must have been close to 6′.

    I forgot to mention red foxes -- we do have some of them around. That could be what got the dog going last night.

  25. Living with Florida Black Bears

    Yes, we have bears in Florida! The Florida black bear is a unique subspecies of the American black bear and is the state’s largest land mammal. Black bears once ranged throughout Florida but now live in several fragmented areas across the state.

    This 15 minute video discusses the ecology and behavior of the Florida black bear and how people can coexist with them.

    For more information Click Here.

  26. Solar,

    Re yours of 12:10am. My critique is that you claim Israel is taking water from the Litani River, whereas your ‘proofs’ only show that 55 years ago a leading Israeli politician daydreamed about the Litani as the border.

    So, where is your proof that the Israelis are

    1. taking Litani water?

    The IDF crossed over the Litani twice in the last 30 years, and both times returned to the old border.

    Let’s look at an analogue. Bob says he intends to collect the Powerball Jackpot. To that end, Bob buys a ticket. The next night the number on his ticket comes up, but Bob intentionally tosses his ticket into his red hot firepit.

    Years later Bob buys a second Powerball ticket and the next night his number is picked a second time. Once again, Bob burns his winning Powerball ticket in his fire pit.

    2.a. Does Bob really intend to collect the Powerball Jackpot ?

    2.b. Can the Israelis really plan to take the Litani, when they keep giving it back ?

  27. the appropriate fictional(?) monster for newtie

    pogo & nash, would a gargoyle do?

    faire & pogo, that hideous bloodcurdling scream could have been a fisher cat (not a cat nor a fisher) whose main prey are porcupine. so you can see their voice equals their toughness.

  28. I like the Florida Key Deer, the collie-sized White-tailed Deer. There’s not much to eat on them, though.

    I like Muscovy Ducks, Eagles, Egrets, Herons, Bitterns, Sandpipers, Killdeer, and Kingfishers. Boattail Grackles and Black Buzzards leave me cold.

    Gustitorially speaking, I go for War Mouths, Black Bass, Snook, Red Drums, Black Drums, Groupers, King Fish, Tilapia, and Sea Bass. Snakefish are over-rated. But, the best of these are Snook and Red Drums.

    Geckos and Anoles are interesting. Water Moccasins thrill me in the wrong way.

    Sea Turtles are wonderful ! Leatherbacks, Hawkbills, Loggerheads, etc. They’re all good.

    The local Armadillos can carry Leprosy. Whatever happens, don’t let one sneeze on you.

  29. Nash, maybe, but LP is into The Walking Dead. Not too many cherubic figures among them, either. Now there was some movie or cartoon about a giant marauding baby (it may have been a balloon) that really, if you squint just so, bears a distinct resemblance to Newt.

  30. Pogo,

    While venturing to various fishing spots, my son and I have encountered coral, rattle and pigmy rattle snakes plus a wide variety of non-poisonous snakes. I have even crossed paths with a fake coral snake that is non-poisonous. One of the first things we learned when we moved to Florida was “when red meets black you are OK jack, when red meets yellow you are a dead fellow.” It can save your life.

  31. Nature in the Hood

    Lots of squirrels here but fewer than used to be. It seems that Jake the cat has a taste for raw meat and has found out that squirrel tastes mighty fine. If h can catch a squirrel then he can catch rats too so Jake is my kind of cat.
    Now if he would only catch that Ground hog that ate all of my lettuce last spring.
    There are lots of empty houses for the coons to tear into and occupy and they do. It is a freindly neighborhood for them as many people have dogs and they leave food for them outside. When the dogs come in for the night to stay where it is warm the possums and coons drop in form a quick meal.
    No rattle snakes or screaming panthers. But we did have a doe wander up the street a couple years ago. She must have liked the way the wife naturalized the front yard, screening it from the street, because the deer walked across in front of our house along the path that the wife made for the mailman. Actually she just formalized the one the mailman made for himself.

    Jack

  32. On the subject of wildlife in the Hood

    Bo and I just stepped outside where we encountered another bit of wild life in the hood. The police helicopter. It was buzzing fast overhead and as I looked up Bo did too. He immediately decided that it was worth a chase so he headed to the corner where all the squirrels get away from him as they run down the telephone cable in back. and sure enough by the time it flew over it went over that corner of the yard and escaped. But just like with the squirrels I’m certain he believes, “one day………”

    Bo is a 7lb Maltese and he firmly believes he is a lot bigger dog than he appears.

    Jack

  33. XR, The Florida Key Deer are small and not afraid of people.


    Florida Keys “Key deer”

  34. Jack,

    I have a serious quirrel problem. The dog across the back fence died of over eating. We used to have a small tribe of russian blue cats, but i think they may have died from over eating too.

    Some Hmong boys on the next street used to come around with sling shots, hoping to knock pigeons off the church eaves. Icome out the front door and the kids would run. Probly thought I was a ‘Get off my lawn’ kinda guy. I just wanted to ask them to slay squirrels instead of pigeons, Pleeeeeaaasse.
    Sigh.
    So,

  35. so….I’m thinking hard about nature….and visions of me old pup Poupon d’Fleur came up about how she used to frolic in the seasons. She was a young dog for a good many seasons and then she started looking for a place to give up the ghost. Her dad was a malamute and her mom was an australian cattle dog. Parents got loose in a kennel, etc. that same sordid old tale.

    Poupon was a full breed half-malamute half australian cattle dog…..she was a joy to behold……she could clear a five foot chain link fence in a single bound and she could raise all sorts of invective if the price was not right.

  36. In my last post, I think I referredto Jim Davis but I meant Jim Wallis.

    I love a cardinal best because I remember seeing them fly across a snowy field, but I do love all birds. One day at my sister’s, I was amazed to see a
    sea gull hovering over the field…so I checked and it was a black-tailed kite. Cool. Then two years ago,
    when we were on some rocks at Pinecrest Lake, I noticed a pair of osprey flying around and then shooting off away from another bird, a bald eagle.
    That was pretty neat.

    Here in Santa Rosa we’re not far from some low hills, home to lots of deer and cougars. The latter
    do kinda scare me. One crossed my path when I was driving in the sierra one night, and the thought crossed my mind that I’d betterhide, before I realizedI was in my car!

  37. got her in nashville in 1980. there was a lot of that old call of the wild in that little girl. She was on the road with us, what we call the many motels of america owned by people from waaaay overseas, from there thru Denver, Florida, and back to SC where she died in the backyard of the ancestral abode and was buried where asphalt must soon be poured.

    and she knew from day one….how to be quiet.

  38. when i refer to the old ancestral abode I must say that I’m being a bit facetious about the cinderblock home that the old man built in ’56. the actual ancestral abode is in Merriwether county georgia where we got the family cemetary on the list of cool old shit….be that as it may, the dog is buried behind the old block house which is currently the nice abode for 3 families of mexicanos.

    and that’s what i like about the south.

  39. Purple In Tampa,

    Thanks for the Key Deer video. They are so delicate looking, you’d think those legs couldn’t hold up the bodies. Besides humans and their vehicles, I suppose these little guys are in danger from the constrictors.

  40. I saw a badger one day last summer, and was starting to think kind thoughts about them. Then I read that a missing person, one of the little people, had been found. He was dead and inside a badger’s sett, half-eaten.

    Badgers are now on my shift list.

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