This is Victoria, a night time blooming water lily. The flower opens at dusk releasing a sweet perfume to attract insects. When dawn approaches, the flower closes trapping any insects. The insects wander around looking for a way out which causes the flower to become pollinated. The next evening, the flower opens again and the insects can escape. This is a ten second exposure with a bit of fill from a flash.
A Roseate Spoonbill headed home to his nest at the St Augustine Alligator Farm. There is a rookery at the Farm which is the home for thousands of migrants during the mating season.
I spent several evenings at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm photographing birds. Sometimes I was so overwhelmed, I just stood watching the birds come and go. Some, the Brown Storks and some Great Egrets had already started raising their babies. Other birds were still in the nest building stage. As evening came on, many of the birds would take a rest from their daily activities and provide wonderful opportunities for photographs. I hope you agree.
I attended Photoshop World in Orlando Florida this Spring. Whenever I attend Photoshop world, I like to drive to the city. Driving allows me to slow down and explore the area both before and after the event. This year I was after nesting shore birds. The St Augustine Alligator Farm has a rookery. The rookery is used by many wild birds i.e. egrets, roseate spoonbills, Great Blue Herons, Little Green Herons, and others. The timing was perfect to see Great Egret hatchlings and most of the other breeds building their nests. A relaxing few days at the alligator farm and some nice images to serve as a reminder.
I was chasing Monarch butterflies in Congaree National Park. One was fluttering around near the water and would sometimes land on the cyprus knees. I was very intent on capturing a shot that I forgot to look around. When I finally realized I wasn’t going to get the shot, I stopped and had a look around. Looking up I saw this owl in a tree not 40 feet away. It was watching me for a bit and then got bored (I suspect). What a surprise to see this bird so close and not being scared off when it realized it had been discovered.