Return of the Red Belly

Red Belly Woodpecker – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015
Right Light – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Still no belly check. The red on this woodpecker’s head is magnificent, I wonder is it a regional difference (Tennessee vs Florida) or breeding plumage?

Quote found at

Misty Morning

Holston River – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015
Holston River – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015

Not a lot of scenery shots from this trip. However you can tell where the term “smokey” mountains comes from. While technically Sullivan county is not in the smokies it is among the foothills and shares almost daily mist with its neighbors. Also, sunrise is a challenge in the mountains – it takes a while to get over the hills.

Monday is Bird Day!

Dad – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015
Mom and the Kids – Warriors Path State Park – May 2015

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ― Pablo Picasso

First of the Tennessee pictures. This park is in Sullivan County in Eastern Tennessee it is built along an ancient highway originally used by native Americans and later used by early settlers to open up the land west of the Appalachian mountains.

Quote found at

Sunday Morning

Special Spot – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Female Boat Tail Grackle – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Just back from a week in Tennessee. Lots of pictures to sort through. Lots of history visited there – lots of sadness about the destruction of the old growth forests and treatment of the native Americans that the early settlers did. Much like what was done here in Florida only a century before. But first a visit the wetlands and see what’s happened there in a week.

Quote found at


Black Bellied Whistler – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Couple – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Conservation is now a dead word” – Marjory Stoneman Douglas

The above quote came from a 91 year old Marjory in the early 1980’s. Still trying to rally the troops to protect her beloved everglades. Perhaps our (Florida) legislators will listen to the will of the people and continue current conservation efforts.

Quote found at

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Gator among the Birds – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Swimming – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is” – German Proverb

These birds, while cautious were not afraid. Fortunately there were plenty of fish about. Alligators prefer fish since they are much easier to catch and deal with than birds.

We counted 8 alligators among the flock of over 150 birds feeding in this area.

Quote found at

Out of Doors

Sunrise – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Dawn Flare – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Nature is not easily discouraged, she recreates again and again that which has been destroyed” – Charles Torrey Simpson

Current read is a book about Florida called Out of Doors in Florida by Charles Torrey Simpson. Simpson was a naturalist who lived and studied Florida’s environment in the first part of the 20th century. While the above quote was specific to the roll fire plays in the Florida environment, it is true no matter what or who is the destroyer. And it applies to us as well.

Wildflower Wednesday

Interesting Plant – Lake Monroe Park – May 2015
Interesting Leaves – Lake Monroe Park – May 2015

“My progress was rendered delightful by the sylvan elegance of the groves, cheerful meadows, the high distant forests, which in grand order presented themselves in view” – William Bartram

William Bartram, my favorite naturalist, traveled these paths in the late 1700’s seeing wonders we can only dream about.

Quote found at


Roseate Spoonbill – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
Family? – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” – John Wooten
The spoonbill is a success story here in the US. In the 1930’s there were estimated to be 30-40 breeding pairs remaining. They were hunted almost to extinction for their feathers, coveted by women for their hats. I often wonder how I would have behaved back in those days. Would I have seen the implications of what was being done to our environment or not. After all John Audobon was an avid hunter himself. While he most likely wasn’t the guy sitting on the front of the boat shooting whatever moved, he still would kill birds so that he could study them.