donderdag 18 januari 2024

Florida in December

There never seems to be a dull moment in Florida's nature!

My son and I made a nice round trip in a funny time of year: the last week of December. We went from Atlanta airport and Tallahassee to Tavares and along the coast and Sint Augustine back to Georgia.

We especially took and enjoyed the back roads, from where we saw nice rows of trees covered in beard moss. And because of this time of year, colours in this natural environment were soft and warm. 

We saw many forms of settlements, most of them cute and attractive and in beautiful harmony with nature.

Everywhere we stopped, we could observe animals and especially birds in their natural habitat and behaviour. We saw many sorts of fish lovers, such as wood storks, herons, egrets, anhingas and birds of prey such as the bald eagle, Harris's hawk, ospreys and vultures. Last but not least we saw and heard many limpkins and sandhill cranes. Very impressive!

Just a week in December, but one we won't easily forget.

donderdag 2 november 2023

Ria Formosa, a birds paradise

In the South of Portugal, close to Faro, you'll find a vast nature reserve, partly surrounded by fancy golfcourses. It's called Ria Formosa, a wonderful and quiet area for bird lovers. I also spotted some gorgeous dragonflies.

Because of the bright weather, we had a good view of all the lovely waders in the inland lakes and the songbirds in the bushes and trees around them.

We were amazed to see so many species of birds in this time of year. What a rich nature! After less than a week we counted and admired some sixty species, quite a happy experience!

Little egret and turtle

Parasol pine

Little grebe

Black-and-red-bug on Golden star of Bethlehem

Black winged stilt

Violet dropwing

Salines near Tavira

Little egret

Lychens on a wall near the sea

Black faced weaver

Common wall gecko

Whose feather is this?

Nice bird area near Vilamoura

Scarlet dragonfly

Glossy ibis

maandag 10 juli 2023

Nature reserve the Brenne

In June, just before the weather in Europe got very hot, we went to a wet nature reserve in France, the Brenne. Nothing spectacular to be seen at first sight. But fortunately, we know that there is a lot of aquatic life to be found (if you look very closely ;-). Apart from that it's good to mention and good to know that these reserves in France are very well protected and looked after.

In this reserve we were happy to find impressive insects such as the bright blue scarab beetle and the enormous stag beetle; we also saw may waterfowl, dragonflies, amphibians and special flowers. 

Again, we are thankful for all the beauty we experienced!

Black crowned heron (Ardea nycticorax)

Waterfrog (Pelophylax esculenta)

Etang in the Brenne

Purple heron (Ardea purpurea)

Oats (Avena sativa)

Scarlet dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea)

Stream in the Brenne

Stag beetle (Lucanus cerrus)

Scarab beetle (Hoplia coerulia)

Western green lizard (Lacerta bilineata)

Plum cherry (Prunus cerasus)

European tree frog (Hyla arborea)

vrijdag 9 juni 2023

Les Alpilles in May


It's no secret that spring, in many ways, is an exciting season.

Trees, flowers, insects, birds, they all seem to wake up and show their presence and activities. You're lucky when you have the opportunity to observe and enjoy this phenomenon.

This year we chose to be in the Provence for a week; in les Alpilles to be precise. The pleasant weather helped a great deal to experience this region in all its glory.

As you will see I focused, perhaps more than in the past, on small subjects like details of plants and insects. It's because I think, that these elements are not only colourful pieces of art, but they also form a crucial part of our ecosystem. Enjoy!

Wild rose and three swollen-thighed beetles (Oedemera nobilis)

Swallow tale (Papilio machaon)

Marais du Vigneirat

Narrowleaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Red veined darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii)

Jet black ants (Lasius fuliginaus)

The common hound's-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale)

European roller (Coracias garrulus)

Emerald ash borer (Anthaxia hungarica)

Owlfly (Libelloides coccajus)

Olive plantation

Chalk hill blue (Lysandra coridon)

Four spotted leaf beetle (Clytra quadripunctata)

Goatsbeard's seedfluff (Tragopogon)