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Tag Archives: Wildlife

It seems whereever we travel, we always find an array of critters to amuse and entertain. Now, central Florida doesn’t have any chipmunks (sad, yes) but they do have plenty of small lizards! You can’t go anywhere without seeing these little guys!

“Larry” (Brown Anole, Male, Anolis sagrei, Common Florida Reptile) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 100mm, F/5.8, 1/640s, ISO 100, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Vignette’ Filter

They are full of personality but very skittish. Just when I would get close enough, they would scurry away, only to return moments later. Perhaps it is some sort of lizard game??

They particularly liked hanging around the pool ledge, basking in the hot sun. This female was certainly gettin’ her ‘tan on’ while making sure the other reptiles weren’t invading her territory.

“Lounge Lizard” (Brown Anole, Female, Anolis sagrei, Common Florida Reptile) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 34.3mm, F/4.5, 1/800s, ISO 100, Cropped and Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Vignette’ Filter applied

During our visit, we also saw many birds wandering about, most likely looking to make a nice meal out of the small lizards. 🙂

“Little Blue” (Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 20.3mm, F/4.5, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 100

Mostly, we saw white egrets, cormorants and ducks, so it was a nice change of pace to come across this colorful fellow. I wish it wasn’t just as we were leaving for the airport! Isn’t that the way it is with critters? When you have all the time in the world, none can be found but as soon as you are in a hurry or ill-prepared, boom! They appear out of nowhere, posing all nice.

Until next time, my friends. 🙂

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt a strong connection to animals. From the critters that roam my landscape to the wild animals I get to view when we visit Walt Disney World, all of them fascinate me.

“A Moment of Zen” (Silverback Gorillia, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, Disney’s Animal Kingdom) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 61.2mm, F/5, 1/50s, ISO 800, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Vignette Blur’ Filter

Whenever we travel to Disney, we simply have to visit the Animal Kingdom, skipping the ‘rides’ and heading straight for the nature trails.

One of our favorites is the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail – a self-guided walking tour of native African wildlife.

Pangani means “place of enchantment,” and the imagineers certainly have done their best to transform this small slice of Florida into a lush, tropical forest and verdant valley that are right out of the heart of Africa.

On this last trip, I found the Lowland gorillas to be especially impressive.   Though they may look fierce, Gorillas are “gentle giants,” eating only vegetation and only becoming aggressive when threatened.

“Gentle Giant” (Silverback Lowland Gorilla, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, Disney’s Animal Kingdom) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 70.4mm, F/5, 1/30s, ISO 800

 

Other interesting facts:

– Gorillas neither make nor use tools.

– Water is taken from greens and fruit.

– They cannot swim.

Also, did you know that 98% of their DNA is identical to human DNA??

Here is the closest I may ever come to a 600+ pound adult Silverback male. The sheer size of him was indeed intimidating, yet I felt no fear. I sensed a playfulness and calm curiosity as he held this long gaze with me, and when I look at this portrait, I cannot help but wonder about all that is going on behind those amazing eyes.

Mesmerizing, isn’t it?

Robin's Song

“Robin’s Song” (American Robin, Male) Nikon D300, 850mm (600mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/7.1, 1/400s, +0.7EV, ISO 400

No denying it. Spring air just smells and feels different. It’s alive with this incredible energy radiating from all the flora and fauna. I stood for a while, my shoulders caressed by the warm sunshine, and simply breathed it all in.  Then, of course, I got to photographing! 🙂  

With so much activity happening all around me, it wasn’t easy choosing an area to concentrate on. So, I camped out in a key location which allowed me to keep an eye on several. 

I got excited when a colorful Northern Flicker flew in, but then realized my lens view was blocked by some low branches. Poop. 

At the feeder, a red squirrel and some chipmunks were entertaining, but it was ultimately the robins who won my attention today. This stunning male was singing his territorial song in a tree not far from where I stood. Ah, such sweet music! 

Right place, right time, right lens! 🙂

The critters aren’t that happy with me these days. As the mornings get colder and colder, the later and later I venture out to fill birdbaths and replenish feeders. (Firstly, I am not a morning person and secondly, I am a not a huge fan of the cold!)

When I did make it outside, this girl was eagerly awaiting my arrival.

"Eager Beaver" (Eastern Grey Squirrel, Female) Nikon D300, 450mm, (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

"Eager Beaver" (Eastern Grey Squirrel, Female) Nikon D300, 450mm, (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

And when she jumped down to wait a safe distance away, I could understand why!

"Momma Grey" (Easter Grey Squirrel, Female) Nikon D300, 450mm, 200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

"Momma Grey" (Eastern Grey Squirrel, Female) Nikon D300, 450mm, 200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

Sorry little momma! I will do better tomorrow – promise!

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