Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shaving Brush Tree 3-15-12

Watching the flower of the Shaving Brush Tree 
(Pseudobombax ellipticum) is an adventure. At dusk
the buds begin to peel open as the sepals begin to 
fall away. They finally bloom fully in the complete dark 
and this can be seen only by flashlight. 

The blooms remain open for the rest of the night and naturally fall off the tree by the middle of the next day. Here is a fully opened shaving brush flower with its white stamen at 10:00 am the next day. The blooms end up on the ground by noon.The tree blooms for about a week or more.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Skink 3-15-12

Skinks are small lizards (Scincidae) that populate the tropical gardens. This skink,on our deck screen, is enlarging (blowing out) his neck.

It is a time of love for these skinks. Incidentally "Skink" is the nickname of a weird and wacky character in novels by Carl Hiaasen. I'm currently reading Star Island. Skink is also known as "The Governor". In previous books he has resigned as Florida's Governor and fled to the Everglades where he continues to live off the land by eating freshroad kill from nearby highways and fights against unscrupulous developers. Its great fun.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gopher Tortoise 3-13-12

The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyhemus) is a land tortoise that is over 60 million years old.

We found this one by the road in the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beach Flower 3-9-12

This plant sends out tendrils to stabilize the beach. Its tiny flower is spectacular.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Prickly Pear blooms 3-8-12

These are prickly pear (Opuntia) blooms taken with my new lens.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bougainvillea 3-6-12

The bougainvillea bushes are mammoth at the Sanibel Moorings.

Red bracts which are specialized leaves surround the miniature flowers.

The flowers have a pink tinge to the edge.

Flower and bud.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jan and Jack 3-2-12

Jan's brother Jack came for a brief visit.


At the Lighthouse Pier.

Portraits at the Bech

The usual suspects showed up for the Beach party.
John and Joan Linden

Anne's mother Margaret.

Anne and Jerry Shea

Mary and Dave Miller

Egg Case Chain of the Lightning Whelk 3-2-12

The egg case chain of the lightning whelk (Busycon sinistrum) is the most common egg chain on the beach and can measure up to four feet in length. The female whelk may spend more than a week laying it and attaches it to a pebble or shell buried in the sand. The egg chain may bear 50 to 180 cases and each case may hold from 20 to 200 embryos which will then go on to produce more lightning

Beach Concert 3-2-12

C.W. Mundy, artist and bango player and his group played a Friday night beech concert.

Even the pelicans gathered to listen.

Orchids 3-2-12

Orchids thrive at this time of the year.


Hibiscus 3-2-12

Hibiscus grow bountifully at the Moorings in exotic colors.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Osprey on Sanibel Island 3-1-12

This osprey (Pandion heliaetus) is sitting just outside our deck at the Sanibel Moorings making quite a racket. Osprey are also called sea hawks, fish eagles and fish hawks. Pandion was a mythical Greek King of Athens who was transformed into an eagle. We see them at this time of the year with huge fish in their beaks
flying back to the nest.

This osprey is on a nest in the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. (An elderly ladyat the Ding told me that they didn't have any picnic tables there because they were arefuge not a park.)
There was a medieval belief that fish surrendered to the osprey by turning belly up.
For instance, Shakespeare wrote:
             I think he'll be to Rome
             As is the osprey to the
               fish, who takes it
             By sovereignty of nature.
                    Coriolanus IV.V.