Native wild in Chicago…

These delicate spring blooms are the only Columbine native to Illinois: Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). These blooms were prolific today in Lincoln Park’s best kept secret, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond.

Abundant spring Wild Columbine brighten the shady Caldwell Lily Pond. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Close up image of one of the Wild Columbine flowers. These flowers are visited by insects but avoided by larger animals who find them poisonous. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Restorative scene with Wild Columbine inviting one’s restful enjoyment. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

For more information on this Illinois native CLICK the image above. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Leafing out…

This time of year the leaves are new on the popular Sea Grape tree/shrubs. The “grapes” will follow later in the season. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

These Sea Grape trees had weathered leaves from the nearby ocean setting. New leaves were yet untouched by the salty winds. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

New Sea Grape leaves are reddish; mature leaves are green. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Mmmm mangos…

I always assumed Mango trees grew about the size of apple and cherry trees. I should know that in tropical climates everything thrives better. We saw this tree on our neighborhood walk the other day. There were a few Mango low enough that I could have sampled one or two; but I was good and just captured these images. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Not quite ripe enough to enjoy other than with my eyes. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Dingy beauty…

An oxymoron it seems; but someone chose its name, Dingy-flowered Star Orchid (Epidendrum amphistomum). Orchids are never “dingy”. But this is this dear Orchid’s name.

The Dingy-flowered Star Orchid is considered an endangered native of Florida.

Tiny Orchid blooms have visitors. This flower has no nectar but it’s aroma attracts moths (not shown here) for pollination. Copyright 2018, Pamela Breitberg

Overall view of the Dingy-flowered Star Orchid. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

American treasure…

Sandhill Crane (Grass canadenis) relaxing in the Rookery area of Flamingo Gardens. It is distinguished by it’s large size and red forehead. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

These birds are unwanted in neighborhoods because they are agressive due to habitat destruction threatening their population in Florida. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

CLICK on the image above for more information on living with Sandhill Cranes. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Ornamental use of immigrants…

These unique Egyptian Geese (Alpochen aegyptiaca) birds were considered sacred by Eyptians. Americans imported them as decor for Golf Courses. Were our own wildlife too ugly or boring? Some have now vacated the golf courses for the wild.

This family was at the animal rescue facilities of Flamingo Gardens in Davie Florida. They are in the Rookery section which is open so they could wander if wanted. Many of their birds are not able to be released because of injury or “imprinting” (taming by people), so would not survive in the wild. Any animal that does recover is released as soon as it’s health returns.

I never tire of seeing new miracles of God’s designs. So amazing.

Egyptian Goose checking out the Rookery. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Mom and Dad introducing the babies to the Rookery environment. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The previous post showed the Egyptian Geese babies in the water and Duckweed. Shortly afterwards Mom (or Dad) joined them. First they had time to explore without parental accompanying them. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Mom (or Dad?!) and baby. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Lastly, the entire family enjoys an outing. So did we! Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Swamp native…

Close up of Swamp Lily (crinum americanum) blossom in the Bonnett House parking lot. Living in wetland, near a creek that flows through the property the Swamp Lily was flourishing. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

This native Floridan loves wet feet. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Without reservation…

All images were taken at Billy’s Swamp Safari site on the Seminole Reservation, Florida. I have no reservations about recommending that you visit this amazing place. Include in your visit the AhTahThiKi Museum also located in their Reservation; Clewiston, Florida.

 

View from the quaint restaurant in Billy’s Swamp Safari. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

From a distance these bovine were having lunch. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Never ending beauty. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Great Egret stands out among browned winter grasses. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Great (American)…

The Great Egret aka American Egret. No political comment being said; just sharing a few more images from yesterday’s post.

Great Egret hunting in the Everglades. This is a long lens image of the same scene in yesterday’s post. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

American Egret can be identified from other Egrets with its black feet and yellow beak. *The brilliant green color in front of the eyes is part of the breeding season changes.” Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg Citation: *Florida’s Fabulous Waterbirds by W. Williams

 

When is a prairie is not a prairie…

The overal scene looks so much like an untouched prairie; greens are flourishing and going on for miles and miles. The sky is never ending. A vulture scans for lunch. This prairie is wild; no telephone lines or roads interupt it’s untamed beauty.

But on closer inspection, or if you remember you’re on “Aligator Alley”, a part of I75, you see evidence that this isn’t even a wetland prairie swam or bog. It’s much wetter and is infact part of the Florida Everglades. Take the closer look into this profound region.

“Prairie” grasses with wide open skies; NOT. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Hint: Great Egrets are not found in prairies. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Alligators are definitely not a part of a prairie habitat. They do bask in the sun next to water while they await their next meal. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The Snowy Egret takes off to continue it’s hunt for food in Florida’s Everglades. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg