Monday, August 31, 2009

Last week of August

Well this is going to be a quick one. The registration team lead by Mary pulled together the on line registration getting ready for Saturday Morning.
That is the start to the countdown to the Georgia Colonial Coast Birding & Nature Festival. There are always these concerns about how the first few hours will go. The main team was up in Savannah. They were behind the scene making sure the system was working. I was at Jekyll Island Welcome Center with Janie and the Jekyll Island Welcome Center Staff, Sandy and Susan. Janie has prepared a trouble shooting page. We were as ready as we could be. The hour arrived we log on and it ran as smoothly as it has ever run in the seven years we have been putting it on. Thanks to everyone who chipped in to help. Counting down the days.

Janie and Susan after the first thirty minutes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jekyll Island's causeway

Roads, I love roads. Roads can take you places fast and straight. However, they also allow you to slow down and look at the scene around you. I guess it is the gypsy in me but when I see a road that looks good I take it. I also love to photograph these roads. I have been photographing unique roads most of my life. Two images really stick out in my mind. One of my favor road pictures is the road in the Hill County of Texas. The other is the road in the Pawnee Grassland. You can see that it is straight for miles ahead of you but right in the middle is a caution curve sign then you see the one little crook then it straighten out. Amazing image! Anyway, roads inspire us to explore. So last week, when I was waiting to turn on the causeway to Jekyll Island, I took this shot of one of my favorite roads on Jekyll. This causeway is a land bridge through the marsh. It is an opportunity to see up close the animals and birds that live in our vast marshlands.
Here are a few Wood Storks resting in the marsh near the causeway after a feast of shrimp and fish as the tide went out.
I am often inspired by this causeway marsh. Look at this view from the Jekyll Island Welcome Center Tower. Georgia O'Keeffe was inspire by roads she saw from planes. I see what she means when I look at the ribbon of a marsh creek draining into the marsh. At the Welcome Center for there are some very interesting birds that can be seen from the viewing tower but you need a scope.

I also stopped at a small hammock. Hammocks are small islands in the marsh. This hammock is great for butterflies. Here are a couple of Tawny Emperors. I have to confess I had to email two butterflies experts to get the identification. Still these Tawny Emperors are beautiful and unique just like the causeway.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Five pink birds

A few weeks back I posted about the wonderful Roseate Spoonbills at Overlook Park in Brunswick. Well one image just was screaming at me to work. Here is the drawing that I worked on in the evening.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Drawing on Friday

Last Friday after a day working at Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop on Jekyll, I went over to the Amphitheater area of Jekyll. There I saw a Black and White Warbler. The little bird was flitting around on a live oak limb. I had to spend a few minutes drawing.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Here is looking at you

Last Thursday, I spent a little time at the Jekyll Island Campground Bird Sanctuary. We enjoyed watching the chickadees and titmice. But when a Summer Tanager caught a wasp in front of us then processed to eat it, we were captivated.

Sorry the picture is blurry but she was really beating that wasp.

We were able to watch a Yellow Warbler trying to work up the courage to come to the water drip. I could not a photograph for this little bird was in the shadows. But when she would land on a branch in a little bit of sunlight, oh my the yellow just shined.

Of course, the star was this Yellow-throated Warbler that spent some time looking at us. At one point there were two of them chasing each other.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Sad Story

This is from my friend Georgia. She and I are sharing SEANET Survey duties. Before I tell you this sad story. I want to give you some hope. Education is key. There are those invaluable times when teaching moments drop in our lap. I am always ready to share my scope view of birds with folks on the beach who are interested. Here are some healthy pelican on the south end of Jekyll.Now here is the sad story told in Georgia unique style. She did the survey on Thursday
“Did my survey today. Had a live pelican. I heard about him today before I went to the beach. He/she was in a great spot, completely surrounded by MUD and inaccessible to tourists until about 5pm. It took me 3 tries, but I got him. Safely resting at Dr. Rossiter’s (this is a vet who help with wild animals). But not until he got a ride in my lap with only a towel over his head, Poor fellow. I called Dr. Rossiters office as soon as I caught him to make sure someone would be there. Mary was jumpin for joy! She’d been trying to catch him, along with Dr. Arbo(vet) and a few other East Beach residents. Apparently, a gentleman who lives on East Beach saw some kids putting cheese balls on a hook and line and throwing them to him. And they hooked him. He must have swallowed the line. I didn’t see anything. He’s been there for about 3 days. Too weak to fly. When he tried to get away from me, he would flap his wings but his webbed feet were dragging the beach. I’m going to check on him tomorrow and will then enter my data on SEANET. I also have to get his picture.
She then emails me the next day: Georgia continues:
“(Friday Morning report) He died last night. It just breaks my heart. He seemed to be doing well. They found the hook and line, wrapped tightly around his wing, hooked in tissue, but no damage to the bone. They got fluids in him and Mary had gone out to get fresh fish for him. But he just couldn’t make it and died about 9:30 last night. I’m going over to take photos; not looking forward to that. Mary can’t look at him. I only hope those kids hear about him and realize what they did. “

I want to thank Georgia for allowing me to pass her story on to you.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Follow up to recycling

I came across this entry from the SEANET blog. Check the website
The site is following a group of scientists who are heading for the garbage patch. If there is every a reason to recycle and buy recycle, this is it.

Purple Passion Flower Patch

I need to catch up with all I have been doing. I am trying to broaden my understanding about our complex world. I received an email from a friend about my July 25 butterfly trip to Harris Neck. The email said the passion flower patch was the place for the butterflies. Doesn’t passion flower patch sound wonderful especially when you see one passion flower like this picture taken by Fitz Clarke .
Then you think about a whole patch of purple passion flowers.
Now add a beautiful and flashy butterfly like this Pipevine Swallowtail.

Wow, the colors seem to stand out.
My favorite butterfly is the black and yellow Zebra Heliconius. Passion flower is its host plant. We found eight Zebra Heliconius around lantana that day. Black, yellow and purple are stunning together. We all brought out our cameras and clicked away. Why are we drawn to these black and yellow butterflies and purple flowers?

Orange, yellow and purple are called complimentary colors in the artist's world. We create whole images around complimentary color schemes.
I am amazed at nature with all of its complex designs. This Sleepy Orange is in the purple flowers near the purple passion flower patch. There is so much to see and to learn.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recycling for Coastal Georgia Audubon

Recycling is the main fundraiser for our small Coastal Georgia Audubon Society (CGAS). For the past year, the company that buys our newspapers has been shut down. There was no market for recycled newspaper. We did every thing we could to pack our storage area, which is 24 feet by 12 feet on Jekyll Island. We had to wait. We have the company pick up the papers two to three times a year. After a full year, we were just plain out of space. Finally, the company reopened. On Tuesday the truck came. Here is what the inside of the truck looked like when I arrived about 30 minutes late. I was mailing the Georgia’s Colonial Coast Birding & Nature Festival booklets. Yea! They are out in the mail.
Here is Gene Keferl in our building. In order to move the newspapers from the building into the truck, the Piggy Wiggle allows us to use their rollers. We had about 10 people to move the papers into the truck. It was long hot work. Here is the tuck when was filled. One of our teen aged workers is up on top.
We take all kinds of newspaper and magazines. This includes shredded paper. The kids had fun getting this stuff pushed back in the truck.
Here are some of the volunteers that came out in the heat to help. It took us about five and half hours to load the truck.
Here they are tossing the newspaper back into the truck.

More volunteers working hard.
Here is Jim Gertis, our local bee keeper, who came to help. This is close to the end and our building is clearing out. He is readjusting the rollers we don't over work.
Then at around 2:30 we were finished and now we will start all over. The money we raise goes to donating to events like the Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding and Nature Festival and last year we help build the Observation Tower at the Jekyll Island Welcome Center. One thing I learned about this is gathering up this newspaper is just the first step. Next time you buy computer paper look for the recycle label. Thanks to all who came out to help.
Here is our little building. If you are on Jekyll Island on Saturday from 9-noon, stop by and drop off your newspaper. You will meet some of CGAS volunteers who help tie them up in bundles.

Now back to the birds, butterflies and dragonflies.