None So Blind

“Wow! There’s not much here to photograph.”

The pleasant gentleman remarked on my “mighty big camera” and he had a point. He was one of our early migratory “snow birds”, from Michigan, he said. He and his wife had been wintering here for 18 years. Visiting this park during 18 years. Standing here by the boat launch for many of those 18 years. One can gaze across Lake Parker, an urban location, and see the massive coal-fired power plant, a large baseball stadium with several practice fields, commercial businesses (one with a particularly bright yellow roof), typically unattractive condominiums and on weekends a lake full of speeding boats and the abominations known as “jet skis”. Who would want to photograph any of THAT??

I knelt down and framed a beautiful White Peacock butterfly by the shoreline, wished the winter visitor a good day and wandered the pathways of Lake Parker Park for over two quiet hours. Along the way, I watched a marsh rabbit nibble a grassy breakfast still sparkling with dew drops. Purple Gallinules, resplendent in their violet and blue plumage and candy-corn beaks, have really big feet to help walk across water plants. Their babies are growing into teenagers and learning to forage on their own. Although a bit late in the season, a Red-winged Blackbird paused with a meal for newly hatched chicks, not wanting me to know where her nest was hidden. A young Red-bellied Woodpecker probed a cavity in a pine tree for termites or a beetle. Overhead, an Osprey clutched a catfish as she headed for a perch to enjoy an early morning meal. Northern Parulas trilled throughout the park. On the way back to the parking area, a last look at the boat ramp where I met the snowbird found a Limpkin prying open an apple snail so his young daughter could practice extracting it. Which she promptly did and swallowed it whole.

My morning walk was glorious. It was not yet too warm, there was plenty of humidity (it IS Florida!), the park was ALIVE as birds, insects and mammals went about the daily routine of survival. I was privileged to observe so much. My thoughts turned, as they invariably do, to my lover. She was ten minutes away, preparing brunch and I should have done what I know she would have upon encountering Mr. Michigan this morning. She would smile that smile which could disarm Atilla The Hun and say something like:  “Yes, there are some unattractive things to see here. But have you noticed what a beautiful green those reeds are? Or have you seen the Great Egret there, so white against that dark cypress? Oh, look! Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks flying over! Hear them whistle?” She would have converted him to a devout nature-lover on the spot. Yep. That’s what I shoulda done. But I am not nearly as brave a soul as her.

Despite what you may have heard from the Michigan Snowbird, here are a few images from a city park.

 

White Peacock  (Anartia jatrophae)

Lake Parker Park

 

Purple Gallinule (Adult and Immature)

Lake Parker Park

Lake Parker Park

 

Cuban Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) (Thank you, Dr. Peter May!)

Lake Parker Park

 

Red-winged Blackbird (Female)

Lake Parker Park

 

Northern Parula

Lake Parker Park

 

Marsh Rabbit

Lake Parker Park

 

Tricolored Heron

Lake Parker Park

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Immature)

Lake Parker Park

 

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Lake Parker Park

 

Osprey

Lake Parker Park

 

Limpkin

Lake Parker Park

 

It was a good morning and served to remind me that I need to be more observant; of life, of those with deficient vision and of my own many shortcomings. We hope you have a local oasis where you can retreat and observe whatever the day may offer.

Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!

Categories: Birds, Florida, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “None So Blind

  1. noushka31

    Wow, what a great series of photos, Wallie!
    All of them as interesting, but the limpkin with its chick is fantastic… I never saw a chick in my whereabouts!
    The peacock butterfly is superb, and I just love this Cuban anole!
    Congrats!!
    All the best Wally and enjoy the coming fall

    • Merci, Noushka! I just wish that Cuban Anole would return home so our native anoles could survive. 😦

      We hope your current safari is a good one!

  2. So many great shots of “nothing to photograph”.

  3. Some years ago…we built a log cabin in 10 acres of open sclerephyll/mixed bushland.Only at nights, when neighbours had lights on, would you know we even had neighbours.
    We had some family visit and almost the first words J. uttered were:”you don’t have much of a view, do you?”

    • My thoughts on folks like that is that they must be unhappy with themselves for some reason. I’ll try to point out all that I think is wondrous and beautiful, my lovely wife takes a more fervent approach (!) and hopefully we can all make some small difference.
      Ten acres in the bush! Wow! The night sky must be glorious!

      Thank you for dropping by today!

  4. You have to feel sorry for someone whose eyes/heart/mind is closed to the natural wonders around them.
    And thank you so much for sharing the beauty and the joy.

    • I did feel sorry for the guy. To attain his age (not too far ahead of my own!) and to not be able to breathe in the very essence of life all around us – very sad.

      Thank you EC, for visiting us all the way from down under! You have made this day better.

  5. So pleased you found and beautifully photographed all that nothing, Wally! Lord knows how I would have survived the excitement if you had actually found something to see! With my very best wishes to you and Gini – have a great week.

    • Hi, Sir Richard! We hope you and Lady Lindsay are starting a fabulous week!
      Yes, when it comes to nothing, I have discovered I am somewhat an expert. I have a doctorate in nothing, am frequently told my opinion is worth nothing and when it comes to fashion, why I look best in ….

      Perhaps we shall leave it at that.

      All the best from way across the big pond!

  6. edro123

    Great article and photos, Wally.

    It’s fascinating how often I see new things whenever I go out and look. I hope that never changes!

    • Welcome to our sporadic blog, Lynn! We really appreciate your visit and your very nice comments! Isn’t it amazing how many new things we can see when we REALLY look?

      Have a great week.

  7. Peter May

    Hi Wally. Another charming post. I don’t comment often, but enjoy all of your thoughts and photos.

    BTW, your eastern fence lizard is actually a Cuban brown anole (Anolis sagrei).

    • I really appreciate your kind remarks! And thank you for the correction! I think it was wishful thinking instead of astute observation. That’s why I never made the big-time as a biologist ……

  8. Beth

    Yes, definitely, nothing at all to see there! Makes me think of a thirsty person standing neck-deep in a pristine stream and decrying the fact that he doesn’t have a glass of water. Poor thing. As always, love the narrative, love the pictures, love you.

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