The yellow flowers blanketing this pool are bladderworts, Utricularia sp., a carnivorous plant. I’ve never seen a concentration of bladderwort like this.
May 18, 2015
All images are linked to larger versions.
I couldn’t help myself. I visited the new wildlife drive at Lake Apopka Restoration Area again yesterday, and though the light was miserable for photography for the first couple of hours, the wildlife was there. Here are some of my favorite shots from the morning.
Recently fledged great blue heron.
Bullfrog feeding a mosquito. Look closely under his right eye.
Common gallinules and their broods were once again one of the most entertaining sights.
Sorry, bro, you cannot pass.
This osprey was sitting atop a leaning pole trying to eat her fish.
She was repeatedly harangued by this boat-tailed grackle, who bum rushed her several times.
Why? Eventually the osprey moved on, and the grackle took top spot and cleaned up on the fish scraps.
Least bittern in the willows. You don’t appreciate how long their neck is until they stick it out.
A more typical view of a least bittern.
Green herons were abundant, but very shy. This one allowed me one shot before taking off.
A juvenile little blue heron showing high breeding colors in the cere and base of the bill. Yearling birds in juvenile plumage will sometimes breed in this species.
Not a bad day for herps. This Florida green watersnake (Nerodia floridana) was basking in the dead cattails as the sun struggled to make an appearance.
That’s one chilled out baby gator.
A big female soft-shelled turtle (Apalone ferox) mucking around in the shallows.
Pig frog (Lithobates grylio) surrounded by several floating aquatic plants, including Lemna sp., (duckweed), Salvinia minima (water spangles), and Azolla filiculoides (American waterfern; not a fern).
Eastern kingbird. I don’t see this species often in central Florida except as a migrant in passage. This bird is probably a breeder.
I saw a half-dozen or so limpkins.
These two great blue herons were arguing over territorial rights, using the head up-wing droop posture that says get the hell out of my space.
By mid-day, it was getting quite toasty. Barn swallows were basking on the hot shell rock roads, overheating to the point that they were panting to cool down. Why? Probably to kill ectoparasites with the heat load.
Anhinga performing gular flutter, a heat-dissipating behavior.