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Posts tagged ‘Nature’

Pronghorn (Also called Antelope)

I saw Pronghorn at the lovely Custer State Park near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota in late June, 2017.  The big deer-like animals are sometimes referred to as American Antelope or Antelope.

This herd of Pronghorn freely roam the huge pasture-lands of this state park but are mostly away from the bison.  They sometimes run near fences which is shown on one of these photographs.  The big grasslands are fenced because the bison are occasionally kept in that area in rotation.

Pronghorn eat grasses.  There are plenty of grasses for them now.  These are grazing animals.  In my experience, the Pronghorn are pretty wary of people and are most often away from roads.  I was glad to have my zoom lens!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photograph.  Enjoy!

American Bison at Custer State Park in South Dakota

I have just returned from a family vacation to South Dakota.  A highlight of the adventure was a visit to the ever-so-lovely Custer State Park in the Mount Rushmore area of the state.

This state park is chock-full of large wild animals.  Yes, the enormous pastures where the buffalo (American Bison) roam are fenced but the animals really do run freely in the grasslands.  A road for tourists to drive through the area is the best way to see the bison, pronghorn, deer, prairie dogs, and the friendly wild donkeys that call the park home.

I have been to this park three times now and enjoy it quite a lot!  I want to wish everyone a happy Independence Day tomorrow (July 4th). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Herons

Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park, Florida

I spotted these Little Blue Herons at the little lake behind Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL  at a vernal pool in the campground at the Ochlockonee River State Park near St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary in North-Central Florida, and also at both Schwartz and Boone Parks in The Villages at Lake Paradise (which is now refilling with water).  I saw these beautiful big wading birds within the last month (Schwartz and Boone  herons possibly with Snowy Egrets or juvenile herons, on Wednesday).

The Little Blue Herons start as white juveniles and as they age, they turn a beautiful purple blue with olive-green legs and feet.  They are much more of a blue hue than the similar-looking Reddish Egret.

The Little Blue Herons eat frogs, fish, crawfish, small turtles, baby alligators, ducklings, and occasionally aquatic snails, worms, and larger aquatic insects.  They generally spear their prey with their sharp long bill and then gulp the food down.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Heron at Boone Park in The Villages, FL

Little Blue Heron at Schwartz Park in The Villages, FL

 

 

 

Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park in Florida

Snowy Egret with Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL

Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL

More Photos of Ochlockonee River State Park

Little Blue Heron

I visited the very lovely Ocklockonee River State Park a few weeks ago and spent a wonderful night camping there.  I was thrilled to see three White Tailed Deer, an Osprey, a Little Blue Heron, a Red-headed Woodpecker, several Boat-tailed Grackles, a pair of Mourning Doves, a couple of Brown Thrashers, and a gorgeous little White Squirrel (sorry no photo).

I took these pictures several times in the morning and it was very cloudy and misty out in my early shots that morning.  I am including a couple of shots of just scenery so you can get a sense of the view at this beautiful Florida State Park.  The river is a short walk from the campground area.

This state park is quite close to the St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary and is probably about twenty-five miles to the Gulf of Mexico.  I enjoyed the park and would return someday for a longer stay.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.  Enjoy!

River Scene

River Scene

White-tailed Deer at a vernal pool

 

River Scene

Osprey

Brown Thrashers

Almost Wordless Woodpecker Wednesday

I spotted this Red-headed Woodpecker while hiking in the Ochlockonee River State Park near the St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida last week.  I so enjoy seeing these beautiful woodpeckers!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

The Snowy Egrets

Snowy Egret

Over the last couple of weeks, I have spotted Snowy Egrets at several lakes here in The Villages, Fl.  The Snowy Egret is one of the smaller of the egrets, and it is the one that has yellow feet.  Snowy Egrets are white in color.  In breeding season this egret has spectacular long, very lush plumage in its feathers.  By the way, I am beginning to see a few of the Cattle Egrets here now.  The Cattle Egrets are just a wee bit larger than the Snowy Egrets.  By the way, we have had a lot of rain here in my local area and our lakes are refilling (Hooray!).

These wading birds eat a variety of fish, crawfish, frogs, tender smaller turtles and larger aquatic insects, as well as near shoreline mice, lizards and smaller ducklings.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday: Osprey

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  I have taken these pictures in the last two weeks here in The Villages, FL.  Enjoy!

 

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