Friday, January 25, 2013

Need a little green?

If you live in the south or on the west coast, you probably have all the green you need, but if your home is in the midwest, gray is often the color you get stuck with during winter. If we're lucky, bright, white tumbling snowflakes blow in and cover everything in the sparkling beauty only found in a fresh layer of snow, but often the snow stays north and steel gray clouds hang in the sky, blocking out the sun and draining the color from everything in their path. That's the time to look in the archives for a little reminder of summer green...

Summer green leaves are a nice backdrop to this curious young Tricolored Heron. 

I took these photos at the Ibis Pond rookery on Pinckney Island near Hilton Head, Island, SC while on vacation. It was a hot day in early June, and the insects were singing and buzzing in the sun. Just seeing these photos brings back the feel of summer heat and reminds me spring will soon be here to sweep away the gray!

I'm glad I'm not a fish. Those piercing eyes are a bit unnerving!

Oh no! Is something stuck in his throat? Nahhh...I just photographed him in mid "gular flutter." Since birds don't sweat like we do, they need another way to dissipate the heat building up in their bodies. Most simply pant, but others, such as herons, pelicans, cormorants, nighthawks, owls, and even blue jays have the ability to vibrate the muscles in their upper throats (gular area) to speed evaporation from their respiratory tract through their open mouths." When temps are in the high 90s, you see a lot of gular fluttering!

See you later, Spike!
(...thanks for reminding me what early summer green looks like.) 
Happy birding, everyone!


  1. Oh wow, these are fantastic shots! Love them!

  2. Passei para uma visitinha.
    Amei suas fotos, lindas e muito expressivas.
    Boa sexta-feira!
    Ótimo fim de semana!
    Beijinhos do Brasil.

  3. Wonderful shots, Kelly, and great info!

  4. Wow, great shots of that cutie, Kelly! And thanks for the much-needed green injection -- the perfect Rx for a gray Michigan day. ~Kim

  5. Fun shots Kelly, great close ups!
    That horrific (and awesome) gaze is the last thing so many poor critters see on this delicious

  6. I just needed the gular fluttering to start my day off right! Thanks for sharing the cool shots and commentary Kelly!

  7. A most enjoyable post, Kelly! Currently here in Chicago, we are under a freezing rain advisory so this bright, beautiful post featuring this wild-eyed, sprouting head youngster is just what I need to see. Fantastic! Outstanding photographs!

  8. These images made me giggle, how cute!

  9. ...thanks, everyone! Photographing this fellow made me laugh. Seeing that face through the lens was comedy. He was such a cutie too!