Tag Archive | manatees

July & the temperature’s sweltering. Florida’s less fun in the summer.

Florida in July & August. It’s too hot to move.

“Summertime,” the song from Gershwin’s classic, Porgy and Bess, tells us the living is easy this time of year. Well, the fish may be jumping here in Florida, but it’s because the water is so hot they are afraid they might get boiled if they stay in it too long. And the humidity … Yuk! My human just smiles when I complain. He’s lived here most of his long life and is reconciled to be miserable three months of the year. If my grumbles get loud, he laughs and says, “Sandy, just keep counting the days. You only have 75 more until October and relief.” Not funny!

I get even when he takes me for a walk. Even if he’s just left the shower, his clothes are drenched with perspiration by the time he reaches the driveway. Plus, I get a little more revenge. Early in the mornings when we go out, the clouds of sand-flies and mosquitoes are active and hungry. My Golden coat protects me. Not he … he, he, ho, ho, ha, ha.

Even the owls are staying underground!

The wildlife is smart. They stay in the shade and take it easy during the middle of the day. Those that can, conduct their “business” at night; the rest get things done mornings and evenings. Even gators and snakes look for a cool hole to hide in.

I envied Margret the Manatee … until she told me the water is 89!

Everyone in our house stays inside and slows down this time of year. Oreo, my feline brother, slows to stop. He’s shown below after he ate lunch. Oreo is always demanding, but this time of year he insists that his fish fillets be cut into very small pieces so he doesn’t have to expend energy wagging his jaws. He told me he requested his litter box be mounted on an I-Roomba and be programmed to follow him around so he didn’t have far to go … to go, but the Geezer turned him down.

Oreo prostrate from his toughest activity of the day … eating.

The Geezer may give me a hard time about complaining, but I’ve noticed he’s not scheduling any out-door book events right now. An example. This Saturday he will be doing one of his historical presentations, “The Loyal 14th Colony, Florida in the Revolutionary War.” I notice it is going to be held in the spacious, air conditioned environs of the Sandman Book Co. Sandman Book Co. is located at 16480 Burnt Store Rd., in Turtle Crossing Plaza, near Punta Gorda, Florida. He’ll be speaking from 11:00 AM until noon. If you live near by (or not) stop and see him. You’ll be cool!

#  #  #  #  #

 

They’re back … and love is in the air!

 

Love is in the air!

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two "toddlers" this year.

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two “toddlers” this year.

Each spring our back yard becomes a nursery/rookery for the manatees and night herons.

Here are a few pics of the returning wildlife. We’re up to eight night heron nests and two extended families of manatees. (Seven in one “herd” and five in the other.) When all twelve are cavorting around our narrow canal we need to install a traffic light. Some weigh well over 500 pounds. In addition two green heron nests are sandwiched in between the night herons.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves. Notice #2 up under the bushes?

Here’s a brief film clip of manatees being manatees.

The night herons normally do a good job of hiding their nests so it takes some real concentration to find them camouflaged in the mangroves. We have an exception this year. The pair are real exhibitionists. The Geezer calls them Madonna and Justin. Here are some pics.

Green heron!

Green heron invasion! Sometimes you wish for a camera but…….. A black snake tried to steal this herons eggs, but the whole bird community responded and made Swiss Cheese of Mr. Slithers.

 

Mom and babies - how quickly they grow!

Mom and babies – how quickly they grow!

 

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

 

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

 

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

 

Ain’t love grand?

 

#  #  #  #  #

It’s that time, the birds, the bees, & the manatees.

A baby heron stands in front of its nest.

Tis the season. Spring time brings birth in SW Florida. We now have eight night heron nests, two green heron nests and a kingfisher all nesting in the mangroves across the canal. Up higher a red-tailed hawk pair is raising their young. The young night herons are about ready to leave the nest with the others all a little behind. There are seven Osprey nests scattered through our neighborhood, we wake up to their screaming every morning.

The manatees have returned to the canal to have their young as they do each year. We’ve only been able to identify one “baby” this year. There are seven who are spending most of the time in our canal. They come and go. But mom and little one stay there; it is a lot safer than braving the propeller blades they’d face in Charlotte Harbor or Pine Island Sound. Hope you enjoy the pics.

 

This years crop is ready to leave - adult colors are in place

This years crop is ready to leave – adult colors are in place

????????????????????

Mom Heron is friendly and comes within a few feet to stand on our dock pilings.

????????????????????

Mom Manatee and baby – BIG baby!

????????????????????

Papa Manatee out for a cruise on Sunday PM

Spring has sprung!

#  #  #  #  #

 

Meet the Manatees – my wet buddies …. Their reality show screen test

    Meet some of my big wet friends, Mathew and Matilda Manatee. They just stopped by to say HI! Some facts about my friends … they live in the warm tropical waters around Florida and in the Caribbean. Mat and Matilda eat vegetation varying from sea grass to mangrove leaves. An adult can reach eight feet in length and weigh 500 pounds or more. They’re mammals, but can slow their heart rates to less than a beat a minute allowing them to stay submerged for long periods of time. They come into our sheltered canal each spring to make more manatees. You know – the birds and the bees thing.

#  #  #  #  #

Raising families on Barrancas Canal….What a Wild Life!

Here’s updated pictures.  Family life on the Barrancas Canal is progressing!  The Night Heron young are growing nicely and quickly.  They’re almost as big as mom and pop in eight weeks!

Mom and babies - how quickly they grow!

Mom and babies – how quickly they grow!

On the nest that's so difficult to see people pass within feet of it and don't know its there.

On the nest that’s so difficult to see people pass within feet of it and don’t know its there.

If you look closely at the second picture you’ll see two of the babies that are so well disguised by their surroundings you have to strain to see them. Below are some pictures of a relatively new-born manatee a few feet from our dock. Some were taken from our porch, but Matilda and baby did a quick disappearing act when Mrs. G tried to get close.

Matilda and new baby.

Matilda and new baby.

Scratching on the pilings feels SO good!

Scratching on the pilings feels SO good!

Trying for a close up created a crash dive.

Trying for a close up created a crash dive.

If you haven’t looked at my previous post, check out the video clips on it — particularly the “Gator Call” video!  I also have some pictures on my humans blog.  Visit   http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com  for some pics of the herons when they were a few weeks younger.   And don’t forget to visit  http://www.dlhavlin.com  to keep up with the Geezer.

###