At last sun and warmth has returned. I had to go out. So I took a walk around a small pond which feeds into the main lake here and I remembered my camera.
Round the Pond We have had lots of rain and the water levels are high. Tiny fish and a million tadpoles have made a temporary home of submerged grass and dollarweed. (Tadpole bottom right)
Lovely shells of the fresh water apple snails are washed up.
The grackles are grackling… as only grackles can.
Coots and moorhens are dabbling, the big stately wood stork circled overhead before coming to join an egret for some fishing.
On one of the nest platforms by the big lake an osprey has settled with a fish in its talons.
On another, two cormorants are surveying their domain.
There is a beautiful spicebush swallowtail basking in the sun.
Also by the main lake today I see the bald eagles, which for me is a bit of a “wow!”. They may be making a nest in one of these pines. Two people I have spoken to recently said they had seen them tearing off branches and flying backwards and forward from the trees. No 1 eagle….
and 5 trees down the path, no 2 eagle….
They are big birds, this is a long shot of the tree with no 2 sitting on the second to top tier of branches on the left.
I think its quite something to see a bald eagle right in the middle of Orlando.
Every living thing is enjoying the sun, including me and the bees!!
Sorry .. you just can’t get away from the bees entirely. A few more wild flowers are struggling up now and there is a patch of this pretty little thing on the grass bank near the shoreline.
It is Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass Sisyrinchium angustifolium, easily overlooked, but with the most beautiful flower structure and a lovely ultramarine blue In the centre of each blossom is a small patch of yellow.
The style, which is long, is tipped by a three-cleft stigma. Little tiny bees laden with pollen, which I think are probably Halicitid bees of some kind, land on the flower and at first seem to feed on the pollen from the top of the stigma then climb right on top, balancing on the point and thereby transferring pollen to their legs.
It is comical to watch they shake the flower vigorously, and look like spinning plates on sticks.
I may send a photo up to Buglife for an identification, but they are probably not good enough quality. Shame I can’t draw one of these for the exhibition.
Maybe my next exhibition will be USA bees..