The Clyde Butcher exhibit continues through August 7. It’s well worth going, especially if you’ve never seen any of his prints in person.
Mother’s Day: I hope each and every one of you Moms out there have a wonderful day and enjoy spending time with your families. The world is so much better with all of you in it!
Blogaversary: Fifteen years ago on May 4, 2007, I published my first blog post. Since then it’s become a habit! Many thanks to all of you that stop by week after week to see what’s happening. I know I get a lot of enjoyment writing it and reading your comments. I hope all of you get at least some pleasure from it too.
Stay positive, be kind, take care of yourselves and each other. And if you can, visit a museum!
I know how interested you are in dinosaurs and when I found out that they were invading Orlando, I was disappointed that you couldn’t go see them with us. So I thought I should at least make some photos you can look at.
I went on a week day so it wasn’t very crowded, but it was a little bit scary being all by myself sometimes with a few of the dinos. This next photo is my favorite from the exhibit. It’s a close up of an Allosaurus mom and I think she’s looking right at me!
As you probably know, an Allosaurus looks a lot like a T-Rex, but they aren’t closely related. The next picture shows the mom with her babies. I wonder where the Allosaurus grandad is?
The Appatosaurus was a massive dinosaur – about 75 feet long and 30 feet tall. It was a herbivore and could eat hundreds of pounds of plants each day. It’s too big for an exhibit like this one, so they show two of its fossilized bones.
Because they’re small, Bambiraptors are named after the Disney character. Have you ever seen the Bambi movie? These may be small but they don’t look much like a baby deer to me! They walked on two legs, might have been able to climb trees and were possibly covered in feathers.
Citipati fossils were discovered in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, and the fossil find included an entire nest and four adults.
Allosaurs aren’t related to T-Rex, but Daspletosaurs are. Its name means “Frightful Lizard”. They stood about 12 feet tall and had very long razor sharp teeth. This one looks like it’s running after me through the bamboo forest!
Heterodontosaurus was a smaller dinosaur – it only weighed about 13 lbs. It had five fingers and opposable thumbs for picking up things.
Hypsibema is the official state dinosaur of Missouri. Florida doesn’t have an official dino. I don’t think your state has one either, but it needs one!
Experts think that the Parasaurolophus used its head crest to make loud bellows.
Placerias looks fierce but it was a herbivore. It could use those tusks for defense but also to slice through thick branches and roots.
Modern day Crocodiles are related to the Postosuchus. I guess it does look a little bit like the crocodiles and alligators we have today in Florida.
Quetzalcoatlus was one of the biggest flying animals of all time with an estimated wingspan of 36 – 39 feet! They could probably move fast on the ground too.
Sordes was another flying reptile that could walk on the ground and climb trees. Its wingspan was only about 2 feet – much smaller than Quetzalcoatlus.
And here’s our last Dino -the Velociraptor. It’s name means “Speedy Thief” or “Swift Robber”. These carnivores are pretty scary in the movies, aren’t they?!
Grandson, I’d never heard of some of these. Did you know about all of them? I hope you enjoyed looking through this. I had fun making the photos and imagining how much you would have liked going with us to see the dinos. Next time you’re here in Florida on vacation, we’ll find some exciting things to do together. We know about a museum we can visit over in Daytona that has a Giant Glyptodont!
Grandmom and Granddad
Here’s a bit more info for those of you that might want to take your kids or grandkids to see this.
Cypress and dark water along the shore from the Lake Rowena Overlook at Leu Gardens
Harry P. Leu Gardens (see this previous blog post and this album on Flickr for more photos) is a botanical showcase for plants that grow well in our Central Florida climate. There’s also a restored 19th century home that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and you can tour a portion of the downstairs. It makes for a great photo walk, and the lush vegetation also makes a great backdrop for a Dino Invasion!
These dinosaurs were created by Guy Darrough’s Lost World Studios. They make them life size and as realistic as possible. They looked very authentic to me! If you want to see this exhibit, make your plans quickly. The last day is April 18th.
Thanks to everyone for stopping by and reading my blog. And as always, take care of yourselves and each other. And when you can – visit with your grandkids and make some photos!
I’d heard some reports of American White Pelicans visiting Lake Davis in downtown Orlando. When MK confirmed they were there, we agreed to meet last Tuesday morning for a walk and a look-see.
They’re winter visitors in Florida and I often spot them at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge over on the coast. I didn’t realize their stops at our in-shore lakes are as common as they seem to be now. In addition to Lake Davis, Wally Jones writes in his blog about a pod of them in downtown Lakeland on Lake Morton.
White Pelicans are interesting. According to this article, they can have wingspans up to nine and a half feet, making them some of the largest birds in North America. And they often feed together in small groups, herding fish in front of them. Here’s a video MK made of this behavior:
The Pelicans were somewhere else during our walk, but MK has seen them since – so if you don’t catch them the first time, it might be worth another visit. Since I missed them that day, I’ll have to cheat a bit and use a photo of one that I made over in Merritt Island last December:
American White Pelican in flight (MINWR)
We did see many other birds that morning including some Mallards:
Many Wood Ducks:
A few Ring-necked Ducks:
And even a family of these strange looking (to me at least) Egyptian Geese.
The Egyptian Goose is native to the Middle East but humans have helped them spread around the world. They’ve been in Florida since the 1960s and as recently as 2009, Florida Fish and Wildlife didn’t think they bred outside of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. See this article for more info : http://wildsouthflorida.com/egyptian.goose.html.
Lake Davis is a lovely surprise hiding in downtown Orlando and a wonderful place for a walk! This search will bring up other posts on the blog about the area: https://edrosack.com/?s=lake+davis.
Lake Davis Morning
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Take care of yourselves and each other. And if you (peli)can – make some photos!
Since we’ve been following the Lake Cherokee and Lake Davis Cygnets here on the blog this year, I thought you’d be interested in another update. I apologize in advance for the somewhat disturbing photo below.
Back in late October, a neighbor saw one of the 6-month-old Mute Swan cygnets with what looked like blood all over its body.
Injured cygnet (Photo by Nicole Halstead, used with permission)
Worried about the bird, several people that live near the lake started calling Florida Fish & Wildlife and other rescue groups to get the swan some help. Many rescue organizations limit help to native species only, and since Mute Swans are considered invasive in Florida it was tough to find anyone that could assist.
A Lake Eola Park Ranger agreed to come over and it turned out the bird was severely wounded with a fishing hook caught deep in its neck. It was also bleeding from its mouth. The ranger tried to remove the hook, but it was in too deep.
Winter Park Veterinary Hospital regularly provides free veterinary assistance to injured wildlife and veterinary services to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland. They agreed to treat the cygnet and the ranger got permission for one of the neighbors to transport the injured swan.
Dr. Catherine Hellenga, DMV, and her team examined the swan. It turned out that most of the blood was due to injuries to its mouth and tongue from trying unsuccessfully to get the hook out of its own neck. The vet was able to remove the hook, and they also took X-rays and checked for possible lead poisoning from weights on the line – all of which came back negative.
They kept the swan for two days, providing fluids, treatment and excellent care until it was ready to be released. Again with approval from park rangers, the neighbor transported the cygnet back to Lake Cherokee where the Lake Eola Park Ranger team helped release it and reunite it with family and friends.
Ranger releasing the cygnet
Recovering Lake Cherokee Cygnet
Cygnet release and flight to join siblings (Portions of this video by MK Rosack, used with permission)
Unfortunately that isn’t the end of the story.
We all hoped it would be accepted back into its family and could stay for a bit longer on Lake Cherokee. The park ranger told us they’ve returned swans to Lake Eola after longer than two days and they’ve been accepted. But when this one was released, the cob acted very aggressively toward it and drove the cygnet away.
Parents usually drive young swans away at around 5+ months old. This cygnet and its siblings had already fledged and were probably old and large enough to survive on their own1. But after it was rejected, it started acting strangely and wandering out in the street – endangering itself and drivers in the area. A police officer saw this and called animal control. They came and took the cygnet to a sanctuary in Christmas, Florida.
Our cygnet has adjusted well to its new home and has another swan for company as well as other feathered friends. It should do fine there.
This is a good reminder though, that we all need to be careful about what we do outside while enjoying nature. Our actions can impact the environment and wildlife, sometimes in a bad way.Pick up after yourself and never leave things like fishing line and hooks behind where they can injure animals or even other people.
Many thanks to Winter Park Veterinary Hospital, the Lake Eola Park Rangers, and Lake Cherokee neighbors for saving this baby swan!
And thanks to all of you for stopping by and reading my blog. Take care of yourselves and each other and watch out for wildlife too. And if you can – make some photos.
Although three of the six were lost, these three look very healthy. They still have a lot of their gray baby color, but they’re as big as Mom. And MK reports they’ve fledged and she’s seen them flying around the lake.
Here are a few more photos from our walk:
Shoreline. Birds really seem to like this spot along Lake Davis.
Got my Mottled Ducks in a row
Red-bellied Woodpecker and a grub(?)
These two lakes in downtown Orlando are a very nice place to walk. There’s a lot to see (and photograph) and you can get some steps too. Thanks MK for inviting me and thanks for helping me spot things! I think we were lucky to get our walk in on Friday. Looks like we’ve got a bunch of rain heading our way.
No, not slow shutter speeds. Photography itself is slow.
It usually is this time of year. Our heat, humidity, and bugs have all become bothersome. And at least for me, wildlife seems harder to spot. This year we also have a pandemic to deal with – especially here in Florida. So my photo motivation has been sluggish. I did end up taking my camera out three times last week and came home with a couple images that may be worth sharing.
I saw a mention (On Flickr? Can’t remember. ) of a place called Lemon Bluff. It’s a small Volusia County park / boat ramp on the St. Johns river. I’m not sure how many photos you could find there, but it would be a great place to launch a kayak.
St. Johns River from the Lemon Bluff boat ramp
I also brought my camera on two short trips into Orlando. I wanted to see how the swans are doing. Our first visit was cancelled by a rain storm, however the second one went a little better.
Almost grown – These Lake Davis cygnets are just about as big as Mom and Dad.
Both families are doing well. There are still two cygnets at Lake Davis. Lake Cherokee has three – they’re a little smaller. I’m not posting photos of them because they were napping in the grass right in front of an ugly irrigation pump. I should file a complaint with the swan modeling agency!
It’s still baby bird season here in Central Florida. I thought I’d update you on several I’ve been following.
Lake Cherokee Mute Swans
As of May 23rd, there are three surviving cygnets at Lake Cherokee (this photo is from May 17th). On April 25th, I counted 6.
Lake Davis Mute Swans
There are only two cygnets left at Lake Davis (this photo is from May 17th too). On April 25th, there were 5. They seem a little bit larger / older to me than the ones at Lake Cherokee.
There’s a lot of wildlife in and around Lake Davis and Lake Cherokee. One neighbor’s seen owls, hawks, eagles and otters there and it wouldn’t be surprising if there are alligators too. Life for these young swans is dangerous.
All of the remaining ones seem to be healthy and growing. Hopefully they’re big enough now to avoid any more predation.
Winter Park Ospreys
Wing exercise – These two chicks are still in this nest. In this photo (also from May 17th) Mom and sibling duck out of the way as the other one exercises its wings.
They’re growing fast and getting stronger. I don’t think it’ll be too long before they fledge.
Bonus baby birds
Here are a few other young birds I’ve seen in the last week. These are from a stroll at Orlando Wetlands Park.
Black-necked Stilts: Mom and chick
A young Night Heron in flight. I think this one is a Black-crowned Night Heron. They’re much more common around here than the Yellow-crowned ones.
Family cruise – Mottled Duck Mom and ducklings
Okay – that’s all of the baby bird news I have. Now for a more serious subject.
Here In the US, we celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday in May (the 25th). It’s a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy. Every one of us owes them a debt we can never repay.
Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. Hang in there, stay safe, and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. And if you can – make some photos!
Lynn and I dropped off some things today at MK’s place. On the way home we checked on the Lake Cherokee and Lake Davis swans and then went by Winter Park to see how the Ospreys are doing.
Lake Cherokee Mute Swan and cygnets
The swans at Lake Cherokee seem to be fine. But last time I counted 6 cygnets and today I only saw 5. I hope one was hidden in the grass or behind the tree on the right.
Lake Davis Mute Swan and Cygnets
The Lake Davis swans seem fine too and I counted 5 cygnets there, same as our last visit. If you’d like to see a few more photos of these birds, one of my Flickr friends (Kathy B.) posted a few in her Flickr photo stream.
We only saw one very small chick in the Winter Park Osprey nest two weeks ago. It turns out it was the only one poking its head up at the time – there were two more hidden in the nest. This visit we saw all three and they’re much larger already. All the hungry babies were loudly begging for food and Momma was busy feeding them pieces of very fresh fish.
Momma Osprey feeding her three chicks
As we were getting ready to leave, Lynn asked if I’d made a video. And of course I hadn’t remembered to, so I went back and recorded a little bit. Thanks Lynn! The chicks in this remind me of mini dinosaurs.
Mary D. posted a comment on the last Osprey post. She saw a worker up there and hoped he was placing a wildlife camera. I looked and couldn’t see any sign of one.
When we posted about the Lake Davis ducks a couple of weeks ago, I got a question in the comments about the swan on Lake Cherokee.
Lake Cherokee Cob
lbphoto23 had only seen one swan there and asked if we’d seen two. I answered at the time that “Yes, there are two on Lake Cherokee. If you don’t see them together, you can usually spot the second one somewhere on a different area of the lake.”
Well it turns out that there are actually eight swans on Lake Cherokee! MK spotted her new neighbors this week paddling around with mom and dad.
Lynn and I had to drop some things off for MK, so I brought my camera and made some photos as we drove around both lakes on the way home. The Lake Davis Swan family is also doing well – there are ‘seven swans a swimming’ there.
Lake Davis Mute Swan Family
I’m happy that both families are starting out so well. Last year, the Lake Cherokee family ended up losing all of their cygnets one by one. Hopefully this year they’ll do much better.
Lake Cherokee Mute Swan Family
MK has notice quite a few people swan watching. If you do go see them, make sure you don’t get too close – give them some space!
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. We’re doing OK here and socially isolating as much as possible. I hope all of you are staying safe too – take care of yourselves, your friends, and your families. And if you can, make some photos!
Wood Ducks seem to really like Lake Davis. There were more than a dozen adults and many more babies. Other kinds of ducks like it too. This Mallard posed in nice light so I could make its portrait:
A colorful, curly tailed Mallard
With pandemic lockdowns nearly everywhere here in the US, it’s nice that we have close by spots for a little solo exercise (with a camera, of course). MK and I made these photos on two separate trips around Lake Davis near her place over the last couple of weeks. Thank you for your help with this post, MK!
I’m glad the ducks like this place as much as we do!
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Stay safe out there and take care of yourselves, your friends, and your families. And if you can, make some photos!