Friday, October 06, 2006

St. Marks Wildlife Refuge banquet

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is so close we could say it's in our neighborhood; so it's no wonder we drop by and see what's up pretty regularly. Yesterday evening we decided to take in the big sky of the Refuge and see what we could find. From the van, we soon spotted a kingfisher on a post not far from shore. Upon opening the doors, we quickly discovered the biggest hoedown happening was among the mosquitos and biting flies. They welcomed us with open jaws. The kingfisher flew, of course... they are very camera shy. We saw lots of wading birds and found a warbler we didn't know (click here - let me know if you can name this one). This small bird was so close to the road in the poke weed that I shot through the open window. Crystal had her binoculars going and, jostling both of us, our dog, Jupiter, was snapping away at the flies that were swarming into the van... "Stay down, Jup!" He finally gave up and moved to the back of the van thinking he could hide from the flies. Later, as we started to leave, the kingfisher called. We saw him land on the post again in the dying light. I got out and walked back. Snapped a few shots... but without my tripod, they weren't worth more than the satisfaction of seeing him through my telephoto lense. But then I heard a toot from the van. Crystal and Jup were being eaten alive. Time to go.

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