|Delnor Wiggins State Park|
|Osprey returning from a fishing trip|
The warblers were catching insects in the Corkscrew Swamp, while the osprey were fishing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We didn't see any Great Blue Herons, but we did see several of it's smaller cousin, named of course, the Little Blue Heron.
|The Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) is about half the size of the Great Blue Heron|
Another similar bird that appears to be a mash-up of two of our favorite summer birds - the Common Loon and the Heron - is something called the Anhinga.
|Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)|
The anhinga is a diving bird shaped somewhat like a loon, and it fishes like a loon although it doesn't catch fish with its beak, rather it stabs its prey spear-gun style with that long, sharp beak. At breeding time, it nests like a heron, building a nest of sticks in a tree. We were fortunate enough to be near the nest at meal time, which was reminiscent of the feeding of the Great Blue Herons seen up at Arbutus Hill Pond in Meredith last summer.
There were also many beautiful animals that have no counterpart in New England, including 'gators, Snowy Egrets, and the ungainly, yet wonderfully elegant, Brown Pelican.
|Snowy Egret near the Naples Pier (love those yellow slippers)|
|Anyone want to mess with me?|
|A brown pelican glides low over the gulf waters|
We also found some other friends that are smart enough to travel south with the other animals for the winter.
|Thanks M&N for everything!|
|Fat biking on Lake Wicwas|
|A faster mode of two-wheeled transportation|
A couple of short videos:
They're also a little louder than fat bikes. These high-tech machines have spikes mounted into their tires so they have no problem with traction on ice.
The snow surface is rock-hard at the moment, and with no snow in the immediate forecast, ice sports may be the activity of the week. There certainly won't be any animal tracking, as I had to really stomp on the snow to break through the crust. But until new snow falls, we'll enjoy the ice: next weekend brings the New England Pond Hockey Classic to Meredith Bay, and they will be loving the current conditions in the Lakes Region.