September 21, 2014 18 Comments
The best thing about using an automatic wildlife camera is being surprised by what you see – it might be new behaviors, interesting perspectives, or even animals you didn’t know lived in your yard. What fun!
Nature Photography by Pam & Richard
September 18, 2014 13 Comments
Our automatic wildlife camera caught some unlikely animals eating together in our backyard in Florida. Each one has an important role in nature. These pictures make me smile. A good link about Florida wildlife is at: http://www.wildflorida.com/index.php
September 14, 2014 11 Comments
Summer and early Fall are the best time to see colorful land crabs in Florida. They live along the Atlantic coast from Central to Southern Florida, and are also found along the Gulf coast. We usually see them around the time of the full moon in August and September in the Sebastian/Vero Beach area. Giant blue land crabs (Cardisoma guanhumi) like to live in wet sandy burrows, and need to be within 5 miles of the ocean to spawn. Only one in a million eggs survives to adulthood. The distinctive brown “fuzz” around the mouth parts of land crabs is actually a net-like pattern of hairs. It works in conjunction with the internal gills to help them “breathe” while on land. Both male and female adult land crabs have one claw bigger than the other. The crabs can grow up to 6 inches across, and come in a variety of colors including blue, purple, red, orange, brown, and white. More info about the life history of these fascinating crabs is at: http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/crustaceans/blue-crabs/life-cycle/
September 8, 2014 10 Comments
Iceland is one of the top places we have ever visited – we can’t wait to visit again someday! We were constantly surprised by the stunning natural beauty of this magical land. And the people are truly wonderful too – they have been voted the friendliest in the world. It was a great trip all around!
August 31, 2014 10 Comments
We visited Iceland the last 2 weeks of June, and the bird watching was incredible! Half of the world’s Atlantic puffins breed there in summer. One of the easiest ways to see puffins is take a short boat ride out of Reykjavik Harbor to a nesting colony offshore. Arctic terns are abundant along the coast. The 4 ounce birds have the longest annual migration of any animal. They travel from the north to south poles round trip every year – over 40,000 miles! Arctic terns live up to 34 years, so over a lifetime a bird has flown the equivalent of three trips to the moon and back! A website about arctic tern migration is at: http://www.arctictern.info/ Golden plovers are famous among Icelanders for heralding spring. Many bird sightings can be made simply in the course of driving around. This country is a must-do for bird watchers! A handy website on the most commonly seen Icelandic birds is at: http://www.iceland-nh.net/birds/background_birds.html
August 23, 2014 10 Comments
The Glaumbaer Farm/Skagafjordur Folk Museum is located next to the Glaumbaerjarkirkja Church in Skagafjordur, Iceland. This charming sod farmhouse complex is preserved as it was used in the 18th and 19th centuries. The houses are built from sod laid in herringbone patterns with a stone base, and reinforced inside by imported lumber or driftwood. The farm complex contains 13 buildings or “rooms” connected by a central corridor leading to sleeping and communal areas, dining room, kitchen, pantry, blacksmith shop, storerooms, and guest rooms. Turf was used as a building material because it was readily available, provided excellent insulation, and could easily last a century. Lumber was used sparingly because it had to be imported (Iceland has few trees). Volcanic stone was not used because the cost of mortar was too high. The antique furniture and household goods are especially interesting. More info is at: http://www.glaumbaer.is/is/information/glaumbaer-farm/glaumbaer-english-1
August 18, 2014 4 Comments
Every town in Iceland, no matter how small or isolated, seems to have its own historic church. Usually it is perched high on a hill or overlooking the water. We loved the attention to detail and beauty of these unique churches. Some of the buildings are made of concrete or colorful corrugated iron to withstand the harsh weather and winter wind; others are made of stone or turf (sod). Christianity was adopted in this country around 1000 AD, and 80% of the population is Lutheran. That said, Icelanders are free thinking and embrace people of all faiths. “Kirkja” at the end of a word means “church” in Icelandic. Click on any of these pictures to bring up further details and traveling advice.