Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns

 

Can you remember learning about a collective noun in your ninth grade English class? Boy, I surly do. Mr. Ellis made certain we could properly diagram, yes, diagram, a sentence containing a collective noun. Well, just in case you have forgotten all you learned about this important part of the English language, this blog will refresh your memory.

A collective noun is a word used to represent a group of people, animals, or things. Examples of collective nouns are herd of cattle, colony of ants, school of fish, or flock of birds to name just a few. I have chosen to illustrate the collective noun flock with sixteen of my bird photographs.

A flock is defined as a number of birds of one kind feeding, resting, and traveling together. Rather than referring to a flock of birds, folks in the bird world have created other names for different birds as you will read in the caption under each photograph.

Click on each photograph to enlarge

A Grain of Sanderling
A Grain of Sanderling
A Posse of Wild Turkey
A Posse of Wild Turkey
A Conspiracy of Black Skimmer
A Conspiracy of Black Skimmer
A Squadron of White Pelican and A Flotilla of Gull
A Squadron of White Pelican and A Flotilla of Gull
A Fling of Willet
A Fling of Willet
A Cloud of Red - winged Blackbird
A Cloud of Red – winged Blackbird
A Cast of Green Jay
A Cast of Green Jay
A Congregation of Great Egret
A Congregation of Great Egret
A Swoop of whooping Crane
A Swoop of Whooping Crane
a Whirligg of Wilsons Phalarope
a Whirligg of Wilsons Phalarope
A Lute of Mallard
A Lute of Mallard
A Merl of Yellow - headed Blackbird
A Merl of Yellow – headed Blackbird
A Bowl of Roseate Spoonbill
A Bowl of Roseate Spoonbill
A Gulp of Neotropical Cormorant
A Gulp of Neotropical Cormorant
A Battery of Great Blue Heron
A Battery of Great Blue Heron
A Ballet of Trumpter Swan
A Ballet of Trumpeter Swan

 

 

 

 

 

Snack Time

Snack Time

This Blogger/Photographer was fortunate enough to be standing in the right place at the right time, with Nikon slung around his neck, to capture this beautiful adult Tricolored Heron searching, stalking, catching and savoring a mid- morning snack.

Click on each photo to enlarge

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A Senior Citizen Science Project

A Senior Citizen Science Project

This Blogger and his Chief Editor, while attending the 2016 Whooping Crane Festival, had the opportunity to hear an expert speak about the life, biology, of monarch butterflies. The information presented was so informative and entertaining that we were motivated to become involved in the life cycle of the beautiful monarch butterfly. A Senior Citizen Science Project sprang forth on March 11 with the purchase of a $20 potted milkweed plant.

The monarch butterfly is found throughout the United States as well as Mexico and Canada. Astonishingly, these small insects can make a 3,000-mile journey in the fall of the year to their wintering location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Mexico or to southern California, depending on which part of the United States or Canada they migrate. The monarchs in this blog are migrating North from Mexico because they are on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. Monarchs can fly 50 to 100 miles per day; it can take up to two months to make the trip to their winter home. Monarchs produce four generations during one summer. The first three generations have a life span of 2-6 weeks and will continue moving north. During this time, they will mate and have the next generation that will continue the northward migration. The fourth generation is different. They can live up to nine months before the long journey to their winter home in California or Mexico.

The photographs in this blog are intended to inform and show the four stages in the fascinating life of a monarch butterfly. The four stages are:

  • The eggs stage which lasts about four days.
  • The caterpillar(larva) stage lasts about two weeks.
  • The chrysalis(pupa) stage lasts about ten days.
  • The adult stage of the Monarch butterfly lasts from 2-6 weeks and then the next generation process begins repeating the same process except for the fourth generation.

On April 17 our project ended when the last of our monarchs suddenly took flight from my finger in a northerly direction which caused happiness along with some sadness. Happy because our project produced 6 first generation female monarch butterflies; sad because they will never return – empty nest.

You should know that the monarch butterfly population has been on the decline due to habitat loss. One way to help is to plant milkweed to provide a place for the monarch butterfly to lay her eggs and provide food for the caterpillar. Spring forth with a Senior Citizen Science Project next spring

MILKWEED PLANT - MARCH 11 BEGINS THE PROJECT
MILKWEED PLANT – MARCH 11 BEGINS THE PROJECT
MONARCH LAYING EGGS - STAGE ONE
MONARCH LAYING EGGS – STAGE ONE
LARVA-CATERPILLAR - STAGE 2
LARVA-CATERPILLAR – STAGE 2
3 LARVA- CATERPILLARS - STAGE 2
3 LARVA- CATERPILLARS – STAGE 2
LARVA -CATERPILLAR - STAGE 2
LARVA -CATERPILLAR – STAGE 2
5 LARVA - CATERPILLARS - STAGE 2
5 LARVA – CATERPILLARS – STAGE 2
2 LARVA - CATERPILLARS - STAGE 2
2 LARVA – CATERPILLARS – STAGE 2
5 LARVA - CATERPILLARS - STAGE 2
5 LARVA – CATERPILLARS – STAGE 2
CATERPILLAR BEGINNING PUPATION - STAGE 2
CATERPILLAR BEGINNING PUPATION – STAGE 2
CHRYSALIS - STAGE 3
CHRYSALIS – STAGE 3
FIRST GENERATION FEMALE MONARCHS - STAGE 4
FIRST GENERATION FEMALE MONARCHS – STAGE 4
11 Chrysalis - STAGE 3
CHRYSALIS – STAGE 3
FIRST GENERATION FEMALE MONARCH - STAGE 4
FIRST GENERATION FEMALE MONARCH – STAGE 4
APRIL 17 THE LAST ADULT
APRIL 17 THE LAST ADULT
APRIL 17, SHE LEFT FROM MY FINGER HEADED NORTH
APRIL 17, SHE LEFT FROM MY FINGER HEADED NORTH

 

 

Etcetera, Etcetera

Etcetera, Etcetera

Etcetera, Etcetera is the second blog in a series of three showing a diverse collection of my photographs.

Alaska
Alaska
Pistachio Trees, Alamogordo, NM
Pistachio Trees, Alamogordo, NM
Caught With Hand In The Candy Jar
Caught With Hand In The Candy Jar
Hibiscus
Hibiscus
Javalina, South Texas
Javalina, South Texas
Korean Memorial - Washington, DC
Korean Memorial – Washington, DC
Landscape Arch - Arches NP, UT
Landscape Arch – Arches NP, UT
Looking Through A Waterfall - Dallas, TX
Looking Through A Waterfall – Dallas, TX
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA
My Madison River therapy Center - ID
My Madison River Therapy Center – ID
Pronghorns, Yellowstone NP, WY
Pronghorns, Yellowstone NP, WY
Raindrops On The Web - Spider
Raindrops On The Web – Spider
Jasminia Off Shore Accommodation Rig Being Towed To A Location In The Gulf of Mexico.
Jasminia Off Shore Accommodation Rig Being Towed To A Location In The Gulf of Mexico.
The Original Smokey Bear Grave Site, Capitan, NM
The Original Smokey Bear Grave Site, Capitan, NM
Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager
Texas
Texas

 

2016 Spring Migration Part 2

These twelve photographs are a continuation of last week’s migration photographs.

Click each photograph to enlarge

Yellow-Throated Warbler
Yellow-Throat Warbler
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo
Swainson's Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush
Solitaire Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler
Immature Indigo Bunting
Immature Indigo Bunting
Female Orchard Oriole
Female Orchard Oriole
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-winged warbler
Blue-winged warbler
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
American Redstart
American Redstart

 

2016 Spring Migration Part 1

2016 Spring Migration Part 1

The 2016 spring migration has begun along the Texas coast. Each time I go out to photograph these migrants, I see something new. This is the reason I will be publishing a 2016 Spring Migration Part 2.

All of the bird photographs in Part 1 and Part 2 were taken in Port Aransas, TX at the two most popular birding sites, Joan & Scott Holt Paradise Pond and Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center.

Click on each photograph to enlarge

 

Indigo Bunting
Indigo Bunting
Immature Indigo Bunting
Immature Indigo Bunting
Wilson's Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager
Worm-eating Warbler
Worm-eating Warbler
Orchard Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Immature Male Orchard Oriole
Immature Male Orchard Oriole
Louisiana Watethrush
Louisiana Watethrush
Common Yellowthroat Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Lesser Yellowlegs Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs Sandpiper
Painted Bunting
Painted Bunting

 

 

 

 

 

The Saguaro

The Saguaro

(Sah – Wah – Ro)

As a child I enjoyed going to the movies to watch Roy and Gabby or Gene and Smiley, after turning the outlaws over to the sheriff, riding off into the desert, dotted with all those tall cacti with arms named Saguaros.  Many of these old westerns movies and TV series were filmed in Monument Valley Utah. Not intending to deflate anyone’s childhood memories of these now classic Hollywood productions and at the risk of being called a “Meanie”, the only location where the Saguaro cacti actually grow are in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico and Arizona at elevations generally lower than four thousand feet. I guess it’s the magic of cinematography that placed them in Monument Valley or other locations.

Saguaros are very slow growing, between 1 and 1.5 inches during the first eight years of life. As the Saguaro begins to age the growth rates will vary depending upon climate, precipitation and location. In the Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, AZ The branches or arms begin to appear when the Saguaro reaches 50 to 70 years of age. In lower elevations it may take as long as 100 years before the arms appear. The arms generally bend upward and can number over 25. The Saguaro is the largest cactus in the world.

When a Saguaro reaches 35 years of age, it begins to sprout a cluster of creamy flowers which open at night and close the next evening. It is during this time that pollination by bats, birds and insects occur. Late April through early June is when the tops of the Saguaro’s maim trunk and arms produce the flowers.

Saguaros roots grow out from the plant in a radial fashion several inches underground to capture water during the rainy season and store it in the ribs of the plant which expand as more water is captured.

An adult Saguaro is considered to be about 125 years of age. Because of the water it stores a Saguaro may weigh as much as 6 tons. The Saguaro is believed to have a life span of 150 to 175 years.

The Saguaro cacti provide building material for humans, nesting habitat for birds and fruit for both humans and wildlife.

I was fortunate to be able to photograph the Saguaros in the Saguaro National Park, The Arizona Desert Museum and Sabino Canyon State Park during the time period when they were in bloom.

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Walk Through the Wetlands

 Walk Through the Wetlands

Have you ever given much thought to just how valuable and beneficial our wetlands are to people, fish, and wildlife?  While photographing some of the inhabitants of a coastal wetland, my interest in wetlands was tweaked. Without going into to an extensive marine biologist or an environmentalist dialogue about our wetlands, I will take some liberty to share some interesting facts and information about wetlands. Hopefully you will have a greater appreciation of these wetland residents through my photographs, yes, even the alligator.

Our wetlands serve several functions or services. Some of these services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality, providing habitats for fish and wildlife, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. Wetlands are the most productive ecosystems in the world comparable to rain forest and coral reefs. Wetlands are sometimes referred to as “biological supermarkets”.

Coastal wetlands cover roughly 40 million acres and make up about 38 percent of the total wetland acreage. The value of services coastal wetland habitat provides is in the billions of dollars.  These coastal wetlands are the source of habitat for many federally threatened and endangered species, such as the Whooping Crane.

All the photographs in this “Walk Through the Wetlands” blog were taken along the Texas Coast.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Immature White Ibis
Immature White Ibis
Blue Crab
Blue Crab
Common Moorhen
Common Moorhen
Green Heron
Green Heron
Nutria & Red-eared Slider Terrapins
Nutria & Red-eared Slider Terrapin
Sora Rail
Sora Rail
Alligator
Alligator
Roseate Spoonbills & A variety of Ducks
Roseate Spoonbills & A variety of Ducks
American Bittern
American Bittern
Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron
Great Egret
Great Egret
Whooping Cranes
Whooping Cranes

 

 

Photographs of My travels