Blue Courtyard

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Blue courtyard. Isla Providencia, Colombia

Because I like to have a photo at the top of the page and the previous story didn’t have any photos to go along, here’s something from the Isla Providencia archives.

I don’t know what this building was originally intended for, but it had weeds growing on top of the walls and kids playing soccer inside.


Black Skimmers

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

black skimmers. Rockport, Texas

black skimmers. Rockport, Texas

black skimmers. Rockport, Texas

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Rockport Beach Park, Rockport, Texas

This is a really cool bird that nests here in Rockport. The best part is that when they feed they “skim.” Flying close to the water and dipping their beak in as they go along picking up small fish and crustaceans. Notice that the lower beak is longer than the top. You can kind of see it in the video. I’m not happy with the video quality, but we had lots of trouble with windows (wmv) embedded video so I’m trying flash video instead. It works better but I haven’t figured out the quality setting yet.


Tettigoniidae

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Katydid. Isla Providencia, Colombia

Isla Providencia, Colombia

This guy rode over on Cameron’s kayak just before we hauled anchor to depart. He stayed with us as long as we were in the lee of the island. After that… I don’t know as we were to busy holding on to pay attention to him. There was also a good katydid picture on Jill’s blog a couple of days ago.


Stupid Friendly Little Birdies

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Bird. Gulf of Mexico

We mentioned that shortly after anchoring in Alacran, we were visited by a scruffy but adorable little birdie who, after maybe thirty seconds of initial hesitation, entered our cabin and totally made himself (herself?) at home in our boat. Strangely, he was not worried about us at all, even when we moved around, and a couple of times he landed on our arms or knees. He explored the entire interior of the boat and settled into a lap pattern: cockpit to sink/galley area, where we had a squeezed lime sitting on the counter, pick at the lime (working on the scurvy), hop around and then make the short flight to the settee table, give Joshua the eye and then hop across the table flying up to the aft window shelf/ledge, start at the basket of shells/beach debris looking for insects, move onto the plastic lid I made a water dish out of and splash water all over the cabin, move on to the basket with pens and miscellaneous crap and look for bugs, tuck into the far corner hidey hole for maybe two seconds before emerging and making way back to cockpit, spend some time in cockpit and then enter forward cabin, do some stuff (we weren’t in there) and return to aft cabin around three minutes later to repeat the entire process over and over again. He never even pooped on our stuff either, or at least we never found it. Not yet.

Bird. Gulf of Mexico

Bird. Gulf of Mexico

Bird. Gulf of Mexico

About a day after we left Alacran, we were visited by another small bird; this time a swallow. It was a beautiful bird with iridescent blue/purple head feathers, long clean and smooth wing and tail feathers, a rust-colored throat fringed with a bit of black, and a pale gold breast. He landed on our boat and sat for a bit on the foredeck, then moved closer, closer (trying to get out of the wind), and finally perched on the edge of the cockpit before falling asleep. While asleep, we had total immunity and could move freely within inches of him; when awake, we were more careful because sudden movement of massive bodies freaked him out a little. He slept on and off for hours and nearing dark, crawled into the cockpit cubby to sleep. All night long we wondered if he was still inside the cubby because we never saw him fly away but in the morning, he was gone. (This one was a pooper though and our sail bag, which was stuffed in the cockpit locker, suffered.)

swallow. Gulf of Mexico

We saw a number of migrating swallows, among other birds like egrets, “songbirdies,” etc., all flapping madly for the southern US coast. Nobody else stopped to rest though.

All this friendly bird action reminded us of a photo we took in 2002 of what happens to little birdies who lose their inhibition. This is a street-snack stand that would appear in the evenings in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

deep fried song birds. Phnom Penh, Cambodia

[Click the image to see the full photo.]


fungus

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

Fungus on wood. Isla Guanaja, Honduras

Isla Guanaja, Honduras

We forgot to mention that we found chantrelles on Isla Guanaja. Under what looked like live oaks among pine trees. This led to a delicious chantrelle pizza baked in Velella’s oven.


Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell