Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feathered friends, slimy reptiles and visiting relatives

A blue heron lands on a palm stump. Don't laugh; it's exciting stuff.

My paternal aunt and uncle were in town Sunday, March 6, for a spring training game in Viera.

After the Braves spanked the Nationals, we drove to the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands to walk off our hot dogs and Coca-Colas.

My family is full of nature fanatics like me, so they enjoyed viewing the various snowbirds and perennial water creatures in the man-made chain of "lakes."

This is probably the closest I've come to an alligator. It was only a 4-footer with a smallish-looking jaw, so I felt safe.

I'm certainly glad this geological feature was labeled because I had no idea what it was.

These anhingas were sitting in a tree, N-E-C-K-I-N-G.

That's a camera-shy Louisiana heron.

The aunt captures a heron with her point-and-shoot camera. She got a better shot than I did.

I thought I was being creative with this self-portrait of the three of us.

My aunt -- Brenda is her name -- was talking about how they'd see wood storks near their Port St. Lucie rental home, where they stay for about six weeks of the year. As we were leaving the wetlands on foot, we saw several flying in.

With the wood storks as a finale, we saw a bevy of wintering wildlife.

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