Wednesday, June 23 2021

Roseate Spoonbill

"Gorgeous at a distance and bizarre up close is the Roseate Spoonbill." ~ Audubon

Once threatened by plume hunters seeking their feathers, they are now threatened by the availability of adequate food sources and habitat degradation.The Roseate Spoonbill's uses it's large, spoon-shaped bill, to sweep back and forth in shallow water to capture prey.

Reddish Egret

The Reddish Egret is the rarest egret species found in North America. It's easy to identify by its shaggy appearance, hyperactive feeding behavior, and pink-and-black bill.

Tuesday, June 22 2021

Dry Tortugas

The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys, about 67 miles west of Key West.

“Tortugas” means turtles in Spanish, the name “Dry” was given to the island to indicate to other mariners that the land mass lacked fresh water,.

Vlad the Impala

I'm 70

Some people handle aging better than others.

4 Inch Tongue

American Bittern

The American Bittern seem to materialize among reeds and to disappear just as quickly, particularly when in its concealment pose, where it stretches its neck and points its bill skyward. They stand motionless in tall marsh vegetation, or will patiently stalk fish, frogs, or insects.

Green Heron

The Green Heron sits very still with their neck all scrunched as the patiently with for prey to appear and then move very quickly to nab a fish or frog.

Purple Gallinule

The Purple Gallinule may be Florida's most colorful birds with their purplish head and body, greenish wings and back, a yellow-tipped red bill, baby-blue frontal shield, and bright yellow legs and feet.

Monday, June 21 2021

Selfie

"a selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a digital camera or smartphone, which may be held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick. selfies are often shared on social media, via social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram."

Swamp Hibiscus

Most people think of a swamp as a bug infested quagmire and a place to avoid. Seeing a dozen or two Swamp Hibiscus growing naturally should be sufficient to get these folks to change that vision.

Florida Panther

The Florida Panther population once dropped to below two dozen and has rebounded to somewhere in the range of 150 to 200. Obviously these majestic animals are critically endangered.

Orb-weaver Spider

The Orb-weaver spider in this photo was taken along the road in the Ding Darling Refuge on Sanibel Island and was hard to miss since the web measured approximately 4 feet wide by 6 feet tall.

Growling Gator

Taken at Corkscrew Sanctuary during alligator mating season when this male was courting a nearby female.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

National Audubon began protecting the wading birds nesting within Corkscrew Swamp in 1905. During the 1940s and '50s, cypress forests in Florida were being leveled for their timber. Audubon realized the forest must be saved. At the time, Corkscrew was isolated and almost impossible to access. Today it is an oasis in a made-over landscape. In other areas, many of the wild swamps and much of the teeming wildlife that was characteristic of this region less than a generation ago are gone.

Wood Storks Chicks

I find these Wood Stork chicks to be absolutely adorable.

One Third?

Sunday, June 20 2021

Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm (AAA)

An Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm (AAA) is an enlargement of the aorta, the main blood vessel that delivers blood to the body, at the level of the abdomen. They usually grow slowly and don't have any symptoms in most cases, though some people may notice a pulsating feeling near the navel. Pain in the back, belly, or side may be signs of impending rupture which are life-threatening. Ruptured AAA's typically causes severe low blood pressure and only 50% of patients with a ruptured AAA reach the hospital alive; of those who reach the hospital, up to 50% do not survive repair. Small Abdominal Aorta Aneurysms may only need monitoring but when they get too large or they are growing too quickly need to be repaired with surgery.

My AAA was incidentally discovered during a scan of my spine and I was quite disturbed to learn that I had one. The timing was terrible because my next-door neighbor, who had been sitting at my kitchen table just 3 days prior, had died in surgery to repair his AAA the day before I was told I had one too. I learned mine was pretty small and just needed to be monitored. Every six months I had it checked and its growth was slow and I was told I probably wouldn't ever need surgery. On my routine check-up, I was stunned when I was told I needed it repaired quickly since it had grown significantly and was beyond the dimension considered safe to leave alone. In addition to its size, the aneurysm itself was hitting my spine with every beat of my heart. This news immediately caused my anxiety to increase significantly and was only relieved when I had it repaired without any problems.

I was fortunate that I could have the less risky endovascular aneurysm repair and not have to have my abdomen opened for the repair. Endovascular repair involves inserting a graft/stent within the aneurysm through small groin incisions using X-rays to guide the graft into place. It's another example of modern medicine that I am eternally grateful to benefit from and I recovered from the surgery in a couple of weeks.

My point of interest for others is, that while the idea of having the main blood supply rupture is scary, it's no reason to change your lifestyle. I can't emphasize enough the importance of regular check-ups and, not assume that since it was growing slowly, that you can stop getting it checked.

Saturday, June 19 2021

Front Range 4x4

Another large part of my life revolved around four-wheeling after my kids were adults when my wife & I discovered the fun of exploring the Rocky Mountains and beyond. Initially, I joined a 4x4 club for Toyotas since that's what I had but found it pretty boring and cultish. I was motivated to create a new group called Front Range 4x4 which was for all makes and models of folks enjoying the same activity. It was a great group of folks who were fun, responsible, and caring about the activity. I'm pleased to say it's still doing well after all these years after I moved away and couldn't participate any longer.

Front Range 4x4

Visit Front Range 4x4

Friday, June 18 2021

Red Powderpuff

Red Powderpuff is very large, stunning and the flowers, adorable. It has buds that look just like little berry clusters that burst open into fuzzy puffball blossoms.

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