Thursday, July 1 2021

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

The Halloween pennant dragonfly loves to eat mosquitos as much as you dislike them.

Honey Bee

In Florida, nearly three out of every four crops, like blueberries, strawberries, squash, avocado, watermelon, cucumbers, and onions, are reliant on honey bees for pollination.

Dead End

Here's a dead-end road just past the C.R.E.W. parking lot which serves as a counterpoint to the "Sunshine State" slogan.

Loop Road

Like the rest of the Everglades, the scenery along Loop Road doesn’t shout. Appreciating Big Cypress National Wildlife Refuge requires quiet attention to the beauty of small things where the attentive will see alligators, birds, otters, deer, and maybe even the rarely seen Florida panther.

Egret and Wood Storks

A Great Egret walking past some Wood Storks in a mixed-species breeding area.

Dolphin

There's not much better than having a Dolphin swim next to you while out in a boat on the Gulf of Mexico.

White-tailed Deer

This pair of White-tailed Deer were grazing in a back road area where I had never seen deer previously. It's near a gun club and is patrolled by police, one of which watched me looking at the deer, and slowed to a stop. I held my camera out the window which satisfied the police I wasn't going to harm the deer.

Be Prepared

I learned a lesson in preparedness after missing this opportunity. I was done for the day and, had my camera turned off, when I came upon these deer each with a bird on its head. They were gone before I could focus for a second shot.

Wednesday, June 30 2021

Blood Thinners

Blood thinners can be a lifesaver for those of us that have had blood clots but I found a serious negative of their use. I felt pain that I, and the emergency room doctor, diagnosed as kidney stones. I ended up going to the E.R. three times before they realized I had an arterial bleed behind my pancreas.

The bleed was stopped after 3 days in intensive care using endovascular coiling to block blood flow into my aneurysm followed by a week in the hospital. I didn’t realize it was as bad as it was until I was told that I almost died.

The negative of blood thinners, in my case, turned out to be they can cause this type of bleed and I was taken off them so the doctors could stop the bleed. That’s something I had never heard of and why I’m mentioning it. Anyone on blood thinners should be aware of this possibility.

Since I had a couple of clots and couldn’t take the usual blood thinners again the surgeon installed a Vena Cava filter to catch any new clot before reaching my lungs.

On the positive side, I no longer have the excessive bruising and bleeding I had when on the blood thinners.

A side note: I told the E.R. doctor what I thought was the problem, kidney stones. Unfortunately, he agreed and treated me on my first two visits for that when it was something totally different. I'll never suggest the cause of a problem again.

Tuesday, June 29 2021

Janes Scenic Drive

Janes Scenic Drive is an 11-mile dirt road extending from the park visitor center in Copeland to Fakahatchee's border with Picayune Strand State Forest. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, the road is an easy, graded road suitable for any vehicle.

Tillandsia

This Tillandsia is the most common air plant I see in the area and think they are remarkable in their simplicity and beauty.

Orchid

This photo was taken in an urban neighborhood tree and I find it simply beautiful. I have no idea if it's a native variety or what its name is. Please let me know if you do.

Air Plant

Tillandsia (Air Plants) are epiphytes, meaning that they attach to other plants or rocky substrates as a means of support. Their roots are used solely for attachment rather than absorbing nutrients or water via roots, air plants rely on the moisture in the atmosphere to grow and thrive. This particular photo shows a rather large one that grows in a tree next to my driveway.

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is caused by a blocked artery in the lungs. The most common cause is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein in the leg and travels to the lungs, where it gets lodged in a smaller lung artery. Almost all blood clots that cause pulmonary embolism are formed in the deep leg veins. It can cause low blood oxygen levels that can damage other organs in the body. A large PE or many clots can quickly cause serious life-threatening problems and, even death.

I've had a couple of these, one single and one bi-lateral (both lungs), and is quite scary finding it very difficult to breathe. Having one is not fatal, though it can be. Treatment is blood thinners which help dissolve the clot and prevent others from happening. My first was misdiagnosed as an asthma attack and didn't get properly treated for 5 days but, obviously, it didn't kill me. I was told I'd be on blood thinners for life but chose to stop my blood thinners on the belief mine was a freak occurrence and wouldn't happen again. The point I want to make is that when I told my Pulmonologist I stopped the blood thinners and was aware of the risk but I refused to spend the rest of my life in fear of another. He surprised me by saying "good for you!" and told me that most of his patients did spend their time sitting home fearing another.

Fifteen years later I had the bi-lateral PE's and felt I would die, again I didn't and was put back on blood thinners.

Skink

Here's a Skink that I haven't been able to clearly identify, any Herpetologist help would be appreciated.

Reptile Fight?

While sitting on a bench in the Naples Botanic Gardens these two lizards appeared to be in a fight. Maybe a mating ritual? Something else entirely, I have no idea but they darted off after someone walked nearby.

Green Iguana

The invasive iguanas are attracted to trees with foliage or flowers, many fruits, and almost any vegetable. They cause damage by digging burrows that erode and collapse sidewalks, foundations, seawalls, berms, and canal banks.

Being Watched

I had the feeling of being watched and turned to see that I certainly was.

Florida Panther

This is definitely the way I would like to see a Florida Panther in the wild, walking away.

Young Raccoon

This Young Raccoon was too busy searching for food to even notice me only a few feet away.

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