American White Pelican Head Shot

Springtime Walk at Lake Morton

March 12, 2014 - Last weekend I visited Lake Morton in hopes of photographing swan courtship.  My friend Kim recently posted an amazing image of two “love birds” whose necks came together to form a heart on the lake.  It’s a touching reminder that it’s my favorite time of the year: baby bird season!  I can’t wait for the […]

Female Bufflehead Up Close!

Cloudy Morning Walk at Lake Morton

January 15, 2014 - Three days after Christmas, the weather forecasters promised us some sun.  It was a welcome forecast, as it had been cloudy for days.  So I got up early and headed to Lake Morton for sunrise.  I hadn’t been there to visit my swans in quite a while.  But it was another dull gray day.  You […]

Featherbed

Wow! Honorable Mention in NWF Photo Contest!

December 14, 2013 - Oh my gosh!  Yesterday I received this e-mail: Your photo of a Mute Swan Cygnet has won an Honorable Mention in our 2013 National Wildlife Photo Contest.  It will appear in a slide show on the National Wildlife Federation’s website in the magazine’s PhotoZone pages in January. It will also be considered for our Photo of the Week […]

Symphony Conductor

Show-Offs at Lake Morton

October 23, 2013 - This summer at Lake Morton, I amused myself while on swan nest-watch by taking pictures of all the ducks and geese as they bathed in the lake.  Early mornings seem to be best for bathtime.  The birds are such fun to watch as they splash around, flapping their wings back and forth.  Besides, it’s fun […]

Wood Duck

More from Lake Morton

September 21, 2013 - There were lots of fun birds to photograph on my last visit to Lake Morton.  Besides the juvenile swans, there was a family of baby Limpkins, as well as the regular “menagerie” of ducks and geese.  Early mornings are always good for bath shots!  So here’s some more from Lake Morton… A pair of Black-necked […]

Our Mute Swan Cygnets Return to Lake Morton

Mute Swan Cygnets Returned to Lake Morton

September 19, 2013 - Seven of our Mute Swan Cygnets returned to Lake Morton last week.  Regular readers of my blog may recall my springtime posts about the cute little cygnets, so adorable as they sat in their nests with Mom on the day that they hatched.   I finally got to see a cygnet ride on Mom’s back this […]

Mute Swan Cygnets – Just Another Ordinary Miracle!

June 4, 2013 - On Sunday I visited Lake Morton to photograph what is probably the last Mute Swan cygnet of the season. We’ve had a great spring this year, with lots of great nests and adorable cygnets. Unfortunately the babies are taken away by the City of Lakeland almost as soon as they hatch. So we haven’t had many opportunities to […]

Another Tale of Father Goose

May 28, 2013 - Regular readers of my blog may remember Father Goose.  He (she?) is a goose at Lake Morton who befriends the Muscovy Ducks each spring when their babies hatch.  I’m not sure where the Muscovy dads are, but they don’t seem to be much involved in raising the brood of youngsters.  Enter “Father” Goose, the lonely goose […]

Sunset with my Swans

May 23, 2013 - After our less-than-spectacular sunrise at Blue Cypress Lake a few weeks ago, I headed to Lakeland to see my swans.  You see, the City of Lakeland takes the cygnets away from their nests almost immediately — sometimes on the same day that they hatch.  The City believes that it’s better to raise the babies in […]

Cygnets for Mother’s Day

May 12, 2013 - Dedicated to my mom, who is my best friend and confidante.  Happy Mother’s Day!! As regular readers of my blog know, I’ve been stopping by Lake Morton periodically to monitor the nesting of the resident Mute Swans.  My friend Kim at the lake knows how much I love to photograph the cygnets (baby swans), so […]

Cygnet Watch at Lake Morton

May 4, 2013 - On my way back from Fort De Soto last Saturday, I stopped at Lake Morton to see if there were any cygnets (baby swans).  I’ve been keeping an eye on the nests there for the past few weeks, as it is getting to be that time of year when tiny gray fuzzballs appear under the […]

Seven Baby Limpkins at Lake Morton!

April 22, 2013 - I had read about baby Limpkins at Lake Morton, and when I was walking around the lake on Saturday morning, I kept my eyes and ears open.  Often I hear babies before I see them.  Then I ran into my friend Jane, and she told me exactly where to find them.  Woo hoo!  They were […]

Cute Babies at Lake Morton

April 21, 2013 - The weather was cloudy and rainy on Saturday morning, so I didn’t want to venture miles from my car with heavy camera equipment.  I opted for a trip to Lake Morton, where I knew I could find cute babies.  I knew I’d be too early for swan cygnets, which probably won’t hatch till late April […]

Swans Nesting at Lake Morton

April 11, 2013 - As I wrote yesterday, my friend Carla came with me on a photography expedition last weekend.  We first visited the Circle B Bar Reserve, and then we headed to Lake Morton.  Carla saw her first swan’s nest! The beautiful Mute Swans are nesting all around the lake right now.  We counted at least eight nests. […]

Perfect Moment

September 19, 2012 - I was going back through my images from the year to prepare my annual Christmas calendars. I came across this one and thought of my friend Kim from the lake, who will soon become a grandmother. This was such a special day, when I met Kim and got to photograph this day-old cygnet on the […]

Ring-Necked Duck in July!?

September 9, 2012 - The last couple of times that I’ve been to Lake Morton, I’ve noticed this lone Ring-Necked Duck out in the water. With all the ducks, swans, and geese at the “menagerie,” you might not think that was so strange…except for the fact that all his friends flew north several months ago! I wonder what made […]

Save the Best for Last

August 30, 2012 - As I prepared to leave Lake Morton on Sunday, I stopped to photograph a Limpkin standing tall by the lakeside. I approached cautiously, tucking myself behind a tree so as not to surprise him. When I emerged on my knees to photograph him at eye-level, I was the one who got the surprise. He had […]

Late Bloomer

August 29, 2012 - I was a little surprised to find a tiny Mallard chick at Lake Morton on Sunday. He toppled into the water to follow Mom when I accidentally spooked her. He had a whole family of Mallards who seemed to be watching out for him. It’s unusual to see just one of this size – the […]

The Three Stooges

August 28, 2012 - When I got out of the car at Lake Morton on Sunday, these “Three Stooges” nearly knocked me over as they begged for food. They are so used to people feeding them that they expect everybody to be a food dispenser! No matter where you go around the lake, you find these guys, often in […]

Teenage Muscovy

Father Goose’s Teenagers

August 27, 2012 - Regular readers of my blog may remember Father Goose from about a month ago. He’s the goose at Lake Morton that befriends Muscovy ducklings and helps protect them as they grow up. A month ago, this is how he looked with his adopted family… Well, these days he’s looking after teenagers. While I was there […]

My First Black-Necked Swan

Gray Icky Morning at Lake Morton

August 26, 2012 - I stopped by Lake Morton this morning on my way to help my dad in his computer lab. It was very gray and nasty outside as Tropical Storm Isaac approached. But I haven’t had much opportunity to photograph lately, so even gray days are fun. Plus I always enjoy my time with the birds at […]

Picture Perfect

July 24, 2012 - A few weekends ago when I was photographing at Swan Lake (a.k.a. Lake Morton), I looked up from the cute babies to see this Mallard sitting posed in great light with a perfect reflection. I loved the contrast of his feathers against the blue lake background. I kinda wished the cute babies would have stood […]

Swan Lake

July 14, 2012 - My hubby isn’t the most, um, obsessed about birding. So I had to laugh when he asked me, “are you going back to the Goosey Pond this weekend?” He was referring to Lake Morton and Father Goose…but I had to disagree on his name for the place. I much prefer “Swan Lake!” :)

Duck, Duck, Goose!

July 9, 2012 - All the birds at Lake Morton are playing “Duck, Duck, Goose!” as they watch Father Goose take care of his little ones. Mrs. Muscovy posed with her bright white face against a nice green background. She tried to be dignified, but it’s hard when you have a feather on your beak. This is one of […]

Father Goose

July 8, 2012 - Many human children grow up hearing the tales of Mother Goose. On Lake Morton, the young chicks grow up with Father Goose. This unique goose takes it upon himself to play nanny with young Muscovy duck families. I spent a sweet couple of hours with this little family on Saturday morning at Lake Morton. A […]

Wood Duck Mother and Babies

Baby Ducks at Lake Morton

May 6, 2012 - While checking on the swan nests at Lake Morton recently, I’ve gotten to see some other fun babies too.  In early April, I came across a flock of recently-hatched Mallard chicks, probably between 12 and 18 of them.  In later visits, the babies were bigger, although in fewer numbers.  They are certainly well-fed at that […]

The Story of a Swan

May 2, 2012 - As I teased on last Friday, I stopped by Lake Morton on my way home from Fort De Soto and found a newborn cygnet.  I went back on Sunday morning to observe the nest and spend some time with the baby.  This little guy has a band of followers (hi Kim! hi Pam!) who spent […]

Black and White Wonderings

April 30, 2012 - As frequent readers of my blog know, we adopted a black and white kitten last year.  He’s been helping me review my recent images from Lake Morton, and he’s a little confused.  You see, here’s the picture I  took of a Black Swan cygnet in early April: …and here’s the picture I took of a […]

Preview of Coming Attractions…

April 27, 2012 - I had the most incredible day today!  I went to Fort De Soto to check out the migrants, and I finally got my first Scarlet Tanager male, along with a ton of orioles, grosbeaks, buntings, and a few warblers.  Birders kept telling me that today was a “slow” day in comparison to last weekend’s fallout…but […]

A Walk Around Lake Morton

April 14, 2012 - Last week Rich and I were in Lakeland to judge the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair.  We had a great time talking to the students about their projects.  Afterward, I twisted Rich’s arm into taking a nice walk around nearby Lake Morton.  I wanted to see if the Mute Swans were nesting yet – […]

My First Visit to Lake Morton

January 3, 2012 - After a quiet morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve on Friday, Dyeyo and I decided to head to Lake Morton. Herman has been telling me about it for ages, and he always knows the good birding places! There were lots of Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks sleeping on the lake. It was my first opportunity […]