Archive for January, 2008

Grassy Waters Preserve, Jan 31, ’08

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

A few photos I took at the Preserve this afternoon, before our canoe trip.

Grassy Waters Preserve, Jan 29, ’08

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Wood Stork, Grassy Waters Preserve

Today was the first class of a Wetlands course I’m taking at the Grassy Waters Preserve in West Palm Beach, Florida. Grassy Waters covers 20 acres of what was once part of the Everglades. The course is part of the Florida Master Naturalist Program. We’ll be learning about wetland habitats in Florida, and also learning how to help others learn about them. Of the 13 other students in the class, several work for various state agencies involved in resource management and conservation. I’m sure I’ll learn as much from them as from our instructors.

Blaming Bill

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Following Hillary Clinton’s double-digit defeat in South Carolina Saturday, the press is awash with excuses. Most notably, Bill Clinton is being blamed for turning some Democratic voters against his wife, by too-avidly attacking Barack Obama. Gimme a break.

Blood and judgment

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

I’ve been stewing about the New York Times‘ endorsement of Hillary Clinton all day. In the post before this one I mentioned her poor judgment in supporting the Iraq War and in not bothering to read the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. The Times dinged Giuliani for his lack of judgment in personnel matters:

Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking. When he claims fiscal prudence, we remember how he ran through surpluses without a thought to the inevitable downturn and bequeathed huge deficits to his successor. He fired Police Commissioner William Bratton, the architect of the drop in crime, because he couldn’t share the limelight. He later gave the job to Bernard Kerik, who has now been indicted on fraud and corruption charges.

Well, yeah, okay. Those were bad decisions. But how many of our military men and women died as a result? It just drives me to distraction to see how dismissive of our military’s lives the establishment can be.

At least they didn’t pick Giuliani

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

The New York Times Editorial Board recommends Americans make Hillary Clinton and John McCain the 2008 presidential candidates. At least they had the sense not to pick former New York City mayor Rudy (“9/11”) Giuliani. But Clinton?

Can the Democrats lose?

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

You bet they can. Hillary Clinton is turning out to be the GOP’s most-valuable asset. Fortunately, some observers are paying attention. A few examples in no particular order:

Eagles’ nest

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Bald Eagle on nest

This is my week to see Bald Eagles! Thanks to Greg Braun I was able to observe a nesting pair of them, with their chick, at a remote site in Martin County. Greg’s the Executive Director of Audubon of Martin County. In the interest of the parents and child I’m not revealing the location. But I was able to get some distant photographs.

Nature Walk – Kiplinger Parcel, Jan 24, ’08

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Anhinga, Kiplinger Parcel, Stuart, FL

Florida isn’t always the Sunshine State, but you can’t let dark days keep you inside, right? The Kiplinger Parcel is a small ecopreserve not far from my condo. It extends from State Route 76, Kanner Highway, to the South Fork of the St. Lucie River.

Last night while walking through the complex I spotted a Bald Eagle flying from the direction of the Parcel. This morning I walked into the Parcel to see what else was there. The photo above is of an American Anhinga, Anhinga anhinga, that sort of purred at me as I walked by.

Two charcoal drawings

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Portrait drawing by Jim Kearman

Charcoal drawing by Jim Kearman

Two recent charcoal drawings. Click the thumbnails to display larger versions.

Audubon Field Trip, Jan 19, ’08

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Some members of the Martin County Audubon Society took a field trip to Fort Pierce, Florida. After a brief stop to look for birds at a wetlands next to the Florida Turnpike entrance in Fort Pierce, we visited the Manatee Observation and Education Center, and the A.E. Backus Gallery and Museum which, in addition to his work, had an exhibit of Highwaymen paintings. In the afternoon we took a 90-minute boat cruise in the Indian River Lagoon, where in addition to several bird species, we saw pods of dolphins. Here’s a small sampling of photos I took during the day. The photo above is of a Snowy Egret we saw on the beach.