This magnificent bird in the jungle of Belize was so uniquely colored with blue blending into green and green into yellow, and a splash of brilliant sky blue highlighting the top of it’s head. The coloration of this bird gave it it’s name – Blue-crowned motmot. I waited for this bird to sing so that I could hear its voice, but it stayed silent and watched me with caution. Their call is said to be similar to the hoot of an owl. Perhaps it did not want to draw any extra attention to itself, which must be hard being so brightly colored. It has a few long tail feathers which it swings back and forth like a pendulum while perching on a branch. These birds nest in burrows in the ground rather than high up in the trees, making the eggs and babies easy prey for sneaky snakes.
This is a sleek and athletic looking young male elk. He calls Yellowstone National Park his home, and was munching on dinner in this lush grassy area. This is probably the closest chance I will have to see a reindeer-like animal. Elk and reindeer are very similar in size, however elk fur is very sleek and shiny, mostly dark with a white bum, and with shaggy fur around their necks. This is clearly a male with his small antlers, that will grow much, much larger once he’s older. They are newly grown and still covered in a velvet-like skin which will dry and fall off in Autumn. Each year after mating season, the antlers will also fall off and grow again for the next mating season. With reindeer, the presence of antlers cannot be used to distinguish between them, as both males and females have antlers.
For other posts from Yellowstone National Park click here.
Autumn is a time when even grass can become a beautifully colored photograph. Grasses are a very diverse plant group and can be found in a huge range of climates, colors and sizes. Mibora minima is the smallest grass which grows between 2-15 centimeters tall, whereas the largest grass which is actually a bamboo can reach a height of 30 meters (98 feet)! Grass grows on every continent and in every climate even in Antarctica, and so can be a colorful and very hardy addition to any garden. Happy weekend everyone!
This painting is designed to make us stop and remember the simplicity of what children find beautiful and interesting. As kids we’d collect sticks in different shapes and sizes, see colorful fences to climb on and blow dandelion seeds into the wind. As adults we see dead branches and weeds against a dirty old fence. An acknowledgement for the way that time and age changes us… We know more, and appreciate different things, but maybe sometimes we need children to remind us to appreciate the simpler things in life. To find a million exciting uses for those cardboard boxes, and instead of filling them with the meaningless material junk in our lives, we should go back to feeling like the kings and queens of our fortresses.