In most of the northern part of the United States the Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) is a winter visitor, less common than the Herring Gull. However, in some inland areas and in the Deep South it is the more numerous of the two species. It often nests in very large colonies; as many as 85,000 pairs nest on a single island in Lake Ontario. By contrast, colonies of Herring Gulls seldom number more than a few score pairs. Mischaracterized as a seagull, this bird readily follows farm plows or scatters over meadows after heavy rains to feast on drowning earthworms.
Today, while out running some errands, I stopped at Morse Park and this Ring-billed Gull posed proudly for me!
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Posted in art and entertainment, bird, fowl, marshwalk, outdoor, photography
Tagged birds, gull, murrells inlet, ring-billed, shore bird, south carolina, tern
Formerly known as the “American Egret,” “Common Egret,” “Large Egret,” “White Egret,” “Great White Egret,” and “Great White Heron,” this bird’s official name in North America is now Great Egret. One of the most magnificent of our herons, it has fortunately recovered from historic persecution by plume hunters. But it is still not out of danger: The destruction of wetlands, especially in the West where colonies are few and widely scattered, poses a current threat to these majestic birds. Like the Great Blue Heron, it usually feeds alone, stalking fish, frogs, snakes, and crayfish in shallow water. Each summer many individuals, especially young ones, wander far north of the breeding grounds.
While making a quick run through Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, this afternoon, I spotted a Great Egret who had just caught a fingerling mullet. I was able to get a quick shot off and capture the event before the little mullet disappeared “down the hatch”.
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Posted in bird, causeway, huntington beach, murrells inlet, outdoor, South Carolina, state park
Tagged causeway, egret, great egret, huntington, murrells inlet, south carolina
In 2014, the Geminids will peak between December 13 and 14 in 2014. A 3rd quarter Moon may make it too bright for observers to view the shower.
Northern Hemisphere observers should try their luck right after dark, while those in the Southern Hemisphere should try to catch the shower after midnight.
The Geminids can be annually observed between December 4 and December 17, with its peak activity being around December 14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini from where the meteors seem to emerge from in the sky.
Unlike most other meteor showers, the Geminids are associated not with a comet but with an asteroid – the 3200 Phaethon. The asteroid takes about 1.4 years to orbit around the Sun.
The Geminids are considered to be one of the more spectacular meteor shower during a year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak.
While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower – just lay down on the ground and look directly above and you are bound to see some meteors – astronomers suggest looking towards the south to view the Geminids. As a general rule, the Geminid meteor shower intensifies after midnight and produces the greatest number of meteors for a few hours, centered around 2 a.m. That’s true no matter where you are around the globe, and it’s true whether the moon is up or not.
Give your eyes at least 20 minutes time to adapt to the dark. Often, meteors come in spurts and are interspersed by lulls. So give yourself at least an hour to watch the Geminids.
You don’t need special equipment – only a dark, open sky. Simply look upward and enjoy the company of family and friends.
One of the most eye-catching fountains in the whole city, Charleston’s famous Pineapple Fountain stands in Waterfront Park, in the downtown district. The Pineapple Fountain has become one of the city’s most photographed landmarks and symbolizes hospitality.
I have posted this image previously, but this time have taken a different “look” at it. Hope you enjoy it!
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This morning I reworked an older image that I had taken on the Inlet side of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church here in Murrells Inlet. Here we are close to the beginning of Advent and obviously this picture was originally taken during Lent! I liked the “rework” and thought I would throw it up here for your comments.
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Yesterday evening, just before sunset, I walked outside and saw some amazing cloud formations. I instinctively knew that a spectacular sunset was awaiting and I quickly jumped in the car and headed toward Hunting Beach State Park, one of my favorite sunset spots. Along the way I convinced myself that I would not make it in time. So, instead I stopped at the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk and walked out onto Veterans Pier.
The clouds I saw are called Cirrocumulus. Cirrocumulus is one of the three main genus-types of high-altitude tropospheric clouds, which also includes cirrus and cirrostratus. They usually occur at an altitude of 16,000 ft to 39,000 ft. They are small rounded puffs that usually appear in long rows. Cirrocumulus are usually white, but sometimes appear gray. Cirrocumulus clouds are the same size or smaller than the width of your littlest finger when you hold up your hand at arm’s length.
When these clouds cover a lot of the sky, it is called a “mackerel sky” because the sky looks like the scales of a fish. Cirrocumulus are usually seen in the winter time and indicate fair, but cold weather.
I think they made for a spectacular sunset. Check out the images below and tell me what you think!
(click on image for larger view)
Posted in art and entertainment, marshwalk, murrells inlet, outdoor, photography, South Carolina, sunset
Tagged cirrocumulus, clouds, marshwalk, murrells inlet, pier, south carolina, sunset
Late yesterday afternoon I went to the causeway at Huntington Beach State Park to shoot the sunset. I went a little early with the hope of being able to shoot some of the many birds and ‘gators that frequent the area. Tucked back away off to the side I spotted these Wood Storks looking for their dinner. A close look showed that the Wood Storks had been joined by two Ibis!
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Posted in bird, causeway, huntington beach, inlet images, murrells inlet, outdoor, photography
Tagged birds, causeway, fishing, idis, shore birds, stork, wood stork
Today I added a new gallery to the website. This gallery consists of old barns and other such outbuildings found along old country roads mostly in Horry County, South Carolina. Go take a look!
Several new photos were added to the Gallery “Maine” today, here is a preview: