December 16, 2006

An Incidental Safari

I took these a few weeks ago, but never bothered downloading them until now.

Wood Stork

I didn't take a trip TO the Everglades. I could have. They're not far. But no, these are some pictures I took on my way home from Fort Myers. From a rest stop on Alligator Alley (I-75).

It was worth the stop. But I have to get a telephoto lens, dammit.

I was just leaving the rest stop when I saw this wood stork in the middle of a field just off the ramp. I've never seen one in the wild before, so I stopped and snapped his picture.

A few miles down the road, I decided to stop at a boat ramp (or "recreational area") to see if anything else was out.

There was.

Turkey Vulture

I really want to say that this is a snail kite, but it's not. This is a turkey vulture, and we have tens of thousands of them down here.

But he was just kind of hanging there like they do, so I took the shot.

Here's another shot of him.

No doubt about it; it's a turkey vulture.

This came out a lot better than I thought. I was using a digital camera, and I haven't been all that happy with digital cameras* for action shots, but this came out really well.

To be fair, I have adjusted* the color values a little bit to bring out some detail, but not really all that much.

Here's another shot of of the heron.

He's a little blurred here, but you can still see a lot of detail. Even the reflection is pretty cool.

I should mention that I followed him along the canal for about a half hour.

He kept noticing me and flying further up the canal.

What, I'm papparazzi all of a sudden?

This is what I love about Florida; the casual way you can find wildlife as you go about your daily life. I didn't drive anywhere special to get access to these birds, they were just THERE, right alongside the road. All it took was for me to STOP for a minute and take a look.

*These photos were taken on a Kodak DX7440, and edited with Irfanview.

December 15, 2006

Our Feckless Hero Faces the Unknown.

It's the season. You know that it is.

I know you saw the first signs in the store - a few weeks ago, just before thanksgiving. Maybe the week after Halloween, you were strolling past the dairy section when it caught your eye:


Creamy and yellow, thick and delicious. I know you love it, you know you do.

OK, so I can rhapsodize on egg nog, but how is this a "product review?"

I'll tell you.

I was shopping yesterday, and managed to pass up the half-gallon, the quart size, and yes, even the innocuous little pints that seem so small and harmless while packing enough calories to reverse a famine. Righteous in my self control, I went to the yogurt section, and began stocking up.

Publix brand, 7 for $4. grumble grumble odd numbers....lessee, two strawberry, two blueberry....peach? nah. black cherry? mm, nah. Blackberry, ok, I'll go with that. Now, one more. One more makes seven. OCD kicks in, I can't have THREE of one thing, and only TWO of everything else. Mmm. ARrrrrgh. Which to ch....

"Egg Nog?" Really? Egg nog YOGURT? Is that even legal? I certainly wouldn't want TWO of them, that's fer sure.

OK. Egg Nog it is.

It sat on the shelf in the fridge for two days. I admit, I was a-feared of it. unnatural thing. ABOMINATION!

So I uncapped it tonight, and dug in. AND......


It's not hideously sweet, or sickeningly cloying, but it doesn't taste much like egg nog, either. If you had me taste it at random, I would furrow my brow and suggest.... maybe.....kinda-sorta.......pumpkin pie..... without the pumpkin.

Yeah, I know, that makes no SENSE. But it's the nearest I can come up with. I think it's because the primary flavoring is nutmeg. It's got kind of a spicy warmth, a hint of sweetness. Not bad. Not great. Not worth it.

So grab a vanilla to fill out the batch or double the order to make an even number.