Cooler Temps Plus Outdoors Equals Bliss!

6:30 AM

Autumn arrived in Florida on October 1st with much cooler temperatures and lower humidity! I didn't need much more of a reason than that to get outside and get in some sketching.

Osprey Drive Park
Stillman & Birn Sketchbook
Watercolor and Ink
7 x 7 inches
Click to enlarge
I didn't get a particularly early start, but it didn't seem to matter. I went to one of our local "no-name" walking/biking paths and set off with my sketch kit....and the requisite travel mug of coffee!

Lots of people were out with the dogs, getting some fresh air, roller blading, biking, running or just sitting on the benches to enjoy the day. I wasn't hopeful of spotting much wildlife with so much activity and figured I'd working on capturing a landscape.

I wasn't more than an eighth of a mile down the path when I noticed the Anhinga doing his thing up in a tree by the pond. More of a bush really. He bobbled and bounced as he went through his grooming process.

He seemed to have a very itchy neck! He would start scratching right above his chin and then work his way up to to as far as he could go. His neck would get longer and longer with the effort.

The bird was quite busy moving around, but every once and a while he'd just freeze as if he'd seen a bug floating by. Or a ghost. I didn't see him snap at anything so maybe he caught a smell of danger or .....who knows!

Further along the path, I just happened to catch a small movement out in the left field of my peripheral vision—it was the swamp bunny! I totally missed his shape, but this was drawn from mostly memory because as soon as I took an interest in him, he took an interest in leaving—two hops and he was gone!

The little Downy Woodpecker was about 15 feet up a palm tree. Unfortunately, I couldn't see his face in either of the fuzzy snapshots I took of him, so I must assume it was a Downy rather than a Hairy Woodpecker which is similar in plumage but larger in size. The body shape isn't quite most critters, he was busy going about the business of his life and didn't have time to pose for me!

A glorious morning altogether! And I'm off to do it again today!

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