One of my favorite professors in college was an ornithologist, and one of the few reasons I would willingly get up early on the weekend was to go birding with him. He led our class on a trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos islands, where we saw pelicans, oystercatchers, herons, frigatebirds, and three different kinds of boobies, as well as Darwin’s famous finches. Here’s one of my favorite shots of a male great frigatebird in flight.
We use the mnemonic “green is great” to distinguish the great frigatebird, which has greenish feathers, from the magnificent frigatebird, which is more purple-ish. Females have white patches at their throat instead of the males’ red throat pouch.
When I need a change of scenery, I always think of Florida. Though I have lived in Ohio since my teenage years, I grew up in central Florida and when I go back the scenery hits me with a strange combination of familiarity and foreignness.
I would love to visit every year if I could. We actually managed a trip there last February right before everything shut down, and I’m looking forward to returning as soon as we can.
The above photos are from Washington Oaks State Park, and the ones below from the beaches at St. Augustine. There is a lot of different scenery in Florida, and I enjoy it all.