Sunday, January 27, 2013


11 Days Until Tom Comes Homes!!!!!

We headed over to our friend's home and spend a wonderful day eating and playing dominoes.  We went to Hungry Howies for pizza.  We had never been to this restaurant so this was a nice adventure for us.  The pizza was good.  I had a pizza I never had before, taco pizza and it was very good.  It was an all you can eat and drink place, so of course we had to eat two and three times more than we needed or could really eat.

After we played dominoes we headed to the ice cream place and had some free cream.  It was very tasty and a great end to a great day.

While we were at our friend's house we saw a flock of 25 to 30 white pelicans in the lake at the resort they stay.  We were told this happens rarely, once a year, and they only stay for short periods of time.  This time they spent a couple of hours.  We also saw some other birds on the lake.   
A bird of southern swamps, the Anhinga is known as the Water-Turkey for its swimming habits and broad tail, and also as the Snake-Bird for its habit of swimming with just its long head and neck sticking out of the water. 
Unlike ducks, the Anhinga is not able to waterproof its feathers using oil produced by the uropygial gland. Consequently, feathers can become waterlogged, making the bird barely buoyant. However, this allows it to dive easily and search for underwater prey, such as fish and amphibians. It can stay down for significant periods.
When necessary, the Anhinga will dry out its wings and feathers, with the resemblance of the semicircular full-spread shape of its group of tail feathers while drying them out.
While there beside the lake an Anhinga was fishing and caught this fish.  It was a big one and it took a while for him to swallow it. 

Wood storks are the largest wading birds that breed in North America; they nest 60 feet off the ground in cypress trees in wetland areas of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. These waders feed on minnows in shallow water by using their bills to perform a rare and effective fishing technique. The stork opens its bill and sticks it into the water, then waits for the touch of an unfortunate fish that wanders too close. When it feels a fish, the stork can snap its bill shut in as little as 25 milliseconds—an incredibly quick reaction time matched by few other vertebrates.

 Unlike the Brown Pelican, the American White Pelican does not dive for its food. Instead it catches its prey while swimming. Each bird eats more than 4 pounds of food a day

 These huge, spectacular looking white birds are seen in Florida between December and March.

 White pelicans have a wingspan of 9 feet, and males and females are similar in appearance. In flight they can be confused with wood storks or whooping cranes as all three birds have similar distinctive black wingtips that stand out against the all-white plumage.  However pelicans fly with their necks tucked in, unlike cranes and storks.

 White pelicans are cooperative feeders.  They do not plunge dive like the brown pelican, but rather, they use a coordinated feeding strategy and swim in a line or half circle, ‘herding’ fish towards the shore.  Two groups of pelicans will sometimes ‘herd’ fish towards each other.

 Unlike the brown pelicans, which are year-round residents of Florida, white pelicans spend only part of the year here. In fact, it is estimated that over 1,500 white pelicans migrate to the area from October through March. Traveling from as far away as Idaho, Minnesota and Canada, large groups of these birds come here to enjoy the warmer winter. Their migrating habits are based on the melting and freezing of fresh water in the northern lakes.
Notice here the tucked in neck as it flies. 

What a beautiful day in Florida.  We spent most of the day by the lake playing dominoes with friends.  


 I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks,  so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use. Toothpicks? 
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