Posted on April 16, 2014
Naples, Florida is one of the wealthy cities in the U.S. with a per capita income in excess of $60,000 and the percentage below the poverty line at about 3%. I saw Maseratis, Jaguars, and Rolls Royces as well as many BMWs. It is also populated with both modern and classic convertibles. Houses along the coast sell for more than $40 million. We saw a house being built that had 17 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms. Naples permanent population of is just under 20,000 (2010 census) with an additional 12,000+ adding to the congestion in the winter months.
Pat and Jim’s condo was a very lovely, well-decorated 2 bedroom condo. One morning, outside their front door, we spotted a mourning dove on her nest. The picture was taken from the steps leading to the second floor condos at a distance of 8 feet or so. We didn’t want to disturb the nest
Once when she was away from the nest we saw that it contained 2 eggs, which is normal. While I was there, one of the eggs hatched.
There was also a bird of paradise next to their building.
Downtown Naples, has many art galleries and artsy stores (and one delicious gelato shop!). These images are from an art piece just outside the free parking garage downtown. The work is made of a mixture of colored glass panels positioned at various angles. In the second image, it looks like my boat has come in.
My first full day in Naples we attended a lunchtime organ concert. The concert was at the First Presbyterian Church which is home to one of the most magnificent organs in the U.S. The organ has its own web site at http://issuu.com/fpcnaples/docs/organ_brochure. Everyone was invited to come up and look at the organ and pipes after the concert. Ruffatti organs are known around the world for their excellent craftsmanship.
Finally, another Naples sunset picture.
Posted on April 10, 2014
I got back Tuesday from a wonderful visit with friend and fellow photoblogger Pat, and her hubby. Naples Florida was our home base, but Pat and I did a few photo safaris. One such visit was to the Venice Rookery.
A rookery is a nesting area for birds that are harmonious (mostly) with each other. This particular rookery was a small island – maybe 45 feet in diameter – with trees and vines that stack up 20-25 feet high located in a large pond (or small lake). The nesting birds were mostly wading water birds in this moat-like setting. The birds would add to their nest with leaves and twigs from the trees along the shore of the small pond.
I think the largest population on the rookery was the Anhinga; a bird about 35 inches tall with an average wingspan of 45 inches. They, unlike many water birds, do not have a protective coating on their wings and thus will frequently be seen with their wings spread to dry out.
Close behind in terms of population is the Great Egret (averaging 39 inches tall with a 51 inch wingspan).
If you have heard or used the phrase “Don’t ruffle your tail feathers.” this picture will give you a visual, as this upset Great Egret complains to the world about the latest cable news story (or perhaps it’s a warning cry to others to stay away from her baby; seen as brown fluff in the foreground).
Rarer were the diving and underwater-fishing Double-Crested Cormorant (with fish and posing on branch), Green Heron (look hard for the touch of green in its wings), Glossy Ibis (not pictured) and snake (pictured).
In many ways, the star of the show is the Great Blue Heron (averaging 46 inches tall with a 72-inch wingspan), here seen at the top of the rookery.
Here is a Great Blue Heron on a nest in the rookery:
Surprisingly, both the Great Blue Heron and Great Egret are quite graceful in flight.
Many of the newborn birds were old enough for the mom (or dad) to get off the nest.
The Rookery was a great visit with a calm and majestic beauty that is hard to describe in words or pictures. We had lunch after our visit and returned to Naples, where the sunsets seem to be always beautiful.
Coming Saturday: Water birds in the Everglades.