I’ve posted about Thinking Pink and Shades of Blue so today I thought I’d share some images about Goin’ Green. I have plenty of images of hillside covered in green but not that many of the huge green leaves I would find in USF’s Botanical Garden in Tampa Florida. When I looked at the veins in this leaf I knew I wanted to take close up, abstract images.
Monk Parakeets are one of the green birds I have photographed, this one I found at Roosevelt Wetlands in Pinellas County Florida and took images of it as it foraged in the grasses that had gone to seed. Monk Parakeets were also called Quaker Parrots, they aren’t native to Florida but they have made themselves right at home.
Grass gone to seed
Green is simple, as simple as a stem that holds the seeds of new grasses.
*I am going to be away from my computer a lot until Friday, please feel free to share this post with your friends and family.
Black-hooded Parakeet eating a sandspur
Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Florida
Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
If you have never seen, or worse felt a sandspur buried in your skin you probably won’t know why I loved these Black-headed Parakeets (Nandaus nenday) while I lived in Florida as much as I do.
I hate Sandspurs. First, you should know that my feet hate shoes and have since I was just a tiny girl. If weather permits I will be barefoot and if I have to wear shoes then I will put sandals on. I remember before I even started kindergarten in the Midwest that I would walk across the unpaved road in the summer to see my best friend and have my feet get impaled by sandspurs. They really felt like pincushions at times. In Florida there are grassy areas where sandspurs thrive and if you dare journey through those areas you risk having the sandspurs stuck on your clothing, embedded into the soles of your shoes and jabbing into your skin. If you have never dealt with sandspurs consider yourself very lucky because different species of sandspurs are found throughout North America. I’ve been stuck by them more times than I care to remember. Plus they have little barbs on the spurs that can make them difficult to remove and at times will leaves the pointed parts in your skin that feel like an annoying splinter.
That brings me back to the Black-hooded Parakeets. Our only native North American member of the parrot family; the Carolina Parakeet, was determined to be extinct by 1939. People have through the years imported parrots and parakeets from other countries and in places like Florida with its warm climate birds that escape from their cages can form large feral colonies. Black-hooded parakeets have formed those colonies in many locations in Florida including Pinellas County. When I’d drive along the road to north beach at Fort De Soto I’d often see them flying in loose flocks.
One afternoon I stopped at the Gulf Pier and saw some of the Black-hooded and Monk Parakeets feeding on the ground. I was curious about what it was they were eating and was surprised, actually elated, to see that both species were eating sandspurs that were mixed in with the other grasses!
Any bird that eats those nasty sandspurs is a hero in my book and Black-hooded Parakeets are one of them. You can just barely see the tan bur in the image of the parakeet above.