In late September 2005 I picked up a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6, which includes a video component. Clicking on any forward arrow below will play its respective video, which can also be accessed by clicking on the title. You can also go directly to my profile at You Tube.

Robin Bath (0:41): Our version of the swallows returning to Capistrano is the arrival, at the end of January, of massive flocks of robins. (Journal entry, January 23, 2004: "Saturday, after I got home from teaching, I was at the kitchen sink and chanced to look out the window. 'There's a robin!' I said, excitedly, then added, 'Two robins. No, three. No....' Six. Eight. Ten. Twelve. Never before had I seen so many in one spot, that being our back yard. Crows were scavenging our neighbor's front yard, but for the most part kept to themselves and didn't mingle. Mary went to another window that let her scan a larger area, and counted 28 robins in the gathering. Simply magical.") Here they congregate with some brown-headed cowbirds at what we call our "post office pond." A still shot is here.
Rainbow Springs (0:21): On March 13, 2006, Mary and I visited the Rainbow Springs State Park, which features the headsprings of the Rainbow River. Says the park brochure, "Rainbow Springs is a first magnitude spring complex with four main vents (outlets) in its headsprings. Numerous smaller vents and boils contribute to its average flow of 465 million gallons per day." This video shows some of the "boiling" action. A still shot is here.
On May 16, 2006, we joined the Citrus Camera Club on a trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park, where I shot the following four videos. All but "Alligator Mosey" come from the park's world-famous rookery.

1. Alligator Mosey (00:22) : An American alligator meanders across the "Lagoon". A still shot of alligators at the park is here.
2. Down In Front! (00:21): Nestlings vie for position. Click here for a still shot.
3. Sibling Rivalry (00:27): A flap between two snowy egret chicks. (Until I pick up video editing software, this video is rotated 90 degrees from where I want it to be. I still thought it was entertaining enough to post.) Click here for a still shot of a snowy egret nest.
4. Feeding Time at the Rookery (00:38): A great egret feeds members of her brood. Click here for a still shot of great egrets and wood storks.
(You can hear clearer audio of the rookery sounds over at the Music From Nature page.)
Daisy, the day after diagnosis (01:23): On Friday, May 26, 2006, our 14-year-old cat Daisy was diagnosed with progressive renal failure. At the time of this writing she still appears healthy, and we don't know how long she has left with us. Could be years; could be significantly shorter. In this admittedly ill-lit video in our Florida room, Daisy shows a particular affinity for my tripod. A still shot taken just before the video is here.
White Ibises at the Post Office Pond (01:01): Ten white ibises enjoy a retention pond, despite approaching sirens. Click here for a still shot.
Navigating the Barkway (01:33): Ants scurry up and down a tree in a corner park.
Spanish Moss (00:46): In the same park on the same day (May 29, 2006), a healthy breeze blows Spanish moss that has taken up residence in a turkey oak. A still shot of Spanish moss is here.
Gopher Tortoise (00:48): Florida lists the gopher tortoise as a Species of Special Concern and considers it to be a keystone species. Mary and I had seen this one in a grassy area off the side of our local county road on May 31, 2006. Fortunately it headed away from the road, toward the woods. More info on the gopher tortoise -- the only tortoise in the eastern U.S. and "globally considered vulnerable" by NatureServe 2005 -- accompanies this still shot.
Ibis In the Morning (01:07): A white ibis (click here for a still shot) pokes around our back yard early on the morning of 8 June 2006...
Ibis Trio (00:38): ... and joins two others where our yard and our neighbors' combine in unfenced open space. Click here for a still shot.
Stowaway: Hentzia mitrata, family Salticidae (Jumping Spiders) (00:13): This little guy hitched a ride on the roof of my car and traveled from my garage to the art league 4-1/2 miles away. I haven't seen him since, so I suspect that's where he finally jumped off. You can see him moving his chelicerae (mouth parts with fangs) near the end; their large size tells me this is a male. A still shot is here.
Bat (00:25): Beginning in late Spring, Mary and I have been seeing bats on our evening walks. I took this video around 8:30 PM. Says Bat Conservation International, "Many small insectivorous bats can eat up to 2,000 mosquito-sized insects in one night."
Why Did The Ibises Cross The Road? (00:53): This flock of ibises, seen in our neighbor's yard, amble across our street during a deluge on June 11, 2006 -- two days before Tropical Storm Alberto made landfall north of us. Like "Make Way for Ducklings," but with bigger birds.
Clouds Across the Moon (02:20): At around 2:30 (EDT) the morning of June 15, 2006, the waning moon was about 84 percent of full. A swath of clouds cut across Citrus County. The same moon can be seen in this wide shot and in this telephoto shot with accompanying satellite image.
Inchworm (0:16): This inchworm (a larva of the Geometrid moth) crawled onto Mary the morning of June 17, 2006, when she was out by our honeysuckle. She brought it indoors and placed it on a clear plastic lid on our kitchen counter for me to photograph and video (still shots are here). After its modeling session she misted the inchworm (it seemed to appreciate the water) and returned it to the honeysuckle.
Dragon and Damsels (1:12): On June 17, 2006, we found teems of Atlantic Bluet Damselflies at our "post office pond," though the video opens with a single male Blue Dasher Dragonfly (pictured here). Other still shots include an individual Bluet and a male Bluet supporting a female as she lays her eggs. Mary's shout at the end of, "Look up!" comes as she's spotted a flock of 8 ibises flying in.
Polliwogs' Cakewalk (1:33): These polliwogs (tadpoles) swim in our local "post office pond," where on this day (June 17, 2006) we also saw Atlantic Bluet damselflies, Blue Dasher and Halloween Pennant dragonflies, a visiting flock of 8 ibises, and a circling pair of swallowtailed kites. The title of this video is inspired by "Golliwog's Cakewalk," from Claude Debussy's "Children's Corner Suite." A still shot of the tadpoles is here.
Swallow-Tailed Kite 1 (1:48): Note: This video has some loud wind noise. One of a pair of swallow-tailed kites circles above our "post office pond" on June 17, 2006. Writes John E. Cely at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, "Currently, the kite occupies a remnant breeding range of seven, possibly eight, southern states that historically included at least 21 states.... It is state-listed by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) as an endangered species and a high priority species of concern by Partners in Flight (PIF)."
Swallow-Tailed Kite 2 (3:05): See description above. The second kite makes a brief appearance in this video. A series of still shots showing a swallow-tailed kite in flight, taken at the pond three days earlier, is here.
Lightning (0:29): As seen from the "post office pond" on June 19, 2006. Florida is known as the "lightning capital of the U.S." (Rwanda is known as the "lightning capital of the world.") According to, "Florida’s unique location, surrounded by warm water, provides the necessary ingredients for thunderstorms to form....Lightning heats the air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which produces the shock wave that results in thunder. A groundstroke can produce somewhere between 100 million to one billion volts."
Ibis Convention, Part 1 (2:46) and Ibis Convention, Part 2 (2:59): Divided into two parts due to uploading space constraints. About 20 white ibises congregate on a neighbor's lawn as thunder rumbles on June 19, 2006.
Bird Bath (0:47): Three adult white ibises and a juvenile hang out at the "post office pond" on June 21, 2006. A still shot is here.
Flying Lesson (0:39): More from the group in "Bird Bath." The older ibis seems to be showing the juvenile how it's done, but the juvenile already flies quite well.
Ibis in Flight (0:19): A tour around the "post office pond." on June 21, 2006.
Great Egret in Flight (0:41): A Great Egret had joined the ibises at the "post office pond" on June 21, 2006. A still shot of the egret (before flight) is here.
Mud Daubers (0:32): On June 27, 2006, the "post office pond" hosted scores of black and yellow mud dauber wasps (Sceliphron caementarium) who gathered building materials. This species is found throughout North America. Says Bugguide.Net, "Nests may comprise up to 25 cylindrical cells, which are usually oriented vertically. Typically 6 to 15 prey spiders are placed in each cell, though up to 40 have been recorded. The female may provide the cells with a temporary closure consisting of a thin mud curtain to keep out parasites while she is collecting prey. Once the final prey is placed in the cell, she lays an egg on one of the last prey and seals the cell with a thick mud plug. She may then add more mud to cover the entire cluster of cells." A still shot can be seen here.
Cattle Egret at the Winn-Dixie Mall (0:38): On June 29, 2006, at around 6 PM, I was pulling into the Winn-Dixie parking lot when I saw this cattle egret in full breeding coloration. A still shot can be seen here.
Fireworks and Frog Songs (5:11): Neighbors of ours were celebrating the Fourth of July a little early, on Saturday, July 1, 2006. Mary and I watched these fireworks from half a block away, standing by the "post office pond" and listening to green treefrogs, barking treefrogs, and squirrel treefrogs (and likely others) in full chorus.
Pipevine Swallowtail (0:31): Battus philenor, Family Papilionidae (Swallowtails). This is also called the Blue Swallowtail and the Philenor, according to Bugguide.Net. The Pipevine is one of several swallowtail butterflies that look very much alike and that include the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (female, dark phase), Black Swallowtail (female), Spicebush Swallowtail, Red-spotted Purple, and Diana Fritillary. Bugguide.Net has a good guide on telling the species apart. The lookalike markings are part of the Batesian mimicry complex, a protective mechanism whereby several different species get to look like one or more that taste bad to predators. Still shots can be seen here.
Better Than Catnip (1:59): Our cat Red has a special affinity for Maja Soap. Here he gets a brand new wrapper to cuddle up to.
Cloud Layers (1:07): Mary comments to a neighbor on the movements of different cloud layers. Taken around 7 PM on 18 September 2006.
Butterfly Play (00:16): Two butterflies zip about each other, across a nearby retention pond on 20 September 2006. They're too distant to make out the species, but I glimpsed black and yellow markings so assume these are either Eastern Tiger Swallowtails or Giant Swallowtails.
Love Is In The Air! (1:10): And on the walls, the windows, the car windshields and radiator grilles, the strap of my tote bag, my leg.... Genus Plecia (Lovebugs) , Family Bibionidae (March Flies). There are two North American species P. americana and P. nearctica. Based on this University of Florida page, I'm guessing this is nearctica.

Love bugs swarm in May and September. Our May swarm was fairly light this year and the September swarm is starting a little late, but the love bugs are now out in force. The larger of the two (and the one with the smaller head) is the female. Whether flying or walking, she drags the male behind her wherever they go while they're connected. A still shot is here. Taken on 20 September 2006.
One Katydid, With Interest (1:32): My errands had taken me to the bank, where the women behind the counter called my attention to "a big green bug on the yellow pole" at the drive-through. Before I even saw it I said, "It's probably a katydid." Down here katydids are big green bugs par excellence. I'm guessing this is a broad-winged katydid, Microcentrum rhombifolium, Family Tettigoniidae (Katydids). It's about three inches long, which supports rhombifolium over the smaller retinerve with which this species is frequently confused. A still shot is here. Taken on 27 September 2006.
Gulf Fritillaries (3:05): Agraulis vanillae, Family Nymphalidae (Brushfooted Butterflies), Subfamily Heliconiinae (Heliconians and Fritillaries). I spotted at least 7 Gulf Fritillaries in my front yard on 2 October 2006 and have no idea how many may have been flitting about the side and back yards. They seem to love nectaring on the white, six-petaled pusley, a "weed" that helps keep our soil in place. (The pusley is a great pollinator attractor.) This species frequents the south but occasionally strays northward according to Bugguide.Net, which adds, "Larvae feed on various species of Passion Flower (Passiflora)." A still shot is here.
Tampa Vultures (1:38): Cathartes aura. At the end of October Mary and I attended Tampa's annual science fiction convention, Necronomicon. From our room at the Hyatt we watched a flock of turkey vultures at home in their urban setting. A still shot is here.
Mini-Fish (0:45): Spotted on the University of Tampa campus on 30 October 2006. A still shot is here.
Micro-Fish (0:20): Spotted on the University of Tampa campus on 30 October 2006. (These fish were too small to offer a decent still shot.)
Limestone Quarry (1:32): On 6 December 2006 I volunteered at a fossil dig just outside the town of Newberry in Alachua County, FL. This dig is part of the Florida Museum of Natural History's "Tapir Challenge," whose dig information and call for volunteers can be found here. Click here for a photoset of the day.

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© 2006, Elissa Malcohn Version 20, 2006-12-08
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