Big Cypress Swamp - Early Summer 2008
"We have Critters"

We are "Expecting"
Gator Nest
In the foreground, lower left is a gator lurking in the bushes and in the background, upper right is her nest
Yard Buzzards
Click for close up
Well, Our backyard gator that I took to calling "Grumpy", because it would give me a little hiss and growl every time I got near it, is going to need a different spelling of  "her" name. I guess I will have to spell it "Grumpie" now that we know she is a female. Yes, while we were gone from camp, she build a nest to lay her eggs in. I always suspected that "Grumpie" was a female, but its really hard to tell the difference, ya know!  Now it is confirmed.
In about 2 months, when she hears a tell tale "barking" from the nest, she will scratch it open and release her babies. In the mean while she will defend the nest from predators that would like to have the eggs for breakfast. Click here for a closer view of the nest.
Here are a couple of Buzzards, hanging out for a meal behind the kitchen. Don't know if they are eye balling that gator nest or waiting for leftovers from our morning breakfast. "Hoss" the camp cook has a pretty good reputation for breakfasts.
We usually put any leftover on the ground behind the kitchen, so the critters can have a snack, rather then throwing away the food. Its not un-usual to have a dozen buzzards out there fighting over the scraps from breakfast. Scraps sure don't sit on the ground long before something comes along and scarf's them up.

Gator nest as seen from the Kitchen

We got "Bear"
Bear click for larger picture

Here is a picture of the gator nest, (located in the center of the picture) as taken from next to our camp kitchen. Its about 50 or 60 feet out there. Critters seem to like living near us.


Sharing a Meal

The last two trips to camp, I have found the Game Camera out near the feeder pulled off the tree. The previous time, I just put it off to poor placement by me, because the last picture taken by it was of a turkey, real close to it, so I thought maybe the turkey knocked it down. This last trip, the camera was also pulled from the tree, but when I looked at the pictures, the last picture was the underside of a big furry creature. The pictures leading up to that picture are shown above and here, here and here.
click for larger picture Mystery Guests
As you can see from this picture, many different critters share the game feeder and seem to get along with each other just fine. Crows and Turkeys are plentiful, but we are also fortunate to have a pair of Fox Squirrels using the feeder. Fox Squirrels in the Big Cypress Swamp are a threatened species.   I seem to catch a lot of these critters at the feeder also. Night visitors that remain unknown. The camera has a flash, but it draws down the battery real quick, so I leave it off. When I solve the battery problem, we will get to know, who is visiting during the midnight hour. Is it a bear, or "Bucky" the deer, or maybe one of those masked visitors,  raccoons?

Email me at :Steve written by Steve - 6/26/2008