Monday, April 21, 2008

Signs Of Spring

Friday, I took the slow way home through Devil's Hammock.
(I do that alot, don't I?)
It was early in the day still and very warm, so there wasn't a lot of critter activity going on.

I knew I could count on the gators though, even if the birds were hiding from the heat. On a warm day like this one, they would be in the water. Most of my winter gator shots are of bank lounging basking in the sun gators.

I stopped to photograph a six foot gator swimming by the roadside and he promptly slipped into a culvert that ran under the dirt road. This was turning out to be just a slow ride home through pretty scenery ... not the photo slurping expedition I had looked forward to all day.

I turned to walk back to the JEEP and suddenly, I heard it ... a wonderful sound of spring.
The nasally honk of baby gators was coming from the water I had just turned my back on.

Pretty darn cute.

Apparently the presence of me and the absence of the larger gator in the culvert had triggered a little anxiety on their part, so they were calling. These babies are really new, I think I see an egg tooth still present just in front of the nostrils.

Pretty darn stealthy.
This biggun is hanging vertically in the water ... any critter who fails to notice him, fails the big test.

Baby gator whonking ranks high on my favorite sounds of spring. Also, the flycatchers who will NOT stop chattering is another pleasant spring sound here at PFHQ.

So ... this thought got me wondering ... what's a favorite "spring heralding" sound of yours?


Dr. Know said...

The songs of White Throated Sparrows and Carolina Wrens combined with spring peepers on soon-to-be rainy days.

Which is unfortunately mixed in with 200 various leafblowers and one idiot who wants to be a race car driver and his mufferless car which is reved to 6500 RPM several times an hour on nice days.

Say, can borrow a few of the 8 footers do perform noise abatement?

Doug Taron said...

Spring peepers.

Dan said...

The songbirds' dawn chorus and the toads' trill. Least favorite: tornado sirens.

pablo said...

It isn't spring for me until I hear the sqwauk of a Bluejay.

datil said...


This spring I've heard of a tiny waterfall in the vicinity of stokes road bridge on the St. Mary's river. Have you ever heard of it? Got any directions or GPS numbers?

dani813 said...

The insects all buzzing around.

threecollie said...

Love the timberdoodle, but white throated sparrows are a close second...and peepers..can't forget those peepers. I never thought about gators making sounds. Seems like I learn something every day here.

robin andrea said...

A white-crowned sparrow singing in the morning does it for me.

I wish I could hear the sound of that baby alligator. Must be incredible, I can't even imagine.

Anonymous said...

My very favorite sound is hearing that it's going to be above 40°F, for more than 2 days in a row. But actually, the sounds of any new life,(mosquitoes,??), I can't forget the sound of the top and doors coming off the jeep for the summer!!!
Them lil gators are so darn cute. I hope to catch the lil killdeers when they hatch out and off and running.
Bro J

Hurricane Teen said...

I love the little honking sounds from baby gators in the springttime! It does get me a little nervous, though, if I don't know where Mama Gator is.

The Troll said...

Excellent pictures. My favorite Spring Sound is kits (baby foxes) learning to "bark" in their dens and beyond. Course, I'm sure your chickens DO NOT find that sound as life-affirming as I do.


I also like to SEE them in the fall make their first clumsy attempts at nabbing prey.

Anonymous said...

I love to hear the baby gators in Guana State Park.
To Datil: From Baldwin, west on U. S. 90, right on CR 121, left on Stokes to river (one lane bridge). Private land, both sides-no firearms, but birdwatch all you want-peaceful place.

Susan said...

I like the Carolina Wrens' teakettle-teakettle-teakettle call at 6am. I know they're ready to start building nests in my garage again, so I leave the window open.

lej619 said...

the sounds of the frogs and the buzz of the insects. I like the sounds of the birds also but I can't ID them. O and the smell of the newly cut grass.I know that's not a sound but wait it is if you hear the lawn mowwer going. right?

Dave Coulter said...

Redwing blackbirds raising a ruckus!

Floridacracker said...

Yes, that would drive me crazy too.

Frogs are high on my list too. I really like these tiny chorus frogs.

I've never lived with tornado sirens, but I can imagine that would be a very large downer.

I love jays,but they are year round here.

I didn't have a clue, but Mockinbird has come to the rescue!

At least the skeeter buzzing has relented here. The first flush was pretty horrible a few weeks ago.

Adult males bellow when they are courting and the babies make that honk. 99% of a gator's life is silent tho.

If I thought Blooooger would ever let me upload a video again, I'd take the real video cam dow there and get you that audio/video.
I should any way shouldn't I so I'll be ready.

Bro J,
Unzippering a JEEP top is high on my list too, it's just not a spring thing here :) ... pretty much year round thing.

Definitely a consideration. You don't want to fail the big test.

Sounds excellent to me too. A fox family used to raise kits behind us, but I haven't seen them for awhile.

Thanks for the directions.
As for Guana, I have spent many happy hours there too.

It's a cold heart that doesn't love a wren. They are too charming.

In a cattail marsh with a good breeze blowing.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Mourning Dove, bar none.

DeeDee said...

What fun to have stumbled on your all your beautiful photos of nature...We live in Florida as well...but well away from the wilds...Sounds of nature in spring to me are squirrels chasing around the garden ... birds splashing in the birdbath and the sounds of mourning doves sounding the way they sound over and over again...

Deb said...

I never knew that baby gators honked. Just one of the reasons I check in here every day; I always learn something.

Tonight it's the thunderstorm, and the spring peepers, and a couple of as yet unidentified bird sounds.

Floridacracker said...

A year round thing here :)

Hi DeeDee,
Those sounds are common here too!

Things must be warming up in Minnesotarctica!

edifice rex said...

As I sit on the deck in the warming sun; the lovely, deep drawl of a tall, handsome man saying,"you want some more tea, sweetheart?" ;)

Chrisss said...

For me it's the wonderful chirps of the American robin. Back when I lived in the mid-west I'd hear the coos of the mourning doves and the cirps of the returning cardinals, they sure were the sweetest sounds of spring.

Thunder Dave said...

Palying a little catch up here:

I thought the photo of a much younger JR was appropriate!

Dude, they have these huge rocks stuck up as monuments all over the place here. I think they're trying to lure you over!

Love them Gators! You know this is one posting that will keep Lighting excited about coming down there!

Kimberlee said...

In the South, Northern Cardinals sound like spring to me. Hearing one always reminds me of hunting Easter eggs and the scent of freshly cut grass.

Living up here, Snow Buntings are the first songbirds to arrive and throughout the summer their song remains the sweetest. I just read recently that a group of snow buntings are known collectively as "a drift of buntings." Isn't that pretty? :)

I found this recording of baby alligator sounds. This is the sound that I remember. Is this what your cute little guys sounded like? Your photos are terrific!

Floridacracker said...


Funny, for me Robins are a sign of winter!

I am dumping all the stray gators I find on your property so L can enjoy them too.

I've never seen a snow bunting!
Thank you for the recording!!