On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com


Have a wonderful day – enjoy the pictures and dream of warmer climes!


Today, pictures from valued commenter raven.

These are from my recent trip to the West Coast of Florida.

Taken on 2018-12-06 00:00:00

10,000 Islands

More of them.

Taken on 2018-12-05 00:00:00

Pine Isle

Pelicans roosting.

Taken on 2018-12-07 00:00:00

Sanibel Nature Preserve

I’m sure someone will ID it.

Taken on 2018-12-06 00:00:00

10,000 Islands

The Cap’n said it wasn’t the poisonous kind.

Taken on 2018-12-07 00:00:00

Sanibel Nature Preserve

It was really still and had it’s head buried but moved just as we were leaving.


Thank you so much raven, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

26 replies
  1. 1
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Gorgeous, as always. I hope your time in FL was great fun. I made a birthday (e-) card out of a beautiful moonrise you linked to probably years ago and sent it to my aunt yesterday.

    Thanks, Alain, for posting the pictures. It is a nice treat to see them.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The bird in #3 is an Anhingya, looks to be a female tho I suppose it could be a juvenile.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    JPL says:

    Thanks Raven for the photos. @OzarkHillbilly: The anhingya is not my favorite.

  6. 6
    raven says:

    @JPL: Favorite in terms of what?

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Someday I will get to see one. Not sure how I recognized it, some long forgotten National Geographic article no doubt.

    Also, I misspelled it. It’s Anhinga, no y between the g and a at the end.

  8. 8
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    We were having an office bullshit session just last week on whether we’d try fugu (sashimi from poison puffer fish). The universal answer was “not even if it’s free”.

    That would be WAY too much trust.

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    I especially love that first shot!

  10. 10
    satby says:

    That pelicans roosting shot is a perfect postcard for Florida. It’s how it looked down by where my mom lived.
    Nice job raven!

    Edited to add: didn’t know there was a non-poisonous kind of puffer fish!

  11. 11
    arrieve says:

    I’m already wishing for a warm weather break. This was a nice glimpse of warmer climes. Thanks for sharing!

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    @raven: In terms of appearance. Birds are fascinating characters and most beautiful in their own way, but the anhinga is sorta ugly.

  13. 13
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    I just got back from Hawaii. Made the mistake of hiking up Diamond Head and then Koko Head a couple of hours later. Also the mistake of bodyboarding without sunscreen and now I’m sunburnt. I ate very well though, know a guy from college who took me around to a bunch of local eating and drinking places, including the Duck Butt Cafe downtown . I’d show pictures but don’t know how

  14. 14
    Steeplejack says:


    At the top of the page:

    Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com.

  15. 15
    GSmith says:

    The anhinga is indeed a juvenile. A fledgling in fact. It is just beginning to growing out it’s flight feathers.

  16. 16
    Robert (Nojay) Sneddon says:

    The British government is currently self-destructing in a wonderfully British manner. From the BBC website Twitter:

    A vintage hour of British politics, that.
    10.45 news leaks that May will pull the vote at 11.30
    11.00 Westminster evacuated by fire alarm
    11.07 Delayed PM’s media briefing begins. Journos told “vote is going ahead as planned.”
    11.21 Briefing ends.
    11.30 Vote cancelled.
    12:11 – 10 Dec 2018

    PM May is desperately trying to get the Irish backstop/customs union regulation renegotiated with the EU since it’s the major factor that stops a lot of her own MPs from voting Yes on the Withdrawl Agreement. The Irish PM has said no, the other 26 countries are likely to say, yet again, that the Withdrawal Agreement is final and not subject to renegotiation like they did when it was presented the first time.

    The Pound is plummeting, popcorn futures are through the roof.

  17. 17
    waratah says:

    I was warned as a young child about puffer fish. I would not have been brave enough to hold that puffer. I can see why you enjoy going there.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @waratah: The captain did all of the puffer handling.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    No Badger, but otherwise an outstanding collection of Florida photos.

    Glad you had fun, raven. Thanks for sharing and introducing (most of) us to Anhingas.

    From wiki: Ozark was nice to call this bird an anhinga:

    The anhinga (/ænˈhɪŋɡə/; Anhinga anhinga), sometimes called snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. The word anhinga comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means devil bird or snake bird. The origin of the name snakebird is apparent when swimming: only the colored neck appears above water so the bird looks like a snake ready to strike. They do not have external nares (nostrils) and breathe solely through their epiglottis.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @Robert (Nojay) Sneddon: Sane Brits deserve a do-over. Popcorn, also fingers crossed.

  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    Raven, love the photos! It looks so Florida. I especially love the pelicans roosting in the green. Gorgeous.

  22. 22
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: Yea, there were bird watchers there thwart explained that this bird had less oil on it so but had to roost and spread it’s wings to dry after swimming underwater. I took about 20 pics of it doing so but thought the one I posted was about the best.

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:

    @raven: Now I think anhingas are pretty damned cool. Will always be hoping the snake head swimming toward me is … an anhinga.

  24. 24
    Avalune says:

    I think anhinga are neat. When they are in the water they kind of look like snakes or tiny lock ness monsters. I did a nature journaling class in undergrad school and spent a lot of time watching one.

    [posted before I read some of the above comments about snakes lol]

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  26. 26
    sukabi says:

    This seems like a good place to leave this since raven’s been photographing puffers

Comments are closed.