08 March 2012
While I've been away
Mostly at the lovely girlfriend's place out in beautiful scenic Woodlands, Texas (it is an article of faith that anywhere in Texas is prefaced by the phrase "beautiful scenic..." and that includes Pasadena and Midland/Odessa). Her manse backs up to hundreds of acres of untamed wilderness (golf course), with a placid natural lake (water hazard) just a short walk away. Some of the wandering naturalists (golfers) started to notice (scream) that there were huge snakes in the water.
This is the Anhinga (Latin Anhinga Anhinga) a form of waterfowl indigenous to the Gulf Coast, notable for the fact that it has solid bones, unlike most birds which have hollow bones. Therefore, it sits low in the water, and must dry its feathers before it can make takeoff weight.
The top image is of it swimming, the lower is it drying. Spooky in both forms, but it's one of the few creatures where I can remember the Latin name without prompting. Lovely bird, though.