My 100th post here was almost 2 months ago, something I only just realized. I've been remiss in regular postings this summer, but here are some cool things I've seen in the field in only the last two days:
When inspecting a tract of land on Wolf Bay (south Baldwin County, AL) with botanist Alvin Diamond of Troy University on Sept. 2, we heard a loud splashing near the marsh. Upon investigating, there were a couple of dolphins in the shallows chasing fish [edit: John Dindo tells me they were more likely courting]. There are fewer and fewer places left in Alabama where you can see a dolphin near a shoreline of natural forest, but here's one:
The following day (yesterday) I was in Monroe County to conduct the annual monitoring on a 4,000 acre conservation easement. As I drove through a large planted wildlife food plot around 4:00 PM, I noticed a black animal standing at the far end, perhaps 150 yards away. I wasn't sure what I was seeing even as I photographed it:
With a little enlargement, it's evidently a melanistic coyote, and apparently a young one. I've never seen a black coyote before.
As I left the property, I came upon this congregation of Gulf fritillaries on fresh coyote scat in the road. Butterflies on feces make me smile.