All the wildlife photos except for the 'Household Pets' were taken within a short radius of an extended stay hotel in Jacksonville, Florida between February 2014 and July 2016. The land is flat so there are drainage ditches, culverts and ponds in many areas. Wildlife ecosystems flourish in them.
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Beach Boulevard is a six-lane divided roadway on the left of this late April sunrise photo. The drainage ditch heading eastward is in the center of the image with the clouds and trees reflected in the water.
The same drainage area a week later in daylight as the wood storks fish for meals and the black vulture waits for leftovers.
During periods of low rainfall, vegetation grows atop the water.
This photo of the same area was taken late August 2016.
The drainage system heads left to this culvert under Beach Boulevard. The wood storks and black vultures were busy this late April 2014 morning.
The drainage system extends westward along the south side of Beach Boulevard. The small black blob in the middle of the water is a male mallard watching his young ones a little further beyond in the water. At the top of the hillside on the left is a post office parking lot.
Continuing westward is this shallow section of drainage ditch. Just to the right of this image is a sidewalk and then Beach Boulevard. The birds from front to back are a snowy egret, a great egret, and a wood stork. The other white blobs are trash blown in by the wind.
Just before the square arches above the water seen on the photo two prior to this is a T in the ditch. Several stone arched roadways connect the post office property on the left and the adjacent retail business parking lot. This view looks southward from the archway closest to Beach Boulevard. This mid-June 2014 dusk photo captures two sets of mallard ducklings feeding in the water. One set has begun flying while the other set has yet to take their first flight.
Just beyond the stone arches (southward) in the prior photo is this section of drainage ditch.
On the back (south) side of the hotel is a fence which separates a small grassy area and this rainwater drainage pond. This early February 2014 sunset water image reflects the colorful clouds in the sky.
This is the back edge of the pond by early May. Considerable plant growth during the spring provides a backdrop for this great egret stepping through the water.
Just on the other side of the fence to the east of the building is this swamp. During the extremely dry period in 2014 this swamp disappeared--a highly unusual occurrence--which took a toll on the wildlife ecosystem in the area.
All photos © S. M. Garver