Flip Flop Dragonflies

Deep Time

380 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create these seahorse sculptures from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Adult dragonfly lifespan of a few days to 5 weeks contrasts with the wide distribution, variety with over 3,000 species and deep longevity of the infraorder, Anisoptera, especially compared to our genus, Homo: Hundreds of millions of years, compared to 2 million.

An insect, dragonflies live on every continent except Antarctica, from sea level up to the mountains.

I have experienced hundreds of dragonflies swooping and hovering around Peaked Mountain of the Adirondacks.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Hanging Around

not mistletoe

Spanish Moss is neither moss nor Spanish. Scientific name Tillandsia usneoides, this flowering plant is in the family Bromeliaceae that includes pineapple. Here it hangs from a cedar tree along Blackpoint Wildlife Drive.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Brevard County, Florida

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Spearhead

Metaphorically Speaking

These birds are feeding from a march pool south of Blackpoint Wildlife Drive about 0.9 mile from the start. As such it is a backlit shot with the sun illuminating the White Ibis’ beak and the green legs of the Tricolored Heron (aka Louisiana Heron).

Both can use a spear-like beak to capture unwary prey.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Brevard County, Florida

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Basking

Taking in the Sun

Blackpoint Wildlife Drive meanders through marsh environments where humans are just visitors.

Here the Alligator is the apex predator that will attack and eat the unwary tourist. This eight-foot monster, resting on a hummock 20 feet from the road, absorbed only sun. In town, it is on the menu.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Brevard County, Florida

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 10

along the River Bannon

The tenth and final of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

We are headed toward lunch along the River Bannon. The Kinsale Chocolate Boutique, Exchange Buildings, 6 Market Square, did not survive the pandemic. This iconic corner is now the First South Credit Union (sigh).

With headquarters in Dublin, the Irish Red Cross provides in Ireland (click the links to learn more):

MIGRATION SERVICES,

PRISON PROGRAMME – COMMUNITY BASED HEALTH & FIRST AID

FREE DEFIBRILLATOR CHECK

RED CROSS AND IHL

EMBLEMS OF THE RED CROSS MOVEMENT

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

RESCUE SERVICES

AMBULANCE

MISSING RELATIVES

Come out of the center town to walk along Pier Road, River Bannon on its way to the harbor, on one side, town parks on the other.

Across from Kinsale Town Park rises this Tall Ship mast and other memorabilia from Kinsale’s maritime heritage.

A few hundred feet away are moorings for the Kinsale Yacht club, ” located in Kinsale, County Cork lies just 120 nautical miles from Wales, 240 from North West France and only 500 from the Galician Coast of North Spain. Most significantly it is only 30 km by road from Cork, Ireland’s second city, and between the two lies one the region’s main assets – Cork International Airport – with its daily links to many European capitals. Keelboats and Dinghies. The club runs inshore and offshore races, has active cruising and powerboat sections and most significantly for any real club, a strong and dynamic junior training program. Kinsale Yacht Club and marina are only a few minutes walk from every shop, hotel, pub and restaurant in Ireland’s gourmet capital.” — from the Yacht Club web site.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Flip Flop Manta Rays

“Devil Fish”

110 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create these seahorse sculptures from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Manta Rays are large, flat-bodied fish having a width ranging from 18-23 feet (5-7 meters) wide. Mantas gracefully swoop during feeding, scooping up large quantities of plankton, 60 pounds (27 kilograms) per day, with the flat fins on either side of their head.

Here is the flowing movement of the manta

Mantas are known as “devilfish” because of their horn-shaped cephalic fins, which are imagined to give them an “evil” appearance. The movement of pectoral fins drive them through water, like birds flying through air.

All mantas are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Anthropogenic threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and direct harvesting of their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine. Their slow reproductive rate exacerbates these threats. They are protected in international waters by the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, but are more vulnerable closer to shore. Areas where mantas congregate are popular with tourists. Only a few public aquariums are large enough to house Mantas.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 9

Protected Storage

The ninth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Look closely to see this quote “The Onion is the truffle of the poor.” –Robert J. Courtine. Crackpots was decorated with unusual pottery, a casualty of Covid-19.

From a placard inside the stone walled “Town Pound.” “The Town Pound was an essential part of the administration of the old town, located near the Market House, the Potato Market and the Broadstone. It had replaced the Old Pound at the top of Barrack Street and was for the care of stray livestock, especially pigs and horses, with a scale of penalties for offenders. The Pounds were always kept as secure places, as shown in the records of the Kinsale Corporation, with an entry of 1673 itemizing a sum of sixteen shillings for the repair of the pound!” By Local Historian, Dermot Ryan.

The Tan Tavern is on the other side of Guardwell street, seen here over the stone wall of “The Old Town Pound” historical site.

“Kinsale Town Crest

I don’t recall where exactly this quote was placed. It is associated in time with the Town Pound (photo time stamps). Morgan Spurlock of the documentary “Supersize Me” is an American of Irish descent.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Flip Flop Seahorses

Evolutionary Success Story

Up to 150 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create these seahorse sculptures from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

.

Seahorses are tiny fish with heads that look like…horses! Their curved flexible tail is used to grasp objects, mostly anchoring the seahorse to plants.

Their genus, Hippocampus, includes 46 species indicating evolutionary success for their body shape and adaptations. Just hatched seahorses cling together in groups, hook by their tails. Excellent at camouflage, a seahorse hides from predators while waiting to ambush dinner.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 8

An ivy clad nook

The eighth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Ducking into an alleyway with the haughty name, “Chairmans’ Way,” we stepped into a different world.

Promising a castle, it delivered these charming offerings.

This doorway, yellow roses (Pam’s favorite) and Calla Lilies.

An ivy clad nook / cottage.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Flip Flop Manatee

Happy “Profitable Friday” 2022

Up to 400 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create this Manatee sculpture from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Manatee with fans

Manatees are protected under the Endangered Species Act and under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Today, the range-wide population is estimated to be at least 13,000 manatees, with more than 6,500 in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico.

Florida has cherished the Sea Cow with the population increasing 25% from 1991, going from 1,267 to more than 6,300.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved