Hidden Treasures – Rock Garden Pond

If you take a walk along the bay near Bayfront Park, look out for a well hidden treasure – a rock garden pond complete with mini bridge, water-lillies and lots of trees and plants.

It’s very relaxing and tranquil and if there’s a spare bench why not sit and chill a while.


Address: 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132
301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132


Pelicans fly through the air, dive into the ocean but sometimes they just want to sit and be.

They are very chilled out birds but it was a triumph for me to capture these images without disturbing their rest.

A pelican having a rest by the Miami Beach Marina
A pelican having a rest by the Miami Beach Marina

Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879–1972) was an American poet and humorist. He was a newspaper editor for the Tennessean, Nashville’s morning paper, and President of the American Press Humorists Association. He penned this well-known limerick in 1910.

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!


A funny old bird is a pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belican.
Food for a week
He can hold in his beak,
But I don’t know how the helican.

The limerick was inspired by a post card sent to him by a female reader of his newspaper column who was visiting Florida beaches. It is often misattributed to Ogden Nash and is widely misquoted as demonstrated above. It is quoted in a number of scholarly works on ornithology, including “Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure and Function,” by Noble S. Proctor and Patrick J. Lynch, and several others.

Having a rest by the bay
Having a rest by the bay

The Natural World

A good photographer is a constant observer: always watching and studying a scene, from patterns in city traffic to movements in nature. A photographer notices big, sweeping changes — like the sky at dusk — but also the tiniest details.

Exploring the outdoors, with camera in hand, is an opportunity to look for natural lines that lead our eyes to different parts of a frame. Envision the bend of a stream, or the curve of a petal: how can you use these lines in your composition? If you see strong vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines, can you play with the orientation to create a more dynamic composition?

The Natural World

Interesting Tree bark
Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree has interesting Tree bark – Miami Botanical Gardens
A Lizard examining a tree
A Lizard examining a burnt tree – Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Did you spot the frog relaxing?
Did you spot the cheeky frog? He looks so comfortable in his own private oasis

The Leopard

The Leopard
The Leopard


Drawn using Artrage, the iPad and the JaJa Stylus

Did you know?
Leopards are nocturnal.
Male leopards are up to 50 per cent larger than females.
They don’t roar as loud as lions, but leopards can also purr.
King John kept leopards in the Tower of London in the 13th Century.
Leopards can take prey as large as antelopes, but will also eat dung beetles and other insects.
They are famously good at climbing up trees, and down – they often descend head first.
A male leopard can drag a carcass three times its own weight – including small giraffes – six metres up at tree.

The Wild Green Parrots of Miami Beach

From time-to-time in the relative calm of Miami Beach you will suddenly hear raging squawks that sound a bit like hysterical laughter. Looking up you will see three or four green birds flying above. Yes, they even “talk” noisily during flight. Occasionally you will see them sitting quietly together on overhead wires but they can’t keep quiet for very long. I guess they have a lot to say and want to tell everyone and anyone who will listen how super happy they are. Why wouldn’t they be…they live in Miami.

I’ve been calling them wild green parrots for a while but I have recently found out that they actually called Mitred Parakeets. I’ve been referring to them as wild green parrots as they are considered feral but I like my description better.

They were imported into the U.S. in vast quantities, around 140,000 birds, from South America in the 1980’s. They settled in New York, Los Angeles and Miami and can still be seen in those areas today.

Have they migrated anywhere else? Have you spotted any Mitred Parakeets in your neighborhood?

Two Mitred Parakeets chilling out together but keeping an eye on what I'm up to.
Two Mitred Parakeets chilling out together but keeping a beady eye on me. I managed to take quite a few close-ups and they seemed to be interested in what I was doing!

The Mitred Parakeet (Psittacara mitrata), also known as the Mitred Conure (Aratinga mitrata) in aviculture, is a species of green and red parrot in the Psittacidae family. It is native to the forests and woodlands in the Andes from North-Central Peru, South through Bolivia, to North-Western Argentina with introduced populations in California, Florida and Hawaii

They are such pretty birds but extremely loud for their size which can be quite a surprise. You definitely hear them before you see them! Their feathers are bright tropical green with patches of red and occasional yellow flecks. They are nosy and social birds as you can generally spot them in pairs or small groups.

Here are some pictures I’ve managed to capture of our feathery friends:-

They tend to disappear around November time and return Feb/March.

I’m not sure where they go during that time but it’s nice to have them back.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Mitred Parakeet or Mitred Conure please check out the following links:-

World Parrot Trust
The California Parrot Project