Back out to the wetlands this past weekend - took me a little longer to sort through and get the photos uploaded - it was a fairly strange and somber weekend with the school shooting just a few miles from my office, and personally involving one of my co-workers' children (she was not injured physically, but emotionally it was a hit). I needed to get back out to nature after the previous week!

Baby turtle on a heart-shaped leaf in the water:

Great egret, showing his green mating colors in the face, coming back to the nest with a stick to build it up:

Many birds not only change colors for mating season, but also grow out long hair-like feathers that can be stuck up and displayed peacock-style. This snowy egret, normally with yellow feet and base of bill, instead turns orange, and those long whispy feathers start to fan out:

Great egrets go even more 'peacock' style - with great long feathers that fan out on its back:

One of the color-change masters...the normally dull cattle egret, a white bird with pale yellow bill and legs, during mating season turns into a veritable rainbow. The legs go red, the feathers on the neck and back turn golden brown, the bill takes on deep yellows, reds, pinks, and oranges, the eyes turn yellow in the center ringed by red, and those long hair-like feathers bloom all over:
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