Reminder to pick your favorite Alphabet Challenge “B” Stories

A quick reminder to vote for one of the stories in the “B” Alphabet Challenge Submissions. You can vote HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of the stories in that post.

By the way, you can still vote for the “A” Alphabet Challenge Submissions HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of those stories in that post.

Few people bother to vote so your vote — unlike voting in the national elections — both counts and can have a significant impact. If the responsibility weighs heavy on your shoulders, then get a lot of people to read the stories and to vote, thus lessening the impact of your single vote.

The writers (I’m one of the writers) appreciate readers’ involvement and welcome comments and questions. They will be answered anonymously, but answers you’ll get (if you have questions, of course).

Click for a larger version.

That’s from early last month. This and the following are all high ISO photos (5,000 to 12,500) because the day was cloudy and the bird was deep in a cove of Crab Orchard Lake.

I was hoping — and ready — to capture the bird taking off as I approached to within 30 yards or so. Alas, this was one of the few herons that didn’t mind me hanging around. That means I got a lot of these shots.

I mean, he was moving, but very slow.

I also suspect it knew that I only wore a light jacket — no hat, no gloves — and that standing on the causeway with a stiff breeze blowing and temperatures hovering around freezing meant I wasn’t going to last long.

Let me pull one of those shots; the one where it’s laughing at me.

I will give props to anyone who knows what those bulbous things are. I tried searching for them but I had difficulty describing what they were, so even the mighty Google failed to come up with an answer.

I ended up writing to John Hartleb, the biologist at the refuge. Here’s his answer:

The picture you sent me is of pneumatophores. They are essentially aerial roots from bald cypress trees. They are thought to aid the tree in stabilization and oxygen exchange. Some cypress trees have more than others depending on where they are growing. Most are seen on trees growing at the water’s edge, however, they will form on cypress trees growing on dry land. This makes them a problem when they are planted in yards because they don’t get along with lawn mowers very well. Hope this helps. Thanks for the question and take care.

HERE‘s the Wikipedia entry for the tree. And now you know.

After abandoning hope to photograph the heron flying, I went back to the car and continued driving on the causeway. I managed — from inside the car — to photograph these two ducks before they dove . . .

I also got this shot of a gull that flew right over the car . . .

Remember to vote and to direct friends, enemies, and people you have no opinion about toward the trio of stories.

Here’s the gallery of the above . . .

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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10 Responses to Reminder to pick your favorite Alphabet Challenge “B” Stories

  1. AnnMarie says:

    Great Laughing Heron! And thanks for answering my question about those pneumatophores.


  2. All the birds are beautiful! And YAY for herons who laugh!

    Those pneumatophores are wildly interesting and unique!
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, Carolyn. And yes, weird stuff I’d not seen before. We live in the northernmost part of their range, probably why I’d never seen them before.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just put up a blog featuring you and another blogging friend of mine.

        I’m hoping to head some people over here to read the B-stories!!!


      • disperser says:

        Thank you, Carolyn. It’s nice of you to do so.

        I do fear my content might not mesh well with many of your followers, but under the assumption they’re all adults, I won’t worry about it.

        I assume your blog is still private?

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re welcome! I really hope some will read the stories and vote! That’s why I wanted to share a link to your story challenge.

          Yes, don’t worry about that. I have a wide variety of blogging friends and they are all well-over 21. Ha. :-)
          Oh, and, yes, my blog is still on private.

          Sadly mostly, in the past, when I recommended another blog/blogger…very few people went to check it out. :-(
          But I always give it my best shot when I want to share another blogger with my blog-friends.


        • disperser says:

          I suspect I won’t get much of a bump since people’s time and interests are pretty much divided up to the point that it’s difficult sliding anything new into the mix.

          Certainly, that’s the case with me. It has to be something really interesting and unique for me to spend time on a new site. Not because they are bad, but just because every new addition is a cost (with time as the currency).


  3. mvschulze says:

    After a few ‘get out or the house’ days, including day trips to NYC; a few days driving around the state of Pennsylvania, including visiting the somber (Flight 93 national monument) to the ludicrous (Punxsutawney Phil, the rodent weather guy;) and various other diversions, we’re back home, and time for me to read, read, read; catch up, and read more. And proud to announce a vote cast for the ‘B’ series.
    But keeping up with all the ‘Disperser’ disperses, … is proving to be a time management crisis. I need to learn the art of SPEED READING! M :-)


    • disperser says:

      Well, you do have a long time (a month) to read the stories before voting. But yes, I tend to occasionally have a fair amount of content. Feel free to skip whenever time constraints are tight.

      Thanks for reading and voting.


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