Max Weakley's Blog » Max Weakley Photography

Each month my Boy Scout Troop has a campout, this month is was Melbourne, FL. We camped next to a small dock where we caught, cleaned, and cooked fish. We had some pelicans come to us as we were gutting the fish, so we threw them the scraps. We then went to the beach where we saw tons of Royal and Elegant Terns, Black Skimmers, Brown Pelicans, and a small pod of Bottle-Nosed Dolphins.

Early the first morning we saw a Great Horned Owl silhouetted against the clouds.

This was my pelican friend that was with me as I cleaned my fish. I threw him everything that I did not want to eat, like the guts, bones, and everything but the main fillets.

This is the pelican diving after a piece of fish that I threw at him.

This is one of the Bottle-Nosed Dolphins that we saw next to the beach. They were working together to catch fish. They actually got very close to us as we were swimming!

This is one of the hundreds of Royal Terns that was on the beach that we swam in. We were able to get very close to it without spooking one, because if you spook one bird the rest will soon follow it.

We got some Black Skimmers right as they came in to land on the beach. They have a very large lower bill, because they put it in the water like their name suggests. They skim the water with their bill and use it as a ramp to get the fish into their mouth.

This was one of the three dolphins that we saw swimming right next to the dock that we were fishing on. Fishermen have been using dolphins as indicators of where the fish are for centuries, and that is exactly what we did.

I hope this information was helpful to you and I would appreciate it if you would follow my blog. I also have a YouTube channel based on survival, and I would appreciate it if you took a look at that too ( Thank you.

I recently went to the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford, FL. I was pleasantly surprised in how nice it was. There were many exotic animals that I did not expect to see such as an Amur Leopard, Cape Porcupines, Cheetah, Crocodile Monitor and dozens others. They had very large enclosures for the animals and they were easy to see for visitors.

This is a Day Gecko, they live in Madagascar. The reason it got its name is because Day Geckos come out during the day, unlike most other gecko species. Geckos are well known for being able to climb on almost any surface, including glass. That is because of little feather-like hairs that are on the bottoms of their feet, called setae. They have microscopic ends that are frayed, which allows it to stick to the surface.

This is the eye of a Crocodile Monitor. These lizards are close to four feet long and have dagger like claws that allow them clim trees, tear flesh, and hold down prey. Much like snakes they have a forked tongue and a Jacobson’s Organ in the top of their mouth to “taste” the air, it is a very advanced way to smell their prey. All monitor lizards have bacteria in their saliva that act like a venom when they bite into their prey, the best known monitor is actually the Komodo Dragon who is known for its venom like saliva!

This is an albino Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. You can see its heat sensing organ right below the nostril, that is why these snakes are called Pit Vipers, they use that “pit” the sense the body heat of an animal. They use this for two reasons: the first is that they do not have very good eyesight, so they rely on their “heat vision” to see and catch their prey; the second reason is that most rattle snakes dwell in the desert, where most animals come out at night, so they use their pits to seek out their prey in the dark.

They also had a Cheetah enclosure that held three cheetahs. They were very active and were constantly moving in their enclosures, unlike others that I have see in larger zoos. There was a large plexiglass wall that showed the enclosure, which was very nice for me as a photographer, because I did not have to contend with shooting through a fence.

This was my all time favorite animal of the day, the Amur Leopard! It is the most endangered species of animal on the planet, there are nearly forty of these animals left in the wild! These cats live in Russia and they are hunted for their fur and other parts that are used for traditional medicine. It is a shame that these beautiful animals are on the brink of extinction.

This was my favorite shot of the whole day, the eye of one of the Amur Leopards.

I hope this information was helpful to you and I would appreciate it if you would follow my blog. I also have a YouTube channel based on survival, and I would appreciate it if you took a look at that too ( Thank you.

Paynes Prairie State Park is one of my favorite locations to photograph wildlife. There are countless species of animals that inhabit there, from a six-inch Ring-Necked Snake to a six-foot American Alligator! Paynes Prairie also is home to wild horses, American Bison, wild pigs, White Tailed Deer, Great Horned Owls, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Cotton-Mouth Snakes, Rat Snakes, American Alligators, Snapping Turtles, and hundreds of others.

This is a female White Tailed Deer on the hiking path early in the morning. If you are in the park early you will be able to see a lot more wildlife, because the temperature is cooler and there are less people to disturb them.

We found a small herd of wild horses on the trail later on in our hike! They are three to five herds of these horses in the park, and they are all descendants of the horses the Spanish Conquistadors brought over in the 1400-1500’s!

Unfortunately some runners came down the path and scared the horses into the marsh next to the path. Like I said before, try to get out earlier so you reduce the amount of times that people will get between you and the animals.

On our way back to the trail head we saw a dark figure on the path ahead. When we got closer we saw that it was a Cotton Mouth Snake, also know as a Water Moccasin. It was over four feet long, but luckily for us it slithered off of the path and into the water!

When we were walking back to the campsite we saw this little Striped Rat Snake. We spooked it and it slithered right up a tree and onto a branch, where I took this shot!

I hope this information was helpful to you and I would appreciate it if you would follow my blog. I also have a YouTube based on survival, and I would appreciate it if you took a look at that ( . Thank you.

We woke up at 6:00am in the morning and got dressed for breakfast and ate an omelet, hash-browns that were more like french fries, and a croissant. We went back up to the room, got packed, took showers, and watched some TV before we left for the airport to Toronto. We got through security and got on the plane at 10:25am and took a two hour flight to Toronto. We then went through customs in Toronto, ate a lunch of hamburgers and fries, and got on our plane to Orlando for close to a three hour flight. We got to Orlando, got our bags, and were picked up by my mom. We drove to my Abuela and Abuelo’s house for a quick dinner and I showed them some of the photos and they were amazed. We drove back to Ocala and arrived home at around 9:20pm, I worked on some more photos, played with my dogs, and showed my mom and brother the photos that I took over the week that I was in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada to photograph the Polar Bears.

Our plane from Winnipeg to Toronto.

All of the planes that we had with Air Canada had these little touch-screen TVs on the chairs in front of us. They really helped to pass the time.

Coming in to Toronto.

Sunset on the plane to Orlando.

Getting ready to land in Orlando.

We woke up at 6:00am and got dressed and packed to head back to Churchill. We ate breakfast and got all of our gear onto the Polar Rovers and headed to Churchill. We saw the Polar Bear Jail, and they were actually bringing three of the bears out to the ice. We then went and shot the entrance sign to Churchill, and went to a trading post and saw some young huskies and two puppies. Then we went to go on the dog sleds and we had a camera crew there filming the family for a show on BBC. I got some great footage with my GoPro, and dad got some nice footage too. I played in the snow for a few minutes too, then we went back into town to have lunch at the Sea Port Hotel. I ate British style Fish & Chips, then ran to the shops before We had to leave for the airport. I got an awesome hat and a really cool t-shirt. We got on the plane at 2:14pm and we got back to Winnipeg at close to 5:00pm and we got back to the Fort Garry Hotel and got into our room, 435, and relaxed for a few minutes. We went up to the 9th floor to drop off our parkas and boots, then went to our farewell dinner. We talked with the rest of our crew and took photos with Rinie and Eric. We said our goodbyes, then we got back in the room and downloaded photos and took showers. We packed up and laid out our clothes for going to the airport tomorrow.

This is the Polar Bear Holding Facility, better known as the Polar Bear Jail. The bears that roam around in or near the town are trapped and brought here until the Hudson Bay freezes over, or they catch too many bears.

This is one of the traps with a bear in it, and they were bringing her back onto the ice.

This is my dad and me in front of the Churchill sign.

We got to play with some husky puppies before we went on a sled dog ride just outside of Churchill.

This was one of the really young huskies that I played with.

And this was his brother.

If you were to compare Churchill to New York the Ravens would be the pigeons, that’s how numerous they are!

This was one of our sled dogs.

My dad and me before going on the sled ride. I had my GoPro strapped to my head and I got some great footage.

These were our guides, Rinie was on the left and Eric was in the middle.

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