2022—Kissimmee, Kissimmee Mucho

Kissimmee, Kissimmee Mucho ... Bésame, Bésame Mucho.  Since I've been air-boating on Kissimmee Lake in central Florida, I can't get that song out of my head.  Another ear worm as they say.  Well, I LOVE Lake Kissimmee and all it has to offer and if I could, I'd kiss it!  Day two was yet another phenomenal morning on the water, this time with Captain Nate.  We had only one Snail Kite, a banded female, but she stayed in shooting range for much of the morning.  We watched her hover and dive, legs extended to grab a small Apple Snail from the shallow swamp with her talons.  Then we watched her fly from one perch to another with her precious cargo grasped firmly in her orange talons.   On one pass, the snail fell from her grasp and she watched as it plummeted back into the water.  She tried to retrieve it but it apparently sunk from view so she went on to find another.   She tried to settle down atop a Water-Purslane but a female Boat-tailed Grackle perched nearby flew at her and she decided to find a more peaceful dining area.  When she finally found a quiet place to eat, she expertly extricated the entire snail from its protective shell in one piece.  I don't think I've ever seen the complete body of a snail before and I'm not so sure I'd ever try escargot again —— once was truly enough for me and, after all, it's only the garlic butter that you're after and as the Galloping Gourmet famously said, even pine knots would taste splendid drenched in snail butter.  In this shot, the female Snail Kite grasps the snail after pulling it from the shallow water and flies to a place where she can consume her meal without harassment.