backyard visitors, butterflies, connections, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, gardens, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

At home with friends…

It was a perfect way to spend a day, sitting in the most lush natural garden you can imagine, and talking with friends while various visitors dropped in to have their picture taken.  Lots of butterflies, many that zoomed into view but never stopped long enough for a picture,  The same with a beautiful big dragonfly and a tiny little hummingbird.  A lazy cat and two dogs seemed to be enjoying the view with us.  A perfect day in a beautiful oasis of green.  Thank you Eddie and Linda, for doing all the work and planning that makes this not only a beautiful oasis for us, but the perfect microclimate to allow these creatures to thrive.  And for sharing a lovely day with me.4-22-19butterflymosaic4-22-19yellowflower4-22-19purpleflower4-22-19pinkflower4-22-19passionflower4-22-19monarch34-22-19monarch24-22-19monarch4-22-19butterflymosaic24-22-19brownbutterfly

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, blessings, Cranes, Florida wildlife, life, life goes on, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Found ‘em…

The lost pictures I mean. Sandhill crane posts never seem to garner as much of an audience as other posts seem to, but darn it, I had to work hard to find the darn photos, all 256 of them, so I’m posting them. One of these little cuties was a day old when I took these photos, and the other one was newly hatched. It was so nice of the parents to build a nest in such a great spot to walk out on the rickety old dock to take pictures, but I could have done without the post right there next to the nest. And I came to take pictures in the afternoon to avoid shooting into the sun, and of course I got there and they were posing nicely with the babies right in the shadow of the post. But it’s raining now, and I found these pictures so I’m going with them.

The bigger picture is new life I guess, and spring arriving with all the renewal of life that it brings.  Right after Charley died a friend posted a picture of her adorable new granddaughter, and I immediately thought that a life ends and a life begins.  Over and over in nature the cycle continues.  As it should.  We humans like to think we are in charge somehow, but we aren’t, and that’s a good thing…04-02-19twochicks804-02-19twochicks704-02-19twochicks504-02-19twochicks404-02-19twochicks304-02-19twochicks203-39-19twochicks103-39-19twochicks2

 

backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, life, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

There’s a new kid in town…

On Thursday morning when my neighbors had checked on the Sandhill crane nest there were still two eggs in it.  Dad wanders the little lake in my former backyard, but periodically he returns to the nest and Mom seems to take that opportunity to stand up and turn the eggs, and maybe take a little swim.  A sort of coffee break, Sandhill crane style.  And the nest is a total departure from what they had built in the past.  It’s not out on the island further from the shore.  They built quite the mound, and located it perfectly for pictures, if you don’t mind negotiating the fire ant hills in the next yard down, and walking out onto the little old dock that has been there for years,.  The dock sits at the back of that yard, sad and unused, and in the 12 years that I lived two doors up it’s never had water even close to it.

By mid-day I had gotten the word that one of the eggs had hatched, and I got there as fast as I could.  I know from the past two years that the family was going to hang around the nest for only a day or so, but then they would march off at sunrise and return at sunset.  The first time that happened two years ago I came home from work at lunch time and there were two adult cranes out there but no babies.  What a moment, I was so upset.  By that time I was thoroughly invested in that little family.  But it must have been another pair because come late afternoon the family returned, all four of them, and I came to realize that that was going to be their routine.  I read that a Sandhill crane chick must walk three miles a day, right from go, to develop those thigh muscles.  I realized then that watching them raising their babies wasn’t going to be for sissies.  I will go back today and hopefully find two little chicks out there having swimming lessons.  And when one of them rolls down the side of that steep mounded nest I will restrain myself, as I had to on Thursday, because this is nature, taking it’s course.03-28-19sandhillchick603-28-19sandhillchick503-28-19sandhillchick403-28-19sandhillchick303-28-19sandhillchick203-28-19sandhillchick1

 

backyard visitors, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, home, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Nosy neighbors…

There are a couple of nosy neighbors in my new neighborhood.  And, no, I’m not talking about my aunt and uncle.  No, whenever you are outside the particular neighbors I’m talking about show up in hopes of getting a hand out.  I don’t believe in feeding wildlife because I don’t want them to become dependent on me and then let them down.  But mostly because I know that the sorts of things people do feed them aren’t good for them at all.  Obviously someone feeds these two because they aren’t shy about asking.  In this case I had brought a couple of Magnum bars across the street for my aunt and uncle and these two seemed to think that I should have shared with them also.  I hear that there is at least one equally pesty wood stork that hangs around and comes close looking for a treat also, but I haven’t run into him so far.  I will try to resist buying any more Magnum bars, even if they are on BOGO this week, because I have personally eaten way more than my fair share.  It would have been nice to have had a more natural setting for these photos, but they will do for having walked across the street and sat in the grass with my iPhone for a few minutes…03-13-19egret103-13-19egret203-13-19egret303-13-19egret4

a second look, backyard visitors, finding my way, leap of faith, photography, road trip, travel

Those great ideas…

This trip north in the winter was one of those great ideas that take over your mind until you put them into action.  And it’s already been a success, having seen some of my favorite people already.  And my dog Ozzie seems to be enjoying himself too.  But I have to admit that I left FL at exactly the wrong time.  The birds were arriving, migrating in for the winter.  I’ve seen such beautiful photos online, and I find myself wishing I was there.  A little, no regrets, but I now know for sure that I will have to be at least a part time Floridian.  This Great Blue Heron was out back on my last afternoon in my house.  And I wonder if the Sandhill Cranes will nest out back again. Wait, they won’t be in my backyard will they?  Oh well.  I told myself I was going to take winter photos here on Cape Cod, even though I knew it would be cold.  But it’s SO cold that I haven’t been out so far, but I will…

backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, moments, nature, neighbors, perseverance, photography, turtles

The interloper…

I heard the ping as a text came in, and discovered that there was a soft-shell turtle in my neighbor’s pool.  So of course I grabbled my camera and headed out the back door.  When my neighbor heard my screen door slam she called for me to help her.  But it was more fun to take pictures.11-26interloper111-26interloperfeature1

He was a speedy little thing.  Catching him looked easy, so Sue’s husband took over and he also found out that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. But he was caught eventually.  I just hope Sue doesn’t have to try to catch anything smaller than him with that net.11-26interloper2These are snapping turtles, see how he has the net?  I’m sure he’d love to chomp on Sue’s finger too.

11-26interloper3

11-26interloper4She told me to get ready, that he’d make a bee line for the lake, but that didn’t happen.  It took persuasion to send him on his way.  And one last photo of Wilbur, in case you were wondering how he’s been doing.  Of course things are usually a lot less exciting, but I have loved living next door, having a front row seat so to speak.  Lots of fun without the responsibility.  Sue doesn’t acquire her menagerie, often they are deposited at the doorstep by her daughter, but sometimes they just wander in on their own.  She says I’ll miss all the lakeside drama, and she is right…11-26Wilbur