backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, neighbors, photography, squirrels, technology

And then there were two…

My plan was to edit the above photo a little differently, because last night when I took it I was brokenhearted to see Mama Sandhill crane returning to the nest with just one colt.  I was out there with the camera because I had just seen the other adult flying in, and he landed on my side of the lake.  I thought he had joined the family, but they weren’t there, then I saw the other adult and one baby.  Try as I might I never saw a second colt last night.  It wasn’t until I looked at this photo this morning that I saw him.  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes.  Whew.

My neighbor must have better eyesight than I do because she thought she saw a second one, but then we got distracted because she started calling her squirrel.  Yes, you read that right.  I happened to be heading out with both dogs a while back when her daughter pulled up out front and wanted me to see the three baby squirrels she was bringing to her mom’s house.  Over time I forgot all about that, but I got the rest of the story last night.  Two of the babies disappeared when they got bigger, but one, which has been named Rosie by her granddaughter, now has a little house within the pool screen.  And she has access to the outside through an opening in the screen made just for her.  So she is free, but comes back to her house at night, and will come when she is called.  Even with the dogs out there, all acting jealous because my neighbor was calling the squirrel, Rosie still raced around through the branches and eventually came down to get petted.  And I have proof…5-29rosie55-29rosie45-29rosie15-29rosie35-29rosie2That Rosie was loving her heavy petting session was obvious.  What she wasn’t appreciating so much was the camera clicking away in her face, so I left them to enjoy their moment…

backyard visitors, dogs, fences, friends, home, home improvements, live and learn, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, squirrels, unintended consequences

Good fences…

If good fences make good neighbors then how is it that I just love my neighbors on both sides, one on the side without a fence, and the other with whom I shared a length of fence that my uncle remarked was more holes than fence?  He was right, it was pretty hole-y.  But my neighbor’s entire yard was surrounded by fence that was long past it’s prime, and so when some used fencing came her way she started patching the worst areas.  Which gave me an idea, a true light bulb moment.  Since they were putting up fencing anyhow, how about I buy new fencing for the section that we share, and they put it up.  I really am a genius sometimes, ask Ozzie if you don’t believe me.

I wish I had thought to take a picture when it was nice and clean.  Already it has acquired a coating of sand where the grass hasn’t filled in.  Or the chickens flung sand at it, they’ve been visiting lately.  I certainly admired it… at first.  But I’m over the novelty of it and now it just looks… boring.  There used to be more to look at.2-10fencetextureI went looking through my photos to see if the fence showed up in any of them.  I took this picture because I was trying to take photos of the wood texture.  You see it was a bit see-through.  Zoe liked that aspect of it because she could keep an eye on what was going on over there in case she was missing something.2-10fencesquirrelThe squirrels took to the top of the fence whenever Zoe came zooming out the back door.  Chasing them is her favorite thing to do.  Ozzie, not so much.2-10fencesquirrel2I was able to capture this image because that squirrel likes having his picture taken.  I’d see birds sitting there also, but they weren’t as cooperative so I don’t have a photo of them.  Not that I didn’t try.2-10fencedieselThen there is Diesel.  He has a girlfriend a few blocks away, and he discovered that those boards didn’t really offer much resistance, so every so often he’d make a break for it and they’d have to hunt him down.  Now they know where to look for him however.

So, a new fence.  A home improvement.  Charley was a coin collector, old, rare coins, and patients would bring their old coins in for him to see in hopes they would have a rare one worth lots of money.  He’d tell them whatever they did, don’t clean them.  The color that develops on the old coins is called toning, and the coins are more valuable if the toning isn’t disturbed.  It didn’t matter, they always cleaned the coins.  One did it with a pencil eraser.  Maybe he thought Charley wouldn’t notice.  I never understood the value of the toning, I just took Charley’s word for it.  But it has occurred to me that that’s what is missing from the new fence.  Toning!  A little something extra to look at…

birds, chickens, kids, nature, photography, simple things, spider webs, squirrels, Uncategorized

Who’s a dumb cluck?

The term ‘dumb cluck’ came to mind today, as I was taking care of my neighbor’s chickens. They evacuated for the hurricane, the neighbors did, and I was a bit worried about having a front row seat to what would become of the chickens as Irma blew through the neighborhood. I pictured the roof of the homemade coop coming off and chickens being hurtled through the air. Which didn’t happen, and I’m glad about that, but then I was left to care for them in my own inept way.

I’ve made sure that they had fresh water and flung them some food every day, in imitation of scenes from old TV shows or something. They put themselves back in the coop for the night, so all you have to do is close up the coop. But in order to do that I have to step into the covered area outside of the coop, and in doing so I have walked into a spider web every.single.time I walk in. That’s where the dumb cluck thought came from. For some reason I can’t ever think of it ahead of time, not until I feel something brush against my hair, it’s extremely creepy.

So I googled the term ‘dumb cluck’ and someone said “The term “dumb cluck” in referring to a stupid person is an insult to chickens”

It’s official then, the dumb cluck I was referring to was me!


As you can see I have a thing for the black and white chickens.  I think they look Zentangled!  And my little squirrel friend loves the chicken feed too!

chickens, Florida wildlife, home, humor, nature, on closer examination, photography, squirrels


There it was again, the rustling in the overgrown palmetto at the edge of the yard. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. She should feel relieved,  if the dogs didn’t bark, it must be nothing, she thought to herself. Where were the dogs anyhow? She couldn’t see either one of them. She should walk around to the front of the house and see where they had gotten to, but she heard the noise again and was rooted to the spot. She had always been afraid of that overgrown tangle of Florida foliage. Always wondered what might be in there. Which partly accounted for why it was so overgrown, since she couldn’t bring herself to take even the long handled pruners out there to trim things up. She had turned toward the front to look for the dogs, but behind her she heard it again. Taking a deep breath she turned, and camouflaged so well against the tree that she could barely see it, was the intruder.chickenintruderBut there were more than just this one intruder…


Her four-legged bodyguards must have been asleep on the job… but wait!  That was written yesterday, but the bodyguards were on the ball today letting her know something was out there.  Now this really is an intruder.  armadilla

Florida wildlife, nature, photography, pond creatures, silliness, simple things, squirrels, unintended consequences

Dinner in the neighborhood…

I went out back to hunt lizards yesterday, in the interest of some photos, but the better photo ops were provided by this guy snatching up a mushroom and taking it up a tree to eat it. He paid no attention to me as I snapped some pictures with my Canon DSLR, which makes plenty of noise. I’ll bet that if I went out back every day and waited for a squirrel to show up and do something cute I wouldn’t have to wait long. In Maryland, squirrels drove everyone crazy because they wormed their way in to the houses to nest. I don’t hear that complaint here, another benefit of the warm winters I guess. So I wonder if the squirrels know which mushrooms are edible…

birds, bugs, bunnies, Cranes, flowers, home improvements, life, nature, photography, squirrels

The Rest of the Story

My lake hasn’t seen much crane action at all in weeks, but here and there around the neighborhood I see a group of five cranes, four with their red heads and one colt. So I got quite the surprise when I went out back yesterday and there they were, the five cranes, and right in my backyard. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether they include any members of the original crane family, but I usually see them on the same corner that the family also liked. I think the colt is showing a red blush on her head, if it’s one of our colts then it’s just five months old.

There are still some surprise wildlife sightings out back now and then. I saw a cute little bunny out my kitchen window one day and thought I was nuts for grabbing my camera to try to get a picture, but he never moved a muscle as I slowly let myself out onto the patio. After a few photos I moved to get a different angle, kind of hoping that he’d move and give me some different shots, but nope, he stayed put, never moving a, ahem, hare.

From my chair I can see my hibiscus bush out back, and I couldn’t help but notice that it was shimmying and shaking in a most unusual way the other day.  Upon further investigation I discovered that my little Peeping Tom was at it again.

In case you were wondering, my new shower doors are still looking fantastic. I reapplied Rain-x the other day, the first time since my original application when the doors were brand new.  And, I have never once taken a shower without squeegeeing the doors off. No wonder they are still looking great. My mother would be so proud.