Thursday, January 28, 2010

Squirrels in the Brazilian Pepper bushes 1.27.10

The Brazilian Pepper bushes are a very invasive species but the Robins stop here every year, on their migration, to fill up on them.

I hadn’t seen the big flock lately and was checking the trees for them when I spotted a couple of  squirrels dining on the berries.


I love to  watch them running around these flimsy little branches. They are such agile little critters.

A few days ago, one was  in the tops of the trees, where the branches appeared  to be bare. Evidently it was  feasting on the tiny new buds. Today there a few new leaves on them. 2 days of ran and the nice warm sunshine has started them leafing out.


This is a closer look at the branches in the center of the picture.


Hope we don't get another frost and lose all the nice green leaves.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Red Shouldered Hawk 1.25.10

My sister and I went for a short bike ride yesterday. It was pretty windy and not much wildlife was out and about.

We spotted a beautiful pair of Hawks, but before I could get the camera ready, they flew a short ways off. One settled atop this power pole.


It looked so pretty against the blue sky. It is just a step from flying off.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Red Shouldered Hawk 1.23.10

My husband, Jim, gave me a loud whisper shout….”there’s a Hawk by the gate!!!”

So I grabbed my camera and headed towards the screen door. I had to take the pictures thru the screen so they arn’t the best quality. But it sure is beautiful.

It look like he’s trying to decide if the “fence cat” is edible or not.


Actually it had something under it’s foot…maybe a lizard. It probably thought the cat was a threat to its meal.  Whatever it was, it was gone quickly and I saw no feathers.

After it finished it little morsel it flew up to the top of the gate. It’s looking right at my bird feeder…but no birds on it.


Such a beautiful bird.


Look at the sparkle in it’s eye.


In the video you can hear one of the birds giving warning to the others.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hogs visit again 1.21.10

In Dec. ‘09  I posted a short video of a Momma Hog and her 4 little ones as they crossed the drive coming into our yard.

Today they made a short visit. Just strolled in…looked around…evidently didn’t find any “leftovers” from the bunnies,  turned around and left.

If you saw the video, you can see that they have really grown up. All the hogs seem pretty smooth coated except this sow….she has a more “wild” look then the little ones. I like the “roached” mane she has on the back of her neck.  The runt of the litter is still the smallest one.


When I opened the door to get a short video…she really watched me. These pictures aren't very good..they were taken out of the video.


She made sure they were all safely in the woods before she took her eye off me and followed them.


This is the video the pictures were taken from. I think the whole family came in..but I didn’t get a good look to see if the other large black hog was another sow or the boar that has been coming in.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dragonfly in KY

Here is another dragonfly that I saw in KY this summer.

I haven't been able to find out what kind it is.

2 063cs

It’s not as pretty as the Amberwings or the Blue Dasher, but is still unique.2 070cs

Some are moving so quickly it is almost impossible to get a picture…but this one seemed to enjoy it. It looks as if the wings are hinged with bits of gold.

2 084cs

It spent as much time watching me as I spent watching it.2 089cs

Friday, January 15, 2010

Robins 1.13.10

Every year the Robins stop here in big flocks. There were several hundred in the back yard. Most of the plants have died because of the frost but the Robins have been finding something to eat.


The main reason they stop is for the berries on the Brazilian Pepper bush. A very invasive species. The road in here and around the edges of the clearing are full of them. And they are loaded with berries. With a very Christmas holly look.


You can see several Robins feeding and flying in and out of the bushes.

The trees were full of birds.


Then they head to the birdbath. So handsome.


I look forward to their arrival every year and hate to see them leave. There are so many that the trees are alive with movement and sound.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

“Greenies” (Painted Buntings) 1.23.10

I had to put a cage on the feeders to keep the Blackbirds out.

Here are a couple of the Greenies.  They can be either females or adolescent males.


Here is a closer look at the back…they are really very pretty.


You can see they have the company of a male in this picture. He is just visible on the L of the feeder.


So far, I have seen 4 Greenies at one time and 4 brightly colored males. One of the green birds is just starting to get a bit of color on it’s breast. It’s the first one I have seen like that. I hope I am able to get a picture of it. So I know at least one of the green birds is a male.

My neighbor down the road has several Painted Buntings coming to her feeders. A few years ago I had never seen one. Now I have at least 8 buntings.

I’ve also seen one brown bunting. I believe it to be a female Indigo. I keep watching for a bright blue one to show up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter Wonder?land

Since everyone is showing pictures of their winter beauty…I thought I’d share also.

Here is my birdbath this morning after 2 teapots full of hot water..It kept icing over and the Robins weren't very happy about it.


I decided to chop all the ice out and put fresh water in. That was at 9 am.

Here is some of the ice…it is still there and it is after 2:30.  Still not melted.


The hose that fills the watering station outside of the dog pen had a nice icicle on it.  Oh….did I mention this is in central FL….we even had sleet yesterday morning.


But here is one of the bright spots of my day. One of the 3 males that are here regularly….he doesn't look too happy with the weather either.


but soooo beautiful…


They have been hitting the feeders pretty regularly. I even have a hummingbird still here. I am putting out warm feed each morning and evening.

Friday, January 8, 2010

SNAKES……..Florida Blue Garter (Aug ‘09)

I have to say this is my favorite. I was unable to capture the true color.


It really had a more turquoise color than I can show you in these pictures.


It was under the ramp going into the “potting shed” (Jim took it over for his shop).

Look at the pattern.055

And the size of it’s eye. 


Doesn’t it look like a cartoon?


I know it’s a weird way to describe a snake…but doesn’t it have the cutest little face you ever seen?


After it let me take several pictures…it headed off on it’s way…


That was the only time I saw one like this. I was hoping they were all over. Oh well, maybe next year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Armadillo (Dec ‘09)

We have a  nice Tangelo tree that produces some very juicy fruit. Just as they started to ripen we noticed a lot of them on the ground and stripped out peels hanging in the tree. We were losing a half dozen a night. We thought it was an Opossum…..but the branches that many of the peels were hanging from were so fragile they would have been broken by an Opossum……..I remembered my Mom telling me that there were Fruit Rats about. So I did some reading up on them….and it sure sounds like they were the culprits.

Jim saw a couple one night and they were fairly large…this is the only trap we have so he thought he’d give it a try….I doubt they could not have gotten out of this…but we had nothing to lose….

We caught one of the baby coons one night….let it go. Then a few mornings ago I was out checking the place out and feeding the bunnies when I spotted our next visitor…an Armadillo.


Now…..I wouldn’t exactly call it cute….and I’ve never really had a good look at the face and ears. Usually if you see one they are going away from you.


Jim isn’t very happy with this little guy….he spends a lot of time filling up the holes it digs….but after getting a good look at it….he agreed with me….it could stay.

I was surprised when it just kind of moseyed on off…..taking it’s time….but once it was close to the tree it kicked into over-drive and was off like a shot….Some of the critters that stop or live here can be destructive…this one digs some fairly good sized holes….but then…I get to see one ….and it’s all worth it.