Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Armadillo 2.17.10

Around 4 this afternoon my sister, JoAnne, came in and told me the Armadillo was in the back yard. I grabbed my camera and headed out to see if I could get a few pictures.  Only one came out. I like that he feels safe in our little area. Safe enough to come out in the afternoon. I usually just find all the holes it’s dug.


I did get some nice video. You actually get to see it’s face and watch how it hunts for food.  I was standing about 8’ from it…when it starts standing and “winding” the air…it is sensing I am close.

It sure does make a mess of my yard…but when I get a chance to enjoy watching it working in the leaves…it’s all worth it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wood Stork 2.14.10

These are fairly large birds, and I don’t think I would call them pretty.


They spend a lot of time in the canals feeding.


I followed these 3 for several minutes and they didn’t seem to be very afraid. They are beautiful when they are in flight. The black on the edges of their wings is striking.

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A short flight over the fence into the horse pasture gave them another place to look for food.


I wish I had been able to get a good video of them in flight. That is when they are the most beautiful, but it was fun watching them stroll down the road. So nonchalant…..but they did keep checking over their shoulders to see if I was still following.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Red Bellied Woodpecker

This Cabbage Palm is one of the favorites for the Woodpeckers. I guess there a a lot of bugs hanging out here. When the big fronds die they break off …leaving short pieces on the tree that catch debris and make a good home for bugs.  They eventually break and fall off, leaving the tree trunk smoother.031cs 049cs

I keep thinking I am naming this bird wrong…but it is zebra-backed with the red covering the head and nape of the neck, and that is the books description. This is a male. The females have red on the neck but not on the top of it’s head.


I love watching Woodpeckers work for their dinner.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bald Eagle on Logue’s Way

My sister and I spent  a couple of hours hiking on Logue’s Way.  It was a chilly day , but the sun did shine a bit to warm it up. A great day for a walk.

The Way has a couple of different landscapes. You start out on a crushed shell trail that takes you to a boardwalk  through a wetland area with palm and needle palms.  It takes several twists and turns and eventually ends up in the “uplands”. It’s a higher bit of ground that is a totally different area. Low growing ground covering palms and tall pine trees. The soil is dry and sandy instead of mucky. All within a few minutes walk.

When traveling through the “uplands”, JoAnne spotted a Bald Eagle sitting in  a tree a short distance from us. 


It was looking away from us, but must have heard us coming. In this picture it is looking over it’s shoulder at us.


By the time I  got closer…it had taken flight and spent several minutes riding the thermals.


It is such a beautiful bird.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Day at the Beach

This is a bit of a change from my “backyard” critters.

My sister, Joanne, and I went to New Smyrna Beach for a day of walking and looking for shells.

We found some beauties! 002cs We visited with another shell picker and he said he was finding shells that he’d never seen before. We even found a few Sea Urchins.008cs

My sister has lived in FL for many years and said that she had never found even one Crucifix Fish. We found 25-30 yesterday. They have an interesting legend.


“Of all the fishes in the sea our lord chose the lowly sailcat to remind us of his misery

His body on the cross is outlined, The hilt of the sword which was plunged into his side is clearly defined.

Look at the back of the fishes bone where the Roman shield is shown. When you shake the cross you will hear the dice being tossed for our Lords blood stained dress, those who can hear them will be blessed.”


I love watching the Gulls. Joanne tossed a piece of tangerine to 1 gull and the next thing we knew we had a small flock following us. I saw one gentleman jogging down the beach with a big flock keeping him company. I kept watching and realized he had a small bag of something for them and would toss them  a bit every few strides. A nice way to have company on your jog.


I don’t spend a lot of time at the beach, so I’d never noticed these Black Skimmers before. It has a very big beak and doesn’t look very impressive here, all fluffed up from the cold wind. Almost like a stuffed animal.


But they are so beautiful and graceful in flight.058csThe lower part of their bill is longer than the top. You really have to look close to see it.



And for all of those still stuck in the ice and snow of the north…here is a bit of Florida sand and surf for you….