Blooming in the yard in late December.

My Christmas cactus bloomed most of December and I finally went outside to get some macro shots of it before it went dormant. Then I started looking around to see what else I could shoot. The small camelia bush next to our garage was blooming. I also took some pictures of the pointsettia plants and the hanging impatiens. Now that it’s March, we have a lot of other plants blooming so I need to get on that.

My Corner of the World

A quick walk

So much yellow in November.The little critters were loving the goldenrod when I was at Possum Branch Preserve in mid-November. The pop of yellow was really pretty growing along the canal there.

A few of the birds I found. A white eyed vireo and a great egret hiding from the wind in the muck.

I don’t see these guys very often even though I know there are a ton of them.

The moon was still up in the late morning.

Stopping at the fishing pier nearby, the dark clouds were moving in.

My Corner of the World

Flashes of pink and green

I barely made it to see the silk floss blooms this year. The silk floss trees at the Florida Botanical Gardens bloom in late September and I didn’t make it there until mid-October but there were still a lot of pink blooms on the tree in the parking lot. I was taking some close up shots of the beautiful pink flowers on the low hanging branches when I saw a flash of green go by.

I heard the loud squawking near the top of the tree and realized that several monk parakeets had landed in the tree.

They spent quite a while eating parts of the flower. They seemed to be eating the bottom part of it where the seed is but they were also playing around with the pink petals. It was so much fun to watch them eating for a while. It was a challenge to get a clear shot since there were so many branches in the way and the light was terrible.

Stepping back and taking this shot with my phone, you can see how big the tree is but this one is much smaller than the one behind the visitor’s centor. There were only blooms left on the bottom half of the tree.

My Corner of the World

Waking up on a golf course

The golf course behind our home was closed for maintance the first few weeks we were here. One morning I got up right before the sun came up and went out for a walk. I had been seeing people jogging or walking on the cart path and knew that would all stop once the course opened back up again. I am not a golfer. My husband plays golf (when he has the time which is rarely) and I’ve ridden with him in the cart when he plays when we are on vacation but it was strange to walk out the back door and be on the cart path. I only walked a few holes and passed several ponds and tons of birds. Now the course is open and I can still go out early in the morning and walk along the tree line but need to stay out of the way once the golfers come through (we’re on the 13th hole so it takes a while for them to get to our hole in the morning).

Across the street from our townhome is a big pond (with a few alligators swimming around) and I’ve been trying to catch the sunset here.

SkyWatch Friday

Nature in early October

Is it fall yet?  It was cool on the morning I was at Chinsegut Wildlife area in early October. Only 75 degrees at 8am. It warmed up quick but was a nice change from the summer heat.

It actually felt a little like fall even though it was warm.

Color along the trail.

Heading down to the lake, I thought these fallen logs covered in moss were interesting. Nature’s artwork?  Out at the lake it was quiet.

A few little critters. The first is a cicada which are usually hard to spot although you can easily hear them. This one landed in the tree right in front of me.

There wasn’t many birds at the feeders. Only a lone chickadee. I think there’s more food for them out in the wild at this point in the season.

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Color in the neighborhood

With the scorching heat in August I was taking quick walks around the neighborhood early in the morning before work instead of after work. Plus it’s usually raining after work so at least I’ve gotten my walk in. Walking with just my phone, I can’t help but stop and take pictures of all of the blooming things along the sidewalks. I realized there are a lot of magnolia trees here and they all had bright red seed pods on them. I’m assuming the critters will eat them so I’ll have to keep an eye for them

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A field of sunflowers

It all starts here. Not quite yet blooming at Sweetfield Farms.

It’s somehow theraputic to walk around a sunflower field. They were in full bloom in mid-May. Most were blooming way over my head.

It was a perfect sunny day to take pictures of the yellow flowers (even though ti was a little warm)

Every one looks just a little different. Many had bees on them.

Someone had made a face out of this older flower. You could see the sunflowers seeds underneath. In the past you would just buy the flowers already picked at the barn on the way out but this time you could pick your own. They give you clippers and let you walk around and pick out the ones you want. One thing they said was to cut the flatter faces if possible. Those were fresher since the seeds hadn’t started to grow. As the flower gets older the seeds grow and the face bowls out. By the time it bowls out the yellow petals will fall off soon. Another thing is that they are heavy. I cut 5 big ones and was trying to carry by camera stuff and the zinnias I had cut before this. It was a long trip back to the car. This is where having Brett with me would have come in handy (although then I would have spent a small fortune). He was busy playing golf so I was on my own.

My stash when I got home.

I guess my love of sunflowers started early. We grew them in our backyard when I was growing up. They were always much smaller than the ones on the farm. This was me in the early 70’s.

SkyWatch Friday

In the backyard

I didn’t plant these sunflowers on purpose. I didn’t think we had the right kind of soil since our dirt is so sandy. Of all of the years with a bird feeder, this is the first time I had a rogue sunflower seed take root. The double one came up first but wasn’t very big. The bigger one came up right next to our petunia pot a few days later. I think an animal, maybe a squirrel, ate it after a few days. It was all torn up on the ground near the feeder.

A macro fly on the leaf.

Taking some shots around the backyard with my macro lens.

I had to get even more shots of my hibiscus plant.

One night I went out to move the garbage can to the street and saw this black racer cutting across my driveway. I was glad I had my phone in my pocket so I could quickly snap this.

We’ve had a lot of duck families cruising past our dock. This was one of the first in early May.

My Corner of the World

Color explosion!

Since I missed the Sunflower festival at Sweetfield Farms last year, I had to go this year. In late May the zinnias at the farm were in full bloom. While the farm is mostly sunflowers (all boring yellow), I think my favorite part is the zinnia field. So many colors growing in one place. After taking tons of pictures, I went to the “You pick” booth and got some clippers. They were $1 per flower and I got as many as I could carry. One in each color.

The butterflies love the zinnias as well. My favorite part was all of the little flying critters that were landing on the flowers. I could have spent all day here but it was getting hot and I was getting hungry so it was time to pack up.

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