A Christmas snake

Waiting for Brett’s family to come over on Christmas day, I looked out the glass sliding door and saw what I thought was a snake in the muhly grass up against the screened-in porch. My phone was close by so I ran out and snapped the above. It was just a small harmless black racer. They are good to have around because they eat any rats (our neighborhood gets fruit rats due to all of the citrus trees). Since he looked like he wasn’t going anywhere I ran inside and got my camera.

A few closeups taken with my 300mm lens.

Taken through the screen.He eventually left that morning.

A few of the plants around the yard. The bottom one is growing in my neighbor’s yard. Not sure what type of fruit that is. I think it’s a papaya.

As I’m taking pictures of the snake, an osprey cruises by.

The wolf moon in January, taken in my driveway when I got home from work.

My Corner of the World

A spoony in my neighborhood

Recently I was talking a walk around my neighborhood late one afternoon and saw the above spoonbill in my neighborhood pond. I think this is the first time I’ve seen one here. I snapped the above with my phone.

The next day I threw my camera in the car and sure enough, he was still there so I stopped and took a few more pictures. These were taken with my 300mm lens.  He stayed for about a week before leaving for good.

The usual ducks were there. My favorite mallard couple.

In late December there was a spotted sandpiper on my neighbor’s seawall. He spent the afternoon picking bugs out of the grass.

A mallard in our backyard.

In the neighborhood

I’ve recently been seeing an eagle sitting on top of a utility pole just outside my neighborhood. I guess they are back for the winter.

Some critters in my front yard. I think that lizard lives underneath my mailbox on the wall.I only see him at night. The frog was on my garage door.

It had just stopped raining and a very wet hawk was sitting on my neighbor’s sailboat mast. You can see mold growing on the mast. In 15 years, we’ve never seen them take the sailboat out.

Dolphins were right in front of our dock. It’s rare to see them in the channels. They usually stay out in the bay or only come in the first main channel.

Sun going down in the backyard.

The sun peaked out right after a storm before setting and turned everything orange.

The September full harvest moon. Reminds me that Halloween is coming.

SkyWatch Friday

Skies on the way home

Heading home after work, I stopped at an office parking deck after I got over the bridge into Tampa. Storms were moving in over the area. I could see it raining on one side of the bridge and sunny on the other side. Typical Florida weather.

Driving into my neighborhood, it had just stopped raining and the sun was peeking out.

A rainbow in front of my house.

Later that week, we had other storms coming across our neighborhood. I was able to catch the lightning in the backyard with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday

Critters in my neighbor’s yard.

Pulling into my driveway one Saturday afternoon I saw an osprey on my neighbor’s dead palm tree. I ran out the side door with my camera and the osprey was was looking at me like “Don’t steal my fish.”  I stood in the door frame to take these. I was afraid he would fly off but he didn’t. Just kept eating his fish.

Later in the afternoon I saw some juvenile starlings hanging around the same palm tree. I’m assuming these were the ones that were born in the nest in the same tree. They were there for a few hours that afternoon and then gone.  Since then, the dead palm tree was removed. Luckily the neighbor’s waited until the babies were gone. I miss looking out of the kitchen window to see what was on the tree but the tree could have been a hazard if a storm or hurricane came through.

Looking out the side bedroom window, a squirrel was taking a nap on my neighbor’s screened porch. Not a smart move for a squirrel. Too many hawks in the area that could fly by and grab him.

Always looking up in the yard.

A few of the 4th of July fireworks from my driveway. Many of my neighbors were setting them off.

Lots of rainbows during the summer rains.

I was standing under the bismark palm tree trying to get some storm shots in the backyard and almost ran into the above. A harmless spiny orb, very common here but I really wouldn’t want to have to pull him out of my hair.

The sun was trying to peek out after a storm.

Dark clouds were swirling in the backyard right before dark.

Lightning shots taken with my phone in the backyard.

Standing on the Safety Harbor fishing pier, I could see a storm over my neighborhood across the bay.

I’m always looking up in the yard during the rainy season.If I hear thunder on one side of the house and the sun is out on the other, I always run outside with my phone hoping to see a rainbow.

SkyWatch Friday