It was mid-May and the backyard was blooming. The hanging shrimp plant really made the backyard pop. Bees were always visiting it but one day I was out with my camera and caught the tiny moth on the underside of the petals.
The titmouse was watching the big ants inside the hummingbird feeder. He was trying to understand why he couldn’t get to them (I have since changed to a bigger hummingbird feeder and the ants don’t seem to get on the new one as much).
The juvenile titmouse were usually on the feeder but this morning I saw them bouncing around the small palm tree up against our house.
We still had northern parulas in late May.
Mom Carolina wren was calling her young ones to follow her. She was sitting on our garage roof and I could see her through the kitchen window.
Her two almost grown babies were playing around in the small tree in front of our kitchen window. One came close to the window and stared at me. I can still see a little baby yellow around the beak.
I’m always looking out the back window to see if any critters are cruising by and one day I saw a turtle walking down the fairway. He eventually made it over to the pond. I could see the silhouette of a bluebird behind him.
An almost cloudless sunset. We’ve gotten a little rain since May but not much.
I was sitting at the pool reading and looked up and saw the sun halo.
It was the end of April and there sat another indigo bunting in our backyard. This was the third indigo bunting sighting in the yard so I’m thinking it might be the same one hanging around. His only company was some cardinals and bluebirds. This was the last migrating bird I saw at home.
An adult Carolina wren sits on the bird feeder hook. I hadn’t seen any for a while and now they are passing through with their babies. She started calling and I realized her two babies were bouncing around in our bushes.
The babies were almost fully grown and were taking short flight hops from place to place. I went outside and shot the above. They didn’t seem to mind me being out there and I stayed far back.
I put the hummingbird feeder out about mid-April and the first time I saw one was on 4/28. Both a male and female were coming to the feeder. The last time I had seen one was at the end of August. I only saw the male a few times but there are 2 females that take turns coming to the feeder everyday since.
The last time I saw my backyard turkey was this day at the end of April. She has been visiting the backyard almost every day for weeks. She would quietly feed and take a quick nap under my neighbor’s oak tree. I saw her around 3pm and she was napping. The next day I found out from a neighbor that she had been hit by a car at 5pm at the end of our street at the stop sign. I was crushed. I knew it was my backyard turkey. I haven’t seen her since. I’m thinking someone hit her on purpose. The turkeys here don’t dart out in front of cars. The speed limit is 20 and she was hit at a stop sign? The neighbor didn’t see the car that hit her but she was dead when the neighbor found her. The people who live near that stop sign don’t have cameras so we couldn’t check that. I just don’t understand people anymore.
On a brighter note, the hibiscus in our courtyard have been blooming and they are huge. The top one starts out pale pink and turns yellow before it dies. This type of hibiscus doesn’t close at the end of each day. They stayed open for at least 3 days.
The peace lily plant has also been blooming.
I took the above shot of the gulf fritillary with my phone as I was taking the garbage out.
I was looking out the back door and saw the above great egret in the yard. He saw me standing there and walked up close to the door. Someone nearby has been feeding him because he was looking for a handout. I took the first shot with my phone through the door and then went and got my camera. I slowly cracked open the door and he perked up, probably thinking I was coming out with a snack. I shot the above with my camera and then closed the door. He eventually left.
In mid-April I saw a Carolina wren in the backyard with 2 young ones. The 2 juveniles were bouncing around the yard, following Mom and still being fed by her. They must have just left the nest because they were bouncing and hopping around more than flying. I ran out with my camera as they passed my yard and headed into my neighbor’s yard.
Butterflies are regular visitors on the lantana plant.
It was getting dark and I was watering the plants and I heard the above great crested flycatcher right above me. I ran in and got my camera but it was so dark.
I hadn’t seen any bluebirds for a while and was thinking they were nesting in my neighbor’s nest box but then I saw a few in the backyard and one was getting nesting material in front of my window so some of them may still be working on a nest.
I’m glad someone is using my nest box.
We were still in an extreme drought and the pond down the street was almost dry. There was just a tiny bit of water in the middle. Some type of piping was exposed (it might have been thrown in there by a neighbor years ago). I was heading out for a bike ride and saw the spoonbill in the pond so I had to stop and take some pictures.
A juvenile little blue heron and a great blue heron were looking for snacks as well.
We are starting to get those summer sky colors right before dark but still no rain.
I haven’t seen blue-gray gnatcatchers in the backyard in a long time. This was early April. I was sitting outside enjoying the cool weather and this one came down close and was singing away.
I was pretty excited to see indigo buntings in the backyard. Brett and I were watching tv one Sunday afternoon and I look over and see one on the bird bath. I was able to sneak over to the window and snap the first shot before he flew off. Then I went outside and was able to get the 2nd shot of one up in the tree before they both took off.
The lone turkey has still been visiting and taking naps in the backyard. I wonder if she was scoping out places to nest.
I could see a hawk on the other side of the fairway.
The lizards were showing off for the ladies.
I realized that our wall outside had a lot of these caterpillars. They are tussock moth caterpillars. They are known to eat your plants but we didn’t really notice any damage to the few we had in the back.
One morning I saw one of the caterpillars spinning what looked like a web over his body and I ran out and took the 1st picture. Later that day it was completely covered. I counted 16 of these on the back wall.
A few weeks later I saw a few of these on the windows. I don’t think a lot of the cocoons hatched though.
The gardenia bush was full in early April and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them. I just wish the pictures captured the smell.
Look who showed up in the backyard in early March. Last year they were here all winter but I hadn’t seen any parulas at all until March. I was sitting outside for a while enjoying the cool weather and the above got close enough for me to get some shots.
That lone robin was still hanging around in the backyard.
Bluebirds were stopping by.
A lone turkey was cruising by for a few days and one day I caught her taking a nap just outside our window.
We get tons of woodpeckers at the feeder and bird bath.
Butterflies on the hanging lantana.
Someone nearby is feeding these ibis. I saw them pecking around the tree and when I went outside to sit down one of them walked right up to me. I had to step back up against the house to fit him in the picture. He wandered off when he realized I wasn’t going to feed him.
Not an April Fools with this couple. I was looking out the front window and caught this squirrel couple getting frisky. I ran upstairs as they crossed the roof and got an eyeful as they were frisky on the peak of the garage roof.
We already have so many squirrels in the backyard and now I saw this Mom with her young one. At least I think it was a young one. The one on the right was half the size of the one on the left.
They have been hanging out on our back porch chair for a while.
White ibis eating around our bushes in late February.
The pine warblers, catbirds and titmouse were still visiting the backyard but now the pine, palms and yellow rumped warblers as well as the catbirds are all gone. The titmouse are here all year long.
The butterflies really like the lantana plant in the backyard.
I can’t believe it’s April 1st. We really didn’t get a good spring although we got a quick cold spell for a few days in mid-March. It’s now in the mid to high 80’s every day until forever (okay at least till November but it will feel like forever) but the humidity isn’t too bad yet. Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday. Debbie, tell Dave I said Happy Birthday!
I had gone to the grocery store and my neighbor texted me that the turkeys were in my front yard. When I got home they had moved 2 doors down. After putting up the stuff that needed to go in the fridge I ran out with my camera and caught this from my other neighbor’s yard. There were 4 in all but one was hiding on the front porch. They look like turkey unicorns with that small horn on their forehead. I’ve read these are called snoods and females have short ones and the males get longer ones that hang down their face during breeding season.
That lone robin has still been hanging around. One day we got a lot of rain and a small pond formed across the fairway. That afternoon it was full of robins. After the robins left that lone one was still hanging around.
The Carolina wren was looking for nesting material.
In mid-February the hermit thrush was still stopping by the back yard.
This great egret had it’s green breeding face on. It may have a nest nearby.
The pine warblers were still plentiful and not shy at all.
A butterfly finally landed on the hanging lantana plant while I was out filling up the bird bath. I ran in and got my camera and it stayed on the plant for a while.
During a cold spell I added a suet feeder to the backyard. I was getting bird seed at the hardware store and saw them on the shelf. They were less than $2 for a block so I thought I would put it out while I had taken the seed feeder down to scrub out. I wasn’t sure what I would get because I’ve never used them before but boy, those pine warblers love it. For 2 days there were tons of them waiting their turn at the suet.
A chickadee also stopped by to check it out.
The cardinal sat on it but I didn’t see him eat it. He was probably wondering where the regular seed was.
The Carolina wrens like it as well.
When I put the seed feeder back out I moved it to the side of the bushes closer to the house. This catbird guarded it and wouldn’t let the little birds on it for a while. The pine warblers would sit on the hanging plant and wait for him to leave. I’m on my third block now which should be gone by the end of March if not much sooner. Then I’ll wait until after the hot summer months are over to put one back up.