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.
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.
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.
There are several muscovy duck families in the neighborhood. Many young babies were running around in May and June. The above was too sad. I was driving home from work and saw these babies eating something in the middle of the street. They were eating another baby that had been hit by a car. Muscovy ducks are an invasive species and are not native to Florida. Yet they are everywhere. They can be mean and aggressive and leave big messy poop piles in driveways and on sidewalks. They try to drive out the mallards. Many of the neighbors want to call in a trapper to remove them (they can’t be relocated and would be euthanized). For years people were feeding them which led to the increase in numbers in the neighborhood. There is now a huge campaign to stop feeding them. Recently ducks crossing the road were driven over on 6 different occasions. Someone caught a glimpse of it on their front door camera but all you can see is a blurry SUV so we’re not sure who was doing it. Might not have been a resident. The neighborhood is divided. Those who don’t mind a little duck poop want them to stay and those who want them all gone (more will just move in anyway).
Several families with different ages of babies came running when I stopped my car to snap the above with my phone.
In my neighbor’s yard, these guys came running as well.
On a Saturday afternoon I went outside to get the mail and these mallard were napping in our driveway. They jumped up when they saw me but I’m not even going to feed the mallards.
Starlings took over our backyard a long time ago but this is the first time I noticed them nesting. My neighbor has a dead palm tree that sits up against our fence and for weeks I kept seeing this starling popping her head out of a hole in the side facing our kitchen window. There was also one sitting on the top of the stump most of the time. I never saw any babies poking out but weeks later I saw an adult feeding several young ones in our neighbor’s yard.
It’s that time of the year when mama ducks are cruising the channels with babies.
One morning I saw the above woodpecker in a hole higher up in the dead tree. The woodpecker spent all morning cleaning out this hole so I thought we’d have babies at some point but I think she ended up not staying. A few days later I saw a starling going in the same hole and I haven’t seen the woodpecker since.
We have 2 Bismark palms in our backyard that are about 5 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen something blooming inside of them. It’s weird that they are suppose to be the same tree but the blooms look completely different.
Hibiscus on the side of the yard.
Some of the sightings in our backyard this past spring. A crow gathering nesting material. The last time I saw our neighborhood kingfisher before he headed back north was in early April, Hooded mergansers were a common sight but they leave in early spring as well. A starling looking for bugs.
One morning as I was leaving for work I saw these robins in my neighbor’s driveway. Luckily I had my camera with the long lens in my car and snapped these out of the car window before leaving.
A creepy caterpiller on my car in the garage. I think this is a Sycamore Tussock moth. While it’s doesn’t sting, the fur could cause hives. I’ve read it’s best not to touch prickly caterpillers.
Things in the sky including this fireball that appeared when the sun started peaking out of the clouds after a storm right before sunset in the backyard.
Monarch caterpillars in the backyard this past couple of months. In late December, they all disappeared and the leaves were stripped so we cut back the milkweed plants.
Our milkweed plants were overrun with the above bugs. The caterpillars didn’t seem to mind. We didn’t want to spray the bugs since the butterflies would be on the plants. Since we cut the plants back the bugs are gone, although I’m sure they will come back once the plants start to grow back this spring.
This little guy was watching me take pictures of the bugs. I kept asking him why he didn’t eat them all. He said he preferred fries.
Wasps on the Bismark palm tree.
Usual visitors in the backyard, an osprey on our neighbor’s sailboat mast and a phoebe with a snack on our fence. The phoebe is pretty skittish so I had to take the above through the bedroom window.
A full moon in December from the driveway.