We were heading into the hot summer so I went for a quick walk at Folly Farms in Safety Harbor. I can sometimes find good shade and a bench to sit on in front of the flowers in the butterfly garden.
I saw a bluebird who had some kind of bee in his beak. He was so cute, posing for me.
I noticed later that there was a bluebird nest box under some small trees in the middle of the butterfly garden. Dad was bringing bugs into the babies. I could hear them peeping inside but couldn’t see them. Dad was going all the way into the box to feed them.
Then I saw a tufted titmouse with something in his beak. It looked like a leaf at first but I think it was a caterpillar that was crunched up.
I saw an adult brown thrasher on a pole near the parking area and when I walked over I also saw a young juvenile on the ground below the adult.
A minute later the adult hopped down on the ground, grabbed a bug and fed his young one while I was standing there. They were not skittish at all.
There’s a lot of eclectic artwork around the gardens and someone had drawn a face on a Mr. Potato Head and stuck it in the ground(I didn’t say it was fine art). A lizard was lounging on his head.
The new 17 foot tall gnome that was being built at the farm. He’s almost finished. It’s hard to get a good shot of him since he sits in the shade.
In late May I spent a Saturday morning sitting on the back deck behind the Chinsegut Conservation Center. I wasn’t expecting to see many different birds but was hoping a few might still be migrating through. House finches are common here during migration.
I got a quick glimpse of an Eastern towhee.
All the usual birds that I could have seen in my backyard were there. Bluebirds, chickadees and downy woodpeckers were plentiful.
Here’s something I don’t see anywhere near where I live but I always see them here, a red headed woodpecker.
I was packing up to leave and I saw these out of the corner of my eye. A pair of Northern bobwhites came cruising through the back deck area. They stopped by the tiny pond for a few seconds and then headed into the bushes.
They were really skittish and disappeared quickly.
The view heading out on the trails. I didn’t walk too far this particular morning since my foot was still bothering me. It was nice to come and sit out on the deck for a while and watch all of the wildlife come through.
I don’t remember ever seeing this green caterpillar. I found it in the butterfly garden at Folly Farms in Safety Harbor in late March. I usually only see monarch or gulf fritillary caterpillars. I had to look through tons of green caterpillar pictures to find it. This is a orange barred sulphur butterfly. I do see them here but have never seen the caterpillar.
So many little things flying around late in March. It had already been warm for a while so everything was blooming and the garden was full of butterflies, bees and other little critters.
There wasn’t many birds around though. A dove and a few bluebirds were all I could find on this morning.
I caught a swallow tail kite diving down behind the trees.
This was interesting. They have installed a wind phone at the farm. Originated in Japan, the phone is not connected but allows a one way conversation with deceased love ones. There’s a chalk board and you can leave notes. I did pick up the phone to make sure there wasn’t a dial tone (or maybe someone else on the other end?).
I headed up north to Chinsegut Wildlife Area, north of Tampa, in late March. They have a great deck on the back of the nature center with lots of bird feeders off the deck. I was able to catch a few red headed woodpeckers on the way to the deck. The woods here are full of them and I usually see them when I visit.
The first birds I saw high up in the trees were these pale yellow ones. As I zoomed in on them I realized they were goldfinches.
I sat really still for a while and they came down to the feeders. I get one or two at my feeder at home in the winter but this was the most I had seen at one time.
I was hoping to see some different birds than the ones I already get in my backyard. Spring migration was just starting but the ones here were all of the usual wintering birds. There were lots of pine warblers, chipping sparrows, bluebirds, chickadees, titmouse and house sparrows.
A fuzzy caterpillar on the wall next to my seat.
And, they have tons of squirrels being cute, just like back home.
It was a beautiful morning and nice to sit out on that back deck and watch all of the usual birds flying in and out. Another trip in late April is in the plan.
Two new birds in the backyard (although I’ve seen them both before somewhere else). Two brown headed cowbirds stopped by but didn’t stay long. A hermit thrush has become a regular visitor since early December.
An eastern phoebe has stopped by a few times this winter. I caught him taking a bath one morning.
Regular visitors include a black and white warbler, cardinals (who are usually shy and don’t come out in the open but I caught this one on the bath) and bluebirds.
Every few weeks a yellow throated warbler stops by. He usually hunts for bugs in the small palm tree next to our house. I went outside to get these since he was hiding under the palms.
I heard her before I saw her. I heard the pileated woodpecker’s loud scream as she flew into our oak tree. I snapped this quickly through the window before she took off.
I went outside to get this shot. Actually, I went out to try and shoo him away from the window and took my camera out with me. He is not easily scared. I’m glad he hangs out in our corner of the neighborhood but I don’t want him too close to the window where Buddy and Harley stay (in the sunroom).
A young little blue heron that hasn’t lost his white baby feathers yet.
I’m glad I put that nest box up so the squirrels can nap on it.
Usual critters in the backyard in late October into early November. Bambi was still hanging around the backyard. Her spots were completely gone by this time.
Another visit from the usual winter visitors. A black and white warbler, bluebird, red bellied woodpecker and a house finch.
I saw this pine warbler hopping around our patio, mostly hiding under the chair.
Another visit from an immature indigo bunting. Maybe they like my backyard. It would be nice if they would come back in April when they are all blue.
Doves don’t get a lot of attention but they do have cool pink feet. And, they always pose so nicely for me.
Visitors at the feeder include a red bellied woodpecker, bluebirds, chickadees, a downy woodpecker and blue jays.
Sitting outside staring up in the trees, looking for birds. I don’t sit out here often because the birds disappear when I go outside. Only the titmouse and chickadees will come to the feeder if I’m out there. Also the mosquitoes will attack even with bug spray on so until this recent cold spell it’s been really buggy out there.
More shots of the single young doe that’s been hanging around our yard for several weeks. She has lost her spots but still seems so tiny. Several times she takes a break under the big oak tree next door. I even caught her sleeping one afternoon. She usually lays there for about half an hour nibbling on the grass and then moves on.
All of the usual birds stopping by in early November.
This is the first time I’ve seen a bluebird at my feeder. They stop by the bird bath but I’ve never seen them on the feeder. They usually eat at my neighbor’s feeder. He uses mealworms.
Four of the seven turkey family walking across the golf course in the backyard (the other 3 were down in the bushes).
My neighbor’s muhly grass looks beautiful in early November. The native grass blooms pink in the fall. It made me miss the ones we had in our backyard in Tampa. We thought about planting some outside of our new (ish) townhome but there isn’t a good sunny spot to put it.
Sunset in the pond across the street. This was in late October. We haven’t seen orange skies since.
It was late August and I was coming home from the grocery store and saw 2 eagles sitting in the utility tower in my neighborhood. I quickly put the groceries up and grabbed my camera and ran out the door thinking they would be gone but they were still sitting there. They were sitting in different towers that are next to each other. I was glad to see my neighborhood eagles back for the winter (at least I was hoping it was them).
A few of the regulars in the backyard. Bluebirds have been checking out the nest box I put up last year. Hopefully they will nest in it this year. The turkeys come cruising through the backyard every couple of days.
Blooming in the front courtyard.
Fungi in the backyard from all of the rain we had in September.