A walk in the woods

The one that got away. I was walking down the back trail at Chinsegut Wildlife area and I hear a noise in the woods. Several deer were cutting across the trail way ahead of me and I just caught this buck peeking back at me before he took off into the woods.

I love coming here and seeing all of the red headed woodpeckers. They are everywhere here. And, this spring I AM going to get back up here to look for some woodpecker nests.

Another amazing thing about this place is that I was standing in one spot on the trail near the nature center and saw 4 different species of woodpeckers. Without moving I was able to get pictures of red heads and then I saw a downy, a red bellied and then a pileated. They were all hanging around the same area at the same time.

Of course I saw tons of pine warblers.

I did see an indigo bunting (either a female or immature male) at the feeder at the nature center.

My first common garter snake sighting. They are harmless and he was warming up in the sunny spot in the grass. I quickly shot this and kept going.

It was starting to look like fall in late December.

My Corner of the World

Neighborhood walk in the fog

I peaked out the window in early December and saw the fog.  It was a good morning for a walk in the neighborhood.

The lake across from our home was almost covered in fog. It was cool out but I felt like I was walking through a shower.

Heading down the street I saw this guy cross in front of me. I pulled my phone out and quickly snapped this since I knew he would be gone in seconds.

I got to my favorite open spot and I could barely see the utility towers in the open field. The sun was just starting to come up behind the trees so I knew the fog would be gone soon.

There were some ladies having breakfast in the woods next to the field. I didn’t see them when I was walking to the end but saw them coming back.

SkyWatch Friday

Around the neighborhood.

I went for a quick walk early one morning in early December. I was heading for a pond down from my home and caught this guy flying right in front of me. He was so close I couldn’t get his legs in the shot.

The small pond down from my home was quiet. I only found a mallard couple and a small alligator.

Birds from my window include bluebirds and a pileated woodpecker.

Walking around in my small backyard I could see that my neighborhor’s feeder had lots of bluebirds. It looks like he had changed out the mealworms for a suet. He was also getting woodpeckers and pine warblers.

On another morning walk I found the deer in the open field down the street.

The small camellia bush in front of our garage started blooming. I didn’t realize they bloom in the fall here and it was a nice pop of color in the front yard.

I made some fun nature art with a few of the fall leaves on our patio. Yes we do have seasons here in central Florida. Fall doesn’t really start until early December. The leaves were changing but I had on shorts and a tshirt and was sweating making my fall leaf circle.

My Corner of the World

My favorite holiday tradition

I recently had someone ask me what my favorite holiday tradition was. It was an easy answer. Climbing in the car and riding around looking at the Christmas lights. I can remember back to when I was a toddler and we came down to Clearwater to visit the grandparents at Christmas. On Christmas eve we would have an early dinner, go to mass and then drive around and look at the neighborhood lights. We would go to different neighborhoods including around Clearwater beach. I remember everyone saying “Ooh, look at that one” over and over again. Brett and I still do it every year. This year we went after dinner with friends a few weeks ago. These were all in our neighborhood. They were nice but none were over the top “Christmas Vacation (movie)” decorated.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

I always love a great over-done decorated house but I think this one tells the story best.

An added bonus was seeing deer in the neighborhood as we drove around.

Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by all year!

A chance encounter

Walking around Chesnut Park a few months back, I saw this beautiful buck. He was busy grazing and barely glanced at me.

I then spotted several does nearby. One walked up to the buck and looked like she was going to kiss him? At first the buck kicked at her and she jumped back a little. But then she started grazing near him and kept getting closer.

He let her get pretty close. It was then I realized she had a big sore next to her eye.  It might have been a bot fly sore which is common in deer and squirrels in this park during the summer. He ignored her and she eventually walked off.

As she walked away I saw that she had a big booboo on her knee. She’s having a rough time. Hopefully she will heal.

I hope they are hiding today.

This young turkey greeted me as I drove into my neighborhood.

I’m thinking these are females. I passed them on my walk early one morning and took the above with my phone.

Where the turkeys hangout.

Walking back home after seeing the turkeys, I saw several deer running across the golf course. I quickly pulled my phone out of my pocket and shot the above.

Late one day in late October I was closing the blinds early since I was meeting Brett after work for dinner and we wouldn’t be home until dark and saw this lady staring at me from my yard.

I wonder if they were the same ones I saw on my walk a few days earlier. I watched them peck around for a few minutes and took the above through the window. “Sorry I was late for dinner, dear. I had to take a bunch of pictures of the turkeys in our yard.” was very strange to say.

Hope you are having a Happy Thanksgiving and are not eating Tina and Trudy (my neighborhood turkeys) for dinner.

SkyWatch Friday

Critters out the back door

This red shoulder hawk was stalking my cockatiels through the window. I heard Harley starting to scream and ran over and looked out the window and saw this. He was sitting in a low branch right up against the house.  I ran outside and walked right up to him. After picking up a big branch and shaking it at him, he finally flew off. He was not intimidated by me at all. I don’t think he realized he couldn’t get my birds that were inside the house. He came back again the next day and I went back out and shook the big branch at him again and I haven’t seen him since.

I think this squirrel mistook the hanging plant for a bird feeder. He’s looking at me like “Lady, where’s the food?”

I saw the deer from the kitchen and grabbed my camera and ran out to the back porch. The deer were across the fairway and glanced at me for a second before continueing to eat. This was late in the afternoon. They stayed out there until right before dark and then headed off into the woods down the street. It’s a little strange for me to see deer grazing right out my back door.

When I was out taking pictures of the deer, I shot the above of the ibis on the tee. There’s always a ton of ibis on the golf course.

Twins in the woods

The welcoming committee greeted me as I drove into Chesnut Park in late August. Actually, they barely looked up from their feeding to see who had stopped their car. I snapped the above from the car and then headed to the back of the park to park and walk around.

I found the twins in the back of the park. They were pretty big at this point but still cute with those spots. They stayed close to Mom as they crossed the road and then eventually headed into the back woods. Until next year for the babies!

Seeing spots

Back in late August I headed to a park nearby to see if there were any baby deer. I hadn’t been in a while but had heard there were a few there including twins. It’s theraputic to walk around in the quiet woods after a stressful day but seeing baby deer is an added bonus. I found this family right along the parking lot and leaned on my car for a while watching them eat dinner. The baby would briefly nurse and Mom would just keep eating.

I’m not sure what Mom was doing here. After looking it up, the Mom keeps the baby’s bottom clean to help them poop and to keep the scent off the baby. They say you can tell if a baby has been orphaned if it has a dirty bottom. Now that’s a mother’s love.

The adults started heading into the woods for the night and the baby was running to catch up. I did finally find the twins but more on those later.

A babe in the woods.

The welcoming committee at Chesnut Park. Driving into the entrance I saw these ladies and quickly snapped this with my phone since I hadn’t pulled my camera out yet.

Some of the ladies were already taking their early morning break, resting right along the parking lots.

They always have itches.

I leaned on my car and just watched them for a while, going about their day. It was a treat to see a stag. They usually only show up briefly for mating season here in this park. Most of the older males stay at preserves farther away from town so I rarely see them.

As I was walking down the back trail, I saw this lady cautiously peeking out from the bushes. I stepped back down the trail and saw that she had a baby behind her. They crossed the trail and headed back into the woods.

This was a trip in late August. When it’s crazy hot out and there are few birds around, it’s always fun to see the baby deer.