In the backyard

I didn’t plant these sunflowers on purpose. I didn’t think we had the right kind of soil since our dirt is so sandy. Of all of the years with a bird feeder, this is the first time I had a rogue sunflower seed take root. The double one came up first but wasn’t very big. The bigger one came up right next to our petunia pot a few days later. I think an animal, maybe a squirrel, ate it after a few days. It was all torn up on the ground near the feeder.

A macro fly on the leaf.

Taking some shots around the backyard with my macro lens.

I had to get even more shots of my hibiscus plant.

One night I went out to move the garbage can to the street and saw this black racer cutting across my driveway. I was glad I had my phone in my pocket so I could quickly snap this.

We’ve had a lot of duck families cruising past our dock. This was one of the first in early May.

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Backyard macro

My husband had just come home from work and his car was covered in love bugs in late May. They were also all over the plants along the driveway. Of course I ran inside and grabbed my camera and macro lens.

While I had my camera out, I walked around the yard snapping flowers and plants.

I found this tiny damselfly in the yard. It looked like it was praying.

The bark on one of our palm trees started to peel off and at first I though there were worms in the base of the tree but then I realized it was the roots of the tree coming out. Something common in small palm trees.

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Colors on my neighborhood walk.

More things growing on my walk around the neighborhood in the mornings before work.

Taking tons of pictures of the hibiscus plant in our yard.

Lots of baby ducks on the walk as well.  I realized there are two different creme colored mallards in the neighborhood. Perhaps they are related?  This one had one baby with her and has a little more brown in her feathers.  She was at a small pond at one end of our neighborhood. There is also one with 9 babies floating around our dock the same day. She’s a little more lighter and we all call her Blondie.

A white pigeon in the pond.

The moon coming out at night. All of the above were taken with my phone.

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Lunchtime in the backyard

My internet was down and I had just finished lunch,  The weather was cool and I knew there wouldn’t be many more days like this so I grabbed by camera and macro lens and went outside for a quick walk around the yard. All of the shots were taken in my yard including the purple flower which I realized as I got up close that it was covered in little green bugs. The red spider is a spiny orb weaver and is harmless.

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Hanging out in the backyard.

Spending more time at home, I’ve been going out for a walk around the backyard after work. These were all taken in April.  Now that it’s late May, I would get eaten alive by mosquitoes if I’m not covered in bug spray.

A few critters on my plants (or weeds).

I noticed this juvenile night heron on my neighbor’s screened in porch. 

The sun going down on the ducks.

Sunset over my neighbor’s palm trees.

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In the backyard in June.

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.

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Two parks in one morning

A very hot morning at North Shore Park in downtown St. Petersburg. The beach was busy with volleyball players. On a Saturday morning you can find a lot of joggers and dog walkers on the sidewalk but not many people in the water. Since this is the bay, the water here is not nice but you can usually get a breeze.

Across the bay, you can just make out the energy plant with steam coming out.

After walking around at North Shore Park, I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home. They have a new boardwalk that goes along the mangroves next to the pier. This small area is a little piece of Florida that hasn’t changed much over the years (with the exception of that big condo building going up next to the old Safety Harbor Hotel in that first shot).

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South Florida

Late afternoon on Hallandale Beach, north of Miami. A quick walk before dinner.

Things on the beach. The beach was littered with Portuguese man o’ wars. I would not want to come close to one of these in the water. They are known to have a painful sting.

Tile on the walkway and hibiscus near the parking lot.

Big boats are common along the inter-coastal waterway.

Heading home before crossing Alligator Alley.

Some parting shots from our quick trip to south Florida to visit Brett’s relatives.

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Things in my yard and neighborhood

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I went for an after dinner walk and found this duck family in the pond near my house. I’ve been seeing this pretty creme mallard for a while now.  I saw the family recently and the babies were getting big. Sadly, there were only 4 left.

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Frog on our downspout after a storm.

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Saw this lizard next to our dock. This is the first one I’ve seen with a rust head. Can they really blend in that well?

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Here’s the same creme mallard back in May.  She was floating around behind our dock.

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Curious blue jay.

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Hibiscus poking through the fence.

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I took this through the kitchen window.

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Taken through the bedroom window, the juvenile night heron was creeping around our neighbor’s dock.

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Our neighbor a few houses down has an almost dead palm tree in their backyard. I came home from work and saw the tree full of crows eating the berries (or are these nuts?). Taken directly into the sun.

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A few crows waiting their turn to get on the palm tree.

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Something spooked them and they all flew off in a hurry.  At this point it was almost dark.

Things in my neighborhood this past summer.

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