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.
Late summer babies. Blondie came back in August with another new baby.
The usual critters in our yard during the past few months.
One day I came home from work and grabbed the mail from the mailbox that is on the side of our house next to the front door. This guy came out with the mail. I dropped the mail to the ground and was glad he didn’t land on me. I think I woke him up.
The muhly grass blooms pink in the fall. These started blooming in late October.
Every year in the winter Brett and I head down to the Miami area for a long weekend to visit some relatives before it gets too hot. This past February we were looking for something to do with his aunt and uncle and were going to be close to Homestead one afternoon so we stopped at the Fruit and Spice Park. We were way down south of Miami right before heading to the Keys. Lots of farmland down there. The park is a farm that grows different exotic spices and fruits that you can tour. We took a long tram ride with a guide who explained all of the different plants that are farmed there. We got to taste and smell some of them. It was a nice way to relax and spend the afternoon outdoors and I took a ton of pictures.
The above Rainbow Gum tree was very cool. As the bark peels off, it exposes different colors. It can only be grown in frost-free areas of the country.
There were lots of critters crawling around from the pretty green lizard to the big iguanas. The kids on the tram went crazy over them and we stopped and were allowed to get pretty close.