Happy 4th of July!

Brett and I were leaving the house to go out for a drive on Memorial Day. We were heading to the Bay Pines Veterans National Cemetery where my parents are buried for a walk and then to pick up lunch to bring home. Driving out the back way and past some apartments we saw a juvenile eagle sitting on utility box. Of course I yelled for Brett to stop. I had my camera in the car so he pulled over and I was able to get a few shots before the eagle took off. It’s not every day that you have an eagle pooping in your neighborhood.

He circled around over my head and then took off over the tree.

These babies were swimming around below him so he must have been hoping to get one but ended up leaving empty handed. Unless he came back later. There are a lot less babies in this family now.

Every Memorial Day Boy Scout troops put flags on the graves at the cemetery. It’s really impressive (but sad) to drive through and see all of the flags.

Quackers in my neighborhood.

Beautiful Blondie came by with her babies in early May. Swimming right by our dock.

A mallard family in one of our neighborhood ponds. They came running up to me to see if I had something to give them. I didn’t but someone has been feeding them.

A muscovy mom with her 8 babies in another pond. She started with 13. I’ve been keeping track of her on my walks and she’s now down to 5 babies but they are pretty big so they just might make it.

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.

My Corner of the World

Along the sidewalk

Now that I’m working from home, I’ve been taking a short walk in my neighborhood early in the morning before starting work. The weather has been cool in the mornings so I wanted to take advantage of that before the heat and humidity sets in. I’ve been taking pictures of the flowers along my walk with my phone. It sure beats sitting in traffic.

On a cloudy morning, an osprey was eating breakfast on a light pole on my street.

This cute mallard mom started with 7 babies but she is now down to 6.

This muscovy mom started with 20 babies and now has 2.

The sun was just coming up as I headed out.

My Corner of the World

A spoony in my neighborhood

Recently I was talking a walk around my neighborhood late one afternoon and saw the above spoonbill in my neighborhood pond. I think this is the first time I’ve seen one here. I snapped the above with my phone.

The next day I threw my camera in the car and sure enough, he was still there so I stopped and took a few more pictures. These were taken with my 300mm lens.  He stayed for about a week before leaving for good.

The usual ducks were there. My favorite mallard couple.

In late December there was a spotted sandpiper on my neighbor’s seawall. He spent the afternoon picking bugs out of the grass.

A mallard in our backyard.

Hoodies in my hood.

I ran into Blondie on my walk around the neighborhood pond.

Later I came back with my camera (really to shoot the hoodies below and she just happen to be there).

It’s not often I see hooded mergansers in my own duck pond. Usually we just have mallards and muscovy ducks. I was heading home one Saturday afternoon and saw the big white circle on his head out of the corner of my eye and turned around. Luckily I had my camera in the car and was able to hide behind a tree for a few minutes when they swam by. They are very skittish.

The tricolored heron standing near the old fountain (that’s never turned on anymore) was looking at me like I was crazy.

In the neighborhood

I’ve recently been seeing an eagle sitting on top of a utility pole just outside my neighborhood. I guess they are back for the winter.

Some critters in my front yard. I think that lizard lives underneath my mailbox on the wall.I only see him at night. The frog was on my garage door.

It had just stopped raining and a very wet hawk was sitting on my neighbor’s sailboat mast. You can see mold growing on the mast. In 15 years, we’ve never seen them take the sailboat out.

Dolphins were right in front of our dock. It’s rare to see them in the channels. They usually stay out in the bay or only come in the first main channel.

Sun going down in the backyard.

The sun peaked out right after a storm before setting and turned everything orange.

The September full harvest moon. Reminds me that Halloween is coming.

SkyWatch Friday

Critters in my neighbor’s yard.

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.

Duck controversy in the neighborhood.

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.

Photographing New Zealand

Baby ducks all over the neighborhood

Family #1. I saw these babies coming home from work on a Friday night. I ran home and got my camera and took these from the car. They were relaxing in my neighbor’s yard. I think they were sleeping under the bushes there. This mom had 5 babies.

Family #2. I saw this family the next day coming home on a Saturday after a long walk at a nearby park. I had my camera in the car so I stopped. They were in the small pond in the back of the neighborhood. I sat down on the sidewalk and watched them playing in the water. This mom had 2 babies.

Family #3. I saw this family on Sunday coming home from running errands, down the street from my house. This family of 12 stayed close together.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup