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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Little hummers and other things

My second ever rufous hummingbird sighting. This one and the one before were both at Bok Tower Gardens. Rufous hummingbirds are fairly rare around this area. This is only the 2nd time of hearing about one and I was happy to have seen it even briefly. I caught him high up on a tree taking a break. When he went to feed, he would go deep in the bushes or the other side making it impossible to get feeding shots. At one point I could barely see him feeding deep in the firebush.

Ruby throated hummingbirds are pretty common. I caught this male feeding near the carillon tower.

He buzzed off and disappeared. I stood under a pine tree for a long time waiting for him to come back. At one point I looked up and he was sitting right over my head.

Birds with yellow. The top one is an easy one, a yellow throated warbler. The 2nd I think is a red eyed vireo with a bug. The last is a a female common yellowthroat.

An ovenbird and blue gray gnatcatcher.

A usual sight, a harmless black racer crosses the sidewalk in front of me.

A bee house in the garden. Used by mason or other solitary bees, they lay their eggs in the holes.

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Deer in the woods

I was cutting through the woods at Chesnut Park to get to the big lake and caught movement off to the side. I stopped and saw a big family of deer feeding along the small pond. They checked me out for a few seconds but then kept eating. I stood for a few minutes just watching them, glad no one else was around to spook them for the little time I was trying to take some pictures.

I caught this phoebe in the bushes with a bug in his beak.

Another phoebe out in the open.

Little flying critters. I don’t see red ones often.

I think I woke this guy up. A harmless black racer was sleeping near the trail.

It was starting to look like fall in late November. You could see a glimpse of red.

The backyard in June

There’s a duck couple that’s been spending afternoons sleeping under our tree in the backyard. Sometimes I peek out the bedroom window to check on them but they are very skittish. They can see me barely move the blinds.

A few of the birds that have been visiting the bird feeder.

I looked out the window and saw something moving in the channel. I grabbed my camera and ran out to the dock to catch 2 manatees rolling around at the end of the channel. After I snapped the above they started heading out to the bay.

Some of the critters in the yard including this juvenile black racer that was climbing up the wall next to the front door.

A faint rainbow in the backyard. It’s the beginning of rainbow season with the summer rains starting in June.

An osprey on my neighbor’s sailboat mast just after the rain.

The sun was trying to peek out.

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A Christmas snake

Waiting for Brett’s family to come over on Christmas day, I looked out the glass sliding door and saw what I thought was a snake in the muhly grass up against the screened-in porch. My phone was close by so I ran out and snapped the above. It was just a small harmless black racer. They are good to have around because they eat any rats (our neighborhood gets fruit rats due to all of the citrus trees). Since he looked like he wasn’t going anywhere I ran inside and got my camera.

A few closeups taken with my 300mm lens.

Taken through the screen.He eventually left that morning.

A few of the plants around the yard. The bottom one is growing in my neighbor’s yard. Not sure what type of fruit that is. I think it’s a papaya.

As I’m taking pictures of the snake, an osprey cruises by.

The wolf moon in January, taken in my driveway when I got home from work.

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My first copperhead? I don’t think so.

All of the above are baby anhingas at different ages. Seen from the boardwalk tower, the nests are right over the water at Sawgrass Lake Park. There were many nests along the lake and luckily there a few close to the tower.

One of the Mom’s sitting close to the overcrowded nests.

Not many other birds around during my walk after work in late May. A few green herons were close to the tower.

Other critters at the park. Someone told me that the snake is a copperhead which is a first for me. He’s one of the 6 venomous snakes in Florida. His head shape doesn’t look like a copperhead on line so I’m not sure if it was one. He slid back under the boardwalk quickly so I didn’t get a shot of his body. Any confirmed ID?

Critters at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Some of the critters in the water at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park north of Tampa. I made my annual winter trip in mid-January, hoping to see manatees along the river but the weather had warmed up for a few day and the manatees had scattered around the area.

Yes, this guy was on the other side of the glass. You usually see them sleeping in the back with their eyes closed.

It seemed to be mating day that morning. Both pelicans and some wild vultures were getting frisky in the warm weather.

The calm water in the springs.

In my backyard

Taken through the bedroom window, I caught this little blue heron eating worms.

Out on our dock, this green heron was creeping around the channel at low tide.

Some type of moth on our wall.

I saw this guy through the kitchen window when was cleaning up one afternoon. I grabbed my camera and quietly went out to the back to snap this. I hadn’t seen a black racer in a while. It was a tiny one. Good for eating bugs and mosquitoes.

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Bunny and the beasts.

Saw the little piggies again on another trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in early March. They had gotten just a little bit bigger. They were venturing out farther away from Mom but she kept her eye on them.

Cute little bunny on the trail.

Tiny snake and big alligators.

This is a shot of the big gator above taken with my phone. He wasn’t too close and I was also up on a raised boardwalk.

Non-flying critters at Circle B Bar Reserve, although one day, pigs may fly.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

 

Chesnut Park on a Saturday morning.

Standing on the observation tower, an osprey saw me and said “Hey, there’s Dina. I’m going to swing by and give her a hug.” or maybe not.  He just banked and kept cruising by.

A juvenile moorhen eating yucky pond grass.

Limpkins were everywhere. Up on the boardwalk and down in the swamp with a snail.

This guy must have gotten a piece of some bad tasting grass.

Trying to hide on a log. Not sure what this guy was but I was using a long lens.

Before Hurricane Irma took down a lot of the trees.

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