The backyard in early August

On the back door after a storm. I couldn’t help but get out my macro lens and shoot this through the door. I’m not sure what it is but it was cool looking.

Every few days I see an armadillo in the backyard.

I was driving into the neighborhood right before dark and I saw the turkeys out on the golf course. I had my camera in the car so I pulled over to get a few shots. After a couple of shots they all started to fly over my car and up into the trees. I would have never thought of turkeys in trees but apparently they sleep in them. It makes sense since it can keep them away from the coyotes.

I had to take a few shots of the squirrels flirting in the backyard.

A few days after seeing the turkeys in the tree, I saw them crossing the fairway in the backyard. I snapped the above through the window before running outside.

I walked out on the golf course since there wasn’t anyone coming through late that day. I had my 400mm lens so I was still pretty far away but they kept their eye on me. This must be the same family with one adult and 6 babies. I think the adult might be the one with the gray head, always keeping her head up and an eye on the others.

Around the house

We had stacked up the outside chairs next to the hanging plant when we were having the house painted and the squirrel found it really easy to sit there and eat the plant. Half of the purslane plant had been eaten before I realized what was going on and caught him red handed.

This guy visits the backyard occasionally. I call him Notch.

I hadn’t seen a northern parula in a couple of months and then this guy showed up in early August. I was able to get a shot through the window right after it stopped raining.

This young cardinal had caught a lizard.

We had a lot of Carolina wrens in the backyard in early spring when they were nesting and then they disappeared. Then in early August we had a few show up again.

I was out riding my bike with my camera and saw this guy crossing the street. I was able to get a few shots of him with this huge meal before he took off down the creek so I don’t know if he ate it. I would have never thought there were fish that big in the small pond nearby.

Front yard skies in early August.

Inspire Me Monday

Riding around the neighborhood.

Out for a bike ride this summer, I always stop at this small pond in the neighborhood. I’m sure it’s just a mosquito pit but I always hope to find some critters getting water. Maybe a deer or raccon but no, just mosquitos. I do hear pileated woodpeckers deep in the woods but I have yet to hike through there.

Just down from the pond the ditches are covered in these purple flowers. The frogs were really loud this morning since it had rained most of the night.

I need to get a bumper sticker for my bike that says “I brake for critters”.  I’m not sure what those black vultures were eating. They wouldn’t let me get too close.

Back at home a bad storm was coming so I took the almost empty bird feeder down and left it just outside the back door. Later that day I look out the window and realized the squirrel had knocked it down and was eating the scraps. When he was done he hopped up on the chair and was giving me the eye to come add more food.

 

Our backyard camera picked up this bobcat creeping around at 2:30am. This was our first bobcat sighting in the neighborhood.

Color on the trees in late July.

All was calm before sunset at the lake across the street.

I have to watch where I stand when I’m taking shots of the sunset. The alligator above was on the shore just below me. He’s relatively small but I see him here often.

Inspire Me Monday

In the yard in June

We’ve had some beautiful skies in June. This was looking across the fairway before the storm hit.

Later I was peeking out the window and caught this lightning with my phone.

Sunset across the street.

These were all blooming on my neighbor’s wall. We share a courtyard.

I was coming back from the mailbox and this bunny was in our yard. I couldn’t believe he was still there when I went in and got my camera and came back out. I’ve been seeing one every couple of days. I wonder if it’s the same one. I call him Peter.

The usual visitors in the backyard. All taken through the window.

I finally got a shot of a great crested flycatcher. I’ve been hearing them calling for months but they always stay high up in the trees. One morning I was sitting outside and had my camera with me and was able to catch him.

Baby bluebird was yelling at Mom to feed him (or her). Taken through the window, they were far out on the golf course.

Squirrels being cute in the backyard.

SkyWatch Friday

Things in the yard in early May

Flowers blooming in the yard in early May.

We had a bad storm one night that formed a small pond on the other side of the golf course. Early the next morning I saw a turkey hanging around the newly formed pond. I grabbed my camera and ran out before the golfers came through. These were taken with my 400mm lens and are cropped up a little but she didn’t seem to mind me standing there. She just went about her preening and strutting around.

A limpkin stopped by while I was shooting the turkey.

The usual birds were coming through the backyard in early May. I’ve been seeing the brown thrashers pretty regularly now.

The baby bluebirds were old enough to cruise around the area. They nest in my neighbor’s nest boxes (several doors down, the neighbors have been living there for years so I think the birds are use to using their boxes). This young one was sitting on the feeder pole in the rain.

Another visit from an armadillo and I always take a shot of the squirrels if they are doing something cute. This time he was just sitting back and relaxing.

The full moon from the driveway.

Inspire Me Monday

Lots of critters at Fort Desoto

Another trip to Fort Desoto Park to look for migrating birds. The first thing I found was a squirrel being cute on the agave plant. I was hoping there would be birds on those plants but no, I find a squirrel.

Cape May warblers were still around. I found both females and males.

I also found a northern parula and a blackpoll warbler (I hadn’t seen one of those in several years).

An osprey was checking me out making sure I wasn’t going to steal his fish.

Cormorants were diving for fish around the fishing pier.

It was a slow dolphin morning but I did manage to find one.

The starlings and nanday parakeets were fighting over wire space in the parking lot.

Late April in the backyard.

I looked outside the back window one morning in late April and saw these beauties walking around so I had to run out and get some shots. They were heading off the golf course and into the woods before the golfers come through.

Early one morning I saw this guy and went outside to take this. His face was all muddy. He was in the shade and didn’t stay still so it was hard to get a good shot of him.

I took these outside as well. He was napping on the hanging basket.

Squirrels being cute in the backyard. Taken through the window.

A wasp on  the bird bath when I was cleaning it out.

A swallow tail kite cruising along the golf course. I took this through the window as well. I knew he’d be gone by the time I got outside and on the course.

We always have white ibis feeding through.

Several brown thrashers were feeding on the ground for several days.  They must be nesting somewhere nearby.

These crows are very annoying. There are several that hang out in the backyard. They usually stay high up in the oak trees but recently they have been coming to the bird bath. They must have found some trash or someone was leaving food out because they were bringing food to the bird bath to soak before eating it. It looked like mostly bread but one day I ran out and chased one off the bath and he had an open pack of cheese crackers that he left as he flew off. I finally dumped the water out for a few days until they left.

We’ve been getting a lot of woodpeckers at the feeder lately. They grab a sunflower seed and take off. The other little birds usually leave when they are on it.

Inspire Me Monday

Backyard birds in March

Black and white warblers hanging around the bird bath.

The first time seieng an Eastern phoebe in the backyard here. We had one that spent the winter in our backyard in Tampa.

Chickadees are regular visitors in the yard.

Other regulars include cardinals, pine warblers and Carolina wrens.

A woodpecker taking off with a sunflower.

Bluebirds only stop by for a few minutes. One was sitting on the top of the feeder but they don’t get food from the feeder.

A squirrel being cute.

My Corner of the World

January visit to the “Bar”

I was finally back out at Circle B Bar Reserve in late January. I hadn’t been since the middle of December. I missed the trails.

The “hot” bird to get at that time was the male northern harrier (or gray ghost as some people called him). I had gotten some extremely far away pictures in December (pin dots really) and was hoping to get a little closer this time. He still stayed far out in the marsh this trip as well but made a few quick passes closer to the trail. He’s cruising along the marsh looking for food (lizards, etc).

I could see a few hogs out in the marsh as well. I call them Oreos since they have the color pattern of Oreo cookies.

I’m not sure what this was. Some type of insect nest on the bushes?

The usual birds were there: woodstork, night heron, blue gray gnatcatcher, yellow rumped warbler and a pied grebe.

They were spraying some type of chemical to get rid of invasive plants. I hate seeing this. Especially here.

Cute squirrel in the parking lot when I got back to my car.

Critters in the yard in January

Brett was in the car, backing out of the driveway on the way to work when he called me. He says “There’s deer in the front yard”. He was afraid if he got out of the car and came back in to tell me they would leave. I went flying out of the house with my camera to see them cruising through our yard and around to the back. This will never get old.

One morning I was walking by the back window and saw a hawk sitting on the bird feeder. Ugh, well that’s not going to get me any songbirds. Again, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door. He didn’t even flinch as I walked up to the feeder. I finally waved my arms at him and he flew over to a nearby tree. I think he was trying to catch some lizards.

A few of the visitors to the birdbath in January. The yellow throated warbler has been hanging out for a while now. He will probably head north soon for the summer.

This looks like a new visitor. I’m not sure what this is. It’s a juvenile. It’s got the beak of bunting or a goldfinch. Or, maybe it’s a house finch? The yellow around the head is throwing me off.

Right before dark as I was closing the curtians I saw this dove sitting on the bird bath every night for a week. It was a chilly week so I was wondering if he wanted to come in to warm up? One night I could see the moon coming through the trees so I ran out and shot the above.

I added sunflower seeds to the feeder and finally got a bluebird on it. My neighbor has a feeder full of sunflower seeds (and one with mealworms) and he always has a lot of bluebirds.

I’m always amused at the antics of the many squirrels in the backyard. I think this one was taking a nap in the sun except he was upside down. He stayed there for a while.