In the backyard

Usual visitors to the backyard including a Carolina wren, a titmouse, a chickadee and a very young bluebird.

I caught a great crested flycatcher getting a drink at the bird bath. You can see a little bit of orange in her tail feathers in the bottom picture.

Brett yelled from upstairs (I was in the kitchen) “Look out the back window.” I grabbed my camera and ran outside to get a shot of this guy on the fairway. Even though my camera was in my backpack in the closet, as soon as I ran outside the lens fogged up. I stood there for a few minutes and then this was the only shot I got before some golfers came through and he took off.

Caution – beetle porn. I saw these 2 on the window sill and had to go out and get a shot.  The green beetles are native to Florida and are harmless.

 

My jaw dropped when I saw this out of the back window. I took this shot from inside as they cruised across our little backyard.

As they were leaving the yard I ran outside and got the above. They made their way down the back of our townhomes, towards the woods at the end. What a treat to have 5 baby turkeys in your backyard

Skies in the backyard in late June.

SkyWatch Friday

More from Myakka River State Park

While I was at Myakka River State Park in early May, I did see a little bit of wildlife. This young male deer was just off the road.

I lost count of the vultures and alligators I saw. I was there early in the morning before the majority of the alligators had started to lay out on the banks but I still saw a ton.

I saw this little bird walking around near the big alligator’s tail. Zooming in I saw that it was a spotted sandpiper. I hope he has good reflexes and can get away fast if that alligator whips around.

Far down the river I could see limplins looking for food. It looks like one of them has a snack.

I got out of the car and was walking across the parking lot to head to the boardwalk and this guy came out of the bushes and ran across the parking lot.

A swallow tail kite flies low overhead.

Just down the road from the park, this old barn must have some pretty good stories to tell. I couldn’t tell if it’s still being used but the ivy is started to take over the roof.

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

“Farm livin is the life for me”

Every year I can’t wait to visit Sweetfield Farms in mid-May (although I missed 2020 for obvious reasons). Besides the sunflower fields, the farm has a lot of animals and activities going on during their festival.

They have rows of zinnias in all of the colors. You can pick them for $1 and I brought home a handful of them.

The one thing I noticed was there was a lot less butterflies here than last year. Maybe it was timing. Or lack of rain or too many pesticides? I was 2 weeks earlier than I went last year.

I’m not sure what these are but they were growing in the vegetable garden.

I know these yellow flowers are zucchinis. You could pick these as well and I took home a big one to saute in my spaghetti sauce.

I was watching the horses at the farm next door run around.

It’s always fun to feed the goats.

Just a boy and his turkey! He brought out some of the turkeys for people to pet. They were friendly although they don’t look like it.

But the main reason to come here is the sunflowers. I took a ton of pictures so more on those later.

SkyWatch Friday

Also linking to Your Moment Blog Hop.

Things in the yard

Blooming at the end of March in the front yard.

I was out watering my hanging baskets and saw the inchworm. I had to run in and get my camera and macro lens. Later that day I saw the green lizard and ran out to get shots of it. We have a ton of brown lizards and it’s rare to see a green one.

I’ve been seeing a lot of woodpeckers in the backyard. At one point there were 3 hanging out in different spots.

Occasionally I get a bluebird stopping by. They mostly hang out in my neighbor’s yard several townhomes down. These were all taken through the window. They are very skittish.

I was pretty excited to get a shot of a hooded warbler in the yard through the window. I saw one back in October as well but only got a blurry shot of him.I wonder if it’s the same one.

Pine warblers and northern parulas were stopping by the bird bath. I haven’t seen either in a while now so I hope they come back this fall.

Blue jays are always at the feeder.

A titmouse sits on top of the bluebird box. So far no birds have nested in it.

Turkeys were strutting by our windows in late March/early April. The first one was right in front of the window, the bottom 2 were taken across the golf course. I think these are 3 different ones since they have different face colors. I haven’t seen any in a while now. They may be nesting.

Down the street I found a juvenile night heron. Next year I’ll have to look for some nests early in the season.

Waiting for eagles to wake up.

I spent many mornings standing under a bottle brush tree along a fence waiting for the eagles in my neighborhood to wake up. I would go for a long walk and then ride my bike over to the nest with my camera and wait for the parents to bring in food. I saw a lot of other birds there as well. A kestral was there on the wires every time I came to take pictures. In the beginning he was very skittish and would fly away when I walked up but after a month he started getting a little closer. One morning I caught him eating a cricket.

A phoebe hung out in the reeds along the utility area beyond the fence. He was there most of February and March.

One morning a hawk landed in a tree nearby. I thought he was going to catch something when he flew to the ground but he took off empty handed.

The moon was still up early one morning.

Early in April on a cloudy morning there were two swallow tail kites that flew far up overhead.

One morning a turkey cruised by.

The usual annoying birds were always there, mockinbirds and blue jays.

A mallard flew by.

I was out there right before sundown one day and got to watch the beautiful sunset. That’s a bat box on the stick. Sometimes I could hear them sqweaking in there.

SkyWatch FridayFriendship Friday

Things in the backyard

Some of the birds in the yard in late January and early February. I’m always looking out the window when I’m at home. I noticed the great egret creeping around the tree but he went behind the bushes when he caught the lizard.

I’ve seen several random turkeys roaming around the neighbhorhood and was wondering if they were all the same turkey. These were across the fairway from our house. The top one had a gray head (maybe the juvenile from this past summer) and the bottom shot has a red head. These were taken the same week.

The usual bigger birds in the backyard include a cardinal, blue jay and a crow that’s been hanging around for a few weeks.

There’s always a Carolina wren in the backyard. Sometimes we have two.

Other occasional birds at the feeder are titmouse and woodpeckers.

We had several bluebirds bouncing around the backyard one afternoon. They would catch some caterpillars on the ground and fly up to the top of the bird feeder to eat them.

We’ve had parulas up in our trees for a while now. I hear their shrill all day long. I was able to catch the male (top shot) in a lower branch singing away one afternoon. The bottom shot is either a juvenile or maybe the female. She came down to the bird bath.

A few other things in the yard. That spider looks like he has a smiley face on his back. The gardenia bush outside our front door has been blooming and it smells so nice when you walk out the door. I went out and got these with my macro lens. All other pictures where taken through the windows.

Fun morning at the farm.

I hadn’t been to Horsepower For Kids (sanctuary/farm) in a long time so I stopped by for a visit at the end of December. All of the baby geese that had grown up in early 2020 were still there making the duck pond a busy place.

They had 2 new canadian geese at the pond. They swam close to the dock and I noticed they both had angel wings. Angel wings is a nutritional deficiency caused by improper diet. It means someone was feeding these geese too much bread when they were young and their wings didn’t grow properly. It can keep them from flying well and that’s probably why they are living here now. At least they have a great home to live in now. That’s why it’s so important not to feed the wildlife bread.

It’s fun seeing all of the different crazy “fowl” running around here.

Some of the other residents.

I was admiring this salad. These guys eat better than I do.

Butterflies are seen all year long here.

I hope they are hiding today.

This young turkey greeted me as I drove into my neighborhood.

I’m thinking these are females. I passed them on my walk early one morning and took the above with my phone.

Where the turkeys hangout.

Walking back home after seeing the turkeys, I saw several deer running across the golf course. I quickly pulled my phone out of my pocket and shot the above.

Late one day in late October I was closing the blinds early since I was meeting Brett after work for dinner and we wouldn’t be home until dark and saw this lady staring at me from my yard.

I wonder if they were the same ones I saw on my walk a few days earlier. I watched them peck around for a few minutes and took the above through the window. “Sorry I was late for dinner, dear. I had to take a bunch of pictures of the turkeys in our yard.” was very strange to say.

Hope you are having a Happy Thanksgiving and are not eating Tina and Trudy (my neighborhood turkeys) for dinner.

SkyWatch Friday

Fun on a farm

I love going to see the sunflowers at Sweetfield Farms in the spring. Not just because there are fields of flowers but there’s also farm animals. They had baby goats when I visited in mid-May. They were so cute They would come right up to the fence and you could feed them hay. The kids were going crazy over them.

It’s always fun seeing the male turkey showing off when the female walked by.

And you know I love chickens.

They also have vegatables that you could pick. I think the zucchini blooms those yellow flowers.

A grasshopper on a leaf. I’m sure it’s not a good thing to have a grasshopper on your farm. Assuming a lot of them would eat through your plants.

I found a bluebird near the edge of the farm.

So many sunflowers. These were some of the smaller ones. More to come on those.

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