And he’s off, flying like the eagle that he is. 48 days from the first time I saw the baby eagle sitting up in the nest to the day I saw him flying. He was probably flying a few days before and I just missed it but it was great to see him taking those first flights.
He flew down the field to the next set of utility towers. One of the parents was sitting in the tower next to him. He landed on a the tower briefly and then flew over to the parent.
I could hear him screaming and I think he was telling his parent to go get him some food. The parent may have been trying to get him to follow him to hunt but I don’t think Junior was ready at this point. When the parent took off Junior flew back to the nest tower.
He came back and landed on the top of the tower.
I saw one of the parents flying by through the trees.
Junior landed back on the nest and waiting for his breakfast. He must have been hungry because it looked like he was chewing on a stick or maybe playing with it.
Someone was watching me from the field.
There are always a lot of red bellied woodpeckers in the trees at the eagle’s nest and this morning I got a brief glimpse of a great crested flycatcher.
I was looking for little critters while I waited for the eagle parent to bring Junior his breakfast but it got late and I had to run some errands so I left.
I don’t remember ever seeing this green caterpillar. I found it in the butterfly garden at Folly Farms in Safety Harbor in late March. I usually only see monarch or gulf fritillary caterpillars. I had to look through tons of green caterpillar pictures to find it. This is a orange barred sulphur butterfly. I do see them here but have never seen the caterpillar.
So many little things flying around late in March. It had already been warm for a while so everything was blooming and the garden was full of butterflies, bees and other little critters.
There wasn’t many birds around though. A dove and a few bluebirds were all I could find on this morning.
I caught a swallow tail kite diving down behind the trees.
This was interesting. They have installed a wind phone at the farm. Originated in Japan, the phone is not connected but allows a one way conversation with deceased love ones. There’s a chalk board and you can leave notes. I did pick up the phone to make sure there wasn’t a dial tone (or maybe someone else on the other end?).
The water around the Safety Harbor fishing pier was really low the morning I was there in mid-March. There were a lot of shorebirds far out on a tiny spit. A few black bellied plovers, red knots and dowitchers were mixed in with tons of willets, gulls and terns.
Heading around the edge of some mangroves I could just make out 3 Canadian geese.
Several manatees were coming up for air.
A red-winged blackbird posing on the mangroves.
I stopped by Folly Farms on the way home. Lots of little critters there.
It was early March and I was sitting on a bench in the butterfly garden at Folly Farms in Safety Harbor hoping to see hummingbirds (it was probably a little early for them though). No hummingbirds yet but I did see some usual birds. Titmouse are common here and parulas were everywhere in early spring. Both have distinct calls.
The giant milkweed was full of caterpillars.
Little critters in the garden. The yellow butterfly looks like she was laying eggs.
I’m not sure what this plant is but I’ve seen it at several botanical gardens. It’s really cool and the flowering part is huge.
We had a warm morning in early January so I headed out for a quick trip to nearby Folly Farms in Safety Harbor. The neighborhood community garden has a small butterfly garden and if there isn’t any birds around I can usually find some tiny critters. There was still enough blooming to keep the garden full of bees and butterflies. The fun catch was the ladybug. I don’t see them very often.
It was early August when I visited Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of birds there since fall migration hadn’t started yet but I was ready for a road trip. There were a lot of other flying critters though so I had a fun morning torturing myself trying to get pictures of little things buzzing around.
I found this spiny orb weaver with a bee in his web.
I think this lizard was flirting with me at the Botanical Gardens in Largo.
Tiny critters were buzzing around the butterfly garden.
A few of the butterflies in the butterfly garden. I was expecting to see many more than this. I didn’t see any yellow ones. I keep saying I am seeing less and less of them every year. I wonder if it’s all of the spraying that is being done. Spraying for invasive plants, spraying for mosquitoes.
A soft shell turtle swims by under the bridge. I was only able to get his funny shaped head in the shot. He almost blends in with the brown lily pad leaves.
A young moorhen walking around the spatterdock lilies in the pond.
There’s something magical about standing in the middle of sunflowers.
There were all types of sunflowers here at Sweetfield Farms in early May. Some had yellow faces and some had black faces. Some had big faces and small petals and some had small faces with long yellow petals. I grabbed a pair of clippers and went out to pick a bunch to take home but it was tough to decide which ones to pick. I ended up with a bunch of different ones.
Most of the faces had bees on them but when you clipped them the bees flew off. If you are really afraid of the bees, you can buy the ones in the barn that are already picked. Either way they were $2 a stem. I really didn’t feel like there were a lot of bees swarming around me though. There are plenty without bees as well.
There were other critters on them as well.
It was a beautiful morning out and I was loaded down as I was walking to the car with my camera, zinnias, sunflowers and a few vegetables I picked.
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.
This beautiful hanging orchid plant was blooming in mid-April at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
I love these spikey pods that bust open and are filled with fuzz. I still can’t figure out what these are.
A butterfly had landed high up on this silk floss tree.
Tiny critters in the butterfly garden. There were a lot of monarch caterpillars on the big milkweed plant. I think the bottom caterpillar is an orange barred sulfur butterfly.
Usual birds here are the dove and the brown thrasher.
And of course I can’t walk by and not take pictures of the wood ducks floating around. This time I also saw some on the fence.
A crow flying by with an egg in his beak. Probably a turtle egg.
I stopped at nearby Largo Nature Preserve after leaving the botanical gardens and it was pretty quiet there. I did notice some heads sticking out of holes in some dead trees near the parking lot. A screech owl had been nesting in one. I never made it back here to see if there were any babies. A red bellied woodpecker was checking out the other hole. Probably just started to work on a nest.