Friday, February 23, 2024

February brings signs of Spring!


 We definitely see signs of Spring in the month of February here in Florida.


I'm sure that's why so many people visit the state during this month.


I've seen more birds, wildflowers, colorful leaves and an abundance of butterflies already.

And I want to give an update on the honey bee hive at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve.


The bees are busy making honeycomb and it changes from week to week.


I thought in the beginning that it was a swarm and they would leave after a couple of weeks.


But they have been there for over 4 months now!


Here's the same photo taken a week apart and put together for comparison. You can see the same stick in each photo.


While I was on this particular hike, I got to watch 2 American Kestrels in all their glory!


This one was particularly cute!


Kestrel in flight


And even saw a few Eastern Meadowlarks!

They always show up in the Spring!


The weather has been beautiful allowing me to hike just about every other day for the month, which makes me very happy!

Are you seeing any signs of Spring where you live? Don't worry, it will be here before you know it! 

AHHHH Chooooo!!! lol

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !  

Friday, February 16, 2024

Deep in the Forest!


 Time to put on our hiking shoes and go deep into the woods!


Don't be skeeeeered!


You're in Bear Country now!


A REAL bear den!


OK! That's close enough....let's keep going!


We'll only go during the day when the monsters don't look as scary.


Because you KNOW there will be monsters in the forest!

Some real.....


others imagined!


Use your imagination!

But don't let it run WILD!


I love hiking deep into the forest BEST! 


Gnome Country! It's my favorite place to be!

We'll just stop now to watch the pretty Warblers!


Time to FLY!


Were you skeeeered? Maybe just a little? Me too!


I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE ! 


Friday, February 9, 2024

Beautiful Birds of Florida

 
We always check the tide chart before we drive out to the Gulf of Mexico and on this particular day, the lowest tide was at noon. 


Perfect! All of these sandbars will be covered with water when the tide comes in.

But for now....


a glimpse at how many birds are out there!

The Pelicans seem to be having a conversation.


Or is it an argument? lol


We drive along the canal on a dirt road for 4 miles before we reach the Gulf.


Great White Egret, Snowy Egret and Tri-colored Heron

And we had never seen so many birds along the banks of the canal and in the water.


I think this is a Bonaparte's Gull.


Hubby was driving and some of these were taken from inside the truck!


Snowy Egret and Tri-colored Heron

And then some of my favs!


A Stork fishing for his dinner!


He looked a bit comical with all his twists and turns!


Just one more before we have to walk away!


We saw a wonderful variety of shorebirds! 


And now to share my favorite photo of the day!


Great Blue Heron

It was hard to pick a favorite!


I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !  


Friday, February 2, 2024

A Trip to the Gulf Coast!


 It takes us less than an hour to drive to the Gulf Coast so this is one of our favorite day trips!


And no we didn't travel by horse cart but hubby was kind enough to pull into this little convenience store for me to get a few photos! I can't imagine getting out in this on the main road! 


Every trip to the Withlacoochee Bay Trail is an adventure!


I love the winter brown grasses all along the canal.

We have honestly never seen so many birds and such a variety but I'll skip around and show a few highlights.


This fisherman was checking his baskets and the pelicans followed closely to see if they might get an easy meal.


It was amazing to watch!

And something else that caught our eyes!


Dolphins!


We spotted several out in the bay and that's always a treat!


A cropped view!

Lots of beautiful scenes as we hiked to the end of the trail.


It was a brisk winter day and perfect for walking!

Do you have a special place to visit to see birds and wildlife?


I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE ! 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Shangri-La Trailhead, best for "Winter hiking"


 Now that the weather has cooled off here in Florida I am enjoying some of the trails I usually avoid in the summer months. 


But as you can see by the parking area at the Shangri-La Trailhead, I have it all to myself today!


The trails are just gorgeous and easy to walk. 

The way the trails 'lie', there's not much breeze so it feels hotter and the bugs enjoy it more than I do in the summer heat! So I wait for the cooler temps with less humidity.


Some of the trails follow the old diggings and it is perfectly quiet and peaceful.


We've had some rain so the mushrooms are abundant in the forest.


I'll pop a mosaic in to try to show more of these beauties!


This one looks like it has a little skirt on!


And we've seen lots of Warblers, Flycatchers and Bluebirds this week.


I know many people have gotten a winter blast this week. We've had a few cold nights too!


Hubby took this Eastern Bluebird photo and it's one of my all time favorites now!


Enjoy your week and get outside to enjoy nature when you can!

And for those of you who are interested in the BIG announcement I made on Jan. 23rd, I'll include a link to the post HERE!


 It's going to be FUN!


I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !