Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Florida Scrub Jay!

I was so fortunate to see a flock of Florida Scrub Jays on a hike I took July 1st at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve.

sIMG_7619

I drove out there just to get out of my car and look around at the trailhead.

signIMG_7661

But it was early enough and it had rained overnight so it didn’t seem too bad (hot)! So the trail called me to wander! lol

trailIMG_7613

I thought about starting this post with HELP!!! I need HELP!!! But I’ll be nice and show you my Scrub Jay photos while I tell you my sad tale.

sIMG_7617

I finally had a bad experience hiking. NO….I didn’t get chased by an alligator or a bear….or a wild boar! NO, it was nothing THAT BIG! It was small in fact. I had been hiking for about 40 minutes (some of which I used to take these photos) when a deer fly or a horse fly got after me. It was big and solid black.

I had on my ‘pink baseball cap’ that I wear on all my hikes. So I took it off and starting batting at the fly. The cap had a metal buckle on it so that meant that the fly was either biting me or I was beating myself to death with the metal buckle. I danced around all the way back to the car. I walked a LOT faster back to the car but it still took me about 20 minutes…hitting at the fly around my arms….then down on my legs…never scaring him away. When I got to my car, I literally threw myself inside! I hadn’t been able to stop to look around, or even get a drink of water on the way back. And I had little irritating bites all over. I probably got bit 20 or 30 times. Nothing life threatening but I would say more than just aggravating. It HURT when it bit me.

So have you ever had this happen? Any ideas on what to do when it does? I know not to wear any kind of scent or dark clothing. And since we really haven’t had any problem with bugs this year, I wasn’t wearing any repellant. I WILL next time. (but I still hate to wear it, especially on my face)

scrubjayIMG_7614

So Hike #42 was worth it to see the beauty of Halpata Tastanaki Preserve

viewIMG_7630

AND the Florida Scrub Jays.

sIMG_7629

I also saw a Rufous Sided Towhee.

rIMG_7660

They are usually on the ground in the brush and hard to see.

rIMG_7659

So this was very special!

roufussidedtowheeIMG_7653

Thanks for reading this long post and I look forward to your comments and your HELP!!!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

38 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello, sorry about the bug bites. I guess it is best to wear repellent. The horse fly bites really hurt, they are hanging in some of my favorite places to go birding. :(

Great sighting of the Scrub Jays and the Towhee, they are beautiful birds. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend!

Anonymous said...

beautiful photos but oh my gosh that must have been the longest walk back to the car!!!! We have deer flies and the bigger biting ones we call horse flies,, I haven't had an aggressive one like that though,, I wonder if repellent would have helped,, it meant business that one did!

Debbie said...

what a terrible experience, i'm so sorry!! i have no advice for you, i am not familiar with that fly, or hiking on trails, but what a way to sour a wonderful experience!

you did get some great pictures...that was a long "look around" wasn't it??

Arlene Grimm said...

What a time you had Diane but your photos are great!

Latane Barton said...

Oh my, that fly was really after you. Glad you got away. Sorry about the bites though. They do hurt.

Sandra said...

I can tell you if there were horse flys I would not be walking, I am terrified of all flying things that sting and am allergic to bug spray. I have not seen horse flies since we moved here and I hope I don't. hope someone that reads this has an answer for you. the photos are beautiful for sure . walk there in the winter is my advice. I just googled horsefly bites and OH My there is much to read and it says one spray doesn't take care of all types. who knew

Cathy said...

I have heard that tying Bounce dryer sheets to your clothes helps repell bugs

Cathy said...

I have heard that tying Bounce dryer sheets to your clothes helps repel bugs

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Oh my! My friend got bit about 3 times by a horse fly and it swelled up and hurt something awful. Glad you are ok.

Jeanie said...

I've never heard of these before. And in comments, interesting about the dryer sheets!

Susie said...

Diane, Black flies are horrid. My SIL wears a blue hardhat covered in a glue substance the flies stick to it and he doesn't get bit. I think the fly takes a tiny bit of flesh with it's bite. Thankfully I have never been around them. You may have to carry a small can of repellent , in a light weight small back pack(bag). My daughter has one that looks like a jacket material , the size of a small purse. I know when it's hot you do not want to be carrying a bunch of stuff. Better hike next time. Be safe. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Out on the prairie said...

I put spray on just because if it bites I get bit.Ticks are all around and can be hazardous.

Linda said...

Good grief! Talk about an aggressive fly! That was awful! And just one? So glad he didn’t have his buddies with him!

Patsy said...

We can't walk around here in the wild for the ticks, they say
it is very bad this year. Thanks for suffering for the great photo's.

Terri D said...

If it bites or stings, it will find me. I do my best to avoid anyplace that might have bugs. I rarely go out after dusk, don't go hiking (can't walk far anyway), and don't mind at all. Give me an excuse to just enjoy YOUR wonderful photos and stories.

Tom said...

...the deer flies are thick here too!

Silver Willow said...

Another wonderful thing about Orange County, CA...is the lack of bugs that you guys get. At least the kind that come after you like that. Sorry he/it ruined an otherwise pretty hike!

Ann Thompson said...

I've never had the problem with horse flies but have had others bite. I've also heard of using the dryer sheets. I don't know if it actually works or not

Small City Scenes said...

Oh my goodness---I am glad I have never been bitten like that. When hiking in the mountains here it is usually skeeters and no-see-ums. Teeny tiny biters. Nothing like the experience you had. Sorry 'bout that. The images are really nice. Towhee is one of my favorite birds. Little guys rustling in the bushes.
MB

happyone said...

What an awful time with the horsefly. That's a lot of bites. I've never had a problem with them. Maybe I walk to early in the morning for them. : ) Maybe pepper spray would take care of him. 😊

Nancy Chan said...

I hate bug bites especially when they are painful and causes itchiness! I can imagine myself scratching all over the places and wouldn't anything at all! Either I will wear insect repellent or I won't go again.

It's me said...

Happy sunny sunday...love Ria☀️💛☀️💛☀️💛

Kathy said...

Lovely photos but what an awful experience! Have you tried using Avon's Skin So Soft? I know it repels mosquitoes and ticks. Maybe it would work for those flies as well. I have been chased by persistent flies but that one was brutal!

Lea said...

Great photos, but what a price to pay to get them. I have not been chased by aggressive flies, but the mosquitoes here can be a problem.
And I got into a field of chiggers once. Lots of bites all over my legs. I went to the doctor and got some pills, maybe antihistamines. But the most embarrassing thing about the whole experience was at the doctors office. He called in all the nurses and other doctors there (a dozen people) and said, 'Look! Have you ever seen so many chigger bites before?' I can look back and laugh now, but it wasn't any fun at the time.

Anni said...

First off, I couldn't even begin to be able to pronounce the reserve's name. Whoa.

And these are two birds I've never seen. Great photos!!!

Thanks for joining us this week at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

Janey and Co. said...

Ouch! I guess I would have just done the same thing. I never walk alone up here in Colorado as we have too many dangerous animals. Just yesterday my neighbor was cooking bacon for a church casserole, her husband was not at home, and a bear ripped the screen off of the window. Thankfully her dog scared him away. I guess the lesson here is don't go for a hike after you have cooked bacon :).

carol l mckenna said...

Hope you are healed from bug bites ~ Lovely series of 'feathered friends' friends photos!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Mary Cromer said...

Your Scrub Jay is lovely...I have never seen one before...I am pretty sure.
Oh My...more than likely a Horsefly. They will nibble and nibble and hurt, though Deer Fly bites hurt as well. I live my entire Summer covered in insect bites and it is miserable sometimes. They hurt, they itch, they can get blisters and ever infected. I am so sorry that you had that experience...all I have to do is walk outside on Tingsgrove and if not protected with Cutter, or Skin-So-Soft, I will be eaten up.

Take Care my friend~

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Dang black flies are why I stay out of the dense woods from May to Oct.

Now If I could just get my energy back from this stinkin' bronchitis.

Carla from The River said...

Hi,
I got it by a Horse Fly last night! It hurt. I always swell when I get any sort of bug bite. ;-(
Take Care .. and as always love your photos.

Jean @sonotorganized.com said...

Sorry about the bug bites. I don't like to wear repellent either but it's much better than bug bites. Beautiful photos!

Inger said...

I haven't been bitten by one for a long time. So sorry you got bitten so badly. Still you always see the positive in life, which is why it is such joy to stop by here. We have scrub jays here too, I didn't know there was a Florida scrub jay. Great pictures.

BeachGypsy said...

Diane that first picture is so amazing, I love it! So glad you got out to walk but I took one look at that trail and it's pretty but it also looks so lonely and then you said you'd had a bad experience--- and my first thought was your safety, I wish you wouldn't go out walking alone and if you do I hope you carry spray or something for protection, can't be too careful these days, right? I know....it's none of my business....please don't be mad at me. Just want you to be safe is all and for all I know there were dozens of others on the trail too, which makes it better. Gosh....I don't know about the dang horse flies..........they are huge and scary and yes they sure bite but that one sure seemed to take his temper out on you for sure! LOL HOpe the bites are better?? I use that numbing spray for "skeeter" bites and it helps alot for bites...not sure what you can use to deter the flies. Skeeters and no-see-ums....they attack like crazy here so we try to stay in a good breezy spot. I hate those dang varmits!! I enjoyed the bird pictures, I didn't know anything about those birds, always fun to learn new things.

EL RINCON DE CHELO said...

Preciosas fotografías de la naturaleza!!

Red Rose Alley said...

Your blue jays look very similar to ours here. In fact, I saw many of them at the trail last weekend. What a cute little Rufous Sided Towhee. Yikes, you got bit by a horse fly! I hope those bites are doing Ok. I guess that's what happens when you walk the trails, but it never stops you from doing so. Wonderful, Diane. : )

~Sheri

Lowcarb team member said...

I was so sorry to read about the bug bites, I guess it's best to wear a repellent.

You did get some great pictures though, which I've enjoyed seeing.

All the best Jan

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

The Deer Flies are troublesome here in south Florida but so far I have not encountered a Horse Fly. I got a photo of a shrike eating a horsefly larva and it was huge. They live under water or in muddy areas before emerging. The Deer Flies will find any part of me not protected by repellent-- they like to crawl under my glasses or down my neck, but they are easy to swat, not like the monster which pestered you.

NatureFootstep said...

seems like a very special bird. Thanks for sharing.