Saturday, March 30, 2019

I saw some CRAZY things this week!

I hiked the Florida Trails several times this week. This is the trail and if you look on one side, you can see where they've done the controlled burns. It will all green up in no time!

It's a multi use paved trail for hikers and bicycles only and it's a dream to walk on. A machine comes through and blows the debris off every morning so it's easy to walk on and look around for wildlife as you go.

  Well, one day I saw something running TOWARD me on the trail at a good distance ahead. 

At first I thought it was a bunny rabbit....

 (it's just a blur of fur!!!) 

then I thought it was a racoon....

and then I was just sure it was a monkey!

Maybe it's a small black bear! lol

But lo and behold it was a Fox Squirrel! One of the cutest ones I've ever seen. LARGE, about 3 times bigger than a regular gray squirrel, with a big long bushy tail like a fox and a black head. The face looked flat like a monkey! I wish my photos were better because he was a beauty! Maybe I'll see him again! 

 This is a better photo of one we saw a couple of years ago. 

The other crazy siting was on the same hike! I looked overhead and saw an Osprey!

They are usually seen near water but's Florida! He wouldn't have to go far to find some!

Anything crazy in your neck of the woods? 

My hubby was sweet to put up a Videos tab under my header. There's a short video of the Fox Squirrel. When I started the video,  I thought it was a bunny rabbit! lol

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE 
and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Withlacoochee State Forest "Johnson Pond"

We drove right by some of our favorite trailheads to hike a new trail!

It was an easy hike out to Johnson Pond.

And this year the fields are flooded so there's lots of water and all kinds of water birds.

It was nice to have an observation deck to view the pond.

 We saw a huge flock of White Ibis but didn't get very good photos, just good enough to ID the birds. We did get pics of the Moorhen.

Beauty everywhere you look.

Our temps were in the 70s with low humidity. 

Such a pleasure to be out on the Florida trails.

So what do you think? Should we follow the signs?

NO...we wanted to go on ALL the side trails but decided to turn around after we had hiked for about an hour so that we could stop at the observation deck at Johnson Pond.

We'll go back soon! 

But what do you mean we've only gone  a half mile! hahahaha!

And yes we went FARTHER than a half mile and to clear up other mysteries of the Lavender Dreams Blog. Some of you were worried about the new box of ice cream. 

 Here are a few more 'clues'. Hubby bought the ice cream and brought it home and removed the plastic seal and put it in the freezer. And somewhere in the process he opened it and carved his initial R into it. At least that's what Wendy and I think happened! Mystery solved....well, until he gets into more mischief. We're retired. We have to have some fun! And he gave me a BIG laugh! We always appreciate your sweet comments too!

 I’m joining Thankful Thursdays.

Monday, March 25, 2019

"Old Fashioned Florida"

We see lots of  'old timey' things here in Florida!

These golfers were right behind my house playing a round of golf in their old fashioned golf attire!

I guess they were okay with me running out the back door to take pics! lol I've added a few of the airplanes we've seen lately. Flying small aircraft is very popular here!

And we are enjoying so many Spring sights on our hikes. There's a Common Buckeye in these photos and a huge bloom on the prickly thistle! The long leafed pine is putting out new sprouts too!

Are you seeing signs of Spring where you live too?

I’m joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE   
and Cooking and Crafting with J&J HERE.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Loggerhead Shrike!

We hiked the Florida Trails starting at the Pruitt Trailhead ...again! 

It's getting to be one of our favorite hikes! And the Dock weed is so red and pretty along the fences and in the fields.

We saw this bird and thought at first it was some type of Flycatcher because they are so common in this area. Imagine our surprise when we got home and looked in the bird book!

It's a Loggerhead Shrike. The first time we've ever seen one!

We saw the Eastern Meadowlark again but he was a long way off. We had to ZOOOM to get this Kestrel!

 And be quick to photograph two Canada Geese flying overhead!

The hiking trail comes back to the horse trail for a short distance and we saw these friendly folks. That was nice!

 And now we'll finish with a song! The Paw paw is in FULL bloom! 

So everyone...altogether now...

Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don't need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
Have I given you a clue ?
The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!

The last time I shared Paw paw pics, Jeannie from Get me to the Country had this comment, "What about picking a pawpaw from the song "Bare Necessities" from Jungle Book?" The lyrics are from her too!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE
and I’d Rather B Birdin’.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Milkshakes, butterflies and the letter R!

One of the wonderful things about living in Florida is the fresh produce! We have an abundance of fruits and veggies grown right here so it's nice to buy things in season. 

 Strawberry season begins in February and it's going strong now. The strawberries are sweet and delicious and reasonably priced. Time to make hubby some milkshakes! He actually needs to gain weight so these are perfect for his diet. I can't eat sugar but I can enjoy some of the strawberries in cottage cheese. I know it's not fair...but what can we do? lol

Imagine my surprise when I pried the lid off the brand new box of ice cream and saw the letter R carved into the top layer of creamy Vanilla! Hhhhmmmm....somebody has been in the box and if they didn't want to be 'found out' they should have carved another W...for Wendy! hahaha!

I am also very thankful for my friends! Blog friends are the BEST! And I've gotten several cards lately. 

 I won't try to name everyone....but please know that they have been very appreciated !

This one came from my blog friend and penpal in the Phillipines. A hint...her name is the same as mine. We always say we are namemates! She has been a loyal friend for years now!

 And here's what's on my drawing board...or painting board! 

 I'm having such fun with the Tombow watercolor markers! 

Lots to give thanks for this week! How about you?

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays 

and Cooking and Crafting with J&J HERE.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring time Hikes

We've done some longer hikes lately to take advantage of the beautiful weather. 

Also they are doing 'control burns' on many of the Florida Trails this month. It's good for the overall health and safety of the forest so I won't complain (well, not much).

Blue Run Park has so many wildflowers blooming right now and these Spiderworts are especially pretty. 

I love the colors and may try to paint some this week. I'm still having fun with the watercolor markers. And I will mention that if you use them, be sure to get watercolor paper! It makes ALL the difference! I know...I tried them on cardstock and it didn't work well at all!

 Are you doing something creative this week? Let me know!

The palms looked beautiful reflected in the water. It's harder to 'see through' the foliage to get good photos but still our favorite place to walk at least once a week!

I’m joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE   
and Cooking and Crafting with J&J HERE.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Hawk's little Feast

We saw the most beautiful Red Shouldered Hawk at Blue Run Park in Dunnellon the other day!

 And just as we starting snapping the pics, he swooped down and got a tasty tidbit for a mid morning snack! 

Oh no....that's one of our baby turtles! 

Do you think he's so rich he'll make turtle soup? (a line from our favorite Jane Austen movie Pride and Prejudice)

No he'll just pull it apart right in front of us

and eat it raw!

Quite an amazing sight to witness!

But don't worry, there are TONS of turtles at Blue Run.

RUN little turtle RUUUNNNN!!!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.