Monday, September 28, 2020

Cardinal Flowers for Fall

We were amazed to see the Cardinal Flower in full bloom at Blue Run Park in Dunnellon.

It seems like no matter when you hike, something new catches your eye.

Flowers bloom year round here in Florida so that makes it interesting and beautiful.

There weren't many people there at all so it was a great time to get photos of the trail and the swamp.

Aren't these pink lichen pretty?

A walk to the bridge...

and a new sign.

Of course people out enjoying water sports too.

A few oddities during the day too! A squirrel eating a Sweet Gum ball...seems like a prickly thing to eat! And an orange on the ground. (we looked up and there was an orange tree with lots of oranges!)

And an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail for Aunt Helen.

It's a wonderful time of year to live in Florida. 

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

I'm linking with All Seasons at the Jesh Studio,

AND my Monday post HERE.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The American Redstart at Blue Run Park

We finally got to hike at Blue Run Park in Dunnellon for the first time in 3 months. It was closed for awhile and then when it did open, it was too hot to hike there. I've mentioned before that you walk with a swamp on one side and a river on the other so it's a great breeding ground for mosquitoes and bugs. But on the first day of Fall, the weather was perfect! Warm but lower humidity and a breeze! 

And what a thrill when we got to see a bird we had never seen before.

The American Redstart!

We could see it really well but it 'flitted' so it was difficult to get good photos.

It was easy to identify when we got home though.

It's considered "the butterfly of the bird world".

And how about this? What's black and white and red, yellow and orange all over?

Setophaga Ruticella, of course!

It was quite a day of bird sightings, starting in the parking lot.

A Great White Egret.


Green Heron 
(Duck weed is the beautiful tiny plant that looks like moss or scum in the swamp)

Black crowned Night Heron

He was busy fishin'!

And doesn't this alligator look like it is smiling?

We were high on the bridge looking down when we saw it so no danger there. And no people at Blue Run either. We saw a total of about 8 people in the 2 hours we were there. Incredible!

We spotted another alligator in the swamp, draped over an old log. How funny!

And the log this turtle is on looks like a 'gator! lol

I'm pretty sure this is a Black and white Warbler! 
Let's stand on our heads for a better look! lol

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Thankful for a MESS!

How can you be thankful for a MESS?

When it's on your architectural table in the craft/sewing room!

I've gotten my junk journal supplies out and I'm going to town.

A little template I use to make tags.

Save all the corners and scraps...they will come in handy!

This is a way to enjoy least favorite season! (I know I am in the minority here but bear with me)

I'm happy to have survived the summer months, aren't you? It's been difficult, to say the least. And I'm ready to start 'anew'!

I got out some of the junk journals I've made in the past. And 'drug' out Fall colored paper. I even put a new blade in my cutter! YAY!

My desk doesn't look like this yet but give me a day or two and it will. 

Are you ready for Fall crafting or decorating? 

I'll play inside today so that I can hike tomorrow! 

Enjoy your day! Do something FUN today! 

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Fun while staying home?

Staying home while having fun...can we find a way to do both? Only if we can go outside on the nice days! I always tell my sons when we talk on the phone, that I work really hard some days so that I can go outside and play when I am done. I clean and shop...oh and decorate and read! 

I changed a few things to reflect the Fall season.

I love this old dough bowl that a blog friend gave me YEARS ago! She doesn't blog anymore but I always think of Sandi when I decorate with it.

And I put a few more Fall colored flowers in the basket in the kitchen.

I'm going to just do a little this year because our weather is so fabulous for hiking!

I wanted to show some of the pages in these old readers.

I love these old children's books with their pretty illustrations.

I always clean as I go! So now I've cleaned, decorated and read my school books.

Can I go outside and play now?

I drove over to the 49th Ave trailhead and walked on the Florida Trails a couple of days ago and finally got a fairly decent photo of the large brown butterfly I see every once in awhile. 

This is the underside of the butterfly so it makes it even more difficult to ID. But do you think it is a Palamedes, Debbie? She's my blog buddy from It's all about Purple and an expert on butterflies.

And speaking of blog friends! Look who I saw at Walmart this week! My blog buddy, Barbara from Sweet Tea and Sandals. We live in the same town and this is the second time we've run into each other there! Makes shopping more fun, too!

Now look at the photo you really think I'm worth 98 cents? 

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

I'm linking with All Seasons at the Jesh Studio,

AND my Monday post HERE.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Florida Scrub Jay!

I finally saw this elusive bird! I was hiking a section of trail from the main Halapta Tastanaki Preserve Trailhead and saw 2 Florida Scrub Jays! 

I was so excited to see them because I haven't taken photos of them at all this year. 

To be fair though, I don't hike this trail as often any more. I would consider it even more 'wild' than any of the other trails I hike and I've had a few more scary encounters here. It's very open too so it's not great for summer time hiking. 

But I only stayed out there for a little while! (until I saw some of the biggest animal tracks I've ever seen...then I turned around! lol)

It seems like wherever you go, you see beauty though.

And a few oddities.



fence lizard

walking sticks...two of them

What would scare you most? A small wild animal or a BIG wild animal track? 

(this track was 5 or 6 inches across!)

After I turned around, I have to admit to looking over my shoulder from time to time. There have been quite a few bear sightings around here lately. This track made me think of a dog track because of the configuration and the claw marks but it came out of the woods at one point, went down the trail a short distance and then back off into the woods on the other side. No human tracks on the trail with it either. 

Don't be scared though...we'll go hiking again SOON!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.