Saturday, January 30, 2021

Raptors soaring above!

 When we hike Halpata Tastanaki Preserve we have a wide open view above the preserve. 

So it's easy to spot big birds!

We've been seeing this immature Eagle for a couple of months.

He's probably between 1 and 2 years old considering his coloration. 

I sure hope he stays around and we get to photograph him when his head turns white. He'll be easier to spot then!

And the Kestrels are regulars here during the winter months and we usually see 3 or 4 on our hikes in that area.

They are such beautiful birds, small and graceful.

Of course the Red-shouldered Hawk and the Red-tailed Hawks are regulars year round.

We've had perfect hiking weather this week. It was even 80 degrees on one of our hikes!

Have you had a good week? Ours has been busy!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Florida Trails, Turkeys, a Titmouse

 Sometimes I come home from a hike and say I didn't see much.

But of course that's not true.

And I'm glad I take lots of photos to prove it!

We often hike parts of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway 

and if you look in every direction

you're sure to see amazing sights everywhere!

Tufted Titmouse

And a pair of lovey dovey turkeys!

I'm happy for a new week to start. How about you?

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

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

AND my Monday post HERE.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Florida Scrub-Jay

We are so fortunate to have these beautiful birds at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve.

We can usually count on seeing the Florida Scrub-jays at the HTP trail entrance on Hwy 200. 

It's the state's only endemic bird, which means the Florida Scrub-jay is found nowhere else. It does not migrate and lives it's entire life cycle here in Florida and requires a sandy scrub to survive. It is federally listed as threatened and there are estimated to be between 7,700 and 9,000 birds in existence.

How exciting to see a small flock this week when I hiked. I had stopped to zoom in on something ahead when one of them flew out of the scrub onto the sandy spot nearby. I froze and just turned my camera to get some good photos.

As soon as I started walking they flew and when I turned to walk back to the car, I didn't even spot them again.

I did see some of the areas where the preserve has cleared the undergrowth to provide habitat for them.

So that was my excitement for this week.

And when you see a track in the sand THIS BIG, 

you're ready to turn back and head for the car! lol

Discover the Florida Scrub-jay

More info at the Florida State Parks HERE!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Another year flew by.....

And I survived!

I even managed to have lots of adventures in the great outdoors despite the pandemic.

So here's to another year to DISCOVER the beauty that surrounds me....

in the 'wilds of Florida!

I'm thankful to be having a special day and plan to stay outside and PLAY all day, or at least until it's time to come inside for a cup of coffee and a cookie!

Enjoy your day!


I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!

Monday, January 18, 2021

It's a SIGN!

 This doesn't really have a double meaning....

I saw some neat signs this week!

But if it DOES have a double meaning, it might mean that I need to get busy with something besides playing with photos.

I love to make mosaics and it is addictive.

I took this photo of an airplane during a hike at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve. There's a small airport nearby so it's a great place to see these beautiful small airplanes. So this one is 'straight out of the camera'.

And then I did a stained glass effect for Mosaic Monday.

And the next thing I know, I've made a Kaleidoscope out of it! lol I use a free version of Photoscape to edit my pics.

A few of the dogs we've seen lately. And no, they are not all rascals! The one really is named Rascal though! He's an older dog and a real sweetheart.

And the mosaic I showed last week....

is a survey marker that was in the ground next to the trail at Johnson Pond.

Our temps are in the 70s this week so it's perfect for hitting the trails.

Have a wonderful week!

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

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

AND my Monday post HERE.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Lots of our usuals at Blue Run Park + one Stork!

We love seeing our 'usuals' and trying to get good photos.

We saw the most beautiful Little Blue Heron with such a purple neck!

They can be hard to spot in the marsh!

There were a few Great Blue Herons here and there, too.

This one caught a fish while we watched.

Something to see in every direction!

It was a gray day which is unusual for Florida. 

But it gave the photos some neat effects.

Oh and I promised you a Stork.

They are a bit unusual to see at Blue Run s
o it was a rare treat.

A favorite photo was this White Ibis perched near a Palm Tree.

OK....let's zoom in!

Another beautiful hike at Blue Run Park in Dunnellon.

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.