Monday, March 29, 2021

Hiking along a Swamp in Florida!

I know when I say 'swamp' images of a bog with stagnant water might come to mind. But swamps are living things with plants and birds galore! (and turtles and frogs!)

And always changing!

The water level does go up and down according to the rains and the weather.

So it is always interesting to see how different they can look even from one week to the next.

You can see by the photo of the trail that things have greened up overnight here in North Central Florida. It's our dry season but it has been very warm this week and trees and plants have fully leafed out. 

Most of the trees in this swamp are Bald Cypress which lose their leaves in winter. So the new leaves are a very bright green.

Even the green in the water is plants that are alive and well....just like this alligator.

We were in Blue Run Park for this hike and the Blue Irises are blooming all along the river!

Lots of pretty wildflowers!

The clam shells were empty

and someone got back to the car with only one shoe!

But for us, the hike was a success!

Look at the beauty in nature! It never disappoints!

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

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

AND my Monday post HERE.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Let's take a neighborhood walk! Updated!

I love to walk over to the neighborhood pond on the days we don't hike. (with the time change it's easier to go before sunset)

I couldn't wait to see what ducks might be there and sure enough there was something unusual.

I thought it was a Scaup but Pamela said in her comment that it was a Ring-necked Duck. You know...that sounded very familiar! So I searched in my OWN blog and found a post HERE that I wrote exactly 3 years ago! And the funny thing was, I saw most of the very same ducks then at the very same location! Amazing!
If only I had a memory, it would help SO much! Thanks Pamela for helping me with this ID! 

 I tried to say this using 2 syllables like a true Southern is 'want to do' but it was driving my husband crazy so I looked up the pronunciation. It is ONE syllable and rhymes with stop or drop! (this was written when I thought it was a Scaup!)

Anyway it was fun to see a nice flock of them in the pond.

A Great White Egret was standing next to this Canada Goose

but when it flew it looked dark!

Bird ID can get tricky!

The Blue Irises were beautiful 

and there was another duck in the tall grasses.

The pond is gorgeous and lots of birds and critters use it!

But when I turned to leave, a coyote ran past! I expect to see wild critters in the woods but this was a surprise! It gave me a scare and I practically RAN all the way home! But when I did a search and read more about coyotes, they are not a threat to humans. The Humane Society says, "Coyote attacks on people are very rare. More people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes." The website is HERE. Oh and since we live on a golf course and I know we have a bottle of champagne in the fridge, we have even more things to worry about! hahahahaha!

So that was the exciting trip to the neighborhood pond! And it doesn't even count as a hike!

What's new in your corner of the world?

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Spring is in the AIR!!!

 I probably should start this post with AHHHCHOOO! 
Yes we have pollen everywhere!

But the birds are singing and the wildflowers are blooming!

So how can I complain?

I tried to ID a few of the wildflowers that are blooming right now.

I have a new Florida Wildflower book by C, Ritchie Bell and Bryan J. Taylor so that really helps!

Alligator Weed + alligator shaped root = 2 baby alligators?

And if the birds and wildflowers aren't enough to make you smile (and you missed my last post), I hiked the Florida trails with my youngest son a few days ago! 

Believe me...I am STILL smiling!

I made this button for my sidebar! 42 hikes so far this year!

Have you had signs of Spring where you live?

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

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

AND my Monday post HERE.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Special sightings this week!

You can look up in the sky and see that more people are traveling now! Lots of contrails from the airplanes high in the sky flying to Florida destinations. That was one thing we noticed during the pandemic, how few planes were in the sky.

My hubby and I are not 'free to travel' yet but we did get to meet a traveler at the trailhead of my favorite section of the Florida Trails, Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. 

My youngest son traveled through and we hiked together! (and yes I have a mask in my hand for hugging! Moms have to hug, it's just who we are!!!)

That sure lifted our spirits to get to spend time with him. 

And he had a chance to ride his mountain bike on some of the trails here too.

This Pileated Woodpecker was in the tree behind our house this week.

He found something good in that big Live Oak tree!

He sure is photogenic, don't you think?

This guy is too!!!

I hope your week has been a good one. 

It was a GREAT one for me!!!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Colorful Week in March

The wildflowers are bright and colorful growing along the highways here in North Central Florida right now.

I think most of the fuchsia pink is Phlox!

And I know the red is Dockweed!

There are other wildflowers popping up in the woods and pretty sights every time we hike.

They make pretty mosaics I think!

We've gone on some of our usual hiking trails but also a few we rarely hike.

Several of you are afraid we'll see an alligator up close and personal. But I would be more afraid to see a Wild Hog. (we've seen a few at a distance over the years) This week we HEARD the squeal of a Banshee...probably a wild hog. I picked up my pace and set a record time for getting back to the car! hahaha!

Anything 'wild' to report in your comings and goings this week?

Have a WILD colorful 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, March 13, 2021

Cows, Horses and a 'cat'?

We drove out to the Pruitt Trailhead to hike and the cows were in the neighboring pasture.

There were so many young ones.

I think there were as many small cows as big cows!

All very curious about our vehicle driving past the fence.

We hiked the other trailhead of Halpata Tastanaki another day and just as we got around a curve, we heard a 'hiyahhhh' behind us!

A rider was coming at a full gallop.

In all the years we've hiked this trail, this is the first horse we've ever seen there. It's nice and wide and horses are allowed, we've just never seen one here. I don't know who was more surprised! It gave us a 'start' for sure!

And the 'cat' is a catbird that I saw in the brush.

We usually hear them make a meow type sound but not this time.

Hubby took a photo of me taking it's photo! lol

(I think I'll leave the photo small so that I look smaller than the cows! hahahahaha)

Have you seen anything out of the ordinary in some of your usual places this week? 

It keeps life interesting, that's for sure!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.