Monday, September 27, 2021

Did you see the bear on the trail?

Well, no we didn't! But that's what a person on a bike asked us on the section of Florida Trails East of hwy 484. They had just seen it.  (the entrance to our trail below)

Oh my! Did we turn back? No, we went another mile or so. I would say it made me walk faster but I think it slowed me down with all the looking out into the woods to make sure I saw it before it saw me!

Always something exciting when you get out in nature. We know there are black bears in the woods where we hike but I don't really want to see one. I have enough of an imagination to make this log into a wild animal! heehee!

Some of the pretty things we've seen on our hikes this week.

Fall Colors!

End of summer wildflowers and lichen.

Horsemint and Goldenrod

These persimmons look ripe but they are high in a tree. Maybe the bear will climb up there and feast on them.

Bottom left is where we park for this trail.

A few oddities this week too! All were on cars except the blue balloon hiding behind a tree. 

The weather's GREAT! Get out there! 

(I sound like the weather channel on TV)

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

Also I like Thursdays HERE.   

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Shorter Hikes, smaller birds

It doesn't always work out that way but we did see some pretty birds this past week on the Florida Trails.


We were determined to go hiking even though the weather was in full 'summer mode'!

Red-headed Woodpeckers

The humidity was high and the breeze was low but it still felt good to get outside and explore!

Carolina Wren

We just go a little slower and keep the hikes short.


Thank you to Anni and David G. for help with the IDs! You came to my rescue AGAIN!!!

And then Autumn was announced and overnight our weather changed!

Tufted Titmouse

We are still in the 80s but there is a nice breeze and less humidity!

Northern Parula

I have so many trails on my list that we haven't been able to hike this summer. 

Kestrel in flight with the 'catch of the day'!

Does standing behind this post make me look thinner? lol

(that's a rhetorical question...don't you DARE answer it!!!)

Have you seen a change in the weather this week? 

Happy Fall from Florida! 

Monday, September 20, 2021

A rare and exotic Wildflower!

It still amazes me that we can go out into the wild and see so many amazing things.

We were fortunate to see this Longspurred Mint, Dicerandra Cornutissima on the Florida trails this week. It was between the 49th Ave trailhead and the Landbridge Trailhead. 

It is endemic to this part of Florida and is listed as endangered. More info HERE

We've seen it in another area nearby but this is the first time we've seen it on this part of the trail.

And to share one of my favorite things this week....

here's the big pad of Forest Scrapbook paper I bought to work on junk journals.

I've already been cutting the cover page in case it looks a bit 'wonky'!

There are so many beautiful  images and it's all a nice weight of cardstock.

I'll use these for bookmarks.

It's enjoyable to put together these journals and then sit down and embellish them later.

I thought I would write some nature quotes on some of the pages.

This is a tag journal 'in progress'. 
They are so quick and easy and I love the way they turn out!

Have you been working on creative projects this week?

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

Also I like Thursdays HERE.   

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Red-tailed Hawk and 'friends'!

We see Hawks here on the golf course pretty often.

But this Red-tailed Hawk was a beautiful sighting.

I cropped some of these to look at him up close.

We were standing in our courtyard taking these photos as he perched on a tall pine tree.

I still take a neighborhood walk in the evenings some times.

It doesn't count as a hike but it's a nice chance to walk over to the neighborhood pond and see what's there.

A family of ducks was swimming all over the pond. 

The young ones weren't that small but you could tell they were a family staying together.

I think a Moorhen sneaked into this photo.

And a Great White Egret was across the pond.

Do you have plans to get outside this weekend? 

I hope the weather improves soon so that we can get out more.

It's been very warm and humid this week!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Healthy choices!

Getting out in nature has been the best decision we've made throughout this terrible pandemic.

So I'm sharing a few of the photos I took on our hike at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve this week.

It was hard to get a good photo of the lime green airplane, it blended in with the sky!

We saw several Great White Egrets.

And a couple of Red-Shouldered Hawks.

It was a beautiful day to be out in nature.

And for my favorite thing today, I'd like to share the Vanilla Wafer recipe I use. It is amazing!

Most of you know I can't eat sugar. It's a healthy choice but for me a necessary one too. I am allergic to sugar and can't eat it. So we eat a lot more homemade breads and desserts. 

Keto Vanilla Wafer Cookies

1 cup Super Fine Almond Flour
1/4 cup Powdered Swerve or favorite no-calorie sweetener
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 pinch Sea Salt
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
3 tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened but not warm, see notes

In a large bowl, whisk together the Almond Flour, Baking Powder, Sweetener, and Salt. Pour in the Vanilla Extract and stir. There will be some clumps but they will diffuse as we mix!

Chop the butter into 4-5 chunks and add to the flour. Using your hands, begin to work the butter into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Work quickly to keep the heat from your hands from melting the butter! Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 min.

Heat oven to 350°f and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

To bake: scoop about 1.5 tsp of dough and form into a ball. Place between the palms of your hands and press into a saucer shape. To get THE LOOK of a nilla wafer the edges should be flatter than the center; they won't spread.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes, watching until the edges are brown. They make bake up to 12 minutes depending on how long you chill your dough.

Transfer the baked cookies to a cooling rack; they will be delicate when hot. Let the cookies cool completely for maximum crispness!!! After about 1 hour they will firm up and continue to get crispy.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Serving Size - 2 cookies

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 123
Total Fat - 11g
Carbohydrates - 3g
Fiber - 2g
Protein - 3g

The online recipe is HERE.

I can use my Danish whisk to combine all the ingredients! And I watch these cookies very closely while they are baking. They are perfectly done in my oven in 10 minutes! I leave them on the cookie sheet (or pizza pan) for a few minutes to harden before I put them on a rack to cool.

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

Also I like Thursdays HERE.   

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Halpata Tastanaki Preserve

We took a hike even though it was 'warm'! The temps are not so high but the humidity is higher than the temp. And we've had a summer of few breezes! 

There's a nice long gravel drive from the highway to the trailhead and we see quite a lot from the Jeep.

And it's easy to pull over and get out if we need a better angle!

We've seen a lot of big birds on this particular tree that is such a good perch for raptors,

but never a Great Blue Heron!

Doesn't it look like the shape of a heart where his neck curves in?

Someone riding their horse,

Cattle Egrets in a tree

and even a juvenile Little Blue Heron on the fence.

One of the funniest thing we saw on the trail was this Crawdad!

What in the world is he doing on the hiking trail?

Trying to make his way to the marshland I guess. We thought maybe a bird flew over with him and accidentally dropped him. We didn't try to capture him and carry him to the water and I felt kind of guilty leaving him there. He was scooting along pretty good though so I like to think he found his way.

And to keep going with 'a favorite thing' (besides my red Jeep).... 

Here's my camera, a Canon Powershot SX 70 HS. I love it! But what I really want to show you is the camera strap. The link to it is HERE! I love having a wider and more comfortable strap and it's pretty too!

God Bless America

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.