Saturday, February 26, 2022

"I Spy" something different!

 I remember when one of my grandson's loved the "I Spy" books and I enjoyed looking through them with him. 

It's fun to see a variety of things and find what is different among the ordinary.

We go to a lot of the same trails, preserves, state parks and forests but we are always amazed at how different our sightings can be from week to week. And we usually see something we've never seen before at that location. So I'll hit some of the highlights from our hikes this week.

The Snowy Egrets were the first 'I spy' sighting. We may have seen them before here in Florida but this was the first time we could positively identify them. I was say the least!

The Withlacoochee Bay Trail has so many beautiful birds and this past week we spotted these for the first time at this location.


Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern 

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron juvenile

Great Blue Heron in the Gulf of Mexico

On one hike we started walking on the 49th Ave trailhead heading East and turned onto beauty berry lane and saw this...

 Sherman's Fox Squirrel

And then driving back into our development we looked down into a low grassy area where we see wild turkeys frequently but instead, there were 4 deer! 

First time we've seen deer this close to our house.

All Bucks!


And last but not least we saw this beautiful little Warbler at Felburn Park near Phil's Pond.

A rare Warbler that we've never seen before?

No, a Yellow-rumped Warbler...quite common but still oh so pretty!

Have you seen anything 'out of the ordinary' this week? Want to play 'I Spy'?

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Some sights from the Florida backroads!

I shared our adventure driving out to Tsala Apopka Outfall Canal a couple of days ago but of course I saved a few photos for Mosaic Monday.

OK....does everyone remember that I do NOT recommend you drive out there? It is too rough and there are easier places to visit with birds and critters.

But...having said that! 

How about these goats?

I'm not sure what breed they are but they sure don't look like any goats I've ever seen.

When I did a search I found a Spanish breed of goats and they could possibly be that.

There were some ranches out there and other neat things but we had to keep moving and missed some photo ops. 

A chicken mailbox, saddle on a hitching post and an old timey tractor.

And remember the other thing I mentioned...
we are NOT going back out there! heeheehee!

Plastic flowers (6 ft tall), no trespassing sign, horse training jumps

Have you ever driven somewhere 'out of the way' and was very glad to be 'out' and on the way home?

It doesn't happen to me very often but it did this time.

Of course we're already looking at maps and planning our next adventure! 

Stay CALM and HOLD ON!

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday HERE . 

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Tsala Apopka Outfall Canal

 Ready for an adventure?

We'll drive out to the dam....but only this once!

So look around and take all the photos you want because this will be the only time you get to go! 

The road was rough. ROUGH? There has to be a better word for it! 

Little Blue Heron, Anhinga

But for all locals, DON'T GO! Even with a high profile, 4 wheel drive vehicle it is a challenge.

Alligator and Stork

And there are birds and a monster gator to see but you can see those things in other places that are easier to get to. I was at least glad that we didn't meet anyone on the road. MEET ANYONE? NO WONDER!

Monster Gator

Stork flying away! lol

But before you think I went on a back road far far away. It was not far away and people lived on that road. But it was not maintained and there were holes big enough to bury the Jeep. I was driving, hubby was helping as in.....stay on the gas and ease through....don't stop....climb out of it.....get through the next hole....over the next hill....hug the right.....go off into the ditch on the left....through mud and muck and place to turn around....KEEP GOING!!!

ATV in distance, this was the only wide spot in the road!

We met one big truck with a trailer load of ATVs (driven by a lady) and one ATV (driven by a little girl). 




Sandhill Cranes

So these are some of the neat things we saw when we were back there. 

Jeep, Colored Pencil 

Am I glad we went....well of course! 

Will we go again? Short answer...NO! 

My sons will be proud of me. I DROVE that Jeep! 

One gorgeous flower....just ONE!

Get out there and do something exciting this week!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, February 14, 2022

"Traveling on"

 Oh no....I'm not going anywhere yet but I can dream, can't I?

Withlacoochee Bay Trail

We are happy to be in Florida where we can see so much by taking day trips. 

People fishing in the Gulf, catching a Sting Ray

It's been a great place to be these past few years and given us so much to enjoy and share.

I thought someone really important had shown up at Blue Run Park this week.

But when I did a search, I found out this is a special edition motorhome that anyone can buy. Looks like fun, doesn't it?

Hang Gliders over the Florida Trails, Pruitt Trailhead

There's still lots of things I would love to do close to home though.

Well, maybe not this! hahahaha!

And speaking of 'traveling on'! Hundreds of Sandhill Cranes flew over the trail while I was hiking this week. But because of the tall trees, I couldn't see them well enough to photograph them. I could hear them. They make squawking, croaking sounds when they fly.

But hubby was at home working in the yard and ran inside to get his camera and take these photos.


Are you making traveling plans yet? We sure have a lot of visitors in Florida this month!

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday 

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Cormorant day on the Gulf Coast!

We drove out to the Gulf Coast AGAIN this week and hiked the Withlacoochee Bay Trail! 

Remember, this isn't the sandy beaches that people walk on and pick up seashells.

These beaches are lined with oyster shells and vegetation....

and Oystercatchers!

It's only 30 miles from our house and fast becoming our favorite place to go. We drive past Halpata Tastanaki Perserve AND Blue Run Park to get there though so we feel the pull to stop and hike there too.

But that will be for another day. 

We timed our arrival to coincide with low tide.

That way there are more exposed sandbars.....

and more birds like this Cormorant in the sand.

Pelicans and Cormorants

Great White Egret

Little Blue Heron

At the end of the day when I was writing in our hiking journal....

the cormorants won the day. We saw at least 100 Cormorants!

I always end up with a few mystery birds so I'll ask for help with this one. 

My first thought was Red Tailed Hawk for this bird,

until he landed. Is he a dark morph or a juvenile?

He sure looked amazing with the sun shining through his feathers.

I hope you are able to get out and enjoy nature this weekend. 

We'll be 'out and about', cameras at hand enjoying Florida in February!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.