Saturday, April 30, 2022

Meet the Crane family!

 We see Sandhill Cranes at the trailhead of the Florida Trails (Pruitt trailhead) often. 

We see them there year round. But we've never seen a juvenile this young. We see small Sandhill Cranes that are the same coloring as the parents, but this one was blond and fuzzy!

It's not newborn because it's too big for newborn, but it's just a few months old. 

They stay with the parents for around 10 months before they go out into the big world on their own. I'm not sure when they lose the blond fuzzy color though.

We parked at the trailhead of the Florida Trails and hiked that trail in search of the Passionflower. But it's not in bloom yet and was impossible to find. Once it blooms it will be easy.


Some of the birds we saw on the hike.....

Tufted Titmouse

Great White Egret

White Ibis

White Ibis (juvenile in flight)

Fields of Wildflowers in Florida

The Sandhill Crane family

Seeing something like a young Sandhill Crane makes the day extra special!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

I won't lead you down the Primrose Path!

I looked up the definition of 'primrose path' and it has a negative connotation so I'll just lead you down Limerock Road until we find the patch of Water Primroses. 

Water Primrose (Ludwigia Octovalis) 

It was a challenge to find the proper ID for these flowers. This area was very wet the first time we saw them, so we went back a few days later so that we could walk down into the marshy area and get better photos.  They are tiny but very showy!

I got my ID from the website HERE and this one HERE. If you think I am mistaken, feel free to enlighten me! 

They sure were beautiful and flowers we've never seen before.

It was a day of yellow flowers with many of the cactus in bloom.

That's white sand in the background.

It seems like April is yellow wildflower month. Here are some more pretty blooms.

And then when we got home, I photographed the Magnolia tree next door.

What a beauty!

I hope your week is filled with beauty and a chance to see some wildflowers in bloom!

I'm joining Angie for Mosaic Monday 

I’m joining Thankful Thursdays and

I like Thursdays HERE too!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

What do these have in common?

 Coral Honeysuckle, Shrub Verbena and Wild Poinsettia

Zebra Longwing Butterfly on Verbena

So what do they have in common? 

They are all on the same page of my The Nature of Florida ID book AND we saw all three of them on our hike on the Withlacoochee Bay Trail this week. 

I had the book out to make sure I had the proper ID for the Wild Poinsettia. It still amazes me that after all our hikes here in Florida that we can see something we've never seen before.

Wild Poinsettia

It's not a rare wildflower but it has eluded us all these years. 

Shrub Verbena

We had a great hike and for awhile we thought we were all alone in the world. We only saw a few people on this beautiful trail and we stayed there for lunch and more hiking in the afternoon.

Coral Honeysuckle

I had mentioned that I would love to see a Manatee and we did!

And while we were eating lunch a Dolphin swam by. It just doesn't get any better than that. (I handed my sandwich to hubby, grabbed my camera and ran to the bank of the canal to watch him glide through the water but I didn't get a good pic of the Dolphin! )

Here are some of our other sightings.

Great Blue Heron


Little Blue Heron (juvenile)

Little Blue Heron (breeding colors)

Bald Eagle

Gulf of Mexico

We are having such beautiful weather that I am out on the trails more than at my computer. But I'll catch up soon. After will get HOT before we know it here in Florida!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’. 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Hiking Life is a Good Life! The Barred Owl!

I had planned on doing an easy post this week.

Barred Owl 

After all, Mr. and Mrs. House Finch have a baby they are feeding at the feeder every day! How cute is that! 

House Finch 

And 2 ducks walked through the backyard contemplating a round of golf.

There are even Swallow-tailed Kites swooping over the neighborhood.

Swallow-tailed Kites

But then....we drove out to the Halpata Tastanaki Preserve and hiked from the Pruitt Trailhead.

Barred Owl (my first photo that day)

And we had amazing sightings at the beginning and the end and somewhere in the middle.

We haven't seen a Barred Owl in a few months so this was the most exciting sighting of the day.

He was in the dark woods so it was hard to get sharp photos. 

AND he kept moving around.

Of course if he hadn't moved, I would never have seen him. 

Lots of Great White Egrets, Sandhill Cranes, Warblers, Hawks, Bluebirds and songs of the Eastern Meadowlark to make the hike extra special.

And then....we saw a little bump in the trail ahead. 

It was a small Gopher Tortoise. 

Even smaller than the one we saw a couple of weeks ago that I called a baby.

This one was about 6 inches across and I know enough about tortoises to know it's not really a baby. (my hubby's size 13 boot)

But it was small and adorable and not the least bit afraid of us. 

It just kept on moving at a pretty fast pace while we stood close by and talked to it. Oh and yes, we spoke baby talk to it even though we knew it wasn't really a baby! lol

Have you seen changes where you live and sights and sounds of Spring this week?

I’m joining Saturday’s critters 

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.