Monday, November 28, 2022

November in Mosaics (updated at the end)

 It's been an exceptionally good month to hike and we've gotten out every chance we could.

I've taken so many photos that I thought I would do a post with 'November in mosaics'!

These are a few of the leftovers.

Warbler and water lily


Bench at the top

Birds and squirrel


Bare trees at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve

Golf course behind our house and our Camellia bush in full bloom.

Interesting clouds

I hope it's been a good month for you too. It's not like Novembers in the past. Times change and we are constantly changing along with it. Look around and see what makes you happy and do more of that!

After I wrote this post, I had a call to tell me my mother had passed away. I wanted to share my favorite photo of my parents. My mother is pregnant with me and they were teenagers in this photo. (My mother turned 20 just before I was born.) I think they look very happy here. 

So the month has ended on a sad note. I would appreciate your prayers. They are both gone now and I feel incredibly sad. I know you've all suffered losses and understand. 
Thanks for your friendship always, Diane

I'm joining Mosaic Monday HERE 

and I like Thursdays HERE !  

Thursday, November 24, 2022

The Bluebirds are back!

 Sometimes I get out in nature and laugh out loud at what I see!

And that's what happened when we got to the trailhead of Halpata Tastanaki Preserve.

A pretty bluebird was peering over the trail sign.

And then another one flew in and told him it was safe to come out.

They both looked pretty regal on the posts of the sign.

And I had a good laugh!

Eastern Bluebird

They were also on the Florida Trails when I hiked the section between hwy 484 and State Rd 200. 

I watched about 30 Bluebirds at the top of Bluebird of Happiness Hill and then before I left, another flock joined them.

They were beautiful and I smiled when I turned around to head back to the Jeep.

I hope everyone in the US enjoys a blessed Thanksgiving day.

Get out and enjoy nature when you can. You'll smile and maybe even laugh at the unexpected things you see!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.   

I'm joining Mosaic Monday HERE 

and I like Thursdays HERE !  

Friday, November 18, 2022

"A Tall Turkey Tale"

We started our hike at the Halpata Tastanaki Preserve from the Pruitt trailhead.

I'm calling this a Florida Christmas card!

But we hiked a different trail. When we got to the Arrowhead, we turned left.

And then when we got to the point we were planning to turn around, we kept going on an old roadbed to the South.

We went farther down that road than we've ever been before and we saw so much wildlife!

There was an Armadillo digging up a storm and not the least bit bothered by us.

And when we walked away from him, we saw a dozen or more Wild Turkeys down the trail.

They were TALL and chasing each other back and forth across the trail. 

So we had a good sighting but they were so far away, our photos are a little washed out.

It looks like their are some young ones with the flock too!

I think these were talking about US!

It was fun to see so many.

And as soon as they left the trail, a White tailed Deer walked out. 

He looked away from us most of the time but finally looked around.

Then he went back to browsing. 

We heard the Sandhill Cranes overhead and turned our cameras to capture them.

Hubby even had a photo bomb in one of his pics. There's a Buzzard in this photo, going the wrong way!

Lots of other sightings for the day but I'll save those.

I hope you get outside to enjoy nature and maybe even find a spot you've never been before. You just never know what you'll see! Don't turn around TOO soon!

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.   

I'm joining Mosaic Monday HERE 

and I like Thursdays HERE !  

Friday, November 11, 2022

The Wood Storks at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve!

Last week I thought I had seen Wood Storks on the Gulf Coast but they were White Pelicans...hundreds of them!

Wood Stork
This week we drove over to Halpata Tastanaki Preserve and looked over head to see a dozen or so Wood Storks flying over....maybe more! lol

It was a beautiful day for getting out on the trails.

The weather was nice and we only saw 2 other people while we were there and they were nice too!

Wood Storks glide overhead with such grace.

They aren't quite as beautiful up close but they are some of the most graceful birds in flight.

We walked to Owl Woods and there were log trucks loaded and ready to leave. They don't clear cut this area but they take out some trees now and then for the health of the preserve. They are also getting ready to do some prescribed burns. It's a beautiful place to hike and so well taken care of. During the pandemic it was one of the few places open to us for hiking in our area. I loved the place before but this made it even dearer to me. 

No....we didn't mean to dress alike! How embarrassing! lol

I'm writing this a couple of days ahead of time and hope and pray the hurricane will pass us by. I'll give you an update when I can and hopefully I'll be joining in on the linky parties and commenting. 

Have a wonderful weekend! Get outside and have some FUN!

Update : we are fine after the storm. We had a lot of wind and rain but no damage to our house. Our prayers are for everyone dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Nicole. 

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.   

I'm joining Mosaic Monday HERE 

and I like Thursdays HERE !  

Friday, November 4, 2022

A Hiking story AND a Fishing tale!

Well, there are fishing tales and there are hiking stories. This may be more than one tale if you get all the way to the end.

And since it's the first time I've told it, it hasn't had a chance to grow.

I have been known to 'zaggerate' from time to time. (Southern for exaggerate)

But this really is how it went.

We drove to the Gulf Coast and when we got on the dusty road to Withlacoochee Bay Trail, we saw an Eagle.

We hiked and saw a lot of neat birds and butterflies but we'll skip right over those for now.

It's time to eat egg salad sandwiches in the Jeep.

Hardly anyone there and no one is parked near us so we are relaxing with the windows down.

A BIG bird flies onto a limb that we can see to one side of the Jeep. Another big bird flies in crying like a Hawk. 

They sit still for a few minutes and then the crying Hawk makes an aggressive move and the big bird flies right in front of the Jeep, face forward. 

And it's a Barred Owl in all it's beauty. 

The Hawk that scared it away.

I threw down my egg salad sandwich and got out to take pics of the Hawk. The Owl has flown away.

Another Hawk flies in and perches nearby.

We finish our sandwiches and get out to walk to the observation deck. At this time I could have said, "Let's get out so that we can see 100 White Pelicans overhead." 

Because that's what we saw between the Jeep and the deck.

I cropped a few photos to get a better look at them.

We also watched this fisherman catch a really big Catfish with a teeny tiny fishing rod. His son had left it in the water when his wife and son went to the store. 

So he let the Catfish swim and tire himself out and then he pulled it in.

In the water

On the bank

Catch of the day!

Amazing! A truly amazing trip to the Gulf of Mexico. (more pics to come)

The owl was huge, the two hawks were very vocal and the Catfish was the 'catch of the day'. 

No need to 'zaggerate'! 

The flock of White Pelicans may be over 100 the next time I tell it though!

I thought these were Wood Storks but Eileen said something about mistaking them for White Pelicans and now I think they ARE White Pelicans. If anyone has a positive ID, please let me know! 

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.   

I'm joining Mosaic Monday HERE 

and I like Thursdays HERE !