Friday, July 28, 2023

The trails of summer!

 It's very beautiful here in Florida during the summer months.

We get pop up showers (usually in the late afternoon) that keeps the grass watered and allows the flowers to flourish.

Let's take a break under this big old Live Oak Tree!

I saw the Blue Grosbeak again this week.

His silver beak really glows in the sun!

Black Swallowtail butterfly

Neat looking clouds!

A curious deer in the trees. There were 3 of them!

I'm trying to drive out to Pruitt once a week to hike on the wide open grassy trails of Halpata Tastanaki Preserve.

I saw 3 Hawks and this photo is not particularly good. He's in flight in the lower part of the photo.

But look at the top corner....another hawk or a web? 

And I can see birds and wildlife every time I visit. Two vultures flew up into the limbs of this tree when I walked by and gave me a 'start'! 

I usually hike for an hour or so depending on what I see and how many photos I 'need' to take.

The sign at the trailhead had a Red-shouldered Hawk on the post when I finished my hike.

He was a real beauty! 

I drink lots of water and have apple slices and an oatmeal cookie (Keto recipe) for a snack when I'm finished.

And I feel so much better after spending time in nature!

What is your favorite snack after a walk or work out?

Happy weekend! 🌴

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !  

Friday, July 21, 2023

But where are the photos?

Spending the morning in nature is time well spent.

Observing birds and wildlife boosts your spirit.

Photos are a bonus.

In other words, you don't always get photos of some of your best sightings. You just stand there in awe and marvel at what you've seen. It's all good! 

Variegated Fritillary Butterfly

And I keep a hiking journal to write down everything I've seen (or at least what I can remember)!

Red Winged Blackbird

One of my best sightings on the hike I took at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve last week was a Barred Owl.

I saw him in a tree next to the trail. He saw me. And he flew away from me in silent mode. It was amazing!

I also missed getting good photos of two Hawks.

The very first sighting was this Mama Turkey and her 2 little ones. 

But if you've ever taken photos in the heat and humidity, you'll understand why the photos are smoky.

I saw the turkeys when I parked, grabbed my camera and jumped out. The camera lens fogged over! lol

Oh well! It was a neat sighting.

Eastern Meadowlark singing his heart out!

And now he's scratching! 

I know this is another Eastern Meadowlark.

But it's a young one or female.

There's not as much color on the breast.

And a Swallow-tailed kite flying overhead!

Red winged Blackbird

Variegated Fritillary

I didn't get photos of everything I saw.

Live Oak Tree and possibly a female blackbird with something yummy! 

But plenty to share.

And a beautiful day to be out on the trails!

Have you had a good week too?

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

 I’d Rather B Birdin’, 

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !  

Friday, July 14, 2023

What IS this strange critter? Updated at the end

 I looked ahead and spotted an animal in the trail ahead.

He was coming slowly towards us.

Stopping to look around...

and then hiding in the tall grass.

My husband kept walking and I wondered how he could keep going toward this wild critter.

So I caught up and he told me it was a cat! 

A feral cat! In the vicinity of the baby Bobwhites!

So that was a first for us. We've heard about feral cat sightings on the preserve but we had never encountered one. 

We also saw some beautiful deer on this hike at Halpata Tastanaki Preserve (Pruitt Trailhead).

We watched them run through the tall grasses and then they broke out and crossed the trail in front of us.

Aren't they beautiful!

Lots of bird sightings for the day too so I'll include one of them!

Great Crested Flycatcher

It's still hot but we are planning and plotting our hikes for later on when the weather breaks.

Enjoy your week! 

Enjoy nature....the strange and the beautiful!

I've had so many people comment with their concern for the feral cat that I need to clarify a few things. I jumped to the conclusion that this was a feral cat. But there are 2 farms to the West of the preserve so it could be a farm cat. It still was very likely hunting for birds but it may have a home. It did not look underfed and it did not act wild. I hiked again today and saw the Bobwhites and heard even more in the grasses along the trail. So I just wanted to add this postscript. 

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

 I’d Rather B Birdin’, 

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !  

Friday, July 7, 2023

Hiking in the summer months!

 Maybe I should have titled this, 'very few hikes in the Florida heat'! The temps are high and so is the humidity. And what hurts me the most is the lack of a breeze! 

So the hikes have been few and far between. But of course any time you get out in nature you see something noteworthy.

I drove over to Halpapta Tastanaki Preserve and walked a little from the Pruitt trailhead.

This one had the catch of the day and was singing a happy tune!

It had rained some but the preserve is still very dry. Lots of beautiful birds to observe though.

I love the Eastern Meadowlark.

Another one down the trail.

It has a very loud musical song so when you hear it, you can usually find it in the tall weeds or bushes.

I saw this pretty butterfly and I think it's a Checkered White Butterfly.

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods? 

I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

 I’d Rather B Birdin’, 

  and Mosaic Monday HERE !