Tag Archives: Florida

~Birding in Florida, Barred Owl, #388

~Ross Prairie Campground, January 15, 2018

OoO-The Beauty of Nature…

The path leading into the live oak forest is hard packed sand and covered with years of fallen leaves, making its color rusty brown. It is early evening and the light filtering through the heavily treed canopy creates long shadows. Some of the trees are huge with thick trunks and long branches giving away their age.

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Ross Prairie Trail

Some of the branches are so heavy they grow toward the ground. The branches are covered with moisture loving green moss and ferns, perfect compliments to these old giants.

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Ferns in the arms of a beautiful Live Oak Tree
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Ferns growing at the base of a tree.

We are walking along the trail, enjoying the quite, Howard in the lead with Skye and I bringing up the rear. All of a sudden Howard stops in front of me and I run right into him. He softly tells me, “I saw an owl fly and it landed on a branch just ahead.” We stand still for a few seconds not wanting to scare the owl and then began slowly walking toward the tree. Howard says, “Hand me Skye so you can get closer, I will stay back.”

I walk quietly and slowly not wanting it to fly. My heart is pounding, because it looks like a Barred Owl, which I have never seen in the wild. Oh my gosh, it is a Barred Owl. I am so excited.

I don’t have my camera, but I take a photo with my phone. It isn’t a good photo, because the owl is so high up in the tree and the lighting is not the best.

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Barred Owl

It doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is standing there in the forest, watching the owl. It stays perched looking around and looking down at me. This encounter was unexpected and amazing.

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A tree passed its prime.

~The Barred Owl is number 388 on my Birding Life List~

 

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Little Blue Heron

 

Little Blue Heron

A small heron, adults dark blue-gray with purple-maroon neck, immatures are unique among all herons in that they are white. Prefers to feed in fresh water and edges of grassy pools. Eats fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, shrimp and crabs. When water disappears they will eat grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and other insects of the grasslands. Flight is graceful and strong, wing strokes quicker than that of larger herons.Flies with head drawn in on shoulders.

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Little Blue Heron (Juvenile)
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Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Florida
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Little Blue Heron (Myakka River State Park)

Sharing with Charlotte at Prairie Birder

~Remembering a fun time in December

December, 2015, – Visiting family in Hobe Sound, Florida

A boat ride along the intra-coastal canal with Bob, Howard’s brother.

 

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A stop for fuel
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Does hubby look like a sailor?
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A stop at Saint Lucie Inlet. We docked the boat and took a two mile hike.
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Looking east. Know what is over there?
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Docking
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No luck fishing off the pier. Can you tell they are related?
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Looking West, the sun is getting low.
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At the end of our two mile hike.
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A Ring-billed Gull fly over.

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Wood Stork

Photos from Myakka River State Park, Florida – January, 2016

 

In many cultures, storks represent fertility, springtime and good luck.

 

Wood Stork
Wood Stork

Beauty I have none,

grace in flight I have plenty,

perseverance, I am proof.

 

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Interesting Fact:

This species seems to have evolved in tropical regions; its North American presence probably postdates the last ice age. A fossil fragment found might be of the living species; it is at most from the Late Pleistocene age, a few 10,000s of years ago.

 

Sharing with Charlotte at Prairie Birder

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Signs of Spring

~

Look around,

signs of Spring,

are abound.

Fluttering wings,

colorful blooms,

birds that sing.

~

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Swallowtail Butterfly
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Northern Mockingbird
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Making way for new feathers

 

The rains came and haven’t stopped, reminding us once again that this is an El Nino year.  What a time to be in Louisiana. What else should we have expected, plus it is Spring.

Yesterday, we were camping in Mandeville, Louisiana at Fairview Riverside State Park. The day we arrived management closed the RV loop closest to the river. We kept watching the water rise in the park and had a feeling we would be asked to evacuate, and that is what happened. We packed up quickly and drove a short distance to Hammond, Louisiana. The rains came again and haven’t stopped – twelve inches so far!

We will stay in Hammond until we feel it is safe to travel; hopefully a window of opportunity will present itself on Saturday so we can head west toward home.

We enjoyed our stay in Florida, even though it was rainy. Since my last post on travel news, we attended HamCation Ham Fest in Orlando, spend time again with friends at Lake Louisa and Rainbow Springs State Parks and then headed west. Our week at my most favorite “resort” was priceless; being with family is always a wonderful treat.

We are hoping our trek home will be dry, enjoyable and uneventful.

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Spring a time for renewal. Enjoy!

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Northern Cardinal

Wearing breeding colors,

sitting high toward the sky,

so his song can be heard,

singing, singing, singing,

to a love he wishes to see.

Singing his love song.
Singing his love song.

While camped at Lake Manatee State Park this Northern Cardinal visited our campsite. He sang his heart out for the longest time. I never did see a female around.

Pretty Profile
Pretty in Profile

Sharing with Charlotte at: Prairie Birder