Category Archives: florida

Hi !!

I’ve been gone for a while, and I wanted to pop in and say “Hi!”  Central Florida has seen most of summer, and as the days are getting shorter, we face Daylight Savings time. For the record, if i was in charge of “stuff” for a day, DST would be one thing I would do away with. Anyways….

I saw a few migratory birds this week, and am starting to get excited about the winter flocks arriving to spend their winter with us. I can’t wait for them to show up in force.

Look how the baby Spoonbill is nestled against the Big Pelican
Look how the baby Spoonbill is nestled against the Big Pelican

As you know, my Tampa Bay Rays did not make it to the games-afters. Maybe next year. GO RAYS!!

Maybe next year..............
Maybe next year…………..

I had some fun at the river when the fish were’nt biting.

Kinda NASAish
Kinda NASAish

I saw a water tower being constructed. Very cool.

I have NEVER seen so much scaffolding
I have NEVER seen so much scaffolding

I had the good luck to see a beautiful moment when a fledgling tried to convinve Mama that she should still indulge the whims of the baby.

Babies will be babies..........
Babies will be babies……….

I had some fun with brushes and fractals

I love this one
I love this one
Blue field
I thought, “Why not?”
Math can be so pretty

I will only show one more image, the most recent. While the Mullet run is almost over, I did happen to find a few stragglers this weekend.

Not often do you see this
Not often do you see this

That’s all for now. Thanks for taking the time to look, and I hope I can find the time to come back a bit more often.

Susan

Tico Airshow Images

If I was rich, I do believe I would be an airshow follower. Or whatever those people are called that go to all the airshows. I just wanted to share a couple images of the Warbirds that allow us the freedom we have today.

Click the images below to enlarge  🙂

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Well, Wicked Willy didn’t really garner our freedom for us. He was cool tho!! Annnnd he outran the P-51 🙂

Scrub-Jay lotto…

I wanted to go to The North Brevard Strawberry Festival. Of course the weekend weather plummeted, turning cold and rainy, Johnny wasn’t too interested in going to the festival. He knew he would soon reap the benefits of strawberry preserves that I had intended on canning. While the Doral Golf tournament was on, he could stay cozy and not deal with traffic and people. Eden and utopia are closely matched in this scenario.

I decided that since I had already planned on going to the festival and now changed my mind, I still wanted to get out. There is a tiny road I see all the time, but I’ve never been down there. A sign says it’s Scrub Ridge Trail. Since it’s a side road within The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, I figured it had somethin to do with Scrub-Jays.

A cool little bird, it is THE ONLY bird endemic to Florida. This excerpt came from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology;

“A species that today numbers fewer than 6,000 individuals in the wild and that exists nowhere in the world outside of Florida. In a state whose human population has nearly quadrupled since 1960, the Florida Scrub-Jay has lost much of its choice scrub habitat to citrus groves and subdivisions.” 

My tangent on destruction of property to accomodate condo developers will come at a later date.

After I read that the hiking trail is only one mile, I knew that I could take my time and maybe see some stuff. What are the odds of me finding a Scrub-Jay in an area I don’t know?  Nil quickly came to mind. But I didn’t care. It was better than bein hemmed up in the apartment all day. Johnny decided if there wouldn’t be traffic and old ladies in funny hats, he was in for a hike.

15 minutes later, I was hopping out of the truck, with camera gear and Johnny in tow. There were two paths to pick from, and we chose the north path.

The first thing I noticed was there had been a recent controlled burn. Very recent.

 CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE 🙂

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The refuge has controlled burns often; I understand the concept to a point, but I can’t help but think it displaces wildlife and that’s where my confusion lies. But, that too is another suject for another day,

My heart sank when I saw the burnt palmettos. That, with the cold and rainy day made me think I shoulda stayed home and watched golf. We walked the back trail and saw nothing.  Egrets and ‘spoonbills farrrrrrrrr away, a couple of gator slides, and a 9 Banded Armadillo.

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We went as far as we could before the ground turned to marsh. The rain wasn’t helpin. We circled back and at the fork, took the high road in. I silently hoped I made the right choice. I thought this had to lead to the truck, but if it didn’t, it would be fine. The marl was nice to walk on, and it was dry. About a 1/4 mile. Nothin. Then a Scrub-Jay appeared. On the right,

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Then another. With breakfast even. BONUS!

Those two flew off to dine, and another came to the bush at my shoulder. Happy to pose for me, I shot a few images

Florida Scrub Jay.

I can’t believe our luck!  The only thing that topped that was I had picked the right road to get us back to the truck!  WINNING!!! What a great day!

Bird Migration at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

It’s been awhile, so I wanted to share some images I have of the wonderous end of a journey led by instinct for the birds that end up on a little parcel of land in Central Florida every year. Their goal is to produce the next generation, and this is where the crowds and cameras come into play. After the labors of their travels bring them here, they settle in for the cool weather we call winter. This is what I see………………………………

CLICK on images for better resolution. 🙂

Egrets in air combat
Egrets in air combat on The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
MINWR
Egrets in air combat on The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Royal Tern Ballett on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

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Egrets in air combat on The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
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Egrets in air combat on The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Royal Tern Fishing
Royal Tern on The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Royal Terns

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Sunrise on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

There you have it. Now you know where I’ve been. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do sharing it.. Have a great day!

Susan

Central Florida’s Migatory First Comers are Showing Up

I found some this week.  Yay!!!!! This time of year, when the temperatures are starting to dip, they begin to appear. For the next month or so, they will be getting their winter homes in order. Hopefully, I will find a nesting family to share with you. But this will have to do for now. 🙂    Roseate Spoonbills are one of my favorites. We have a few residents that buck the “law” and live here year around, but the majority fly in for the holidays. Their diet consist’s of fish, bugs, crawdads, crabs, whatever they find in the grass that lines the flats they wade in. Unlike the noisy Herons and Egrets, they are content to stay to themselves and don’t cause too much trouble.

Roseate Spoonbills

One of the great things about living in Florida is of course the weather. The traveling Avian know it too, and return every year around this time; probaby where the term “Snow Birds” came from. Thank God they just fly in, and don’t clutter up the local roads, driving at a snail’s pace looking for orange trees. But that’s another rant. 🙂

Everyone thinks we spend every day at the beach or Disney World and every night, we party like animals and live a carefree lifestyle.  HA!  What they don’t seem to know is that we have a plethora of  the most beautiful and peaceful backwoods, bordered by wetlands, salt marshes, brackish and “nursery” estuaries. Each play a vital role in the survival of all the “Feather’s and Fins” that call on this little speck of land to spend the winter months and raise the next generation…….. I have to be honest and quietly admit I’m kinda glad in a way. Less people out on my precious refuge.   🙂

Sunset

I found some Coot  huddled up this week too. Another sign that the coming days will be short and the temps will mandate sweat shirts and jackets. Looks like it’s going to be crowded this year.  Hope I get some nice images.

Coot

Let’s look at a ‘Gator and A couple Great White Heron’s causin a ruckus.

Soooooooooooo. I get to share a couple of posts I did this week. Kinda chilly tonight, and after Johnny made a tremendous beef stew for dinner (that pressure cooker is handy!), we are fat and lazy. While the dishes soak, and Van Helsing (Dracula) is on t.v., I have been looking thru some images.

We are a winter destination for a lot of the migratory birds, and they are beginning to arrive, while the residents are getting ready for the cooler weather that lies ahead.

I try to walk during lunch, and Wednesday, this little guy was in his normal spot, enjoying the sun. I’ve watched him grow, and he has had a good year, I wish he wasn’t so thin, but he will bulk up. 🙂

Little Alligator

While I was watching him watching me, these two showed up out of nowhere, and started up.

Great White Heron

Great White Heron

Great White Heron

Great White HeronGreat White Heron

I thought it was cool, and I wanted to share it with you. I shot some Spoonbill’s I’ll share with you the next post. But right now,I gotta go get started on the dishes.  Have a good weekend.

Suz