Photo of the Month of June 2021

Well, I don’t know when this happened, but we became home to two little Titmouses – Titmice – not sure what the plural of Titmouse is. We were surprised to see them sitting in the feeder one summer morning. 

I got a cool app for my phone. Merlin bird identifier, so if you have sounds in the yard you don’t recognize, this little app will help you figure out what birds are using your yard for their social activities. I have discovered a worm eater warbler, a Cooper hawk and a hoot owl all have been chatting amongst themselves in the morning. The hardest part has been isolating the cicada noise, so morning is the best time to listen for birds.

Photo of the Month of May 2021

I finally got around to visiting the Don Garlits drag racing museum in Gainesville, Florida. I have passed the museum many, many times in the 35 years I have lived here, and this is the first time I stopped. If you love drag racing or collectibles of any kind, check out his museum the next time you’re in Florida. I thought I kept a lot of things, but I am unashamed now that I have seen Don’s collectibles. Well worth spending several hours wandering around in his two big museums. Lots of Cha Cha Muldowney memorabilia, too. 

Photo of the Month of April 2021

After wandering around in the Wildlife Preserve looking for the painted bunting and not seeing one, it was rather exciting to find out that he was sitting in my front yard feeder all along. We had a pair that spent a few months with us. There must have been something very yummy in the seed mix. 

Now, they have flown off to spend a season breeding, and hopefully, they will remember the birdfeeder when next winter rolls around. 

Photo of the Month of February 2021

A trip to the Canaveral Seashore and Wildlife Preserve offered a glimpse into the swamps of Florida from the mosquito-free safety of my car. While there were bald eagles, kingfishers, egrets, alligators, wild hogs and more, my day was complete when I saw a flock of spoonbills lounging around in the muck and  mire. 

I have seen these funny pink birds flying over or gathering in drainage ditches, but I wanted to see them in the wild. Now, I have. I also saw some scrub jays – very endangered – but they were hanging out on telephone wires in the neighborhood. Not quite the same. 

Photo of the Month of January 2021

If you have ever seen the movie “Little Shop of Horrors”, you might mistake this plant as the basis for that movie. In fact, it has a lot in common with the horrors of that movie.

I smelled something dead in the yard for better than a week. We have a big yard, but dead is dead, and you should be able to find the dead thing, especially by smell, within a few feet.
Nope. Looked for a long time for the dead thing.

This horrific thing started to grow in my mulch. It was rising up out of the mulch and stinking dead all around it. I didn’t know what it was, so I had to do some searching. It is a stinkhorn. Stink, it does.

Photo of the Month of December 2020

The mating of a oakworm moth. Once upon a time, I found a striped caterpillar on my screen. I couldn’t figure out what it was and no amount of search engine combinations brought me an answer. Every time I searched for green caterpillar with red stripe, I got all kinds of images that did not match the worm I was looking at. 

When I searched for these two love birds, that worm came up. It is an oakworm moth, and it’s only fitting that they are right next to my oak tree. So, eventually, I got the answer that I wanted about the strange little worm. 

Photo of the Month of December 2020

While this little guy is adorable and fuzzy, it is also one of the most dangerous little guys to touch. Remember my run in with the Saddleback? This one is worse. This is a puss caterpillar. They are so pretty, but so darn lethal. Each of those pretty, furry pieces of the caterpillar offers a potent sting that is excruciating. 

Cute as he was, once I looked up what he was, he became dead immediately following. Sorry all lovers of  the asp moth. 

Photo of the Month of November 2020

Apparently, it is hard work to be a squirrel. This little guy was up in the railing at the top of our front porch. Maybe he just got tired of eating all the birdseed, or maybe he was tuckered out from scampering with his friends. No matter which one it is, he was in for a nap. He spent several hours like that.