Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Spider

This is a jumping spider ---and that is as far as I get with identifying it. It was on a zinnia in our garden. Jumping spiders are the largest group of spiders, with over a thousand different kinds.

This one was quite hairy and the eyes are visible. The Halloween colors were appropriate for the season. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mailbox Monday: Log Cabin

We found this mailbox for sale in Bass Pro.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Glorying in the Morning

This small, native morning glory has found its spot along this dirt road near the bear tracks. The vine was covered in blooms and buds. It may be small, but it blooms in a big way. This one is considered invasive.

Morning Glories constitute a large variety of flowers that are mostly blue to violet, but some are white and even red. I have these pop up in my school garden.

Moon Flowers and Cypress Vine are also Morning Glories. These plants are toxic and have been used as hallucinogens and laxatives, but sometimes with serious consequences.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sunset and Silhouettes

On the way home from the garden, we admired the sunset and the silhouettes.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Farm Tour

B and I were enticed to explore the local farm tour this past weekend. We were surprised to learn that 40 different locations were participating. We only visited two, but we had a great time.

At one farm, there was a corn maze with fun scarecrows throughout. While, going through a corn maze is on my life's to-do list, this one was not quite the one I'm looking for. The corn was a little short for me.

There were rides: this one shown, as well as a little train of barrels pulled by a lawn mower.

There were of course LOTS of animals to see, touch and feed.

This stock tank filled with dry corn was popular with the kids. Check out the little girl with the white shirt filled to bulging with corn.

There were several varieties of chicken tractors available for sale. I only learned about chicken tractors a few years ago. So I will share that these are little chicken houses that can be moved around the yard to allow the birds to eat the bugs and fertilize in different locations. 

This little greenhouse was so charming! They had put thought and time into its design. I love it. Notice the guttering leading to rain barrels.

A slightly different view.

It was fun and informative. It was free except for the gas to get there. We bought some local honey from a beekeeper and other products were available.

We will be looking for it next year!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dear, Deer, Deere!

Our  dear grandson is nineteen months old and crazy about tractors. His first words spoken in his sleep were, "Tractor. Tractor." Last Friday evening, we met him and his parents at the garden where there are two tractors  parked. In the road on the way in, there were three fawns scampering around. We stopped to watch. Here are two.

When I opened the car door to get out our little dear, he was repeating, "Deer, deer, deer!" I said, " He couldn't see the deer. His car seat sits backwards." Our son said, "He's saying, 'Deere, Deere, Deere!' This tractor he sees is a John Deere." And so it was. 

Once released, he made a beeline for the tractor.

One happy camper, making tractor noises.
He also got to sit on an old Ford tractor. 

Then he walked the field, pointing out to us the moon, two horses, dirt, rocks, leaves, trees, ant piles and even a plow.

We are firm believers that kids need to experience the outside. Little B seems to agree.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bear Tracks!

Bob and I were excited to find bear tracks walking about a quarter mile down one of the dirt roads near  our garden. We knew they were around and a game camera had recorded one once. We are ALWAYS on the look out, but have only seen one bear in Florida and it was in Wakulla County.

The  pictures above were made with my phone. The ones below were with my camera. The sand did not really change color!

We will continue to keep an eye out for bears!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

LOTS of Ribs--But Not Much Meat on Them

B spotted this snake skeleton when he was fishing and I was nature watching. I find skeletons fascinating--especially when they are clean. The ants weren't quite through with the cleaning of this one.

It reminded me of the legend of the hoop snake that I wrote about in August--though I have no idea what kind of snake this was.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Rabble of Puddlers

Recently, we were coming from the garden on one of the dirt roads where  small springs seep and run down the hill, creating spots that stay pretty wet, except during droughts. Ahead of the truck, we could not help but notice a large group of cloudless sulphur butterflies with a few others gathered in one small, wet spot. I knew that the purpose of puddling is to obtain nutrients not found in flower nectar and I have just read that with many species of butterflies, it is  only the males that do this. The nutrients are then presented to the females as gifts during mating.

I also just learned that the collective for butterflies is rabble, and also a flight. Rabble sounds right for here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

While He Catches Fish, She Catches Images

B likes to fish this little canal that leads to the East River down at St. Marks. I like to sit and see what interesting things I can spot.  What follows are recent samplings.

I have long considered kingfishers to be the impossible bird to photograph. They seem to have an uncanny sense that tells them that you have at last raised your camera, which is their signal  to fly off, cackling to themselves. But I caught this one! And also the blue dragonfly behind its head!

There are often others fishing, as well.

The morning glories have been abundant this year.

The sneezeweed is, too.

Horsemint is such an interesting plant.

The muhly grass and deer tongue are brightening up the pinewoods.

Butterflies are becoming more and more obvious in their numbers as they migrate.

Sometimes there is a surprise view.

There are often gators for watching and being watched.

This second guy was enormous. 

His head was way out in the water and he had left at least four feet of tail on the bank.

What a wonderful way to spend time on a breezy fall day.