Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Johns' Tracks

On Thanksgiving down at the lighthouse, we noticed these large spots on the ground near the boat ramp. We paused to consider what might have left the marks. 

Finally, we remembered that there had recently been two port-a-potties there.

I guess the grass isn't always greener.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Heron Day!

Before our Thanksgiving dinner for two, B and I made a run down to the lighthouse. The weather was just perfect and there were a few others who had the same idea. Here is the dike and spill dam at the East River. We have had seven inches of rain here in November and the water was running.

The eagles were at their nest. The second was in an adjacent pine, but no sign of this year's young.

The gators of all sizes and large turtles were out on the banks enjoying the warm sun with the cool breeze. These turtles were much larger than dinner plates.

The butterflies were seeking shelter out of the wind. We saw very few.

This great blue heron was keeping one leg warm up under its breast feathers.

"Just because my head is blue, doesn't mean I'm a turkey, you know. "

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

St. Marks Submarine

The tide was way out at St. Marks when I took this picture of the oyster/sand bar. B. commented that it looked like a submarine.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ibis and Mickey Mouse

The ibis are  back at St. Marks, happily eating shrimp to keep them in the pink! 

Check out Mickey photo-bombing below.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Migrating Monarchs and Other Butterflies

We took the three-year-old grandson for the afternoon in October and bless his heart, when asked where he wanted to hike, he said, "St. Marks Lighthouse!" So we gathered up a picnic and went on an adventure.

Here's how he looked when we picked him up.

We were not disappointed and saw lots of wildlife, including many butterflies:
Gulf Fritillaries


And Monarchs.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Perfect Camou

I believe this to be a yellow warbler, perhaps an immature. It had found the perfect camouflage in some goldenrod. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Newly-Found Old

I recently discovered a fairly large fossil in a place I have walked many times through the years. How I could have not seen it before is a mystery,  but finding it is a gift. I believe it to be an ammonite fossil, because of its spiral shape. I read that ammonites are perhaps the most commonly known fossils, in part due to their longevity as a species. They lived in shallow waters from 240-65 million years ago.  The last died at the same time as the dinosaurs became extinct. Some ammonite fossils are tiny, while others may be larger than platters.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Visited by the Candidates on Veterans Day


This morning at breakfast, I looked through the window and past the maple tree and there was a wild turkey walking in the cul-de-sac. And then there were four and, finally, six turkeys, all presumably hens.

I have heard the story that Benjamin Franklin had proposed that the turkey serve as our national bird, but Smithsonian reports that is a myth; but that he did write to his daughter that a turkey would  be a better symbol than the eagle.

A turkey might be a better symbol now than an elephant or a donkey.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mailbox Monday: Repurposed

My cousin has this former mailbox in her yard. She uses it to store hand tools that are used in the garden.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Callaway's Butterfly Exhibit

You can't go to Callaway without going in the butterfly exhibit. It is a nice facility.

The sign below tells the story of the top of the roof. It came from the home place in Pelham of Mrs. Callaway.

The entrance belies the total volume of the building.

In August, they were featuring a certain species of butterfly, called a blue morpho. Though native to Central and South America, they were growing them from chrysalises, by the dozen. We watched a couple of butterflies emerge. We saw dozens of blue morphos released into the indoor gardens. Below is a blue morpho. When the wings are closed, almost no blue is visible.

When they fly,the vibrant blue on the tops of the wings can be startling.

The blue is the result of microscopic scales that reflect blue light into our eyes, rather than pigment.

"Look here, guys! This is about us!"

Over-ripe bananas serve as feeders. 

This philodendron was FULL of butterflies.

Other butterflies were also present in the exhibit.

This plywood puzzle-style sculpture is bigger than you might think.

Callaway, with all its struggles, is still worth the admission and proved to be a fun attraction for B and me on our anniversary.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mailbox Monday: FrankenManatee

He's baaaack! This is the manatee mailbox that changes with the season. This may be my favorite.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mailbox Monday: Fire Engine

This was found at the home of a former fire chief.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Callaway Topiaries

I have written before that I am a sucker for topiaries. This circus scene at Callaway was an attention getter.