SQUARES – Bright Yellow


Bright yellow Hibiscus flower with sprinkles of dew drops.

This bright yellow Hibiscus is a mood booster! Sprinkles of dew lay gleaming on the pedals. Too bad they only last for a day!

Day 17 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Also for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Cee's Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge Badge

A-Z Challenge – N is for Night-Heron


Black-crowned Night-Heron

The Black-crowned Night-Heron is a resident to medium-distance migrant. There are populations that don’t migrate and stay in the same area year-round or will travel short distances. Other Black-crowned Night-Herons will fly farther distances from Massachusetts to Florida and the Caribbean along the coast. Some of them will migrate using the Mississippi River flyway from Alberta, Canada down to Mexico and Cuba.

Yellow-crowned Night -Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-Herons are medium-distance migrants. It is believed that breeders move along the Atlantic Coast or winter in the West Indies. Other populations move across the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast across the Gulf of Mexico along the coast to Central and South America.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Bright Light


Modern and bright, this chandelier hangs in the waiting room at my chiropractor’s office. I was sitting there thinking about the upcoming squares and looked up. Ding! Bright idea! White it illuminates the room well, the bulbs in it bath the area with a subdued glow, leaving you feeling comfort.

Day 16 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Baby Birds

Welcome to Week #43 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #43 challenge is Birds with chicks or Baby Birds or Nests with Eggs.

The feature image is a baby Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that had fallen out of a very tall tree and onto the ground on a windy day. This is where and how we found the little guy.

This is me improvising….adapting and overcoming! As I mentioned in the round up, I lost my SD Card on Wednesday while picking strawberries. Dumb…yes I know! I usually take it out of my pocket on the trip and put it in my purse. I forgot! Cost me dearly. I’ve lost 1500-2000 images that didn’t get downloaded. Including our last two birding adventures and my photos for this challenge. I may be pulling from my archives and photos I’ve already used on my blogs for a while until I can get back out on the trail.

Common Gallinule (Moorhen)

Common Gallinule with baby chicks at Merritt Island Wildlife Rescue in Titusville, Florida.

This mama had 3 chicks. I only had two in this photo that has been previously used. The photo below is all three chicks with both parents. The parents were leading them into the Mangroves because a 4 foot alligator was on the pursuit. The gator gave up once they got into cover. Common Gallinules are in the rail family and are quite visible in their habitat, unlike many rails who are quite shy. They build nests to raise their young, however they build platforms of matted vegetation to display for potential mates. Newly hatched baby chicks are born with spurs on their wings that help them climb into the nest or grab onto that vegetation.

Both parent Common Gallinule with three baby chicks at Merritt Island Wildlife Rescue in Titusville, Florida.

Great Egret

Great Egret with baby chick in the nest at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida.

As with many birds, Great Egret chicks don’t usually all survive after hatching. Most often, the large chicks will kill their smaller siblings. This type of behavior is called siblicide and is common in birds of prey and herons as well. Great Egrets nest in mixed colonies and are usually the first to arrive with other species to begin nesting shortly after.

Great Egret with greenish blue eggs in the nest at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida.

The male chooses the display area where the nest will later be constructed. Their nests are generally up to a 100 feet off the ground, near water. They will occasionally nest on the ground. The nest is up to 3 feet across and a foot deep and is lined with pliable plant material that dries, forming a cup structure. The eggs are a pale greenish blue.


Tricolored Herons

Tricolored Heron parents with greenish blue eggs in the nest at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida.

Tricolored Herons nest in mixed colonies with other heron species, egrets, and woodstorks. They generally breed on islands and in dense tree or shrubs up to 13 feet above the ground or water. Males usually pick the spot in shade and collects twigs to build a platform before pairing. Once paired with the female, the male will continue to bring more twigs to the female for her to arrange. The female lines the nest with finer twigs and cordgrass. A clutch size is 3-5 eggs and are a pale greenish blue similar to the eggs of the Great Egret.


Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane incubating eggs on a nest at the Viera Wetlands in Viera, Florida.

Some Sandhill Cranes start breeding at the age of two years old, however they may reach the age of seven before breeding. They mate for life which means they could be together for 20 plus years. Sandhill Cranes usually nest in isolated wetlands. This Sandhill Crane was tucked in and seen on a nest of eggs on the wildlife drive at Viera Wetlands in Viera, Florida. Generally, a clutch size is 1-3 pale brownish yellow to olive colored eggs with irregular brown and gray markings. When they hatch, they are covered with down, are active with open eyes. The chicks stay with their parents for 9 to 10 months after hatching.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Male and female Blue-gray Gnatcatcher choose a nest site and they both build a neat open cuplike nest. It could take up to two weeks for them to build a nest that is 2-3 inches wide and is held together with branches and spider webbing. They are creatively decorated with lichen. The walls are built high, but on the day that we found this little guy on the ground sitting unhurt on top of oak leaves, those high walls were not enough for the high winds that day. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers lay 3-5 pall blue spotted eggs with reddish to dark brown speckles. When they hatch, they are born naked and helpless, eyes closed and very little movement.

I became Mama Bird for the weekend until we could get this cute little baby to a proper shelter. I fed it all day for two days using a mixture of Heaven’s dog food (soaked in water to mush) and boiled eggs. We also went and got some mealworms from Wild Birds Unlimited and I was then a hero. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher survived and was released into the wild after several weeks.

The whole story about this bird rescue can be viewed here.


Muscovy Duck (domesticated)

Domesticated Muscovy Duck with 11 baby chicks running around my chiropractors yard in Jacksonville, Florida.

Muscovy Ducks lay 8-15 eggs with a 30-31 day incubation. The eggs are glossy white and sometimes have a greenish or buff tint. When these chicks hatch, they are fearless with a heavy hooked bill. This domestic Muscovy Duck was seen with 11 chicks. Two are not in the photo. She made her nest against the building of my chiropractor’s office. Her and her ducklings were running all over the property. Mama had her “hands” full.


Next time…Week #44 – Birds beginning with the letter “F” (if a bird has more than one word of the name, you can use it as long as it begins with a “F”, ie: Ferruginous Hawk or House Finch) (4/23/21)

Bird Weekly Challenge Badge.

Bird Weekly Round-Up – Week #42

Week #42 challenge was Birds seen in the past two weeks.

Disclaimer: If anyone has an issue with me using their photos in the round ups, please kindly let me know. I haven’t had anyone say anything, but I don’t want you to think I’m using your photographs for personal gain. I’m here to show what great work you are doing with your photography by showing you off in these posts.

Welcome to all our newcomers!

We were only able to go out birding a couple of days in the two weeks leading up to this challenge. The weather didn’t cooperate because of severe thunderstorms for days! We did make it to St. Marks Wildlife Refuge and had a wonderful day of birding. You all had very inspiring photos this week and many birds that I have seen and many that I have not. Thank you for sharing your birds!


Yesterday, I lost my SD card while picking strawberries. It has not been found. It had all my photos from the past two weeks and much much more! I’ve been a bit devastated by it and somewhat depressed. I’m not a depressed person but I’m a little beside myself right now. I had all my birds with chick photos on it and now I’m having to try to find photos that will go with the theme this week. I will probably be late posting it later today.

Just like in show business…”The Show Must Go On”. So, the Marine in me has kicked in and I have “Adapted and Overcome”. With that said, I have added “baby birds” or anything like that. I have to use archived photos this week for sure.


I encourage you to visit these blogs if you haven’t already and see what amazing things they have going on. If I missed your post or there was a problem with a pingback, please let me know and I will be glad to add you to the list. Remember to pingback from my post of that week and not my page. Liking my page is encouraged!


Bonus

Pelican Statue photographed by Russell. I had to add it as you know my affections for this bird.

Next up: Week #43: Birds with chicks or baby birds. I’m having to adjust this theme!

VISIT MY BIRD WEEKLY PAGE FOR A FULL LIST OF UPCOMING CHALLENGES AND RULES!

I look forward to seeing your creations this week!

A-Z Challenge – M is for Merganser


Common Merganser

Female Common Merganser floating next to our kayak at String Lake in Grand Teton National Park, circa 9/2019.

This is the North American Female Common Merganser. They are short to medium distance migrants and all the populations in North America migrate. The coastal birds migrate shorter distances than the interior birds. On our trip to Grand Teton National Park in September, 2019, we had 6 female swim up next to us while we were in our whitewater inflatable kayak. Read more about that day in our Living in the Moment – String Lake Paddle.

Hooded Merganser

A pair of Hooded Mergansers were floating along in one of the ponds at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida.

Hooded Mergansers are resident to medium distance migrants in North America. Florida gets them in the late winter, but they don’t breed in our state. They can be found in lakes, ponds and saltwater bays mixed in with other small diving ducks such as the Bufflehead and Ruddy Ducks. We spotted this pair on our recent trip to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Bright Beak


American Oystercatcher feeding for shellfish at the beach shore at Fort Desoto Park in Pinellas County, Florida near St. Petersburg.  The water was crystal clear that day.

I was going to share this on my A-Z Challenge for O, but it works well here and it is the 15th of the month. What is the significance for the 15th of the month? It is Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge. This is my desktop for this month. See the link below for the desktop challenge and join in. I turned it into a square for this challenge.

The American Oystercatcher is a strange looking bird to me but is one of the most recognized. With its bright orange beak and red and yellow eyes, they stand out on our beaches as they scour the sand for shellfish (clams, oysters and other saltwater molluscs) which is their exclusive diet.

Day 15 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Today is Clare’s Share Your Desktop Photo Challenge. She has now inspired me to change my desktop photo monthly. Before last month, I hadn’t changed it since September, 2019. This photo challenge happens on the 15th of each month. Check it out for yourself.

A-Z Challenge – L is for Limpkin


Limpkin

Limpkins are brown and white birds with a very loud piercing call. They are a tropical wetland bird that resembles herons and egrets, however they are more closely related to rails and cranes. They supposedly got their name from early European settlers because their gait looks more like a limp. They live and hunt in shallow freshwater swamp forests, wetlands, ponds, lakes and marshes. They stalk and eat apple snails, day and night. The male usually selects the nesting site by pulling at the vegetation around the spot and calling softly. Even softly, it is a high pitched sound; only quieter.

Possible nesting site


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Bright Spot


Sunset over the St. John's River in Jacksonville, Florida.  Sky filled with yellow and orange colors.

There was a bright spot in the sky during sunset over the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida.

Day 14 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

A-Z Challenge – K is for Kingfisher


The feature image is female Belted Kingfisher spotted along one of the nature drives at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida.

Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher is a large stocky fish-eating bird with a high pitched call. They are blue-gray and white, however the female has a chestnut colored band around the belly and along the flanks that are not evident in the male. One of a few birds which the female has more color than the male. These kingfishers can be seen throughout North America, Central America and in parts of South America. Sightings are limited in the UK and Iceland.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Brightness Reminder


I posted this sunflower with a Haiku last year for Becky’s Square & Cee’s FOTD, but the flower did not come back this year. Maybe it is late or maybe this was my neighbor saying goodbye. This sunflower is special because it was the only one to come up just a few months after its owner passed away. Chris was my neighbor across the street and she passed in February, 2020 at the age of 94. She was a light in our lives and this flower is a reminder that she was leaving us a message to follow the brightness and we would eventually see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I hope it brightens your day! I just had to share it again.

Original Post for FOTD & Square Tops

Day 13 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Also for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Cee's Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge Badge

A-Z Challenge – J is for Jay


The feature image is a Florida Scrub-Jay seen near the entrance of Cape Canaveral National Seashore in Titusville, Florida. It is always on a luck and a prayer that we catch a glimpse of one or two when we go birding down at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. The seashore is just a few miles from all the great birding driving trails at the refuge.

Florida Scrub-Jay

The Florida Scrub-Jay can only be found in…you guessed it….Florida. They have a flat untufted head similar to the California Scrub-Jay. This bird is difficult to find but if you are lucky to see one, they can be found in Florida’s sandy soil in scrub oak. They do not migrate and they rarely move more than a few miles from where they were hatched. One of our hot spots to see them is near the entrance to Cape Canaveral National Seashore just outside the back gate to Cape Canaveral.

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay, a symbol of the Major League Baseball Team, The Toronto Blue Jays is a large loud songbird with a tufted head. They are extremely social and have a tight family bond within their families. Blue Jays are found in North America. They will visit your feeders to pluck out peanuts, sunflower seeds and suet.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Brighten The Mood


Tulips blooming at the Bellagio Hotel on the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. As if our moods were not brightened already on our honeymoon four years ago, seeing these beauties certainly added to an already stunning adventurous day. Look at those bright yellow and red colors!

Day 12 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Also for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Cee's Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge Badge

A-Z Challenge – I is for Ibis


The feature image is a Glossy Ibis feeding at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. There are three species of Ibis in the United States. The White Ibis, Glossy Ibis and White-faced Ibis. I have shared two of them today.

White Ibis

White Ibis perched up on a good log int heh spring at Gemini Springs near Orlando Florida.

White Ibises can generally be found in groups of their own kind and other large wading birds in shallow wetlands or mudflats. In January or February, a few adults bring a colony of juveniles to our neighborhood. They raid the grubs in each person’s yard, moving systematically from street to street teaching the young how to forage for themselves. Natural pesticide for us!

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis foraging for some minnows and Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.

The Glossy Ibis looks black however if you have a good pair of binoculars, you will be able to see deep maroon, emerald, bronze and violet feathers.

You may often see Ibises with other large wading birds like Herons, Egrets and Spoonbills as they are slow probing hunters that are found in swampy areas and mudflats. Ibises nest in colonies within their species and other species mentioned above.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Bright Sunshiny Day


It had been a bright sunshiny day on April 2nd when we went to St. Marks Wildlife Refuge for a full day of birding. As we were doing the last bit of birding, the sun that had shined bright all day was peaking through the palm trees and passed the salt marsh.

Day 10 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

A-Z Challenge – H is for Heron


The feature image is a nonbreeding Tricolored Heron stalking his prey.

Tricolored Heron

This Tricolored Heron photo is one of my all time favorites. It was taken at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida during breeding season. There were lots of nests of all kinds of Egrets, Herons and Woodstorks.

Tricolored Herons are slender birds with feathers of blue-gray, lavender and white. The white belly and stripe going up to the neck sets it apart from other herons. The bright blue bill appears during breeding season like the photo above. The nonbreeding Tricolored Heron has a black and yellow bill with yellow eye lores.

This bird is a little sneaky as they like to follow behind Double-crested Cormorants and Pied-billed Grebes and snatch up fish they stir up. These birds are can be found in North, Central and South America, West Indies, as well as the Caribbean.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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A-Z Challenge – G is for GALLINULE


Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule with head down foraging at Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville, Florida.

The Purple Gallinule is one of the most colorful birds in North America. They are found in the southernmost part of the United States, along the coasts of Mexico, South America and throughout Central America. Interesting fact is they have shown up in Iceland, Switzerland, South Georgia Island, the Galápagos and South Africa.

Purple Gallinule with head up foraging at Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville, Florida.  Their feathers are sky blue, moss green, aquamarine, indigo and violet.  Their beak is yellow, red and black.  They have yellow legs.

Purple Gallinules hang out in dense freshwater wetlands. They can be fairly easy to spot as they walk on top of floating vegetation such as water lilies, lotus, water hyacinth and hydrilla. Even though they stick out because of their color, the green in their top feathers blends well with vegetation. We saw this single Purple Gallinule in Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville, Florida. It was foraging for frogs, invertebrates or tubers directly under the boardwalk which is unusual to see them this close up. Purple Gallinules are part of the rail family and is about the size of a chicken.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed


Thank you Becky for the inspiration to dig out my squirrel photos from our Tampa trip in January, 2020. It was our last trip down there before the pandemic. We are hoping to go down to see the kids and grandkids in May after we get our second shot. It has been over a year since I’ve seen them.

This squirrel was not shy and got right up near where we were birding at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida. Certainly made me turn my attentions to him (looks like a him, ehum…)…anyway, he was like…”look at me; I’m posing nicely for you. How about a profile?”.

…or maybe a front shot?

Day 9 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds Seen in the Past Two Weeks

Welcome to Week #42 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #42 challenge is Birds you have seen in the past two weeks. I hope you were able to go out and do some birding.

The feature image is a female Common Grackle who decided to join us for lunch uninvited.

Many of my shots are not crystal clear from this trip. Near the end of our 11 1/2 hours at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, I realized my switch had been flipped on my lens for stabilization. It was OFF! I don’t use a tripod and I’m a bit shaky at times. Regardless, we saw 46 species and picked up 11 new species for the year, bringing our total to 133. This was a light day compared to our trip there in January when we logged 73 species in 9 1/2 hours.

American Flamingo seen at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge in April, 2020.
Shot last April. NOT SEEN IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS!

We spent the whole day looking for the American Flamingo with NO SUCCESS. The bird had been seen for 4 days straight prior to our trip. A front came in and who knows where that bird was hanging out. So we are clear, there is only one flamingo! I have shared the distant photo from when we saw this bird last year.


Shorebirds

Over a thousand shorebirds were seen in one of the back ponds behind the tower at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

We only went on one birding adventure during our anniversary week. The weather didn’t cooperate for us to get out on the other days. We drove to St. Marks Wildlife Refuge and hiked to the back ponds behind the tower where we found over one thousand shorebirds. Sandpipers, Plovers, Dowitchers, Dunlin and a few others I’m still trying to identify. I’m not real confident that is going to happen.

We saw one adult Bald Eagle and a juvenile in the nest yelling for more food. The nest and birds were too far away for my 200mm lens to reach. I didn’t bother to take any shots. If they are small in the binoculars, they sure are not going to come out in a photo.


Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs foraging in the mudflats at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

This Greater Yellowlegs was foraging alone in one of the mudflats along the main road.


Black-necked Stilts

Black-necked Stilts foraging in the mudflats at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

It was great seeing the Black-necked Stilts on this trip. They stick out like a sore thumb among other waders with their black and white feathers and pink legs.

Black-necked Stilts foraging in near one of the spillways at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

Black-bellied Plovers

Black-bellied Plovers found in one of the back ponds behind the tower at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

The Black-bellied Plovers were found in the back pond with all those other shorebirds, however they were separated from the crowd and I was able to get a little closer to them along the shoreline. While photographing these birds, I heard a loud splash to my left. I noticed a pattern and whatever was under the water was coming in my direction. Time to go! It was an alligator in the middle of the pond. I rushed up onto the steep part of the bank and the gator stopped the pursuit. Whew!


Dunlin

One Dunlin was feeding with the Black-bellied Plovers at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

While I was taking photos of the Black-bellied Plovers seen all around, there was a Dunlin behind the one Plover in the center. All of these shorebirds in this photo are in their non-breeding plumage.


Common Grackle

Female Common Grackle was screaming at me to share my lunch.  Didn't happen!

We had set up our lunch with our folder chairs and folding tables near a small spillway along Lighthouse Road at St. Marks. It was somewhat chilly and breezy so we set up in the sun. There were no birds around until I opened the bag of potato chips. First came the male Common Grackle seen in the photo below. He started squawking and the female showed up seen above. He was hiding out over in the bush telling her to get lunch and bring it back to him. She was less than a foot from me at one point. I couldn’t even focus my camera on her with my 200mm lens. Both of these Common Grackles left empty handed because we didn’t even leave a crumb when we were finished.

Male Common Grackle in the bush near where we were having a picnic yelling at the female to get some food from the humans.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird captured high in a pine tree along the back trail at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.

This male Red-winged Blackbird was perched high in this pine tree directly above me. I stopped on the trail to take a few shots and listen to him sing. His red and yellow wing feathers were really pronounced.


Next time…Week #43 – Birds with chicks

Bird Weekly Challenge Badge.

A-Z Challenge – F is for Finch

The feature image is Cassin’s Finch seen on Mount Charleston outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. This was a life bird at the time that we saw this bird perched beautifully in the tree. It was chilly that day in April several years ago. We saw only 3 birds while up on the mountain that day, but two of them were lifers. The other bird was a Mountain Bluebird which I didn’t get a photo.


House Finch

Male House Finch perched on the feeder.

The male House Finch and Purple Finch are very similar and can be hard to identify. Both can be a light to dark red in color. To help determine which finch you are viewing is to look at the belly. A dark stripe pattern on the belly will indicate that it is a House Finch. Below, you will see the finch on the right has more of a red and white belly with no distinguishable markings. The finch on the left was a House Finch. Hard to tell from the photo due to the sun hitting the bird, but I was able to identify him through my binoculars.

Purple Finch

Uncommon male Purple Finch on the left and a male House Finch on the right eating away at the feeders.

The Purple Finch is less common than the House Finch. This Spring was the first time we have seen them in our yard. They are considered a rare bird for here in Jacksonville; even during migration.

Goldfinch

Male Goldfinch getting some chow at one of the new driftwood feeders that we built.

Goldfinches are one of our favorite migratory birds. They arrive here in Florida around December and usually leave in February. This year they stuck around longer or maybe we had more stragglers this year. The above photo was taken at the beginning of March. This male’s colors were really starting to come in.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Bright Blue


Wheelbarrow filled with bird feeders, a bright blue watering can and bright blue bucket.

Bright blue watering can and bucket sit in the wheelbarrow with some garden items and bird feeders waiting to be put back up.

Day 8 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

SQUARES – Lite Brite


When I was a kid, I got a Lite-Brite for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to be creative with this toy. It did not disappoint. I played with it until the bulb burned out. How many of you remember this toy? In the 70’s, Lite-Brite was quite popular. It first hit the shelves in 1967 by Hasbro and sold for $6.95. A 25-watt light bulb sat inside a wide backed plastic box. Printed patterns were on black paper that you attached to the front screen full of small holes in order to punch the colored pegs through the pattern paper. Letters on the paper told you what color peg to punch.

It was described as an “amazing new toy that lets a child color with light”.

I had to go to Walmart over the weekend for glass jars to make Strawberry Jam. While I was there, I went looking for the Lite Brite in the toy section. It took me 20 minutes to find the box as I was looking for a big box they used to come in. When I finally found it, it was a skinny box. Hasbro has designed an old toy with today’s technology. The new Lite Brite is skinny, similar to flat screen televisions. The new version comes with 4 LED bulbs and is battery operated rather than an electrical plug on the original designs. It comes with 6 patterns, over 200 colored pegs and a larger screen. It is still an amazing toy you can color with light, plus purchase refill packs with different patterns. It retails for between $15-$20. $14.97 at Walmart.

Vintage Lite Brite toys in mint condition in the box can sell for over $300.00. Wishing I still had mine!

Day 7 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

A-Z Challenge – E is for Egret

The feature image is a Snowy Egret seen at the pond at Ed White Park in Jacksonville, Florida.


Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret prancing around in the swampy vegetation at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida.

We just had birds beginning with the letter “E” for Bird Weekly on March 5, 2021. Please check out more Egret photos and information here. Plus a few other “E” birds! The Snowy Egret was one of the most hunted birds in the late 1800’s for their elegant feathers to adorn the most fashionable ladies hats. In 1886 their plumes were valued at $32 per ounce, which was twice the price of gold at the time. The Snowy Egret along with other birds were driven to near extinction. In the early part of the twentieth century, conservation reform helped stopped the killing of these birds. They are now thriving after decades of protection laws.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 helped protect many migratory birds and has been amended many times since its inception.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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CEE’S BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE – Things on Picnic Table or in a Park

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

The feature image is the best veggie sandwich on the planet. Fresh Italian bread, cream cheese (instead of mayo), cucumbers, spring mix lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes and avocado. Add a little salt and pepper and viola! YUM YUM! We had a picnic after birding all morning at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Folkston, Georgia.

Yellowstone

Selective color photo with the condiments in color and the Yellowstone River in black and white in the background in Yellowstone National Park.

While sitting next to the Yellowstone River, I started getting our condiments out for lunch. Frank was off to the right cooking hotdogs in a frypan using our MSR PocketRocket backpack stove that we purchased at REI. You can see Frank’s REI backpack sitting there on the picnic table seat which was purchased there as well.

Florida

Picnic area at Carney Island Recreation & Conservation Area in Ocklawaha, Florida.

The picnic area with picnic tables, grills, oak trees and Lake Weir is the perfect place to hang out at Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area in Ocklawaha, Florida.

Me sitting on the beach at Little Talbot Island State Park under two umbrellas.

On this day, you would find me and Frank in the park on the beach at Little Talbot Island State Park. We had the cart filled with our chairs, umbrellas, cooler, camera equipment, beach towels and plenty of sunscreen. We will be enjoying these days again soon. Frank was taking the photo.


Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge logo.

SQUARES – Creativity Brightens our Lives


Things are not as they seem!

Preparing lunch with our folding chairs and tables at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.  We used the hood of my car for shade.

NO, WE ARE NOT BROKE DOWN! Contrary to popular believe, this FORD was NOTFound On Road Dead”. On a day trip to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, we found a quiet spot off Black Point Drive (the main road through the wildlife drive). Unfortunately, there was no shade to be found for us to enjoy our lunch. We always pack our folding chairs and folding tables with us so we can make a picnic anywhere.

Solution

We are very creative when it comes to being outside and one with nature. Finding comfort in listening to the birds, while sitting in a makeshift shade while eating our lunch…well…it just doesn’t get better than that! We simply popped the hood of my car and instant shade from the bright sunshine. Not sure we can do that on future trips because we take Frank’s Prius anytime we go birding now. His hood isn’t quite as big as mine.

Frank and Heaven are the bright spots in my life!

Day 6 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

A-Z Challenge – D is for Downy Woodpecker

The feature image is a female Downy Woodpecker at one of our feeders with a peanut in the beak. Caught red handed!


Female

Female Downy Woodpecker perched on a branch above the feeders preparing to debark upon the food.

Downy Woodpeckers are a small woodpecker 5.5-6.5 inches long (14-17 cm). They are often seen on backyard feeders. These woodpeckers prefer suet, black oil sunflower seeds, millet, peanuts and chunky peanut butter. They look like the Hairy Woodpecker but about 2/3 the size and can cause a beginner birder some real identification issues. They are black and white with a solid white stripe down the center of their back.


Male

Male Downy Woodpecker digging insects out of a small rotted tree on the side of the funeral home up the street.

The male is distinguishable by the red cap on his head. They can be seen throughout most of North America and in Bermuda. In the winter, Downy Woodpeckers often fly with other species in mixed flocks which allows them to spend less time looking for predators. Safety in numbers!


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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Quote – Travel – Week #18

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

ibn battuta

Written for Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge #18: Travel

Strawberry Pickin’

On Wednesday, March 31st, Frank and I celebrated our anniversary by traveling an hour and a half to an organic farm to a U Pick for organic strawberries. This was our first time to visit the Frog Song Organic Farm in Hawthorn, Florida. They did not disappoint! We picked a little over a flat of strawberries. The plants were very healthy and full of ripe berries. If you notice in the photos, there are onions planted in the strawberry fields. While picking berries, the onion smell permeates your senses. I actually like the smell. I know…I’m a weirdo! Anyway, they plant the onions to help keep pests away as a natural pesticide. The type of onions used is usually a big sweet onion like Vidalia.

Organic strawberry plants full of ripe berries at Frog Song Organic Farm in Hawthorne, Florida.

I was on the verge of heat exhaustion. I had drank plenty of water throughout the day, but it was 87 degrees F and the sun was beating down. This menopausal chick can’t deal with it anymore. I became nauseated several times and had to sit down and take a break. At least I had the good sense to recognize the symptoms and was able to slow down, finish the pickin’ and get back to the car without passing out. I had hydrated before I went out into the field, but I think I drank a quart of water after returning.

Once I cooled down, I was fine after about 30 minutes and was able to go back under the pole barn and look at the other fresh veggies they had for sale. It was like nothing had ever happened. My face was no longer red as the berries and my temperature had gotten back to normal. We purchased some lettuce and sweet potatoes in addition to the strawberries.

Coolness Factor

We had a nice chat with Victor and Natalie while they weighed our berries. They were courteous and wore their masks until I asked them to pose for a photo. They gave me permission to use this photo in the blog. I noticed these hula hoops hanging on the pole barn. I was wondering if they had a purpose out in the fields for some odd reason. I asked and they have them there for the customers to hula hoop. They had music playing and sometimes they like to party with them. They offered for me to get one down and go for it, but I respectfully declined after my hot spell. I told them about my hula hoops and they told me to bring them the next time I come down and we could hula hoop together.

U Pick is open on Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm-5pm through April 28, 2021.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

helen keller

We will be going back before the season ends. I made 12 jars of Strawberry Freezer Jam and we are almost out of berries again. These were the tastiest organic berries I have ever eaten. The day after they were picked, they turned a dark red, just like you want them to be. There were a few people out there picking and we wore our mask when they were near. Otherwise, we took our mask off and had a grand time!

12 jars of Strawberry Freezer Jam sitting up before going into the freezer.  Made with the strawberries we picked.
Strawberry Freezer Jam

I hope you will be inspired to share your favorite quotes and join Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays. Visit her page for upcoming challenge themes.

Instructions

  1. Pick a quote to match the week’s topic.
  2. Write a response on your blog with a title that suits your post.
  3. Cut and paste #WQWWC logo if you want to use it.
  4. Use #WQWWC hashtag to get more views.
  5. Paste a link to your post on my weekly post in Mr. Linky.
  6. Or past a link in my comment section. I will visit your blog and comment.
  7. Visit other blogger’s who have participated and leave them an encouraging comment.

SQUARES – Bright Antlers


Chandelier made of deer antlers in a family home in Cedartown, Georgia.

A deer antler chandelier adorns the ceiling of this multi-generation home in Cedartown, Georgia of a relative of Frank’s. I thought how unique it was and had to take a photo of it. I knew it would come in handy at some point. It brightly lit up the room.

Day 5 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Last Photo – MARCH 2021

Yellow Snapdragon in my sister-in-law's garden.

The last photo from my Sony A6300 was taken on 3-31-2021 of a blooming Yellow Snapdragon in my sister-in-law’s garden. We stopped by her house to give her some fresh strawberries we had picked at Frog Song Organic Farm in Hawthorne, Florida earlier in the day. This was what we opted to do for our anniversary. Great choice!


Chocolate covered organic strawberries that had been picked earlier that day.

The last photo taken on my IPhone was the fruits of our labor from picking strawberries at an Organic Farm called Frog Song Organics in Hawthorne, Florida. These berries are so good and the chocolate covered strawberries that evening was perfect for our anniversary!


In response to Brian at bushboys world “Last Photo” Photo Challenge – March 2021.

SQUARES – Stained Glass

Happy Easter


Stained glass window in the small church at the Mountain Top Inn & Resort, Warm Springs, Georgia.
Church at Mountain Top Inn & Resort, Warm Springs, Georgia

The only light coming into the little church at Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Warm Springs, Georgia was from the stained glass windows. This hummingbird spoke to me as I sat in the wooden pew feeling euphoric. I was alone in the building, but yet, I wasn’t alone at all. It was a bright spot to our trip in October 2019, pre-covid.

Front of church at Mountain Inn & Resort in Warm Springs, Georgia.
This log cabin church was so inviting.

Day 4 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

A-Z Challenge – C is for Cardinal

Talk about a bird that gets around! What is a Cardinal? A Major League Baseball team?…check…St. Louis Cardinals! A team in the National Football League?….check…Arizona Cardinals!

A bishop in the Catholic Church Hierarchy….check! Cardinals are bishops and Vatican officials all over the world, personally chosen by the pope and recognized by their distinctive red vestments. The primary responsibility is to elect a new pope when a pope dies or resigns. When a vacancy occurs, the cardinals vote by secret ballot, processing one by one up to Michelangelo’s fresco of the Last Judgment, saying a prayer and dropping the twice-folded ballot in a large chalice. Every day, four rounds of balloting are taken until a candidate receives two-thirds of the vote. Three cardinals record as the ballots are counted aloud. If no one receives the necessary two-thirds of the vote, the ballots are burned in a stove near the chapel with a mixture of chemicals to produce black smoke. Once a cardinal receives two-thirds of the vote, the dean of the College of Cardinals asks him if he accepts his election. If said Cardinal accepts, he chooses a papal name and is dressed in papal vestments before proceeding to the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. The ballots of the final round are burned with chemicals producing white smoke to signal to the world the election of the new pope.

Cardinals at the Vatican on July 12, 2018. Photo credit to CNS photo/Paul Haring.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Most of all, Cardinals are a symbol & one of beauty in its own right! The Northern Cardinal serves as promise, hope & peace during the Christmas holidays. There is no mistaking this bird with its tufted head, black mask & bright red tones. Although the female displays the same tufted head and black mask, she sports buff brown outer feathers with undertones of red & orange. Adults have bright orange beaks, while the juveniles will have a black beak until they reach adulthood. Cardinals can have 2-3 broods per year. The male can be found feeding the young of the first brood while the female builds the next nest. We have had up to 6 pairs of cardinals with fledglings in our yard each year. Watching this unfold year after year is a treasure! Never gets old!

Male Northern Cardinal

We took a trip to St. Marks Wildlife Refuge yesterday and on my way to the restroom, this male Northern Cardinal swooped down in front of me as I was passing the handicapped parking space. He landed right on the parking bumper. The bright blue paint contrasts so well with the bright red of the bird. I think he knew that today was “C” for the A to Z Challenge!


Female Northern Cardinal

This female Northern Cardinal was perched up on some driftwood that Frank attached to our Jasmine plant in the front yard. This is a favorite perch to find them before and after they visit the feeders just a few yards away.


Cardinal Stamp

In my Etsy shop, I sell a Cardinal address stamp. It is quite popular and right now through Monday, April 5th, all items in my shop are 20% off plus enjoy FREE SHIPPING on this stamp. SHOP NOW.


C is for a lot of other birds too!

Sandhill Cranes grazing in the fields near Viera Wetlands in Viera, Florida.

On January 8, 2021, Bird Weekly was all about birds starting with a “C” meaning at least one of the title names must start with a “C”. If you haven’t see it, you can visit this post and see lots of “C” birds like Carolina Wrens, Chipping Sparrow, Common Gallinule, Cattle Egret, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Cinnamon Teal, Canvasback, Sandhill Crane and more.


This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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SQUARES – Bright & Beautiful


Mangroves at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida.

A beautiful bright blue sky; up above so high; how happy I am; to feel fully satisfied.

santosh kalwar

Day 3 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

A-Z Challenge – B is for Bluebird

There are three species of Bluebirds in the United States. The Eastern, Western and Mountain Bluebirds. I have seen 2 out of 3. Two out of three ain’t bad, except I need the trifecta for my life list. I just had to add the Meatloaf video of the song when I wrote this out. One day I will get the 3rd bird.


The Eastern Bluebirds are, yes you guessed it on the east coast and throughout the midsection of North America and down into Central America. The Western Bluebirds are on the west coast from just into Canada and down to Mexico. Mountain Bluebirds are in the mountains from Mexico to well further north into Canada and Alaska than the Western Bluebird.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird perched in a tree in our yard.

Western Bluebird

The Western Bluebird, when I do see this bird is comparable to the Eastern Bluebird in many ways. Both male species have dark blue backs, wings and head with orange breasts, however the male Western Bluebirds have blue throats whereas the male Eastern Bluebird has an orange throat. The females of both of these species are harder to identify when you are in crossing lines of territory.

Western Bluebird
Photo by ziaurasouthwest from freepik.com

Mountain Bluebird

This Mountain Bluebird was perched up on a wooden fence in Emigrant, Montana one morning while traveling on the Old Yellowstone Trail, the road less traveled. The Mountain Bluebird is quite different in color than the Eastern and Western Bluebird. This one perched is a female.

Mountain Bluebird

This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.


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Bird Weekly Round-Up – Week #41

Week #41 challenge was Reflection of Birds.

Disclaimer: If anyone has an issue with me using their photos in the round ups, please kindly let me know. I haven’t had anyone say anything, but I don’t want you to think I’m using your photographs for personal gain. I’m here to show what great work you are doing with your photography by showing you off in these posts.

Welcome to all our newcomers! Big week this week!

Reflections are mirror images of the subject against water or wet surface of any kind. It can also be from a mirror itself. Unless you have a pet bird, the mirror didn’t seem too likely this week. There were however some incredible nature reflection shots by everyone this week.

Reminder: No Bird Weekly tomorrow, April 2nd. I will be out birding in St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. The weather has not cooperated this week for our anniversary so tomorrow is our day! Very excited about it! We will resume for Week #42 on April 9th and the theme is Birds Seen in the past 2 weeks. I hope you all have been out taking photos of birds or at least will have a chance next week to do so.

Heads Up

Week #49 of Bird Weekly is going to be a technical challenge, Selective Color. Myself and Cee Nuner from Cee’s Photo Challenges will be collaborating on the best ways to show you some fun tricks in Photoshop so you can enjoy turning a color photo into a black and white, leaving some selective color by you. Don’t use photoshop, never fear! We have a couple other collaboration teams putting together some mobile apps. Tell me what you use for photo editing (on mobile or desktop) and we can add it to the list.


Shades of Grey

My Roseate Spoonbille

I encourage you to visit these blogs if you haven’t already and see what amazing things they have going on. If I missed your post or there was a problem with a pingback, please let me know and I will be glad to add you to the list. Remember to pingback from my post of that week and not my page. Liking my page is encouraged!


Next up: Week #42: Birds you have seen in the past two weeks. This theme will be posted on April 9th. NO BIRD WEEKLY FOR GOOD FRIDAY! Everyone enjoy your Easter Sunday!

VISIT MY BIRD WEEKLY PAGE FOR A FULL LIST OF UPCOMING CHALLENGES AND RULES!

I look forward to seeing your creations this week!

SQUARES – Amaryllis

This Amaryllis brightened my day when we visited my sister-in-laws house on Wednesday, March 31st. Her garden is quite beautiful and was in bloom with plenty of buds still to bloom.

Hope it brightens your day too!

Day 2 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

Also for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Cee's Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge Badge

SQUARES – In the Clouds

Photo taken from the seat of an aircraft over Montana, with the snow peaked mountains in the background and bright fluffy clouds in the foreground.

Traveling in a plane is still not an option for us, but here is a sky view of the snow peaked mountains in Montana just before we landed in Bozeman in September, 2019 before the pandemic. The clouds were so brightly reflecting from the hidden sunlight.

Looking forward to when we can take to the air again….safely!

Day 1 – Squares – “Bright”

Click the panel below to visit Becky’s site and the April Squares Photo Challenge with the rules:

A-Z Challenge – A is for Anhinga

Anhinga posing for the camera. Photo is black and white leaving the eye and beak in color for nice contrast.

Anhingas are large and slender birds with a “S” shaped neck. They swim and dive live dabbling ducks with their webbed feet, however, their bodies are fully submerged and all you will see is their head and neck sticking out of the water. The are also called Snake Birds. They catch fish and eat them whole. The images in this post is a male with his silvery white streaks on his wings and back.

They will often be seen perched up on a dock, tree or anywhere they can get a grip with their wings spread wide to dry off. They are one of a few water birds that their feathers do not repel water and they need to dry their wings after being in the water fishing. They stalk fish underwater and will use their dagger like bill to stab their prey which they swallow whole.

Anhingas can be found in the southern parts of the United States, Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America. They inhibit freshwater lakes and ponds, but will also be seen in brackish areas in the mangroves and other mudflats.

This is my first time participating in April Blogging from A-Z Challenge. As a birder and photographer, I will be sharing a new bird with you every day. I host a weekly photo challenge called Bird Weekly and would love for you to stop by anytime. Join in if that is your thing too.

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Water Water Everywhere #71 – MANATEES

Photos by Jez is the new host of WWE that is a weekly challenge posted on Monday.

Manatees grouped together in the blue green waters at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Florida.

Manatees have ventured into the springs to keep warm at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida. The large dark lumps in the water are manatees, aka Sea Cows. Often times, boaters go through the waterways too fast and hit these large animals. Many of them have scars from being hit. Some don’t survive when they are hit. The springs offers warmer waters in the winter and a safety area where motorized boats can not travel.

Contagiously Happy – Haiku

Exponentially
Grand eruption of laughter
Consorted comfort.

How about those emojis in the feature image!  Have they pulled you in yet?

Written for: Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 351 Comfort AND Erupt

Song Lyric Sunday – “Where No One Stands Alone”

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing a song pertaining to Endless | Eternity | Everlasting | Forever | Infinity | Omega for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. I chose “Where No One Stands Alone” by Elvis Presley and Lisa Marie Presley.

When I started thinking about infinity and forever, I began wondering where I will go after my life on this earth is over. I certainly believe in a heaven, a place where we can spend eternity and be with our loved ones that have passed before us. I can’t say I’m a religious person, but I am very spiritual.

This thought took me to the King and his gospel efforts! Did you know that the only Grammy won by Elvis Presley was for his gospel albums. He received 14 Grammy nominations and won 3 for “How Great Thou Art”, “He Touched Me” and his live recording of “How Great Thou Art”. He also was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1971.


Song Facts:

  • Written by Mosie Lister, an American singer and Baptist minister.
  • Where No One Stands Alone is a compilation album released worldwide by RCA Records and Legacy Records on August 10, 2018, almost 41 years after the passing of Elvis on August 16, 1977.
  • The album included archival performances from Elvis’ gospel albums How Great Thou Art in 1967 and He Touch Me in 1972
  • The title track was the second track on the album and was a newly recorded duet with Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
  • The Album entered Billboard’s Christian Album chart at #1 and remained there for two weeks.
  • Remained in the top 10 on the same Billboard chart for two additional weeks.
  • Reached #22 on the US Billboard 200 chart and charted in several other countries.

Where No One Stands Alone

Once I stood in the night
With my head bowed low
In the darkness as black as could be
And my heart felt alone and I cried, "Oh Lord
Don't hide your face from me"
Like a king, I may live in a palace so tall
With great riches to call my own
But I don't know a thing
In this whole wide world
That's worse than being alone
Hold my hand all the way, every hour, every day
Come here to the great unknown
Take my hand, let me stand
Where no-one stands alone
Take my hand, let me stand
Where no-one stands alone
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Mosie Lister

Sunday Stills – Spring Green – 03.21 .21

The feature image is a Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. There are over 550 species of these large butterflies within the family called Papilionidae. The forked hindwings that can be seen when they rest like this butterfly is what gave them the common name of Swallowtail.

This post is in response to TERRI WEBSTER SCHRANDT Sunday Stills challenge. The theme this week is Spring Green.

Georgia

Large white house with a beautiful front porch on a large plot of land in Georgia.

Home to one of Frank’s relatives in his dad’s hometown in Georgia. The property was large and been the family for many generations.

Old dinner bell at the large white house in Georgia.

This southern dinner bell at the homestead is still in use after decades of service.


Florida

Heaven, our bichon frise hiking her leg on a yellow fire hydrant.  Yes, she thinks she is a boy dog.

Heaven is a girl dog. She hikes her leg like a boy dog and I caught her peeing on this yellow fire hydrant while out on our walk. We call her Miss Territorial!

Our Jade Plant during a rain. I donned on my rain gear to go out and take that photo. A Swallowtail butterfly is flying around our blooming Mexican Petunias in our garden.

View looking over the palmetto and pine trees along Scrub Jay Trail at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge just before sunset.
View of the palmettos and pine trees along Scrub Jay Trail at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge at sunset.
Bronze sculpture of two fishermen at the entrance of Castaway Island Preserve in Jacksonville, FL.

Bronze statue of fishermen paddling in a kayak/canoe at the entrance of Castaway Island Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida

This small green spider was hanging on to the door of my car.  It was smaller than a US dime - 1/2" (1.27 cm).

This small green spider was hanging on to the door of my car. It was smaller than a US dime – 1/2″ (1.27 cm).


Montana

Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman, Montana.  This is a public golf course with the mountains standing stoic behind the tree lined fairways and greens.

Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman, Montana. This is a public golf course with the mountains standing stoic behind the tree lined fairways and greens.


Whimsical

I like to color. As a kid, I always wanted the large pack of crayons and never got them. As an adult, I purchased the 120 count and you can tell they are used. There are a lot of greens here that include names like fern and shamrock. Gumby sits in my office and was given to me by a coworker several years ago because I’m so flexible with deadlines.

I was wearing my "Lucky Grandma" t-shirt and green wig on St. Patrick's Day, 2018.  I was designing a t-shirt for a client on my computer.  If you would like to see what costume that green wig goes to, check out my blog here.  It's worth a peak.  Yes, that is me when you see it!

I was wearing my “Lucky Grandma” t-shirt and green wig on St. Patrick’s Day, 2018. I was designing a t-shirt for a client on my computer. If you would like to see what costume that green wig goes to, check out my blog here. It’s worth a peak. Yes, that is me when you see it!


Tweety, our Peach-faced Lovebird was so photogenic and I will take any opportunity to show him off. Unfortunately, he died at the claws of a Red-tailed Hawk. We have framed photos of him hanging in our bathroom as a reminder of just how awesome he really was.


Birds Well with Others vinyl decal that can be placed on your car, window or so many other things.  It can be applied indoor or outdoors.

Of course I’m a birder and love to bird. This vinyl decal is available in my Etsy Shop if you love birds as much as I do. All my vinyl decals can be used indoor or outdoor.

Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Reflections of Birds

Welcome to Week #41 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #41 challenge is reflection of birds. The bird(s) and it (their) reflection of themselves and your choice.

The feature image is a Roseate Spoonbill all tucked in on one leg as the sun was starting to fade in the sky.

Reminder – Calendar change

I am taking next week off, so no Bird Weekly on April 2nd, but I will have a roundup from this week that will post on April 2nd. You will still have up until midnight on Thursday, April 1st to get your entries in for Reflections. I will post it first thing Friday morning before we head out on our adventure. I will be back on April 9th. The theme for that week is Birds you saw within the past two weeks.

Flock of Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Sandpipers and Herons with their reflections cast in the mudflats at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida.

re·flec·tion: noun

the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.

“the reflection of light”

For chasing down birds and getting the reflections of said bird, you most likely need water. You all may come up with some creative ways to get reflections, but all mine are hanging out in their habitat.


Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs standing near a fallen palm frond in shallow water with a beautiful reflection.

Lesser Yellowlegs can be found in mudflats and marshes and are distinguished by guess what, yep their yellow legs. They are larger than a Dunlin and smaller than a Greater Yellowlegs at 9.1-10.6 inches (23-27 cm). They have a straight bill that is just a bit longer than their head. This bird can be found in the majority of North America, South America and parts of Europe. Note: there are a couple of other sandpipers with yellow legs so check your identities. I’m here to help with that if you need me.


Blue-winged Teals

A flock of Blue-winged Teals are resting and foraging in the mangroves at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.

Blue-winged Teals are small dabbling ducks, only a bit larger than a Green-winged Teal and are dwarfed by the Mallard. They are distinguished by the white crescent behind the bill and a powder blue patch on their upperwing coverts when in flight. During migration, there can be as little as 2 or a large flock. My observation is they start mating up during migration before heading to their mating grounds. They do not breed in Florida, so what they do once they leave here is a mystery to me.


Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret is foraging in the mangroves leaving several rings in the blue water as it patiently walks forward providing a disturbed reflection.

The lighting was perfect for capturing this Snowy Egret patiently fishing in the mangroves down the #3 trail on Black Point Drive where the bird blinds offer photographers a place to capture some awesome birds. Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida.


Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis was posed up for this shot.  I captured a beautiful reflection on the left in the blue water, but I also got his shadow on the right side.

I not only got the reflection of this Glossy Ibis, but I got his shadow as well. I was surprised to see the shadow when I pulled this photo up on the large screen. How about that “over the shoulder look”? The calmness of the water with a slight ripple made by this juvenile made this a perfect reflection shot.


Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron perched on a fallen tree limb in the swampy area in Gainesville with an almost perfect mirror reflection of itself.

This is one of my favorite Little Blue Heron photos EVER! I’ve shared it on my blogs before, but it needed to be shared here again. Balanced on that thin tree limbed that fell into the pond left me speechless when I saw the almost perfect mirror image in the water.


Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret doesn't stay still long and this one was stalking the fish with its energetic movements in the mangroves.  A beautiful shadow is cast from the sun beginning to go down from the west.

The Entertainer of the Year award goes to the Reddish Egret. Their spastic movements trick fish. They prance and dance around, flapping their wings and using the open wings to shadow the water for them to better see the fish. They are not patient like other egrets and herons. The scene is like a disorganized ballet when you see them in their finest moments.


Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill is being indecisive with resting and foraging.  Looked right at me in all pink and white with a beautiful pink reflection in the blue water.

This Roseate Spoonbill wasn’t sure if he wanted to take a nap or actually fish. The sun was shining directly on him and it wasn’t a perfect shot, but he was close to the road. His head is a little too bright but all the other colors came out great for contrast.


Sanderling

Sanderling paused for a second for me to capture this shot at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida.

One of my favorite shorebirds is the Sanderling. They move their short little legs along the shoreline of the sandy beach in search of tiny prey left by receding waves. Sanderlings will often regurgitate sand pellets studded with fragments of mollusk and crustacean shell after foraging along the beach. They are difficult to capture in a photograph as they don’t stay put for long. Because they forage in the wet sand, at the right angle, you can get a nice reflection shot. I had about 2 seconds to get my images when this one paused.


Canada Geese

Canada Geese frequent the cemetery where relatives are resting.  There was a medium size flock floating in the pond, reflections cast as they swam by.

Occasionally, we visit the cemetary down the road from our house. Frank’s parents are there with some of our friends. We will say hello to everyone and do a little birding while there. Canada geese are a popular species in the pond.


Cee's Fun Foto Challenge Badge

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Birds. I’m linking to her post in case you want to link your Bird Weekly to her challenge. Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge starts on Wednesdays and goes until Tuesday. The theme is different every week. Check out her page for upcoming themes.

Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.


Next time…Week #42 – Birds seen in the past two weeks. Hope you get a chance to go birding between now and then. This post is set for April 9th.

Bird Weekly Challenge Badge.

Bird Weekly Round-Up – Week #40

Week #40 challenge was Birds in black and white, sepia or selective color. Your choice of birds.

Disclaimer: If anyone has an issue with me using their photos in the round ups, please kindly let me know. I haven’t had anyone say anything, but I don’t want you to think I’m using your photographs for personal gain. I’m here to show what great work you are doing with your photography by showing you off in these posts.

Welcome to all our newcomers! Big week this week!

Black and White week is always a hit! I love this challenge when we do it as it gets us into a new dimension of creativity. Composition, contrast, lighting, textures and patterns are always things to consider when creating for black and white, but it is amazing what we can do with our color photographs. Once produced in black and white, you see things that you don’t see in the color version. Stripping color from an image can unveil the soul of the subject and provide drama that is not there in color.

I never shoot in black and white. I always shoot in color. It’s easier to remove the color than it is to try to colorize a black and white.

Heads Up

Week #49 of Bird Weekly is going to be a technical challenge, Selective Color. Myself and Cee Nuner from Cee’s Photo Challenges will be collaborating on the best ways to show you some fun tricks in Photoshop so you can enjoy turning a color photo into a black and white, leaving some selective color by you. Don’t use photoshop, never fear! We have a couple other collaboration teams putting together some mobile apps. Tell me what you use for photo editing (on mobile or desktop) and we can add it to the list.


Shades of Grey

Carol’s Swan

Good Twin – Evil Twin – You be the judge

Cee’s Brown Pelican – I’m not related to either of those two!
Martha’s Cockatoo
Myrna’s Loving Goose

I encourage you to visit these blogs if you haven’t already and see what amazing things they have going on. If I missed your post or there was a problem with a pingback, please let me know and I will be glad to add you to the list. Remember to pingback from my post of that week and not my page. Liking my page is encouraged!


Next up: Week #41: Reflections of Birds. This would be the bird or birds and their reflection. Your choice of birds as long as the reflection is of the bird itself.

VISIT MY BIRD WEEKLY PAGE FOR A FULL LIST OF UPCOMING CHALLENGES AND RULES!

I look forward to seeing your creations this week!

Solar Eclipse – Haiku

Moon passes the sun
Birds flock midday in panic
Twilight quickly forms

A moment of calm
Ceasing the day to night time
Darkness overcomes

Moments light return
Unsure chirps, dazed confusion
Life back to normal

The feature image is the total solar eclipse taken in South Carolina in the cone of darkness in August, 2017.

Written for: Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 350 Chirp AND Twilight

Quote – Leisure – Week #16

Leisure isn’t always relaxation and it’s relaxation that counts.

marty rubin

Written for Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge #17: Leisure

Brown Pelicans flying behind where we had our beach plot for the day.

Spending time at the beach is a time of relaxation. Leisure isn’t always relaxation, but it sure is great for the mental state. Little Talbot Island State Park does that for me. A day off sitting under the beach umbrella slathered in sunscreen, watching the birds fly over, closing your eyes listening to the waves crash upon the shoreline transforms the busy mind of the day to day and takes you to a place of euphoria.

I was slumped in my beach chair when I took this photo.

A Life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.

benjamin franklin
A shell captured between coming ashore and planting itself in the sandy soil.

I’m still working when I’m in my leisure time because I’m always on the lookout for the next awesome bird! Birding is my hobby, but photography is my life. It takes a good balance to be happy in work and play.



I hope you will be inspired to share your favorite quotes and join Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays. Visit her page for upcoming challenge themes.

Instructions

  1. Pick a quote to match the week’s topic.
  2. Write a response on your blog with a title that suits your post.
  3. Cut and paste #WQWWC logo if you want to use it.
  4. Use #WQWWC hashtag to get more views.
  5. Paste a link to your post on my weekly post in Mr. Linky.
  6. Or past a link in my comment section. I will visit your blog and comment.
  7. Visit other blogger’s who have participated and leave them an encouraging comment.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #140 – Unwanted Change of Scenery

Beth at Wandering Dawgs is the guest host of Lens-Artist Photo Challenge this week. The theme this week in Change of Scenery.

March 18, 2021

Days of stormy weather is on the horizon! Mother Nature at her best and worst all in a few days.

Birds were frantically feeding and flying around as storms approached Jacksonville, Florida. We had been in a Tornado Watch all day and as it got closer, we were in a Tornado Warning. A tornado was spotted in Gainesville heading northwest towards Jacksonville. Luckily it dissipated and much of the severe weather stayed north and south of us. We had about 10-20 minutes of rough weather. No damage!

March 20, 2021

Male Northern Cardinal feeding just before the next storm.
A male Northern Cardinal helps himself to some seed.

Frank filled up the feeders during a slight break in the weather as a Nor’easter was now heading our way. Just days after the tumultuous weather had passed through from the west. Our feeder system has been up for 8-9 years in some capacity. This is Frank’s project that allows him to be creative. He is building bird feeders at the moment and we have been testing them out. You can see a little of one of them in the right corner. and one of them in the photo below with the dome.

Mourning Doves feeding before the storm hits.
Mourning Doves gouging themselves while squatting in the feeders.

March 21, 2021

The bird feeders are down on the ground showing the steel pole bent into.
Feeders Down!

For two days we had seen high winds. It was similar to a Tropical Storm except it was spinning in the middle of the United States and we were getting whipped by the tail. The photo shows the carnage after a 45-50 mph wind gust hit our feeders just right. Snapped the pole about 12 inches from the ground. With two broken feeders, busted pole and another pole compromised, our yard seems naked without the full feeder system and the birds are beside themselves. Time for a trip to Wild Birds Unlimited.

What is left of the broken bird feeder steel pole snapped during a 50 mph wind gust.
A mere rod in the ground.

The resemblance of what once was the beauty of our buffet for the birds. Frank was able to get it the rest of the way out of the ground. Now it is time to rebuild. Interestingly enough, all the wooden feeders that Frank has created were undamaged.

March 23, 2021

An American Goldfinch feeding out of the new wooden feeder made my hubby.  What is left after the damage from the Nor'easter.
A temporary fix for now with Frank’s new feeders.

The sun has finally come back to Florida. Two of the poles are still intact even though one of them is going to need replacing. When I walked outside to take a photo, the American Goldfinches were coming in. A lone Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse stopped by. A change of scenery is in order and I’m sure the new feeder system will be even better once we purchase the new poles!

Water Water Everywhere #70 – Floating Birds

Redheads and Coots float around the Mangroves at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

Photos by Jez is the new host of WWE that is a weekly challenge posted on Monday.

Redheads and American Coots float around the Mangroves at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida.

Redheads and American Coots floating around among the Mangroves at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida.

Song Lyric Sunday – “Spring Breakdown” by Luke Bryan

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing a song pertaining to Hop | Jump | Leap | Pounce | Spring for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. I chose “Spring Breakdown” by Luke Bryan.

Unfortunately during a pandemic, Spring Break takes on a whole new meaning. Here in Florida, thanks to our great leading governor, Spring Break is open for business. Can you say SUPER SPREADER??? Today, Saturday, March 20, 2021, Florida reached a milestone of 2 million positive cases in just over a year.

Even with growing concerns of covid variants, Florida is seeing an influx of spring breakers flocking to the Sunshine State regardless of CDC guidelines. This disregard for themselves and others is frightening and disrespectful. Our awesome (reeking with sarcasm) team of state leaders can’t see what is coming and don’t care to hear the concerns of its residents. One article from Scary Mommy by Julie Scagell on March 14, 2021 emphasizes the concern that local governments have within their own cities. With this type of behavior, the pandemic could be endless and forever! This is not what Buzz Lightyear meant when he said, “To infinity and Beyond”!

For now, from the comfort of my home, I will enjoy Luke Bryan’s “Spring Breakdown” and stay close to my state park beaches where the teenie boppers don’t visit because there are no bars to do body shots or restaurants to gather. There is no beach volleyball or wet t-shirt contests. I sound like a fuddy dude, but at some point, we all have to grow up and be responsible adults who can still have fun while social distancing.

“Spring Breakdown” is an ode to his fans who attended his Panama City, Florida concerts during spring break over several years. There is a time and place, but 2021 is not it! Hopefully, sometime in the future, spring break can get back to what it once was for these young people. As for us old folks who live here, we can’t get back to normal while this is allowed to continue. 2020 was a disaster and a super spreader event and this year is looking like a repeat performance.

“I’ve never really done a big time fan tribute song, and ‘Spring Breakdown’ really is the first time I’ve really went down that path with a song,” said Bryan. “It just talks about all the memories of how we built the Spring Breaks, the first years we got there and all the beers and all the years.”

luke bryan

Thank you Luke, for the memories! Love you on American Idol!


Song Facts:

  • Written Luke Bryan, Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley.
  • Released on March 10, 2015.
  • A track from Spring Break…Checkin’ Out which was the seventh and last of Luke Bryan’s Spring Break collection.
  • The official video captures Bryan’s past six Spring Break shows prior to 2015.
  • Michael Monaco, Bryan’s longtime videographer, produced the song’s music video.
  • The album reached #1 on the US Top Country Albums chart, #2 on the Canadian Albums Billboard chart, #3 on the US Billboard 200 and #16 on the Australian Albums (ARIA) chart.

Spring Breakdown

It's been a real good run
Playing out here in the sun
Year after year, beer after beer
I've watched this crowd grow
I swear y'all don't know what ya mean to me
It's been something to see
I remember when we started this week long party
And to think that it's over
It makes me wanna spring breakdown
Just thinking about all our good times together
And how we rocked this town
And I wish it could last forever and ever
Ohh but the sand runs out
And we roll back home
And just thinking bout how
This is our last song
I'm bout to spring breakdown
Next year I'll go through pictures
Wishing I was down there with ya hanging out
It'll kill me then, but I'm here right now
So let's raise up our cups
Can't throw 'em up high enough
Let me buy you one last round
Before I spring breakdown
Just thinking about all our good times together
Yea how we rocked this town
And I wish it could last forever and ever
But the sand runs out
And we roll back home
And just thinking bout how
This is our last song
I'm bout to spring breakdown
We made this sun tan city yea all of y'all's
Sing-a-long so loud
We took this beach town over
Y'all don't know it might sound crazy
But y'all gonna make me spring breakdown
Just thinking about all our good times together
And when we rocked this town
And I wish it could last forever and ever
Ohh but the sand runs out
And we roll back home
And just thinking bout how
This is our last song
I'm bout to spring breakdown
Swear I'm bout to spring breakdown
Y'all up there on them shoulders
The good and bad hangovers
I'm bout to spring breakdown
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Bryan Luke / Crowell Zach / Gorley Ashley Glenn

#Write Photo – Neptune – Haiku

Written for #WritePhoto – Neptune

Photo by KL Caley

KL Caley has resumed #WritePhoto challenge for the inspirational Sue Vincent who is terminally ill.

My name is Neptune
Marriage of Heaven and Earth
Embellish the stream.

A good day to fish
Mystic God of freshwater
Spear the next victim.

Chirping of the birds
Pollen floats down from above
Embrace the spring temps.

Info for the Challenge

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a statue of King Neptune with his trident poised to catch a fish in a lake reflecting the green of the surrounding trees.

The regulars already know this bit, but for those that don’t:

  • Each Thursday at Noon GMT I will post the #writephoto prompt
  • Use the image and prompt as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, as long as it is fairly family-friendly.
  • Please have your entries linked back to the original prompt post by the following Tuesday at Noon GMT.
  • Link back to this post with a pingback (Hugh has an excellent tutorial here)  and/or leave a link in the comments below, to be included in the round-up.
  • Please click their links to visit the blogs of other contributors and take time to read and comment on their work.
  • Use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.
  • There is no word limit and no style requirements, except that your post must take inspiration from the image and/or the prompt word given in the title of this post.
  • Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish, or you may replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work.
  • By participating in the #writephoto challenge, please be aware that your post may be featured as a reblog on this blog and I will link to your post for the round-up each week.

Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds In Black & White or Sepia

Welcome to Week #40 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #40 challenge is birds in black & white, sepia, monotone or you can add a bit of selective color. Your choice of birds this week. I aligned this with Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week in case you wanted to add any flying birds to this challenge. Cee’s theme is Anything in Fight. Also, Terri with Sunday Stills offered a theme of Best Black and White Photos on 3/14 and her challenge runs until Saturday if you want to link to her challenge as well.

Reminder – Calendar change

I am taking the week of March 28th off, so no Bird Weekly on April 2nd. Frank and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary that week and will likely be out birding since we are not getting on an airplane anytime soon.


The feature image is a Snowy Egret staring me down.

Your photos can be in black & white, sepia, monotone or with selective color. Some of my photos this week have been in other blogs, not necessarily Bird Weekly, but are being shared again here specifically for this challenge. I’ve shared some of my past favorites in the slideshow.


Past Favorites

  • Wood Stork flying into the nest area with nesting material in its beak.
  • Close up photo of a Black-crowned Night Heron at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida.
  • Anhinga posing for the camera. Photo is black and white leaving the eye and beak in color for nice contrast.
  • Black-backed Gulls chilling at the beach.
  • Snowy Egret prancing on top of a roof on the pier at Fort Desoto Park near St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Black and white image with some selective color of a Sandhill Crane. Closeup headshot.
  • Cormorant flying over where I was birding. Photo is in black and white with selective color on the bill and eye area.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Frank and I went on a picnic a few weeks ago. The sun was shining, the temperatures were mild with a light breeze. We set up our folding shares and table in front of the pond on the outskirts of a disk golf course. While eating our pizza that we had picked up at our favorite Italian restaurant across the street from the park, a Red-shouldered Hawk flew in and landed on the soccer field fence. I eyed them, but continued to eat my lunch. A second one flew in and landed on the fence. So now, we have a pair. It is approaching spring after all. Once I finished my meal, I decided to walk over closer, but not too close to get a better shot. The female hawk wasn’t fazed. The male hawk was ticked off and flew off screaming at me. This shot is zoomed in using my 200mm lens and cropped in post production. I was not that close to this bird. I don’t believe in disturbing them, but I must have interfered with his courting. He didn’t go far. Landed on top of a light pole behind where we were sitting. After we packed up and began to drive off, the male flew back to the fence where the female never left.


Little Blue Heron

This Little Blue Heron and Ruddy Turnstones were hoping to get some dropped shrimp from the fishermen on the pier. They allowed me to photograph them before the heron flew off. He circled and came back landing on a different part of the dock.


Osprey

Osprey build their nests in high manmade structures such as cell towers and utility companies. As long as there is a body of water nearby. This photo was taken along Osprey Trail at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, Florida. The park is just north of Clearwater on a barrier island. If you ever visit the Tampa Bay area, please put this on your bucket list. Honeymoon Island offers beautiful sand beaches, incredible sunsets and some great birding.


Great Egret

This Great Egret was coming in for a landing at a nest site at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida. Since they are colonial nesters, the Alligator Farm rookery offers much protection and many birds group together to raise their young. In the Spring, as in now…the sounds and visual is unbelievable. Birds are everywhere almost on top of each other.


Laughing Gull

Laughing Gulls are not shy once they get used to you. If you have a tantalizing bag of Lays Potato Chips, they overcome their shyness quickly. We don’t feed them, but if we accidently drop some crumbs in the sand while having lunch at the beach, well they get lucky. We don’t allow them to come close until we have finished our picnic. Once the food is packed up, they can get as close as they want to scour for anything that flew off our plate or we dropped. Just like a bloodhound, the gulls are on it! Provides a great photo opportunity when they get brave enough to step up.


Phainopepla

The one and only time I have seen the Phainopepla is at Floyd Lamb Park just north of the Las Vegas strip. The giddiness in my step was like a little kid at Christmas. Non bird people would just see a black bird…no big deal. Not me! This photo is proof of a life bird added to my growing list.


Red-bellied Woodpecker

The sunlight shined through the branches of this oak tree perfectly to highlight this Red-bellied Woodpecker as he or she performed the acrobatic techniques to picking the insects out of the tree limbs. Seen down the trail behind the restrooms near the tower at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge


Black Vultures

Black Vultures make a great black & white photo because they are already black. Add a white dirt road and you have perfect contrast! These juvvies were hoping along one of the driving trails at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. They never took flight and we had to be cautious and drive slowly to get them to part the ways. Kids being kids and trying to figure out life.


Home Decor

My wooden seabirds that are part of my house decor. These little birds help me with my mental attitude when I can’t be at the beach.


Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.


Next time…Week #41 – Reflections as in a mirror reflection of the bird and itself. Your choice of birds!

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