Tag Archive | Birds

July & the temperature’s sweltering. Florida’s less fun in the summer.

Florida in July & August. It’s too hot to move.

“Summertime,” the song from Gershwin’s classic, Porgy and Bess, tells us the living is easy this time of year. Well, the fish may be jumping here in Florida, but it’s because the water is so hot they are afraid they might get boiled if they stay in it too long. And the humidity … Yuk! My human just smiles when I complain. He’s lived here most of his long life and is reconciled to be miserable three months of the year. If my grumbles get loud, he laughs and says, “Sandy, just keep counting the days. You only have 75 more until October and relief.” Not funny!

I get even when he takes me for a walk. Even if he’s just left the shower, his clothes are drenched with perspiration by the time he reaches the driveway. Plus, I get a little more revenge. Early in the mornings when we go out, the clouds of sand-flies and mosquitoes are active and hungry. My Golden coat protects me. Not he … he, he, ho, ho, ha, ha.

Even the owls are staying underground!

The wildlife is smart. They stay in the shade and take it easy during the middle of the day. Those that can, conduct their “business” at night; the rest get things done mornings and evenings. Even gators and snakes look for a cool hole to hide in.

I envied Margret the Manatee … until she told me the water is 89!

Everyone in our house stays inside and slows down this time of year. Oreo, my feline brother, slows to stop. He’s shown below after he ate lunch. Oreo is always demanding, but this time of year he insists that his fish fillets be cut into very small pieces so he doesn’t have to expend energy wagging his jaws. He told me he requested his litter box be mounted on an I-Roomba and be programmed to follow him around so he didn’t have far to go … to go, but the Geezer turned him down.

Oreo prostrate from his toughest activity of the day … eating.

The Geezer may give me a hard time about complaining, but I’ve noticed he’s not scheduling any out-door book events right now. An example. This Saturday he will be doing one of his historical presentations, “The Loyal 14th Colony, Florida in the Revolutionary War.” I notice it is going to be held in the spacious, air conditioned environs of the Sandman Book Co. Sandman Book Co. is located at 16480 Burnt Store Rd., in Turtle Crossing Plaza, near Punta Gorda, Florida. He’ll be speaking from 11:00 AM until noon. If you live near by (or not) stop and see him. You’ll be cool!

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They’re too sexy for their feathers … too cute for this picture shoot …

 

Owl in home

Wise young owls … burrowing owls that is. The youngsters don’t quite trust my doggy smile.

 

“I’ll only take a few moments!” – That’s what I yelled at the Geezer so I can send out this quick post. Getting my paws on the keyboard, right now, is like getting any two people to agree on politics. I had to share the pictures of these cuties we saw while taking a ride in the neighboring city of Cape Coral. Burrowing Owls are a protected species and the “Cape” does a good job of doing just that. (Much to the consternation of some home owners and builders) Papa owl is pictured below as he stands guard on his “young-uns.”

The Geezer has been super busy the last few weeks traveling to other states for conferences, historical research for a series of novels, etc. and conducting seminars and speaking locally. He hasn’t done much writing in three weeks and that makes him as grumpy as bear leaving hibernation. This was such a good set of pics I had to get them posted.

 

Owl w-protected sign

Papa owl watching over his family

 

Owl family

The whole fam-damilly – Mom, Dad, and the four kids.

 

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They’re back … and love is in the air!

 

Love is in the air!

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two "toddlers" this year.

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two “toddlers” this year.

Each spring our back yard becomes a nursery/rookery for the manatees and night herons.

Here are a few pics of the returning wildlife. We’re up to eight night heron nests and two extended families of manatees. (Seven in one “herd” and five in the other.) When all twelve are cavorting around our narrow canal we need to install a traffic light. Some weigh well over 500 pounds. In addition two green heron nests are sandwiched in between the night herons.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves. Notice #2 up under the bushes?

Here’s a brief film clip of manatees being manatees.

The night herons normally do a good job of hiding their nests so it takes some real concentration to find them camouflaged in the mangroves. We have an exception this year. The pair are real exhibitionists. The Geezer calls them Madonna and Justin. Here are some pics.

Green heron!

Green heron invasion! Sometimes you wish for a camera but…….. A black snake tried to steal this herons eggs, but the whole bird community responded and made Swiss Cheese of Mr. Slithers.

 

Mom and babies - how quickly they grow!

Mom and babies – how quickly they grow!

 

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

 

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

 

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

 

Ain’t love grand?

 

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Your New Years invite … Come see where I live.

Happy New Year!  2016 is here, lets hope it is better than 2015.  On to more happy things. I’m looking forward to changes for the better.

I'm looking forward to 2016.

I’m looking forward to 2016.

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging and reading blogs are all the trips I can make around the world without ever leaving my keyboard. The pictures that accompany the posts are wonderful bits of shared … vision … knowledge … and in cases, emotion. I’ve enjoyed Holland, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Singapore, Italy, England and many more destinations. That doesn’t include all the fascinating places that I’ve been transported to in the States. Yosemite. Zion National Park. New York City. San Francisco. The Grand Tetons. Seattle. Kansas City. The North Carolina Mountains. And, hundreds more!

Since I’ve enjoyed so many of these mini-journeys, I’ve decided to show you what my area is all about in pictures. Here’s a sampling of what I see and do with the Geezer and Mrs. G in our area.

My friend in flight

My friend Pelican Pete in flight

Mom heron getting ready to feed her babies

Mom night heron ready to feed her babies

Green heron!

Green heron!

Osprey looking for fish.

Osprey looking for fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above are some of my bird buddies. Below are some critters we share space with.

 

Margret the Manatee

Margret the Manatee

 

 

 

Samantha the Swamp Rabbit

Samantha the Swamp Rabbit

What funny teeth you have! The better to saw you with.......

What funny teeth you have! The better to saw you with…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ain't I boootiful --- chomp, chomp?

Ain’t I boootiful — chomp, chomp?

 

The Geezer, Mrs. G, and I like to:

 

Canoe and Kayak

Canoe and Kayak

 

Do research on the Geezer's books.

Do research on the Geezer’s books.

Go on speaking engagements and book signings

Go on speaking engagements and book signings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tarpon Time - from the back yard on a light fly rod

Tarpon Time – from the back yard on a light fly rod

 

When we do those things here’s what we see.

 

Sunrise over the Atlantic

Sunrise over the Atlantic

"A Place No One Should Go, territory"

“A Place No One Should Go, territory”

A beautiful sunset over the bay.

A beautiful sunset over the bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current weather I'm suffering in

Current weather I’m suffering in here on Bokeelia Bay

If you’d like to visit with the Geezer and me, go to his blog at http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com for his schedule. I’ll be accompanying him on outdoor events!

Don’t know about you, but … I’m tired of the negativity, the group think, the political correctness, and the division of everything into two opposing forces. Let’s hope a huge broom sweeps away a lot of our problems AND the people causing them this year.

Again HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Waiting on the Stork

The Geezer says he knows how this night heron feels waiting on the stork

The Geezer says he knows how this night heron feels waiting on the stork, I do too–

Waiting! Waiting! Waiting! I wonder how much time I spend doing that. I wait for my humans to feed me. I wait for them to walk me. I wait on the armadillo to come out of his hole so we can play. I wait on the Geezer to get my pull-toy so we can play tug-of-war. I wait for Mrs. G to stop petting Oreo so I can monopolize her attention. It seems like most of my life is spent in the sheer boredom of waiting.

Normally, I’d say humans have little understanding of the suffering we canines endure, but in this instance … this one instance … the Geezer understands. Right now he’s waiting. Waiting on his new book Bully Route Home to get into the stores. Waiting for the change his publisher is making in distributors to settle out. Waiting for response from agents on two of his manuscripts. Waiting for final publishing editorial approval on another. Waiting! Waiting! Waiting!

I pass my waiting time on a carefully planned and regimented schedule. Seventy-two percent is spent sleeping on one of my two large pillows. Another 12% is spent wimpering at my humans feet. It makes them feel guilty … the result … I get treats. Ten percent goes to my exercise program. That consists of rolling on my back, stretching when I get out of bed, and scratching imaginary fleas (don’t have any, but one must keep their techniques sharp). The rest is used to do what a girl’s got to do.

The Geezer simply spends his waiting time writing … and writing … and writing. Which, you already guessed, creates more waiting time. Humans, they learn slow or not at all.

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Update — Heron babies in feeding film clip — How quick they grow!

Looking for its own meals now.

Looking for its own meals now.

How quickly they grow! Above is one of the babies that appeared in a video clip in one of my posts a few weeks ago. The young night heron is looking for small wharf crabs that scurry around our seawall. The mangroves across the canal are alive with heron families in all stages of the rearing process. Below, bro or sis stands on our dock and looks at the squalling aviary buried in greenery.

 

If two's company and three's a crowd - what's twenty or more?

If two’s company and three’s a crowd – what’s twenty or more?

Many hatchlings are still in the nest. The one pictured below looks bored and ready to start life. The dangers that lurk are waiting for him, but at this point he isn’t aware of things like raccoons, coyotes, falcons, etc.

Not ready for prime time player - Still nest bound.

Not ready for prime time player – Still nest bound.

If you didn’t see the film clip of the mother feeding these babies, look back in my posts several weeks. It’s worth taking the time to view. It was published 5/29, that’s four posts ago.

 

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Here today, gone tomorrow … that’s humans and their things.

 

Once a major city it's disappeared except for a sign.

Once a major city it’s disappeared except for a sign.

Many of us accept the places we are born and live in as an anchor. A place to begin and end. A place to return to. Home. There is an implied sense of permanence to the word. We simply can’t vision a community or a house simply vanishing.

It happens. The story of Newnansville is one that illustrates how transient human endeavors can be. Newnansville once was one of the largest cities in Florida. Today, finding any of its “bones” is a project. The sign pictured above commemorates where it was. A building or two that their owners claim stood when the town thrived and a cemetery are pretty much what mark the corpse’s location. The site is near the current city of Gainesville.

The city was named after a prominent figure who fought in the “Patriot’s War.” That war is one of those bodies buried by national pride and the obscurity of the area’s history. The Patriot’s War was an attempt to seize Florida from Spain during the early 1800’s for the fledgling United States. Supposedly a settler’s attempt to throw off Spanish rule, it was a thinly disguised American exploit. It failed, partly because of the poorly organized clandestine effort the US made, partly because the Tories who had been expelled from the colonies during the Revolutionary War sided with the Spanish, and partly because it paralleled the War of 1812 that found the US scurrying to survive. Daniel Newnan took a hero’s part in the ill-fated attempt made to conquer St. Augustine.

Andrew Jackson then demonstrated to the Spanish it was time to leave. He announced his intention to make war on the Seminole’s and other tribes in the region. His edict to the Spanish Governor in essence stated “stay out of my way or I’ll make you eat dirt.” The Spanish weren’t that enamored with Florida and ceded its territory to the United States in 1821.

The war ended badly for the Native Americans. The Seminoles resisted relocation and resorted to moving further south while fighting with the settlers over lands seized by them.

In 1824 the five building community sited in the Indian territory’s original name was “Dell’s Post Office.” When Newnan settled there the town renamed itself, “Newnansville.” The government built a road that stretched from St. Augustine to Tallahassee. The Bellamy Road was the main connection between East and West Florida. Newnansville became the major station along its length. Fort Gilleland was built nearby to protect the road, the town and the steadily increasing number of white settlers homesteading the area.

Justifiably alarmed by the continuing incursions of the settlers, the Seminoles were pushed to the point that war broke out in 1835 when Colonel Dade and a hundred men were ambushed and killed in the area. During this period of time (1835-1842) Newnansville became the largest settlement in the area exceeding 1000 people. When the war ended, the city retained its prominence until the railway decided not to lay rails  through the community. Instead the railway went to Alachua a few miles away. With it went commerce, with commerce went people … Newnansville literally was abandoned over the succeeding decades.

Today the most prominent reminders of the town’s existence are the sign and some old grave stoves, like the one below. People things, aren’t permanent things, as much as humans like to believe they are.

Grave Stone dating to 1839

Grave Stone dating to 1839

 

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