These lovely and friendly wild (sort of, anyway) burros or donkeys and the tiny Prairie Dogs were spotted last month at the beautiful Custer State Park in South Dakota near Mount Rushmore. These are the last of my series of photographs from my visit to the park this Summer.
I spotted the animals along the side of the road and in a great big pasture on the Wildlife Loop road. The burro’s come to the roadway to beg (successfully) for carrots or apples from the park’s visitors. They seem very tame but one must remember they are still wild animals! So neat to also see many Prairie Dogs chirping their warning when we walked a short way into the fields. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each picture. Enjoy!
Grey Squirrels, Mallard Ducks, and hybrid Mallard/Florida Mottled Ducks were spotted on the little Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida on Monday night at twilight. I am including views of the lake on the Swartz Park end which is almost totally dry to the North and rapidly shrinking again to the South. By the way, that shot that looks like a huge grassy prairie, is really the dry lake bed. Yikes!
We are still in a drought situation here. I enjoy this regional park which is reserved for residents and guests here in The Villages, Florida. There is always wildlife around us here. I have a great time bird and critter-watching. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Belted Kingfisher on the Suwanee River
Double Crested Cormorants on the Suwanee River
This lovely Florida State Park has a 72 degree F fresh water spring, is on the banks of the Suwanee River, has a wonderful campground, and walking trails with a children’s playground area. I saw many deer, nine, I think. I also saw four armadillos. There were a few wading birds, and songbirds, but there were perhaps a hundred Turkey Vultures (with a few Black Vultures in the bunch).
Almost every large tree on the Suwanee River at the mouth of the Manatee Springs stream, had many vultures perched on it! It is an amazing sight to see a seventy foot tall Cypress tree festooned with buzzards (another name for vultures).
This park is not a zoo and all the animals are wild. I was surprised to see the animals so boldly walking around were people were.
I recommend visiting Manatee Springs State Park. A lovely place with a lot to see in a small park. It is about six miles from the small town of Chiefland where there are several stores and restaurants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Probably an Eastern Phoebe
Pied-billed Grebe on the Suwanee River
Juvenile Little Blue Heron at the Manatee Spring
White-tailed Deer; Nine-banded Armadillos; a Juvenile Little Blue Heron; a Great Egret; a Double-crested Cormorant, a chatty Red-bellied Woodpecker, and an enormous migratory flock of Turkey Vultures were spotted at the lovely Manatee Springs State Park near Chiefland, Florida on November 8, 2016. Sorry to say, I did not see a single Manatee. I think it is probably too early in the season for Manatee sightings here.
This beautiful little Florida State Park is on the shoreline of the Manatee Spring and also the Suwanee River. There is a very nice campground and the park also has a canoe and Kayak rental program also with a nice launch area and small concession stand restaurant. People may swim in the 72 degree spring but there is no lifeguard service. I chose not to swim as it was too cool for that. I will conclude my series about this park on Monday with my next post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Cypress Tree “Knees”
The Suwanee River
A Cotton-tailed bunny rabbit, a Northern Mockingbird, Mourning Doves, and a band of roving White Ibises, were all spotted in my neighborhood in the last week or two. It has been raining a lot here so I have not been out taking a lot of pictures.
Cotton-tailed Rabbits are not commonly seen here. I think there are plenty of Coyotes, Hawks, Bald Eagles, and Osprey that actively hunt the bunnies. I saw this particular rabbit in a yard of a home quite close to our local neighborhood park lake. The best time to see rabbits here is at twilight or even at dawn. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Lizard on the pick-up truck
Tri-colored Heron at Lake Paradise
Tri-colored Heron, Anhinga, Ducks, Ibis
I took these photographs of various wading birds, a Grey Squirrel, and a lounging lizard here in my community during the last couple of weeks. We have been having a lot of afternoon monsoonal storms so I have not been out getting new pictures in the last few days. I hope to be out and about taking new pictures in coming days. I hope you will enjoy these looks at life around the local park lakes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo.
Mallard Ducks at Lake Paradise
Grey Squirrel at Paradise Park
Snowy Egret at Swartz Park
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel (Monkey Squirrel)
Hawks, Coots, Sherman’s Fox Squirrels, Common Moorhens, a handsome male Northern Cardinal, and several male Red-winged Blackbirds were all spotted yesterday afternoon at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve at The Villages, Florida.
It was a dreary rainy afternoon but we did see a fair amount of wildlife there at the preserve. I always adore the Sherman’s Fox Squirrels there. I usually see three of the beautiful squirrels in the lawn just near the walkway. By the way, the Sherman’s Fox Squirrels come in different coat colorations with some like the one shown, being light-furred. Many are darker brown. Yesterday, I only saw two squirrels, one was off in the distance.
There were plenty of Common Coots in Lake Deaton. I saw a huge raft of the coots floating and rising up and down on the lake off in the distance. I think the presence of a hawk or two made the coots wary.
In spite of the weather, I always enjoy going to this new preserve in the Southern end of The Villages development. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger image. Enjoy!
Hawk (Possibly a Red-shouldered?)
Male Red-winged Blackbird
Male Northern Cardinal
Coots in the distance