A Great Egret
A Red-winged Blackbird, a Common Moorhen, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a perched Great Egret, a partially submerged Anhinga, a trio of Double-crested Cormorants, a Pied-billed Grebe; Egyptian Geese; White Ibis; and a flock of Hooded Mergansers were all spotted here in The Villages, FL, late in the afternoon on Wednesday. I also saw a most lovely Monarch Butterfly on some wild Aster flowers.
The Grey Squirrels here have become the rodent version of the ever-begging White Ibis! When we parked the golf cart at Paradise Park, I immediately had four little squirrels come begging for any kind of hand-out treat that would be given. I had to say sorry to the little cuties but someone else had already provided a few tasty peanuts. I sure wish folks would stop feeding the wildlife here! Oh well…
Such fun to get out in beautiful weather and see the birds squirrels and yes, butterflies. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
A hen Moorhen
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A pair of Sandhill Cranes
A Scenic View of “Larry the Gator’s Pond”
Egyptian Goose and White Ibis
A Monarch Butterfly on an Aster flower
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!
Grey Squirrels and Sherman Fox Squirrels are both residents of our Central Florida area. The most commonly seen squirrel is the Grey Squirrel. The Sherman Squirrel is much less common. The fox squirrel lives where there are pines and oaks and is mostly found in rural areas.
The Sherman Fox Squirrel is a large squirrel with a long luxurious bushy tail, similar to that of a fox. The Sherman Fox Squirrels come in a number of colors but many are the light brown with black accents. The Sherman Fox Squirrel has a faint mask over its eyes like that of a raccoon.
The Sherman Fox Squirrel is a really gorgeous animal! Both kinds of squirrels I have shown here eat nuts, acorns, berries, insects, small reptiles, eggs, and some fruits and plants. I have really enjoyed seeing the Sherman Fox Squirrel! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Sherman Fox Squirrel
Sherman Fox Squirrel
Sherman Fox Squirrel
The Grey Squirrels here really have been well-behaved until recently. I think the recent spate of mischief is happening because there is a lot of competition for the foods between the birds and lizards and squirrels. I have started noticing that one (or more) of the squirrels have learned the old trick of getting onto the neighbor’s bird feeder! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
A commotion in the front yard caused me to go out with my camera to check on the critters I had been hearing from my living room windows. I went out and saw five small skinny squirrels chasing another squirrel all around the yard. The chase continued across the driveways, under and around two cars, up on my neighbor’s porch, and finally, up into a large Live Oak tree in my neighbor’s front yard.
It was a young female being pursued by the five potential suitors in a very dramatic fashion. I think she was pretty tired of all that attention. After a bit, things calmed down and I went back inside my home. I took these pictures on October 30, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
These Grey Squirrels were seen along my street working at finding acorns and other food. That is a major part of the squirrel’s day. The Live Oaks are dropping acorns now and that is making life easier for these cuties.
There are a pair of Grey Squirrels living in the two Oaks in my front yard so I get to watch their antics from my living room window. There also must be a sufficient amount of natural food as I have never seen a squirrel on the feeder that my next door neighbor has on his back patio. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Grey Squirrel seemed very curious as to what I was doing with the camera. It noticed me and froze as many squirrels do when uncertain about a situation. After a few moments, it relaxed and came toward me a bit. It then went about its routine gathering Magnolia seed pods and Acorns for its meal. It seemed to enjoy the red Magnolia seeds a lot!
There are a lot of Grey Squirrels here in my neighborhood. Of course, I do live on a tree-lined street with many Live Oaks, Sycamores, Magnolias and Long-leafed Pines plus the odd Acacia tree. So there is plenty of food for all the squirrels to share. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
An Anole Lizard, A Zebra Long-wing which is the Florida State Butterfly, a Monarch Butterfly, a Killdeer bird, a couple of Grey Squirrels and a Cicada are the subjects of today’s post. The Killdeer was at the same pond where the Little Blue Heron was the other day. Anole lizards are all over the place here in Florida. They can change color from green to brown and even an orange-tan, and are basically harmless.
The Cicada shown may only be an empty shell as it did not move. They have come up and out from their many year-long sleep (some 13 years, others 17 years) underground during their immature stage. The Cicadas go up into the trees, and change shell (exoskeleton). The males make a huge amount of noise to attract their mates, meet their mates, enjoy adult life a bit, the females lay eggs (which hatch and nymphs fall to the ground and burrow down – nymphs suck tree roots for nourishment). The adults then die off as their life cycle completes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Zebra Long-wing, Florida’s State Butterfly
The Grey Squirrels are just about the only critters that have been out and about in my yards and on my street during daylight hours in the past few days. This is the beginning of the Acorn harvesting season for the squirrels here. We have a lot of Live Oaks on the street so the Grey Squirrels have been very busy at work. They scurry up and down the large tree trunks and limbs and go way out onto the thinnest of branches.
All this food collecting activity is done to secure a cache of choice Acorns for the squirrels to eat in later weeks. Of course, we do have mild Winters here in Florida. Much of this frenzied food collecting work that these squirrels do, is simply instinctive and not as necessary as is seen in cold climates where food gets scarce in Winter. I took these pictures on August 10, 2013 in my yards. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. I hope you’ll enjoy!