Florida: Summer Clouds, Rain, and Frogs

Sunny Sky over Indian River

Sunny Sky over Indian River

Stormy Sky over Indian River

Stormy Sky over Indian River

Panorama of Isolated Storm over Sebastian Beach (click to enlarge)

Panorama of Isolated Storm over Sebastian Beach (click to enlarge)

Cuban Tree Frog  in Grass

Cuban Tree Frog in Grass

Cuban Tree Frog Camouflage

Cuban Tree Frog Camouflage

Cuban Tree Frog's Golden Eye

Cuban Tree Frog’s Golden Eye

Native Southern Toad on Driveway

Native Southern Toad on Driveway

Green Tree Frog in Milkweed Flowers

Green Tree Frog in Milkweed Flowers

Squirrel Tree Frog in Bird-of-Paradise Flower

Squirrel Tree Frog in Bird-of-Paradise Flower

In summer in Florida, heat buildup during the day leads to afternoon thundershowers and clearing in the evening. We love hearing the chorus of frogs sing after the rain ends. Florida has 33 species of frogs and toads.  A list is at: http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/   

You can listen to calls at:  https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/Frogquiz/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.lookup&CFID=6699023&CFTOKEN=a2f85b2c81814818-693ABB52-FE37-1048-AA8EE1A8CE351F01

Our favorite smiling frog picture of all time is at:  https://naturetime.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/smiling-frog/

Florida: Artistic Sea Turtle Statues

“Ethel” at Environmental Learning Center

“Ethel” at Environmental Learning Center

“Stormy” at Orchid Fire Station

“Stormy” at Orchid Fire Station

“Ridley in the Garden” at Rock City Gardens

“Ridley in the Garden” at Rock City Gardens

“Reflections” at McKee Botanical Garden

“Reflections” at McKee Botanical Garden

Painted sea turtle statues can be found throughout the arts community of Vero Beach, Florida. The statues were auctioned off years ago by Turtle Trax to raise money for mental health awareness.  The theme was “Overcoming Hurdles with Turtles”.  I am impressed by the artistic talent and effort that goes into each one of these decorated statues!

The sea turtle nesting season is going very well here so far at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Sebastian, Florida. As of July 11, 2015, current local totals are 10,550 loggerhead nests, 5,561 green turtle nests, and 55 leatherback sea turtle nests.

Our Florida Pond: Fish Feeding Time

Dock in Fog

Dock in Fog

Feeding Time at Pond

Feeding Time at Pond

Close-up of Bluegill

Close-up of Bluegill

Tame Fish in Hand

Tame Fish in Hand

Tilapia Swimming

Tilapia Swimming

Most every day we enjoy walking down to our Florida pond and feeding the fish. We stock it every spring with bluegill (bream), tilapia, and catfish. Also living in the pond are bass, grass carp, turtles, and crayfish. Wading birds and otters sometimes come to eat the fish. This year’s baby fish have been extra hungry, and swarm to the dock to be fed. What a fun way to relax at the end of the day!

Bird Calls Used for Dinosaur Sounds in “Jurassic World” Movie

T Rex Dinosaur Statue near Palm Springs, California

T Rex Dinosaur Statue near Palm Springs, California

Apatosaurus Dinosaur Statue near Palm Springs, California

Apatosaurus Dinosaur Statue near Palm Springs, California

Goose Pair

Goose Pair

Baby Brown Pelican and Flowers

Baby Brown Pelican and Flowers

Magellanic Penguin Pair

Magellanic Penguin Pair

Osprey Sitting on Weather Station

Osprey Sitting on Weather Station

California Quail

California Quail

Forster's Tern Hovering

Forster’s Tern Hovering

Kookaburra, Sydney, Australia

Kookaburra, Sydney, Australia

Various bird calls were recorded to create the sounds of dinosaurs in the new “Jurassic World” movie that opened in June 2015. Calls used include those of a goose, baby pelican, penguins, osprey, terns, and kookaburra, among others. An interesting article with details about the recordings and their use in the movie is at: https://www.audubon.org/news/jurassic-worlds-dinosaurs-roar-life-thanks-bird-calls.

Thinking about dinosaurs peaks my imagination. It makes sense that bird calls were used to simulate dinosaur sounds, because scientists say that birds are directly descended from them. Fossils of more than 20 dinosaur species have been collected with preserved feathers. Modern birds closely resemble the embryos in ancient dinosaur eggs. “Jurassic World” is great summer fun – it is highly recommended!

California: Palm Springs Art Museum

Your Dog Fiberglass Statue

Your Dog Fiberglass Statue

Sputnik-Style Starburst Chandelier

Sputnik-Style Starburst Chandelier

Golden Rain

Golden Rain

Acoma-Hopi Seed Jar

Acoma-Hopi Seed Jar

Rattlesnake and Desert Iguana Basket

Rattlesnake and Desert Iguana Basket

Paiute Beaded Basket

Paiute Beaded Basket

Navajo Yeibeichai Rug with Female Dancers

Navajo Yeibeichai Rug with Female Dancers

Driftwood Bronze Horse

Driftwood Bronze Horse

Picasso Owl

Picasso Owl

Twin 6-Foot Bronze Hearts in Outdoor Sculpture Garden

Twin 6-Foot Bronze Hearts in Outdoor Sculpture Garden

Costa's Hummingbird at Red Salvia in Dining Courtyard

Costa’s Hummingbird at Red Salvia in Dining Courtyard

We always enjoy visiting the Palm Springs Art Museum in Southern California. There is a wonderful variety of items on display, and it is delightful dining outside beside cacti and hummingbirds. Info about visiting the museum is at: http://www.psmuseum.org/

Joshua Tree National Park – A Favorite!

Cholla Cactus Garden Sign

Cholla Cactus Garden Sign

Close-up of Teddy Bear Cholla

Close-up of Teddy Bear Cholla

Sun Ring over Cholla Cactus Garden

Sun Ring over Cholla Cactus Garden

Mojave Mound Cactus

Mojave Mound Cactus

Joshua Tree Nicknamed the Telephone Pole

Joshua Tree Nicknamed the Telephone Pole

Bent Over Joshua Tree

Bent Over Joshua Tree

Large Joshua Tree

Large Joshua Tree

Jumbo Rocks

Jumbo Rocks

Close-up of Rock Formation

Close-up of Rock Formation

Joshua Tree Landscape in Infrared

Joshua Tree Landscape in Infrared

We always enjoying visiting Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert of California – it is one of our favorites! 

The spiny Cholla Cactus Garden is a wonderful place to take a careful walk (no sandals or flip-flops allowed). We got extra lucky when we visited because a sun ring formed in the sky above us – amazing!  More info on how sun halos form is at: http://earthsky.org/space/what-makes-a-halo-around-the-moon  

Joshua trees are fun to see because they come in so many shapes and sizes as a result of the environment. They are a member of the lily family. The rocky landscape is quite scenic, and is criss-crossed by multiple earthquake faults.  The San Andreas Fault forms the southern boundary of the park. More info about these faults is at: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/nature/faults.htm   More info about visiting Joshua Tree National Park is at: http://www.joshuatree.org/

 

Around the Yard

Deer Walking Across Lawn

Deer Walking Across Lawn

Close-up of Deer's Antler Buds

Close-up of Deer’s Antler Buds

Mama Turkey with Her One Surviving Chick

Mama Turkey with Her One Surviving Chick

Sandhill Crane Feeding Young Chick

Sandhill Crane Feeding Young Chick

Sandhill Crane Chick and Daisies

Sandhill Crane Chick and Daisies

Sandhill Cranes Walking Away in Step

Sandhill Cranes Walking Away in Step

Lubber Grasshopper Sitting in Stapeliad Starfish Flower

Lubber Grasshopper Sitting in Stapeliad Starfish Flower

Lubber Grasshopper Babies

Lubber Grasshopper Babies

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly by Pond

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly by Pond

Fragrant Frangipani Flowers are used in Hawaiian Leis

Fragrant Frangipani Flowers are used in Hawaiian Leis

Queen Butterfly on Fireworks Gomphrena Flower

Queen Butterfly on Fireworks Gomphrena Flower

One of our favorite things to do is to take a walk around the yard.  We never know what surprises we will see!  Do you have a favorite sighting in your yard?

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