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?

Purple Martin Babies are Fledging!

Female Martin and Babies Wanting Fed

Female Martin and Babies Wanting Fed

Martin Activity at Nesting Gourds

Martin Activity at Nesting Gourds

Martin Activity Above Gourd Rack (new fledgling is on lower left)

Martin Activity Above Gourd Rack (new fledgling is on lower left)

Martin Babies Grow Fast

Martin Babies Grow Fast

Two of Three Eggs Have Just Hatched in Late Nest

Two of Three Eggs Have Just Hatched in Late Nest

Martin on Gourd Rack with Dragonfly for Babies

Martin on Gourd Rack with Dragonfly for Babies

Closeup of Martin with Green Darner Dragonfly

Closeup of Martin with Green Darner Dragonfly

Our purple martin babies have grown so fast! Many are fledging and taking their first flights this weekend. This year our count is 57 babies and 22 adults for a total of 79 birds. What a joy to see them do so well!

Purple Martin Babies are Hatching!

Three Purple Martin Eggs in Nesting Gourd

Three Purple Martin Eggs in Nesting Gourd

Six New Hatchlings

Six New Hatchlings

Close-up of Hatchlings (love the bird lips!)

Close-up of Hatchlings (love the bird lips!)

Six Babies in Leaf-Lined Nest

Six Babies in Leaf-Lined Nest

Six Hatchlings Starting to get Pin Feathers

Six Hatchlings Starting to get Pin Feathers

Hatchling Face

Hatchling Face

Hatchling Wanting Fed

Hatchling Wanting Fed

Adult Male Purple Martin on Top of Nesting Gourd

Adult Male Purple Martin on Top of Nesting Gourd

Adult Female Martin Diving into Gourd

Adult Female Martin Diving into Gourd

Frog Hiding in Martin Pole Pulley Rope

Frog Hiding in Martin Pole Pulley Rope

Our purple martin babies are hatching! We currently have 11 nests containing 54 babies and 3 eggs – our highest season total ever! It is such a joy hearing the martins’ cheerful songs, along with constant feeding activity in and out of the gourds. The hatchlings are so young that they haven’t even opened their eyes yet. A frog was hiding in the martin pole pulley rope when we lowered the gourds for health inspection. If the babies have mites, we change the nesting material for good health. Love this time of year!  Our previous posts about purple martins are at:  https://naturetime.wordpress.com/?s=martins

Beautiful Deer Visits Yard

Deer Hello

Deer Hello

Deer Eating Corn for Turkeys

Deer Eating Corn for Turkeys

Deer Portrait

Deer Portrait

What a nice surprise out our home office window – a beautiful deer was walking around our yard!  She had wandered in since I had left the gate open.  I had been hoping to get a picture of a deer in our area, because our neighborhood is called “Deer Run”. She is expecting, so maybe we’ll see a little fawn soon!

Florida: Pink Spoonbills are Nesting!

Goodwin Marsh

Goodwin Marsh

Rookery Island

Rookery Island

Spoonbill Landing on Nest

Spoonbill Landing on Nest

Young Spoonbill Being Fed

Young Spoonbill Being Fed

Close-up of Feeding Time

Close-up of Feeding Time

Young Spoonbill Takeoff

Young Spoonbill Takeoff

Adult Spoonbill Flying by Fledgling

Adult Spoonbill Flying by Fledgling

Colorful Adult Spoonbill Flying

Colorful Adult Spoonbill Flying

Meadowlark Singing at Marsh

Meadowlark Singing at Marsh

It is spoonbill nesting time here in Florida.  Love those beautiful pink birds!

Best Caterpillar Ever!

Photographing the Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

Photographing the Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

Horizontal View of Caterpillar

Horizontal View of Caterpillar

Front View of Caterpillar

Front View of Caterpillar

Eye Spots of Caterpillar

Eye Spots of Caterpillar

This past weekend I was working in the flower garden and found this Tersa sphinx moth caterpillar under our tapioca bush. Sphinx/hummingbird moths come out at dusk to drink flower nectar. They especially love pentas. I couldn’t get over the realistic eye spots on the caterpillar – I think it was pretending to be a snake so that birds wouldn’t eat it. It had gold spots on its body, along with delicate shades of pink and blue.  After taking pictures, and I carefully placed it back outside exactly where it was when I found it. What a spectacular caterpillar!

Art Meets Science: Color Changing Flowers

Pink Petunias

Pink Petunias

Purple and White Petunias

Purple and White Petunias

Flowers are currently being developed that change color either throughout the day or on demand – a meeting of art and science. Based on circadian rhythms, your pink petunias in the morning would change to purple flowers by afternoon. Or based on watering, your petunias would change from white to pink to purple within 24 hours. Petunias in the past have played a critical role in the study of RNAi and its potential impact on the treatment of human disease (which led to a Nobel prize in 2006).  Flowers have been cultivated and bred for centuries, and this is one more way to increase man’s pleasure from plants.  More info is at: http://www.idtdna.com/pages/decoded/decoded-articles/your-research/decoded/2015/03/03/color-changing-flowers-biotechnology-for-everyone?utm_source=IDT+Customers&utm_campaign=52f1f391f7-DECODED_031015_test3_4_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9f34f28ea2-52f1f391f7-223792633&goal=0_9f34f28ea2-52f1f391f7-223792633

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