Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Outdoor Entertainment

Very little work is getting done in my garden these days. With temperatures soaring into the 90's, and the "feels like" temp over 100...honestly, all I want to do is stay inside.

While I was looking out the window...to see how my plants were holding up...this BIG guy...red-shouldered hawk...dropped by for a visit. Actually, he flew into the window...Yikes! Fortunately, he was only dazed for a moment.

Perhaps he was trying to get out of the heat, too!

In the somewhat cooler...if you can call it that...evening, I ventured out to the dock to check on the baby Blue Herons. For the first time, a nest with 3 baby herons sits atop an old cypress tree approximately 35 feet from our dock. Here they sit waiting for mom to bring home the bacon...in this case some fish.

Here's mom sitting on the shoreline getting a much needed break, but within site of her nest. She's a real beauty! Blue Herons are one of my favorite water birds...they seem prehistoric in nature with their giant wingspan.

The three young'uns are growing bigger week by week. For the last two weeks they've been practicing leaving the nest. They fly back and forth among the tree tops,

and our boat house roof, slowly but surely, growing more comfortable with leaving the nest. We're not sure if they'll hang around our area or find a new spot...either way, we'll miss seeing them sitting high atop their nest.

A new discovery was  made...on the underside of this rotted out remnant of a past branch on the maple tree. You can just barely make out the tail of a woodpecker...it's the triangle-looking shape located between the middle and right piece of Spanish moss. My husband noticed wood chips on the ground at the base of the tree, and started looking around to see where they came from.

And, he discovered the woodpecker had carved out a nesting cavity in this dead section of the tree. Unfortunately, mama or papa woodpecker slipped inside before I could take a photo. Soon we will have little red-headed baby woodpeckers to entertain us. What a blessing to eavesdrop on some of God's beautiful creatures as they busily prepare for and tend to their young.


Rainforest Gardener said...

What amazing photos! I love how irritated the hawk looks, as if to say "who put that there?" You're so lucky to have a view of all these great birds!

Dani said...

WOW!!! Baby Blue Herons!!!!

Ami said...

That hawk looks both cute and scary :) I think i would like to see it in a little more distance than right on my window sill. Those baby blue herons are so beautiful! You have a quite view there.

FlowerLady said...

What priceless pictures! The hawk looking inside, and those wonderful blue herons.

Enjoy and thank you for sharing.


Christy said...

I really, *really* love that hawk!

NanaK said...

What fun to observe all that wildlife up close. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Poor hawk. You are lucky he didn't break the glass! Those things are big.

Floridagirl said...

That is so cool! I've had a few songbirds come up to the window and even a few that have knocked themselves out cold flying into it. But never a hawk! How wonderful to see herons like that from your window! I have to walk down to the river to see such sights.

Kimberly said...

That's crazy! I can't believe all the GREAT shots you have! The hawk...the herons...such precious sites! Hawks frequent my fence top, spying the snakes and rabbits, but never on my window sill! Lola would not be a happy girl!

Susan said...

Rainforest Gardener...Glad you like the photos. We do enjoy the "wildness" of our neighborhood.

Dani...We think it's pretty cool, too.

Ami...The hawk is a little menacing looking. I definitely wouldn't want to come face to face outside with him.

FlowerLady...Sometimes you get lucky and have a camera with you at just the right time.

Christy...I know hawks generally have keen eyesight, but I think this one needs some glasses.

Kay...I am worried that someday he may end up coming through the window. He's hit it a couple of times. I hope that never happens.

FloridaGirl...We were definitely lucky to have these baby herons so close. A real treat!

Kimberly...Yeah, I can imagine that a hawk on your windowsill would really freak Lola out. :-)

Rhonda said...

You must live in a wonderful area for wildlife. What a luxury to have them out side your door (and at your window!).

Susan said...

Rhonda...Hi and welcome. I noticed you live in the Tampa area. I'm a little to the east of you in Lakeland. I look forward to visiting your blog.

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