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, January 23, 2012

Winter's Gifts

We are indeed lucky that winters in Florida aren't the dreary sort with gray skies, bare trees and no flowers. 

This year's spectacularly mild winter finds plenty of flowers abloom in my garden. 

This more typical Florida winter that we're having is definitely more enjoyable, and I haven't missed...not one little bit...worrying about my plants freezing.

One of winter's gifts is the increase in the bird population, especially the adorable American Goldfinches. These cute little fellows are busy plucking up seeds that settled into the tiny pits in the road. 

They also frequent a variety of feeders in the garden.  Mr. Cardinal seems to take it all in stride as he waits for his turn.

The Sandhill crane population seems to explode in the winter. We were delighted to have this foursome drop by for a visit one Sunday afternoon on the vacant property next to us. And, on warm sunny days, Brownie our brown water snake can be seen sunning himself right next to the garden hose. Perhaps he thinks it's a pretty green snake. :-) When it's cold he stays warm and cozy in his home in the rocks behind him there in the picture.

And, right on time the Purple Martin scouts have arrived in search of a nesting place. They're like a squadron  of fighter pilots zipping back and forth feasting on any and all airborne insects.

The colorful flowers and winter visitors are a warm sight on a chilly winter's day.


Rohrerbot said...

Love the closeups on the Sandhill Cranes. Beautiful shots! I love winters here as well:)

FlowerLady said...

We sure have been having some splendid weather this winter. What are the purple flowers in your first mosaic.

How neat that you have the Sandhill Cranes visiting.

I planted some of your Native Iris seeds yesterday. I can hardly wait to see them sprout. I've other seeds ready to plant too, but have to wait for another day. Thanks again.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

ChrisC said...

I am soooo loving the weather we've been having this winter! Love your bird photos.

Lona said...

How wonderful to have so many blooms at this time of the year. All we northerners are jealous. LOL! I am sorry but a green snake is just not pretty to me. LOL! Got bitten as a child and I have a hate for them. I love the pictures of the Sandhill cranes Susan.

NellJean said...

This year is so different from last, when January had freezing nights almost all month. I keep waiting for the inevitable 'big freeze' that is sure to come. Meanwhile I'm enjoying a plethora of camellia blooms.

NanaK said...

You have such pretty flowers blooming. Love that collage. Makes me feel like spring is already here! I'm still waiting to see goldfinches in my garden. I've never had them visit. Other birds though are hanging around and butterflies and bumblebees too! I have been enjoying this mild weather tremendously.

Susan said...

Rohrerbot...They are beautiful birds.

Flowerlady...Indeed we have. The purple flowers are stokesia or Stokes Aster. They multiply nicely, take the cold and bloom all winter. Good luck with the flag iris.

Chris...It has been a wonderful winter.

Lona...I wouldn't like snakes either if one bit me.

NellJean...I hope we miss that 'big freeze' this year. We're certainly due for a mild one for a change.

Hi Kay...It shouldn't be too long before spring arrives...let's keep our fingers crossed that we don't have any late winter surprises.

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