I have a funny feeling that the titles of these posts are going to get more and more difficult to think of. My plan is to make this a running blog of my life, not so much of isolated “subjects” like I used to write. Commentaries are much more fun to post and I think the same is true when it comes to reading. The only problem is, I can’t name them, “Saturday, May 11” or “Going Outside Again.” The titles need significance.
I’m going to call this one, “North Florida Wildlife.” It’s basically what it is and everything you see here was taken within 50 feet from where we’ve been sleeping every night. Across the street, we have an empty lot with only a few pine trees and those weird low growing palms. The same is true for the lot next to us. In the back yard, we’ve got some pretty decent vegetation with a larger canal/swale all the way back. The swales to our right and behind are the reasons I decided to purchase the house we’re in. We only have one neighbor and they’re to the left, so privacy is pretty good.
We went for a nature walk a few days ago. Well, as much as we could do so close. Laura wanted to get some pictures and we were pretty sure the water in the back would be a good host to something. Whether it be birds, flowers, insects or reptiles. We haven’t exactly figured out what to expect around here yet.
For our first walk, we weren’t disappointed. If you think you need to hike deep into the forest to get decent shots, you’d be mistaken. From what we gathered the other day, you needn’t go further than your own vicinity.
I’m going to post the pictures we took below. Some are what you’d expect, but a few were real surprises for us. Take the Great Egret for example. We had no idea that was back there, picking through the weeds looking for something to eat. Laura took a few photos of it, but decided it would be better to simply sit and watch as it flew by with its huge wingspan. What a sight that was!
And the turtle (Gopher Tortoise) we found across the way – I was just working when I looked out the front window. I said, “Uhhh, we have a huge turtle eating grass across the street.” We went out and took a whole bunch of pictures. The one below is the best I could get. Every time I got close, he would recoil back into his shell. I’m thinking he was about a foot and a half long.
Then we come to me. Who know Laura would find me posing in front of some palms, just waiting to have a photo taken? It’s nature like this that’s so unexpected. Interesting, to say the least.
Lastly, Laura noticed Voleman looking out the window quite intensely a few days ago. When she got up to see what was going on, she met eyes with what she thinks may have been an orange house cat. Upon further reflection and analysis of the paw prints we found outside, we determined that we had no ordinary house cat walking around the back yard. The prints were at least two inches in diameter and the sand is quite disturbed, leading us to believe this animal had some weight to it. Lastly, it had no tail and was able to jump a swale of about 12 to 15 feet across. We found the launching and landing points. I don’t want to verbalize this to loudly or anything, but I think we have a tiger or panther living back there. Let’s keep that between us. I will tell you this though, Laura has become quite obsessed with the whole thing and we’re planning on installing a night camera on one of the trees back there. We found many more prints, so it should come in handy during what we think is a common occurrence. Her brother let us borrow the camera years ago and we haven’t had any use for it – until now.