Lens-Artists #94: At Home

This week, Amy has challenged us to show photos we have taken at home.

During this almost six weeks of sheltering in place I find myself spending more and more time outside appreciating the natural beauty all around me.

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Hibiscus
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First day lily of the season
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Second day lily of the season

We’ve had many birds at our feeder this spring – chickadees, house finches, cardinals, hummingbirds and others. My favorite is a pair of painted buntings that come by every day. So far I’ve only been able to get photos of the male.

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Male Painted Bunting

The cardinals hang around under the feeder in hopes of finding fallen seeds.

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Male cardinal searching for seeds under the bird feeder

Monarch butterflies are continuing to come through the garden. I haven’t found any more caterpillars and the milkweed they stripped is coming back strong with new growth.

I  first spotted a Monarch Chrysalis in my garden about three weeks ago. I’ve been checking on it several times a day and after 14 days I realized this one was not going to make it.

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Monarch chrysalis day 16

Being at home for six weeks has made me realize how much I have to be grateful for. I am so grateful to live in a home where I can go outside into my yard to enjoy the natural world. I’m grateful I can keep in touch with friends and family who are far away. I’m grateful for my health and the health of my family and friends. I’m grateful I am physically able to get out and exercise in the fresh air.

Many thanks to Amy for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – At Home

Inspired by Discover Prompt Grateful.

Lens-Artists #88: Chaos

This week  Ann-Christine has chosen Chaos as the theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

I experienced chaos first hand this week when I made a routine trip to the grocery store. I wasn’t there for toilet paper, hand sanitizer or cleaning supplies but apparently every one else was. It was a total mad house with not enough cashiers to handle the crowd. I was glad to get out of there with my few groceries (and wine)!

So, to bring a lighter note to this post I chose some photos of chaos in the animal world.

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Feeding frenzy at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
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When the shrimpers clean their nets, seagulls come by for an easy meal
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Salmon returning to the fish hatchery in Valdez, Alaska

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Chaos

Lens-Artists #87: Reflections

This week’s photo challenge is from our guest host Miriam. The theme this week is Reflections.

As I browsed through my photos I found a few with reflections off the surface of a body of water.

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Crescent Lake, Washington
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Little Ocmulgee State Park, Georgia
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Reflections of a palm tree in the Silver River, Florida
Early morning birds at Eco Pond near Flamingo Campground
Early morning birds at Eco Pond near Flamingo Campground

Many thanks to our guest host Miriam for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Reflections

Throwback Thursday #16 – January 16, 2012

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips. This January I am highlighting our January, 2012 snowbird trip to Florida.

Part 3 of our January, 2012 RV trip around Florida

On this day eight years ago, January 16, 2012, we were camped in Everglades National Park in Flamingo, Florida. This was the southern most location of our 2012 snowbird journey.

One of our favorite drives in Florida is Highway 41, a National Scenic Byway which goes  from east and west through the Everglades. We stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve for a look at the alligators before continuing on to the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park.

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We stopped at the Oasis visitor center on Highway 41 to check out the alligators

Our first time camping was three years earlier (more about that stay at Throwback Thursday #13 – December 5, 2009). The big difference between our 2009 visit and this visit was they had added electricity to some of the sites. There were only a few electric sites and they were available on a first come basis so we made sure to get there early enough to score the last one! Woo hoo!

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Hawk hanging around the campground in Flamingo

The sunrise was spectacular over Florida Bay.

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Sunrise in Flamingo, Everglades National Park, Florida

The birding was also spectacular.

Flamingo is remote, natural, and wild. My kind of place.

 

Throwback Thursday #13 – December 5, 2009

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

On this day ten years ago, December 5, 2009, we were camped in the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park. We spent the day exploring the national park around Flamingo.

After entering Everglades National Park, the drive to the Flamingo Campground is another 38 miles through the park. Flamingo is the southernmost place in the mainland of the U.S. (The southernmost point in the U.S. is farther south in Key West.)

I wandered from our campsite in the morning to nearby Eco Pond where many wading birds were gathered.

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Egrets and Spoonbill at Eco Pond
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Wood Stork
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Roseate Spoonbill

Later in the day we went for a boat ride on a big pontoon boat in Florida Bay. There were some White Pelicans on a sandbar close to the boat. There were also hundreds of White Pelicans on a sand bar too far away to take pictures. As we headed back to the dock the rain started coming down.

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White Pelicans in Florida Bay
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Florida Bay on a rainy day

The Flamingo area of Everglades National Park is far from civilization and a wonderful place for bird watching and seeing other wildlife. In addition to the birds visitors can observe alligators and crocodiles in the wild. During certain times of year there may even be manatees in the water.

We enjoyed our stay so much we returned in 2012.