Thursday, June 14, 2018

Popourri: Relocation to Florida

Only three days after we returned to south Florida from our (hopefully soon to be ex-) second home in Illinois, our son and his family-- all seven of them-- arrived for a visit. After hearing what they planned to pay for hotel accommodations, we offered to put them all up in our home. It all worked out very well and despite daily afternoon rain showers we all had fun.

These are images of a threatening sky at sunrise from our back patio:

Sunrise from our patio 2-20180608

Across the lake 20180608

An iPhone 180 degree panorama (click to enlarge):

Sunrise from our patio 180 degrees pano 20180608

The grandchildren loved the pool at our clubhouse, and we all piled into their 9-passenger van and visited several attractions. The Miami Seaquarium was fun despite my concern about the small size of the pools which imprisoned the dolphins and Orcas. Yet the captives seemed to enjoy performing:

Seaquarium dolphins 07-20180604

Seaquarium dolphins 04-20180604

Seaquarium dolphins 09-20180604

A Great Egret and a Black-crowned Night-Heron photo-bombed the Orca show:

Seaquarium Orca 20180604

A sea lion seemed enthusiastic about pleasing its trainer, reminding me of how a pet dog can beg for just one more game of catch:

Seaquarium sea lions 20180604


This is Florida, so of course there were the mandatory captive flamingos:

Seaquarium flamingos 20180604

We all visited Everglades Natural Park and experienced a bit of life on the wild side. An immature Red-Shouldered Hawk cried loudly and persistently near the entrance:

 Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile 20180603

Red-shouldered Hawk juvenile 2-20180603

The American Alligators were a special treat for our visitors from the arid Texas Panhandle:

Alligator 20180603

Alligator 2-20180603

A basking Anhinga gave us an opportunity to study the corrugations on its tail, an adaptation which acts as "spoilers" to reduce drag as the bird flies underwater to pursue fish:

Anhinga - Corrugated tail and uropygial gland 20180604

The owner of the tail, a male Anhinga, was too near to fit into my prime telephoto lens:

Anhinga male 20180603

Remarkably, the normally recusive Limpkins were abundant, as were the apple snails which make up their main diet. Peninsuar Florida is the northern extreme of their range. They are rarely found In the US outside the State, making them a sought-after specialty.

Limpkin preening:

Limpkins 07-20180603

Limpkin scratching, with apple snail shell nearby:

Limpkin 05-20180603

Limpkin enjoying a meal of snail meat. The next photos illustrate its highly specialized bill, which is bent and twisted at the tip to form "scissors" which deftly snip the tissue that attaches the snail to its shell:

Limpkin with applesnail 20180603

 Limpkins 09-20180603


Not to be overlooked were the butterflies and flowers--

Swamp Lily:

Swamp Lily 01-20180603

Pink wild hollyhock:

Pink wild hollyhock 20180603

White Peacock:

White Peacock 20180603

A few days after the visitors departed we did get out on the local wetlands. The first morning, about a half hour before sunrise, I heard an Eastern Screech-Owl calling just inside the entrance gate. I approached a dead palm with an old woodpecker hole which looked like a good place for their nest, but the sound then came from a tree over to my right. 


I turned around and squeaked with my lips to encourage the owl to repeat its call. Instead, something hit my head and lifted up my hat. I reached up and my hand brushed against the wing of an owl as it released my hat and flew off. Since the attack came from behind it probably represented a second owl which was disturbed by my presence so near the nest. Its flight was entirely silent, and I never did see either owl.

My souvenir of the attack is the imprint of three little talons on the crown of my Tilley hat. (As a kid in New Jersey I remember watching a family of screech owls which nested in the steeple of a church near our home. One Sunday morning they started attacking the hats of ladies who were entering the church! It made the newspapers and I think the owls were relocated or worse.) 

Disposing of our Illinois condo was more complicated than expected. The closing date has been delayed several times by the buyer, always for legitimate reasons, but there remains that unsettling air of uncertainty. Also, I completed my round of medical procedures and had surgery on June 11th (our 58th Wedding Anniversary!!) to remove a lesion on my nose (2 sessions of Mohs excisions followed by plastic surgery to cover the defect). I feel fine and it is great to get out again. Thank you for all your good wishes.


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Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

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Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display

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18 comments:

  1. Hopefully the paperwork will soon be over and you can relax in your new environment. Your post was a great look at the wildlife. I had not spotted those corrugations on anhinga tails before.

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  2. great shots...great places to have a camera handy.

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  3. Love the skies, stunning. i particularly like the Red-Shouldered Hawk and the White Peacock. Lovely photos all. Diane

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  4. Best of luck with the closing process on the condo. It will all happen. Stay positive. My parents moved to Florida, (the panhandle), many years ago. They love living there and we love visiting! Enjoy your new residence!

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  5. Glad to hear the surgery went well and you are out and about again. Real estate transactions seem like, more often than not, there are speed bumps. Fingers crossed!!

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  6. Glad tohear all is well with you after your surgery and hopefuly your condo will be sold and sorted soon. well you have everything in this post and of course all your photography is marelous. I especially love the sunrise. An fabulous reflection image. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  7. What a wonderful array of gorgeous critters, and that always-important blue sky. I'm glad your surgery worked out for you, too.
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  8. We moved to Florida - in our early 20's. Stayed two years and left. Who knows what we wll do now - those upstate New York winters are harder and harder to deal with each year. Best of luck with your condo closing. What lovely pictures - all of them!

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  9. Fantastic skies. The wildlife isn't too shabby either ;-)
    So wonderful that your home is big enough to accomodate your visiting family members. It makes more sense and you're right the cost of hotels is atrocious if one is going to visit for more than a night.

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  10. Hello, your sky shots are stunning. Wonderful captures of the dolphins. The birds are all beautiful. I hope all goes well with the condo settlement. Lovely post and photos. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend.

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  11. Wonderful shots with plenty of reflections, even on the sides of the dolphins.

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  12. Excellent pictures! Looks like a lovely area. Watch for alligators!

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  13. You'll always have the hat to remember your close encounter with the owl!! Loved seeing the tail feathers of the anhinga. And your morning sky...a stunner!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us bird watchers this week! Always appreciated.

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  14. Wonderful shots! A little bit of everything. Happy Sunday!

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  15. Wow! An owl attack! How cool was that....you even have talon marks on your hat! :-) Loved the wonderful photos. That Limpkin with the snail was such a cool photo, as well as the red shouldered hawk. And I loved the scenery as always. How fun getting to visit with your son and his family at Sea World!

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  16. What an interesting post full of awesome beauty!

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