Saturday, August 11, 2018

Condo Wildlife

Mom and I aren't spending a whole lot of time outside in this heat, but in the mornings we walk around the condo complex just to get some exercise. Yesterday we came across this big ol' softshell turtle swimming in the pond. Talk about a dinosaur!

In the woodsy swamp below Mom's balcony, these little red flowers are growing. I don't remember ever seeing them before. The plant is a wild bush bean (Macroptilium lathyroides), and although it's naturalized in Florida apparently it's not a native -- it comes from Mexico and the Caribbean.

But the birds like them, or at least the hummingbirds do! This tiny ruby-throated hummingbird buzzed around the bush beans for several minutes, sipping nectar, before landing in a tree.

We also saw this delicate, neon-bright orchard spider (Leucauge venusta).

And finally, an anhinga, doing its bizarre ballet on a dead branch in the turtle pond. It was sitting normally until I walked nearby, when it began doing a lot of dramatic stretching. I think I stressed it out!


Yorkshire Pudding said...

"Steve! Steve! Watcha doin' son? Now put that goddam camera away and let's get walking or I shall give you thick ear my lad!"

Anonymous said...

its nice you're spending time with your mum,, looks like a lovely area,, great photos and I'm still smiling from reading the comment from Yorkshire Pudding!!

Ms. Moon said...

Those turtles freak me out. That's the same kind that I found on my little kitchen porch one day with absolutely no idea how he got there. It's almost as if he popped through time and space.
What a beautiful shot of that anhinga! Snake bird! They have to stretch those wings to dry them out so they can fly after diving.

Sharon said...

That turtle does have a prehistoric look to it. I do love a good nature walk. I can't wait for it to cool off enough to do it here.

Jennifer said...

What beautiful photos, especially the one of the anhinga! They're such amazing birds and I always like to see them.

I'll bet your mom is so happy to have you there visiting!

Anonymous said...

I love seeing what you are seeing there in Florida. Such interesting wildlife. That Anhinga is so beautiful.

ellen abbott said...

cool turtle! and I think we have that spider here too. and great shot of the aningha.

Stillwaterrunsdeep said...

Great photos! I also loved seeing the shots from Cambodia and Vietnam! I enjoy traveling along and seeing through your lens, so thank you for sharing! Florida wildlife is varied and beautiful and I would love to get there, but the spiders and biting things make me think again. I have the Wisconsin mosquitoes, skunks and bears to avoid, that's enough. Have a safe trip home.

Colette said...

Anhingas crack me up. Good pictures.

jenny_o said...

I've heard that hummingbirds are attracted to red blossoms of any kind and remember at one time having bee balm plants in our flower garden, which have wonderful red blossoms - we had numerous hummers during that time. It's cool how animals' choices are guided by such things.

You are getting some lovely wildlife shots.

e said...

Great photos...Did not realize your mother was in a condominium. Does she like it and are you venturing this way?

Catalyst said...

And I thought all the Florida dinosaurs were out playing golf.

Red said...

If you stay in one spot with your eyes open the critters will com to you.

Peace Thyme said...

I have never in my life seen anything like that soft turtle. Amazing.

Frances said...

Nice to see creatures that I am not familiar with......though we did see a lot of humming birds many years ago when we visited Canada! Gorgeous little things.

Steve Reed said...

YP: That's pretty much it, although I don't think my mom ever called me "my lad."

Laurie: It IS a nice area and she's lucky to have all this animal life around her.

Ms Moon: Aren't those turtles wild looking? We used to have them in the lake behind our house so I'm used to them, but I wouldn't want one on my porch!

Sharon: We've found if we get out by about 8 a.m. it's perfectly pleasant. Any later than that and it's an oven out there.

Jennifer: They are such bizarre birds, aren't they?!

Robin: It's amazing how much wildlife there is, considering we're in a fairly urban area. I guess being on the river makes a big difference.

Ellen: They're very common spiders, so I wouldn't be surprised. I just love the coloring.

StillWater: The spiders and biting things really aren't a problem, especially if you wear insect repellent. I would advise coming during the winter, though, when being outside is more pleasant!

Colette: They ARE really goofy!

Jenny-O: I didn't know that, about hummingbirds and red flowers! Interesting. I hope it really was getting something out of those blossoms.

E: Well, it's a retirement center, but she lives in the independent living area, which is essentially a condo. No, I'm staying in Jax on this trip!

Catalyst: Ha! OK, you win points for that one.

Red: That's exactly true. We sit out on Mom's balcony and if we're quiet it's amazing what we see.

Peace Thyme: Aren't they weird? I have some pictures of the whole animal -- it has a sort of oblong shell. They're pretty common in Florida, though not as common as the snapping turtles.

Frances: Apparently hummingbirds only live in the Americas, which I didn't know until I read up on them while trying to identify this one. Who knew?