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Urban Nature, Part Two

Strictly speaking, this picture of a triplet sunflower doesn't really fit into today's category, however, I thought it was so cool that I'm showing it because I can. Driving over to Bill's last week, taking a different route for variety, I came across a yard with a big patch of sunflowers, which I naturally had to stop and photograph, as they were adjacent to the street. I bet you would as well...
Isn't it gorgeous??? Not something I see every day that's for certain.

Then too, when was the last time I saw an owl except at the zoo? Now I have for two days in a row!! While watching the World Cup match Saturday night at David and Cheryl's home, she, or maybe the other guests, mentioned a home in Southern Oaks with more than one owl in their tree. Because we live just across the street from there, and I knew just the house because their gardens are so lovely, I rode over the other morning to see what I could see. I scanned and scanned the trees until suddenly I saw one way up there.
Having already told you, it is not so hard to see is it? Knocking on the door for permission to trespass, no one was home, so I did it anyway. Keep in mind I don't have super fancy equipment, like most folks who photograph birds and such, but I do have better than some, and my zoom is pretty good.
Woo hoo--look at those talons!! I was happy, but not completely satisfied, as I'd only seen the one. As you well know, when I get an obsession, sort of like my past eagle obsession, I'll keep looking. Hold that thought.....

That same Saturday night, taking something out to the recycling bin, (probably a wine bottle!), I heard something in the pool. Hmmm....so of course I went in to get my camera. It was not Saturday night after all, duh, which I could retract my previous sentence but I won't, it was Friday the 13th because I took this one as well that night.
At any rate, turning on the pool light, I watched the action of these two frogs, one of which was such a bright chartreuse!
So, it has the big bug eyes of the hated Cuban tree frog, but typically they have no markings, or none to speak of, and they are certainly not this shade of green. Well, it turns out there was more than one...
Now you see what I'm talking about. On the left is the typical coloring. What happened next is still a mystery because it was really only for a moment, but I was pretty darn glad I had a camera in hand when it did.
The mysteries of nature never cease to amaze! Nor does the fact that there is life happening all around us, and if we keep our eyes and ears open there is much to see. Such as, while standing at the kitchen sink, I saw the black racer on the walkway, not an unusual sight, but one that makes me glad I'm inside rather than out.
This is a harmless snake, despite it's creepiness. Calling Bruce to the window, I asked him how long he thought the snake was because it seemed much longer than the one I'm accustomed to seeing. 30 inches or so!! What happened next also surprised me....
Yup, a little drink from the bird bath!! Opening the door to take a closer look, just as Bruce was going to step outside, off the snake slithered away. Is it any wonder I don't like going in those front bushes to turn on the hose?????

Just prior to heading off on my bike ride, I did a little garden surveying and came across this slug on my salvia I planted after digging them up roadside.
What an odd looking creature, don't you think? The name doesn't help much.

When Sue came over on her bike after I'd already ridden, I told her about the owls, which she promptly went looking for. Texting me, she told me she'd seen them two doors down in a big palm tree. Obviously, on our way to Bill's house, we had to check it out for ourselves! Sure enough, as we pulled up, we saw a man in his driveway, with phone in hand, trying to take a photograph. Asking if we could join him, he said sure.
Not only were there the above two, there was yet another one doing his thing.
Sorry for that!!! The man, of course I've forgotten his name, turned out to be one of the major builders of Southern Oaks, claiming he and his wife were the first to move into the newly planned subdivision back in 1969. His was an interesting story, which he shared freely, which included a love of collecting, including plants. Our tour of the back garden was really something, as was this water feature he built.
Apparently there were once loads of koi in this pond, however, the egrets found them quite tasty. Speaking of fish, remember how I told you that the lake water was clear as can be? Checking it out in the daytime, I was amazed at the size of this fish which was happily swimming near the shoreline.
Naturally I had no idea what kind it was. You might be surprised to learn it is a tilapia according to Bruce. On the shore there were these prints of most likely a raccoon looking to eat a fish like the one above!
Isn't this fun? And aren't you super impressed I managed to post without a cardinal photograph? I'm trying to show some restraint! Because it is getting hot as the dickens, there are loads of butterflies.
Is there anyone who is not impressed with butterflies? I should think not.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to photograph something I find amusing, these geese certainly qualify.
Wearing their rain gear, they needed it last week, but in a little bit of freakish weather, we have had not one drop of rain since Saturday night. Clear, sunny skies have prevailed. It is a good thing I'm not the betting kind because after the monsoons of last week, I decided on Saturday night not to do the market on Sunday. I could not have been more off. Mostly I'm okay with a bit of rain because Mr. Bruce prepares out tent for that eventuality; during a Florida summer, it is pretty much a given there will be afternoon rain, however, it is the market managers who are not prepared, closing the market so early it is hardly worth all the trouble. Instead Bill and Dave brought lunch for Father's Day and the four of us spent a beautiful afternoon poolside making memories. :) There were no nature sightings to report.
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