Janine's Blog

The buntings are here

Oct 22, 2017 by Janine |
The first painted buntings of the season arrived on October 2, right on schedule. They have increased steadily in number since then. I think we have 7 or 8 right now.







Lots of hummingbirds still.





The Carolina wrens are back as well. We also saw a house wren, but they are a lot more secretive. No photos yet.







An interesting sighting while out doing errands- a "spiderman lizard," or red-headed rock agama. The males are incredibly brightly colored, while the females are a dull brown.



Had some work trips outside of Florida this month so I was able to enjoy some fall foliage and cooler temperatures!

Wyoming

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Colorado









The painted lady butterflies were migrating through the Denver/Boulder area while I was there. It was amazing to see so many butterflies, even amongst patches of snow!

While I was in Wyoming, I was passing through Casper for work and decided to seek out some places we had visited back in August for the eclipse. During the eclipse festivities, they had a huge world map set up downtown for visitors to pin their home towns. It brought back happy memories to see it again! Lots of visitors from Florida.





Next week we are having a cool front move through South Florida. Hooray! Hoping it brings some interesting birds!





Hummingbirds and Hurricanes

Sep 30, 2017 by Janine |
Our first hummingbirds arrived over Labor Day weekend, the week before Hurricane Irma. We had a pulse of migrant activity that weekend that also included ovenbird, red-eyed vireo, blue-gray gnatcatcher, magnolia warbler, and american redstart.



A pair of red-shouldered hawks were attracted by all the activity



So was a black racer. The birds were too quick so he had to settle for a treefrog.



The storm wasn't too bad for us in Palm Beach. Had some trees down and some minor flooding but nothing terrible. We did see some unusual insects after the storm, such as this nasty looking carpenter bee.



A mockingbird snagged a preying mantis once the winds died down



The hummingbirds were back immediately. The storm blew away most of the flowers so they swarmed my feeders. It is unusual to see more than one on the feeder at a time. Normally they aggressively chase each other away. But in the days following the storm, they tolerated each other. Barely!











The Arlo cams have been great at capturing them while we were busy with storm recovery.





Here's a clip of the "barely tolerating" each other from the Arlo.




I have never had this many hummingbirds in the yard. Many have moved on in the weeks after the storm, but we still have several at any one time.









Other recent visitors include Baltimore oriole and yellow- throated warbler







Looking forward to the arrival of the painted buntings! They usually arrive in early October.

Great American Eclipse

Aug 29, 2017 by Janine |
Our first trip to Wyoming was to see the eclipse. We stayed in Casper and really enjoyed it.

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Before the big day, we did some sight seeing and hiking.

Ayre's Natural Bridge

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I am obsessed with spirals, so I loved these bushes.

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Red Squirrel

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Chipmunk

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Electric Violin with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra

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Devil's Tower

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We saw the eclipse from the Casper College with the AstroCon group. It was surreal. Kind of surprised that I got any photos because I set the camera to timer and just hit the shutter randomly. Was completely blown away by the experience.

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The next US eclipse is going to be in 2024, but I don't know if I can wait that long. Might need to head to South America in 2019 or 2020 :D

Swamp things, NY

Jul 30, 2017 by Janine |
Swampy summertime visit to Riverbend

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Watersnake

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Pig Frog

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Leopard Frog

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Went to Brooklyn to catch the last 2 shows of Iron Maiden's Book of Souls Tour. Had an AMAZING time! Met Iron Maiden fans from all over the world. Also met Papa from Ghost!

Didn't have a lot of time for sight seeing but I strolled down to the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoyed some urban parks.

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Starting to look toward fall. Getting the garden ready for warblers and hummingbirds. May start to see some in the next month or so! Can't wait!

Flycatchers, Baby Bunnies, and Texas

Jul 03, 2017 by Janine |
The great-crested flycatcher family has been visiting the garden.

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Cicada for lunch

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Ridiculously cute baby rabbits are hanging around too. We get two kinds, Marsh Rabbit and Cottontail.

Marsh rabbit

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Cottontail

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Was in TX for work the week before last.

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My schedule worked out so that I was able to catch another Iron Maiden show before heading home, which was awesome!

Ghost opened the show, again. This time I enjoyed their performance a lot more! They sounded a lot heavier and more intense.

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Maiden were electrifying. Everyone was on their feet and getting into it! There was this amazing energy in the place.

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It was an unexpected bonus extension to Metal Week!

Metal Week

Jun 25, 2017 by Janine |
Earlier this month, we took a week off to see some local-ish Iron Maiden and Yngwie Malmsteen shows. It was incredible!!!

First, Iron Maiden in Tampa, with Ghost as the opening band. The show was pretty cool but I wasn't really that into Ghost at the time. That would change after seeing them a second time in TX... more on that later!

Papa Emeritus and the Nameless Ghouls

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IRON MAIDEN!!!

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Because we saw the first show of the tour last year, we didn't get to see all the little extras that they added as they went along. Like Eddie's heart!

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After Tampa, we had a day or so to recover before the first Yngwie Malmsteen show in Orlando. I had seen him last year as part of the Generation Axe show, but seeing his full set was quite the experience!

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Notice the Fuzz Face sitting on the ground? He doesn't use it- it just sits there because it looks cool, like a landmine as he says. That's why I brought one for him to sign at meet & greet. He seemed fairly surprised, apparently no one has every brought him one before!

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After that, another day to recover, and then Yngwie Malmsteen again in Ft. Lauderdale at the Parker Playhouse. Another amazing meet and greet! This time Rich had his YJM Stratocasters signed. Not wanting to be left out, I brought a miniature. Hilarity ensued.

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We had front row seats, just like we did for Steve Vai last year. It was AWESOME!!!

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The wall of Marshalls!

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At times it felt like he was playing just for us. An unforgettable end to our week of metal!

Little did I know I would be seeing Ghost and Maiden again in TX... but that is a story for next time!























Brown Thrashers, late hummingbird

Jun 03, 2017 by Janine |
The brown thrashers nested in the yard and their babies are now using the garden as a little nursery.

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A female hummingbird visited for a few days last week.

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Bumblebee

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Visited the Jupiter Ridge scrub and coastal preserve to see if the scrub jays were still around. They were!

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Osprey nest

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Curious black racer

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Red-bellied woodpecker keeping an eye on him

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Funny fiddler crabs

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Been hearing baby blue jays around, hope they visit the garden soon!




















Owl Graduation 2017

May 14, 2017 by Janine |
The screech owlets fledged last week. It seems so fast!

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Here's a rundown of this season's activity:

Jan 25- first visit to box by female confirmed

Mar 9- female started spending days in box

Mar 12- first egg laid

Mar 14- second egg laid

Apr 9- first egg hatched

Apr 10- second egg hatched

Apr 30- first day female spent away from box

May 10- first baby fledged

May 11- second baby fledged



Last Bunting, Baby Owls

May 07, 2017 by Janine |
Down the last female painted bunting. The rest of the buntings left a week or so ago, but one female is still hanging out.

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Here's one of the males from last week

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The baby screech owls have been a joy to watch. The nest box is getting crowded!

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Peekaboo!

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Better not get too close!

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Baby owls, Colorado

Apr 29, 2017 by Janine |
The babies are growing up fast.



Mom is usually the one in the box with the babies. She spends the days in there and at night she tears up the larger prey items for them.



This is the only photo I have of the whole family. Mom and Dad are almost never at the nest at the same time. He is the smaller one on the lower left. If it were in color you could see that he is a grey morph, while she is a red/brown morph.



Brown anole for scale



Mummy cuddles







Hello!



Spent a few days in Colorado for work. A nice break from the increasing heat here in FL.











More of the baby owls on twitter at @janineimages