Janine's Blog

Springtime

Feb 25, 2018 by Janine |
All the indicators point to springtime in Florida. Cars yellow with pollen? Check. Everywhere crowded with snowbirds? Check. Birds and butterflies all over the garden? Check! :)

The atala butterflies are doing well.





This unusual Northern Parula has been visiting for the past week or so. The yellow throat does not normally extend above the bill.







This male painted bunting has been quite the poser.







Yellow-rumped warbler bathtime





The hummingbirds are loving the coral bean blooms.





Birds, G3

Feb 11, 2018 by Janine |
The birds are enjoying their new stone birdbath.







The catbird has been eating and caching seed pods. I had been wondering why I have baby cardboard palms sprouting up all over the garden :)



In other bird news, there has been action in the owl box!







So after we got back from California, I had to go to South Carolina for work. Was fun to explore a new place.





Once I got home, we went to Ft. Lauderdale to see G3 with Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, and Phil Collen. I was just as excited to see Joe's band (Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller) as I was to see the big 3.













We were at side stage for the encore. Was amazing to be so close!







Can't wait for the next G3 :)

California trip

Feb 03, 2018 by Janine |
Rich and I went out west to see some shows on the latest leg of Yngwie Malmsteen's World on Fire tour. It was awesome!!!

Santa Monica



Visited the Rock N Roll walk of fame in LA



So that is why Steve Vai plays guitar so well ;)



Hiking around Malibu. We saw lots of wildlife and a bikini model on a photo shoot.









Was fun exploring the tide pools. We were also treated to a fly-by by some WWII fighters and saw some whales blowing far in the distance!







The concerts were amazing. Definitely worth the trip!









The guitar toss!



The band sounded great too and had a really good energy on stage. Was so much fun to meet up with some familiar faces.



We asked Yngwie if he was planning to tour again soon and he said yes! Hoping we don't have to travel so far next time! It was overwhelming because over the course of 7 days we saw 2 Yngwie shows and G3 in Ft. Lauderdale!!! G3 pics to come soon. Gonna get some rest now! :D

Florida Scrub Jay, little dinosaur, and other birds

Jan 21, 2018 by Janine |
Some time ago, there was a petition to change Florida's state bird from the Mockingbird to the Florida Scrub Jay. It never passed, but I think the scrub jay would make a much better state bird for us. I love mockingbirds, but several other states claim it as their state bird. The Florida scrub jay is endemic to Florida and would be much more unique. They are becoming harder to find unfortunately, so it is a special treat to see one.







This fierce little green anole was fighting with another male. I have seen the dinosaur-like crests before, but I have never seen the war paint!





Blue-gray gnatcatcher



Cassius blue



White-eyed vireo checking out the bird bath in my garden

Garden birds and bugs

Jan 15, 2018 by Janine |
We had some unusually heavy rain this past week which is not normal for this time of year. The yard was soggy which was great for birds and bugs. We had a small flock of juvenile ibises foraging for worms.



Water levels are high in Riverbend Park



Usual visitors to the garden. So far the goldfinch count is holding at around 12. The flock of waxwings has increased to about 50 in number but I have not noticed them land in the yard yet.







I planted some giant milkweed for the Monarchs and got a customer right away! I do have the native milkweed too, but the caterpillars defoliate them too quickly. So the giant milkweeds are a backup food source :)



Friday night we braved the cold and stormy weather to see a cool local band called NZM, and the Graham Bonnet Band. We were front and center for a night of 80's metal!

NZM











Graham Bonnet Band











Happy New Year 2018

Jan 01, 2018 by Janine |
Wishing everyone a great year to come!

We wrapped 2017 with some nice birdwatching weather. Checked in at Jupiter Ridge to see how the Scrub Jays are doing. We haven't had a chance to see them since the Hurricane. We heard at least one but didn't see any. Other birds were abundant, including swarms of blue-gray gnatcatcher, palm warbler, and American goldfinch.



A cooperative Downy Woodpecker





We also took advantage of the cooler weather and time off work to do some gardening and enjoy our birds at home.

Yellow-rumped warbler



Abundant painted buntings







Carolina wren



Ovenbird and monarch



Female redstart



The goldfinches are increasing in number. Had 5 the other day. I bought a 50lb bag of nyjer seed in case more turn up!



Also, a flock of waxwings flew over the yard but didn't stop. Riverbend park had loads of robins.
We are supposed to see some even cooler weather this week, so I am hoping to see some more interesting visitors from the north soon!

Holiday Wishes

Dec 24, 2017 by Janine |
Wishing everyone a rockin' Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

Sanibel, other sightings

Dec 22, 2017 by Janine |
We went to Sanibel over Thanksgiving for our annual chill-out. As always, it was very relaxing.

Bad hair day for this reddish egret



Sitting pretty



Evening herons





Tree crab



At home, we had a new visitor to the garden, a Least Flycatcher.



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Lots of Atala butterflies



In metal news, we saw Devin Townsend a few weeks ago. I was totally blown away by it. We also went to the Rock and Roll Ribs anniversary party with a friend and saw Nicko McBrain's Iron Maiden cover band. Nicko was great as always. He takes the time to do a meet and greet with everyone at the end of the evening, which is really nice.





Did some field inspections for work last week and saw some cool wildlife.

Immature bald eagle and red shouldered hawk



Diamondback rattlesnake







It was nice to get out in the field again! Looking forward to seeing some different birds over the holiday break.













Garden birds and other visitors

Nov 25, 2017 by Janine |
Still getting a few warblers along with the painted buntings and hummingbirds

Black-throated blue warbler



American redstart







Get in mah belleh!



Catbirds and phoebes are lounging around too





The atala butterflies are doing well. Loads of adults, caterpillars, and hatching!



Last week I had to go to Edmonton, Alberta for meetings. It is the farthest north I've ever been!

I was just leaving for the airport when I encountered this fellow traveler in the yard.



Canada was pretty but cold!







While I was gone Rich took some photos of this blue grosbeak. Think this might be a first for the garden.



Happy belated Thanksgiving to those in the US! Very thankful for my garden birds :)

Everglades, Keys, Mr. Malmsteen

Nov 14, 2017 by Janine |
It has been a very busy few weeks! I've been on the road a lot for work and we also decided to take a couple of days out to visit our beloved Everglades and the Keys. And see Yngwie Malmsteen for the third time this year :D :D :D

Everglades National Park was not yet fully reopened when we visited last month. The park took some damage from Irma and many areas were still closed. We still had a lovely time and got to visit with lots of colorful characters!

Croc at Flamingo



Lots of manatees mudbathing in the marina! No boat traffic so they had the place to themselves (except for the crocs)



Sassy crow



Female redstart



Barn swallow



A beautiful sunset with the broomgrasses





The next day we visited the Keys and checked out Robbie's Tarpon. They have done a great job rebuilding after the hurricane. The tarpon were still there, plus some other interesting folks!



I didn't think the manatee would be interested in a fish



This guy was definitely interested in fish!





Last night we saw YJM in Melbourne, FL. It was magnificent!

Meet and greet before the show. We brought a mini Marshall stack to go with the mini Strat that we brought him last time.



I also brought a print for him to sign, my favorite shot from the Ft. Lauderdale show. He really liked it!



Once the show started, he invited his front rows to gather around the stage for the performance. It was unreal to be that close!!!









We had an amazing time, met up with some familiar faces, and made some new friends too! Can't wait until the next show!