Thursday, March 29, 2007

Moving in???

We've never had chickadees nest in one of our bird houses. Maybe this will be the year...


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Great horned owls

I took these photos last month while visiting my parents in Sebring, Florida. These owls were nesting in a tree on a golf course. Papa (I assume) was standing guard. Camouflaged very well, but we saw him.

great horned owl

And he saw us...

great horned owl

We walked around to the other side of the tree and could see Mama's head as she sat on her nest.

great horned owl

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Guilt-free kidnapping

We'll be leaving our Florida winter home soon to migrate back to North Carolina, which means moving the finches into their travel cages for the trip home. Victor & Pearl had been doing a great job raising their 3 little ones, but I figured there was no way that they would handle the disruption of moving to a different cage for a 2 day trip and continue to feed the little ones. So my plan has always been that I would take over as Mommy and hand feed the babies as soon as I move Victor and Pearl to a travel cage.

baby gouldian finches

I felt bad about the fact that I would need to "kidnap" the little ones, but Victor and Pearl made it easy for me two days ago when they abandoned the nest box. We had the carpets cleaned and I moved their cage into another room for a few hours, and that's all it took - no more baby feeding. Even after I moved the cage back to the original location, they wouldn't return to the nest. I fed the babies every couple of hours, but left them in the nest until evening hoping that the parents would resume their duties. But they didn't, so they are mine now. Step-mom and babies are doing fine.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


We've been putting mealworms out on our back patio every morning and evening. A palm warbler occasionally stops by for a worm or two. And our resident pair of mockingbirds will take all that they can get.

mockingbird eating mealworms

A mouthful...

mockingbird eating mealworms

They are parents, but their nest is too high in the tree for us to view the babies.

mockingbird nest

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Seven layer jello

This dessert that I made for a party tonight was such a hit that I thought I would post a photo and the recipe:

7 layer jello

You will need: 4 (3 oz) jellos - lime, orange, lemon, strawberry, 2 cups of sour cream, 1 cup of sugar & 2 packets of plain Knox gelatin. You will also need about 7 hours because each layer needs to firm up before you add the next layer.

1. start with Lime jello - dissolve the contents of the pkg into 1 cup boiling water. Then add 1/2 cup cold water. Pour into 9x13 pan & put in fridge until firm

2. white layer next: mix 2/3 cup of milk with 1/3 cup of sugar and bring to a boil. mix 2/3 packet of plain Knox gelatin with a 2 T of water, then add it to the milk/sugar mixture. Add 2/3 cup of sour cream and whip until creamy. Let it cool a little, then pour on top of the firm jello layer & refrigerate until firm.

3. Repeat step 1 except use Orange jello.

4. Repeat step 2.

5. Repeat step 1 with Lemon jello

4. Repeat step 2.

7. Repeat step 1 with Strawberry jello.

Monday, March 19, 2007

And now there are three

I gave Victor a couple of gentle pokes & he hopped out of the nest for a minute so I could check on the babies. There are 3 now and I'm pretty sure that's all there's going to be. The remaining eggs don't look like they are fertile.

gouldian finch babies

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The second round

Victor & Pearl are at it again. The first baby of their 2nd clutch hatched yesterday. Here's a shot of the newborn...hungry!

gouldian finch hatchling

I took this photo today. I'm an obsessive nest checker once there are babies. There are at least 2 now, although only one is peeking out for this photo. Most of the time one or both of the parents have the babies & eggs completely covered.

gouldian finch hatchling

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Night view from our window

This frog was suctioning his way around the outside of our window,

frog on window

when this moth (which was a lot smaller than it looks in this photo) landed a few inches away. He didn't last long.

moth on window

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maggie Moo's

I've been trying to sort out some photos - a never ending job because I seem to take photos faster than I sort them. But here are a few that I took last year when the grand-kids visited us here in Florida. These were taken at Maggie Moo's.

Maggie Moo's Ice Cream, Naples FL

Here you get to choose your ice cream flavor, then choose your "mix ins", then they throw it all on a cold slab and chop/stir/mix until it turns into something yummy.

Maggie Moo's Ice Cream, Naples FL

I don't remember what B chose for his flavor or his "mix ins", but there was obviously some blue involved.

Maggie Moo's Ice Cream, Naples FL

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hi-tech strawberry farm

A couple of weeks ago we visited my parents in Sebring, FL. We stopped to pick strawberries at this place. Easy picking here! Instead of plants on the ground, they grow them in these nifty little pots on poles. So much easier on the back muscles!

strawberry farm

And delicious too!

strawberry farm

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Osprey dinner time

Thursday evening we hopped aboard the Nature Conservency's boat (Naples, FL) for a sunset cruise. We went passed through a section of the intercoastal that our guide called "Osprey Alley". I'm not sure if that's the official name, but it should be. There were osprey nests on almost every channel marker and at every nest we saw babies being fed. I took lots of photos, most of them disappointing, but here are two that I love...

osprey feeding babies

Click on them if you want to see a larger view of these adorable babies.

osprey feeding babies

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Toad overload

It seems no matter what animal I come across, I try to turn it into a pet. This little toad sitting beside our porch looked a little depressed.

toad eating mealworms

Maybe he would like some meal worms ...

toad eating mealworms

Apparently he likes them - quicker than I could press the camera button, three mealworms turned into one. Notice how the position of his feet didn't change.

toad eating mealworms

Another worm...

toad eating mealworms

Gone! Again, quicker than I could press the camera button. Again, his feet didn't move.

toad eating mealworms

OK, here comes another one...

toad eating mealworms

Yes! Finally an action shot!

toad eating mealworms

Another one approaches...

toad eating mealworms

But apparently Mr. Toad's tummy is full or he just wants to be tickled under the chin ...

toad eating mealworms

because he lets this one live.

toad eating mealworms