Feathers And Scales On Friday: Let’s All Take A Turn

With the really strong winds we’ve been having in Florida, it was only a matter of time until the leaning palm tree in our backyard, toppled over, fortunately towards the lake and not the house.

Annie Anhinga was the first wild resident to discover it and it soon became a favourite spot for drying her wings in the sunshine.

Next up was Woody wood stork, who also liked to pose there for the odd photo.

I’m happy to report that the Iguana Control guy hasn’t done a very thorough job of ridding our neighbourhood of Iggys, and was delighted to see that a young, bright-green one had also found his way onto the palm trunk for a quick shot, but only with my camera.

In only a few days, the garden service came along with their chainsaw to chop up the tree and cart it away. Annie, Woody and Iggy returned the next morning, only to find that their newfound perch had vanished. I felt quite sad and would have liked to explain to them, but unfortunately they don’t speak English.

Wishing you all a great weekend. Stay safe everyone. (Since updating the software on my Apple watch, it informs me every morning, “You have no events.” Sounds about right.)

A Very Soggy Iggy

Today is one of those grey, rainy days with no critters outside my bathroom window. Even Sammy hasn’t been to inspect the fresh supply of birdseed in the feeder. Mr. GBH made a very brief appearance across the other side of the water, and the Anghina,  looking quite dejected, took shelter in the branches of the fir trees.


The Iggy delegation which usually puts in an appearance around 9:30 am, was absent today. I was wondering where it is that they disappear to every day at 5:30 pm almost on the dot, and whether it’s quite sheltered from the rain, when I suddenly spotted a very soggy and lonely looking Iggy laying in the grass. He looked across at my window, as if to say. “It’s alright for you. You have a nice cosy bathroom to keep dry in. If that window opened, I’d be in there in a jiffy. ”


Hope your day is going better than Iggy’s.


Gratitude list and flailing feathers

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”William Arthur Ward

I was thinking this morning about all the things in my life that I’m so grateful for, and decided that there are far too many to list. Besides, a wonderful, loving husband, gorgeous family, loyal friends, a nice home, and money sufficient for all my needs, there are new daily blessings with every new day that dawns. Since we moved to Florida, I’ve had so much joy and fun from watching all the wonderful bird life right here in my backyard.

Yesterday, my good friend Mr. GBH came ambling by, just checking that everyone was behaving themselves along the water’s edge. Ms. Anhinga was keeping a low profile and thinking about lunch as he came past.


Suddenly, “Whaaaa!!!” Mr GBH turned and gave her such a fright that she almost fell into the water, and all I could see were flailing feathers. She took the hint and flew away.


What a bully he is, but he’s still my favourite. Just look at him as he stands victorious and cool as a cucumber, surveying his fishing territory. “Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth” as my granny used to say.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends here on WordPress. Here’s a Thanksgiving blessing I found which is the last verse of a poem entitled “Twas the night of Thanksgiving” by C. J. Beaman an artist, musician and gourmet chef

“May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes & gravy have nary a lump,
May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize,
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs.”






So, how did Mr. A and friends, spend their ‘Thanksgiving’?

Yesterday we were intending to start our day with an 8am ‘Turkey Burnoff’ aerobics class at the gym, but because of having had our medical exam for our Green Card application on Wednesday, which included compulsory shots for ‘flu, pneumonia and tetanus, our arm muscles were so sore, that we decided to rather go for a walk in the Green Cay Wetlands which is just down the road. Many people had got the same idea, and the serious bird watchers were out in force equipped with humongous zoom lenses which any National Geographic photographer would be proud of.


Of course we were curious to know what all the excitement was about, and saw, way in the distance, a red-shouldered hawk, who seemed to be enjoying all the attention..


Our little Nikon zoom didn’t get such a great image, but last year, we were privileged to see a pair of these gorgeous birds up close, and they posed so nicely too.


Not nearly as rare or popular with the photographers, were the hoards of ducks who have arrived in Florida for the winter.


A little further on, we spied Mr A, sleeping his Thanksgiving Day away in the reeds.


He did have a contented smile on his face, so maybe he was having thankful daydreams.


A Wood Stork was keeping lookout from the top of a dead tree.


Mr Anhinga was also enjoying the morning sun from his favourite perch.


A pair of female Mottled Ducks were having a quiet snooze in the shade of the bridge,


as a Painted Turtle made it’s ponderous way through the reeds.


I was thrilled to see that Leo the Lion was still lurking along the boardwalk. I always look out for him, and say “Hi.”


The afternoon and evening were spent with good friends, shrimp starters, plenteous wine, delicious turkey dinner, followed by four different desserts, not least of which was my decadent chocolate pie, which went down very well.


I hope that your Thanksgiving was equally wonderful. Have a great weekend.








Mr Anhinga agrees to a photo shoot

It’s another grey morning here in the ‘Sunshine State’, and this morning, Mr. Anhinga paid his usual visit to my back yard. “How about a photo shoot for my blog?” I asked. “Good idea” he said,  “but be sure to get my best side. I understand that ones left profile is more attractive than the right. So, how’s this?”


“Now be honest with me; is my right side better or worse?”


“Perhaps if I tuck my neck down a wee bit,  to show the softness of my throat feathers, and I’ll also shake out my wings just a little?”


“Now I think I should spread out my glossy black wings, and if we can get just some of that colour in your garden,  for a bit of a contrast.”


All the while this was going on, Mr. GBH stood like a statue, pretending that he hadn’t noticed that he wasn’t the subject of my photos today. ” See if I care!” he muttered with a bit of a sniff, as I disappeared back into the house to have my breakfast.


Have a wonderful Saturday.

Sunday Stills: At home on the water

A tranquil Sunday morning on the water.


Now that the aliigator’s gone, the ducks are back.


An Anhinga pops his head up from a fishing expedition, just to say “Hello.”


The Great Egret is as usual, keeping a look out for tasty fish.


But the inscrutable Mr. GBH is definitely the boss of the whole show. Nothing goes unnoticed when he’s around.


To see more entries for Ed’s Sunday Stills challenge, just click here.




Florida Water Birds for ‘Feathers on Friday’.

I’m so excited that we’ll soon be heading back to our home in Florida. We’ll be going via England, in order to visit my MiL, who at 101 is still fighting fit. I’m so looking forward to seeing her again, and then after our visit with her, we’ll be on our way to Miami. Or tickets are all booked and seats reserved, so we’ll soon be flying out of here. Wouldn’t it be great to have our own wings like these beautiful water birds which feature quite a lot in my Florida posts? Here are just a few of the feathered friends I’ve been missing, for Charlotte’s ‘Feathers on Friday Challenge’.

American White Ibis

American White Ibis

Anhinga or Snake Bird

Anhinga or Snake Bird

Roseate Spoonbill.

Roseate Spoonbill.

Great Egret

Great Egret

Wood Stork

Wood Stork

Don't forget the little Mottled Ducks.

Don’t forget the cute  Mottled Ducks.

The 'King of the Pond'....Mr. Great Blue Heron.

The ‘King of the Pond’….Mr. Great Blue Heron.

To take part in Charlotte’s Friday Challenge, Just click here.

Feathers on Friday: Hungry Anhinga Chicks

Charlotte of ‘Prairie Birder’ blog, hosts the ‘Feathers on Friday’ challenge.

Here are some Anhinga shots from Florida. Two hungry Anhinga chicks are waiting for their lunch to arrive.

It's about time for lunch. We're getting hungry.

Hey! Isn’t it lunchtime yet? We’re getting hungry.

I want to be the first to be fed.

I’m far more hungry than you are.

So, what have you got for us?

So, what have you got for us?

Me first! No, ME first!

Me first! No, ME first!

Hey, please save some for me.

Brother, please save some for me too.

To join in the ‘Feathers on Friday Challenge’, just click here to be taken to Charlotte’s blog.

Time to say goodbye.

Our time here in Florida is almost over. We leave on Wednesday for South Africa, stopping off in England for a few days to visit my 100-year-old mom-in-law. I’m really going to miss being here. This morning, I walked out into my back yard and just gazed in wonder at the stillness and the beauty.


The Bromeliads we planted a few weeks ago are looking so lovely.


I hope the irrigation system doesn’t go on the blink whilst we’re away, like it did last time. I’d hate to lose these beauties.


I’m really going to miss seeing my feathered neighbours. The Great Egret usually comes stalking past whilst I’m eating breakfast.


Mr Great Blue Heron who is a regular visitor on my blog, was right over the other side of the lake this morning, but I did manage a quick shot as he basked in the morning sunshine.


Yesterday he looked quite a different shape altogether, as his beady eyes scanned the water for a tasty morsel.


I was quite pleased with how this pic of his aerobatics turned out. It’s not easy to catch him in flight. Usually by the time I’ve got the camera ready, the moment has passed and he’s disappeared.


He does of course have to share his hunting ground with the Anhinga, who is always on the look out for an unsuspecting fish.


Our spectacular Florida sunsets will also have to go on without me, but I guess they’ll still be here when we return.


So this will be my last post from this piece of paradise for a few months. We land in Johannesburg in a week’s time, and then it’s a one hour flight down to Durban. I’m really looking forward to seeing my sister and mom again, and also our beach. Later in March, we’ll be going to visit our daughter and family for our grandson’s 15th birthday.

Hubby has just gone to meet with the roofer to discuss the other house for which we’re considering putting in an offer, so we’ll see what transpires about that. I have a load of packing to do now, as well as preparing the house for our 6-8 month absence, so if you don’t see me in your likes and comments for a few days, please know that I will be back as soon as I can find some time to play again. Love and hugs to you all.

Cee’s FFC: Free and Easy

“Take time to do what makes your soul happy.” ~ anon

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is ” all about state of being or emotions,” and this week’s theme is ‘Free and Easy’.

I got this great pic of my son and little Max having fun in the snow yesterday, and thought that it really fits the bill.


In August last year, my darling mom-in-law turned 100 years old, and had such a fun party.


I just love this pic of a guy in Cairns, who came every day to to the beach to feed the pelicans.


These school children in Costa Rica, were so happy to entertain us with their traditional dancing.


This morning, our resident anhinga popped his head up over the bank to show me what he’d just caught.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my ‘Free and Easy’ pics. To see more entries for Cee’s challenge, just click on the badge below.